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Is mounting engine oil cooler upside down OK?

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Old 09-16-2018, 03:11 AM
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RBrid
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Default Is mounting engine oil cooler upside down OK?





Hi all. I want to mount this engine oil cooler in front of the steel front bumper where the license plate would normally be. It's a Plate Type with 16 Cooling Rows. The question is: Is it OK to mount it with the fittings at the bottom? Thanks!
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:42 AM
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stingraymax
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Im no expert but I wouldn't see why that could be a problem.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:02 AM
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bazza77
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Googled your heading to this thread , lots of reasons why not to do it !
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:54 AM
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jb78L-82
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I ran an oil cooler on my C3 for about 25 years in that position with zero issues. I also run multiple tranny coolers in various cars in that same position and have for about 35 years with no issues........
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:23 AM
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mrvette
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I have an engine oil cooler about that size, between my condenser and the radiator....used as an ATF cooler, trans runs really cool.....even in FLORIDA.......OH, and it's mounted sideways.....

Last edited by mrvette; 09-16-2018 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:28 AM
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sambrand
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it will work but its not designed that way. if the cooler is an open flow (high volume) you will only be using about 25 pernt of the cooling capacity, but these coolers are typical found on trucks and diesel rigs, the one in pic appears standard automotive (size). automotive type is designed so that gravity pulls the oil being cooled down through the tubes, mounting this upside down means the pump has to push that oil up, creating some backpressure. but either way it should do the job.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:59 AM
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Richard454
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I would lean it back with the lines at the top before I'd run the lines on the bottom. I'm running a dry sump tank but no cooler...but when I was looking at running a cooler, it was highly recommended not to do so. Don't know your set up- but the oil could potentially run back and fill the oil pan when you shut the car down- which could be a problem-As the full mark on the dipstick would not be correct .. air pocket when you start it up... Just sayin

These guys even run the fittings at the top!!!



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Old 09-16-2018, 02:14 PM
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3X2
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The preferred mounting is with the fittings on top, or if mounting vertically, fill the cooler from the bottom. Mounting the cooler with the fittings on the bottom has a potential for an air pocket to remain in the cooler.
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:57 PM
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RBrid
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Thank you everyone for the feedback. I will definitely try my best to install it upside up without butchering the steel bumper. I'm afraid there is not enough room though. One way or the other, the cooler would be hidden behind the fiberglass where the lines are yellow in my pictures.
Neat and clean - nothing like Richard454's butt ugly examples

This Earl cooler is 12"x5"x2". They make the same one in 12"x3"x2" - that one would fit upside up, easily.
- Would you rather install the 12"x5"x2" upside down, or the 12"x3"x2" upside up?
- Can an air pocket in the cooler (at start up or later) actually harm the engine? It seems to me that as long as the oil pump is always sucking oil, it should be OK. Maybe it can be a problem because the oil level in the pan would be slightly higher?

I'm not too concerned about the oil level measured by the dip stick. It should be OK as long as you know about it and take it into account.

jb - good to know we have at least one instance that worked fine.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:12 PM
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ajrothm
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The only downside to mounting it upside down, is that the cooler will drain back into the pan, therefore on every cold start, the cooler must fill up completely before the engine actually gets the oil pumped back to it. I'm not sure how huge of a deal this is but, you will notice you will have no oil pressure on cold starts for a bit longer then normal. That said, I have seen plenty of them mounted upside down, but I personally wouldn't do it.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:22 PM
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HeadsU.P.
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I'm no cooler expert either, but I do have a B&M thin unit in front of my A/C condenser. Logically, I believe fluid coolers work on the principle of gravity feed with a little pressure force the fluid back to the reservoir. I believe the cooler will gravity feed in three positions: Inlets on top, inlets left side or inlets right side. But not inlets on the bottom.

Logically, the 12 X 3 X 2 is the best option. But, if you have A/C you will need a 3/4 thick unit. A thicker cooler will not allow the hood to open fully.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:40 PM
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bazza77
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My old c4 oil cooler was a steel pipe !
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:07 PM
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RBrid
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Thanks guys! Actually do you know what? I just realized that Earl is offering the same cooler just 1" shorter than the one I have: its core is 12"x4"x2" instead of 12"x5"x2"! That should fit just right the way I initially intended to. Nevertheless I think this topic was interesting. Thanks again.
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:54 PM
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riverracer au
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this is where i mounted my trans cooler in my '72.
i have since gone taller/more fins after a trans torque convertor blowup, easier to replace than clean out.
funny enough but the larger unit was actually cheaper than the shorter one....
sorry for the large photo, just coppied from my original post on fitting a 700r4 in the vette.
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