My new oil cooler/warmer setup

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Hello everyone, I have recently created a unique oil cooler/heater setup for my 05 Civic that I think some of you may find interesting. Basically what I did is I got this 30 plate heat exchanger and I ran the oil through one side with an oil filter sandwich plate and 10AN lines and I am running the heater hoses through it so the coolant and oil are transferring heat between each other. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073ZN61RK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 This not only keeps the oil cooler, but it also helps heat it up a LOT faster. In cold weather (20-30 degrees) starting out at around 50 degrees (I park in my garage), the oil temp was only up to around 80 degrees F when the coolant warmed up and took about 20 minutes to heat up "fully" to around 160 degrees. But now that I installed this heat exchanger, the oil is now up to around 140 degrees once the coolant is warm, and within around 5 minutes it is within a few degrees of coolant temp (180-185 degrees on my car). The oil temp is also much more stable and no longer significantly affected by ambient temp. In the summer, this setup will also help to cool the oil off as it was surely getting to above coolant temp, but I don't know exactly how hot since I installed my oil temp gauge in the fall. But according to an infrared thermometer, the oil pan was getting to around 210+ degrees in the summer. Basically this is the same idea as those oil coolers that a lot of vehicles have between the oil filter and the block, just a lot larger and more effective. Anyways, I thought that this is a pretty "cool" setup that some people may find interesting, so I thought I'd share it. Let me know your thoughts, I'm curious what you all think of this setup
 
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Pics? It would seem in a decent engine that the engine oil would stay roughly the temp that the coolant maintained the block at. Once up to operating temps. And an oil cooler would only be needed for turbo applications. To me, the less hoses and connections dealing with the oil under pressure the better. I did give that some thought when I installed the bypass filter in my pickup.
 
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Vancouver, BC Canada
Originally Posted by Avery4
Hello everyone, I have recently created a unique oil cooler/heater setup for my 05 Civic that I think some of you may find interesting. Basically what I did is I got this 30 plate heat exchanger and I ran the oil through one side with an oil filter sandwich plate and 10AN lines and I am running the heater hoses through it so the coolant and oil are transferring heat between each other. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073ZN61RK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 This not only keeps the oil cooler, but it also helps heat it up a LOT faster. In cold weather (20-30 degrees) starting out at around 50 degrees (I park in my garage), the oil temp was only up to around 80 degrees F when the coolant warmed up and took about 20 minutes to heat up "fully" to around 160 degrees. But now that I installed this heat exchanger, the oil is now up to around 140 degrees once the coolant is warm, and within around 5 minutes it is within a few degrees of coolant temp (180-185 degrees on my car). The oil temp is also much more stable and no longer significantly affected by ambient temp. In the summer, this setup will also help to cool the oil off as it was surely getting to above coolant temp, but I don't know exactly how hot since I installed my oil temp gauge in the fall. But according to an infrared thermometer, the oil pan was getting to around 210+ degrees in the summer. Basically this is the same idea as those oil coolers that a lot of vehicles have between the oil filter and the block, just a lot larger and more effective. Anyways, I thought that this is a pretty "cool" setup that some people may find interesting, so I thought I'd share it. Let me know your thoughts, I'm curious what you all think of this setup
What is pressure rating of this heat exchanger... i.e. for both fluid sides? At startup, depending on engine temp, oil press can get h*llish-high. A breach of oil into coolant would not be cool. The reverse, even less so. This would be one concern. What about thermostatic control on the oil side... which is typically used?
 
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Originally Posted by Donald
Pics? It would seem in a decent engine that the engine oil would stay roughly the temp that the coolant maintained the block at. Once up to operating temps. And an oil cooler would only be needed for turbo applications. To me, the less hoses and connections dealing with the oil under pressure the better. I did give that some thought when I installed the bypass filter in my pickup.
I will upload pics of the setup tomorrow. Great point about adding points of failure, I actually had issues getting one of my AN fittings to seal. Not sure why, but I replaced it with another one and it stopped leaking, so it must not have been machined correctly. Fun times spending hours trying to get an AN fitting on the back of the block to seal when I can barely see it let alone be able to get to it and oil is dripping in my face! I would have thought that the oil and coolant temps would have been a lot more similar as well since they are both running through the same block and head, which I thought would act as a heat exchanger. I was quite surprised to see how long the oil took to warm up and that it wouldn't warm up fully on a cold day. I guess the cold blowing over the oil pan, filter, valve cover, block, etc removed more heat from the oil than the engine was producing, preventing it from fully warming up on a cold day.
 
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Originally Posted by Cdn17Sport6MT
Originally Posted by Avery4
Hello everyone, I have recently created a unique oil cooler/heater setup for my 05 Civic that I think some of you may find interesting. Basically what I did is I got this 30 plate heat exchanger and I ran the oil through one side with an oil filter sandwich plate and 10AN lines and I am running the heater hoses through it so the coolant and oil are transferring heat between each other. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073ZN61RK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 This not only keeps the oil cooler, but it also helps heat it up a LOT faster. In cold weather (20-30 degrees) starting out at around 50 degrees (I park in my garage), the oil temp was only up to around 80 degrees F when the coolant warmed up and took about 20 minutes to heat up "fully" to around 160 degrees. But now that I installed this heat exchanger, the oil is now up to around 140 degrees once the coolant is warm, and within around 5 minutes it is within a few degrees of coolant temp (180-185 degrees on my car). The oil temp is also much more stable and no longer significantly affected by ambient temp. In the summer, this setup will also help to cool the oil off as it was surely getting to above coolant temp, but I don't know exactly how hot since I installed my oil temp gauge in the fall. But according to an infrared thermometer, the oil pan was getting to around 210+ degrees in the summer. Basically this is the same idea as those oil coolers that a lot of vehicles have between the oil filter and the block, just a lot larger and more effective. Anyways, I thought that this is a pretty "cool" setup that some people may find interesting, so I thought I'd share it. Let me know your thoughts, I'm curious what you all think of this setup
What is pressure rating of this heat exchanger... i.e. for both fluid sides? At startup, depending on engine temp, oil press can get h*llish-high. A breach of oil into coolant would not be cool. The reverse, even less so. This would be one concern. What about thermostatic control on the oil side... which is typically used?
The heat exchanger is rated at 435 PSI working pressure and my 10AN oil lines are rated at 500 PSI, so I'm good there. I didn't install any type of thermostat on the system since the oil temp is now controlled by coolant temp, which is controlled by the engine's thermostat. I'm not concerned about overcooling the oil with 180-190 degree coolant.
 
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First and second generation Miatas with the 1.8 liter engine have a similar heat exchanger between the oil filter and block, and I imagine other similarly well engineered and constructed engines have them also. Kudos for the good idea and follow through.
 
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Originally Posted by Le_bow_ski
First and second generation Miatas with the 1.8 liter engine have a similar heat exchanger between the oil filter and block, and I imagine other similarly well engineered and constructed engines have them also. Kudos for the good idea and follow through.
A lot of vehicles have those. I considered getting one from an Acura Integra, but since I couldn't get one for under $100, I decided to build my own setup. And after seeing the performance of my comparatively huge heat exchanger, I don't think I would have been happy with the performance of one of those OEM style heat exchangers anyways.
 
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The good thing is that it could help with fuel dilution. Thinking about how much quicker the oil heats up it burns off the fuel and will keep oil from sludging.
 
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A 2005 civic doesn't suffer from fuel dilution, being port injected and non turbo, nor have heat related slugging issues. This is a fun project, but won't make a lick of difference to the engine's longevity.
Originally Posted by tiger862
The good thing is that it could help with fuel dilution. Thinking about how much quicker the oil heats up it burns off the fuel and will keep oil from sludging.
 
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Originally Posted by tcp71
A 2005 civic doesn't suffer from fuel dilution, being port injected and non turbo, nor have heat related slugging issues. This is a fun project, but won't make a lick of difference to the engine's longevity
+1
 
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Originally Posted by madRiver
Originally Posted by tcp71
A 2005 civic doesn't suffer from fuel dilution, being port injected and non turbo, nor have heat related slugging issues. This is a fun project, but won't make a lick of difference to the engine's longevity
+1
It's already made it to 15 years without an oil cooler.
 
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Originally Posted by madRiver
Originally Posted by tcp71
A 2005 civic doesn't suffer from fuel dilution, being port injected and non turbo, nor have heat related slugging issues. This is a fun project, but won't make a lick of difference to the engine's longevity
+1
I disagree with that. I have been having a problem with moisture in the oil during the winter for as long as I had this car, the bottom of the oil cap would turn white and build up pudding. After 30 minutes of driving, this pudding like material has gone away and has not come back yet. Too early to say for sure that it won't come back, but there is no way a 30 minute drive would have burned it off before in the middle of the winter, so that's encouraging. Also, the oil did have a little bit of a fuel smell, but not enough fuel to actually make the level rise on the dipstick. In my opinion the oil smells less like fuel now, but that's obviously not a scientific test. Besides, it makes me feel happy to see the oil temp always where I like it regardless of load or outside temp smile
 
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Originally Posted by CR94
Doesn't that modification reduce heat available to the heater until the oil is as hot as the coolant?
I don't use the heater until the coolant is up to temp so I don't delay the warm up, and by the time the coolant is hot, the oil is up to 140+ degrees. I didn't take temp measurements, but I don't notice a major drop in the heater's performance with 140 degree oil compared to 180+ degree oil. It would be interesting to see what the difference in heater performance is between 140 degree oil and fully warmed up though. I'd think there would be a small drop in the heater's performance during warmup since the heat exchanger is cooling off the coolant flowing to the heater core , but realistically the difference isn't dramatic (in my opinion). What I did notice (and expect) is that the coolant now takes a little longer to warm up than it did before since it is now heating up another fluid too. I would say that the coolant's warm up is delayed by about 20 degrees, so maybe it takes another half mile or so to fully warm up. But even so, the oil's warm up is positively affected way more than the coolant's warm up is negatively affected since the oil now warms up about 50 degrees faster than before. Surely a little longer coolant warm up and heating the oil up much faster is a good trade off from an engine longevity perspective.
 
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Sorry it took me so long to upload pictures, I have been very busy lately. Here's a picture of where the heat exchanger is located and the sandwich plate setup. The heat exchanger is on the passenger side on the sub frame by the radiator fan, and the sandwich plate is on the back of the block where the oil filter screws on, sorry I couldn't get a better pic of it, I didn't have time to jack it up and get a better picture from under the car. The black hoses are coolant lines and the silver braided hoses are the oil lines. I need to come up with some way to mount the heat exchanger to the sub frame. Let me know what you think [Linked Image] [Linked Image]
 
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Originally Posted by zorobabel
Thanks for the pics! I would make a bracket through which 2 or 4 of the fittings go through. Do you get more startup knock with this setup?
That's a good idea, thanks. These engines have a solid valvetrain, so I never get any startup knock. However, the oil pressure light doesn't seem to take any longer to go out after startup than it did. It still pretty much goes out as soon as the engine starts. I intentionally mounted the heat exchanger lower than the filter with both fittings pointing up and the oil lines slanted towards the heat exchanger as much as possible though so the oil can't drain out of it and the lines still stay relatively full of oil for this reason. I am going to be installing an oil pressure gauge soon though, so I will be able to get a better idea of how long it takes to build oil pressure after a cold start once I get the gauge in. Unrelated question- When I do an oil change, what would you do about the oil in the cooler and in the lines? I'm thinking I will fire the engine for a second with the filter off after I change the oil before screwing the new filter on to flush any old oil out of the cooler and lines. I may even try modifying an old filter to screw on before firing it to direct the oil into my drain bucket instead of all over my garage floor. Unless you have a better idea?
 
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Originally Posted by Avery4
Unrelated question- When I do an oil change, what would you do about the oil in the cooler and in the lines? I'm thinking I will fire the engine for a second with the filter off after I change the oil before screwing the new filter on to flush any old oil out of the cooler and lines. I may even try modifying an old filter to screw on before firing it to direct the oil into my drain bucket instead of all over my garage floor. Unless you have a better idea?
You could install a 3 way fitting with a removable plug at a low point in the oil hose. Or attach a vacuum pump, or regular pump to the filter mount to clear the oil hoses. Or if you could possibly insert a small hose in the oil hose, vacuum the oil out. The KISS option is to just leave the oil in the hose alone.
 
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