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Paladin

Water to oil Cooler or Air to oil Cooler?

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Just putting this question out there for any tech geeks around us!

I am seriously considering installing instead of the 2 traditional oil cooler behind the car's foglight one or two or a combine water to oil cooler the likes of laminova or fluydine. I am replacing the radiator with a similar dimensions but thicker (going from 1.25" to 2.75") so coolant will receive a better cooling treatment. We are all aware that heat exchange between fluids is much faster/more efficient than air and when that day in the summer reads 90+ the air cooling on the track will probably not help that much.

 

From a financial and space requirements the water to oil cooler are way better since they dont need air flow to work. Anyone with an educated opinion on the subject please add your 2cents

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What were you thinking about cooling the oil with?

I've thought about doing this for my E46 M3 using ice water but that is going to be a pain.

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12 minutes ago, bigjae1976 said:

What were you thinking about cooling the oil with?

I've thought about doing this for my E46 M3 using ice water but that is going to be a pain.

I believe he intends to use a heat exchanger, the radiator still bleeds the heat from the car to the environment you just use the heat exchanger to get the heat from the oil to the coolant. 

These types of heat exchanger setups are great when you have packaging restraints. As long as you can keep your coolant cool (ie radiator has enough capacity) the systems work great at moving the heat. You still have to offload that heat and the efficiency of that depends on the surface area and temperature difference between your radiator/air-to-oil cooler. Typically, it's easier to shove a bigger radiator in until you hit packaging restrictions then you have to go to multiple smaller coolers.

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4 hours ago, BRZ4Science said:

I believe he intends to use a heat exchanger, the radiator still bleeds the heat from the car to the environment you just use the heat exchanger to get the heat from the oil to the coolant. 

These types of heat exchanger setups are great when you have packaging restraints. As long as you can keep your coolant cool (ie radiator has enough capacity) the systems work great at moving the heat. You still have to offload that heat and the efficiency of that depends on the surface area and temperature difference between your radiator/air-to-oil cooler. Typically, it's easier to shove a bigger radiator in until you hit packaging restrictions then you have to go to multiple smaller coolers.

spot on. that the thinking behind it. The new radiator is big enough and I have crossed checked from other friends that use it in their racing Z6Z06s that it dissipates heat very decently in even the hottest of texas days. The radiator will have an integrated transmission cooler and the heat exchanger will be connected on the cold side of it. The good this is that it is modular, so you can add as many exchangers as needed. 

this serves a dual purpose:

1. the oil heats fast enough as it is cooled by the radiator coolant 

2. the oil maintains a constant temperatue within 5-10 degrees from the radiator coolant

3. dont need to take the space behind the fog lights as I need it for other modifications

distilled water with water wetter for the radiator + a carbon fibre vented hood to create some downforce and get the heat out of the engine room should theoretically be enough to accomodate this. 

 

Vettes are really bad in terms of engine bay space

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3 hours ago, Paladin said:

 

Vettes are really bad in terms of engine bay space

come look at the bay in the civic next time out 🤦‍♂️

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Try it, but if you can't find anyone else who's done it, there is probably a reason.  Cooling oil with >200 degree coolant or water doesn't provide the biggest delta.  

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My RX7 has an oil cooler/ heat exchanger built into the radiator.   Problem on those cars is that they run stupid high oil pressures (>150PSI when cold!), so you have to ensure the oil temp is over 150 or so before you really rev the engine so you don't explode the guts of the heat exchanger.   when that happens, people usually just flush it out, cap off the lines, and run an external cooler.

the thing I like about it is that it helps regulate oil temps better.  it "warms" the oil in winter since I can see the water temp gauge move before the oil temp.   On the other end, it ensures the oil temp never gets crazy hot either.  my oil temp usually never goes above 220F and water stays rock solid at 190F all summer long, even in a draft.  In the winter, the oil will stay about 210 and water about 170-180F.

But that's a ~210whp car with a NASCAR sized radiator.  Then again, rotaries like to make heat.

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A couple of the Subaru's have them from the manufacturer, the Forester heat exchanger is a common unit that a number of FRS/BRZ guys will install (it's a relatively easy process since the motors are very similar). "Pre-heating" the oil is one of the side benefits, but the Forester setup doesn't have a ton of capacity and without an upgraded radiator doesn't help much at the track.

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The upgraded radiator already happened. I am waiting for a response from fluidyne on the BTU or KJ of heat disipated from their water to oil heat exchanger. I do agree in the winter it helps warm up the oil faster and in the summer maintains a constant delta between coolant and oil. 

@tyhackman15 my factory existing setup is exactly like this..the radiator has an integrated engine oil cooler..compared to the before 2011 models that had the dedicated oil cooler, my water and oil are slightly higher on operating temps..but both get there faster and when things get really heated up both setups, last around the same time before overheating

its not a matter if its working..GM is running this for years...its a matter if its working on a hot day on track which apparently it does but dont have confirmed evidence yet..hoping for some actual data in the next few days!

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Oh its super common for factory vehicles, but they don't really "cool" as much as they heat, as others have said.  Using it to actually cool is what isn't common.  Regardless, looking forward to results!  Anything that lets you have longer sessions is a win 

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My 2011 M3 has a heat exchanger on the DCT transmission using the engine coolant to regulate temps.

Stock, it seems to work well. The only issue I found is in hotter temps shifting affects coolant temperature which affects the engine oil temps and  and vice versa. My oil temps approach 300 in the summer heat and then affects shifting so I know my trans temps are getting high.

I think a heat exchanger would work great if you have extra capacity in your cooling system. If not, I'd imagine you'd be creating an even bigger issue. Which is why I am considering using a heat exchanger for my engine oil that is using a source other than the engine coolant. 

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