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Old 04-09-2012, 02:55 PM   #1
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Should I get a transmission cooler?

Hi. Almost newbie here. I just bought a 1999 F-150 with the 4.2L V-6 and auto transmission (with only 19K miles!). The tow rating is 4600 pounds. I will tow a trailer not more than 3000 pounds.

The truck does not have the tow package factory installed.

I had planned to install a transmission cooler but notice that the truck manual says nothing about that. Wonder if I really need one? It would cost me about $200 installed.

Do you smart people think I should get one? Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:09 PM   #2
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Short answer...

Most definitely.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:13 PM   #3
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Yes yes yes yes
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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AT the risk of piling on.

Yes and get a trans temperature gauge while you are getting it installed.
You will need it.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:42 PM   #5
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Never heard of a transmission burning up from being kept to cool
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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OK I'm convinced! I thought I should get one but wondered if y'all would say I don't need it. Thanks again.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:08 PM   #7
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Go tell your F-150...I am sure it will really appreciate your decision.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:53 PM   #8
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With a v6 and auto, it will probably be doing a lot of downshifting. Put the biggest trans cooler that you can afford and physically fit in there! An extra deep aluminum finned pan wouldnt hurt a bit either and neither would going to a full synthetic quality fluid.
As said above (kind of), you cannot get too much extra cooling! However, being too cool can harm it, but adding extra capacity wont make it too cool.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:21 AM   #9
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I have a 2000 e150 and am also looking to have a transmission cooler installed. What I wonder is if I should get the one from the dealer or if I should attempt to locate an aftermarket unit.

Anyone have any thoughts?
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:11 AM   #10
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richdonn: Good score on your truck. We have a 2000 F-150 with the same engine as you. I originally wanted a V6 for better fuel economy and it was really hard to find around here along with an auto tranny. Wasn't into RVing back in 2003 when I was looking for something to haul stuff for our small farm. We just got 10.8 mpg on the freeway towing our trailer. I hear many get 8-9 mpg so maybe the V6 is a good thing for smaller trailers.... Have been extremely happy with the truck over the years. Very reliable.

Despite some of the comments out there on V6 vs V8 engines, I have to say that we love the V6. Having just done our first "long distance" trip with our 4,000 lb TT of about 50 miles (woohoo!), we found the engine has plenty of power. No problems up steeper inclines whatsoever. I see no reasons to upgrade to something with a V8 unless we wanted a larger trailer. Our F150 is rated to tow 5,500 lbs so we limited our TT purchase to 4,000 lbs. I guess we have a different final drive ratio. I got our rating from the Ford dealer where we bought it.

We had a transmission cooler installed along with the hitch and brake controller. Wouldn't dream of towing a travel trailer without a cooler. Unless you know that the tranny oil has just been changed, I would freshen that up (along with all the other fluids), but maybe you have done this by now.
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