||I bought the
Hayden model 404 from Pep Boys for $49.99 plus tax. There were
other smaller models, but I figured I would get the largest one
practical. The 404 is considered "Heavy Duty" and is 7.5
inches tall by 15.5 inches wide, by 0.75 inches thick. It is
supposed to lower your transmission fluid temperature by 70 degrees
Farenheit. I would not recommend getting a cooler any larger than
the 404, as it will be too big and difficult to install. In fact,
the 403 would probably have been easier, as it is the same height, but
2.5 inches shorter.
||Here is everything that came
in the kit. I bought an extra 4 feet of transmission cooler hose
(not pictured) to use as the return line back to the transmission.
The 4 feet of hose that comes with the cooler is not enough, since you
will have to replace the stock transmission return line entirely.
When you get the extra hose, DO
NOT get fuel line, it is not the same. Ask specifically for transmission
picture at left shows the A/C condenser before installation of the cooler. For
optimal cooling effect the auxiliary transmission cooler should be
mounted in front of the A/C condenser.
BELOW: The cooler should be installed in
"series" with the stock tranny cooler. To do this you
have to locate the fluid return line. On the Maxima this is the
upper line (without the "banjo" bolt). The two pictures
below show the location of the transmission fluid lines before
||It is necessary to
remove the Driver's Side Engine Undercover to expose the transmission
fluid return line. The undercover is held in place with 7 bolts
and one pop-on clip. I sacrificed the pop-on clip when I removed
it. Casualty of tinkering with your car.
||Remove the two nuts
which hold the radiator to the car frame. You need to be able to
tilt the radiator back so there is room to work.
||I traced out a
template for the cooler on a piece of plain folder paper. The
purpose of this was simply so I could line everything up and get an idea
of how things were going to fit, how the hoses would hang and where,
etc., before committing. It was also helpful in aligning the 4
holes where the zip ties would pass through the A/C condenser.
||The next step is to
take each 4-foot piece of transmission hose and secure it with the
clamps provided to the cooler. Then carefully slide the cooler in
place in front of the A/C condenser. You can slide it in from the
top or bottom, it really doesn't matter - just be very careful not to
bend or damage the fins on the cooler or on the car's radiator.
They are very fragile and will bend easily.
||My personal recommendation
is to insert the 4 zip ties through the cooler and the condenser from
the grill side in towards the motor. It is much easier to
do it this way and you will have a lot more room to insert the plastic
cover caps in-between the condenser and the radiator than between the
condenser and the grill. Trust me on this. Make sure to
secure the 4 foam pads in between the cooler and the condenser before
you insert the zip ties all the way through. This part takes a
little bit of coordination, and a second hand wouldn't hurt
||Once the cooler is secured
properly to the condenser the next step is to remove the stock
transmission fluid return line. The line is pre-bent and specialized for the stock setup and cannot be reused. The line is
held in place at both ends by simple pressure clamps. I put a pan
under the return line to catch about an ounce of transmission fluid
which leaked out of the hose.
||Take one of the
lines from the Hayden cooler and cut it to length. Run this line
to the radiator output port and secure with clamp provided. Make
sure that the line is not bent or kinked and that it is away from the
transmission pan. I bought some 3/4-inch (19 mm) heater hose from
NAPA and wrapped it around certain parts of the hoses that I thought
might rub or chafe. It is an added protection and a good idea, in
my opinion. Secure the second line from the cooler back to the top
of the transmission. I secured all of the lines with wire ties to
ensure that they would not droop or move around too much.
||Here is a different
view of how the hoses are routed from the cooler to the transmission.
||I used a heavy duty
zip tie to hold up the top line and keep it from sagging. I later
changed the zip tie to black for looks.
cooler is barely visible through the front grill and is in an excellent
location to receive high airflow. The cooler will help out if you
do a lot of stop and go driving or "spirited" driving that
tends to heat up a transmission. In any case, it certainly won't
hurt anything, and is fun for about a 3 hour job. After driving
the car around for a day I had to add about a half quart of ATF to make
up for the added volume the cooler provides.