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Author Topic: Black iron pipe. Can it be used to run transmission fluid?  (Read 3124 times)
Barn Owl
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« on: June 18, 2011, 10:12:35 PM »

I am adding an additional cooler to my transmission. It already has the oil/water cooler, but like some others have done, I am going to add a oil/air cooler in series. This will add an extra layer of protection by removing some of the heat load from the engine cooling system. I purchased a Hayden 1290 off Ebay and am going to mount it in front of the radiator. My question is this: I need to run what will be lengthly hoses from the transmission side to the radiator, can I use black iron pipe to run this hot but low pressure oil? I am thinking two 6' lengths of pipe for the round trip, my thinking is that it will be twelve additional feet that will also contribute something to cooling the oil. I will have hoses made to make the twist and turns required to connect everything together. What are your thoughts? I will post this to both boards to catch the non-crossovers.
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 02:01:27 AM »

i probably wouldnt use it cause i have lotsa extra truck lines and a kit to make up the ends...that being said, i would probably use it on my shop well cause it isnt code.... Grin BTW i'm installing new pipe from my apartment well to the apartment and the mobile home... need free laborers for digging under the foundation,etc.... wonder how many i will find on here.... pipe is currently on top of ground waiting for God to bury it to the proper depth.. Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
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chev49
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 02:04:16 AM »

And the trencher was sold last year... Sad
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bevans6
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2011, 04:15:53 AM »

I don't think it's the right tool for the job.  I would use one continuous run of the appropriate hose for each run, with one connection at each end.  That's the right way to do it.  Transmission fluid is neither very hot nor at pressure, in the greater scheme of things, and the right hose and ends are very available and inexpensive.  Each connection you add is a failure point, after all.  The iron pipe won't add any cooling to speak of, and if you size your heat exchanger properly, you'll not need added cooling in any case.

Brian

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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2011, 05:03:47 AM »

I would use it if I wanted to. It's strong enough & able to stand accidental hits. You can support it with no problems. It will radiate some heat. You can minimize failure at the joints by using bell couplings only. Make sure to use some hose at each end to protect against vibration failure..

Remember, OEMs use some type of pipe for transmissions lines if the run is over a few feet.

TOM
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luvrbus
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2011, 06:18:29 AM »

If you need bends to make it work I wouldn't use pipe if you want steel the hydraulic hose parts places can bend tubing for a nice smooth flow with the right ends that is the way I do it I don't like long runs of hoses

good luck
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demodriver
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2011, 07:19:29 AM »

 Black pipe wont handle any vibrations.

I would suggest a low pressure hydro line. It may be a little more expensive but money well spent IMO.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 07:26:23 AM »

Why won't black pipe stand vibration ? every RV made uses black pipe on the propane lines what am I missing here

good luck
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 07:47:29 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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pipopak
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 07:43:50 AM »

I would be concerned about the roughness of the pipe on the inside. On a long run may add significant drag to the oil. Regular pipe used in transmission lines is steel, which is a lot smoother.
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 07:57:47 AM »

My RV (a truck camper) uses copper pipe on the propane lines, fwiw.

Brian
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2011, 08:01:37 AM »

Ok let me change that to 99% of the RV's lol

good luck
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2011, 08:42:15 AM »

I see no reason that it can't be used for transmission oil. It won't rust with oil inside. If used for straight runs it would not have resistance that would make any difference. If properly installed it should not leak at the connections. Any abrasion would not pierce the pipe any sooner than on a hose. AND besides all that I used a lot of black iron pipe fittings when I installed my new transmission cooler AND I wouldn't do anything your not supposed to do on a bus.

HTH

Melbo
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RJ
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2011, 08:57:14 AM »

I am going to add a oil/air cooler in series. This will add an extra layer of protection by removing some of the heat load from the engine cooling system. I purchased a Hayden 1290 off Ebay and am going to mount it in front of the radiator.

Laryn -

OK, let me get this straight:

You've bought an auxiliary oil cooler to help take some of the heat load off the engine cooling system, right?

You're planning on hanging this cooler in front of the radiator, right?


Duh, is it me, or do I not understand how hanging an oil cooler in front of the radiator is going to help reduce the heat loading on the engine cooling system?  Where's the hot air coming off the oil cooler going to go?

IMHO, it would be far better to have some louvers punched into the transmission access door (or use expanded metal like the A/C condenser access) and hang the oil cooler there.  Shorter hose run, too.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2011, 09:23:22 AM »

I left that point alone RJ but makes no sense to me hanging a cooler on the radiator adding 200 + degrees to a cooling system but we all do it different

good luck
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2011, 09:44:11 AM »

RJ,  when i first got my 5A and saw that the PO had put  tranny coolers in front of both radiators i had the same thoughts/concerns as you.  The first few times that i ran the bus i thought that the gauge for the tranny oil temp was broken, Angry it never moved at all.  Then we went up the hill from Laughlin headed to Las Vegas when it was 107 degrees. The needle finally moved and i realized it worked. Smiley  With the long runs of hose and the use of two coolers it seems that the heat is spread out enough that it does not make much of an impact on my water temp in the course of normal running. I usually run either at, or just below, 180 degrees. That trip up the hill i did go to 205 degrees an made a lunch stop at Searchlight to let things cool off for a while.  I have made that same trip a couple of other times, (just this spring in fact) and even though it was not near as hot, and even though my tranny oil temp gauge did not move these times, my water temp did go up about 10 degrees above normal.  That is a long slow climb for me, so is the Grapevine.  Grin
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2011, 09:50:55 AM »

Probably should mention that he mounted the coolers so that there is a 6" airspace between them and the radiators. Looks like he could have even a little more space between them if he had wanted to. I think that one of the key things is that he used 2 coolers instead of just one.
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2011, 10:06:14 AM »

Better check the gauge Ed those transmissions need to run at 180 to 200 degrees running one cold does just as much damage as running one hot fwiw and barn Owl has a GM bus one radiator,rule of thumb is 90 to 100 degrees above the outside temp doesn't always work on a cold day but the engine cooler heats the transmission oil on a cold day   

good luck
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 10:16:54 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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Lin
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2011, 11:47:23 AM »

Clifford,

The Allison manual says the sump fluid minimum continuous temperature is 100 degrees, 200 is typical and 250 is max.  The maximum converter out temp is 300 degrees.  I know that this is a little odd since it also says that any level reading below 120 degrees is considered a cold reading.  When you recommend a minimum of 180 degree operating temp, is that at the converter?  Apparently that would be higher than the sump.
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2011, 11:54:12 AM »

What Clifford said.  I did it as the op suggested....put the cooler in front of the engine rad water to oil heat exchanger inside the rad.  That will reduce the heat load on the engine.  With the oil going to the trans coming from the rad you get preheating so in the winter your oil is thinner.

If you make the Black Iron pipes over sized then you will add volume to the circuit and the oil will hang around longer and get cooler.......just like enlarging the oil pan capacity will lower the oil temp.

To use the smallest diameter pipe possible and keep up the flo... do what Clifford said about using formed and long radiused bends tx tubing.  If you oversize the BI then you will  have flo to burn and not have to be concerned with restrictive bends.

I haven't looked into this subject since 1990.  Here is an approximation of what I was told as I recall and bear in mind that I have slept and eaten since I was given this information:  running the tx at 180 is advisable due to to efficiency considerations....thin oil is easier to move and at 180 it won't scorch and lubricates well.  220 was the MAX suggested allowable temp.  At 180 the tx was estimated to last 200+K miles with proper maint and fluid changes.  At 220 the life expectancy dropped to 150K.  At 300 you only got 8K miles or less.  Keeping it cool was of serious import.  But, that was a tx using ATF and ATF is used to carry away heat and be able to withstand 280 degrees at spots Huh??  I was surprised to learn that the bus transmissions used motor oil as it scorches at a lower temp than ATF and is more resistant to flo than ATF.

My oil always went thru the rad and it came up to temp as quickly as the engine temp.  But the TX temp went thru the roof on a hill and my engine temp never flinched.  My conclusion was that the number of coils in the TX heat exchanging section of the rad was way to small.  The going into the TX needed to be lowered badly so I installed the Haden cooler in the return line to the TX like the install plans called for. My aux cooler was placed in front of the rad along with the AC condenser.  Oil doesn't give up itsd heat very quickly so you need to increase the volume in my opinion.

The TX I was working with was the storied Chrysler 727 three speed with locking TC and I am certain a lot of the data I was given was TX specific but this was the gist.

HTH,

John
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2011, 02:46:25 PM »

Why won't black pipe stand vibration ? every RV made uses black pipe on the propane lines what am I missing here

good luck

Every rv that I have ever saw has had copper, not black pipe. In my experiences the black pipe will crack when exposed to vibration over a period of time. Just my preference I guess, to each there own.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2011, 03:12:46 PM »

Make that 98 % I have 3 here now all 3 have black pipe with copper to appliances wit a loop lol the sch 40 is pretty tough FWIW I just read the RVIA book it call's for black pipe and the manufactures of rv's wrote the book

good luck
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 03:37:24 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2011, 03:28:35 PM »

I used black pipe for my power steering system. I do not use ATF I use motor oil in the system. It has been working for 90,000 miles. We will see how long it lasts.

Good Luck Wayne
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2011, 04:48:59 PM »

Make that 98 % I have 3 here now all 3 have black pipe with copper to appliances wit a loop lol the sch 40 is pretty tough FWIW I just read the RVIA book it call's for black pipe and the manufactures of rv's wrote the book

good luck

Make that 98.0000001%!! My bluebird has it!  Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

TOM
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2011, 08:31:37 PM »

I also thought that putting the cooler in front of the radiator would defeat the benefit I was looking for, but after talking with the Hayden Engineers that is the best place. The short of it is that the coolers need a tremendous amount of air flow to work effectively. It must be the inefficiencies of heat transfer that really makes it work this way. The air out of the transmission cooler does not absorb as much as we would like, but in fact still has the ability to remove heat, just not as much because it's temperature has risen. Also remember that the transmission oil would still have to go through the oil/water cooler, so cooled transmission oil would remove heat if it was cooler than the antifreeze. In the end the entire system has the ability to shed more heat and that is the goal. With a DIY oil change running over $130, it is less expensive to keep the oil cool than to change it more often, not to mention there is less stress on the engine and transmission itself. After pulling those 8 to 12 percent grades for mile after mile in the Rockies I agree that the oil/water cooler is too small to shed that type of continuos heat load. The 1290 Hayden cooler was a $110 Ebay find shipped to my door, might cost the same in hoses and fittings by the time I am done. I had my oil tested after getting back from my western trip and it came back OK, in-spite of looking very dark. I am hoping this will allow me a larger safety margin if I find myself pulling those type of grades again. I cut it close more than a few times.

Second question. I have been to two hose shops and the hose and fittings they say I need are expensive. I don't have a problem doing it right, but I am not sure if some of what they want to sell me is necessary. What type of oil line should I use? I don't know what pressure the transmission runs but it surly must be low. So I need a high temp/low pressure hose that can carry oil. Anyone with any experience with this? What type of fittings would you use? The cooler has standard 3/4 pipe thread but I have been told it would be easier to adapt it to hydraulic fittings to avoid the expensive swivels. The more I can do myself the better. I want to complete this project this week, so don't sit this one out if you have any ideas. Thanks
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 08:33:52 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2011, 08:51:21 PM »

Have not a clue about your trans.  Sorry.  In my Jeep J10 I had a GM Turbo 400 trans.  I blew a hose.  I replaced the blown hose with a fuel line hose.  Like you, I assumed that the line carried low pressure but hot oil.  I was right about the hot.  The pressure was 60+psi if memory serves and the hose lasted a month and disgorged all the ATF on the street at an intersection and in front of a cop car with an unhappy cop in it.  Anybody ever seen one of those birds in a good mood?  The good news was that it was all bright cherry red and didn't smell burned in the least.  (find the joke).  Use high pressure hydraulic hose that is called for in the manual.

John
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« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2011, 08:58:42 PM »

High temps oil and low pressure don't mix I don't know about the 730 but the 740 is over 100lbs on the return 

good luck
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« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2011, 09:35:32 PM »

My 2 cents..    Growing up I would help thread and install gas piping.   I have seen over the years "imported" pipe come into the US.   The quality for gas at low PSI was okay.    The problem that I see is the quality of the interior of the pipe.   It will have slag and burrs that WILL dislodge with the high pressure.   It will be a gamble to your Allison and not worth the expense.    I would opt for hydraulic tubing.   

Put another way, it's not that the pipe will hold the fluid>> it's the damage the metal will due to your tranny.
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2011, 02:41:47 AM »

Clifford,  would running the bus for a couple of hours and then taking a temperature reading on the bottom of the tranny pan with an IR gun give a guy any good info? 
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luvrbus
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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2011, 10:02:36 AM »

Checking it after about a hour drive Ed would be best 160 to 220 is the norm check it were the lines leave the tranny the pan won't tell you that much but check it anyway

good luck
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 10:06:10 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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Barn Owl
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« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2011, 08:26:04 PM »

Final update: cooler installed, decided not to experiment and just used hose. Hayden 1290 cooler ~$120. Hoses to make it all work ~$160. And five additional quarts of fluid. Other than wanting a 6v92t transplant there is not much left for mechanical upgrades. Next future project: moving the A/C forward and adding a fan to fill in the hole. Then I might get to try my hand at outdoor painting. Progress made in terms of years.
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