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To cool, or not to cool...


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...that is the question.

Whether 'tis nobler under the bonnet to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous oil temperature,
Or to take up coolers against a sea of centigrades
And by added cooling lower them.


I'm planning on putting a dry sump system in the little yellow thing over the winter. I'm debating whether to add an oil cooler while I'm at it. I don't have one now, neither do I have an oil temperature gauge. My oil pressure is high and very steady during spirited street use, even on hot hot days. Also, once upon a time, I had a Mini Cooper to which I added an oil cooler, and the darn thing would take forever to warm up in cooler weather.



A sympathy in choice.

Edited by wdb
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They do make thermostats for oil systems. If you do not know the temperature of the oil, why do you want to add a cooler? If you run synthetic oil 240 degrees is just fine. A cooler is just more weight and complication. Oil lines are points of failure. If you are overheating an oil cooler will reduce the water temperature, but you want the oil temperature about 220 to get the water out. 

Edited by CarlB
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Just going to dry sump will likely reduce the oil temp, not that it needs to be reduced. It seems most oems these days have oil coolers including the NA miata and 80s ford 2.3l turbo in merkur, tbird, and mustang, using an oil to water cooler sandwich under the oil filter with 3/8 lines plumbed in like a heater. This eliminates most of the problems with air-oil coolers (oil changes/draining, bulk, overcooling) and would help with a marginal cooling system.The net result is lower water temp. 



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Here in the frozen north, the Mocal thermo-bypass, reduced the warmup time from 35 min to about 5 when the temps are in the mid 50's range. Before the bypass I used a block off plate, in front of the cooler. The plate also was designed with a hinge that allowed the cooler to have about half the area uncovered, giving you some oil temp adjustment. My engine makes best power with the oil temp at 200F.

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Both @CarlB  @MV8 make excellent points.  In day to day road driving you are not going to get the oil temp warm enough to justify an oil cooler.  You are more likely to over cool the oil on cooler days. 


In a track environment the need for an oil cooler emerges.  I use the Caterham recommended modine style cooler on my CSR (it is branded Cosworth but was made by Mocal) which has the advantage of allowing the oil to warm up quicker but then links oil temp to water temp preventing an oil temp spike.  Caterham CSR260s are well known for their fearsome oil temps on track so it is something I closely monitor when driving in summer.  Its a smaller and less bulky package to install.  The disadvantage of this approach is that it will not be as efficient at cooling as the radiator style oil coolers on really hot days.  However, in the last 13 years there has been only one instance where I came off track on a 100degF day as the oil temp hit 250F after 20 minutes.  Otherwise, the oil temp has been staying within its optimal range. 


My suggestion is install a sensor for oil temp and see where you are operating at first.  My bet is your twin cam is operating at the right oil temps now.  If not then a solution like a modine might be a better half step to solve the problem than a full oil cooler.



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My car came with an oil cooler but I've always suspected that it was overkill even though it's quite small.  When I had the engine out this spring I replaced the sandwich plate with a Setrab thermostatically controlled one.  I figure that way it will cool the oil only if it needs to.  Seems to work fine.

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My '93 Sprint just lost all of its oil suddenly due to the failure of one of the oil pipes.

Sounds like just removing the cooler is the best approach.

Not having ever removed it, anything extra I'll need to remove/replace the sandwhich plate?

Hardware, anything else?

Thanks, wasn't relishing the idea of changing the pipes......



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It is a '93 Super Sprint xflow with standard wet sump and oil cooler.  Appears that it may have blown out where the tube enters the fitting, but can't see/say for sure.  Definitely not at the fitting.  As for the special fitting, haven't taken it all off yet......

Looking for diagrams for clarity.


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the gold colored fitting holds the sandwich plate to the pump

it's right above the filter

it screws onto the threads that used to hold the filter


if yours is like this, all you need to do is remove it and install a filter

I have seen some with male threads on both ends---if you have that style, you need the fitting from an another pump


edit---forgot I had one in the basement

this photo is the bottom side

remove filter-remove gold fitting-install filter


Edited by 7Westfield
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Thank you for the photo!  

I tried my 1" socket on it and it felt a bit loose.  

Don't want to mess it up, need the right/new socket.

Will check out your pegasus link for specifics.

The oil tube connectors on the pump are frozen immovable, probably been there since '93.

May end up cutting them just to get it all out.

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