View Full Version : Recommendations for aftermarket oil cooler?

10-22-07, 12:26 PM
Howdy folks! Here's the car: 2000 Catera, non-sport, 69k miles. (Timing belt done at 45k under recall.)

I was preparing for work Friday morning, and I was about to leave when I decided to do my routine fluid level checks. As soon as I opened the hood, I knew there was a problem as the coolant reservoir was much darker than normal. I open the cap, and lo-and-behold, there's oil in my coolant.

The next things I checked were the oil fill and dipstick. Thankfully, there is no coolant in the oil. This fact, combined with extensive reading on here, leads me to believe that it's the wonderful heat exchanger failing.

After considering the options, and since I live in Florida, I have decided to add an aftermarket oil cooler and bypass the heat exchanger entirely. I have instructions on how to do it, and I have the technical knowledge and experience to do it with confidence...what I don't know is what oil cooler I should get.

If anyone has done this before, or if they just have a recommendation on what to get, please let me know!


10-22-07, 07:17 PM
Being a "if it ain't broke......." sort of guy I haven't done it yet but I have a plan for when I do. Summit Racing has a wide selection of coolers (http://store.summitracing.com/egnsearch.asp?N=700+4294888847+115+4294906639) to choose from and a sandwich oil filter/cooler adapter (http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?part=PRM%2D182&FROM=MG) for the Catera.

My plan is to remove the original cooler and cap the holes in the cover plate. Next I will bypass the inlet/outlet for that cooler with a looped hose or pipe to maintain the proper engine oil pressure. The mount the sandwich adapter to the engine, with its in/out facing forward, along with the hoses and oil filter. I'll use stainless steel sheathed hose to protect it from wearing through by contact with the chassis.

The size of the new cooler will depend on where I decide to locate it but it needn't be bigger than 8" x 18". The original is smaller but since it is immersed in coolant the heat exchange is greater, so a larger oil/air cooler is necessary to maintain the same oil temps. That's my thinking anyway. Also I'll choose an oil cooler with the in/out on the side to avoid using the elbow couplers you'd need with bottom or top inlet/outlets. Less chances of leaks.

A sample oil cooler for behind the radiator mounting and a sampler oil cooler for mounting on a fabricated frame.
http://static.summitracing.com/global/images/prod/large/sum-g4966.jpg http://static.summitracing.com/global/images/prod/large/prm-101_w.jpg

The Sandwich Adapter and some Stainless Steel Hose.


10-22-07, 09:10 PM
here you go ,goodluck

10-23-07, 09:52 AM
Thank you both very much. :)


10-29-07, 10:45 AM
Update: Spent the weekend working on the car.

The most difficult part of the job was actually getting the compression fittings to seal on the old oil line nipples 100%. One of them is sealed good, the other one drips a drop of oil every 10-15 seconds. I need to take it out, and tighten it down some more, but in the mean time, I've got her back up and running.
Engine temp used to run around half-way up the gauge. Now the needle sits right above a quarter of the way. Oil pressure seems to be about 5-7 psi higher at idle than what it was before.

Attached is a picture of one of my fittings using the old fitting + compression fitting + coupler + new oil hose fitting.

10-29-07, 02:40 PM
Uh uh buster. You have to give us more than that. What exactly did you do? Bypass the OEM cooler and mount an external cooler using the sandwich adapter like I described or did you attach the new cooler to the original points on the engine? Why was that coupler/adapter thing necessary? We need details.