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Old 07-17-2010, 12:04 AM   #1
dexterous
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Default Just installed a huge top mount oil cooler, how cold is too cold?

I frequently track my 473whp STI and as of late I have been battling some pretty high oil temps. During my last lapping event it became totally clear to me that I had to purchase an oil cooler before my next event or risk damaging the car.

Thankfully, I just finished installing a B-Line Motorsports top mount oil cooler kit. The kit is based on a 24 row Setrab core with speical brackets to sit in the hood scoop. The lines are -8 AN high temp, fire resistant, Kevlar braided hose with AN hardware on both ends. The lines also have fire shielding on the lower half since they are close to the header.

Of everything, I am most impressed with the lack of oil pressure drop. After watching the oil pressure under a number of conditions I have actually noticed MORE oil pressure in some situations which I attribute to the oil being cooler/thicker by 20-30F on the street.

Since the B-Line kit is designed primarily for race applications it normally comes with a standard sandwich adapter without a thermostat. My car is mostly a street car that sees occasional cold weather use so I opted for a sandwich adapter with an integrated 180F thermostat. Unfortunately the thermostat adapter that I received ended up having some kind of a machining defect which caused a major oil leak. To get the car up and running quickly I installed the standard non-thermost sandwich adapter which I plan on swapping out asap.

Its my fear that without the thermostat adapter my oil may actually end up being too cold. Previously the car would run anywhere between 175F to 195F on street/highway. I am now seeing temps as low as 167F on the highway and 170F during normal street driving. Is this too cold?

Here are a few picts:





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Old 07-17-2010, 12:18 AM   #2
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Anything over 200 is bad for the longevity of the oil and your engine. I believe you are just fine.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:03 AM   #3
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damn thats a nice looking one haha i need one...
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teiva-boy View Post
Anything over 200 is bad for the longevity of the oil and your engine. I believe you are just fine.
Actually its quite the opposite. If your oil temp never goes above 200 you'll never boil off condensation and other contaminates in the oil, which causes all kinds of problems.

So, yes you can have your oil too cold. Ideally you want your oil temps to be in the 212-220 range for a period of time to cook off the moisture and other things. If your temp reading is after the oil cooler you are probably OK, but it sounds like you getting readings before the oil cooler so its a bit too cool.

Last edited by seattle944t; 07-18-2010 at 02:45 AM. Reason: Typos - above not about, off not of
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:02 AM   #5
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Look into a thermostat prior to winter. Don't worry about it too much before then.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:11 AM   #6
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The thermostat is in the front engine oil gallery plug under the alternator. I guess thats after the cooler.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seattle944t View Post
Actually its quite the opposite. If your oil temp never goes about 200 you'll never boil off condensation and other contaminates in the oil, which causes all kinds of problems.

So, yes you can have your oil too cold. Ideally you want your oil temps to be in the 212-220 range for a period of time to cook of the moisture and other things.
Absolutely, 100% agreed.

t
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:34 AM   #8
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I have seen OEM oil cooler thermostats as low as 150F on non Subarus. I'd put a 180F one in there when it gets cold out.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teiva-boy View Post
Anything over 200 is bad for the longevity of the oil and your engine. I believe you are just fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattle944t View Post
Actually its quite the opposite. If your oil temp never goes about 200 you'll never boil off condensation and other contaminates in the oil, which causes all kinds of problems.

So, yes you can have your oil too cold. Ideally you want your oil temps to be in the 212-220 range for a period of time to cook of the moisture and other things. If your temp reading is after the oil cooler you are probably OK, but it sounds like you getting readings before the oil cooler so its a bit too cool.
You know what, I believe I was thinking of coolant temps. Keeping oil under 240 is the mark I try to stick by. have had closer to 270 on a race track during driving schools and lapping days... However for a daily driver not racing, it's not uncommon to be under 200 for the duration of your commute, at least that is what I've seen some days without stop and go traffic.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seattle944t View Post
Actually its quite the opposite. If your oil temp never goes above 200 you'll never boil off condensation and other contaminates in the oil, which causes all kinds of problems.

So, yes you can have your oil too cold. Ideally you want your oil temps to be in the 212-220 range for a period of time to cook off the moisture and other things. If your temp reading is after the oil cooler you are probably OK, but it sounds like you getting readings before the oil cooler so its a bit too cool.
This is wrong and bad advice. In our engines the top piston ring exposes oil to above boiling temperatures and this is where you will see most of your condensation boiling off. As far as block oil temps, I would hate to see my oil temps go over 220F as this is where viscosity tests start to lack. Keeping your average temperature under 210 = Maximum Life.



http://www.elephantracing.com/techto...emperature.htm
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:53 AM   #11
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you could alway put a thin piece of metal or something over the cooler for street use. and take it off when you go to the track.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteJM View Post
This is wrong and bad advice. In our engines the top piston ring exposes oil to above boiling temperatures and this is where you will see most of your condensation boiling off. As far as block oil temps, I would hate to see my oil temps go over 220F as this is where viscosity tests start to lack. Keeping your average temperature under 210 = Maximum Life.



http://www.elephantracing.com/techto...emperature.htm
There is only two things wrong with that chart:
1) Its talking about air and oil cooled 911 flat 6 motors.
2) The engine wear graph is taken from water temp vs engine wear tests.

So, yes, its correct for oil only cooled engines, or for water temperature on water cooled motors. It is not true for water cooled motor's oil temps.

Last edited by seattle944t; 04-03-2011 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:18 PM   #13
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Not log after I posted this I purchased a 200F Mocal thermostat from BAT Inc. Even that wasn't enough to keep the temps in a range that I thought were high enough for normal street use.

My car is not a daily driver and has never been driven in the winter but I do take it to meets and stuff. My solution (which I have not implemented just yet) is going to be placing a custom thermal blanket on the oil cooler that blocks off 90% of the fins. I will have it setup with snap buttons or Velcro so that it can easily be removed for track use.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:58 PM   #14
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Why dont you just cover it with a piece of carboard, or metal? You do not need anything fancy (expensive)
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:28 PM   #15
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Rig up a servo motor and a flap on your hood scoop and have a remotely operated hood scoop opener :P

For some reason that sounds awesome to me. haha
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:23 AM   #16
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How bout take it off and use the oem cooler/heater. It works just fine :} I run the **** out of mine with the oem stuff and have never seen temps above 200, usually stays around 180 or so.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyFucnSTi View Post
How bout take it off and use the oem cooler/heater. It works just fine :} I run the **** out of mine with the oem stuff and have never seen temps above 200, usually stays around 180 or so.
How is that possible? Even idling around town my stock cooler never kept me below 180. On a hot summer day it would go well over 200 just cruising on the highway or putting around town at 30 mph. Where do you have your temp sensor?
It's pretty well understood that the OEM heat exchanger is NOT sufficient for racing situations, many people see oil temps well over 250 F with it.

Think about it...the OEM exchanger uses the coolant to cool the oil. Your coolant usually hovers around 190, so how could coolant at 190 possibly keep your oil below 180?
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:28 PM   #18
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Ya I just installed a temp gauge with an oil plug mounted sensor. Cruising the oil is around 175-185, with ambient air temps around 55, so I can imagine how hot the oil will get on track. This is with a Koyo as well, so the coolant temp is staying around 180.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:15 PM   #19
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You guys are ignoring 1 very important factor, the brand/type/weight of his oil determines what temp range he should stay within. No one will give you a better answer than the oil manufacturer.
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyFucnSTi View Post
How bout take it off and use the oem cooler/heater. It works just fine :} I run the **** out of mine with the oem stuff and have never seen temps above 200, usually stays around 180 or so.
You obviously didn't read the whole thread.The car runs mid 500s to the wheels and is frequently run on a road course. Heat WAS an issue and I was afraid I was going to eat head gaskets and stuff. The real issue is trying to drive a car built for hot laps and lots of heat on the street where those conditions do not exist.
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:25 PM   #21
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Thought about hanging a kevlar cloth 'curtain' in your hood scoop? If you make a sturdy mount, wind resistance should push the curtain back and up at speed but still trap enough heat at low-speeds or while stopped.

...... its weird trying to think of ways to keep heat IN the engine bay
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:14 PM   #22
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Yeah, I thought about that but I think the wind will prove to be to destructive. Wrapping the oil cooler wont but any stress on the material.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:13 PM   #23
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How is that possible? Even idling around town my stock cooler never kept me below 180. On a hot summer day it would go well over 200 just cruising on the highway or putting around town at 30 mph. Where do you have your temp sensor?
It's pretty well understood that the OEM heat exchanger is NOT sufficient for racing situations, many people see oil temps well over 250 F with it.

Think about it...the OEM exchanger uses the coolant to cool the oil. Your coolant usually hovers around 190, so how could coolant at 190 possibly keep your oil below 180? Im using valvoline 50wt, Only have around 400 to the wheels, and my temp sensors in the factory oil psi sensor (top frt of engine). I do use redline water wetter in the coolant. Maybe thats y my temps are a little more steady (lower). not sure as ive always used the redline stuff. Besides the guys with sandrail buggies in vegas use bone stock ej257's all day with no oem cooler as they wont clear the frame. All with no problems or unusually high oil temps. hmmmmmmm
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Old 07-02-2011, 05:08 PM   #24
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Stock 04 STI no oil cooler temperatures go as high as 200 to 220 is this bad? ambient temperatures on Guam lows are 89 and highs are 99. I am debating if I should install an oil cooler.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuamSTI
Stock 04 STI no oil cooler temperatures go as high as 200 to 220 is this bad? ambient temperatures on Guam lows are 89 and highs are 99. I am debating if I should install an oil cooler.
No, not needed.
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