Automatic Transmission Cooler Testing and Development Part 2

Now that we have established the need for additional cooling, we set about selecting a cooler core from Setrab.  Setrab is well known for making high quality competition level heat exchangers.  While we could have selected a less expensive core, those cores are generally not designed to flow air well at the high speeds seen on a race track.  Most of the less expensive cores are designed for towing (high thermal loads at low vehicle speeds).  As such, they are designed to increase turbulence to maximize heat transfer.  At high speeds, however, they are restrictive to airflow and unable to cool as efficiently.  Setrab cores, on the other hand, have a straight through fin design that balances turbulence with high speed efficiency.

Setrab Cooler Core


Alternative Core


Notice that the alternative core requires the air to be diverted at an angle in order to pass through the core.  While this is great for low speed efficiency, it is not the best for racing.

With the Setrab core installed, the transmission maintained normal operating temperatures for a solid 30 minute enthusiastic run up the mountain.  We are pleased to say that this works very well for spirited driving up a mountain pass.  Track testing showed a marked improvement over the factory cooler setup, but has a little room for improvement.  While temperatures peaked out at 233° Fahrenheit and below our established threshold, we would like the temperatures to be more in the 220° range.  Therefore, we did some airflow modifications to the front fog light cover and fender liner to get air in and out more effectively.

IMG_20141001_115804_008 IMG_20141001_155143_633

With the airflow modifications, track performance was precisely where we wanted it to be with transmission temperatures peaking out at 221° Fahrenheit.  During the last session, the temps stayed steady at 210° and only started to go up once we slowed down.

Overall, the cooler works well and does what we need it to do.  For cars that do not see track time, the airflow modifications are not necessary as the cooler gets enough air to do the job extremely well during spirited driving.

Here is a picture of the kit and what it looks like installed:

 Transmission Cooler Logo P1000194

These kits are now available for sale on our webstore here.