towing with an 89 454, what coolers should I add

Ok, got an 89 GMC K3500 extended cab(124K) with a 454, A/C and a th400. Spent about 1500 so far reconditioning it, including a radiator and all hoses, fan clutch, plus usual stuff, plugs wires... and some other
stuff that has nothing to do with cooling.
I'm going to be towing a 5000 lb 30 ft trailer through the mountains, I should say 5000 empty, probably more like 7K when I tow it, plus about 1000 lbs in the truck bed.
My first question is should I get an external tranny cooler, if so what size? and the much debated question(i've read about 20 threads on this) should I bypass the radiator? The radiator is brand spankin new as of last weekend, and when I changed tranny fluid, it looks/smells good.
Second question, do I need to add an external oil cooler as well? What size? Also same question as above, should I bypass the radiator or go after it?
Ok third question, should i add a remote trans filter kit? I'm not sold on this idea yet, but it would be nice for mounting sending unit for trans temp guage.
And last, what guages would you add? Factory I have water temp, battery, oil pressure. I want to add trans temp, oil temp, and a tach. Also, any thoughts on the best way/place to hook up the oil temp and tranny temp ones?
I know a lot of these questions have been asked before and I have read through old posts.. but Doc, Dean, Gary, if you guys are out there, I'd love to hear what you have to say... I'm a newbie to the board but from looking through old posts, it's pretty clear who I should be listenin for
Thanks, Ed
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First a aux tranny cooler is never a bad idea. No need to go overboard in size but get one "rated" at about 18K or so (nothing is gained from over cooling it) When you hook up aux tranny cooler, they are always in seriies with tank cooler in radiator and you route it through tank cooler first then through aux cooler and then back to tranny. On the engine oil cooler, not a bad idea but not a must have. Asl long as you have proper engine cooling through radiator, it will be okay here. If engine tends to run hot you can get a bigger radiator or add a aux oil cooler for engine for a bit more insurance.
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89GMC wrote:

First idea. A tranny cooler is always a good thing. I've run one in my old truck and have one now in my 96 GMC 2500. I've alway prefered running it after the radiator. Always looked at it as a double cooler. As far as size I've always gone with the biggest that would hide behind the grill without blocking to much of the radiator.

Same Idea here. It never hurts. Depends though on how cold of an area you are going to be driving in too. Get the oil to cold and it doesn't flow well and makes it hard on the oil pump. I lost a distributor gear when I went to northern Canada in the winter. And that was all we could think of that caused it.

This is not as essential as the coolers but it does make it easier to change the oil filters. Also be careful where you mount them. I've had sticks and stones hit mine before and it can get messy. Still have the stock setup in the 96 though.

Can't help n this one. Still looking into adding some of these gages myself. Good luck with your adventure though.
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Thanks for the replies guys, I was thinking after the radiator was the right place(and recommended by B&M) but its always good to hear about someone who had success with it that way ya know? I'll let you know how the gauge thing goes, I'm thinking right now that I'm gonna get the triple pillar kit from summit, my dad has one in his 98 ram, with tach, oil/tranny temps and loves it.... guess I'm lucky there as I know someone who knows how to hook them up :)
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wrote:

Bad logic and nothing is gained and damage can be done because tranny will be overcooled especailly in cooler weather and it needs to get around 180 to 200 to do its best and keep moisture out of it too but there are those that think otherwise. No to mention the sluggish operation you can get at times with over cooling and a bit more fuel consumption at well.

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89GMC wrote:

First idea. A tranny cooler is always a good thing. I've run one in my old truck and have one now in my 96 GMC 2500. I've alway prefered running it after the radiator. Always looked at it as a double cooler. As far as size I've always gone with the biggest that would hide behind the grill without blocking to much of the radiator.

Same Idea here. It never hurts. Depends though on how cold of an area you are going to be driving in too. Get the oil to cold and it doesn't flow well and makes it hard on the oil pump. I lost a distributor gear when I went to northern Canada in the winter. And that was all we could think of that caused it.

This is not as essential as the coolers but it does make it easier to change the oil filters. Also be careful where you mount them. I've had sticks and stones hit mine before and it can get messy. Still have the stock setup in the 96 though.

Can't help n this one. Still looking into adding some of these gages myself. Good luck with your adventure though.
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<some sniped>

Was told to just hook up the cooler, - no rad thing. Anyway I ran it through the rad cooler then the trani cooler as per the instructions that came with the unit. Trani temp was ok towing but cold during regular driving. So I tried just the cooler (Mr Transmission guy told me to do this). Same thing.
What I ended up doing was running it through the cooler, then through the rad to heat it up a bit. This is a bit better as it now runs about 110 degrees during regular driving and cools quite well when towing (maybe 4,000 pounds).
If you are putting in a temp gauge (good idea) then just watch it and you may have to do as I (pre-heat the fluid).
When I bought the cooler (a Mr Transmission one) they only had a small and large one. I bought the large one and perhaps it is too big. I guess that's grounds for getting a bigger trailer eh?
-- Dave
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