Project Tundra, Keep the Transmission Cool with B&M

We use Project Tundra primarily as our shop hauler and race car tow vehicle even though it’s really capable in the corners and offroad.  With its 500 plus hp TRD supercharged engine, it’s no slouch for power either. With its factory tow package, it is rated to tow as much as 10,200 lbs. We do use our Tundra for towing over the Grapevine to go to Buttonwillow and over the Baker Grade, sometimes in summer where it is over 100 degrees.  Unlike other trucks that often go tilt under such conditions, our Tundra has not had a problem.  However, you can always improve on something to make it more bulletproof.   We found that B&M has made a heavy-duty, high-capacity oil pan for the Tundra transmission and we thought that this would give us another level of heavy-duty bulletproofness to our favorite tow mule.

With the factory tow package, Toyota supplies a large transmission cooler from the factory, a heavy-duty alternator, and a 4.40 final drive ratio.  We don’t really ever tow more than 7500 lbs with our truck and we might have around 600 lbs of tools or spares in the bed so, we don’t currently have any problems with our truck’s transmission getting hot ever. However, there are a lot of people that might hitch up a big toy box trailer full of side by sides and dirtbikes and load the truck to its max GVW.  Or if you don’t have a tow package with the big trans cooler, for sure your transmission will get much hotter, in this case, you are definitely gonna need this pan. Or one day we might have to tow a big enclosed race car trailer near the Trucks limit.

The B&M pan is made out of thick 3/8″ cast aluminum, anodized black for corrosion resistance and additional heat dissipation.   It holds 3 quarts more than stock and has provisions for an in-pan debris magnet and a magnetic drain plug. It also has provisions for a temperature sensor. The pan is compatible with the stock Toyota super badass reusable molded pan gasket.  The tower you see sticking up the inside of the pan is used to confirm the proper fill level because the transmission doesn’t have a dipstick.

The B&M transmission pan has cast-in cooling fins to help with heat dissipation and to give the pan some additional stiffness and strength.

For the installation, we first drained the transmission fluid. We hate how stock Japanese transmission fluid smells like dead fish.

Then we removed the pan by taking off the 10mm bolts around the edge.  With the molded rubber OEM Toyota gasket, the pan came free with no cussing or prying!  We love this gasket.

2 comments

    1. An automatic transmission is a little different than an engine, the valve body is extremely sensitive to dirt and the fluid is prone to metallic and friction material contamination. Because of this, pans have the oil pickups higher than an engine and usually have magnets in the bottom. The idea is for debris to stay in the bottom of the pan.

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