Dual oil cooler, answer to overcooling - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community

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post #1 of 77 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Dual oil cooler, answer to overcooling

In doing research I come across how the dual oil coolers badly overcool the oil. The explanation is simple, the oil thermostat doesn't really shut off oil to the coolers, but provides a bypass and this is not sufficient. Shrug, TADT, cut out an oil cooler, switch to an expensive alternative.


So, in a thread on oil coolers, and low oil temps, someone linked to a mishimoto oil cooler sandwich plate. Nice looking piece. Slightly different layout. Looks like it not only provides a bypass, but restricts flow to the coolers. I dig the sandwich plate I purchased years ago for my twin cam, and sure enough, same thing, but not as nice as the Mishimoto.

Order one up on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Nice

Ordered a pair of little gauges
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Set up a little test.

conditions:
62-65 degrees [drops slightly from cracking garage door]
car idling, standstill
the oil temp gauge is too slow to react so the temp measurements are from a handheld non contact thermometer aimed at the oil pan. I have the gauge data, also.


results:

see for yourself. the stock thermostat is a POS, it is bleeding warming oil in just a few minutes, where the Mish. unit basically never does. While it is not that much different vertically, look at the time scale horizontally, there is nearly ten minutes for the stock setup to get across a given temp line, and that is without any air through the coolers. It will get worse when moving. The radiator fan comes on 10 minutes sooner.

At the end of the last test revved the engine up and measured again, the oil coolers do indeed get warm when pushed and hot with the mish unit. I will try it after it cools down again to see if the higher revs and force of the oil pump makes it flow more before the thermostat opens. It will still be far better than stock.

155 bucks all in[actually 136 , I used the stock sandwich plate adapter threaded piece, wasted 18 bucks on the mish piece]
oh, and two m20 to 5/8 BSP adapters and a couple of copper washers,

will use the 1/8 NPT port for the temp gauge
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Last edited by exigegus; 01-04-2017 at 07:41 AM.
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post #2 of 77 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, it reverses the flow through the oil coolers, but they are symmetric [which is wrong, but anyway] so it makes no difference
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post #3 of 77 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 07:17 PM
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So looking at when the oil pan reaches 150... Looks like a 5 min difference (which represents best case scenario)?
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post #4 of 77 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Actually it is more like 8 or 9, but remember that it will get much worse when moving, the factory will cool the oil much more than the Mish unit since the Mish unit is flowing virtually no oil at any point

would you not take 8 or 9 miles more fun ?
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post #5 of 77 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 11:37 PM
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This seems good. Will you be able to drive the car and report again?

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post #6 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 01:13 AM
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How is keeping cold oil in the oil loop a solution? A hotter t-stat like your 185F Mishimoto plate is only delaying the return of 60C/140F oil (that's too low), not getting rid of it. By keeping twin oil coolers, you are not solving the problem which is twin oil coolers are overkill in these cars!

The solution is to get rid of cold oil in the loop altogether, not restrict it. So, gut the 27 feet of oil line to the coolers, do away with the additional 3.7 quarts of oil in that loop which aren't even purged during oil changes, and mount a single cooler in the rear.

There's nothing expensive about this alternative if you reuse the OEM cooler as I did. I spent less than you did and could have done it for nothing if I didn't need 4 new BSP fittings.

Plenty of us run a single oil cooler in the rear. Shorter oil loop = faster time to oil operating temp = higher oil pressure = stable oil temp.

Last edited by +TSRAGR; 01-01-2017 at 01:19 AM.
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post #7 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 01:55 AM
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I think the best answer to oil cooling/over cooling is to replace the oil coolers with a Laminove heat exchanger and get rid of the oil thermostat all together. The Laminova heat exchanger will pre-heat the oil when cold and cool when hot...and...it gets rid of about 30 feet of oil lines in the process. All very good for this engine...any engine...

Quit trying to "Band-Aid" the problem and fix it!

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post #8 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 05:36 AM
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Does blocking off the back of the coolers from the wheel well side with some thin plastic, or aluminum plate help?
Just looking for a quick, simple solution.

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post #9 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 05:52 AM
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I wrapped one cooler, but have no temp gauge.

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post #10 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by +TSRAGR View Post
How is keeping cold oil in the oil loop a solution? A hotter t-stat like your 185F Mishimoto plate is only delaying the return of 60C/140F oil (that's too low), not getting rid of it. By keeping twin oil coolers, you are not solving the problem which is twin oil coolers are overkill in these cars!

The solution is to get rid of cold oil in the loop altogether, not restrict it. So, gut the 27 feet of oil line to the coolers, do away with the additional 3.7 quarts of oil in that loop which aren't even purged during oil changes, and mount a single cooler in the rear.

There's nothing expensive about this alternative if you reuse the OEM cooler as I did. I spent less than you did and could have done it for nothing if I didn't need 4 new BSP fittings.

Plenty of us run a single oil cooler in the rear. Shorter oil loop = faster time to oil operating temp = higher oil pressure = stable oil temp.
sorry, but no

the problem with the cars is an ineffective thermostat.

the point of the exercise is solving the problem without excessive work or excessive mods.

I am neither a proponent of Lotus engineers as demigods nor as buffoons. Most of the issues I have found with the cars are more related to manufacturing than engineering. It seems apparent that the engineers did the math and wanted dual oil coolers. Someone chose the wrong thermostat which keeps the oil cold. The second oil cooler does not keep the oil cold with a proper oil thermostat. When actually driving there will not be a loop of cold oil, the higher engine speeds and oil pressure will slowly move hot oil through the loop faster than an idle test, but proportionally better than the factory

As with most things I feel the simplest answer is the best answer. A rear oil cooler works well, but is beyond the abilities and mod desires of many. The Laminova is superior, but again expensive and not simple.


This can be done in less than an hour, including picking the car up and costs less than any other alternative. It involves little more than what is involved when changing the oil.

It mods the car in no substantial way so future owners do not have to concern themselves with your engineering prowess, or lack thereof.
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post #11 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by machine.gun.kelly View Post
I think the best answer to oil cooling/over cooling is to replace the oil coolers with a Laminove heat exchanger and get rid of the oil thermostat all together. The Laminova heat exchanger will pre-heat the oil when cold and cool when hot...and...it gets rid of about 30 feet of oil lines in the process. All very good for this engine...any engine...

Quit trying to "Band-Aid" the problem and fix it!
This is not a band aid, but it is not a reengineering

Preheating is most useful for the winter, when most of our cars are not driven.
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post #12 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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Does blocking off the back of the coolers from the wheel well side with some thin plastic, or aluminum plate help?
Just looking for a quick, simple solution.
In my opinion, while cheap, it is only partially effective.

And reeks of hackery......
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post #13 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 08:20 AM
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Exigegus, nice work and thanks for the information. Your research helps answer the design intent vs. actual results differential that exists with dual oil coolers, and it provides guidance to many Lotus owners for a simple fix.

I eliminated my Exige's dual coolers and installed a single rear oil cooler a few years ago. It proved to be a very productive mod and improved oil temperature management, with higher operating temperatures and a narrower band of operating temperatures. Though, it did require project planning, re-engineering, fabrication and wrenching skills that many Lotus owners don't have...as you pointed out.

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post #14 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 09:37 AM
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I'm also a big fan of the laminova solution, but it does requires enhancing the car's water cooling system and it is a more complex install. The results are excellent .. just my 2 cents.

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post #15 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 09:38 AM
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thanks for sharing this with us, let us know what your temps are on track ?
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post #16 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exigegus View Post
This is not a band aid, but it is not a reengineering

Preheating is most useful for the winter, when most of our cars are not driven.
But also very effective in bringing the oil temp up to operating temperature very fast...which could be very important when taken into consideration the cam wiping issue. And yes, the heat load on your radiator is increased, but very easily resolved by fixing another know issue of the leaking water tanks on the OEM radiators. What?!?!? You can fix two problems all at once by doing it right? Go figure...

Like I said...do it right and fix it all at once...

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post #17 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
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I'm also a big fan of the laminova solution, but it does requires enhancing the car's water cooling system and it is a more complex install. The results are excellent .. just my 2 cents.
I agree. To quote Billy Joel, "Get it right the first time".

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post #18 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 12:42 PM
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So in order from cheap and least desirable to most expensive and most desirable:

1) Physically block off airflow to one or both OEM oil coolers.
2) Replace OEM oil cooler sandwich plate (aka this thread).
3) Remove OEM oil coolers and lines, reinstall one OEM oil cooler at the rear of the car.
4) Remove OEM oil lines and both oil coolers. Install Laminove heat exchanger at rear of car and install improved radiator.

I think option 2 is a sound option pending further testing. It is the factory engineering, and appears to be easy and cheap aka a simply bolt on modification - I am glad Exigegus is breathing life back into the debate. It is something that can potentially easily help both the street and track folks.
Although they provide additional benefits there is a degree of magnitude increase in difficulty to perform options 3 and 4 compared to option 2. Finally option 4 is the ultimate answer to the issue.

Maybe my option is such because I (falsely?) think that 2008+ radiators don't have the same expansion tank failure problem that earlier cars have... ? If they do then I would lean more so to option 4 as being the only option to take for tracked cars. I keep my eyes open but I don't recall ever reading someone with a 2008+ car replacing their radiator due to failure. Maybe someone can help enlighten me so I know if I need to be concerned or not.

Lotus (accountants?) are not the only ones to screw this up. GM's C5 Z06 oil coolers and OEM thermostat are also a total POS. During cold weather the temp doesn't get to operating temp... in Texas at the track they can't do 20min sessions before oil gets to +300deg. I have three examples of friends that had to install 2 extra coolers + transmission cooler + larger radiator to keep heat at bay - on stock engine cars! This was HARDLY a bolt on fix for them either...


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post #19 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machine.gun.kelly View Post
I think the best answer to oil cooling/over cooling is to replace the oil coolers with a Laminove heat exchanger and get rid of the oil thermostat all together. The Laminova heat exchanger will pre-heat the oil when cold and cool when hot...and...it gets rid of about 30 feet of oil lines in the process. All very good for this engine...any engine...

Quit trying to "Band-Aid" the problem and fix it!
The problem .. in my experience .. with the Laminova is that you have no control with it.
With a Rad you can partially or fully cover it up if the oil is to cool on a cold day for example... so a certain amount of tuning is available.

You can get water restrictor plates for the Lams .. but they may impact on Engine water temp.

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post #20 of 77 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 01:56 PM
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The problem .. in my experience .. with the Laminova is that you have no control with it.
With a Rad you can partially or fully cover it up if the oil is to cool on a cold day for example... so a certain amount of tuning is available.

You can get water restrictor plates for the Lams .. but they may impact on Engine water temp.
In my experience, when properly setup you don't need to touch them. Consistency is the best thing about it. A hot or cold day doesn't make any difference. Probably the best modification I've ever done.

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