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Using AC Condenser as auto tranny cooler?

Travis on Mon October 24, 2011 8:38 PM User is offlineView users profile

My friend Dale Mihovetz has a 98 Cobra race car with the AC deleted, minus the condenser. The car was running the front half of the track great-the problem is that the competition was passing him like a freight train on the back half of the track. He's stepped up the power, and now he needs to modify the chassis/drivetrain/tires to hold the newfound power. He's added an auto transmission and wants to know if he can use the factory AC condenser as the transmission cooler on this latest iteration of the car?


1993.5 Single Turbo Toyota Supra 714RWHP
1985 Suburban
1997 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP

HECAT on Tue October 25, 2011 4:27 PM User is offline

The generic trans oil cooler flow verification is to remove the cooler return line and verify it is flowing 2 qts in 30 seconds (1 gpm). I would think that if the condenser can allow for this much oil flow you would be no worse that the in-radiator or a small external type trans oil cooler. Since it is not designed as an oil cooler, I would verify its ability to supply this minimum flow rate, as its physical size could be deceiving.


HECAT: You support the Forum when you consider for your a/c parts.


NickD on Tue October 25, 2011 5:47 PM User is offline

Did install at 20 by 10" AT cooler in my motorhome, copper and brass, does a great job, line going it will burn your hand, coming out, just barely warm to the touch. Quite a selection of AT coolers to be found. So why not use what is intended for your application.

It also has an engine oil and a power steering cooler in front of the condenser, the beer cooler is mounted in the rear. Engine is a 454, GVW is 12,600 pounds, and pull a 3,000 pound boat trailer, so wanted that transmission to stay cool.

One old trick with the 50's hydramatic was to dump out about 4-6 quarts when dragging, that extra slippage on the torque converter would gain you a second or two on the track. Was a long time ago, no longer in that stuff. Not sure how these newer transmissions would hold up, they don't make them like they use to.

powerflite on Tue November 08, 2011 1:11 PM User is offline

I have done the condensor to tranny cooler before, worked great.

BTW-Nick, the fluid drained from the old Hydros had the net effect of lightening the flywheel, and your right, that will make a tremendous difference.

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