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Product Spotlight: Mishimoto 5R110W Transmission Cooler

Whether your diesel spends its life hooked to the trailer or makes frequent visits to the drag strip, Mishimoto offers a plethora of aftermarket components geared toward improving performance and aiding durability. In competition applications, where tens of thousands are invested in order to get a 7,500-pound truck to run with exotic sports cars, Mishimoto’s heat exchangers can work wonders in terms of keeping powertrain temperatures in check. Its bolt-in products help protect huge performance investments like engine and transmission builds. Such was the case for the TorqShift automatic in the ’08 F-250 test mule in this article.

Fresh back from being transformed into a Stage 5 transmission courtesy of Elite Diesel Engineering—and because the truck was in the neighborhood of 900 hp—the owner wanted to keep the five-speed 5R110 as cool as possible. This meant ditching the OEM transmission cooler for one with more surface area and core volume that wouldn’t require any modifications to fit behind the grille. For the trouble-free, direct-fit the owner was looking for, Mishimoto’s transmission cooler got the call. For a quick tutorial on how to make your ’08-’10 Super Duty’s TorqShift run at least 20 degrees cooler, keeping scrolling.

Your Investment Needs Protecting

001 Elite Diesel Engineering 5R110W Stage 5 Transmission

Protecting a high-dollar Elite Diesel Engineering Stage 5 TorqShift transmission is what this article is all about—and why the Mishimoto direct-fit cooler was chosen. Elite’s Stage 5 version of the 5R110W has long been revered for its ability to live up to its hype—and we’ve seen it hold up to power levels well north of 1,000rwhp and 1,800 lb-ft of torque. Highlights in any Stage 5 build include an Aermet input shaft, billet intermediate and output shafts, a billet Overdrive planetary and a billet Low/Reverse hub. The icing on the cake in this particular build is a triple disc converter from Diesel Performance Converters.

Mishimoto Supplies Everything But The Labor

002 Mishimoto 5R110W Transmission Cooler

For $369.95, not only do you get Mishimoto’s dyno-proven and real-world-validated 5R110W transmission cooler, you get everything required to install it. This includes direct fit mounting brackets, transmission hose, a leveling spacer (for use if you’re also running Mishimoto’s radiator), worm gear clamps, all mounting hardware and (of course) the stacked-plate heat exchanger.

Stacked-Plate Design           

003 Mishimoto Stacked Plate Transmission Cooler

Like the factory transmission cooler, the Mishimoto unit is of a stacked-plate design rather than tube and fin style. Stacked-plate heat exchangers are more efficient than tube and fin versions because the latter utilizes a tube winding through the core that has a low surface area in contact with the fins. Stacked-plate designs feature hollow plates to carry fluid across the core and turbulators within the plates to route fluid throughout channels so more fluid is exposed to the plate’s surface. The result is far better cooling capability.

A Taller, Thicker Core

004 Mishimoto Transmission Cooler Core

In using the same, stacked-plate design, how exactly is the Mishimoto transmission cooler superior to the factory one? Well, at 8.9-inches, the Mishimoto cooler’s core height is approximately twice as tall as the factory unit. Thanks to the added height, the 17-row, stacked-plate cooler provides a 121-percent larger surface area than stock. And at 1.25 inches, the Mishimoto transmission cooler’s core is also considerably thicker than the OEM version, which increases overall core volume by 63 percent.

Making Every Square Inch Count

005 Mishimoto Transmission Cooler 2008 Power Stroke

With the factory cooling stack already tightly packed behind the intercooler on the 6.4L Power Stroke, Mishimoto’s only available way of adding cooling capacity (i.e. size) to the transmission cooler was by making it taller. Luckily, all heat exchangers except for the intercooler sit at a slight angle at the front of ’08-’10 Super Duty’s. The relationship between the radiator and the non-angled intercooler forms a V at the bottom of each cooler, with the transmission cooler and power steering cooler dwelling in the middle of the V. Utilizing every bit of leftover space within the middle of that V was exactly what the engineers at Mishimoto did.

Same Overall Width

006 Mishimoto Automatic Transmission Cooler

Due to space constraints but also to keep its installation as simple as possible, the overall width of the Mishimoto transmission cooler is 33.5 inches, the same as stock. The supplied mounting brackets attach to the cooler via two 10mm bolts per side for solid, secure anchoring. However, the brackets should not be fully tightened up until the cooler is in place on the vehicle.

Adjustable Mounting Brackets

007 Mishimoto Transmission Cooler Brackets

These brackets attach the Mishimoto transmission cooler to the radiator and are a vital part in the installation process. By design, their extra slots and bends offer the ability to angle the transmission cooler slightly outward into the “V” that exists where the intercooler and radiator on the 6.4L Power Stroke nearly meet. We’ll reiterate that the supplied leveling spacer mentioned earlier is only required when the transmission cooler is installed in conjunction with Mishimoto’s aftermarket radiator. The leveling spacer wasn’t necessary in this case, as the owner is still running the factory radiator (for now).

High-Quality Transmission Hose

008 Mishimoto Transmission Cooler Hose

The ½-inch transmission fluid hose Mishimoto supplies with its cooler meets SAE J1532 specs and this particular line is good for up to 302 degrees F (and -40). Its maximum operating pressure rating is also more than adequate, at 250 psi.

Mishimoto Vs. Stock

009 2008 Ford Super Duty Mishimoto Transmission Cooler

As you can see in the photo above, the Mishimoto transmission cooler dwarfs the factory cooler in size (specifically and most notably, in height). By squeezing a taller and thicker cooler into place, the Mishimoto proves that bigger is better in terms of heat exchangers. In this particular application, where the torque converter will build considerable heat during the staging process at the drag strip, the hope is that a larger factory-style (stacked-plate) transmission cooler will suffice in a high horsepower setting without the need to add an auxiliary cooler in the bed. So far, the Mishimoto cooler has performed flawlessly, with peak ATF temps running at least 20 degrees cooler than they did previously.

Accommodates Thicker Aftermarket Intercoolers

010 2008 Ford F250 Mishimoto Transmission Cooler

Just like stock, the Mishimoto transmission cooler sits below the power steering cooler and is sandwiched between the intercooler and radiator. And despite its vastly increased height, the truck’s owner was pleasantly surprised to find that it cleared the thicker aftermarket intercooler (from Precision Turbo & Engine) he planned to run.

Heard of the 6.4L Power Stroke’s notorious leaky radiator problem? Mishimoto has a solution for that, too. Check it out right here.

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