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Aftermarket Oil Coolers

3959 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  ereed011
Before I drop $400 US into a new oil cooler for my 400 I thought I'd see if anybody has any experience with using non-JD aftermarket coolers in JD garden tractor applications. There's lots of them available for other machines and vehicles and they're a heck of lot cheaper. I'm wondering if there's a comparable size unit that will work for me. I have the actual dimensions of the 400 cooler at home but not here at work.

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Never mind. I just bit the bullet and ordered a JD cooler. I hate paying that much but my 400 restoration project is being held up because of it and I want to get it done.

Army, I was thinking the same thing about a 400 repower project when I came across a few heater cores that are just about the same size, inlets very close. On the very back burner for now so it'll be a winter deal.
Kyle.. the problem is a 400 cooler needs to be able to withstand a lot of pressure. I found an aftermarket cooler that was approximately the right size but it was only good for 200 PSI.

Ya know, I hadn't yet thought of that! Sometimes ideas look good on paper but once applied...
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Hey Army,
Fluid from the cooler is being returned to the tranny reservoir, so I think (hope) the pressure is well below 200 psi. Maybe it's dumb luck, but one of my 400's has run for several years with a simple automotive add-on transmission cooler. Some day I will find time to repair and replace the OEM cooler, but for the time being the hose clamps and low pressure hose are holding. But, you've got me worried...

You should be good as long as the outlet of the cooler is never blocked as that is the one scenario that would allow the pressure to build up in the cooler. I doubt that the aluminum tubing of the stock cooler is rated at much above that 200 PSI figure for the same reason...

Note that the low pressure side of hydraulic systems is also where the filter is normally located, again to limit the pressure they encounter.

I have had a Hayden aluminum transmission cooler on my 332 for 2 or 3 years with no leaks. Hayden coolers are pressure tested at 300 psi from the factory.
It seems to me I have read that oil filters are only rated at 60 or so psi, so I wouldn't think that pressure would be an issue.
Harold.. do you recall what cooler you used?

I (ass)umed the 400's cooler would see the same pressure as the lines to the front couplers. Maybe a pic will help figure this out. Here's the diagram from my manual.

The new one came in today. Haven't picked it up yet so if a less expensive alternative will work I'll return it before I even take delivery. It's $500 with taxes so I'd have no hesitation telling Pete the JD parts guy to send it back.

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Hi Army,
I recall buying the simple cooler at a local auto parts dealer. It is about 5-1/2" x 12" x 1", and looks like the Hayden OC-1401 (http://www.bulkpart.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=2&Category_Code=hayden-cooler). Tom, is this the one you used? I installed this cooler as a "temporary" fix, and I am not suggesting that it is a suitable replacement on the JD 400. It would not have the same capacity as the larger OEM cooler (but is probably better than the typical old cooler full of dirt and smashed fins). Having a look on ebay, I think there are a lot of small aftermarket coolers with sufficient capacity, but for peace of mind, nothing beats Deere OEM.

Hoses at the cooler say something about operating pressure. Compared with other hoses, they are larger and soft (not reinforced), as is the case for low-pressure return lines. The steering control to cooler hose on jdparts is listed as having 250 psi "working pressure". Other high pressure lines on the JD 400 are speced at 1500 psi.
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Without measuring mine, I'd say it is close in size to th one I have. I also have a small radiator cooling fan mounted to mine.

I installed a transmission cooler on my 322 and 332. The details are shown in the technical archives.


I can give you a dozen reasons why this is better starting
with it only cost about $75 installed, more efficient, less expensive, more rugged, much cheaper, uses high pressure return hoses, cost effective solution, standard automotive parts, and it fit my budget (Small)

Just my check book's opinion,
George of Buford
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The cooler is tied into the return line, after all sources of resistance in the system. I would be surprised if it saw even close to 50 PSI. Kind of like a garden hose, if you let it run into a barrel, with no nozzle to restrict it, the pressure is almost nothing.
The cooler is on the return. The stock one is a simple folded tube that I am sure would grow to 4 times its size before popping if you fed it with the 750+psi line pressure.

Any tranny cooler would be fine as long as it was from a bigger car/truck. If you put something on that won't flow as much or more then the lines will, then it will see pressure and pop. Most heater cores would flow enough, but line size would be a pain to adapt.

Excellent info guys.. I had convinced myself that the cooler would see high pressure. Before I pick it up I'll see if I can find an alternative to the JD cooler that will work. I'm doing a ground up semi-restoration on the 400. An aftermarket cooler obviously won't be correct but there's some other stuff that isn't either. I installed new 26x12-12 All Trail tires on the rear, the exhaust was front exit originally and I switched it to side, and the rebuilt 532 engine is from a Bolens and has a different closure plate on the front.

Well, looking at the drawings of my Cub 782 , which has the same pump on it as the Deere tractors there are 2 different pressures in the system. The charge pressure is 200 pounds, and if it had a cooler on it , it probably would be in this line. The lift pressure is 500 to 600 pounds, and that is a different circuit.
Also the oil filter is not under pressure. The charge pump pulls oil through the filter from the rear end, so my guess is there is no pressure on a oil filter.
I would assume this is for the Deere tractors too ,since it is the same pump.
I'm by no means an expert, but that is what I see on the drawing.
Let me know if I'm wrong.
I have to see what I have for my 140.
As a side note, Tom, is correct that an oil filter is under pressure , but that is on a car system.
It seems to me that this is a suction system on the tractor.
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