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B&M Tranny Cooler


We knew from the begining of the project that we would need a transmission oil cooler for the truck. Originally, the truck came with a transmission oil cooler from the factory, but that one did not hold up and had to be replaced back in 1989 after hitting a ditch too hard while four wheeling (the impact cracked the aluminum transmission oil cooler at the mounts).

So we looked around and finally found that B&M had some nice new coolers available and one of them would work perfectly on our truck. B&M sent out one of their oil coolers with the clamp on hose design which was perfect for us. This meant that we did not have to try and bend new transmission line to fit into the cooler. Now we just had to figure out where we were going to mount it. We did not want to block the condenser coil or the radiator so we decided to mount it behind the bumper.

We had a local fabricating shop make up a frame with mounting tabs designed to fit the cooler's size and then to mount to the underside of the front bumper. This ended up working perfectly. The mount came out rock solid and and the oil cooler's fitting were facing the ground. We slipped over some of the braided stainless steel hose we had left over from running the fuel line and made the connections to the radiator and the hard line running to the transmission. The installation came out looking great. There was only one issue remaining, how to get good air flow over the oil cooler?

The answer was to cut out an opening in the front of the bumper to allow air through so the oil cooler could do it's job. The B&M oil cooler was set up so that it received oil from the radiator so that it would further cool the oil before re-entering the transmission. We used a 3" hole saw with our Dewalt cordless drill and cut two holes side by side for the opening. Then using the Dewalt reciprocating saw, we carefully cut the metal from the top and bottom of the openings from one hole to the other so we ended up with a very nice and clean opening that will allow a great deal of air to flow through. The side benefit is that the bottom of the radiator that is below the grill and behind the bumper will also recieve some additional air flow as well.

Now we have a well engineered solution that will keep our transmission cool and running smooth for many years to come thanks to B&M and a lot of sweat and elbow grease.

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