Volume I, Issue 4, Page 43

Our 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe was equipped with the factory-towing package, which meant it had the external oil cooler placed up front. First step - remove the turn signal lights. Different vehicles will require different disassembly operations. An aftermarket owner’s manual can be helpful in determining just how to remove the front fascia to expose the oil cooler system.

With any form of high-tech machinery, keeping things cooler is generally better in terms of overall performance and longevity. With an automatic transmission, an extremely complex piece of equipment containing tightly machined internal components and super heated lubricating fluids, keeping it cool is must. And the easiest way to do this is to increase the size of your vehicle’s automatic transmission cooler.

The grill has several attachment points and screws that hold it in place. It took only five minutes to remove all of the grille and other panels to reveal the oil cooler system. The headlights do not need to be removed to clear the grille opening.



The factory oil cooler is easy to reach with the outer fascia out of the way.  Note the bracketing used to hold it in place.

Most automatic transmission-equipped cars were outfitted with some form of cooler right from the factory, either as a separate cooler mounted near the engine’s radiator or a cooler integrated into the radiator itself. Regardless, you can add an oversize cooler either in tandem to the existing cooler or in place of it with little effort. There’s a myriad of aftermarket companies offering coolers today and most will be a benefit to what your machine already has.

The oil line fittings can be released using an awl.  Be ready for some fluid to be released when the fittings are disconnected.
Different applications require different techniques. In some cases, the hard lines will have to be cut or bent to route them properly for the new cooler lines. When moving cooler lines, be very careful to avoid kinking the “hard” lines, which will severely inhibit cooler fluid flow.


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