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Cooler Chevelle

Bulletproofing The Powertrain By Installing A Transmission Cooler And An Oil Cooler

Photography by Tony Nausieda

One of the recent car crafting trends is something we’d never have predicted if you’d have asked us 10 years ago. That trend is making mods that don’t necessarily make your car go any faster—such as brakes, safety equipment, and reliability equipment. That’s because our street machines have to share the road with today’s cars, which stop better, protect their riders better, and are more reliable than much of the old iron we drive.

And those are the standards that we plan to meet with our beloved Cheap Street Chevelle. It’s hard to divert our money away from making performance-improving mods, but considering the car’s recent reliability record, we felt it was time to optimize the equipment we’ve already got. Since the car often gets used on long road trips through the desert, we thought we’d begin bulletproofing the powertrain by installing a transmission cooler and an oil cooler, both from Perma-Cool. In a diversion from the bare-minimum installation you might expect from Car Craft, we opted to go a step further and plumb both coolers with braided-stainless hose from Goodridge, and monitor the temperature of the engine oil and trans fluid with a duo of Ultra-Lite gauges from Auto Meter to quantify any improvement. As you’ll see, it got real expensive in the process.

We anticipate the letters complaining of the relatively high cost of doing a quality cooler installation. We’re certain that others will question the need for any oil cooler at all. That’s why we conducted tests and collected data to substantiate the need for the coolers. And to be perfectly frank, it’s still good insurance for a $6,500 motor and a $4,000 transmission.

SOURCES
Goodridge Perma-Cool
671 E. Edna Place
Covina
CA  91723
626-967-2777
www.perma-cool.com
JET performance Auto Meter
667 West 100 North
Box 717
Ephraim
UT  84627
435-283-4142
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