Auto Tranny Coolant Lines and Fittings
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Thread: Auto Tranny Coolant Lines and Fittings

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    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Auto Tranny Coolant Lines and Fittings

    I've had big trouble finding auto tranny coolant lines for my GT's for decades. If I recall correctly, the problem is the fittings at the radiator are uncommon. I've had to use the chopped off remnants of the 45 year old lines and fittings at the tranny and the radiator with rubber hoses connecting them together. They leak. In my GTX I have installed a tranny cooler specifically purchased with barbed ends, so that I could fit rubber hoses directly to it. That end of things works just fine, but the rubber hoses will eventually fail and I'll have to deal with a difficult location to replace them and gallons of tranny fluid all over the freakin' place. And the rubber hoses still leak where they connect to the old lines coming from the tranny. I probably leak where those old lines enter the tranny, too. Leak, leak, leak! I want it to stop!

    So, I'm thinking: Buy a new tranny cooler that accepts screw on fittings and run all new lines from the tranny. But solid lines all the way from the tranny to the cooler would be about 5 feet of line and would make dropping the engine and other procedures a PIA and I'd probably bend the crapp out of the lines, so I want them to be separatable in the middle. Okay, a fairly straight forward procedure, but what I don't know is: What size are the fittings screwed into the TH180 tranny? Are they a weird European size or a common American size? Once I know the size I can start shopping for coolant lines and a new cooler.

    Is this the wrong approach? Are metal lines still being used commonly? Is there an all-rubber with built in fittings option I should pursue instead? It would certainly be easier to not have to precisely bend metal lines to fit.

    Tips?

    Suggestions?

    Ideas?

    The usual cruel and heartless ball busts suggesting that I toss my tranny in the recycle bin and get myself a nice Flintstones do-it-yourself tranny?


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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    I've had big trouble finding <SNIP>
    Tips?

    Suggestions?

    Ideas?

    The usual cruel and heartless ball busts suggesting that I toss my tranny in the recycle bin and get myself a nice Flintstones do-it-yourself tranny?

    No, but this might be a good time to look for the 700R4 (or that other 4 speed auto)! JMHO -- Doug

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    Can you take the fittings to a transmission shop to get sized up?

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    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Well, now, where's the fun in that?

    Much more fun to ask you guys to search the Internet for hours looking for the answer!

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    Opel Key Master My location opelspyder's Avatar
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    The TH180 lines are standard pipe thread, if I recall they are 1/4 NPT. I used a Honda radiator with automatic transmission cooler built in and used summit -an flare fittings and hooked up nicely. I would just run a separate cooler with -an fittings or where they can be adapted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    Well, now, where's the fun in that?

    Much more fun to ask you guys to search the Internet for hours looking for the answer!

    Yuck Yuck
    First off
    Whats your ATF temp?
    If it wonders over 235 F... you need an auxiliary cooler.
    Then you'll need to know the location of the "Line Pressure Port" to properly configure the lines.
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    Si vis pacem, para bellum "If you want peace, prepare for war"

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    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Hmmm....I've always wondered about that: Which line is the pumper and which one is the sucker? On the TH180, one line comes out near the front and the other comes out nearer the rear, which one pours and which one drinks? I have a tranny cooler already, but I want to get a new one that accepts threaded fittings. Do tranny coolers also have specific IN and OUT lines? Does it really make a difference which one I attach the lines to? The one I have already appears to just be a simple sideways U-shape and the tubing appears to be the same diameter throughout. If the cooler is just a consistant diameter tube with some cooling fins, it shouldn't matter which tranny line I connect to where, right?



    Keith, thanks for the info that the tranny's line fittings are standard pipe thread!

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    Über Genius My location First opel 1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    Hmmm....I've always wondered about that: Which line is the pumper and which one is the sucker? On the TH180, one line comes out near the front and the other comes out nearer the rear, which one pours and which one drinks? I have a tranny cooler already, but I want to get a new one that accepts threaded fittings. Do tranny coolers also have specific IN and OUT lines? Does it really make a difference which one I attach the lines to? The one I have already appears to just be a simple sideways U-shape and the tubing appears to be the same diameter throughout. If the cooler is just a consistant diameter tube with some cooling fins, it shouldn't matter which tranny line I connect to where, right?



    Keith, thanks for the info that the tranny's line fittings are standard pipe thread!
    Get real close to the transmission cooler and ask if it cares which hole you pump into. If it doesn't answer, assume it's up for you to pump into anywhere.
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    The pump aka pimp
    first mission is to fill the torker verter.
    After that hot ace trip the fluid might needs to be kooled down.

    Si vis pacem, para bellum "If you want peace, prepare for war"

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    Here's a pic of my present tranny cooler:

    IMG_5174.jpg

    It's about 12" long by 3" high and is only 2 rows with bubble flared ends to attach straight to rubber hoses. I've routed the hoses through an old radiator hose in places to protect them and keep them bundled and tidy. It seems to work great for my needs, my car has no heat issues. Although I have no idea if it's keeping my tranny at the recommended temperature, which I think is 160* or maybe 180*. All I know is that my car works and runs great('cept for the worn engine currently being rebuilt). It fit's perfectly on the horn-mounting crossbar up front.

    Based on Keith's post, I looked at Summit's offerings:

    Smallest decent size auto tranny cooler with 6AN fittings I could find on their site. Same length, 2.5 as many rows:

    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/a...6712/overview/

    Here is a listing for braided stainless-wrapped FLEXIBLE auto tranny cooler lines that states: "this kit includes (2) 90 degree ¼” MPT to -6 Male fittings and (2) 5/16” inverted flare to -6 Male fittings for the stock fittings already existing in the TH-350/400/700R transmissions.". There's a lot of potential for rubbing of flexible lines in a GT install where I have chosen to put the tranny cooler. I route both lines to the driver's side of the engine to keep them away from the exhaust pipes, then a bit of a roller coaster ride to a window I have cut just below the driver's side of the radiator to route the lines into the belly pan area and to the tranny cooler. Each line needs to be 5'-6' long. With the tightness of a GT and my routing, custom bending lines would be a mutha. Making one-piece lines would be extremely difficult and engine removal and install would be fraught with danger in regards to bending the lines, so I would need to have a disconnect point on both lines somewhere in the middle. Nice, woven-stainless-protected, flexible lines are very appealing to me and the very expensive price would be well worth the expense if they save me from doing hours of bending and bracing solid lines. Fully flexible lines all the way from the tranny to the tranny cooler would be SOOOO much more convenient and would offer different routing options.

    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/add-23-150060

    Does the combo above sound like it will work together and attach to my TH180 trans? Yup, that'll git'er done? Nope, the car will explode? Dire warnings?

    I need help with this. I'm not up to speed with all this AN and NPT fitting stuff. Could I beg y'all's assistance on this project?



    Another option just occurred to me. It's the remnants of my TH180's 45 year old solid lines, and my inability to flare them effectively to stop small amounts of leaking where they connect to my rubber lines, that's causing me distress. They're probably not making very good connection at the tranny either. There is no leaking where the rubber lines attach to the tranny cooler, it's what's left of those old metal lines that's the problem. Well, there's a hydraulic and other types of hose business near me and I had them make me a custom, longer, hydraulic line for my garage lift so that I could remove the pump assembly from the lift and mount it remotely between the studs of my garage wall. Maybe I could have them make me custom length rubber tranny lines with protective braiding, a 6AN fitting at one end to screw into the tranny, and just open rubber ends that I can attach to my existing tranny cooler. Even if I have to pay a lot for them, I won't have to replace my tranny cooler just to get one with threaded fittings and redo everything up front.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by The Scifi Guy; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    Here's a pic of my present tranny cooler:

    IMG_5174.jpg

    It's about 12" long by 3" high and is only 2 rows with bubble flared ends <SNIP>

    Here is a listing for braided stainless-wrapped FLEXIBLE auto tranny cooler lines that states: "this kit includes (2) 90 degree ¼” MPT to -6 Male fittings and (2) 5/16” inverted flare to -6 Male fittings for the stock fittings already existing in the TH-350/400/700R4 transmissions."

    <SNIP>

    Thoughts?
    I'm thinking that someone else is sending you a message! "Get the 4 speed now!" -- Doug

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    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slracer View Post
    I'm thinking that someone else is sending you a message! "Get the 4 speed now!" -- Doug
    I've had 4 of them, all of them broke. I've had 2 auto trannies, both lasted forever. Questions?

    My only issues with my auto trannies were the limited gear range, which back in the day were more than adequate, but now that everyone drives 85mph they're lacking, and the coolant lines, which always leaked a little(or a lot) mainly because I never pursued the issue of having them replaced, mainly because everything else on an Opel leaks. Now that I have a mainly car show pretty Opel with no leaks, the leaky lines now stick out like a sore thumb.


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    You can just keep enough of your solid line from the tranny to make a -6 flare on them, and then run up to your existing cooler with the braided line, and get the AN cover end with a screw clamp to look nice and to keep the braid from fraying, and your done. The 700 r4 is a good transmission, but for a car like the opel, a 200 r4 done up with good parts would be the better choice. The 700 r4 is a big wide transmission at the oil pan, even bigger than the turbo 400. The 200 r4 is more compact in this area leaving lots more room. Plus the gear ratio from 1st to 2nd isn't as wide.
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    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    I've come to realize that I need to get schooled up on this AN and NPT fitting stuff, so I Googled and found this simple description page and some nice little charts. I never would have guessed that "AN" stands for "Army/Navy":


    Automotive Fittings Explained


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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    Although I have no idea if it's keeping my tranny at the recommended temperature, which I think is 160* or maybe 180*.
    Stop and think about this for a second Gordo. A stock Opel's operating coolant temp is 193 degrees. The auto transmission fluid is run thru 193 degree water to cool the transmission down!


    So you can bet your Ashton Kutcher that the tranny fluid is running significantly hotter temps than that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    I've had 4 of them, all of them broke. I've had 2 auto trannies, both lasted forever. Questions?

    My question would be "Driver error?" Doug

    My only issues with my auto trannies were the limited gear range, which back in the day were more than adequate, but now that everyone drives 85mph they're lacking, and the coolant lines, which always leaked a little(or a lot) mainly because I never pursued the issue of having them replaced, mainly because everything else on an Opel leaks. Now that I have a mainly car show pretty Opel with no leaks, the leaky lines now stick out like a sore thumb.

    Gordo, I was talking about the 700R4 AUTOMATIC 4 speed (or the Brazilian(?) version that I forgot the name/number of) that I mentioned in an earlier post and that RB said he was considering and you asked him "How soon and how much?" (or similar).

    John, there was an early model 700R4 that was fitted to the Camaro V6 engines that was not really wide and appeared to RallyBob to be a good fit. The 2004R was thought to be a bit on the weak side for the 2.2/2.4 engines with horsepower added. I think the whole discussion was earlier in this thread, but I really don't remember. EDIT - Try here, posts 141-145: http://www.opelgt.com/forums/afterma...-45dcoe-8.html

    Doug

    PS - I added the 2004R transmission to the spread sheet in post 141 in the link above.

    PPS - The ZF 4 speed auto was here: http://www.opelgt.com/forums/other-m...lian-opel.html post 9
    Last edited by slracer; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:44 PM. Reason: Added Link to Earlier Thread, added PS S PPs
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    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RallyBob View Post
    Stop and think about this for a second Gordo. A stock Opel's operating coolant temp is 193 degrees. The auto transmission fluid is run thru 193 degree water to cool the transmission down!

    Well, duuuuh, I guess that does make sense!

    I thought that operating temperature was 176*?

    Oh well, we have an infrared temperature probe "gun" gizmo at work that we use to look for bearings and motors that are running hot. Maybe I can borrow it for a weekend and see what temps I get.

    Thanks!


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    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter My location RallyBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    Well, duuuuh, I guess that does make sense!

    I thought that operating temperature was 176*?

    Oh well, we have an infrared temperature probe "gun" gizmo at work that we use to look for bearings and motors that are running hot. Maybe I can borrow it for a weekend and see what temps I get.

    Thanks!

    I think the original CIH Opel thermostat is 89 degrees celsius....roughly 192.2 degrees fahrenheit.

    However a slightly cooler temp seems to work well for most US driving habits.

    As far as transmission temps, a lot of my friends who tow a lot run temp guages, and 250-275 degrees is not unusual.

    Another friend of mine took his TH400-equipped 1979 Trans Am to Lime Rock about 20 years ago for a track day. He had a 472 cubic inch roller cammed Pontiac engine making around 585 HP to the rear axle...street car and drag car. After just three laps at WOT, all the nylon zip ties he used to hold his metal tranny cooler lines melted off. So the outside of the tubing was seeing over 300 degrees F..... I imagine the tranny fluid was a bit hotter! Needless to say it turned the fluid pretty black.
    Last edited by RallyBob; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:38 AM.
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    Transmission cooling and thermal-dynamics.

    It might surprise people to think of things outside the regular box.

    When using a traditional transmission cooling theory, the transmission fluid should go through the COOL side of the radiator. So the engine temp is less likely to be affected by the thermostat temperature.
    Additionally, the fast cooling affect of the coolant, as opposed to air, in contact with the metal lines inside the radiator will cool the transmission fluid faster than if by air.

    This is why the accessory transmission radiator should be installed in front of the engine coolant radiator, or separately with it's own air flow.

    In the best scenario, the transmission fluid should run through the radiator and then through an accessory radiator, if you choose to go the route of the accessory cooler. This would allow the water based coolant to "pre-cool" the transmission fluid before running through the accessory cooling device and give much better longevity of the transmission and fluid.


    Also, to be noted, the pressurized line coming from the transmission only contains backpressure created by the cooler fittings. The return line just dumps fluid back into the pan. (at least that was my conclusion after rebuilding a few auto transmissions)
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    Holy Cow! What a PIA it is to cobble together the parts for a TH180 tranny cooler in a GT! The tranny cooler kit I had originally ordered for $300 was delayed because the manufacturer was back ordered on the hose for the kit and it wouldn't have shipped until next Tuesday. I had spent a sizable amount of time visiting auto stores and hardware stores trying to determine the thread sizes on my tranny's fittings and I was barely able to get anywhere. Nothing fit. My really good auto parts store did seem to determine that one end of my fitting was 1/8" NPSN. WTF is NPSN????? Sheesh! Another cockamamie thread type to wrap my head around! I think it's hydraulic thread. I recalled seeing in the ad for the "GM Auto Tranny Kit" that it doesn't fit 4L80E tranny's and you need another kit style for that. So I revisited the ad and then Googled 4L80E and it turns out that those transmissions were the successor to the 3L80's (aka: TH180).

    At this point I start talking with tech support at Jeg's and we were on the phone for a good 45 minutes while he's thumbing through books and online stuff looking for definitive info on my tranny and what fittings are needed. All trannies after the 4L80E's used 1/4"NPSN. So, although not conclusively stated anywhere, it's likely that my TH180 actually does have 1/8". He then asked me if I was really attached to the kit I chose, I said "not really", and he suggested this kit.:

    Derale 12730K: Transmission Oil Cooler & AN Hose Kit Oil Cooler w/ Fan 259-12730 | JEGS

    There's no picture, so here's the base cooler without the hose kit:

    Derale 12730: Universal Remote Cooler -6AN Inlets | JEGS

    This is the quick disconnect. They'll be swapping out the angled brass fittings and substituting another set of blue AN fittings. :

    JEGS Performance Products 60359: Quick Connect Transmission Line Couplers -06AN to 1/8" NPT | JEGS

    This is a kit Jeg's makes up themselves from parts on hand. It will come with 15' of braided hose(!). Wow, that was a plus, I measured that I need 12'+, but all the other kits gave 12' or less. They were out of the "6 pass" type of cooler and had to give me a bigger "8 pass" size(12"x10") for an extra $4. Altogether, for about the same $300, I'll get a big cooler with a fan, 15' of -6AN braided hose, the AN fittings will all match and hopefully screw into my tranny, and I'll have 2 quick disconnects I can put in the middle of the lines where they're easy to reach! And they'll be here by Saturday for me to start playing with!

    I don't see a thermostat offered with the cooler/fan and I'm suspecting I'll have to buy that separately.
    Last edited by The Scifi Guy; 1 Week Ago at 08:59 PM.

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