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Recommended Transmission Cooler and Hitch for a 2017 Ford Explorer


I need assistance in choosing the correct Trans Cooler for my 2017 Ford Explorer 3.5 engine. I plan on eventually adding a trailer hitch to pull a trailer with my trike. Can you please recommend the correct product and anything else required for install. It will be installed my my mechanic.


Expert Reply:

I would be happy to help you find all the components you need to tow with your 2017 Ford Explorer. For a transmission color that will work with your 3.5L V6 engine you're going to want the Derale Series 8000 Plate-Fin Transmission Cooler Kit w/Barb Inlets item # D13501. The 11" Wide x 5-3/4" tall x 7/8" deep, efficient heat exchanger will prolong the life of your transmission and improve its overall performance. This includes the complete mounting kit need for install, OEM spec hose with stainless steel clamps and Insta-dapt radiator adapter. I went ahead and linked an install video so you can understand the process and know what to expect.

The best hitch for your Ford Explorer is going to be the etrailer Trailer Hitch Receiver item # e98867. This custom fit hitch bolts directly to your Explorer's frame with included hardware. It has a matte black finish that will go with your Explorer's trim for a from the factory look after install. I have linked a picture and an installation video.

To control your trike trailer's lighting functions you will need the Tekonsah T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector item # 118540. This is a custom fit harness that plugs directly into your Explorer's OEM port to provide you with a 4-flat connector. This connector will only be able to control a trailer's stop, turn, and running lights.

If your trailer has brakes you will need the Curt T-Connector Vehicle Wiring Harness with 7-Way Trailer Connector item # C56306. This harness connects the same way but provides you with a 7-way vehicle connector that will control your trailer's lights and brakes. You will need one or the other. You can not install both harnesses because they use the same port.

To round out your towing setup I recommend the Curt Towing Starter Kit for 2" Hitches item # C45534. This towing kit will provide you with a 2" ball and a fixed ball mount with a 3/4" rise and 2" drop. It also includes a hitch pin and clip, hitch receiver lock with keys, hitch cover, and a storage case.

etrailer matt black hitch for 2017 ford explorer
etrailer matt black hitch for 2017 ford explorer
(click to enlarge)
expert reply by:
Jerred H

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