Transmission Cooler Installation - 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan

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How to Install a TranSMIssion Cooler on a 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan

Today in our 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan, we're going to review and install the Derale transmission cooler part number D13503. Now to begin our install, we're going to open up the hood. We need to remove the front fascia to gain access to a location to mount our transmission cooler. To remove the front fascia, we'll start here at the top, removing the 4 fasteners. The 2 on the outside will be screws, or bolts, and the 2 on the inside will be push-pin fasteners. We'll go ahead and remove the push-pin fasteners first using our flat blade screw driver, prying the center of the fastener up and then removing it.

Once we have both of those out of the way, we'll then go ahead and remove the 2 bolts. Next, we'll move to the wheel well. Keep in mind that each process we do here in the wheel well we will repeat identically on the opposite side. We're going to go ahead and start here on the driver's side. Now, to gain easier access to the fasteners, rotate the wheel in so that we have easier access to remove the 2 screw fasteners here in the fascia in the wheel well, and the one bolt fastener that secures the fascia to the fender. Next, we're going to move underneath. We need to remove the push-pin fasteners that secure the lower fascia to the lower cooler support.

Then we'll have one additional fastener that secures the fascia to the wheel well. Now, these are push-pin fasteners, or commonly known as Christmas trees. We're just going to use our trim panel tool to remove them. Once we pry the 5 fasteners out and set them aside, while we're underneath the vehicle, and because this model is equipped with fog lights, we're going to go ahead and disconnect the manufacturers wiring for the back of the fog lights socket. To do that you simply press on the connector lock and then remove the connector from the back of the socket. Now, with all our fasteners removed, it's a good idea to get an extra set of hands to help remove the front fascia so it doesn't fall off.

Starting on one side, we'll go ahead and pull the fascia out away from the fender; releasing any fasteners underneath. Then, we bring the fascia away from the front of the vehicle, and set it out of the way to be reinstalled later. Now with the front fascia out of the way, it exposes our transmission lines as they go in here to the upper portion of the radiator, or condenser. Once we identify them, we need to figure out which side is going to be our hot and cold, or pressure and return. To do this it's recommended warm the transmission up while feeling the 2 lines. There should be a temperature difference.

As we warm it on up, we notice that the upper hose, or line, is the hotter of the 2. So, the bottom one will be our return and the side that we'll connect to the new Derale transmission cooler. Now with our fascia out of the way, we're going to go ahead and pre-assemble our transmission cooler hoses onto the transmission cooler. Here we have the protective covers that we can remove from the transmission cooler nipple, and our hose. Now to make it easier to get the hose onto the fittings of the cooler, we're going to go ahead and dip the hoses into some transmission fluid. This will give it a little lubricity, and easier to put on. We'll go ahead and start here on the one side, working the transmission hose onto the fitting. Now once we have that side on I'm then going to take 2 of the hose clamps and slide it onto the hose so we can secure it after we have the second side installed. Installing the second side is the same process as we did for the first side. We'll dunk our hose, and then slide it onto the fitting. Once we have both hoses securely onto the cooler, we'll go ahead and take our clamps, slide them up into place, and tighten them down. Now we have our transmission cooler pre-assembled. Next, we'll go ahead and identify where we're going to mount the transmission cooler. We're going to run our fasteners through the pre-attachment points here on our cooler into the back of the steel bumper. However, since we have minimal clearance between the back of the bumper and the A. C. condenser, we're going to go ahead and remove the bumper to make it easier to attach our cooler. Holding our cooler in place, we'll use a paint marker and mark out where it's going to sit on the bumper. Then we'll go ahead and set that aside, and begin to remove the fasteners that secure the bracket and bumper so that we can set the bumper aside and pre-drill our holes. To remove the bracket there are 2 fasteners. One here at the upper corner support and one down at the bumper. Set those fasteners aside. Now we've got 3 more large fasteners, and 1 small one. Now once we have all our fasteners removed here on the passenger side, I can move over to the driver's side and repeat the same process. Note: Before you remove all of your fasteners, you want to make sure you disconnect the air temperature sensor from the bumper. To do that, you'll remove the push-pin fastener by prying out on the center of the fastener and then removing it completely. This will just release it, setting it aside for re-installation later. Now with the bumper off, we're going to go ahead and pre-drill our hole. The reason we're pre-drilling the hole is because this is a hardened steel bumper, so it can be difficult to get your hole started. I recommend you use a step-bit process starting with a smaller filer bit, and then working your way up to your final size that'll be recommended for whatever fastener you use. We're going to use a self-tapping fastener. Next we'll go ahead and identify how to remove the manufacturer's transmission cooler line from the radiator. All right, now with the cooler secured to the bumper before re-installing, we're going to prep the manufacturer's line. Go to the manufacturer's line, take the black plastic cap and slide it back. This will expose the locking clip that holds the manufacturer's line into the cooler. We'll go ahead and use a small screwdriver, or needle-nose, to gently remove the clip from the fitting. Once we've pulled the clip out, we can wiggle the line free and pull it out of the cooler. Now, once we have it out of the cooler I'm actually going to go ahead and put it back in just to save any fluid that could come out. Now that we know the manufacturer's line is prepped, let's go ahead and reinstall the bumper. We'll just reinstall it with the manufacturer's fasteners that we removed. Now once the bumper is back in place we'll go ahead and take the hose that we installed on our new transmission cooler, route it, mark the length of the hose, and cut it. Keep in mind when routing your hose, if you have to make a large bend or turn as we do here, we're going to make them big, sweeping bends or turns to not kink the hose. Next, we'll take the Derale snap-in adapter fitting part number D13035, and install it onto our cut hose. Once we have it installed on the hose, we'll go ahead and take the clamp provided with the install kit to secure the fitting to the new hose. Now we can remove the manufacturer's line from the cooler and install the new fitting and hose. As we pull the manufacturer's out, we'll go ahead and slide the new one in. We'll make sure it's firmly pressed into place, and then we can reinstall the locking clip to hold it in position. Once it has the locking clip on, I'm going to pull on the hose just to make sure it's locked in properly. Once we know it's locked in, we can reinstall the cap. Now we'll take the remaining hose that we cut from our Derale cooler, route it to the manufacturer's line, and cut off the excess length. Go ahead and slide the hose clamp on, and then dip our hose into the transmission fluid to provide lubrication, so we can slide the new hose directly onto the manufacturer's line that we removed from the manufacturer's cooler. Once we have the hose in place, we'll go ahead and tighten down the clamp to secure it. Now with all our connections made and secured, I recommend to secure the hoses and lines as necessary. We're just going to use some zip-ties. Once we secure it, we'll cut off the excessive zip-tie to get it out of the way and clean up our install look. Once we've completed that, we're going to go ahead and test for leaks. To test for leaks we'll repeat the same process we did warming up the transmission to locate our hot and cold side. We'll make sure we bring the transmission up to operating temperature. Now once we've verified that we don't have any leaks, we'll go ahead and reinstall the temperature sensor, and front fascia with all the manufacturer's fasteners. Now with everything reinstalled and checked for leaks, this will complete the review and install of the Derale transmission cooler part number D13503 on our 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan. .

Questions and Comments about this Video


Can this unit be used to bypass the stock trans cooler altogether? Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jacob H.

This transmission cooler is designed to be an addition to your factory transmission cooler. It is not going to be nearly the size that your factory transmission cooler is and will not be able to keep up. This will result in your transmission over heating.

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