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spitfire oil cooler

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Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
Of course, the oil would have been shaken out of the tappits (lifters) when you ran the engine.

I must have gone a little heavy on the Malbec last night.

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dave.arthur Avatar
dave.arthur Dave Arthur
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada   CAN
Did anyone ever install a VW oil heat exchanger to a Spitfire engine? I'm on the cusp of doing this myself, previous experiences would be helpful.

The VW one uses a 3/4 BSP nipple into the block and then has a retaining nut to hold the assembly onto the block. The Spitfire 1500 has a 5/8 BSP close nipple to attach the oil filter. The heat exchanger is sealed by an O ring to the block. I am going to try using a 5/8 nipple modified to fit to attempt and install. Alternately I could use a 5/8 to 3/4 adapter and use a 3/4 nipple, I am afraid of internal clearance issues in the exchanger.

Best Regards

Dave

clshore Carter Shore
Beverly Hills, Florida, USA   USA
In reply to # 1495988 by dave.arthur Did anyone ever install a VW oil heat exchanger to a Spitfire engine? I'm on the cusp of doing this myself, previous experiences would be helpful.

The VW one uses a 3/4 BSP nipple into the block and then has a retaining nut to hold the assembly onto the block. The Spitfire 1500 has a 5/8 BSP close nipple to attach the oil filter. The heat exchanger is sealed by an O ring to the block. I am going to try using a 5/8 nipple modified to fit to attempt and install. Alternately I could use a 5/8 to 3/4 adapter and use a 3/4 nipple, I am afraid of internal clearance issues in the exchanger.

Best Regards

Dave

Several folks have done this, hopefully they will share.
Routing the coolant lines seems to be a common challenge.
I have one of these coolers that I'm considering as well.

As for the mounting, this is similar to the mounting for sandwich adaptors used with conventional oil/air coolers.
There are available 3/4" diameter center mounts having 5/8" threaded ends for Spitfires that might work.
The VW cooler center hole clears a 3/4-16 nipple, so as long as there is a seal at the top preventing
oil from bypassing the cooler inlet passages, should work well.

I do have concerns about the 5/8 - 3/4 adaptors commonly used.
The center hole is only about 3/8" diameter, pretty tiny.
This represents a significant flow restriction, since very single drop of oil must pass through that point.

I'll be drilling and tapping my block for a full sized 3/4-16 nipple having a 9/16" ID hole, eliminating the adaptor entirely.

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Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
I used the VW heat exchanger for several years, and will be using it again after I re-configure the coolant plumbing.

I made up the an adaptor using the VW retainer/tube and used VW oil filters.

The heat exchanger worked very well reducing the warm up time to 170f by almost half in cool weather. When hot, maximum oil temps were about the same 185f -210f but more stable.

The biggest problem has been an easy (and neat) routing for the coolant lines. I had fitted a 'T' where the coolant comes out to supply the inlet manifold, and ran the hose across the front of the engine on top of the timing cover to the heat exchanger. On the otherside, the hose went around the rear of the engine and connected via a 'T' to the return pipe that runs under the exhaust manifold.

My concerns were that I might not be getting optimal flow 'T' ing in on the existing plumbing, plus I had concerns about the front pipe rubbing and it's proximity to the water pump pulley.

My latest idea is either to fit a differant thermostat cover that will allow me to add another outlet pipe (where a temp sender might otherwise go) on the oil filter side of the engine. Or tap the water pump body and fit a pipe. If I do that it would be desirable to fit a smaller alternator like the Denso unit (an so it goes on!)
I would also fit a larger diameter return pipe to the water pump (1/2"winking smiley and run a hard line around the rear of the engine.

Then, there are also some TRD Toyota heat exchangers that look very nice, and may be an even better fit!

Things to do. so little time!


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jefferygt jeffery Ee
vantucky, wa, USA   USA
I have bypassed my heater. Is it possible to just use those lines thru the cooler?

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
Yes, but I wanted the coolant to be as hot as possible.

On earlier engines there is a coolant outlet at the rear of the cyl head, where the lifting eye is.

I use this to supply my heater, which I use once in a while.

teeka56 Avatar
teeka56 mike leisner
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
Why not use a oil to air with oilstat ? Better temp drop IMO.

http://www.mocal.co.uk/products-oilstats.html

BAT is the US distributor for Mocal.

Mike

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spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
In reply to # 1496072 by teeka56 Why not use a oil to air with oilstat ? Better temp drop IMO.

http://www.mocal.co.uk/products-oilstats.html

BAT is the US distributor for Mocal.

Mike
Mike,
Many street Spitfires need to raise the oil temp faster. Water to oil does that and then holds the oil temp closer to the correct range naturally. A large delta T isn't always the best thing for the engine.
All the best,
Paul

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
Yes, quite often even in a temperate climate it can take a long time for the engine and it's oil to reach even the minimum side of optimal operating temperature (usually considered to be 170f)

In my case if the ambient temp is 45f, it may well take 40 minutes at hyway speeds for things to get 'that' warm.

Also, Air to Oil thermostats are very often speced too cool, operning to reduce the the oils temp by passing it through the oil cooler at only 176f (as stated by Mocal)

Most engine wear (some sorces suggest 90%!) Occures in the warm-up phase at temps below 170f.

I have had an oil temp gauge fitted to read from the oil pan in my Spitfire for over 20 years. Even in Canada we can experiance temps over 100f in the summer months, however I have never seen (high) oil temps that have given me reason to be concerned. 220f is about the highest I have seen, even before to heat exchanger was fitted.

So it's reason is essentially to help transfer coolant heat (which comes mainly from the cyl head) BACK into the engine, rather than cool it.

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teeka56 Avatar
teeka56 mike leisner
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
Paul, totally agree that you want the oil to warm up, hence why you warm these cars up and watch the temp gage prior to a lot of throttle. But if the problem being solved is high speed oil temp from running on freeway, seems you want to hold that oil temp down in that operation. the oilstat would keep the air to oil function from occurring until the oil is at 180 f. If I understand their explanation below correctly:


Mocal oil thermostats are designed to regulate oil flow through cooling devices until optimal (minimum) temperatures are reached. Cold oil enters the thermostat and is bypassed through the center of the unit returning to engine (figure 1). During warm-up the thermostat never closes off oil flow to the cooler, rather, it offers a less restrictive path for the oil to flow* allowing the cooler to acclimate to system temperature. As oil warms to 180 degrees (200 in high temp versions) the operating "waxstat" closes the bypass permitting full flow to cooler (figure 2). *percentage of oil bypass can vary up to the point where the bypass is closed and full flow to the cooler is achieved.

Clearly the VW coolers work for that application, I have run several of these well into the high 200,000 mile range. But these are modern well designed motors.

Mike

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
Do a search of optimal motor oil temperatures. I think you will find the consensus is, sending oil throught the oil cooler at 180f is too low.

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=632716

http://www.hotrod.com/articles/engine-oil-temperature/

https://mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/42098/standardised-engine-oil-temperature-range

We do not have modern engines, but we (hopefully ) use modern lubricants.
Bearings are bearings, piston rings are piston rings...

spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
Mike,
Coupling the oil temp to the coolant temp will keep the oil temp from being too high. It also keeps it from being too low which is a distinct possibility most of the time.
All the best,
Paul

claytoncnc Avatar
claytoncnc Gold Member Marcus Clayton
Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Australia   AUS
In our industrial engines, we use a coolant/oil heat exchanger, the aim is to keep the oil at just over 100deg.
These engines produce up to 100kw, and they have to do it for thousands of hours continuously.
Can you imagine any vehicle being required to run continuously through its life travelling at 130mph.
I attach a photo of our normal running condition and temperatures

As an example, the other photo is of a Chev 454 motor rated at 120KW. It was derated for durability to produce only 50KW, or about the same as a Spitfire engine.
It lasted only for 90 hours of continuous running.

The valves had recessed so much, that the hydraulic lifters had run out of adjustment, so there was a continuous backfire that stopped the engine, yet all the bearings were gone, as oil temperature was only around 70deg due to the low load.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-11-05 08:47 PM by claytoncnc.


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Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
It would be interesting to find out more about What was wrong with that engine Marcus. How did they de-rate it?

Lower compression? Was it run on Gasoline? or Propane?

I remember years ago dealing with BBC* in a school bus that ran on propane. It did not do well at all, but lasted more than 90 hours. Strangely, after a rebuilt we were told to run it ONLY on 20w-50
I never did find out the reasoning for this.

* Big Block Chevy

clshore Carter Shore
Beverly Hills, Florida, USA   USA
What fuel was used with that 454 motor?

Earlier versions depended on leaded fuel to protect the valveseats.
When the US mandated unleaded fuel, later heads were changed to accommodate it.
To receive certification, these motors had to run 50,000 miles without any emission related failures,
which the valveseat failure you experienced would have failed.
That works out to perhaps 750-1000 hours of operation.

If the vendor was not careful about the heads used, it would account for the failure.

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