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Old 04-04-2013, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default About oil coolers... Is it worth having one?

Hello!

I've been looking into installing an oil cooler in my 1.6 NA. I think it has been losing oil pressure just slightly when it's driven hard, and I want to keep the engine temperatures within spec. However I'm a bit worried about installing an oil cooler. The particular bit of kit I've been looking at, is the one sold by I.L. Motorsport!

I have this feeling there will be more chance for major failure, as well as.. I don't know really. Constant loss of pressure from the cooler system? Therefore I have a few questions if anybody knows the answer!

- What are the advantages to having an oil cooler?
- What are the disadvantages?
- Can the car still be street driven properly with it?
- Can the car be safely tracked with it?
- An oil relocation kit is something worthy of having? Is it reliable?

Sorry for the trouble, hope you can help with all my newb questions!
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:17 PM   #2
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Do you have an oil temp sensor?
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ThunderFox View Post
Hello!

I've been looking into installing an oil cooler in my 1.6 NA. I think it has been losing oil pressure just slightly when it's driven hard, and I want to keep the engine temperatures within spec. However I'm a bit worried about installing an oil cooler. The particular bit of kit I've been looking at, is the one sold by I.L. Motorsport!

I have this feeling there will be more chance for major failure, as well as.. I don't know really. Constant loss of pressure from the cooler system? Therefore I have a few questions if anybody knows the answer!

- What are the advantages to having an oil cooler?
- What are the disadvantages?
- Can the car still be street driven properly with it?
- Can the car be safely tracked with it?
- An oil relocation kit is something worthy of having? Is it reliable?

Sorry for the trouble, hope you can help with all my newb questions!
Do you track the car? If not, I wouldn't bother probably.

Advantages: lower oil temp.
Disadvantages: "added complexity", more leak points, expensive.

No to oil relocation. yes it can be tracked, and I doubt it has any effect on street driven.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:24 PM   #4
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I do, but it isn't installed yet. I was judging the oil overheating by the slight loss of pressure (we're talking, maybe, 0.5 kg/cm² loss after some hard driving through back roads). I reckon that would help me know exactly what temperatures the oil is at, and it will be installed anyway, regardless.

I still want answers to those questions though, even if it comes to me not installing a cooler at all!

And no, I haven't tracked my car yet. May start to in the next couple months, that is why I'm worried.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:26 PM   #5
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Hello!
Greetings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderFox View Post
I've been looking into installing an oil cooler in my 1.6 NA. I think it has been losing oil pressure just slightly when it's driven hard, and I want to keep the engine temperatures within spec.
Sounds like its time for an oil temperature gauge. Make decisions based on facts, you will be happier. Having said that, running the car hard for extended periods will significantly heat up your oil and make it thinner, so this could be part of the issue. What are you using for an oil pressure gauge? What grade of oil are you running and can you explain "driven hard"?

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However I'm a bit worried about installing an oil cooler. The particular bit of kit I've been looking at, is the one sold by I.L. Motorsport!
This thing? Oil Cooler & Filter Relocation Kit

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Originally Posted by ThunderFox View Post
I have this feeling there will be more chance for major failure, as well as.. I don't know really. Constant loss of pressure from the cooler system? Therefore I have a few questions if anybody knows the answer!
Yes, you will lose some amount of pressure due to the flow resistance of the core and the lines. What is the ID on the lines and fittings?

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- What are the advantages to having an oil cooler?
Cooler oil, longer engine life, longer oil life, slightly higher oil capacity

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Originally Posted by ThunderFox View Post
- What are the disadvantages?
Added complexity, more failure points, additional expense, possibly slightly decreased oil pressure and possible issues getting oil up to proper operating temperature without themostat.

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Originally Posted by ThunderFox View Post
- Can the car still be street driven properly with it?
Yes, provided you run some sort of thermostatic control. Notice that I.L. recommends this for a street car. Oil below proper temp can be just as bad as oil above proper temp.

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- Can the car be safely tracked with it?
Um, yes.

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Originally Posted by ThunderFox View Post
- An oil relocation kit is something worthy of having? Is it reliable?
I had the Thompson one, recently sold it. It was very convenient, but it was getting in the way of other things so I decided to sell it to someone who could use it. It all depends on if you have a hard time getting to your filter, etc.

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Sorry for the trouble, hope you can help with all my newb questions!
You really should search more, we have several threads about oil coolers.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:46 PM   #6
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Oh wow, that's a long reply... I did search a fair bit (the search feature didn't turn out anything, so I browsed around the forums for answers... In vain) but didn't find anything that would answer these questions. I guess they're likely obvious to most people that do need an oil cooler!

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Make decisions based on facts, you will be happier.
True, that! I always (well, mostly) do, and that is why I will be fitting the said gauge before the cooler goes in (if, and when it does)!

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Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
running the car hard for extended periods will significantly heat up your oil and make it thinner, so this could be part of the issue. What are you using for an oil pressure gauge? What grade of oil are you running and can you explain "driven hard"?
Could be. Let's say that, to reach this conclusion, I did about 25 miles of backroading fun, at an average speed of maybe around 40mph? And mostly in between 3000 and 5500 RPM. I was expecting the car to heat up a bit. The point was to test how the car would behave if driven hard, like on a track (where the speed is higher, i.e., more cooling, but also the RPMs are higher and the distances are longer).

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Exactly that thing! I am thinking of buying a smaller cooler though, 15 rows seems like overkill. A 10 row would probably do the job.

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Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
Yes, you will lose some amount of pressure due to the flow resistance of the core and the lines. What is the ID on the lines and fittings?
Can't really say, I've seen it live, they're maybe .5" ID on the lines. The fittings are AN10, that I'm sure.
I guess if I lose oil pressure, I'm not really solving anything, am I.

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Oil below proper temp can be just as bad as oil above proper temp.
I've thought that a possibility might be to install the cooler behind the radiator, in an attempt to equalize oil and coolant temps. It's only an idea though, I can't be sure if it will work, and that will have to be tested I guess.

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Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
Um, yes.
Sorry, that's how much I know about oil coolers...
I am a bit afraid that the pipes may blow on track, or something like that. I have turbo'ed a car before and chose to go with a coolant heat exchanger back then. At the same time, a similar project to mine which was using an oil cooler developed an oil leak (nobody ever knew where) which caused a fire and burned down the car. So... Yeah. A bit too afraid I guess, haha!

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Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
I had the Thompson one, recently sold it. It was very convenient, but it was getting in the way of other things so I decided to sell it to someone who could use it. It all depends on if you have a hard time getting to your filter, etc.
I don't really see it as something necessary at all, but it comes with the kit!
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