Automatic Transmissions are one of the most complicated components of a vehicle's powertrain. In fact, we don't know a lot of people who can say, "Hey, I can fix that." When it comes to transmission fixes, they are usually unbolted from the rig, carted off to a top-secret location for rebuilding, and then returned with a large bill. As complex as trannies seem, basic maintenance and easy upgrades can greatly extend their longevity, enhance performance, and help prevent expensive repairs. Towing, heat, and neglect are the top killers of transmissions, yet these are some of the easiest problems to overcome. If your 4x4 is new, stay on top of the manufacturer's recommended service maintenance, because if you don't the powertrain warranty could be voided. Heat can be kept in check by replacing or installing an additional transmission cooler, and neglect can be overcome simply by checking the fluid level. On some late-model vehicles the transmission's fluid level can only be checked at the dealership. We know this is a pain, but it's something that has to be done. Giving your transmission a little attention once a month could bring you additional years of dependable service. We were worried about the dependability of this transmission. The rig's engine is supercharged, the axles are heavy Dana 60s, and its rolling around on 40-inch-tall tires, so the transmission was working harder than it was designed to. We used a B&M for a Hi-Tek SuperCooler with an electric fan, some high-quality synthetic Trick Shift transmission fluid, and a tranny temperature gauge as upgrades. We picked up the high-pressure hydraulic hose and fitting from Metro Fluid Connectors in Fullerton, California.We were worried about the dependability of this transmission. The rig's engine is supercha Installing an additional transmission cooler isn't difficult, the outline from the transmission can be tapped and new cooler line spliced in. The fluid on this transmission is now routed from the transmission, through the Hi-Tek cooler, then through the factory cooler, and back to the tranny. We found this neat ratcheting tube cutter through Matco Tools, and it easily cut though the metal line in this tight space. This tool will also cut fuel, A/C, and brake lines.Installing an additional transmission cooler isn't difficult, the outline from the transmi It's imperative that the proper type of hose and fittings are used when installing or repairing transmission line. This hydraulic hose has a 2,250-psi rating, which is a little overkill, but also great peace of mind. The fittings were pressed on the ends of the hose so we also don't have to worry about hose clamps loosening up or cutting into the line.It's imperative that the proper type of hose and fittings are used when installing or repa Changing the fluid is messy because most pans don't have a drain plug, so once the seal is broken, the fluid spills out. The pan is held to the trans by bolts around its outer perimeter. The trick to lessoning the mess is leaving one or two bolts in one side of the pan, and then tilting it towards a drain pan after the seal is broken. It's important to use the fluid specified by the manufacturer. This information can be found in the vehicle's manual. The transmission filter is bolted to the bottom of the trans.Changing the fluid is messy because most pans don't have a drain plug, so once the seal is Transmission coolers can be mounted just about anywhere. However, they should be placed where there's good airflow and where they can't easily be hit and damaged. This cooler was mounted by welding four tabs to the custom suspension frame. The cooler was held in place, the tabs were tacked on, and then the cooler was removed so the tabs could be fully welded without damaging the cooler. A thermal switch will activate the fan when the fluid temperature reaches 175 degrees F.Transmission coolers can be mounted just about anywhere. However, they should be placed wh Most transmission failures can be attributed to excessive heat, and a gauge is a good way to keep an eye on the temperature, especially if the vehicle is being used to tow. This gauge can be mounted just about anywhere inside the cab of the vehicle, and it comes with all the hardware necessary for complete installation.Most transmission failures can be attributed to excessive heat, and a gauge is a good way SOURCES B&M Racing & Performance Products 9142 Independence Ave. Chatsworth CA 91311 818-882-6422 Metro Fluid Connectors Matco Tools 8-66/-BUY-TOOL www.matcotools.com Off Road Evolution N/A www.offroadevolution.com By Kevin McNulty Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!