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#473290 - 07/16/06 12:25 PM How well do oil coolers work
Chris B. Offline


Registered: 03/16/03
Posts: 2916
Loc: Colorado
and are they worth it in an air cooled engine? I'm thinking about installing one in my 1200 Harley.

How much do they cool the oil/engine? Thank you!

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#473291 - 07/16/06 04:37 PM Re: How well do oil coolers work
LC Offline


Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 458
Loc: Wisconsin
Chris how long do you plan on keeping your sporty?
Are you going to trade up in a couple years? If so it's MOP don't bother with the cooler. It's more important to use good oil, (sounds like your going to use Mobil 1) (good stuff) and change it every 3000 miles.
I have seen as much a 25 to 35 deg drop in oil temps and as little as 10 deg vs a non cooler. If the bike is going to see a lot of idle time and stop and go traffic or your riding a lot in the extreme heat,the cooler in that case would be a good investment.

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#473292 - 07/16/06 06:11 PM Re: How well do oil coolers work
todds21 Offline


Registered: 05/30/05
Posts: 87
Loc: texas
I have been looking into oil coolers the past couple weeks. I live in Texas and its HOT 6 months out of the year. The forecast for the next week here in Dallas is 103 every day. I run synthetics for this reason alone. I talked to my HD wrench this weekend while I was getting a major maintinence done and asked him about the need for an oil cooler. He said that it will drop the oil temp when the bike is moving but when stopped in traffic there is no fan on the oil cooler so will not help while stopped.

I don't have a heat problem when I am moving its when stuck in traffic. Here is an article I found while trying to find info on the oil cooler:

http://www.americansteel.net/techtips/tip4.asp

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#473293 - 07/16/06 08:09 PM Re: How well do oil coolers work
wizzells Offline


Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 188
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Chris,
Unless you have performance engine work/plan on having engine work done to the bike, I would just run a good synthetic and you should be ok. The synthetic will likely run a bit cooler (depending on actual viscocity) and definetly give you that extra margin of heat protection.

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#473294 - 07/16/06 10:07 PM Re: How well do oil coolers work
LC Offline


Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 458
Loc: Wisconsin
I agree with Mr.Wizzells statement.
As for coolers not working in stop and go traffic that's not all correct. Yes they will not work as well as say going 65mph down the road. But having that 1/2 quart of oil out and away from the engine will drop the oil temp a few deg. I will say in over 30 years of riding and working on motorcycles, I have never had a cooler on any of my Harleys. And most of those bikes and miles were ridden in the mountains out west and in the southwest. And they always got me back home to Wisconsin without problems.

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#473295 - 07/17/06 03:07 AM Re: How well do oil coolers work
Master ACiD Offline


Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 2364
Loc: sebring, florida
alot of people it seems are worried about overheating harleys. down in the florida keys some people are just crazy. they wont run their harley during the day because they think the heat is going to kill it sence it gets to be over 100 down there and there is little to no shade or cloud cover.

let me tell you something, harley builds these things to be run is harsh enviroments. they can probably take more heat than the driver ever could.

about the only way i can think of to overheat a harley is to run it without moving but you would have to stay stationary for more than a few minutes. probably more like 20 minutes. how many stop lights are 20 mins long?

just run the thing, dont worry about it. enjoy the bike for what it is and have a good time.

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#473296 - 07/17/06 04:20 AM Re: How well do oil coolers work
carock Offline


Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 433
Loc: California
A stock oil cooler for my old airhead BMW will drop the oil temp 25F. The most recent Sportster engines probably do not need a cooler, the earlier ones did.On the EVO Sportster an oil cooler will help cool your engine metal temps. The latest Sportster uses larger and better cooling fins, so the effect if an oil cooler is supposed to be marginal. You should use Mobil v-Twin oil or Redline 15-50W. Both are designed with your engine in mind, and both can handle the heat.

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#473297 - 07/17/06 01:02 PM Re: How well do oil coolers work
Chris B. Offline


Registered: 03/16/03
Posts: 2916
Loc: Colorado
Hmmmm, sounds like I don't need one then if I use a synthetic.
Thank you for all the good info guys!

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#473298 - 07/17/06 06:05 PM Re: How well do oil coolers work
Fatboymoe Offline


Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 469
Loc: Stockton, Ca.
I have the HD factory oil cooler on my 03 Fatboy. I found that it lowered oil temps. in the oil tank about 20-30 degrees, depending on air flow through the cooler. On the TC Softtails, the cooler is mounted right in front between the frame downtubes. This gives good airflow to the cooler but kind of blocks air to the front cylinder. When I modified the engine, the oil temps went up over 20 degrees from when it was stock with the cooler. This is one of the reasons I use Redline 20-50 in the cooler months and 20-60 Redline in the summer. Last week, in over 100 degree heat, I rode about 100mi on the freeway at over 80mph to meet some friends for a BBQ. When I got there, the oil tank temp was 215 degrees, which is totally acceptable.

I think the factory HD oil cooler is made by Jagg. Their version mounts the cooler on the outside of the L/side frame downtube, away from the front cylinder.

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#473299 - 07/17/06 10:40 PM Re: How well do oil coolers work
wizzells Offline


Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 188
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Chris,
You can get a Harley temp dipstick to monitor you oil temps if you are really concerned about them. The H-D part number is 63023-05. This dipstick fits '04-later Sportys.

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#473300 - 07/17/06 11:04 PM Re: How well do oil coolers work
todds21 Offline


Registered: 05/30/05
Posts: 87
Loc: texas
I wish I could get a oil thermometer like that. The only one that the motor company says works for my 01 FLHRCI is a digital one that is $135 (part number 62946-05). Wizzells any idea on aftermarket or if any of the factory ones will work for my scooter?

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#473301 - 07/18/06 05:55 AM Re: How well do oil coolers work
wizzells Offline


Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 188
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Todd,
There isnt anything available in the aftermarket at all really. The digital dipstick/oil level is your most cost effective option.

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#473302 - 07/21/06 08:39 PM Re: How well do oil coolers work
Gary in Sandy Eggo Offline


Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 169
Loc: Sandy Eggo
Some air-cooled bikes, by design, need an oil cooler. I have an Intruder 1400 which uses a lot of chrome at the top of the engine (reducing the airflow past the heads). To compensate for this, excess quantities of oil are sent to the heads to help carry the heat away. Also, there are jets located at crankshaft level that squirt oil up against the bottom-side of the piston crown to help carry piston heat away from the center of the piston. All this tosses more heat into the oil than it would see under standard circumstances. To aid in getting rid of this extra heat, the bike comes with an oil cooler.

The downside of this is that this engine is going to heat up a lot hotter and faster in stalled traffic than would an aircooled engine without the oil assisted cooling features.

This engine holds 5 quarts of oil. I have NO idea where it hides all that oil since the entire bike (including engine) is designed to look lean and chopperesque.

Previous comments made sense. If it was designed to operate without an oil cooler, adding one would probably be detrimental in that it might make the oil run too cool (takes longer to drive off condensation). At best it would be non-functional under circumstances where you'd like to have added cooling (like in stop-n-go traffic).

Regards, Gary in Sandy Eggo

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#473303 - 07/21/06 11:02 PM Re: How well do oil coolers work
dwendt44 Offline


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3571
Loc: Central Wisconsin
An oil cooler would add a bit of additional oil capacity at the least.
As far as slow, or stop and go traffic goes, a cooler would still help the oil cool down faster when you get to speed back up.
I can't think of reason an oil cooler wouldn't help and air cooled cycle. Maybe near freezing weather, but than you have other problems to worry about.
A cooler would also add life to the oil, might not break down as quick as with no cooler.
It's a worthwhile option for air cooled cycles.
ALL reciprocating(sp?) aircraft engines have them.

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#473304 - 07/21/06 11:06 PM Re: How well do oil coolers work
dwendt44 Offline


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3571
Loc: Central Wisconsin
An oil cooler would add to the oil capacity a bit. Even in stop and go traffic, a cooler would help the oil cool down faster when the cycle can speed back up.
A cooler would also add to the oil fills life.
Less heat break down. In any case, a cooler equiped bike is no worse off that one without.
I can't think of a reason a cooler wouldn't help a air cooled cycle.
All reciprocating aircraft engines have them, and they don't do stop and go.

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