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Stand-alone or integrated oil-cooler?

 
Old 04-25-2019, 10:37 PM
  #1  
sydneyACE
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Default Stand-alone or integrated oil-cooler?

Ok, so I'm sure this has been addressed many times, but I couldn't find any recent threads specific to my setup...

2001 C5
LS3
A&A T-trim
Manual trans (no trans cooler needed).

I daily drive this car, and track day maybe twice a year.
I live in Montana, and drive it when it's VERY cold.

What are you guys's recommendations for an oil-cooler?
I'm putting an aftermarket radiator in it before my next track day (probably gonna go with the shorty Dewitts (for SC ducting clearance).
Should I get the integrated oil cooler?
Should I use a standalone instead?
Thermostat in the oil cooler adapter?
Size of lines?

What's the ideal setup for a daily-driver that tracks once in a while?
On previous track days when running Mobile 5W-30, I was seeing oil temps in the 315* range, and idle oil pressure was a little scary (5lbs-ish on the original LS1).
I started running Rotella T-6 5W-40 (I know it's a "diesel oil", but it's a good weight and has lots of ZDDP, and is designed to hold up at high temps). Running the Rotella, the oil temps were about the same, but pressure stayed around 15 @ idle (when super hot).

I want to start running an oil cooler for more safety.
I have a Melling high-volume pump with the STANDARD pressure spring (zero-degree startups with 5w-40 oil makes for pretty high pressures).
Thinking a standalone with a thermostat or the integrated without.

What do you guys recommend? Stand-alone? Integrated? Both? Why?
Thanks in advance!!
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Old 04-26-2019, 05:52 AM
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sccaGT1racer
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I have used the Ron Davis radiator in 2 c5 road race builds and have had good results with the built in oil cooler. The oil cooler lines size are #10 an. Doug Rippie motorsports sells the radiator and the line kit for a great price. I have no experience with a blower car so your results may differ. 300 plus degrees is not going to end well for your engine. You could go a full custom route with a stacked radiator and oil cooler. (Fluidyne makes them) Ducting is going to help out a lot to force the air through the coolers. Don't forget hood vents to extract the heat from under hood.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:59 AM
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Matt_27
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Standalone with thermostat. I would definitely not run integrated with a blower since the hot oil will pull up coolant temps, and your radiator will be working hard already. Improved Racing makes a nice thermostat setup.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:07 AM
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My car used to get to 300+ every track day, also a double duty car. I've hit the 320 limiter once on a hot day at a big track.

I've since upgraded to a stand alone Improved Racing kit and temps stayed around 250 towards end of session, with a max of 270ish for a very short time. This was in pretty cool weather, less than 75 degrees out.

I would guess a combo water/oil cooler would have yielded higher temps in my case and am glad I got a dedicated.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:07 AM
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davidfarmer
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as much as I like the convenience of an all-on-one, a stand-alone works much better. Also, get a big one, Corvettes have such limited intake area for cooling.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by sccaGT1racer View Post
I have used the Ron Davis radiator in 2 c5 road race builds and have had good results with the built in oil cooler. The oil cooler lines size are #10 an. Doug Rippie motorsports sells the radiator and the line kit for a great price. I have no experience with a blower car so your results may differ. 300 plus degrees is not going to end well for your engine. You could go a full custom route with a stacked radiator and oil cooler. (Fluidyne makes them) Ducting is going to help out a lot to force the air through the coolers. Don't forget hood vents to extract the heat from under hood.
Originally Posted by Matt_27 View Post
Standalone with thermostat. I would definitely not run integrated with a blower since the hot oil will pull up coolant temps, and your radiator will be working hard already. Improved Racing makes a nice thermostat setup.
I ran a Ron Davis Racing Radiator with built in EOC in two C5s. It is a very efficient radiator. Mine was configured to take the oil from the oil filter location with a large remote oil filter fastened to the radiator support. The biggest problem I had was it cooled too much when driving on the street. With ambient temps in the mid 40s and driving around town I had trouble getting the oil temperature up to 150 degrees. I usually had to keep the transmission in the lower gears to warm the oil. At 70 mph I had to use 3rd or 4th gears to warm the oil above 150.

On track on the hottest days the coolant temp stayed at 200 degrees and the oil temp stayed at 230 degrees and that was with a stock thermostat.

The Ron Davis Radiator has the oil cooler in the passenger side tank. 200 degree coolant can go into the radiator on the driver side but by the time it gets across the radiator it is cold and that is what cools the oil. I could feel the temperature difference across the radiator just by placing my hand on it.

I added a thermostat to mine so the oil would warm up faster. It was a 15/85 by pass valve that switched the direction of oil flow at 185 degrees. When the engine was warming up 85% of the oil went back to the engine and 15% through the cooler. When the engine was hot 85% went through the cooler and 15% went directly back to the engine. That change raised the track temps to 230 coolant and 260 oil. If you don't have a thermostat in the oil line it is a cooling monster.

Bill
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:19 PM
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I had a DeWitts with built in oil-cooler in LS6 C5 (no longer own it) and ran 12-15 track days per year for a decade. Was very happy with it's performance on track. On hottest days the reported oil temp would get into the 250s. I am not a 'max RPM all the time' kind of driver and tend to take care of the car by using higher gears (less RPM = less heat), so YMMV. I also had the A/C condenser removed, so a bit better airflow.

Regarding winter driving - it was a big problem. I did not have a thermostat installed. I would cover the oil cooler side of the radiator with cardboard but I dont think it helped much. It was a struggle to get temp above 170 in cold weather. If I was to do it again and expected to street drive a lot in cold weather, I'd look at either a thermostat or a setup that was really easy to change connections on so I could bypass the oil cooler in winter.

Getting the block adapter installed with the engine in the car is a big PITA. Its very tight quarters and those AN-10 lines have limited flexibility. I recommend you get the expensive hose that is supposedly more flexible than the steel braided stuff.
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Old 04-26-2019, 03:37 PM
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A stand alone oil cooler is best for maximizing oil cooling, and is usually the choice for track use. With one of our thermostats, you don't really need to worry about warm up time or over-cooling (typical warm up time to 180F is 10-12 minutes of casual street driving in 40-70F ambient temps). Warm up times will be faster with a coolant to oil setup, but not significantly (in our experience we haven't seen a noticeable difference, maybe just 1-2 minutes, but it likely makes more of a difference in very cold weather).

We have a C5 oil cooler kit in development. We can also help you piece together a kit if you like. We make all of the components needed to put together a complete oil cooler kit.
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Old 04-26-2019, 06:37 PM
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https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-331216

I have an older version of this.
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:16 PM
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I have a stand alone in front of AC condensor that keeps my 520rwhp LS2 cool - even on the hottest days (107* at VIR in July). For the fall, I remove the center air dam and then when full winter, I remove the cooler and insert a union between the two hoses going to cooler. My car stay garaged, so even in the coldest days, it always starts out at 37*ish . Takes less than 20 min to add/remove. I got the Tstat to install in the line, but I just didn't want the hassle of 4 more connections in the oil lines. I still have the Tstat if you go that route. Never opened - will make you a good deal!

Good luck.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:29 PM
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NemesisC5
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You need a stand alone positioned where you it gets clean airflow, use ducts and hose if necessary. Supercharged cars with intercooler & a/c coil in front of coolant radiator create too much airflow restriction and you’ll be forced to make changes to mitigate heat. I could write a thesis on the topic from my experience doing exactly what you’re asking about. Continually accelerating / decelerating and rowing gears on track during summer heat with forced induction creates a lot of challenges for all, including GM.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:29 PM
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sydneyACE
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Ok, sounds like stand-alone it is then.
I'm thinking about hedging my bets a little bit though...
If I buy the radiator with the provision for an oil cooler (but don't hook the oil cooler up), are we talking about a substantial decrease in cooling capacity or no biggie?
Obviously there is a decrease in capacity because of the oil cooler taking up space in the end tank, but how much does that cooler obstruct flow?
Looks like an $80 upgrade... wonder if it's worth it for a "might want it later" situation?

Thanks again for all the advice guys!

@NemesisC5 Feel like briefly describing the best size/location for an oil cooler. Keep in mind, this car is primarily a daily driver, so if I get to hot on the track and have to take a break, it's not the end of the world for me.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sydneyACE View Post
Ok, sounds like stand-alone it is then.
I'm thinking about hedging my bets a little bit though...
If I buy the radiator with the provision for an oil cooler (but don't hook the oil cooler up), are we talking about a substantial decrease in cooling capacity or no biggie?
Obviously there is a decrease in capacity because of the oil cooler taking up space in the end tank, but how much does that cooler obstruct flow?
Looks like an $80 upgrade... wonder if it's worth it for a "might want it later" situation?

Thanks again for all the advice guys!

@NemesisC5 Feel like briefly describing the best size/location for an oil cooler. Keep in mind, this car is primarily a daily driver, so if I get to hot on the track and have to take a break, it's not the end of the world for me.
Don't purchase radiator with IOC if you're choosing to go 100% external cooler. Placement depends on location of intercooler, radiator shrouding and cold air path to all heat exchangers. Do you have a picture with front bumper cover removed showing these elements? A couple of points to consider for "work-arounds" depending on layout and which manufacturers system you have installed.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:06 PM
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sydneyACE
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No, I don't have a pic (didn't remove the bumper when I installed my SC).

It's an A&A standard front-mount single I/C.

It's located a few inches in front of the radiator, has its own little air dam and sheet metal to seal it at the sides and top.
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by sydneyACE View Post
No, I don't have a pic (didn't remove the bumper when I installed my SC).

It's an A&A standard front-mount single I/C.

It's located a few inches in front of the radiator, has its own little air dam and sheet metal to seal it at the sides and top.
I suggest you mount a Setrab or Mocal cooler in your front license cove for use on track then you can re-install your license plate or cove cover for use on street and/or in winter.
* A Tigershark front bumper cover would allow more options with its open design allowing additional unobstructed flow of cool air to your heat exchangers.

I would have replied sooner but I don't get on CF more than a couple times a week these days.
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:52 PM
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I have an 03' ZO6 and I went with a stand alone oil cooler. I contacted Randy at Doug Rippie Racing and he set me up with a Setrab 925 instead of the 625. With that mod alone, my oil temps went from 300 degrees, when I had to lift and do a cool down lap, to 260. This winter I added a Dewitt's radiator and made swiss cheese out of my fan shroud. I did the swiss cheese holes so I could still clean out the radiator by blowing compressed air through the radiator and A/C condenser. The Dewitt's took up all the room there was to slide an air extension in between the shroud and radiator. That's the only thing I don't like about these bottom breathers. They are like vacuum cleaners.
A couple more things I'm in the works of doing is putting in Trackspec hood vents, replacing the oil pump with a Melling high pressure/high volume, an 2 qt. Accusump and a high volume Edelbrock water pump.

Good luck.

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Old 05-07-2019, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Spaggs View Post
.....That's the only thing I don't like about these bottom breathers. They are like vacuum cleaners.
You can augment your cooling by placing ducts behind your bumper on both sides of license plate cove with twin 3" hoses from each connected direct to radiator shroud. Or you could modify radiator shroud in a manner that opens a direct path for unobstructed air from front bumper openings to radiator creating a front breather and seal area beneath radiator area with ABS sheet.

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Old 05-07-2019, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by NemesisC5 View Post
You can augment your cooling by placing ducts behind your bumper on both sides of license plate cove with twin 3" hoses from each connected direct to radiator shroud. Or you could modify radiator shroud in a manner that opens a direct path for unobstructed air from front bumper openings to radiator creating a front breather and seal area beneath radiator area with ABS sheet.

Wouldn't this just force hot air into the radiator rather than letting it mix with surrounding air and hopefully be lost in the transition?
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:23 AM
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if your serious about tracking, or will be in the future, definatly stand alone.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by BrunoTheMellow View Post
Wouldn't this just force hot air into the radiator rather than letting it mix with surrounding air and hopefully be lost in the transition?
I'm suggesting removing wire screens from bumper cover (ZO6) and installing these to capture cool outside air then route 3" hoses (2 each side) through front of radiator shroud providing additional cool air rather than bottom feeder. The openings on sides of license plate cove where the screens (ZO6) or plastic foglight housings (coupe) are located are useful to capture and channel ambient air for cooling. Here's an old thread where C5 owner fabricated vents to utilize the area for cooling and does an extraordinary job.

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...unctional.html



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