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Hello. I installed a transmission cooler on my 2016 Sienna this weekend and thought I'd do a quick write up. After some research I settled upon the Derale 13300, which is a 16 pass tube cooler with -6AN fittings. I prefer a tube and fin cooler over a plate type cooler for transmissions for their full fluid flow characteristics. I also picked up an inline magnetic transmission filter. The IFJF transmission filter is one half the cost and is identical to the Magnefine filter in my opinion. On the box it even suspiciously says "Magnefine" but hey a genuine Magnefine filter would work fine too of course.

cooler 3.jpg cooler 1.jpg cooler 2.jpg cooler 4.jpg cooler 5.jpg

In addition to these parts, I used some 2x2 1/16" thick aluminum angle iron, pop rivets, an M6 rivnut, o-rings, four additional spring clamps, zip ties, and some other things I'm probably forgetting.

To start, I removed the grille and the lower plastic panel that covers up the radiator from the bottom. I then figured out where I wanted to mount the cooler. Since there is ample room I decided the easy thing to do was to use the vertical hood latch support to attach the cooler. Removing the support was straightforward. There are four bolts, the hood release cable and a few electrical tabs to remove.

cooler 6.jpg cooler 7.jpg

Now I had to make a mount for the cooler itself. Here I settled on using 2" angle aluminum, 1/16" thick . I cut the angle aluminium to the correct length and then drilled out the holes to match the cooler inlet and outlet ports. I also drilled three holes which I used to install some 3/16" rivets, attaching the angle aluminum to the hood latch support. Note the slight notch at the top of the angle aluminum, which I made simply to move up the cooler to its highest point on the vertical hood support.

cooler 8.jpg cooler 9.jpg cooler 10.jpg

Okay, now I have to post this initial page and continue, since only 10 images can be attached. Hang tight, I'll be right back...
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Okay, I'm back!

Here's one more image of the cooler installed onto the mount. I used a couple of o-rings to secure the cooler to the mount. The o-rings don't interfere with the adding of the fittings, so they were simply left in place and the fittings tightened on top of them.

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Now that I had the cooler basically mounted I reinstalled the whole assembly back onto the van. The single mount was strong enough to support the weight of the cooler, but it wasn't firm enough to prevent vibration and so I went about adding another support. I chose to support the tail end of the cooler using some more angle aluminum by creating a bracket underneath the cooler and attaching to the front bumper frame. I found a factory hole in the bumper frame close enough to where I needed the support. I used a step drill to enlarge the hole and installed a M6 rivnut into the bumper frame. Then I cut three 2" pieces of angle aluminum and worked step by step to create the bracket I needed. On the bracket I made the mounting hole large enough to go over the edge of the rivnut itself and sit flat against the bumper frame. I also added some closed cell foam insulation to act as a ledge, catching the stepped bottom of the transmission cooler.

cooler 12.jpg cooler 13.jpg cooler 14.jpg cooler 15.jpg

Now that the lower bracket was made and installed, the whole cooler assembly was very secure and I felt confident moving forward. I added the fittings and ran the hose back to the transmission. I also added the transmission filter on the return line just before it goes back into the transmission. I wanted to be able to change this out from the top, so I made sure to orient the clamps correctly to make changing the filter simple in the future. I added a cut 5/8" heater hose with zip ties over the cooler line wherever it passed over or through to protect the line from abrasion. I also relocated one of the horns, which I did by stacking washers and using a pre-existing 10mm fastener on the vertical hood latch support bracket. The other horn received a "S" bend to add some clearance from the upper cooler hose, but was able to stay in its original location otherwise. The air temp sensor went back into its original spot and the rest of the harness was simply zip-tied out of the way.


cooler 17.jpg cooler 20.jpg

The only other things to add are that I added another chunk of foam between the cooler and the bumper. This was add some rigidity and protect from vibration. I also had to clearance the grille by shaving down some of the webbing on the back side so it wouldn't rattle against the cooler. None of the webbing was completely removed, so the plastic grille is still plenty strong. Below are the routing of the hoses, which run under the corner of the condenser and radiator.

cooler 22.jpg cooler 21.jpg

That's about all! Hope everyone enjoyed this super quick write up.



-Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
very nice! how much trans fluid did you have to add?
Thanks man! I'm not entirely sure how much fluid is added honestly. While installing the auxiliary cooler I had also drained out the fluid from the pan. So I guesstimated the amount and added the fluid, then started the engine. From there I ran through the gears, placed the transmission in neutral and filled until it dribbled out of the drain plug. Then a short test drive, recheck fluid level, adjust fluid level, another test drive to full engine temperature and then a final fluid level check.

Capacity wise it doesn't add much overall... maybe 1/2 or 3/4 of a quart at most. Hope this helps.

-Kevin
 

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Thanks for doing such an extensive write up. Taking the time to do those things is what helps make forums like this useful.
 

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Thanks for doing such an extensive write up. Taking the time to do those things is what helps make forums like this useful.
Thanks for your kind words. I feel there could be more detail, but I figured if anyone had any questions about the install they could ask. I'd encourage anyone on the fence to dive in and tackle this project. It's a very straightforward job and not expensive. Total for all of the parts (not counting what I had lying around) was right at $100.

-Kevin
 

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Just for your information Toyota dont use ATF ! Its use WS only !
The ATF that he is using is compatible with WS. I thought the same thing untill I looked it up. :)

Yeah, some folks only use Toyota fluid (no problem with that of course!), but my dealer wants an arm and a leg for a quart. Valvoline MaxLife has been around the block at this point. Plenty of Toyota guys and techs using this fluid on their own Toyotas that specify WS, with no problems whatsoever. And the WS compatibility is listed right on the bottle too. That's good enough for me.

-Kevin
 

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Does this new ATM fluid cooler replace the factory installed one or is it additional. If it is additional, how is the fluid flow routed? Is is first to the OEM cooler and then to the new one or vice versa?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Does this new ATM fluid cooler replace the factory installed one or is it additional. If it is additional, how is the fluid flow routed? Is is first to the OEM cooler and then to the new one or vice versa?
Good question. The factory "cooler" is actually a bit of a misnomer. It would more accurately be described as a heat exchanger. So when the engine coolant temperature exceeds the transmission fluid temperature, the transmission fluid is actually being warmed by the engine coolant present in the radiator. Conversely, when the transmission is under load/stress and transmission fluid temps exceed engine coolant temps, the heat exchanger in the radiator would then serve to cool the transmission fluid before returning to the transmission.

Do Siennas with a towing packing have an auxiliary cooler in addition to the heat exchanger in the radiator? My van didn't have one, and I'm not familiar enough with Siennas to know if there was a factory option for an auxiliary cooler. Hopefully other owners will chime in.

For the auxiliary cooler I added, this unit only will act to cool the fluid before returning to the transmission. I did not remove the factory heat exchanger out of the circuit. The auxiliary cooler is installed in series after the fluid runs through the heat exchanger. So the path for the fluid is- exit transmission, through factory radiator heat exchanger, through auxiliary cooler, through inline transmission filter, back into transmission.

Heat and poor maintenance is what kills transmissions. Auxiliary coolers are commonly added to high stress and high performance applications with a proven track record. Reducing transmission fluid temps is easier on the seals, clutches, solenoids, pump, and so on. In my particular case, I do not tow with my van. I do however travel with my family with the van fully loaded. Since I live in WA and we have family in CA and NV, our van is often subjected to being fully loaded and traveling over mountain passes with the a/c on and with ambient temperatures over 100*. Since we hope to keep the van until it reaches 300K miles, adding an auxiliary transmission cooler made sense for us. Hope this answers your question.

-Kevin
 

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Good question. The factory "cooler" is actually a bit of a misnomer. It would more accurately be described as a heat exchanger.
Call it what you want but Toyota calls the factory installed transmission cooler an "ATM OIL COOLER " in their parts list. The Sienna with the same factory installed transmission cooler is rated to tow 4,400 pounds in some countries it's sold it. IMO, your installation of an additional transmission cooler has no sound engineering basis but if it makes you feel good then that's what matters.
 

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Call it what you want but Toyota calls the factory installed transmission cooler an "ATM OIL COOLER " in their parts list. The Sienna with the same factory installed transmission cooler is rated to tow 4,400 pounds in some countries it's sold it. IMO, your installation of an additional transmission cooler has no sound engineering basis but if it makes you feel good then that's what matters.
I trust everyone to do their own research and decide for themselves. There is a mountain of data/information online to support the position that heat kills transmissions. Adding an auxiliary cooler will reduce transmission fluid temperatures. That's certainly sound engineering in my book. I've yet to read about anyone who has regretted adding an auxiliary transmission cooler.

-Kevin
 
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