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Towing/trans cooler


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Anyone ever put the old type add on trans cooler on a Caddy with a NS?

If so, easy or pain? Thinking about changing fluid and this will be the time.

I used to have one in my Old 72, still do. Worked great.

Just kinda thinking about doing it since my SLS only gets a Trans code when pulling a tariler. I switched to the Eldo for now but I don't want it going freeky. Like setting a speed sensor code only when I tow.


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Have you tried towing in "3" instead of "D)".

I belive that the "tow" switch on GM (and probably others) simply restricts the tranny from upshifting into in top gear (which is actually an overdrive I think). Guessing on how the Caddy was designed and engineered, it might drop to "3" when it detects the tranny is hot, but it might also take a long time to cool and the code is already set, until cleared. There probably is a way to display tranny temp in the "Information" field for evaluation, by tweaking the DIC. Maybe others can help with that aspect.

Using a lower gear is certainly not a cure for towing more than the rated load, etc - but if the code does not appear, you change ( meaning drain and refill change tranny fluid - not simply flush...) then the above moves may mitigate repairs.

With a larger on additional cooler, the airflow may be restricted and air flow can be tricky. Also, any extra tranny heat (from the load) will cause the downstream AC condenser and the radiator to also "feel the pain". Not a lot but it adds up.

Even with another or larger tranny cooler, a Caddy (car) is probabaly not the best towing vehicle, compared to almost any pickup. The T-480 (I think) tranny might not have been designed for much towing, considering its intended market. A Chaddy pickup (Chevy-Caddy) will do the job for sure, but at those prices, it might might make more sense to rent the pickup for a few days.

Back to your original question. The actual installation is probably a straight-forward replacement of the existing tranny cooler, if it fits. However, any warranty will be voided (this relates to other readers w/newer cars) if non GM-dealer (doubtfull they would do it anyway - if not an option).

Good Luck :)

Add power to leave problems behind. Most braking is just - poor planning.
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I have auxillary trans. coolers on all of my cars. Fairly straightforward to add. You need to disconnect the output trans line from the radiator and connect the cooler between the line and the radiator. This way, the trans. fluid is pre-cooled by the cooler in the radiator.


Northstars make great tow cars - I wouldn't tow anything heavier than 2000 lbs. though.

'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I have a large trans cooler on my '94 STS. I don't tow anything, it's just something I've been doing to my cars for many years. I figure it can't hurt, and it hasn't.

I believe in the past Bill has said that it is not necessary, likely true, however like I said, I don't see the harm.

Note... To really make the job easier, go to the dealer and purchase the short "U" pipe that comes off the rad. (Was under $10.00) It connects to the rad and "U" turns toward the front grille. This makes connecting the fluid hose from the cooler to the rad much much easier.

The pipe is used on a '93 Olds 98 (Supercharged), for the factory installed trans cooler. The parts book clearly shows the pipe connected to the upper rad oil line.


2008 STS V8
2016 Colorado Z71
1970 Corvette LT-1 Coupe

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Thanks for all the reply's folks. It's just a boat that proably weighs in about 1600 lbs. But I might really consider this Mod. Cools is good.

As far as an easy towm the Caddy's tow the boat twice as easy as my Dodge PU with a V8! And they get much better mileage.

I'm still in the market for a real tow vehicle though. See what Cadillac does about my fuel rails and then maybe the Escalade.

Great pointer Barry one the U turn line! That's a slick one.

Good Note also BObynsky on the location and direction of flow. Warm in winter is good.


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