Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, Does external oil cooler lower engine temps? in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; As the title says...I'm sure somebody has some empirical results. I'm wondering if you have relatively high engine coolant temps ...
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    philistine's Avatar
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    Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    As the title says...I'm sure somebody has some empirical results. I'm wondering if you have relatively high engine coolant temps (ECT)...say 235F, would an oil cooler affect your ECTs and if so under what conditions?

    My thinking is that the oil lubricates and cools the rotating parts so if you are maxed out on radiator cooling, shrouds, exhaust pipes etc. Would an oil cooler bring the ECTs down?

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    The short answer is yes. All else equal, an oil cooler will result in lower coolant temperatures. When and whether you can see though will depend on a number variables. For example, in some circumstances the extra cooling capacity brought by the oil cooler may delay the temperature that triggers the fans, but you will not necessary detect that by looking at ECT readouts.

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    Quote Originally Posted by darkman View Post
    The short answer is yes. All else equal, an oil cooler will result in lower coolant temperatures. When and whether you can see though will depend on a number variables. For example, in some circumstances the extra cooling capacity brought by the oil cooler may delay the temperature that triggers the fans, but you will not necessary detect that by looking at ECT readouts.
    I understand there are many variables but do you think the oil cooling could reduce ECT by as much as 10-15F highway cruising 70-80mph? I just want to get a sense if there was a reduction in the ECTs would it be significant or negligible.

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    Quote Originally Posted by philistine View Post
    I understand there are many variables but do you think the oil cooling could reduce ECT by as much as 10-15F highway cruising 70-80mph? I just want to get a sense if there was a reduction in the ECTs would it be significant or negligible.
    I don't know how many degrees the coolant temperature reduction would be, but I think it would be much less than 10-15F. The cooling effect is indirect since the oil cools different parts of the engine than the coolant, and the oil capacity is less than the capacity of the coolant. The best way to reduce the ECT is a larger radiator. The second best way is a high capacity water pump.

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    235F cruising on the freeway? I would check coolant level, thermostat, make sure nothing is blocking radiator (maybe you sucked up a bag), and check water pump. That's where I'd start. What's your oil temp?

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    ^^^ What he said. Cruising on the freeway, even in very high ambient temps with the A/C on full blast, the coolant temp should be sitting at the thermostat setting. The OEMs design the cooling system to easily handle those conditions. If your coolant temp is 235F on the highway, something is wrong.
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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    To be clear...I just wanted to know if the heat balance of the ECT would be affected by an external oil cooler and if so...by how much. I do not have temps of 235F but was only using that temperature as an example - consider FI, driving through the desert 110F dry heat etc haha.

    Seriously though, I've been doing some reading on oil coolers and wanted to know the relationship it has with the engine coolant temp - the heat balance.

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    Quote Originally Posted by philistine View Post
    To be clear...I just wanted to know if the heat balance of the ECT would be affected by an external oil cooler and if so...by how much. I do not have temps of 235F but was only using that temperature as an example - consider FI, driving through the desert 110F dry heat etc haha.

    Seriously though, I've been doing some reading on oil coolers and wanted to know the relationship it has with the engine coolant temp - the heat balance.
    Assuming that you are talking about high speed driving with high ambient temperatures I think the more likely scenaro is that you find the need for an oil cooler to keep oil temperatures down. This is simply because the cooling capacity for the water-coolant system increases with speed, but the capacity of a cooler-less oil system does not increase with speed to the same extent.

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    Quote Originally Posted by darkman View Post
    Assuming that you are talking about high speed driving with high ambient temperatures I think the more likely scenaro is that you find the need for an oil cooler to keep oil temperatures down. This is simply because the cooling capacity for the water-coolant system increases with speed, but the capacity of a cooler-less oil system does not increase with speed to the same extent.
    One of the things I was thinking about was an oil/water heat exchanger such as the Mocal laminova. The oil would get to operating temperatures faster using the engine coolant then as the water-coolant coolant capacity increases with speed, it also gives a linear cooling rate to the oil.

    In my case I have the Alradco radiator and believe it could handle the extra heat and keep the oil temps much lower. I would have to look up oil filter relocation and find a good spot but at this point, just pondering the idea. Could run -10AN lines from a sandwich plate to the filter, to the oil cooler, then return. Of course that means finding somewhere to tap into the coolant lines.

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    Quote Originally Posted by philistine View Post
    One of the things I was thinking about was an oil/water heat exchanger such as the Mocal laminova. The oil would get to operating temperatures faster using the engine coolant then as the water-coolant coolant capacity increases with speed, it also gives a linear cooling rate to the oil.

    In my case I have the Alradco radiator and believe it could handle the extra heat and keep the oil temps much lower. I would have to look up oil filter relocation and find a good spot but at this point, just pondering the idea. Could run -10AN lines from a sandwich plate to the filter, to the oil cooler, then return. Of course that means finding somewhere to tap into the coolant lines.
    They make radiators that serve both as a coolant radiator and an oil cooler. From what I have read, they are not all that popular because they do not keep the oil as cool as an independent oil cooler. The oil and coolant do not reach idenitcal temperatures but the oil cooler draws heat from the coolant side, which is larger in terms of voume of liquid. I think where you are going is a similar setup, but with more capacity (volume of liquid) allocated to the oil side.

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    Holy shit, that is where my temperatures got with a radiator fan unplugged... you got an issue my dude.

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    Quote Originally Posted by darkman View Post
    They make radiators that serve both as a coolant radiator and an oil cooler. From what I have read, they are not all that popular because they do not keep the oil as cool as an independent oil cooler. The oil and coolant do not reach idenitcal temperatures but the oil cooler draws heat from the coolant side, which is larger in terms of voume of liquid. I think where you are going is a similar setup, but with more capacity (volume of liquid) allocated to the oil side.
    The oil and coolant do not reach idenitcal temperatures but the oil cooler draws heat from the coolant side, which is larger in terms of voume of liquid.
    I believe that the ECT ramp up to operating temperatures much faster than oil temps. My experience has been that at normal operating temps the oil temps are higher than ECTs. Therefore, during ramp-ups to operating temperatures, the oil is being warmed faster (with the heat exchanger) then at normal operating temps, the coolant would then cool the oil...oil temp>engine coolant temps.

    So the engine coolant system would have to work harder due to the additional heat load brought on by a water/oil heat exchanger. In the case of a larger volume radiator, the additional heat load should not be a problem. I agree with you that an air/oil cooler is more effective at reducing the oil temps but does not help with warming the oil during start-up either. An oil/water heat exchanger would then serve as an all-season component.

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    May want to do a cooling system flush... Something is wrong. I cruise around town in CA summer heat 100F+ and it never goes above 210-215. 235 would be very alarming to me.

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    He, the OP, does NOT have engine temps of 235. Post #7 clarifies this for those too lazy to actually read what he is saying.

    You already have a nice, aftermarket radiator that will handle all of the water/cooling and then some. Adding a sandwich plate and external/independent oil cooler definitely couldnt hurt. It would add to your oil capacity as well, which would also help keep the overall oil temperature down because there would be more oil to heat up. Lowering the oil temperature, as well as providing an external cooling source to that oil, will undoubtedly help keep the overall engine temperature down.

    Whether or not it is by a measurable or tangible amount is impossible to know without someone doing it and monitoring it. If nothing else, it should increase your oil's "life" expectancy.

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    Re: Does external oil cooler lower engine temps?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBoren View Post
    He, the OP, does NOT have engine temps of 235. Post #7 clarifies this for those too lazy to actually read what he is saying.

    You already have a nice, aftermarket radiator that will handle all of the water/cooling and then some. Adding a sandwich plate and external/independent oil cooler definitely couldnt hurt. It would add to your oil capacity as well, which would also help keep the overall oil temperature down because there would be more oil to heat up. Lowering the oil temperature, as well as providing an external cooling source to that oil, will undoubtedly help keep the overall engine temperature down.

    Whether or not it is by a measurable or tangible amount is impossible to know without someone doing it and monitoring it. If nothing else, it should increase your oil's "life" expectancy.
    Yeah I was hoping for empirical data...like a linear/non-linear curve. Something like for every 10F oil cooling, you get 2F lower ECT until you reach you a breaking point and no matter how much you cool the oil, ECT start to go up after a certain heavy duty cycle.

    With a such a powerful radiator, I'm thinking of using a heat exchanger for the oil/engine coolant - and yeah I would have to relocate my oil filter, hmm. Once my thermostat opens, it's a large enough heatsink to handle cooling the engine and should bring the oil temps very close to the ECT. So I could cruise around and have my oil temp around 200F under just about any load. If it's a heat exchanger then I don't have to battle for space to find a good air opening like the oil/air coolers.

    Something like the Mocal Laminar Flow Oil to Water Heat Exchanger part no. MOC-A43-330:


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