Tow Vehicle

Posted on around 2003 by Dave

I joined a vehicle specific forum for the vehicle I own and did a lot of reading and asking of questions. From here I gained an insight as to what I should do in order to keep my van running smooth and to make it last. For my van the transmission temperature is very important and should be for any vehicle that will be towing. I opted for a larger transmission pan, this allows me to hold an additional 3 quarts of oil and give it more capacity to keep it cool. I also replaced ALL fluids with synthetic oil. My choice for replacement was Red Line Oil and Mobil 1. Of course do your own research as I am not selling anything nor am I profiting from mentioning these products this is purely from my research. I did however have to use GM's transaxle fluid since there is not a third party equivalent. After replacing all of the fluids I have noticed that full left and right turns don't bind the driveline and the van runs cooler and much smoother. A guy at our local transmission shop told me that in a dragster using all synthetic fluids can net you 12 - 15hp!

After having that done I added a transmission temperature gauge and cooler. For now I have opted for a single gauge monitoring the line temperature and the pan temperature. I will probably add a second gauge so I don't have to flip a switch each time I want to monitor one of the sensors.

Below is pictures of my van during the transformations. 2003 Chevy Astro AWD


Drivers Side


Passenger Side


Clear Tail Light

Clear Tail Lights

Hitch Mounting

CB antenna wire being hidden in pillar

By-Pass hose for transmission cooler

Transmission Cooler mounted

Close up of transmission cooler

In line temperature sensor

Transmission Cooler finished