would this work as an oil cooler?? see pic.


Jan 11, 2006
ok, i am rebuilding my 90 and i believe in overkill when it comes to cooling. i bought a new black magic fan and a new all aluminum radiator. i saw this item and was wondering if it can be used as an oil cooler instead of a transmission cooler. only problem is i can't find the specs showing the diameter of the inlets / tubes. i think it can definitely hold up to the internal pressure and heat, so my only concern is restriction of oil flow and dropping my oil pressure - creating a bottleneck in other words. any input?
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Why recreate the wheel? There are so many good oil coolers that are designed to be oil coolers -- especially for someone that 'believes in overkill when it comes to cooling'.

FRPP part number M6642-S101 -- a great, stacked plate cooler for the 5.0L. I fitted one to the 5.0L in my Volvo - works exceptionally well. A bit over $100 for everything you need.

If you're serious about 'overkill' - a couple of thoughts. 1) Mount the oil cooler where the hot air off of it DOES NOT flow back into the radiator. Mine's down low in the front of the car. A small separate fan (6"-8") will be needed for low speed air flow. 2) I'd reconsider your fan choice. The nick-name for them is Black Tragic because many find they don't move enough air to keep the cars cool. People rarely complain about any of these -- Lincoln MkViii fan, SN95 fan, Taurus 3.8L V6 fan, SPAL dual 11" fan. 3) Control your fan with one of these - www.dccontrol.com .
black tragic? i did alot of research on the whole lincoln/taurus/sable/black magic fan debate before i bought mine. i saw as many pro's for the black magic as cons. i also noticed that alot of people used the black magic fan on cars with radical setups that were way too much the the fan. the black magic works great for me. the temp controller that came with it works just fine if you take the time to set it properly. also i looked up the specs for the fan and i took its limitations into consideration and so far it works perfectly. i'd rather buy a complete kit then buy one part from here and another part from somewhere else if possible. i agree that i need to mount the cooler away from the hot air from the radiator and that is where the whole problem comes into play. i have an oil cooler now but it one of the old types and the sandwich adapter is very thick. since then they have come out with several models that have a much thinner adapter and that is one of my needs. the cooler works fine as is but it is several years old and i want to replace it with a better working type while i have the radiator out. i usually change the oil cooler lines once a year as a matter of maintenance. i have very limited room behind the rad, and if i mount it in front of the rad it will of course create the problem i am trying to avoid. this type cooler i am looking at will allow me to mount it exactly where i want it with no fabrication / cutting etc. i would rather find a cooler specifically for oil that is a similar shape and size but have not found one yet. so... i wonder if i do have to mount a new cooler in front of the rad - how much distance between the two is recommended? i would think that a minimum of two inches would allow a good amount of heat to dissipate since the front grill allows alot of air to flow, but i would rather be sure. are the stacked oil coolers smaller in surface area than the typical tube/fin design? they also look like they might not be as prone to damage. anyway, thanks for the input - these forums are a great resource for ideas.
"i have very limited room behind the rad"

You don't want to mount it behind the rad in any event -- think about it; the temp. of air hitting the oil cooler coming off the rad is gonna be hot; it isn't gonna be cool enough to remove much heat from the oil.

Also, simply spacing the oil cooler away from the rad, but still placing it in front of the rad won't accomplish what you think it will. That hot air off the oil cooler will still move across the radiator -- as all the air entering that air flow path will. You have to locate it elsewhere.

Here's a couple of pics of mine - down low behind an opening in my front air dam. You can clearly see the aluminum gutter flashing shield behind the cooler which keeps hot air from re-entering the rad/condenser -- it forces the air hot air off the cooler under the bottom of the car. With the bumper/air dam on, the cooler sits behind the opening in the lower air dam...
The stacked plate unit allows for more heat transfer for less surface area - so yes, they are smaller for a given amount of heat transfer. And they are self limiting in terms of temps -- overcooling is a problem with oil coolers. You should add an oil temp gauge - you want operating temps no lower than 200F. So if you go fin tube, you need a sandwich adapter that has a built in t'stat. With the stacked plate unit referenced above -- no additional t'stat is necessary. http://www.corral.net/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=12071&cat=500&ppuser=30684

As far as fabricating -- well, if you want a well designed/thought out system, and you're serious about overkill -- get used to fabricating. It's just a part of the process that can't be avoided.

As to control, if yours is working for you, great. I've mounted so many fans over the years with relay and adjustable thermal switch control. All I can tell you is I didn't know how archaic and ancient that control method was until I got a variable current/speed controller. SO MUCH better -- no comparison. And much easier on the charging system/alt/battery/fan motors. And, efficient - fan only turns hard enough to keep the car cool. And no 3X voltage spikes during start up. Only way to go - if you try one, you'll never run another fan with relays/switches.
I agree - those annodized pieces do look cool. I suspect, however, they're not nearly as effective at actually removing heat as a properly sized fin-tube or stacked plate cooler.

90LX - good luck with whatever you decide to do; I'd still stick with a more traditional cooler if I were you.
I wouldn't try it for a few reasons --- first, I don't know if that plate-type cooler is rated to stand the pressure it's gonna see from the oil (anyone know what kind of pressure the tranny fluid's under?); second, you have the same limitation with it that you do if you put an additional coil in front of the radiator. Since you're putting the heat from the oil into the radiator coolant, it's not really incremental cooling to the engine. You need to be certain you have enough additional capacity in the radiator to take the extra heat. Third - you don't get near as much heat transfer when you're using coolant at 180F-200F to try and remove heat from oil that's, say 240F as you do when you're passing air at 30F-90F through a separate coil. Temperature differential is much greater with a separate cooler; the greater the temp differential, the more heat you can remove.