Mag-Hytec Transmission Pan

Product Overview - Mag-Hytec High Capacity Trans Pan

Mag-Hytec transmission pans are cast from thick aluminum, feature a finned design on the underside of the pan, and increase total transmission fluid capacity. The thick aluminum casting transfers heat at a greater rate than factory stamped steel pans, the integrated fins act as heat sinks to remove heat from the transmission fluid, and the extra fluid capacity reduces the rate at which the average transmission fluid temperature rises. But how effective is the deep dish Mag-Hytec transmission pan at lowering transmission fluid temperatures?

Product: Mag-Hytec transmission pan for the Ford 4R70W transmission
Part # as tested: Mag-Hytec part # 4R70W-DD
Price as tested: $261.25
Manufacturer claims: Maximize transmission fluid cooling
Overall Rating:

 

Mag-Hytec Transmission Pan Review

The principle behind Mag-Hytec's extra capacity transmission pan is relatively simple.

Thick, aluminum casting with integrated fins acts as a heat sink, transferring heat from the transmission fluid to the ambient air. The material provides more efficient heat transfer than a stamped steel pan, and the finned design increases the overall surface area of the pan for even greater cooling.

Added transmission fluid capacity decreases the rate at which the average transmission fluid temperature rises. Consider two pots filled with water. If pot A contains double the water as pot B, which takes longer to boil? The same principle can be applied to transmission fluid - added capacity decreases the rate at which it heats up. The Mag-Hytec pan doubled the transmission fluid pan capacity of our 4R70W, from ~4 quarts to ~8 quarts, brining total system capacity from ~14 quarts to ~18 quarts.

According to Mag-Hytec, the relationship between transmission fluid temperature and transmission life is as follows:

Transmission
Fluid Temperature

Transmission
Life

175° F

100,000 mi

195° F

50,000 mi

215° F

25,000 mi

235° F

12,500 mi

255° F

6,250 mi

275° F

3,000 mi

295° F

1,500 mi

315° F

750 mi

Source - mag-hytec.com

This chart is somewhat subjective and neglects factors other than transmission fluid temperature that contribute to transmission wear. However, the takeaway here is that there is indeed a direct relationship between transmission life and transmission fluid temperature, especially once the fluid temp begins to reach the danger zone. In addition to the transmission pan's cooling effects, Mag-Hytec integrates convenient features such as a magnetic drain plug, reusable o-ring seal, and pre-tapped 1/8" NPT transmission fluid temperature sensor port. Installation was straight forward and not particularly difficult - remove the old pan, install the new. Mag-Hytec's pan was a perfect fit and we experienced no installation issues. The geometry of the new pan required the transmission/transfer case crossmember be removed in order to reach the rear bolts, but this wasn't a particularly difficult procedure. It is a minor nuisance when we go to service the transmission, but at least we've got a drain plug now, so there won't be any spilled fluid when we drop the pan to replace the transmission filter.

On the subject of transmission fluid temperature, we were able to monitor our temps using a programmer. The results were favorable, but not as expected. During the Summer months, when ambient temperature often exceeded 100° F, transmission fluid temperature reached an equilibrium state of ~195° F at highway speeds; the same normal operating temperature we'd experienced with the factory pan. In stop-and-go city driving, transmission fluid temperature peaked at ~215 with the Mag-Hytec pan; we'd seen the same spikes in temperature with the factory pan.

The benefit of the Mag-Hytec pan wasn't necessarily in the lowering of the normal operating temperature, but in the time it took to reach peak temperature. The Mag-Hytec's added fluid capacity kept the transmission fluid cooler for a longer period of time, and the temperature dropped back to normal operating temp more rapidly. Traveling up a hill, for example, the fluid temperature rose at a significantly slower rate than with the factory pan. Once the terrain leveled out, the transmission fluid temperature returned to normal at a faster rate. Ambient temperature and vehicle load play significant roles in transmission fluid temperature. A greater load has a tendency to heat transmission fluid temperature more rapidly, especially while accelerating. Meanwhile, the rate of heat transfer between the transmission pan and the ambient environment is directly proportional to the temperature differential - the difference in temperature between the pan and the surrounding air. While we may have not experienced overall cooler temperatures, the benefits of our upgrade were easily recognized.

LIKES

• Made in USA quality you can see and feel

• Reusable o-ring seal

• Added fluid capacity

• Magnetic drain plug (factory 4R70W transmission pan does not have a drain plug)

• Pre-drilled and tapped for common 1/8" NPT transmission temperature sensor

DISLIKES

• We were unable to achieve overall lower peak temperatures, although the transmission fluid took longer to heat up

• Installation required removal of transfer case crossmember - factory transmission pan can be removed, installed without removing crossmember

CLOSING COMMENTS

Impressed by the quality of the components and satisfied with the overall results. Well worth the investment.