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Old 07-10-2020, 06:56 AM   #1
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Ford F53 Transmission Cooler Fan

I have an 1994 Itasca Suncruiser on a Ford 53 chassis. It has a stock transmission cooler. Does anyone have recommendations for a cooler fan for the transmission? Where do you connect the wires? Do you need to wire an on/off switch to the fan or do they come with a thermostat?
Thanks!

Sean
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Old 07-10-2020, 01:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semcha View Post
I have an 1994 Itasca Suncruiser on a Ford 53 chassis. It has a stock transmission cooler. Does anyone have recommendations for a cooler fan for the transmission? Where do you connect the wires? Do you need to wire an on/off switch to the fan or do they come with a thermostat?
Thanks!

Sean

First of all, if you don't already have a transmission temp gauge, you need to fit one. It's easy to fit an electric gauge with the sensor in the pressure test port, and the gauge will fit neatly and inexpensively in the dashboard. I'm not sure if they tell anyone, but Winnebago has placed 2 holes for the nominal 2" gauge size in the metal bracket to the right of the main Ford gauge cluster. You just have to cut a hole in the black plastic covering, and there's your gauge mount. If you tilt your gauge pod all the way back, you'll see it. (Yes, I have a 1994 Brave).


Secondly, the Ford cooler actually is of adequate size, provided that air flows through it. However either they never told Winnebago to do this, or Winnebago couldn't be bothered, because usually all the air goes around it, some for the power steering cooler and not that much goes through the radiator either.


So the cheaper way to get proper cooling is to make the duct from the front cap that Winnebago should have fitted. I did this, and temps came way down.


There is still the 1% situation where this won't provide enough cooling, and that is when you come to a stop. Sometimes I come home after a trip towing a trailer and don't make it through my gate in one shot, so I leave the engine running, and get out and check. In this case my secondary inline thermostatic transmission cooler comes on for quite some time. I have this mounted out of the airflow, as otherwise it would provide too much cooling. This heat soak related temp rise can lead to blowing transmission fluid past the from seal. Apparently theseal can recover from this, but not very many times.
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Old 07-11-2020, 01:27 AM   #3
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duct for airflow

I do have a thermostat installed. Actually installed it based on your advice on another post several months ago. This is my first time monitoring temperatures driving in really hot, humid conditions.

How did you install a duct? Trying to picture what that would look like. Is it a short, angled duct to direct air towards the cooler?
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:27 PM   #4
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I do have a thermostat installed. Actually installed it based on your advice on another post several months ago. This is my first time monitoring temperatures driving in really hot, humid conditions.

How did you install a duct? Trying to picture what that would look like. Is it a short, angled duct to direct air towards the cooler?

I measured all of the cooling air intake areas and decided it was way more than was required, and that about 2sq ft would be enough, as long as most of it went through the radiators. Looking rearwards towards the engine, I moved the radiator expansion tank from the right side to the left, and got some Home Depot aluminum sheet for the left and right sides and the top, braces with small angle pop riveted on. I pop riveted stiff silicone rubber (for aircraft cooling baffles onto the rear edges of the sides, and let them touch the radiator side tanks. I made cover plates for the 2 large horizontal slots between the frame rails out of 1/4" plywood, and sealed them with epoxy resin. Much cutting of cardboard templates, and then copying into aluminum sheet and plywood.


I haven't heard the cooling fan clutch in for years.



I knew things weren't right when cruising on a 100 degree day at 65mph, the cooling fan clutched in as the speed fell below about 60.


The size of the cowling as about 2.5 ft by 2.5ft, although the front cap makes the area much smaller than that. And the openings in the front cap across its full width make its area much bigger.


I suspect the biggest culprits are the huge holes between the frame rails. It's way easier for cooling air to go down through them than through the radiator. Blocking them was the simpler part of making the cowl.
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:49 AM   #5
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Clutch fans do wear out, just replace it and see what happens.
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