Heat is the single biggest killer of automatic transmissions. Part of the reason is that we ask a lot of these transmissions, especially when they are in a truck. Burnouts? Sure. Tow your buddy’s Impala to the shop? Sure. Donuts until you’ve gotten dizzy? Why not? And if you happen to have any 4L60E-equipped GM truck or SUV, then you are in the inevitable position of using a toothpick instead of a two-by-four. While GM did give it a steep first gear with trucks in mind, only the 4L80E – the electronic overdrive version of a TH400 – was meant for such heavy-duty tasks. For towing and gas mileage, the later 6-speed 6L80Es were a much-needed improvement.
The 2006-2008 Chevy Trailblazer SS was GM’s flagship performance SUV, so it was given an upgraded version of the 4L60E, known as the 4L70E, to sit behind the 395hp LS2. However, it is one of the most notorious killers of transmissions. When you are attempting to race and/or tow with this much weight, the little 4-speed doesn’t have a shot. I have high hopes of one day modifying my daily driven 2008 Trailblazer SS to surpass the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and other SUVs in factory trim at the very least. Of course it wouldn’t hurt to give some modified Jeeps a run for their money as well. Long before that ever happens, this painfully stock TBSS needs to be fortified in the critical areas. Step one was the aforementioned transmission.
At some point in the not-too-distant future this 90,000-mile truck will require a tranny rebuild, but for now I decided to add a cooler and cross my fingers. Thankfully PCM of NC offers a completely plug-and-play option for the Trailblazer SS that mounts behind the grille or the brake duct in the bumper. With dreams of boost, the bumper seemed the best option. Features of the kit include a high efficient stacked plate cooler design and high quality components. We clicked the upgrade button for the black braided lines, though the standard rubber lines will hold 250psi. The kit is complete with all the fittings, precut lines, brackets, and hardware needed for installation with a price tag under $300 (base price is $229.45).
Since I was without a shop or even a garage to work out of at the time, Kyle Miller at AntiVenom Racing was happy to lend a hand. Follow along with this simple, two-hour install that will keep a tranny in check.
Sources: AntiVenom Racing http://antivenomefi.com/