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In light of oil cooler leaks...

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What are you boys running for an air to oil cooler?
I see offerings from ford racing and cooltech. Are there similar alternatives out there that can be done for less?
Curious to know from those that have taken the plunge...
 
captdistraction said:
I built my own.

I stacked the boss cooler with a sandwich plate, -10AN lines/fittings to a 180* thermostat, to a jeg's sourced (from MMR) cooler core.

Its...well, effective.
I'm running the FRPP stacked with the Boss cooler. I don't have the thermostat, but it's a good addition. The Boss cooler heats the water first and helps bring the oil up to temp sooner for street driving, but both work in series to provide oil cooling on the track.
 

ArizonaBOSS

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cloud9 said:
I'm running the FRPP stacked with the Boss cooler. I don't have the thermostat, but it's a good addition. The Boss cooler heats the water first and helps bring the oil up to temp sooner for street driving, but both work in series to provide oil cooling on the track.

Same deal here.

Although now that I have seen a couple "homebrew" builds using quality components, I'm absolutely certain you could replicate this for less money than what's on the market today. The real question is if you want to invest the time and build your own hoses etc. Doesn't look like particularly difficult work.
 
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Ok so many of you are still using the OE sandwich plate along with the leaks.
Interesting!

I'm thinking a short term/cheap solution is to bleed the system and run just water + water wetter...that way it's not a hazard.
But ideally, get rid of it all together so this whole problem is remedied.
 
If I remove the water/oil cooler entirely I could replace the radiator hose with one from a GT, then just use a typical oil/air cooler, right? I have never done anything like that before so I will wait till someone posts a fix with some pics.
 
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WinterSucks said:
If I remove the water/oil cooler entirely I could replace the radiator hose with one from a GT, then just use a typical oil/air cooler, right? I have never done anything like that before so I will wait till someone posts a fix with some pics.

That's correct.
Though like Steve (I think it was Steve) posted before, you'll want to use a thermo sandwich plate to control the oil circuit...this way, you don't extend the oil warm up times.
Essentially:

1) GT hose to replace stock hose
2) Remove water/oil cooler & replace with thermostatic sandwich plate
3) Install lines + oil cooler!
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
boro92 said:
That's correct.
Though like Steve (I think it was Steve) posted before, you'll want to use a thermo sandwich plate to control the oil circuit...this way, you don't extend the oil warm up times.
Essentially:

1) GT hose to replace stock hose
2) Remove water/oil cooler & replace with thermostatic sandwich plate
3) Install lines + oil cooler!

Just make sure you get the hex tool to remove the adapter...and get the short male-male nipple for the block. Most sandwich plate adapters use the nipple instead of replace it like the Boss cooler does.
 
Just looked at the 302S oil cooler install instructions, looks very straight forward, more so than I thought. I am curious though, does our oil/water cooler have a thermostat? is there a one-way valve in the lower radiator hose manifold assembly?

Parts list so far:
1. GT lower rad hose
2. GT male-male filter coupler
3. Thermostat sandwhich plate (might as well see if I can find one with fittings for oil pressure sensor also)
4. Air/Oil cooler kit
5. Oil pressure/temp sensor parts

OR, try something interesting and separate the radiator and oil fluids entirely:
1. GT lower rad hose
2. GT500 electric water pump
3. small water reservoir
4. Intercooler + piping

That way I am not running oil through fittings, hose, and a small radiator, all of which can be damaged and become even lethal to the engine and those behind me. And without oil pressure feedback I might not even know till it was too late. It also eliminates the chance of dumping radiator coolant, and I can find a flowmeter or pressure sensor for the intercooler to indicate it is running. And I could have manual control over the electric pump (or automatic based on oil temp, I am an EE so that part I can figure out). I don't track often, but if I ever did leak coolant on the track and it caused a crash I would have hard time sleeping for a loooong time. I would be tempted to just remove the oil cooler altogether in my shoes. I doubt I need it for street or 1 minute auto-x runs.

Thoughts? I suspect someone has done this before me.
 
TMSBOSS said:
Is there a sandwich plate which incorporates a thermostat? Would be nice to not add a thermostat in line with associated hoses.

Believe Steveespo talked about one. I don't know how I feel about it though, I believe it was 30 bucks or so. I would go with the Mocal remote oil thermostat, I have one but unfortunately I don't have a way of measuring the oil temp.
 

steveespo

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Brandon302 said:
Believe Steveespo talked about one. I don't know how I feel about it though, I believe it was 30 bucks or so. I would go with the Mocal remote oil thermostat, I have one but unfortunately I don't have a way of measuring the oil temp.
There are a few vendors on Ebay selling Chinese CNC machined adapters with 2 1/8" NPT ports for gauge taps and 1/2" running thread ports for -10AN fittings selling for about $35. I have run one for all of last season (11 track days) with no leaks or issues, have oil temp sender in the line out to the oil cooler port.
Since I plan on eliminating the Boss water to oil cooler I purchased a 180 degree thermostatic plate from Improved racing to allow oil warm up before flowing through the larger Setrab 925 series plate I bought.
For track use I feel this will be a very good system with overall weight being about the same.
Steve
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
WinterSucks said:
OR, try something interesting and separate the radiator and oil fluids entirely:
1. GT lower rad hose
2. GT500 electric water pump
3. small water reservoir
4. Intercooler + piping

This is what I *want* to do...just can't figure out a quick way to use the factory connectors on the filter side.
 
Grant 302 said:
This is what I *want* to do...just can't figure out a quick way to use the factory connectors on the filter side.

The odd plastic snap connectors? I am thinking those quick connectors cannot handle a lot of pressure, and the GT500 pump probably does not put out much pressure since it only has barbed input and output connections. So I think a braided reinforced silicone tube with a hose clamp might be adequate. I have tried looking for those quick connects that Ford uses everywhere (oil cooler, PCV valve tube, etc....) with no luck. The connections of the pump are 3/4", I am not sure what the O.D. is on the oil cooler. Anyone here have a measurement?

If anyone has a lead on the quick connects please share! I would prefer to do it right (make it look OEM), even if I had 100% confidence in a hose clamp being fine.
 
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WinterSucks said:
I would be tempted to just remove the oil cooler altogether in my shoes. I doubt I need it for street or 1 minute auto-x runs.

Thoughts? I suspect someone has done this before me.

I hear you on that, and I considered it as well, bc it is the "cheapest solution". However, running distilled water and water wetter is just as effective (while keeping the stock cooler). If you're spraying water out on the track, it's no big deal. That being said, I do understand your approach here because you're simply eliminating one other point of potential failure in the system.
 
boro92 said:
I hear you on that, and I considered it as well, bc it is the "cheapest solution". However, running distilled water and water wetter is just as effective (while keeping the stock cooler). If you're spraying water out on the track, it's no big deal. That being said, I do understand your approach here because you're simply eliminating one other point of potential failure in the system.

I am not sure how the guy behind will feel about that!

The problem is that water is supposed to stay in the radiator and keep my engine alive :) That is why I am thinking of splitting the water sources up. Even if I got a leak I could still get home and leave less water on the track. I am not sure that it will work out cheaper than the $700 air to oil cooler solution that 2012Boss302 posted. I am thinking the air to oil cooler would not work as well for AutoX with the lower speeds and time spent sitting in the line. But if the stock unit doesn't have a thermostatic plate that is something to think about adding in any case.
 
Found this informative bit on the Cooltech LLC website. It answers my question about the stock oil cooler having a thermostat or not. I am definitely reconsidering running the car in cold weather till I get a thermostatic sandwich plate or remove the oil cooler altogether. Maybe a block warmer, too. Anything to protect my baby!

"While an add-on Boss 302 OEM oil cooler can provide significant benefits at the track, it can be a bit of a liability on the street. The issue is that the presence of a second, non-thermostatically controlled oil cooler would substantially lengthen the time that it takes for the oil to reach a safe operating temperature. In our instrumented testing of a stock Boss 302, it took approximately 15 minutes of running before the oil temperature reached 150F. This is in ambient weather conditions of approximately 65F, so it likely takes much longer in even cooler weather. Some experts estimate that the wear on the rings of an internal combustion engine is as high as 0.001" per 1000 miles of operation when the oil temperature is below 170 degrees F. A lot has been written on this topic and there seems to be a consensus that cold oil can be as bad or worse on an engine�s longevity than super-heated oil. Now, this does not mean that Ford made a bad trade-off in equipping the Boss cars with an oil cooler but it does mean that it�s probably not good to be �jumping on it� until your oil is at a safe operating temperature which may be 15-20 minutes or more after an initial start-up."
 
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Basically, I'm of the opinion now that we are best served by ripping the stock part out.
It's a safety issue out on the track, and now we're being shown that it prolongs oil warmup significantly.

I think I'm going to go back to the GT setup and run an air to oil cooler.
I'm curious - any GT owners out there on the track and keep tabs on oil temps? What kind of oil temps are cars seeing without any sort of oil cooling?
 
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352
Cool Tech as well as others have documented on track oil temps over 300 degrees with the factory Boss oil cooler. Based on that, I don't think I would even consider tracking without a cooler.

Cool Tech also posted data that they recorded oil temps at one test session in the 270 range running just the air to oil cooler. At other test sessions they saw temps in the 230 range with just the air to oil cooler. Based on their testing, Cool Tech recommends stacking the coolers and changed their kits to reflect that.

Setrab sells air to oil coolers that have the capacity to handle the full thermal load, but I am not certain they can be mounted in a way that provides sufficient airflow across the entire core to meet the demand. It is likely that a significant portion of the core would be covered by the bumper.

Anyone ever consider replacing the factory hoses with the crimped on disconnects for hose with good old fashioned clamps? This could prevent 50% or more of the failures.
 
I think a big disadvantage of the stock cooler is that its heat-sink is bolted directly to a hot block, and does not have a lot of surface area to contact the oil vs an air-oil cooler. I am still not sold on the air-oil cooler yet, since I would be nervous about oil being pumped outside the engine and back. I have never seen one in person, are the Setrab units really beefy?
 

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