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hi all, not the first to do this, but another set of pics on how it can be done could be useful, so here goes :)

We bought our '17 EX FWD last year with ~37k miles on the clock after we got rear ended and our Outback was written off. We soon noticed the part throttle surging that others have described and got the transmission flushed and reprogrammed under warranty, which fixed the problem. However I figured that after that plus the crazy temps we can get here in Texas in the summer a transmission oil cooler would be a good idea.

If you want the cliff notes version - BUY THE OEM COOLER KIT :) It'll take you 2-3h to install, of which over half will be simply removing and reinstalling stuff. I didn't because a) I'm cheap and b) the OEM cooler is a bit on the small side. So...

Hayden 677 cooler

Some extra DW1 (not needed, so will save it for a drop and fill)

Extra 4 1/2 ft of 3/8" transmission hose

And some 5/8" spring clips (I reused the existing clips as well)

Total was about $60 not including the DW1, so about $110 cheaper than the OEM solution.

Also bought a new filter, figured I might as well do that while I was in there

The two big issues with DIY are space to fit the cooler and routing the hoses through the gap in the frame to get to the transmission.

The first one was solved by lots of time, cursing and skinned knucklers. I ended up installing the cooler with barbs upwards so that I could get the cooler as low as possible in the airflow but still clear the lower air dam under the radiator.
from the front
147431


from the top (you can see the long bracket I made for the top right corner)
147432


from underneath looking up
147433


The second problem, routing the hoses, was solved by making a bracket out of some alu sheet
147434


this bolts to the hanger that the OEM cooler lines bolt to and the hoses are then zip tied to the bracket, which keeps them away from the sharp edge of the frame

in the space behind the bumper - you can just see the lines coming in from the radiator space at the bottom. I used that space to loop them back to go through the frame as these hoses need a decent radius (3" minimum) bend.
147435


on the transmission side
147436


and plumbed into the transmission with the new filter in place
147437


to be honest this was a complete PITA to do and more than once (about every hour between hour 3 and hour 10) I wished I'd poneyed up for the OEM cooler, which uses hard lines to go through that gap in the frame. But it's done and hopefully my transmission and oil will last a little longer as a result.

I checked the dipstick a couple of times after driving it for a while and it appears to have enough oil in there, so the Honda mechanic must have overfilled it a bit when they flushed the transmission. I'll check again when I get home to make sure.
 

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I don’t think you will be the least bit sorry you went with the aftermarket larger tranny cooler. Early last summer I was seeing 210F plus TFT on a regular basis, just farting around town. Installed a larger than stock aftermarket tranny cooler on our ‘17 FWD Ridgeline and dropped TFT 40 plus degrees. Well worth the time/effort IMHO.

Did you do the the tranny filter change from the topside or from underneath?
 

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hi all, not the first to do this, but another set of pics on how it can be done could be useful, so here goes :)

We bought our '17 EX FWD last year with ~37k miles on the clock after we got rear ended and our Outback was written off. We soon noticed the part throttle surging that others have described and got the transmission flushed and reprogrammed under warranty, which fixed the problem. However I figured that after that plus the crazy temps we can get here in Texas in the summer a transmission oil cooler would be a good idea.

If you want the cliff notes version - BUY THE OEM COOLER KIT :) It'll take you 2-3h to install, of which over half will be simply removing and reinstalling stuff. I didn't because a) I'm cheap and b) the OEM cooler is a bit on the small side. So...

Hayden 677 cooler

Some extra DW1 (not needed, so will save it for a drop and fill)

Extra 4 1/2 ft of 3/8" transmission hose

And some 5/8" spring clips (I reused the existing clips as well)

Total was about $60 not including the DW1, so about $110 cheaper than the OEM solution.

Also bought a new filter, figured I might as well do that while I was in there

The two big issues with DIY are space to fit the cooler and routing the hoses through the gap in the frame to get to the transmission.

The first one was solved by lots of time, cursing and skinned knucklers. I ended up installing the cooler with barbs upwards so that I could get the cooler as low as possible in the airflow but still clear the lower air dam under the radiator.
from the front View attachment 147431

from the top (you can see the long bracket I made for the top right corner)
View attachment 147432

from underneath looking up
View attachment 147433

The second problem, routing the hoses, was solved by making a bracket out of some alu sheet
View attachment 147434

this bolts to the hanger that the OEM cooler lines bolt to and the hoses are then zip tied to the bracket, which keeps them away from the sharp edge of the frame

in the space behind the bumper - you can just see the lines coming in from the radiator space at the bottom. I used that space to loop them back to go through the frame as these hoses need a decent radius (3" minimum) bend.
View attachment 147435

on the transmission side
View attachment 147436

and plumbed into the transmission with the new filter in place
View attachment 147437

to be honest this was a complete PITA to do and more than once (about every hour between hour 3 and hour 10) I wished I'd poneyed up for the OEM cooler, which uses hard lines to go through that gap in the frame. But it's done and hopefully my transmission and oil will last a little longer as a result.

I checked the dipstick a couple of times after driving it for a while and it appears to have enough oil in there, so the Honda mechanic must have overfilled it a bit when they flushed the transmission. I'll check again when I get home to make sure.
You can also use some 3/4 split wire loom over the rubber lines for added abrasion protection and to keep the lines separated. I also went with an aftermarket Derale cooler about twice the size of the OEM for less than half the price and have had no issues.
 

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$97 for 12 is still outrageous but I guess if you insist on DW-1.
Still better fluid at a lower price out there, but I won't twist any arms. 😁
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I don’t think you will be the least bit sorry you went with the aftermarket larger tranny cooler. Early last summer I was seeing 210F plus TFT on a regular basis, just farting around town. Installed a larger than stock aftermarket tranny cooler on our ‘17 FWD Ridgeline and dropped TFT 40 plus degrees. Well worth the time/effort IMHO.

Did you do the the tranny filter change from the topside or from underneath?
thanks! I feel good about it now, wasn't feeling quite so happy around 9pm on a Sunday evening :)

For the filter I did both - removed the top hose from the transmission and filter from the top, then got underneath and removed the filter from the bottom line. The spring clip at the output (large end?) of the filter was alot easier to get from underneath. And despite being really careful, I still got an armful of oil. I so wish I had a lift sometimes!

You can also use some 3/4 split wire loom over the rubber lines for added abrasion protection and to keep the lines separated. I also went with an aftermarket Derale cooler about twice the size of the OEM for less than half the price and have had no issues.
that's a really good idea, thanks, plus the pic from PLT383 is appreciated. I'll go scout some out. The lines underneath I'm not as worried about (though it'll help), but I'm not 100% happy with the lines at the top as only a zip tie is keep one of the lines away from the big alu crumple bumper. Last thing I want is to be stranded on the side of the road with a holed transmission line.

WHAT!
2 QUARTS OF DW-1 FOR $117.45?
With a Z1 lie in the description.
Amazon pricing weirdness, cost me $20 and change. $10 a quart isn't super cheap but it isn't crazy expensive either.
 

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thanks! I feel good about it now, wasn't feeling quite so happy around 9pm on a Sunday evening :)

For the filter I did both - removed the top hose from the transmission and filter from the top, then got underneath and removed the filter from the bottom line. The spring clip at the output (large end?) of the filter was alot easier to get from underneath. And despite being really careful, I still got an armful of oil. I so wish I had a lift sometimes!



that's a really good idea, thanks, plus the pic from PLT383 is appreciated. I'll go scout some out. The lines underneath I'm not as worried about (though it'll help), but I'm not 100% happy with the lines at the top as only a zip tie is keep one of the lines away from the big alu crumple bumper. Last thing I want is to be stranded on the side of the road with a holed transmission line.



Amazon pricing weirdness, cost me $20 and change. $10 a quart isn't super cheap but it isn't crazy expensive either.
I like $17.97 a gallon. :D
 
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I like not having to drain and fill my transmission several times so I can save a few bucks on a top up :)
Yep, keep it fresh with Full Synthetic and you have no worries..... ever.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
perhaps but a) I'm not going to do a 3x drain and fill on a transmission that had that done a few thousand miles ago just so I could get a cheap gallon of oil to do a small top up with. That's nonsensical. And b) I like the way my car shifts. I don't want to add something like VML and then have to dick around with friction modifiers to get back to what I had before.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
no difference as far as I'm aware. Total oil volume increases a bit, but the oil you drain is only the oil held in the pan, not the rest of the transmission (eg torque converter) so the volume that comes out on a drain shouldn't really change.
 

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I was thinking about throwing on an aftermarket cooler. How do tranny fluid changes work with a cooler?
I would suggest looking into a way to monitor tranny fluid temp via the OBDII port first. You may not need a tranny cooler, depending on a number of variables/driving conditions. If you do install a cooler, you’ll be able to see how effective it is.

Highly unlikely you will get bloody knuckles plugging into the OBDII port under the dash.😱 Bloody knuckles almost guaranteed installing a cooler.
 

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I would suggest looking into a way to monitor tranny fluid temp via the OBDII port first. You may not need a tranny cooler, depending on a number of variables/driving conditions. If you do install a cooler, you’ll be able to see how effective it is.
I've got one of those OBDII readers so I will check it out.
People have stated in other threads that a tranny cooler will improve performance and extend the life of the transmission. I don't mind spending about $100 and 2-3 hours for that. I won't be doing any heavy towing for the foreseable future, so it's more of a preventative measure.
 

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I've got one of those OBDII readers so I will check it out.
People have stated in other threads that a tranny cooler will improve performance and extend the life of the transmission. I don't mind spending about $100 and 2-3 hours for that. I won't be doing any heavy towing for the foreseable future, so it's more of a preventative measure.
It could, I guess.....but that depends on a number of variables/conditions. Cooler TFTs will lengthen tranny fluid life expectancy, but I noticed zero, zip, nada improvement in the shifting performance of the tranny after installing a cooler.....and I installed a BATC, about 5X the surface area of the Honda cooler.

I've been monitoring TFT on various vehicles, thru the OBDII port, since about 2005. If I had observed 160F-180F TFT in our '17 Ridgeline (triple digit summertime ambient temps), I probably would not have installed the cooler. As I stated in post #2, seeing 210F plus TFT on a regular basis prompted me to do the cooler install. Triple digit ambient temps is one of the variables I'm sure.

I do not see how installing a tranny cooler could hurt anything.....necessary?.....only if you need the 3500/5000 lb Honda tow rating.

Keep us posted on your install and like they say, "pics, or it didn't happen".(y)
 

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People have stated in other threads that a tranny cooler will improve performance and extend the life of the transmission. I don't mind spending about $100 and 2-3 hours for that. I won't be doing any heavy towing for the foreseable future, so it's more of a preventative measure.
Heat being the #1 killer of a transmission, I was very displeased with Honda for removing the ATF cooler on such a large vehicle. These coolerless vehicles can easily be over 210°F+ in the summer heat while driving up a grade. Installing a cooler whether towing or not IMO is imperative, to have a chance at reaching 200k+ without transmission issues.
 

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Mat the muppet/OP, still here?

Nice write up on the cooler.

The filter- did yours have one you could change before? My Pilots don't seem to.

Also- I think NailG was referring to using Valvoline Maxlife ATF instead of the DW1.
It's for sure compatible- my 08 had 4 x d&f's for a 2 months period- it's nearly all VL ML in there now!
It's just under $18 a Gallon at WalMart.

My 15 Pilot has a tranny cooler. My 08 does not.- so far hasn't needed it.
For these prices, I may get around to it one day though.
 

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Is the '15 Pilot tranny cooler OTW (in the radiator) or OTA (in front of the condenser)?
 
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