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Which Transmission Cooler is Recommended for a Nissan Frontier with 6,500 Pound Towing Capacity  


im trying to decide if i need a transmission cooler for my 2006 nissan frontier, 4x4, 4.0L V6 rated to pull 6500#. you offer a good variety of coolers. how do i size up a transmission cooler i see you offer class I, II, and III economy, standard, and extra efficient. also, how easy is it to install your units: the cooler unit and hoses? can a handyman do it or is it recommended to have a shop install it estimated install time are your units designed to utilitze existing bolt and hose connections or will i need to do some drilling and tapping? what are the warrantees for the kits that you sell? thanks for the info,


Expert Reply:

The best way to decide which class cooler you need is to take a look at what you will be towing and where. If you will be towing a light load, less than 2,000 pounds, in flat driving conditions, your vehicle will do fine with a Class I. If you will be towing 6,000 pound load through some hills, I would use the Class III cooler.

I prefer the 8000 and 9000 series. They are built a little heavier and are more resilient. The 7000 series are built a little lighter and can be damaged more easily if you have not installed a few coolers or heat exchangers.

For your Frontier, I would use part # D13501 if you will be towing light loads or even medium loads in flat areas. If you will be pulling medium loads or heavy loads primarily, I would use part # D13502. The D13502 will allow you to take full advantage of the tow capacity of your truck.

As far as ease of installation, they are not complicated at all. You should not have to do any tapping or drilling. If you are comfortable with basic vehicle maintenance, like oil changes, brake changes, or radiator flushing, you should have no problem.

I have added links to the parts below, as well as a video of the D13502 kit being installed on a 2006 Honda CRV. The video walks you through the whole process and will give you a pretty good idea of what will be involved. I have also included a link to a transmission cooler FAQ article that has a lot of useful information.

The Derale Transmission coolers have a 1 year manufacturer warranty. The cooler is made of all aluminum so it should hold up fine provided there is no damage from road hazards. Just like a radiator, transmission coolers can be damaged by road debris piercing the fins.

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