Cherokee xj transmission cooler

Cherokee xj transmission cooler DEFAULT

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Originally Posted by windle27View Post
i picked one up from napa. it was cheap and does the job.

very pleased
yep. i went that route and i love it. get the biggest one you can fit.

Originally Posted by 95' heepView Post
FYI the built-in radiator cooler are GREAT cooler even its rather small. I'd recommend you to hook the cooler in series with the radiator cooler.

the advantages of doing this that you can have the trans to warm up faster as the radiator can warm up the fluid. second, trans cooler in the radiator can transfer good amount of heat. think about it this way, you try to cool yourself in water, which work very well but not very much in air alone.
leave the trans in line with the rad if you live in a cold climate. but if your like me in someplace warm (like phoenix) delete the trans port in the rad. its like trying to cool off on a warm day by jumping in a sauna. i have a b&m trans temp Gage on the line going to the cooler, bypassed rad, one of the largest coolers i could fit with a taurus fan, and back to the trans. after all this the only time i overheat is when pulling a trailer up some steep hills and when running full throttle in some sand.
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XJ Cherokee Transmission Cooler recommendation?

JY coolers from older and newer trucks, often have better coolers for hauling and towing.

You may want to also salvage the hoses and fittings. JY cooler plus new hoses and fittings, sometimes cost is around the same as a B&M kit.

B&M coolers there are several types to choose from.

I prefer the Supercooler Stack Plate kit, with Low Temperature Bypass, which allows the transmission fluid to first warm up in cooler climates.

You may also want to consider the thickness of the cooler, e.g. 1.5 inch or .75 inch, placement and dimensions, coolers with smaller dimensions may have less air blockage.

AW4 Transmission normal operating temperatures are around ~180 deg. F. +/- Normal operating temperatures for the AW4 should be from around ~165 to ~185 deg. F.

Without a transmission cooler while under load conditions operating temperatures will often go above 185 .. and sometimes over 200, 220, etc. Higher operating temperatures shorten the life expectancy of a transmission.

Even with a cooler installed operating temperatures can exceed normal.

B&M cooler mounting guide:


cherokee transmission cooler

While installing my Boostwerks Engineering Comp Mount hidden winch, I found that the stock Jeep Cherokee transmission cooler hard lines interfered with my winch placement. In order to make room for my winch I needed to replace my factory hard lines with flexible braided hose so that I could relocate them out of the way.

Jeep XJ Hidden Winch Installation

I probably could have cut the factory line that was in the way, flared the new ends, and then added a section of rubber hose with clamps. This would have let me relocate only a small part of the line. But, this XJ is a hobby, and so I went all-in and replaced the lines from the transmission to the cooler. In an upcoming post I’ll cover adding an additional transmission cooler. This post covers converting the hard lines to soft lines without making any additional modifications.

Parts list for conversion

All of the parts came from Summit Racing and I chose their own house brand of PTFE hose and fittings. While the AN standard makes various brands compatible at the fitting, I don’t think the same is true between the hose and the fitting when assembling hoses. It’s best to pick one manufacturer and stick with it.

1SUM-220996-6AN PTFE HOSE 15 ft
15 feet of PTFE Hose for both sides of the cooler
Convert the transmission to -6 AN fittings
Seal the transmission side of the 14MM adapter
Convert top of radiator cooler to -6 AN
Convert bottom of radiator cooler push on to -6 AN
Front of transmission and bottom of cooler
Back of transmission and top of cooler
12AZ503HF-AN4-4AN Hose Separator Clamps
PTFE hose is smaller than normal AN hose
1VPE-17192Vibrant Performance Cushioned P-Clamps
Attaches hoses to factory brackets

Speciality tools

For holding -6 AN connectors during assembly
Non-marring wrench for -6 AN connectors
FRA-900666Fragola Performance Systems Hose Test Kits 900666
Pressure testing kit to make sure your fittings are assembled correctly
4000-6/50-FFDremel Toolkit with Cut-off Wheels
The quick change tool arbor with metal cutting disks is crucial
TDT230Fiber Reinforced Strapping Tape
For keeping the stainless braid from fraying while cutting it
B076Q7ZK19Hose clamp
Used as a cutting guide

Helpful installation videos

Before you begin, please watch this video of how to install PTFE fittings and then this one that includes a pressure testing demonstration. These videos are the basis for how I made these hoses.

Factory Service Manual

The 1997 Jeep Cherokee factory service manual covers the transmission cooler and associated lines on page 21-176.

AW4 Transmission Cooler Plumbing Diagram

I collected the figure above from a forum post, and the inset photo makes it a little more clear why I chose a 90° fitting for the rear and a 45° fitting for the front.

It appears that Jeep changed the direction of flow through the cooler in the 1997 model year. Diagrams online show the transmission outlet going to the top of the cooler pre-1997 and to the bottom of the cooler in 1997 onwards. However, in the 1997 FSM, there is one diagram showing the old flow style. My 1997 had the back transmission outlet routed to the top of the cooler and the front transmission outlet routed to the bottom of the cooler. I’d suggest that if you make these hoses that you carefully document which flow direction you have and make your hoses match.

There is also mention of an anti-drainback valve in the outlet side line. I found no evidence of one in my hard lines and so I didn’t worry about it in these new lines.

Useful Links

These links have a lot of useful information in them, and you should read them. The article from FourWheeler in particular has some great information about including an additional cooler. I’m planning on installing one as step two of this project.

Making the lines

This was my first time making PTFE hoses and with a little preparation it went well. These PTFE fittings require a brass ferrule that can be a little fiddly, and I didn’t have any problems assembling these hoses. If you are worried about making these, you can order extra ferrules in case you need to re-make a fitting.

Cutting stainless PTFE hose I used a dremel with a cut-off wheel to make the cut. Slide the compression side of the fitting onto the hose making sure that the orientation is correct. The flared bell end should be towards your cut. Wrap the location of the cut with tape. I found that strapping tape worked best and was thin enough to not cause problems. Put a hose clamp around the hose to prevent fraying and give you a straight reference line and prevent the tube from crushing. Cut with your Dremel.

I tried using a fine tooth hacksaw, a tubing cutter, and a cut-off wheel on my grinder and nothing worked as well as the Dremel. I found it was best to cut through the outer stainless first, and slide it off a bit, and then cut the inner PTFE second. After you are finished, use the tip of a pen to make sure that your inner PTFE tube is round.

Assembling PTFE fittings

Once you made the cut you can remove the clamp and the tape. Add the ferrule and then assemble the fitting. I used a set of aluminum soft jaws on my vice to hold one side of the fitting. I found that I needed to use a 19mm open end wrench to assemble one side of the fitting. Just like regular AN lines, it looks best and is properly seated when the faces align.

Pressure testing PTFE lines

Once I assembled my lines, I pressure tested them in water with a tool from Fragola. It’s a sealed cap for one end of your hose, and a cap with a Schrader valve for the other. You can then add 60 psi to your hose with a regular bike pump and submerge it and watch for bubbles. I found that with my hoses it took some time for the weep holes in the fitting to quit emitting tiny bubbles. My hoses held pressure overnight on my bench as well without any problems.

Installing transmission adapters

The transmission needs adapters to convert it to use -6 AN fittings. I’ve got a AW-4 automatic, and I needed two 14mm-1.5 adapters to convert to using -6AN. The transmission has some other adapters on it, and you can see them below after they were removed.

AW-4 transmission line adapters

You can see in the photo above the new o-rings that I installed on the adapters. I put a little ATF on them before installing them, and I torqued these to 30ft-lbs.

Jeep XJ -6AN transmission lines

Once installed, they should look like the photo above.

With hoses

With the hoses installed, they’ll look like this. I’ve used a 90° fitting in the rear, and a 45° fitting for the front.

Top of the transmission cooler

The factory transmission cooler is built into the radiator and is on the driver side. We’ll need to convert both the inlet and outlet to use -6AN as well.

Factory cooler line

My factory cooler line was seized and the compression nut would not spin on the hard line. I cut the hard line and removed the whole thing with a 6-point socket. You want to remove the whole adapter and not just the flared fitting.

Upper adapter installed

With the -6AN to ⅝-18 inverted flare installed we can see that we’ll need a 90° hose end fitting.

Line installed

With the line installed, we still have lots of room and good routing options.

Bottom of the transmission cooler

My photos of the bottom aren’t great, and I’ll try to get fresh photos of these.

Jeep XJ Transmission Cooler

The bottom hole doesn’t have much room around it. It seems like the most common approach to this is to leave the push lock style fitting on the radiator and use an adaptor to this. It looks like in order to remove that fitting you’d need to pull the entire radiator out of the Jeep. In the photo above, you can see the ⅜ EFI fitting attached to the factory push lock fitting coming from the bottom of the cooler. I had to bend the hard line just a couple of degrees so that I could get a wrench on the EFI fitting to tighten it.

Bottom Cooler Line

In the horrible photo above, you can see the cooler line in place on the bottom.

Finishing touches

Once you’ve routed the lines, you can add fuel line clips to tidy everything up. The Summit Racing PTFE hose is only 0.430 in outside diamter, which is really close to regular -4 AN. I used -4 fuel line clips to attach the hoses to each other, and then I used the factory brackets and new p-clips to securely achor the hoses.

Double check your routing to make sure that at full compression your upper trailing arms aren’t going to interfere with your new hoses and that nothing is going to rub.


I’ve been running these lines for a few months now without any problems. The installation was pretty straight-forward once I had all the parts in place. My original parts order included 90° for both of the radiator fittings and a straight fitting for the front of transmission. I didn’t like how the lines were situated and I swapped to 45° for that line and everything fits well now.

If you’ve got questions, please feel free to send me an email.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Transmission cooler xj cherokee



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ExclamationXJ Transmission Oil Coolers

This thread includes a thread started by chrisXJ which we had merged to keep similiar info together and save some search time.

In addition to the info posted in this thread .... there is also a collection of threadlinks a few posts further down.

As there is lots of thoughts on whys, why nots, sizes, line routing, bypassing stuff, cooler before heater, cooler after heater etc etc .....

How about a collection of info in the one thread including links to past threads and posts on oil coolers.

I'll start with this ......

The red and blue colours denote coolant temps,
The long thin pipes are the tranny line connections.

Last edited by carvesdodo; 03-02-2011 at 01:14 PM.



See... there's more to a vehicle conversion than simply swapping the steering gear to the other side!

Going by that pictorial display, the US version's auto fluids are "exchanging heat" in the coolest section of the radiator whereas, the Oz variant is trying to "exchange heat" in the hottest section surrounded by the engine coolant straight out of a hot motor... that's been well though out eh?

In a nut shell... if the coolant surrounding the transmission oil "heat exchanger" is at a higher temperature there can be NO reduction in transmission oil temperature, thus an external aftermarket transmission cooler should be considered a "must have" item for a vehicle getting lots of use in a multitude of weather/driving conditions, the ONLY benefit I can see with this configuration is a quicker warm up period for the transmission

Last edited by tazwegion; 01-12-2009 at 05:20 PM. Reason: cleaning up for sticky status


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Originally Posted by carvesdodoView Post
As there is lots of thoughts on whys, why nots, sizes, line routing, bypassing stuff, cooler before heater, cooler after heater etc etc .....

How about a collection of info in the one thread including links to past threads and posts on oil coolers.

I'll start with this.

The red and blue colours denote coolant temps,
The long thin pipes are the tranny line connections.

Very interesting there Carves....

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Got a new cooler on the way but when routing it should the radiator be bypassed altogether? i was origionally going to still use the radiator and flick the old cooler but now wondering if its better to run the coolers in series and bypass the rad altogether? Thoughts anybody? my head hurts?


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Great idea for a thread! I've added it to the XJ modifications sticky under "Oil coolers"



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Originally Posted by two dogsView Post
Got a new cooler on the way but when routing it should the radiator be bypassed altogether? i was origionally going to still use the radiator and flick the old cooler but now wondering if its better to run the coolers in series and bypass the rad altogether? Thoughts anybody? my head hurts?
Just my opinion .... but you need a gauge so you can see whats happening now ... and what happens after you make changes.

Factory stated "normal" temps are 50'c - 80'c ... Im getting average 75'c temps with two crappy factory aux coolers bodged together and the radiator bypassed.

Its only a temporarykeep it on the roadset-up ... and doesnt perform well in overdrive - on hills or towing ... Overdrive of course, is not the gear to be using in those conditions

I hate watching simplicity and reliability being ruined by bureaucracy and technology.

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