Transmission Cooler Time

Another step forward today in getting the plumbing ready. With +6°C weather today I figured I would take advantage of an afternoon in the garage.  Next week is supposed to be crazy cold 😦

My daughter and I headed over to the local Hot Rod shop this morning to pick up the transmission cooler seen at the top of this post.  The original radiator on the caprice used to have a transmission cooler core built right into the radiator.  But my new aftermarket radiator doesn’t have that feature.  The transmission cooler I decided to go with is a heat-sync frame rail style.  This is different than the tube and fin ones that would typically mount in front of your radiator.  Since the space in front of my radiator is pretty tight, this style will do the trick.

The goal for the afternoon was to install the transmission cooler on top of the old front cross member just behind the radiator.

First step was creating a couple of tabs out of 1/8″ plate and drill them for some self tapping metal bolts/screws.  I wanted to leave enough space on the ends of the cooler to ensure I have lots of room to get hoses connected.  I chose a cooler that had the inlet and outlet on the same end so that it would line up with the transmission fluid lines that you can see just behind the cross member.

By connecting these tabs first it let me set the cooler in place and tack weld the tabs and supporting steel before unbolting the ends.  This ensured that everything was going to line up after all the welding was done.  Once everything was tack welded, I unbolted the cooler and completed all the finish welding

The finish product actually turned out quite nice.  Having it float up in the air a bit gives me room to route things like air, power steering and brake lines underneath it.

While we were at the Hot Rod shop I also picked up a set of ceramic coated headers that will actually fit considering the old ones are going to be a write-off.  I didn’t have time to swap the headers today, but hopefully I’ll get them installed soon.  The exhaust mock-up will be a whole other challenge 🙂

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