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Transmission Cooler Installation - 2006 Honda Pilot

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How to Install a TranSMIssion Cooler on a 2006 Honda Pilot

Today on this 2006 Honda Pilot we're going to install part number D13503. This is the Rally Series 8000 Plate Fin and Transmission Cooler Kit. First thing we need to do is go ahead and disassemble the front of the car, where we do get access to the front of the AC condenser behind the grill. To do that we're going to remove this top plate, plate on the bottom and then we'll go ahead and take off the bumper cover. Let's go ahead and remove our top cover first. There'll be a series of plastic rivets that we have to remove. If you raise the centers up just high enough, then they pop right out. This panel's loose, so go ahead and just slip it off, then guide it over the handle here.

Over here let's go ahead and release the plastic rivets for the fascia on top here. You'll see how we pulled on the top of the bumper cover and got it to release a little bit, so that's a good sign. Now I'll go underneath the vehicle. This panel right here, we'll go ahead and work on removing next. They'll be some fasteners on the bottom and along this edge here, but I think there'll be some back behind here as well. One thing I noticed is that the ones on the bottom here we're shorter, so you might want to keep that in mind during reassembly.

Let's move on over to the passenger side and remove those rivets over there. Also, we just found this one hiding up here. Along this edge right here we'll go ahead and remove these plastic rivets. There it is. We got our panel removed, now we'll work on the bumper fascia itself. We'll go ahead and start by removing these three fasteners.

We'll go ahead and remove this fastener with a 10-millimeter socket, and we'll go by the wheel. Let's go to the passenger side and do it one more time. Since this is going to come off, the fog light's going to come off with it, so we'll go ahead and disconnect the electrical to the fog light. You see that I'm pushing on the tab here, we should be able to pull down. There's a small wire clip right here that we have to remove as well.

For this install, I suggest investing in a trim panel tool. One more time on the driver's side. We'll go ahead and pull our fender liner out of the way and there's one more Phillips head screw in here. This is the driver's side, one more time on the passenger side. We can go ahead and take our bumper cover off. These are the two transmission lines. You can follow them right to the transmission right here. These are where our lines go in through transmission, so these two will go out to the factory cooler that's already in the radiator. With our engine running and we actually put in drive and held the brake down with the parking brake on, to get the transmission pretty warm. Now just by touch, this one is hotter than this one. The cooler side, this is the cooler 00:04:33 one coming out of the transmission cooler from the factory. So we'll go ahead and take this line and make it even cooler yet before it goes back into our transmission. We'll find a location for our transmission cooler pretty close to our lines, or basically right around the corner. Now we'll do a quick testing of our lines. We know approximately where it's going to sit, we'll go ahead and take our line and fold it in half and just route it towards the lines we're going to connect to. This will give us a pretty good idea of how much we have to play with. At this point we can go ahead and start doing some sub-assembly for our transmission cooler. We'll take our line and we'll just go ahead and push it over the end here. This will be an extremely tight fit. Then we'll go ahead and take our clamp and slide it in place, then we'll go ahead and tighten it down with a quarter-inch nut driver. We'll go ahead and install the other half of our line. We'll go ahead and put it through our clamp first. Now fasteners will have to go through the condenser here for the air conditioner, so we'll have to tilt this back. To give us more room we'll just go ahead and remove it for now, then we'll put it back into place later. We'll go ahead and take these two screws out of the top. Now we can pull back on it and work as needed. If we can get our hand back here we should be good. Turn our attention back to the transmission cooler. We'll go ahead and apply these pads. Those pads do come with the kit, and they'll space this cooler away from the air conditioner condenser. We'll just place them over the oval slots. To attach this to the vehicle, this, basically a giant zip tie, is going to go through the outside, through a pad and eventually through this material on the vehicle's AC condenser. It's going to be one straight line and then this cap will go over it to hold it in place. Yeah, inaudible 00:07:13 higher and this won't be blocking so much air, I think. Pull the lace 00:07:19 and push it through and put our fastener on the other side. And we'll go ahead and run it down. We're not going to go all the way tight, we'll just leave a little bit loose so we can still work with it. These things are really tight so it's actually worth the effort to take this all apart to get to it. Last-minute adjustments, and we'll go ahead and push our fasteners in for good. Then we'll just cut our tails off from behind. Now we'll go ahead and start some reassembly. We'll go ahead and remount our condenser. A quick test of this part here shows it's pretty darn close to our transmission cooler like we thought, so we'll go ahead and modify it. What we're going to do is take this bracket and we're going to bend it towards that way in an effort to make it a little bit longer. Flex it, cool, and we've got maybe a quarter-inch of play. We can go ahead and reattach this component now, and this side we won't have to modify. We'll go underneath the vehicle and go ahead and make our connections to the lines. Now's a good time, before we make our final cut, is go ahead and take a look at the lines and see how they want to fall. We'll go ahead and position the line the way we pretty much want it and then we'll go ahead and make our cut. We're just using tin snips for this. Our new line that we just cut will replace this half. Before we go too much further we'll go ahead and put a clamp on our new line for our transmission cooler. What we're going to do if this doesn't come off really easy, we're just going to go ahead and slice it to make it a little easier and then cut it off, because we've got plenty of extra line to work with. We'll take our new line, put our clamper over it in the way that we want to use it. We should be good once we get past the barb and have enough room for our clamp. Let's pull our other half of our line from our new transmission cooler. We're going to pull it down. We need to connect these two together. This line that we sliced earlier, we'll go ahead and cut it off and put a new beginning on it. Then we'll take our coupling that comes with the kit and put that in there. Then we'll reuse our factory clamp on this side. Now we'll take our line and we'll go ahead and shorten it up. This is our line from our new transmission cooler. We'll put on our clamp and we'll arrange it so we can get easy access to it. Now let's take our other half of our union, or adapter, here and we'll go ahead and run these together. Essentially all our connections are made. Now is a good time to clean everything up. We'll go ahead and start the engine and then check for leaks and we'll go ahead and tighten up our clamps as necessary. I've had our vehicle running for a few minutes now and I just want to double-check for leaks here and here. So far, so good. We also want to check at our new transmission cooler as well. Here and up here. Our hot says about 98 degrees. Now we'll go ahead and check the temperature of the line that comes out of the factory cooler and it shows about 84, or 78. There it is. Coming out of our cooler is considerably cooler. You can see how the temperature goes down as it goes through. With everything holding together we'll go ahead and take a few moments to zip tie our lines to make sure it's safe and secure and not moving anymore than they have to. Then we'll go ahead and reassemble the front of our vehicle. Then I'll work this pad in place and flat to work this underneath. One last thing to do is go ahead and let the engine get nice and warm and go ahead and check the transmission fluid and then add the appropriate fluid. That'll finish for our install, part number D13503 on our 2006 Honda Pilot. .

Is L.


My sister in law looking to buy a 2006 Honda pilot and the owner says it's got a transmission cooler lines leak.

Etrailer Expert

David B.


If you could let me know the make/brand and size of the cooler I might be able to get you an install kit to replace the lines. However it would probably be faster to get some lines from an auto-parts store.

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