Transmission Filter and Cooler for C-6 Transmission in a '53 f-100

Discussion in 'Transmission' started by jniolon, Feb 6, 2018.

By jniolon on Feb 6, 2018 at 3:42 PM
  1. jniolon Article Contributor Founding Member

    When I had my radiator built (PRC Custome Radiator) I intentionally did not put a transmission cooler in it, with plans to add an exterior cooler. After doing some research I determined that I would need a unit with a cooling fan if the cooler wasn't mounted in front of the radiator. I was trying to cut down on the number of cores that air had to pass to get to the engine/radiator and there was already a big ole honkin' A/C condenser in front.

    My research led me to Derale Products ( and their 13960 fan assisted cooler. This is a 25 Row Hyper-Cool Remote Transmission Cooler Kit, with -6AN fittings. It comes with everything you need for a standard installation with the exception of fittings for the transmission. Ford c-6 transmissions use a input and output fitting that is 1/8" NPS which is a straight thread (as compared to tapered thread NPT) I'm told that you can use NPT fttings but my luck it would strip out or crack the case or some other problem that would cost $$$$$ (large dollars) .The NPS fittings are a little hard to find but most of the online tube suppliers can get them for you.

    139607.jpg fragola.JPG
    Cooler style: Stacked Plate
    Inlet size: -10AN / 7/8"-14 o-ring female x -6AN male
    Fan size: 8" CFM: 500
    Amp draw: 4.8 Width: 13"
    Height: 10" Depth: 5-5/8"
    Inlet dim: 10" Mounting: 7-1/2" x 9"
    Hose size: 3/8" Hose length: 10'
    46,000 BTU's Per Hour
    3/8" NPS to -6 AN

    Let's start with the cooler mounting first...

    In a standard install you just use the barb fittings and the rubber hoses to put the cooler inline with the radiator cooler and find a place to mount it and it's a little different if you don't use or don't have the cooler in the radiator.

    typical.jpg typical w-o.jpg

    My first chore was finding a place to mount the cooler unit that was as far from a heat source as possible and protected from damage and easy to plumb. I also had to consider mounting the filter assembly in proximity to the cooler... so keep that in mind if you're using a filter also. Fortunately I found room to the right and next to the tail shaft of the transmission. (and I had room in front of it for the filter assembly. )

    I added a short section of 1" x 1/4" flat bar between the transmission rear mount and a crossmember......and mounted the cooler between the frame rail and this bar. I used 1/4" hardware and nyloc nuts... your cooler, your choice. It is mounted over the exhaust pipe but it's 3-4" above it and the fan will be blowing down and not sucking in the heat. By reversing the wiring to the fan you can reverse the flow... I'll be wiring to push the cooler air from the top of the filter down thru it... avoiding pulling the hot air from around the exhaust pipe.


    NOW....let's mount the transmission filter.....

    The filter inside the transmission pan on a c-6 is really just a can made of large mesh screen... it'll catch the big chunks. Probably do all that's required but I'm a belt AND suspenders kind of guy and figured it's a small investment in a large money project... so do all you can to eliminate problems from the start. This is a freshly rebuilt transmission and should be spanking clean... I want to keep it that way as long as possible. The filter I chose was a Wix product (my favorite) and traps down to 10-20 micron at a 7-9 gpm flow rate. more on the filter below...

    My initial idea was to mount the filter vertically right in front of the cooler so lines wouldn't be long and complicated. That plan didn't work just right... too close to exhaust pipe. So I rotated it 90 degrees and mounted it inside the frame rail...It makes it a little more difficult to change the filter being horizontal and a little more messy... but with the proper prep I can handle the mess.... you can see in the pic below it's well above the pipe.

    The original filter I bought was a Wix 51269 but after some advice from a guru he told me it didn't have a anti flowback valve so I researched and found a 51622. A longer filter with the valve... and it gives me a little more filter media. (size does matter)

    51269.JPG 51622.JPG

    I mounted the the filter housing against the inside of the passenger frame rail with 1/4 hardware w/nyloc nuts... the mounting holes are actually inside the running board brace.


    here's a shot of the whole thing....


    So by now you see that I didn't use barb fittings and hose... I opted for SS braided hose and AN-6 fittings.. spoiler alert... prepare to spend some money here... this stuff ain't cheap. I know no one will probably ever see it but it goes with the theme of the truck... and it's stronger/better. There are eight fittings involved (well, ten counting the transmission fittings) and they might be the same or different for you depending on your mounting and hose routing. Another nice part is it does away with screw clamps... I hate those things. The -6AN hose runs 4-7 bucks a foot depending on vendor and the fittings are 3-12 bucks each again depending on vendor. Ebay is cheaper than local shops, but I like to keep the local guy in business so most of mine came from a local performance shop.

    Editorial note... IF you use braided hose.. this stuff will eat you... well maybe not eat you but will puncture you so badly you won't hold air... I strongly suggest you buy a Koultool ( It's a slick little plastic tool that helps you stick the braided hoses in the fittings... really it's handier than a shirt pocket You can buy a single for about 30.. the kit below for around 75 or a professional model for 150... most of my hose is -6 so I only bought that one and it's saved the ends of my fingers much grief and pain. One stick from the braid will hurt approximately 45 minutes plus you get blood on the braid. If you're plumbing the whole car/truck with SS braid it's a good investment. Check out their page. There's also a cool video on how the tool works.


    The rest is just plumbing. The output from the transmission is normally the front fitting and the input is further back on the transmission... here's a picture to show you the fittings on a C-6


    The route I chose (by suggestion from the guru and Derale's plans also) was out of transmission to filter.... out of filter to cooler.... out of cooler to transmission. And, maybe this picture will be clear enough to see it.


    The last thing that you need to do is wire up the thermostat switch... instructions are in the Derale package and it's basically a 12 vdc on/off situation...

    here's what Derale says.....


    That's all it takes to be cool (well your fluid anyway) and clean... Think it will add some longevity to the transmission and that saves money. The only thing I might consider is a temp gauge for the transmission but right now I'm not seeing the need... I won't be towing... the the cooler should handle high temps. Talking to another builder about heat, he suggested wrapping the exhaust pipes with the titanium exhaust wrap (with LR technology). The LR tech is Lava Rock, which gives it higher temperature tolerance.. should cut down on radiated heat from the pipes under the cab. Looking into that now. If I do it it might prompt another article.

    Boilerplate denial of liability statement… i.e. the fine print

    The installation of this device is something I came up with to prevent me from spending too many dollars on a commercial install, it is not patented, engineered or even perfect… it is what it is, a home made installation. I’m sure there are alternatives to this way of doing things... some even better/cheaper/easier, I just didn’t think of them or warrant them necessary... there are several similar units on the internet waiting behind Google for you to see/copy/build…(just like I did) This work was done by me and for me or by friends who were nice enough to help me out. I only ask that if you reproduce it give me credit for it and if you make money from it… give me my percentage.

    Since I have no way of knowing your level of competence, welding or cutting skills, mechanical ability or estimated intelligence, there are no guaranties or warranties either verbal, written or implied with this article. Along with this article I am giving you absolutely free of charge…that’s right ! FREE !!...the liability, total and complete liability for the use or misuse of these installation ideas will be yours and yours alone.
    It belongs to you with that in mind… I am in no way responsible for any damage, injury or embarrassment you may suffer from the use of these ideas. If it doesn’t look like something you’d be comfortable using… don’t build/use it. If you’re not intelligent enough to make that decision about your comfort level… ask a family member or friend.. but here’s a hint… if you have to ask someone… don’t build it !

    Pictures were made at different stages of construction and all assemblies in pictures may not be complete in each shot. I.e.. a picture showing ‘some parts’ only means that it was not finished, but I’ve tried to make the idea complete to the best of my ability. If you have questions or see mistakes or problems, let me know by e-mail and I’ll make the corrections if possible..

    Use these ideas at your own risk. Modify them at your discretion and to suit your purpose. Your mileage may vary, batteries not included, much assembly required... wait one hour after building to enter the water, additional charges may apply. not all applicants will qualify for advertised A.P.R., for ages 10 to adult…side effects are comparable to placebos. Do not take drugs when building or operating machinery. JUST SAY NO.
    Copyright . 2017 John Niolon, All International Rights Reserved. This document may not be copied or published without prior written consent of the author- jniolon @
    Campspringsjohn likes this.


Discussion in 'Transmission' started by jniolon, Feb 6, 2018.

    1. jniolon
      thanks for the feature, Ken
    2. Greywolf
      The only thing that would concern me with that setup is it may need an exhaust pipe heat shield. I don't think I would have set the filter that close to the pipe and above it. But the compact and overall "NICE" look of the install gets five stars from me!
    3. jniolon
      thanks GW... already planning on wrapping the e. pipe with some of that whiz bang header wrap under the filter/cooler
    4. Greywolf
      If the cooler fan blows downward (looks like it from here) the cooler shouldn't pick up MUCH heat from that location - and I saw you had a dual exhaust so the option to locate it on the other side of the frame is the same sitrep. Looking at it though - I kind of lean toward extra lines and mounting the cooler and filter OUTSIDE the frame box.

      The lines could run over the top of the frame rails (depending on if there was a lift kit, or holes had to be cut in the bed mounting rails, whatever...)

      See what I'm getting at? Fresh air...

      But I'm guessing you have a narrow bed, so the only body part to hide it in outside the frame is in the fenders. Not a good place, because of mud.

      * I think in terms of "BOX" truck beds, like the straight sides.

      The '89 ranger that I have been ignoring for financial reasons for example has an estimated 4 to 8 cubic feet of dead useless space between the outsides of the bed, and the inner usable area ON EACH SIDE...

      In front of and in back of the rear wheels is a lot of room, think: "Super Camper Special"

      A good man with a welder could mount batteries, water tanks, an RV water pump, an emergency camp generator, or who knows what in those places. Much less a transmission cooler! So yeah - not a slam on you, but an idea for a different kind of a truck.
      Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    5. jniolon
      thought about outside but battery box is just outside the cooler and e-brake cabling is on the other rail. It will be a down flow fan. I'll check the temps with an IR gun after running and see how they look... thanks for suggestions.. I'd love to find some room to hide a set of train horns/compressor/tank under there.. under the bed might do it:panim
    6. Greywolf
      Here's another suggest then - besides a train HORN, see if you can round up a set of crossing bells that run on 12V...

      The horn itself would make people jump, but when the bells go off they panic! And how many times have you seen people who were careless about how close to a crossing they stopped?
      jniolon likes this.
    7. GaryKip
      A Very well written description of a great idea. I 'm going to do the remote filter and coolers for both the PS and the C-6. Did you think that I'll need a fan if I install the cooler in front of the rad? I don't have any AC parts up there
    8. jniolon
      Gary, I ran a front mounted cooler for years in a '72 truck with a built 351W w/air... no problem did a lot of hauling also You should be fine... . But if you're
      concerned check with a AT man or call Derale, they have great tech guys there.
    9. Lmsheppard
      Do you know what the transmission case fittings are on a 1978 Ford C6? 1/8 NPS or 1/4 NPS?
    10. jniolon
      with it up front you should be fine without a fan
    11. jniolon
      nope... I'd check with a reputable transmission guy or a ford parts dealer but I bet it's 1/8
    12. 1978 FORD Supercab
      1978 FORD Supercab
      EXCELLENT Pictures and description! WELL DONE! I for one would like to see pictures of the Whole truck. :clap:anim
    13. jniolon
      there are a few on my homepage

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