: Question about Catera's Oil cooler design and workings.



JoshinWV
10-08-09, 12:45 AM
Ok, most oil coolers are designed to be in the radiator. For some reason, this thing is set down inside of the engine block.... (Brilliant design) :hmm: So fast forward to today where I picked up my car from having the heater control valve, timing belt, and the oil cooler replaced to the tune of $2318.79 (cringe).

My questions are as follows:

1. Can the oil cooler be bypassed and modified to use an aftermarket cooler that I can mount in the front of the engine?

2. How does the coolant flow through this? Is it like a "U" design or does the oil cooler flow through this and then into the block's oil channels? My point is that if I can find a way to bypass this and NEVER had to have this happen again, I'm more than happy to look into it.

3. Does anyone have any pictures of this? I have a quick and dirty parts diagram from GMPartsDirect, but no real pictures of how it installs and how it flows.

Thanks in advance.

Also, I have an unused and unopened Felpro Head Gasket set. I thought since I saw the beautiful milky syrup flowing from the engine, that it was immediately a head gasket, which is usually what it is on other vehicles. My wife threw out the receipt and the only thing that they will give me is a merchandise card, so I'm willing to get rid of it for cheaper than you can buy it at Autozone (which is $282.99). If anyone is interested please let me know. I'd LIKE to get $250 out of it, but I am willing to negotiate.

- Josh

WGoins88
10-08-09, 10:51 AM
1. Yes it can, carefully however. You should use a cooler that is thermostatically controlled, meaning that the oil will not be cooled until it gets hot, so it will not be overcooled. Also if you do this, make absolute sure that all the connections are secured properly. If at all possible, have hard lines custom bent all the way to the front of the car where you want the cooler, and have them directly plumbed into the cooler. You can use hoses, but you have to use high pressure hose, and always make sure to double clamp them with good quality fuel injection clamps. The standard ones squeeze down unequally and can leak.

2. The oil cooler sits in a coolant bath, in which coolant flows through the fins on the cooler, thus cooling the oil. It is actually a brilliant design, but the problem lies within the poor quality coolers they initially used.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v125/MrHaun/af422f79.jpg

3. See above.

JoshinWV
10-08-09, 02:17 PM
Thank you so much, after having this thing replaced at a dealership, I decided that if it EVER happens again, I'll purchase one from Summit Racing and put in. Bending the lines aren't an issue. I have all the shop tools necessary to do the job. The oil cooler I saw was around $250 and that is sensor controlled with a fan which isn't a bad deal.

While I wouldn't personally say it's a brilliant design, it is an interesting one. I'm not sure I like the idea of if the cooler leaks, my coolant and oil mix. Personally, the only thing I want oil / coolant mixing to mean is a leaky head gasket and to keep the oil as far away from the coolant as possible (minus the head gasket).

elvin315
10-09-09, 05:53 PM
No experience with this mod myself but this owner took the time to document his External Oil Cooler conversion. I'd do it a little different but this is a good starting point. You might have to join this group to open the file but it's free and they have very knowledgeable and helpful people.

CateraOwners/Yahoo (http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/CateraOwners/)

http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/QJbPSuQFUWFoJtn9dvCT_G3c8u2TkzKwSicAsi1ELTxYRXhq73 0y7c0oOGKChJu3PzGtfBT50OZRIIiBMt3_fMyxvjWm8A/External%20Oil%20Cooler%20Install.doc

livebait
10-12-09, 05:10 PM
I took my oil cooler/heater completely out and replaced both lines with a flexible oil hose to completely eliminate the need for the cooler. My Catera has been now running without a problem for over two years. The theory behind this oil cooler/ heater is to actually heat the oil faster in colder conditions than it is to cool the oil.
This unit was designed and installed for the cold european countries. I live in Northern Canada and i have not had an issue with the complete removal of the oil cooler/heater. If you need any advice on this or any other repair please feel free to ask. I have a complete photo shoot of the complete engine rebuild on these as well. I have now got 4 Catera's in the family and love them. Any problem that comes up has always had a simple answer,
Take Care i hope this helps
Keith

tcurry
10-26-09, 12:51 PM
good afternoon livebait. is it possible to get the info from you on bypassing the oil cooler/heater for the catera? I love my car, however I do not love the fact that this part is $400.00 and labor is $300.00. We were hoping it was possible to bypass it, and when I saw your post, I was just so happy for small miracles. Thanks for any input you have.

My email is tcurry29@cfl.rr.com

tcurry
10-26-09, 05:49 PM
live bait, I am new here and I need the photos of how to bypass this cooler., thanks for your help. I love my catera, but not the price tag for this repair....and we live in florida, so no real need for this part if it can be bypassed. my email is tcurry29@cfl.rr.com. thanks again. I tried posting once, but maybe I didnt do it correctly.

normalicy
10-28-09, 04:50 PM
I took my oil cooler/heater completely out and replaced both lines with a flexible oil hose to completely eliminate the need for the cooler. My Catera has been now running without a problem for over two years. The theory behind this oil cooler/ heater is to actually heat the oil faster in colder conditions than it is to cool the oil.
This unit was designed and installed for the cold european countries. I live in Northern Canada and i have not had an issue with the complete removal of the oil cooler/heater. If you need any advice on this or any other repair please feel free to ask. I have a complete photo shoot of the complete engine rebuild on these as well. I have now got 4 Catera's in the family and love them. Any problem that comes up has always had a simple answer,
Take Care i hope this helps
Keith

I did the same thing. No problems yet once it was done right. I actually I did this because I snapped the banjo bolt connected to the cooler & needed the car too bad to not to reassemble the engine. So, I bypassed the cooler/heat exchange. I just cut the lines right above the oil filter after the bends where they were straight. I initially tried to just run a fuel line from one to the other (needs to be at least about 1' long to avoid kinks), but even double clamped, it popped off eventually (glad I noticed the black trail behind me & turned the engine off within seconds). I ended up having to flare the ends of the pipes with a flare tool. One note, the pipes are too hardened to just use the tool. I ended up needing to heat the pipes up red hot to do it. However, since I did that, the tube has stayed firmly in place. I'd like to do a hard line setup, but the fittings seem weird because I couldn't find them. Maybe they don't carry metric sizes at my local auto parts places.

Wheato
12-22-09, 01:26 AM
livebait... I have decided that it is time to fix my catera needs a engine oil cooler but I am looking to bypass the oil cooler.. Any information, pictures or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks you can e-mail at theglove_2020@yahoo.com

Leon3
01-01-10, 02:19 AM
Email me as well please @ thmpsnclr@aol.com

Thanks in advance