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The Gentleman's Express: Tech-Tips from the JIOC

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Cooling Automatic Transmissions

Author: Mike Gabriel

All Jensen Interceptors designated for the U S market were equipped with the Chrysler Torque- Flight transmission. If this transmission is serviced regularly it should last a long time. The most common cause for breakdown is high temperatures. This is mainly due to the location, since the unit is almost completely surrounded by sheet metal. High engine heat is also transmitted to the trans. There are two very effective measures which can be taken to solve this problem.

First, I would suggest the installation of a transmission oil cooler. There are many different coolers available, most of them are very good. The best quality cooler and hoses that I know of are available from Earl’s Supply Company (14611 Hawthorne Blvd, Lawndale, CA 90260). The hoses connecting the cooler to the trans lines are the aircraft-approved stainless steel braided type. For the Interceptor, the whole installation is a straight bolt-in; there is a cross bar right behind the grille to which the cooler can be bolted.

The following are the parts needed:

Cooler sizesSHE-13 minimum size, 13 row
SHE-16 heavy duty, 16 row
SHE-19 extra heavy duty, 19 row
Oil linesES-AC-400-BC-6-30" (one needed)
ES-CC-400-BC-6-30" (one needed)
AdaptorsES-919-7D (two needed, for trans lines)
ES-816-BSP or ES-894-10-6D (two for the cooler, depending on the type chosen)

Second, besides the oil cooler, it is also a good idea to install an autotrans shift kit to accomplish several things - shortening the shift time for better performance, creating less friction in the transmission ( less heat buildup) and enabling you to up and down-shift immediately without a long time lag.

Trans shift kit - Trans Go has a transmission reprogrammer kit which can be added to the transmission while on the car. It is designed to reduce heat created in the transmission by making the shifts tighter and more brisk. Detroit designs its automatics for comfort and smoothness, not performance and durability. A tighter shift is less smooth but more precise and loses less to heat, expanding durability while boosting performance. The claim is made for a 70 percent improvement in efficiency in shifting, most apparent in rapid acceleration.

With the reprogrammer, the TorqueFlight Chrysler unit makes for a much tighter shift from 2nd to 3rd. In addition to some improved performance, expanded life of the transmission, and less heat from friction, there is also expanded ability to downshift at any speed, which can also serve to reduce the strain on the less than optimal braking of the Interceptor.

The results of this experiment (which ran $172, including servicing, change of fluid and filter) so far seems promising, at least at low speeds where there are a lot of shifts, such as street use. The temp gauge certainly is running at its all-time lowest reading (about 1/3 to midline) at normal street and freeway driving. Overall, the reprogrammer makes for a more zesty, sportier feel and it is quicker in downshifts.

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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