Driveline Auto Parts is a national aftermarket transmission component supplier

When it comes to choosing between the various coolers in the market, cooler construction plays an important part in today’s modern installations.
Driveline Auto Parts explains that factors in deciding which style of cooler to use include oil flow capacity; low pressure drop; available size; minimum air flow disruption and hose end fitting type and size.
It says says a low pressure drop plate and fin type cooler is 30 percent more efficient than a tube and fin type cooler because the cooling circuit operates at a regulated low pressure.
It says hydraulic engineering formulas equate that a 90-degree bend has the same restriction as 7.5m of straight pipe and states most tube type coolers have 180-degree bends (that is, 2 x 90-degree bends at the end of each run) and there are usually five of these bends in each cooler, so that is the equivalent of 75m of cooler line, resulting in increased pressure drop in a tube and fin type cooler. It notes a much larger surface area is also required to achieve the same cooling capacity compared to a plate and fin type cooler.
The plate and fin cooler can be distinguished by the parallel plates that run horizontally and looks just like a mini radiator. Driveline says this type of transmission cooler is more efficient than the tube and fin type, mainly because the larger surface area allows for more fluid to contact the cooling surface. Fluid is forced through each row of smaller plates that help to cool the fluid faster and more effectively.

When it comes to selecting the right size cooler for the vehicle, the rule of thumb is to select the largest size you can comfortably fit in the space available. It notes correct hose sizing is also critical. Vehicle specific kits are becoming more popular, with most manufacturers offering either a GVM rating or a thermal unit rating to help with size selection if the unit is a custom fit up.
When deciding if you should install the cooler in series, or to fully bypass the radiator, Driveline says fully bypassing a failed heat exchanger is often more cost effective and eliminates the potential for any future coolant and oil contamination. Consideration should also be given to the prevailing climate, with vehicles operating in hotter conditions leading to extra heat load being placed on the cooling system.
After installation, an important tip is to always remember to top up the transmission fluid after installing an oil cooler. Normally around one liter will suffice but be sure to follow the vehicle manufacturers recommended fill procedure and to use the correct Automatic Transmission Fluid for the vehicle.
Driveline Auto Parts has a full range of coolers available. The Coolmaster Off Road range includes cooler kits for popular 4×4 applications such as Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Patrol, Holden Colorado, Ford Everest, Ford Ranger, Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Landcruiser, Toyota Prado, Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok.

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