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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Towing question

Hello all,
So I've just purchased a 2008 jeep commander with the hemi and of course I have some questions.
One of the main reasons I bought the jeep is to tow my camper. I'm gonna install a break controller and the jeep has the tow package from factory.
My question is, do I have to install an additional tranny cooler?
The trailer weigh's in at 2900lbs. I'll round off to 4000lbs once loaded which is more than I will ever load it with but I just don't want to destroy my transmission. I live in a very mountainous area so I just want to be sure.
Thoughts? Thank you
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 09:25 AM
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Does you vehicle have the Factory Tow Package, or was a tow hitch added later?

The Owners Manual will answer most of your towing capacity questions.

IIRC (which means take this with a grain of salt, confirm it), the Factory Tow Package did NOT make any cooling upgrades to the vehicle, that even base form the Commander has excess cooling capacity. The Tow Package upgraded the rear suspension to handle the loads.

Also go through the maintenance schedule and towing requires you to use the severe duty maintenance schedule, which will require you too change trans fluid regularly. Do it regularly and use the Correct/Certified ATF, NOT just any old ATF.

Best thing you can do to keep your trans alive is too install a trans temp gauge and monitor it and intervene if temps get to high, to bring the temps down.

The Hemi has a Hydraulically driven fan. The PS system supplies the hydraulic fan. The O.M. will tell you to use only a very specific PS fluid from the Dealer. There has been posts about cooling problems with Hemi's and it turns out to be the hydraulic fan wearing out and they are incredibly expensive to replace. So, I think a wise step would be to replace PS fluid regularly (even though the O.M. says its NOT necessary) and only use the superior PS fluid recommended in the O.M.

Replacing Power Steering fluid is easy, with the engine off and the front wheels up on jackstands, you disconnect the ps return line to the reservoir and route it to a bucket. Turn the steering wheel lock to lock will pump the fluid out of the system and into the bucket. Reconnect the line and fill with new fluid and turn steering wheel lock to lock to pump it through and get the air out.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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I'm planning on doing the PS fluid this weekend.
Yes the jeep came with factory tow package. I know it's rated for 7200lbs towing cap but I just want to know if I need to add an additional cooler with what I plan to do. I will be changing all the fluids but one weekend at a time, lol.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-20-2015, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commander hemi View Post
I'm planning on doing the PS fluid this weekend.
Yes the jeep came with factory tow package. I know it's rated for 7200lbs towing cap but I just want to know if I need to add an additional cooler with what I plan to do. I will be changing all the fluids but one weekend at a time, lol.
Honestly I would install one, as well as a trans temperature gauge for peace of mind.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyse7ens View Post
Honestly I would install one, as well as a trans temperature gauge for peace of mind.
Where would you mount the sensor for the trans temp guage ?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 02:03 PM
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The NAG1/W580A has an internal temp sensor, I don't know for sure, but I think the 545RE has one also. The Hemi would have the 545RE trans. There are OBDII devices that can let you read the trans temp from the internal trans sensor. Some are even Bluetooth device that plugs over the OBDII D connector and connects with your smart phone to read info from the car on your smartphone. So that is one option, but all the OBDII scanners get confusing and the advertising way over promises on their capability, very few people are happy with what they bought, thinking they would get more than got.

The best place to install a trans temp sensor would be the outlet line to the trans cooler, that would be the hottest fluid. Problem is, the Commander trans has funky connectors and limited room on the trans lines, its really hard to improvise something to splice in a trans temp sensor.

I installed my trans temp sensor in the pan.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Alright so it looks like I'll be installing a tranny cooler. Now for my next question.
I know that you can't over cool a transmission but what I want to know is what's the minimum cooling capacity?
I've seen some advertised at 9800btu all the way up to 45000btu.
What do I really want for my application?
So far I've decided to go with a "plated dual stack" as this is the most efficient design.
I'm considering a b&m unit that says it's rated for 29000btu.
Can someone shed a bit more light on this?
Also, how is it to install one of these on the hemi? Real pita?
Cheers
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 10:52 PM
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Not to contradict my Commander brothers above, but I was under the impression the Hemi's with factory tow package, DO have a transmission cooler. ...This excerpt from the factory service manual ---
[SIZE=5][SIZE=5]
COOLER-TRANSMISSION
[/SIZE]
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4][SIZE=4]
DESCRIPTION
[/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=2][SIZE=2]
The automatic transmission/power steering cooler assembly is located in the front of the A/C condensor and behind the front fascia. The transmission cooler is a heat exchanger that allows heat in the transmission flud to be transferred to the air passing over the cooler fins.
The transmission oil/power steering cooler assembly is equipped with quick connect fitting for the transmission oil and power steering lines.
The transmission oil/power steering cooler is serviced as an assembly.

---The reason I know this is because I'm about to replace the lines because mine just started leaking at the crimps.

BTW -- I regularly tow a 5000lb boat (see my profile pic) with tandem axles through the mountains and have never had an ounce of issues with the Commander or Hemi... I don't disagree cooling is better and Mongo/Luckyse is right about a trans temp guage would be an excellent addition and always stay current on Mx and Fluids. Not sure if you would need to add an additional cooler on top of the one from the factory...
[/SIZE]
[/SIZE]
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 11:37 PM
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Here is a thread on installing a transmission temp sender and guage.

https://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/...ead.php?t=5253

2007 Jeep Green Limited 4.7 Flex Fuel, RR 2.5" 4 inch Superlift coils on rear, 1.5" Spacers, Bridgestone 265/70/17, K&N CAI, Flowmaster, Diamond Plate Locking Trunk, Blue Ox Baseplate w/D-rings, "Get Lost 4X4" Front Bumper, T-Max 9000 winch, "Get Lost rear tire carrier, 30 gal second gas tank.
Second 2007 Jeep Green Limited Leather HEMI QDII VES Uconnect Flowmaster OEM Skids Tow Package

Maybe the two will meet up soon edit: they did , I now have 2,now gave 1 away...and got it back again.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xclnce View Post
Not to contradict my Commander brothers above, but I was under the impression the Hemi's with factory tow package, DO have a transmission cooler. ...This excerpt from the factory service manual ---....
Your are correct, you misunderstood what we said before.

All Commanders have transmission coolers, just about every car made today with an automatic transmission has a cooler.

Most Factory Tow Packages upgrade the transmission cooler to higher capacity one for the heat created by towing.

The Commander's Factory Tow Package does NOT upgrade transmission cooling (I believe, I might be wrong). Because the base model trans cooler is already high enough capacity.
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