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Engine Oil Cooler Recommendation for Truck that Overheats While Towing Fifth Wheel


Hi Folks - I have a 1996 Dodge RAM 2500 pickup with a 5.9 liter gas engine, a 46RH tranny, and a 4.10 rear end. It has a factory tow package that includes the extra tranny cooler in front of the radiator which is in addition to the embedded tranny oil cooler in the radiator itself. I recently bought a larger fifth wheel trailer that is a bit more of a challenge to tow. The engine wants to overheat well before the transmission however the transmission will also overheat on long uphill pulls. I suspect it is the transmission heat load being offloaded by the tranny into the engine radiator and into the water cooling circuit that is causing the engine heat to go up first. I therefore have a hunch that if I eliminate the heat load of the transmission from being shed into the engine radiator I might solve both problems. If true that would suggest that I should install a remote transmission cooler instead of an engine oil cooler however since this truck does not have an engine oil cooler at all there can be no question that it would benefit from one. I only have room for one or the other small area between the passenger side headlamp and the radiator/cowl assembly. What do You recommend so that I dont end up with one or the other that still overheats? Thanks much,


Helpful Expert Reply:

Your problem would be best solved by a remote engine oil cooler. Since your engine is overheating first that would indicate that the problem is there and not in the transmission fluid.

The Derale Atomic Remote Engine Cooler part # D15450 would be a great option. This will drastically cool the engine oil temperature so that your radiator fluid will be lowered considerably which will then allow your transmission fluid to stay a bit cooler as well. Since this cooler has a fan attached to it you can install it virtually anywhere so in the unlikely event the transmission still gets too hot you could install a better transmission cooler as well.

Be sure that you aren't attempting to tow more than the capacity of your truck as well.

helpful expert reply by:
Jameson C

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