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Old 02-23-2013, 09:41 PM   #1
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Default FM Oil Cooler- Worth it?

I am looking to put an oil cooler on my fresh build before I go back to the track next year. I have been pricing out some parts and come to the conclusion that I don't think I can build a quality kit for much less than FM's kit priced at $355
Flyin' Miata : Engine/Drivetrain : Cooling : FM complete oil cooler kit

I want something quality and effective. When I was looking at the DIY route I still was looking at

Setrab cooler
MOCAL thermostat
custom AN lines (-10?)
custom brackets and mounting

All this came out to $300-$400 depending on the length of hose & size cooler.

I have a few questions:

1) Who runs the FM kit on their car? Good/Bad?

2) What size is it? To me it looks like the 13 row. Is that big enough for 250rwhp with some track use?

3) LOCATION? Their kit places it right in front of the oil pan down low. it seems like if you run an lower tray (which you MUST) then that thing wouldn't see much flow. Are the lines in the kit long enough for a more effective placement? I was thinking about the passenger side wheel well and remove the turn signal for track time. I would must likely do some kind of ducting as well as rock guarding on the back side.

Like I said before my setup is as follows:
-NA w/ stock undertray & GV style lip, CXRacing IC & Rad, coolant reroute
- Built bottom end w/ boundary street/strip pump (raised pressure w/ a few shims)
-225-250 RWHP
-HPDE Track days at limerock, CT (usually 75-90*F ambient) & Street use.
-Stock hood (soon to get FM Louvers on hot side)
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:07 PM   #2
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I didn't like the FM location either, prone to damage and not very effective without additional ducting which would make it even more prone to damage.

Here's my NB foglight solution which probably isn't too useful to NA owners without ducting or an additional hole in the bumper: Foglight Oil Cooler install

Like you said though, you won't build a quality kit cheaper than the FM solution, mine ended up costing 3x as much (some of it wasted on fittings that weren't suitable).

On the other hand, my custom solution works MUCH better than the FM solution (and I made it myself so I'm giving myself extra brownie-points for that too).
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 240_to_miata View Post
I am looking to put an oil cooler on my fresh build before I go back to the track next year. I have been pricing out some parts and come to the conclusion that I don't think I can build a quality kit for much less than FM's kit priced at $355
Flyin' Miata : Engine/Drivetrain : Cooling : FM complete oil cooler kit

I want something quality and effective. When I was looking at the DIY route I still was looking at

Setrab cooler
MOCAL thermostat
custom AN lines (-10?)
custom brackets and mounting

All this came out to $300-$400 depending on the length of hose & size cooler.

I have a few questions:

1) Who runs the FM kit on their car? Good/Bad?

2) What size is it? To me it looks like the 13 row. Is that big enough for 250rwhp with some track use?

3) LOCATION? Their kit places it right in front of the oil pan down low. it seems like if you run an lower tray (which you MUST) then that thing wouldn't see much flow. Are the lines in the kit long enough for a more effective placement? I was thinking about the passenger side wheel well and remove the turn signal for track time. I would must likely do some kind of ducting as well as rock guarding on the back side.

Like I said before my setup is as follows:
-NA w/ stock undertray & GV style lip, CXRacing IC & Rad, coolant reroute
- Built bottom end w/ boundary street/strip pump (raised pressure w/ a few shims)
-225-250 RWHP
-HPDE Track days at limerock, CT (usually 75-90*F ambient) & Street use.
-Stock hood (soon to get FM Louvers on hot side)
I priced my kit from Bat inc for $361 shipped to my door. The advantages over the FM kit:
-ever so slightly cheaper with shipping added in.
-You can get a non t-stat sandwhich plate
-You can choose the mounting location
-You can pick a Mocal or Setrab oil cooler of whatever size and form factor you like.

The kit comes with everything (including a pair of mounting brackets).
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Track View Post
I priced my kit from Bat inc for $361 shipped to my door. The advantages over the FM kit:
-ever so slightly cheaper with shipping added in.
-You can get a non t-stat sandwhich plate
-You can choose the mounting location
-You can pick a Mocal or Setrab oil cooler of whatever size and form factor you like.

The kit comes with everything (including a pair of mounting brackets).
How is the bold an advantage?
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:53 PM   #5
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I wondered the same.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:28 PM   #6
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Its cheaper. And you get a choice. Sounds good if you don't really care about the t-stat part of the deal.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:40 PM   #7
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Having a choice is great an all. But you're saying it like its awesome that the ss autochrome is avalaible so we dont HAVE to buy a manifold from ARTech.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:14 AM   #8
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I'm using the FM Setrab core and their brackets, it seems OK but the fitment is a bit off and pushes the undertray down, hopefully I don't hit it on anything.

Using a GREX thermostat sandwich plate because it had provisions for my oil temp and pressure senders, and it puts the lines out at a 45 degree angle which works for my car. I'm running -10 lines.

Even without ducting it has taken the edge off my oil temps in traffic and city driving. Not sure about track days yet.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
Having a choice is great an all. But you're saying it like its awesome that the ss autochrome is avalaible so we dont HAVE to buy a manifold from ARTech.
I am not seeing that part in my statement at all. I didn't ******* says it awesome. I tabulated a list of differences from the FM kit and called them advantages. You have made your point, now stop crapping on the thread, Mr. autochrome.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:59 PM   #10
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13 row is sufficient if ducted, not sure if it works if not ducted.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:00 PM   #11
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I haven't tracked my car, but didn't see any oil temp reduction after installing the FM cooler until I cut a 3-sided oil cooler shaped hole in the belly pan (and folded the flap up), which dropped highway temps by 20*.

C
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscar View Post
I haven't tracked my car, but didn't see any oil temp reduction after installing the FM cooler until I cut a 3-sided oil cooler shaped hole in the belly pan (and folded the flap up), which dropped highway temps by 20*.

C
Yeah, I don't think the FM location really gets much air flow through the cooling fins without ducting - which is why they recommend it.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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I ducted the FM cooler to the space under the radiator and above stock tray. It's only a couple inch gap but it seems to work well enough. Cooler is protected from rocks and other debris and it provides enough cooling that oil temps stayed happy at Hallett last year. Installed the temp sensor at the same time so I don't have any before/after comparisons but between the oil cooler and some minor radiator ducting fixed 95% of my track overheating problems.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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This thread needs more pics!

I am torn between:
-FM Kit with ducting from under rad (as mentioned above)
-BAT kit with mounting similar to genesplicer (but with headlight functionality). This one requires more fab.

-Above intercooler but before radiator. I have to complete my rad/IC ducting anyway. Just not sure the proper way to seal this setup and still provide proper flow to everything.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
13 row is sufficient if ducted, not sure if it works if not ducted.
Hussle: Would that be a Mocal "235 Matrix" or "115 Matrix" 13 row cooler?



I'm guessing 235, but I want to be sure before I commit stupid. I'm looking at the catalog and trying to find matching "Fluid Capacity" numbers to get equivalent sizes for different mounting options. You've proven what works, I'd rather not reinvent the wheel.

I'm loving this thread, keep going guys
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
Hussle: Would that be a Mocal "235 Matrix" or "115 Matrix" 13 row cooler?



I'm guessing 235, but I want to be sure before I commit stupid. I'm looking at the catalog and trying to find matching "Fluid Capacity" numbers to get equivalent sizes for different mounting options. You've proven what works, I'd rather not reinvent the wheel.

I'm loving this thread, keep going guys
235. the 115 is too small. 13 row that hustler is referring to is a 6 series Setrab cooler (basically the one in the FM kit), and the closest Mocal to that is the 235.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:09 PM   #17
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Don't want to sound stupid here but what about a front mount install to an oil cooler? I have a NB and am about to get an aftermarket front bumper cover and was also looking into the FM kit but felt the mounting place is rather less effective than desired. Just looking for insight
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:46 PM   #18
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Like pretty much everything FM sells, it is targeted at nice packaging and ease of install for folks with modest DIY fabrication skills. This comes as the expense of optimal performance. You can easily piece together a more effective cooler but you will be routing hoses, sourcing parts/fittings and fabricating brackets.

The FM kit is clean but it doesn't get much air (acknowledged in their own description). Duct some air there and things will get much better. Even unducted, mine dropped my track oil temps by ~30*f. This year it will be ferociously ducted along with the other heat exchangers so I'm hoping for chilly fluids throughout the engine all summer.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onelameNB1 View Post
Don't want to sound stupid here but what about a front mount install to an oil cooler? I have a NB and am about to get an aftermarket front bumper cover and was also looking into the FM kit but felt the mounting place is rather less effective than desired. Just looking for insight
The FM unit sounds like its fine, once you duct it to get some air into it. I've been pricing this stuff out individually and its also a pretty good deal as well.

Remember your radiator is trying to get your coolant temp down from somewhere around 190-210F and it takes a lot of cool/ambient air to do that. The Miata already has a compromised coolant system as is, I'm not sure feeding it 230F air from an oil cooler in front of the radiator is going to be very helpful.

Whatever you do to the front of your car when changing the front bumper cover, make sure all the air that goes in the "mouth" is ducted through the radiator.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Track View Post
235. the 115 is too small. 13 row that hustler is referring to is a 6 series Setrab cooler (basically the one in the FM kit), and the closest Mocal to that is the 235.
It's an Earl's cooler, not sure who makes those.
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