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Photo Essay - Fitting A BA/BF Transmission Cooler Kit 


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 Post subject: Photo Essay - Fitting A BA/BF Transmission Cooler Kit
Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:15 am 
Fordmods Newbie

Age: 44

Posts: 12

Joined: 20th Jul 2011

Ride: 2007 Falcon XT - Taxi

Location: Perth, Western Australia
WA, Australia

The cooler, with mounting brackets.

Fitting in the car, in front of the radiator.

Crimping the hoses, before removing the heat exchanger. What does a heat exchanger do? It’s an aluminium box. Gearbox oil goes in one side and engine coolant goes in the other side. The intention is to use the engine coolant to cool the transmission oil. It does the job, but not as well as having a separate cooler at the front of the engine bay.

The risk is that the heat exchanger fails inside, resulting in coolant and transmission oil being mixed together. If things go really bad then this could result in a damage motor (eg blown head gasket or wrecked motor) and wrecked gearbox.

The lighter black hoses on the right are the transmission oil hoses going in and out of the heat exchanger. The brownish black hoses on the left are the engine coolant hoses.

This entire lot ends up being removed.

The heater exchanger. Coolant hoses have been removed, and the transmission oil hoses are about to come off.

There is the issue of getting the transmission oil to the front of the car, where the cooler is. Most people use the hoses that are supplied with the cooler kit, but this is where taxi mechanics will do things differently.

The BA Falcon didn’t use a heat exchanger, like the BF and FG both do. The BA had a radiator with a transmission oil cooler inside it. This also worked well… for a while. Similar to the heat exchanger, when the radiator ultimately failed, coolant and transmission oil got mixed together, resulting in possible engine and transmission failure. Very expensive.

So, for this job my mechanic got a set of the aluminium pipes that the BA Falcon uses. He’s used them instead of the usual rubber hosing. This is for increased reliability - the aluminium tubing will be stronger and more resistant to being torn open than rubber hosing.

Mounting points for the aluminium BA tubing being fitted to the top of the transmission.

And now the aluminium tubes have been fitted.

The aluminium tubes going toward the front of the car. The brownish black hoses are the coolant hoses - instead of going in and out of the heat exchanger (which has not been removed), they are connected together.

The front of the engine bay. You can see the BA aluminium tubes.

The BF radiator is different to the BA one, so now we have these two aluminium tubes sitting there, with nothing to connect to. We’ll get to that in a minute.

The cooler in front of the radiator. That black plastic to the left will be cut out and removed soon, too allow for the aluminium tubes to reach around to the front.

I bought the BF kit instead of the BA kit (which is what I should have bought). This meant that we ended up with a spare set of hoses that we didn’t use because of the BA aluminium tubing. The mechanic made use of this extra hosing by using it as a protective layer over the hosing that we did use.

He has then bent the ends of the aluminium outward (very carefully). The hosing is then used to connect these tubes to the cooler that is in front of the radiator.

The black plastic that was mentioned before has been cut and removed. The hoses have been connected to the cooler, and a zip tie was used to hold the top hose so that there wouldn’t be force between the hose and cooler mounting. You can also see how the spare hose was used as a second layer.

The mounting bracket for the gear selector cable had to be ground back to allow space for the aluminium tubes.

And that’s how it’s done. You can buy the BA aluminium tubes from a Ford dealer or get them from a wreck. Or, just use the hosing that is supplied in the BF cooler kit. The BA kit is a fair bit cheaper than the BF kit because it doesn’t come with these hoses (ie the aluminium tubes are already in place).

I got my cooler kit from Driveline Auto Parts, which is at the corner of Howe and Frobisher Streets in Osborne Park. If you’re in Perth their phone number is 9443 2211. They also have branches in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia -
 Post subject: Re: Photo Essay - Fitting A BA/BF Transmission Cooler Kit
Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:59 pm 
Fordmods Newbie

Age: 52

Posts: 3

Joined: 16th Oct 2006

Ride: Ford Territory

Location: Middleton
SA, Australia

The problem here is, Transmissions also get heated from the coolant to bring trans to running temp from cold start, as Trans don't like cold just like they don't like heat, so if you completely remote the cooler it cant warm the trans to running temp and under normal driving conditions it will not get hot enough, a trans optimum temp would be between 60deg and 100deg, so below or above that temp there tolerances are all wrong due to thermal dynamics and will hurt trans.
Yes Ford have made a crap quality heat ex-changer but the engineers run coolant through them as a cooler and a heater NOT just cooling for a reason..
After market heat ex-changer with this type of cooler attached..You only splice into 1 line from trans not both.oil should flow from trans to cooler then heat ex-changer then back to trans.
 Post subject: Re: Photo Essay - Fitting A BA/BF Transmission Cooler Kit
Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:14 am 
Fordmods Newbie

Age: 69

Posts: 4

Joined: 4th Jul 2015

Gallery: 13 images

Ride: 2007 BF2 Fairmont Ghia ZF6

Location: Melbourne
VIC, Australia

Hi All,

I have been asking the question, "what is the recommended operating temperature for the ZF6?", for some time, today I received a personal phone call from a ZF technical representative in answer to my question.
I was driving my car and was also monitoring my transmission temperature at the time so his timing could not have been better, we had a very interesting discussion.

Here's the gist of what was discussed by phone and later email.

We discussed the details of my car, the fact that I had removed my heat exchanger from my car and had had installed a suitably sized PWR air/oil cooler mounted in front of the a/c condenser, connected to the trans with 12mm hose, without thermostat, and was averaging trans temp of 58C after 1/2hr driving, warm up period of 5mins to approx 35C from 23C on average.

Provided the cooler and connecting hoses are correctly sized, the fitting of an air/oil cooler to a ZF6 is not detrimental to the operation of the ZF6, and will extend the life of the transmission and fluid.

Lower running temperatures are beneficial to the life of the transmission and fluid.

ZF6 transmissions are test run at start up temperatures as low as -20C.

It is critical that ZF6 Lifeguard fluid is used.

The ZF6 generates its own heat at start up to attain minimal running temperature of 30C.

By Email:

Hi George,

Normal transmission operation for ZF 6HP26 is between 30 - 120 degrees C. Before 30 degrees C we have warm up strategy and after 120 degrees C the transmission will enter high temperature strategy (Hot mode).

Oil checking overflow level is a 40 degrees C and depending on climate normal transmission oil sump temperatures can vary between 60 and 100 degrees C.

I don't see any issues with the temperatures you are talking about providing the oil flow to the transmission has not been restricted.

As your operation temps are lower I see this as a benefit for extending the service life of the oil.

Kind regards

Your ZF Service Desk
ZF Friedrichshafen AG
88038 Friedrichshafen,Germany

So in the opinion of a qualified ZF technical representative a correctly installed air/oil cooler is beneficial to life of a ZF6 transmission and its fluid.
Cooler running temperatures as low as 30C are within the recommended operating temperatures and better for the ZF6 and Lifeguard fluid.

Very pleased to have finally got some qualified answers, thanks ZF.

Hope this information helps all my fellow forum members.

Regards, George

Also take a look here:

"Let's eliminate the Milkshake"
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