Frequently Asked Transmission and Torque Converter Questions

1. Should I use an external transmission cooler in conjunction with the oil cooler supplied in the radiator?
2. What is the correct size cooler for my application?
3. Where should I mount a transmission cooler?
4. What type of clearance should I have between the torque converter and flexplate before pulling the converter forward and bolting it to flexplate?
5. Is there an ideal way to measure the converter and transmission outside the car to make sure you should have the proper clearance between the converter and the flex plate before installation? 6. Should I replace the front seal and bushing in my transmission before installing the new Mad Dog's converter I just purchased?

Should I use an external transmission cooler in conjunction with the oil cooler supplied in the radiator?

Answer: Yes, you should cap off the radiator cooler line openings and run your cooler lines directly to a new cooler mounted in front of the radiator. This allows the transmission to have its own cooling system and doesn't allow the engine water temperature to heat the fluid.

What is the correct size cooler for my application?

Answer: Unlike a lot of items you buy for your vehicle, bigger is predominately better when it comes to transmission coolers. The answer would be as big as you can get or to run multiple coolers in series, again staying away from the factory radiator cooler lines.

Where should I mount a transmission cooler?

Answer: Mad Dog highly recommends mounting your external transmission oil cooler in front of the radiator. This allows for adequate airflow. If this is not possible then you should mount it in a location where the cooler can receive airflow. In extremely tight quarters, you may also mount the cooler and build an air dam that would allow the cooler to have air pass through it.

What type of clearance should I have between the torque converter and flexplate before pulling the converter forward and bolting it to flexplate?

Answer: You should have 1/8" to 3/16" between the torque converter and flexplate before pulling the converter forward and bolting it to the flexplate.

Is there an ideal way to measure the converter and transmission outside the car to make sure you should have the proper clearance between the converter and the flex plate before installation?

Answer: Yes, you can use a straight edge, laying it across the face of the bell housing. (Engine side). Then with the converter installed in transmission, take a ruler and measure the distance from the straight edge down to the mounting pad of the converter. The measurement should be as follows:

  • GM 4L60 1 1/8" from Bell housing to Pads
  • GM 4L60E 1 1/8" from Bell housing to Pads
  • GM 4L80E 1 1/8" from Bell housing to Pads
  • GM TH 350 1 1/8" from Bell housing to Pads
  • GM TH 400 1 3/16" from Bell housing to Pads
  • GM Powerglide 1 1/8" from Bell housing to Pads<

Note: Distance may vary either way .050".

Should I replace the front seal and bushing in my transmission before installing the new converter I just purchased?

Answer: If you only purchased a torque converter from Mad Dog Transmissions then you should replace the front seal and bushing before installing the new converter you just purchased.