Flex-a-lite Translife Transmission Cooler Installation - 2004 Acura MDX

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How to Install the Flex-a-lite Translife Transmission Cooler on a 2004 Acura MDX


Today on our 2004 Acura MDX we'll be installing the Flex-A-Lite Translife Transmission Cooler, part number FLX4118. Here's what our transmission cooler looks like once it's installed. As you can see, it's barely noticeable behind our upper grill opening where our Acura emblem is. This transmission cooler will help give us increased transmission life by reducing transmission temperatures during normal driving, hard driving, or when towing a trailer. Acura does recommend the use of a transmission cooler when towing a trailer with the MDX. All right, here's what our transmission cooler kit comes with. We have our transmission cooler itself, which measures 15 inches wide by 7 1/2 inches tall and 3/4 of an inch thick.

It is a class III transmission cooler and it's six passes. One, two, three, four, five, six passes through it that should provide us with adequate supplemental cooling to our transmission. We have our mounting hardware here. These will go through the transmission cooler itself through our fends, through our AC condenser on our vehicle and our radiator. We have these spacer blocks here to space it off our condenser, like that.

Be secured with these clamp devices. We have some hose to make our connections, and then we have some adapter fittings if we need to use them. Finally, we have four clamps to secure all of our hose connections. First thing we need to do is take our bumper cover off here. We'll start by going on top here and removing all of our plastic push pins that hold it to the top of the vehicle. There's several of them.

Use a trim panel tool or a flat head screwdriver. Pop out the center section, then the bigger section behind it. That should be all we need on the top to get it off. Now, your vehicle should have four plastic push pin fasteners underneath to secure the bumper cover to the bottom. Ours does not at this current moment in time for some reason.

There should be one here, here, here, and here. Now, we do have a 10 millimeter bolt in the corner of the bumper cover on both ends; we'll remove those. Now our vehicle will have a 10 millimeter bolt in each wheel well that holds the bumper cover to the fender, so we'll remove those. Now we'll grab our bumper cover at each corner and we'll pull it off. Make sure we unplug our fog lights here. Push down the tab, pull it off. Do the same on the other side. With all our fog lights unplugged we can set our bumper cover aside so it doesn't get damaged. All right, now that our bumper cover's off we can loosen up the two 10 millimeter bolts that hold our AC condenser in place to the frame. Now we actually have enough room to work behind our AC condenser to make all of our attachment points for our transmission cooler. In order to give us a little bit more room to get our hand down there, we'll take off this panel that goes above our condenser and our radiator. There's several more of those plastic trim panel clips that hold it in place. We'll just remove all of those as necessary. With all those removed we'll pull up on this panel, slide it forward off our hood latch lever. Now we'll have room to work behind here. Now we need to mock up where we're going to put our transmission cooler. Realistically, we only have about one option because this power steering cooler here is in the way. We'll go next to this line off the AC condenser as close to it as possible. Right about here is about the best spot for it, so we're going to mount it here using our included hardware. We're just going to go prep our hardware first and get it ready for this. We'll take one of these studs and one of our flat washers. We'll insert that on like that. Repeat the process for all four. Now we'll push our stud through the fends here until it comes out the back side a little bit, just like that. Place one of our flat rubber spacers on like so, and we'll do that on all four corners. When you place these studs on you want to make sure you go in between these rows here, versus off here on the edge because it could pull through, and it won't be secure. We'll flip it over, make sure we have all of our rubber pieces on with the studs sticking out through them a little bit. We'll go over to our vehicle and put this in place. We'll get it in the position where we want it, like so. Get one started and pushed through our condenser. You might need to twist it as you're pushing it through to help it go in. Now, when we're doing this we want to make sure we have it as level as possible. We'll pull our hardware on through like so. Pull it nice and tight. Start with our two top ones first, then we'll do the two bottom ones. Okay, with our hardware in place and pulled through nice and tight resting against the rubber spacers, we'll take one of these washers here with the three dots facing away from our AC condenser, and I'll thread it on and we'll push it on down like so, and we'll just twist it until it grabs on to our condenser nice and tight. Once we have this one complete we'll repeat the same process on the other three. Okay, now that we have all four of our hardware securing our transmission cooler to our AC condenser, we'll just cut off our excess here. Use a pair of side cutters of a pair of scissors. I would not recommend the use of a razor blade though, because if you slipped you could put a hole in your radiator. All right, now that our transmission cooler is securely mounted to our condenser and we have those things snipped off, we can reinstall our bolts that held our condenser in place. We'll tighten these on down. All right, now that we have our AC condenser tightened back down, we have our lower valence here that hooked up to our bumper cover kind of just tied back with a bungee cord here, so it's up and out of our way. Behind that to our driver side we have our two transmission lines right here. We need to find out which one is the return line, and that would be the cooler of the two once we start the engine and let it run in drive for about 10 seconds and shut it off. We'll find out which one's the cooler one, and that's the one we'll be using for our connections for our cooler. This line was cooler to the touch than this line, so we'll be using this one to make our connections. There's a hose clamp right here that holds it onto the fitting that comes off the transmission. We'll need to remove that. Have to work the clamp off slowly but surely. We had that transmission cooler line disconnected from the factory. You will lose some transmission fluid; just keep that in mind. We're going to take off this clamp completely now and replace it with one of the ones that comes with our kit. We'll just slide it over there, inaudible 00:08:45 get it finger tight for now to hold it in place. We'll just loosely tighten it just so it doesn't fall off. Right there is good. Now we'll take our included fitting, we'll unscrew it. Take some thread sealant, we'll go around the threads on it, then we'll thread the other end of the fitting back on. We have two wrenches, we'll just snug it on down. I'm using a 13 and 16 millimeter wrench to do this. Use a towel and we'll wipe off the extra sealant. Now we'll take our fitting, push it into the hose, and we'll firmly tighten down our clamp that we installed. Now we'll take our hose that's included in our kit, may need to have a little bit of lubricant on your fitting that goes into it. Some of the transmission fluid that spilled out will be just fine. It'll help us slide on nice and easily. We'll slide another one of our hose clamps on the end of it and we'll tighten it down as well. Once that's secure we'll make sure all of our fittings are nice and tight and secure. Okay, with our connection made we'll feed our hose up around the side of our radiator, and out through this opening here. Now we'll measure off how much hose we need to make our connection. It doesn't matter if we do the upper or bottom on on our cooler. I'm going to use the bottom one here. Slide a hose clamp over and we'll push our hose onto our cooler, and we'll tighten the clamp on up. Now we'll take the amount of hose that we have leftover, put on the other fitting on our cooler. Now we'll take another hose clamp, slide it onto our hose, and we'll clamp this hose to our cooler. Once that's secure we'll feed our hose on down along the side of our radiator following the path of the other hose. We'll go back down to make our final connection to the transmission. Now I'll measure off how much hose we need and we'll cut off the excess. We'll slide a hose clamp on over. This kit only came with four hose clamps, so we had to provide an extra one. Slowly work the hose onto the transmission. This raised ridge is where the hose needs to sit against, so just keep working it down until it's against that. Once we have our hose all the way down we'll tighten up our hose clamp. With the clamp secure we'll start our engine and check for any leaks. Okay, so we let our engine run for a few minutes and we verified that there was no leaks coming from any of our connections or any of the fittings that we added. With our engine running for a few minutes we didn't find any leaks from any of our connections or any of the fittings that we added. With no leaks being found, we'll go ahead and put our bumper cover back on now. Make sure we plug back in our fog lights. Here with our fog lights plugged back in, raise our bumper back on up. We'll just push the bumper cover back in until it goes back into all of its hardware. Take our radiator cover panel, slide it back into position. Then I'll reattach our hardware. Put our bolts back in the fenders. Repeat the same process on the other side. Now I'll put back our bolts that held our bumper to the bottom support. That completes our installation of the Flex-A-Lite Translife Transmission Cooler, part number FLX4118 on our 2004 Acura MDX.


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