Chevy Impala SS Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My '94 Caprice wagon has a badly leaking trans cooler. The part, 10253337, has been discontinued and I'm not having much luck finding a replacement on short notice. Has anyone else had their trans cooler fail and come up with a solution that relies on something that's more readily available?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,010 Posts
I'm certain you've considered aftermarket, and can offer the one PerformaBilt recommended nearly installed itself in my '88 Monte Carlo SS. V. stout construction and just from memory had better bigger cooling capacity than the original.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Glad to hear that there’s a good alternative. Is PerformaBilt the brand? Do you have a part number or a web address or some other way I can find and order it? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,010 Posts
Glad to hear that there’s a good alternative. Is PerformaBilt the brand? Do you have a part number or a web address or some other way I can find and order it? Thanks!
Is PerformaBilt the brand? No don't recall that.
"Aulll be bawkk", as the Austrian says. I'll hunt over morning joe for what they told me 8 years ago with the last swap.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
927 Posts
For a short term, immediate fix, just connect the two hoses/tubes together and drive it.

If you're not pulling a trailer in death valley, it'll probably be ok. Don't power brake it on the converter or otherwise drive it hard and it'll be fine. You're in Illinois, so it's not hot out.

This buys you some time to fix it the way you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,145 Posts
Whatever cooler you decide to get, you want one with multiple cooling paths, like the radiator. NOT the kind with a single cooling path that makes multiple passes.

This is the good kind, usually described as fin and plate or stacked plate:
Output device Automotive radiator part Gas Rectangle Font

Notice there are no loops of tubing coming out of the sides. This design is more efficient from a thermodynamics point of view because it provides multiple cooling paths instead of just one long one.


This is the older technology fin and tube style:
Rectangle Auto part Metal Nickel Font

Notice that it's just one long tube making multiple passes. This design is less efficient than the stacked plate design. From a cooling standpoint, you need a bigger fin and tube cooler to get the same cooling capacity.

Good brands to look at besides AC Delco are B&M and Derale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,010 Posts
Glad to hear that there’s a good alternative. Is PerformaBilt the brand? Do you have a part number or a web address or some other way I can find and order it? Thanks!
It appears you got some good intel just posted above, and I'm batting .000 finding any old info on what I've installed. And for reference, PerformaBilt is a highly referred tranny rebuilder - they build torque convertors as well. I did find an old email from Alan there NOT to connect the lines back through the radiator fittings
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,100 Posts
When I am at the junk yard I look at the coolers in GM trucks and wonder how close to plug and play they would be?

Maybe the same fittings and spacing? Or cut the metal lines and use rubber lines to get it to match.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
On a side note, is the trans cooler a common failure item? My Caprice isn't rusty and almost never sees salty weather. (If it does, it gets washed promptly afterward.) I'm just wondering if I was to put in a used part, if it's something that would be likely to die in the not-too-distant future as well, or if this is sort of a rare kind of failure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,473 Posts
It probably took a rock or some type of road debris.

This is what I did but its gonna cost ya (probably much more now)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It probably took a rock or some type of road debris.
This is what I did but its gonna cost ya (probably much more now)
That's super helpful. If I somehow don't end up getting an OEM part, I'll probably follow your post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
548 Posts
On a side note, is the trans cooler a common failure item?
A leaking rubber hose, sure, but not the cooler itself--AT fluid isn't going to eat it up from the inside. Shouldn't be hard to find a junkyard one. The used ebay ones might seem high starting at $99, but it shows up ready to install. Such as this one or others like it, 1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS Factory Transmission Oil Cooler USED OEM GM | eBay
Just flush it out and test for free flow. Get one that's returnable in case it's crapped up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: Marky Dissod

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
On a side note, is the trans cooler a common failure item? My Caprice isn't rusty and almost never sees salty weather. (If it does, it gets washed promptly afterward.) I'm just wondering if I was to put in a used part, if it's something that would be likely to die in the not-too-distant future as well, or if this is sort of a rare kind of failure.
Not common. In the salty northeast, the lines rust out and leak before the cooler does. Ask me how I know.

One option is to bypass it and just use the in-tank rad cooler. It will work fine for light duty applications. But never completely delete all coolers entirely. You need at least one in the circuit.

Side note, the guys at Precision Transmission (YouTube channel) are very good at rebuilding 4L60Es, 700R4s, etc. They dislike the "stacked plate" coolers and have talked about them a few times. Even though the thermal dynamics are better, they claim that the flow could be easily restricted, especially with small debris. They always recommend the continuous pipe coolers because they offer the least restriction. The problem is that you need a large one to get the same thermal efficiency as the stacked plate version.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Marky Dissod
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top