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Last Post 04 Aug 2008 11:12 AM by  Jim G
Chevy G3500 Express w/6ltr and 4L80E
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Primetime Glick
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31 Jul 2008 10:14 AM
Steve Hoelscher wrote:
Jim G wrote:

To install a temp gauge for the tranny, where is a good place to put the sending unit?

Most aftermarket trans temp gauges mount the senders in the line pressure tap. This is the best location.

As an alternate, the output line to the transmission cooler is good.

Couple thoughts...

(a) This may seem like a REALLY dumb question... but don't you HAVE a [rudimentary] trans temp gauge? We had two new 6.0L/4L80E Chevys in 05/06, one 2500HD Silverado, one 2500 Express Cargo. KNOW the Silverado had one, was pretty sure the Express had one too?

(b) If not, don't forget AutoMeter makes a nice temp sending unit "block" for like $25 or something. Check www.summitracing.com

(c) The second location Steve mentioned sounds the easiest - I'm assuming the hard line just before the radiator? Steve what exactly do you mean by the first location? Does the 4L80E have a "test port" on the side like the 4L60E which is perfect to thread in a temp sender?

(d) Finally, I'd assume right in front of the radiator (or slightly below) is the best place to mount the cooler.... but to make up for the blocked airflow to the radiator you might want to consider a dual-fluid cooler (i.e. engine oil / trans fluid). Or maybe you could mount the cooler anywhere if you got one with an electric fan attached, but to me that's too complicated with the fan/electric hookup...

(e) Good luck with the Express. We really liked ours. Except the mirrors sucked for towing an enclosed trailer.

Jim G
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31 Jul 2008 02:19 PM

Thanks for the info. I've got a Savana. There are minimal gauges. Certainly not one for tranny.

Thanks again,

Steve Hoelscher
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01 Aug 2008 12:55 AM

Primetime Glick wrote:

(a) This may seem like a REALLY dumb question... but don't you HAVE a [rudimentary] trans temp gauge? We had two new 6.0L/4L80E Chevys in 05/06, one 2500HD Silverado, one 2500 Express Cargo. KNOW the Silverado had one, was pretty sure the Express had one too?

Most late model vehicles have a trans temp sensor in the transmission that can be read off the OBDII port. There are a number of plug in monitors that allow you to display some number of values off the OBDII port. This works really well. I wouldn't want to depend on the trans temp gauge on the dash of late model GM trucks.

Primetime Glick wrote:

(c) The second location Steve mentioned sounds the easiest - I'm assuming the hard line just before the radiator? Steve what exactly do you mean by the first location? Does the 4L80E have a "test port" on the side like the 4L60E which is perfect to thread in a temp sender?

All automatic transmissions have a line pressure tap on the case somewhere. The 4L80E is (IIRC) on the driver side right behind the bellhousing. The you can buy senders that mount to the pressure tap.

Primetime Glick wrote:

(d) Finally, I'd assume right in front of the radiator (or slightly below) is the best place to mount the cooler.... but to make up for the blocked airflow to the radiator you might want to consider a dual-fluid cooler (i.e. engine oil / trans fluid). Or maybe you could mount the cooler anywhere if you got one with an electric fan attached, but to me that's too complicated with the fan/electric hookup...

Right in front of the radiator fan at the front of the stack is the best place. That way it gets max airflow.

Jim G
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02 Aug 2008 09:14 PM

Holy moly ... I just looked for the transmission cooler on my GMC Savana 5.3L. It consists of 2 parallel lines, no fins, and is located along the bottom of the engine bay with no apparent air flow over it (no fins, who cares about air flow).

Guess I'll buy a real cooler next week. And an extended sump while I'm at it.

atcovan
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02 Aug 2008 10:44 PM
Jim G wrote:

Holy moly ... I just looked for the transmission cooler on my GMC Savana 5.3L. It consists of 2 parallel lines, no fins, and is located along the bottom of the engine bay with no apparent air flow over it (no fins, who cares about air flow).

Guess I'll buy a real cooler next week. And an extended sump while I'm at it.

Jim, are you certain that's for the transmission? It might be for power steering, but I don't know for sure. I'll have to crawl under my van and have another look. Mine has a 6.0 and the trans lines go into the passenger side tank of the coolant radiator. The engine oil is plumbed into the other side.

Jim G
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04 Aug 2008 09:19 AM

Thanks for bringing that up. I'll go and check again and actually spend a moment to trace the lines back to where they came from!

Steve Hoelscher
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04 Aug 2008 10:01 AM
Jim G wrote:

Thanks for bringing that up. I'll go and check again and actually spend a moment to trace the lines back to where they came from!

Yes, that does sound like the power steering cooler. That's typically what they look like. Its very likely that if your van wasn't equipped with a factory tow package that it has NO external cooler. It may only use the standard cooler that runs a coil of tubing through the end of the radiator. That is wholely insufficient for a tow vehicle.

Jim G
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04 Aug 2008 11:12 AM

It does have a factory tow package but I don't see the usual tranny cooler attached to the rad. I'll look around more closely tonight.

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