Transmission Cooler Installation - 2005 Jeep Liberty

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How to Install a TranSMIssion Cooler on a 2005 Jeep Liberty


Today on our 2005 Jeep Liberty we're going to review an install of the Derale Series 8000 Plate-Fin Transmission Cooler Kit, part number D13502. Here's what our cooler will look like once it's installed. These coolers are typically installed when hauling heavy loads, or possibly even towing a heavy load, to keep the transmission temperature down to prevent the excessive heat-related transmission failures. The cooler itself is approximately 11" long, and 7" tall. It's about 1" thick, so it's compact enough that it'll fit here behind the manufacturer's grill in the air flow for optimum cooling. One of the really nice features about this cooler is it can be an add-on to a system that already has a manufacturer's cooler, or added to a system that doesn't have a cooler for additional protection for your transmission. Making it an ideal use, as in this application, for an add-on system.

The aluminum construction of the fins and tubes will help keep the transmission fluid cool, prolonging transmission life, and preventing transmission failures. Now let's go ahead and show you how to install the cooler. To begin our install we'll need to locate the manufacturer's transmission cooler lines. We look through the fascia opening here underneath the bumper, we can see the two manufacturers transmission cooler lines. These are steel lines as they go into the transmission cooler. Next we need to identify the hot and cold side.

The easiest way to do that is to go ahead and warm the vehicle up, and as the temperature comes up one side will feel hot to the touch, while the other side will remain cool. The cold side will be the return side that we want to connect to. The one routing here towards the drivers' side is our cold side, and this is the manufacturers' line we want to connect to. Next we need to find a suitable mounting location for our new plate-fin cooler. In selecting a mounting location for our cooler we want to find an area where it's going to be in the air flow as the vehicle travels down the road to help cool off the fluid. We're going to go ahead and remove the grill.

To remove the grill there are two fasteners here on top, one on each side, that we'll start with. Then we're going to have multiple connection points where the chrome grill snaps over plastic areas. We push in on the grill, it will help release from the fastener. Once we release the fasteners across the top, by repeating on the drivers' side, we'll go ahead and swing it out so that we can release the fasteners underneath. We want to mount the cooler here in front of the AC condenser. Before we put it in place, let's go ahead and install the hoses onto the nipples.

The nipples have a protective cover over them, so we'll go ahead and remove the cap first. Then we can install the rubber hose provided with our install kit. We'll put one end on each side. To install the hose onto the nipple we're going to use a little lubricant. I recommend to use some transmission fluid. We can take the hose, dip it in the fluid, lubricating the end before we slide it onto the nipple. Now with the hose worked onto the cooler, I'm going to go ahead and take the hose clamp, slide it over to the other side and up into position, where we can tighten it down to secure the hose in place. When tightening down the clamp be careful not to over tighten it. Now we'll go ahead and repeat the same process with the other side of our hose, and the other side of the cooler. Once we have the hose on both sides of the cooler we'll go ahead and slide it into place. As you can see, the hose is coming out here through the lower fascia, so it's got plenty of length. We want to route around the manufacturers' wiring without putting too big of a kink in our hose. Let's go ahead and cut it, and route around it. Using a large pair of side cutters, or tin snips, we can cut the hose in half, and then route accordingly. With our cooler in place, to secure it we're going to use the Derale Universal Mounting Bracket, part number D13002. It goes with four straps and self-tappers to secure the mounting strap to the vehicle, and to the cooler. What's really nice about the universal mounting straps is they've already got the pre-drilled holes. We're going to add a bolt, which is nothing more than a 1/4" bolt about 1" long. It goes through the pre-drilled hole on the strap, and then the pre-drilled hole on the cooler. Then I'll slide a nut over that bolt, and we'll put it on finger tight at this time. We're going to go ahead and do that for both sides here on the top. Next, while holding the cooler in place, we're going to line it up, and bend the strap as necessary, so that we can secure it here to the grill support. Once you have an idea on the length that's going to be necessary, we're going to go ahead and cut off the excess. To cut off the excess you can use a pair of tin snips, a cut off wheel, or even a grinding wheel. Using the self-tapping screws provided with the install kit, we'll secure the metal strap to the grill support. Keep in mind, when running the self-tapping screw in be careful what's underneath, or behind, the location you're screwing into, so you don't damage anything. With our strap secured we'll go ahead and secure the cooler to the strap. Next, we're going to go ahead and repeat the same process for the bottom of our cooler, and our second two straps. We'll bend them as necessary, secure them to the cooler, and to the vehicle. Now that we've got our cooler secured, let's move underneath so we can make our hose connection. The steel line is going to come out from the manufacturers' transmission cooler, and go into one of the new hoses. The other side will go back into the manufacturers' cooler. We'll take the hose here, run it up next to the fitting, so we can mark the length. Keep in mind we want to make sure we don't kink the hose as we route it. Once we get our approximate length I'm going to use a paint marker to mark it. Then we can pull it back out and cut the length. I'm going to go ahead and cut it off, the marking portion of it, knowing that we're going to make it a little longer by adding the fitting supplied with the Derale Plate-Fin Cooler, that will go back into the manufacturers' cooler. To install the fitting into the hose we'll repeat the same process we did of getting the hose onto the cooler. We've got the hose lubed up, we'll go ahead and slide the clamp on, and then take the fitting and slide it into the hose. Once we have the fitting in place we'll go ahead and tighten down the hose clamp. To remove the steel line from the cooler we first need to remove the plastic cover that covers up the holding clip. Using a pair of pliers I'm going to slide the cover down to expose the clip. I'm going to use a pick, or a small flat blade screwdriver, to get underneath the clip to remove it, so that the steel line can be removed from the cooler. With the clip removed the line will pull out of the cooler. Once it does, any fluid or pressure built in the system can come out, so we'll need to be prepared for that. We'll also go ahead and remove the plastic cap from the manufacturers' line, and install it onto the new fitting. As we pull the steel line out of the manufacturers' cooler we notice that the fitting is a snap bushing fitting, and is different than the fitting that came with the transmission cooler. We'll need to switch the fitting on our new hose to match the manufacturers' line. That will be the snap tube fitting, part number D13035. We will go ahead and remove the old fitting, and install the new one. To remove the one we just installed previously, we'll loosen up our clamp, slide that out of the way, and then pull the fitting out of the hose. Then we'll take the new fitting and slide it into the hose, replacing the original one. Slide it into place, and then tighten the hose clamp back down. Just like that, we've installed the snap tube fitting. Next, we'll take the hose coming from the other side of the new cooler, mark the length, and cut it to fit. Before I put the hose onto the steel line we'll slide our hose clamp in place, and then the hose onto the line. Once we have the hose fit over the steel line we'll take our clamp, slide it into place, and then tighten it down. Now that are clamps are tightened down, and our hose secured, we'll come back to our snap bushing fitting, and install it into the manufacturers' cooler. First we'll take the plastic cover, slide it down over the fitting, and then the fitting into the cooler. Once we get the clip in place we'll put the cover back over it, and we're ready to check for leaks. Once we've checked for leaks, our new coolers installed, and we can go ahead and put our vehicle back together, and we're ready to hit the road. That'll do it for the Derale Series 8000 Plate-Fin Transmission Cooler Kit, part number D13502, on our 2005 Jeep Liberty.


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