help with setting up van for towing

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Old 01-25-11, 06:42 PM
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help with setting up van for towing

I have a 2002 chevy venture with a 3.4l engine. I need to upgrade a bit to pull more than the 2000 lbs. recommended. It looks like the tow package to increase the capacity included a tranny cooler which this looks pretty easy to install. Auto parts store has them for $50 plus all the hoses/fittings. The upgrade also mentioned an actual auxillary oil cooler for the engine oil in addition to the tranny cooler. I have searched a bit but can't seem to find any info on an aftermarket one of these. Anyone know if this is available for the venture and is it easy to install. Also, is it difficult to install the tranny cooler. Looks like there is plenty of room in front of the radiator but not sure where the lines are located to brake into them. Thanks
 
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Old 01-26-11, 04:46 AM
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You shouldn't need an aux oil cooler as any weight you tow to increase engine oil temp will likely kill the rest of the vehicle.
The trans cooler normally splices into the trans lines already going to the rad.
You need to follow the instructions carefully as to direction of flow.....you have to make sure the flow enters the aux cooler first and then goes into the cooler in the rad so the trans will warm up properly.

You really need to carefully examine how much more than recommended towing capacity you want to tow.
Many vehicles are unable to safely attach a trailer hitch to the frame that can handle much more than recommended, also you need to make sure you have brakes and a brake controller as most locations require brakes on trailers over 2000 lbs gross weight.
Another weak point is the transmission so it would be a good idea to have an inspection done to be sure yours is in good operating condition.

I moved my son to a different city with a Dodge Caravan and a larger trailer than I should have towed and took out the transmission.
Was likely on it's way out but my checking the trans fluid regularly for level, cleanliness and odor did not predict that one.

Be safe.
 
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Old 01-26-11, 06:22 AM
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So if the tranny lines go into the radiator already does that mean there is some cooling already? Also, we wouldn't be towing beyond the capacity per se. the van factory is 2000lbs. according to the manual and with the tow package it brings it to 3500lbs. It looks like the tow package consists of a tranny oil cooler, regular oil cooler, beefier springs in back and a few other things. We will be pulling about 3000lbs. with everything including gear, people etc. Problem is to convert it to the factory package would be outrageoously costly so I am going to put o the most important things right now. It doesn't look like the tranny, engine or gearing is changed when doing the towing upgrade so it should be fine increasing the load a bit. I only really need to pull for one season before I purchase a different vehicle which may 20 times under 25 miles per trip on fairly level grades with an occasional uphill venture. Thanks for the input
 
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Old 01-26-11, 08:59 AM
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Yes, there already is some cooling.
I understand that there are some slight differences in vehicle programming as far as shift points and OD operation in vehicles with tow packages but those are just picky points.
If you turn off OD if possible and don't push it you likely wouldn't have to do anything to your vehicle.
 
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