I finally found a short sweep gauge that has a 200 degree mark. Only $37 w/ free ship: http://www.glowshiftdirect.com/Tinte...ure-gauge.aspx
It's been about 2 years since the trans was rebuilt.. the fluid and filter in it should be good still so I hate to pay $100+ to a trans shop to change it when it doesn't need it yet. It's also been driven at most 3,000 miles since the trans was rebuilt. I know the interval is usually 2 or 3 years but it hasn't been driven much.. so it hasn't had a chance to get dirty or the filter clogged.
If a trans shop will install a sensor to the pan (I can wire it up later) then that will be the ideal way to go. The one I used for the 2003 car I bought in 2008 with 150k miles on it (yeah, someone drove the HELL out of it!) I asked them to install a trans cooler and they said it had one and didn't need it. They meant the wimpy little OEM cooler. I guess they were trying to be nice and save me some money but I ended up doing it myself since they didn't seem to want to make a little extra dough doing it.
They did a good job on the fluid and filter change though, no leaks at all. My mom has that car now and it's still doing fine.. though she barely ever drives it. I doubt she's put 3,000 miles on it since she bought it from me in late 2008. It's due for a trans fluid change probably but she doesn't have the money. She barely does for oil changes or other repairs on it. I have been doing the repairs on it for the last couple years.... brakes, starter, alternator, coolant change. She buys the parts and I come put them on.
But I am leaving this area permanently (aside from visits of course) in my motorhome in about 2 months.. don't know what she's going to do then. My brother is not mechanically inclined at all nor does he have the money to pay for a mechanic for her.. and neither to I.
If I can find one of these for much less money... the trans shop should be ok with swapping the pan and installing the sensor since it already has has a tapped hole already: http://www.nasautomotive.com/PML_Cas.../ntp103-as.htm
Plus it's a deeper pan for more fluid... which equals better cooling capability.
I will check the trans tomorrow to see what it has.. but I think I will just use a tee in the rubber hose to the cooler for the sensor for now. I can always have a trans shop do a pan installation of the sensor later in a year or two when it's got a few more miles on it. I won't cut the hose.. just get a short piece for between the steel line and the sensor fitting tee. That way it can be put back later on without an extra splice. Not sure how hard it is to find those parts since those kits don't come with one it seems. Pricier ones from other companies do.