How to install a transmission cooler on a jeep

Written by thomas west
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How to install a transmission cooler on a jeep
(Hemera Technologies/ Images)

The Jeep started out as an all-purpose vehicle used during World War II, and gained popularity post-war with civilians. As of 2010, Jeeps are still rolling off of assembly lines, although the company has changed ownership many times over the years. If you use your Jeep off-road or haul heavy loads frequently, your transmission may run hotter than normal, necessitating the installation of a transmission cooler. The transmission fluid is routed through the cooler, which may keep your transmission from overheating.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Transmission cooler with mounting kit
  • Utility knife
  • Rag
  • Philips screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Open the bonnet. Remove the black plastic splash shield on the top of the radiator support by prying up the retaining clips with a flat blade screwdriver. Lift the shield from the engine compartment and place it aside.

  2. 2

    Mount the transmission cooler to the front of your Jeep’s radiator with the plastic zip ties that come with the cooler kit. Work the cooler into the space provided after removing the shield. Fish a zip tie through the fins on the back side of the radiator (nearest the engine fan) until it protrudes the front side of the radiator.

  3. 3

    Work the end of the zip tie through the top mounting hole on the transmission cooler and pull it until it is tight and the cooler is flush against the radiator. Run the remaining three zip ties through the radiator and through the three remaining mounting holes in the cooler in the same fashion. Cut any excess length of zip tie off with a utility knife.

  4. 4

    Crawl under the front of the vehicle and locate the lower transmission cooling line (which is the return line) which runs from the transmission to the bottom of the radiator. Cut the rubber line in half with a utility knife so that both lines from the transmission cooler can be spliced in. Have a rag handy to wipe up transmission fluid that may leak from the line.

  5. 5

    Push a plastic hose fitting (comes with the transmission cooler) into each end of the cut transmission line and secure them with hose clamps (also comes with the cooler) tightened with a Philips screwdriver. Run a length of the rubber hose that came with the cooler from one of the plastic hose fittings you just installed to one of the two hose fittings on the transmission cooler. Cut the hose to length with a utility knife. Push the ends of the hoses onto the fittings and secure with hose clamps. Run a length of hose from the other plastic hose fitting to the other hose fitting on the cooler in the same fashion. (Note: What you should end up with is fluid from the return transmission cooling line being routed to the transmission cooler, where it is circulated, cooled, and routed back to the return line which goes to the transmission.)

  6. 6

    Replace the splash shield and push the retaining clips into the mounting holes. Close the bonnet. Start the vehicle and drive it a few miles until the transmission reaches operating temperature. Open the bonnet and check the transmission fluid level using the transmission dipstick. Add transmission fluid if necessary until the level reaches the full mark on the dipstick. Replace the dipstick and close the bonnet.

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