HELP - Transmission Temperature Gauge
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Thread: HELP - Transmission Temperature Gauge

  1. #1
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    Erie, PA
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    Lightbulb HELP - Transmission Temperature Gauge

    Hi all,

    2002 Odyssey EX
    Goal: to install an aftermarket transmission fluid temperature gauge for towing purposes.

    I contacted GlowShift Gauges and they recommended I accomplish this via:

    The Transmission Test Port:

    OR
    The Stock Sensor Location
    + T-fitting:
    "This will allow you to keep your stock sensor installed, while also allowing you to install an aftermarket temperature sensor. "
    I have contact my local honda dealer and they were unable to provide the thread & bolt sizes of the ports (if one even exists) or even the stock sensor. I have searched online and cant find any information. I am trying to find if there is a test port and what size that bolt would be? If not I am trying to figure out where the stock sensor is and what would be involved with a basic T fitting to get an accurate temp read.

    WHY: I am in process of adding a trans cooler and ps cooler with extra magnafine inline filters on the lower pressure sides. I do NOT plan to tow with the vehicle often but will be making a cross country trip with the family for medical residency and want to cover all my bases. If my temp is crazy high ill know to stop and give the tranny a break (or maybe even drive at night - or whatever). Without knowing the temp i feel like i am towing blind.

    I would appreciate any help. Sincerest Thanks!
    - Jon


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  3. #2
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    Both of those approaches require tapping into a line somehow. What I did was completely non-invasive and easily removable. I attached bead style thermocouples to the OUTSIDE of the outlet and return lines of the transmission cooler. The outlet lines will give you the highest temperature, and the return lines will give you the coolest. Sump temperature will normally be smack dab in the middle.

    The way I attached the thermocouples was to run the termocouple wire through the firewall and find a metal portion of the transmission fluid line (rubber hoses don't give an accurate reading) and positioned the thermocouple bead against the pipe. I then put a dab of thermal mastic on the thermocouple and a small dab on the transmission line and proceeded to wrap it with aluminum foil tape. The aluminum foil tape has stood up to the high temperatures for at least 3 years now, and the thermal mastic (could substitute CPU heat sink grease) helps ensure good heat transfer between the wall of the pipe and the thermocouple bead to ensure an accurate measurement.

    I then just hook the thermocouple up to a handheld meter (like this). When not monitoring the temperatures, just disconnect from the meter and stow the wires (I stow mine in the lower bin in the center console). This method has worked quite well for me; I've done the operation on my other vehicles as well to monitor transmission temps during the summer, which prompted the installation of a trans cooler on one of them as well. The only item I've had problems with is a short on the connector that plugs into the meter; it needs strain relief on that connector or the constant bending back and forth that is inevitable will eventually cause a short. This is particularly important if you stow the meter in the bin with the thermocouples still attached.
    Last edited by webbch; 02-17-2017 at 03:01 PM.

  4. #3
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    Give Odyfamily a private messege as he has done several different ATF temp measuring because he also tows.
    Whoops, posted this before I read the above message from webbch, but still send a PM to OdyFamily.
    Buffalo4
    Last edited by Buffalo4; 02-17-2017 at 03:03 PM.
    2003 EX-L
    168k miles orig tranny Oct 2015

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  6. #4
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    This is a great idea!

    1. How close to the actual temperature do you think the outlet line will be?
    2. amazon has thermoprobes that are 6.6ft. Do you think this will cut it length wise to make it past the firewall?
    3. just to make sure - you are mounting these near both on the transcooler?

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmuretisch View Post
    How close to the actual temperature do you think the outlet line will be?
    The ATF outlet from the transmission is definitely the best place to monitor the peak temperature of the transmission. The ATF temperature drop will be practically zero when the probe is located close to the transmission.

    Dave
    2002 Odyssey EX Fern (Granite) Green
    Honda hood protector, stainless steel flex brake lines, Honda block heater, AC condenser screen, Zymol wax
    141,000 miles/227,000 kilometres; original transmission; Amsoil MV ATF since 79,000 miles/127,000 kilometres; Magnefine aux ATF filter; Honda aux ATF cooler; 18 drain and fills

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmuretisch View Post
    This is a great idea!

    1. How close to the actual temperature do you think the outlet line will be?
    2. amazon has thermoprobes that are 6.6ft. Do you think this will cut it length wise to make it past the firewall?
    3. just to make sure - you are mounting these near both on the transcooler?
    Like davedrivesody said, the outlet line will give the peak temperature. The sump temperature (where the clutches live) will be lower, so keeping peak outlet temperatures down will ensure sump temperature is good.

    As for the temperature accuracy, I don't have scientific results, but I think easily within a couple of degrees.

    As for mounting, I mounted my thermocouples closest to the transmission outlet and return lines, not the trans cooler, which is mounted in front of the condenser and radiator. I forget the length, but that length sounds like plenty. Like I said, just be sure to add strain relief to the connector end of the thermocouple, and be sure to get bead-style thermocouples. Self-vulcanizing tape (like this) works well for strain relief - just a couple wraps around the connector is all it takes.
    Last edited by webbch; 03-06-2017 at 10:58 PM.

  9. #7
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    I bought a gauge and plan to use a m18 adapter into the drain plug. I don't care about trans temp, more about changes in trans temp. So if I see it at 180 all the time and out of the blue is starts climbing toward 200, I know I have a problem. Easy and reversible.

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