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spitfire oil cooler

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spurs1canada Avatar
spurs1canada Silver Member Barry Hotspur
Winnipeg, MB, Canada   CAN
1972 Triumph GT6 MkIII "Mellow Yellow"
1976 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Li'l Red"
Even though the coolant temp stays normal on my 1500 at prolonged hwy speeds the oil does get hot,i can putter around town for hours on a hot day with reasonable oil pressure but after half hour of high speed it drops all the way to 32 lbs. it does stay steady at that point.The curious thing is that i only have to stop for a few minutes and when i take off the oil pressure is up again around 45lbs until i sustain high speed for a lengthy time then it drops back down to 32 lbs again.
I heard about cooling fin style ring that slips over your oil filter,anyone seen or used one?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-11-11 05:36 PM by spurs1canada.

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clshore Carter Shore
Beverly Hills, FL, USA   USA
In reply to # 1328693 by spurs1canada ...
I heard about cooling fin style ring that slips over your oil filter,anyone seen or used one?

Honestly, I would not expect very much.
Likely sold by same outfit that advertises 'Electric Supercharger for any car!!!' on ebay.

Low oil pressure is observed after a high speed run.
Assumption is that the oil is hot and thin, but could also be explained by aeration.

An oil temp gage is a useful tool on racecars, not hard to repurpose a coolant temp gage for that purpose.
But an IR gun pointed at the sump or filter canister immediately after a run might also provide some factual data on oil temps.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2015-11-11 07:44 PM by clshore.

grumpicus Steve Jackson
Leicester, Leicestershire, UK   GBR
In reply to # 1328693 by spurs1canada Even though the coolant temp stays normal on my 1500 at prolonged hwy speeds the oil does get hot,i can putter around town for hours on a hot day with reasonable oil pressure but after half hour of high speed it drops all the way to 32 lbs. it does stay steady at that point.The curious thing is that i only have to stop for a few minutes and when i take off the oil pressure is up again around 45lbs until i sustain high speed for a lengthy time then it drops back down to 32 lbs again.

This is exactly what I noticed on my Spit Mk4 over 30 years ago - immediately after fitting an oil pressure gauge. I took a trip up the motorway, running at about 70mph for around 45 minutes, and oil pressure was fine at 60psi. As soon as I slowed down on the exit ramp, the pressure fell - alarmingly! eye popping smiley After no more than 5 to 10 minutes of running at lower speeds (around 30 to 40mph), the oil pressure returned to normal.

The reason is quite simple (I've been ranting on about this for years) - basically, on a Spit engine the interchange of heat from the oil system to the cooling system is poor. This not generally a problem for day to day running, and most people would consider an oil cooler a waste of time, but just try running a Spit at continuous high(ish) speeds for much more than 30 minutes and see what happens to the oil pressure as soon as you slow down. Although the cooling system has no problem in keeping the coolant temperature within normal limits at all speeds, the oil system will be absorbing heat by lubricating the bearings, and at higher engine speeds and loads has difficulty in getting rid of the heat produced.

Without a dedicated oil cooler, the heat from the oil will pass into the cast iron of the block and head, which in turn is cooled by the coolant - the temperature gradient through the iron will lead to a higher oil temperature (and lower oil viscosity) than is ideal when running continuously at high speed. Add in the fact the fact the sump is nicely shrouded from the airflow by the chassis/frame, and overheating the oil can become a reality. The oil pressure returns to normal fairly quickly when the speed is reduced because the cooling demands of the engine bearings are immediately reduced and consequently the amount of heat transferred into the oil is also reduced. The flow of heat from the oil through the cast iron to the coolant is now able to keep the oil temperature within sensible limits.

OK - rant over - now a question for all. Ever wondered why Triumph never fitted an oil pressure gauge to any of its cars with an 1147cc, 1300cc or 1500cc engine?

Secondary question - why do official Triumph parts catalogues for the UK Spit Mk4 and 1500 include an optional oil cooler kit?

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hearditallbefore Avatar
Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK   GBR
Indeed Steve, the oil system is marginal as this engine was designed in an England before motorways,(freeways), were even dreamed of.

Long hard motorway running is a killer for these engines, just used round town, they run for ever.

As ever, it's all about heat management, and Triumph always offered an oil cooler for foreign buyers as part of its 'continental motoring' option.



Swatting the yellow jackets away from the Triumph apple of truth…

Dave Braun Avatar
Webster, MN, USA   USA
1952 MG TD "Tommy"
1970 MG MGB "Maggie"
1974 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Sammy"
I'm on freeways a lot, and I like to do long distance touring as well, so even on secondary roads I'm often hours at sustained speeds. Diane's MGB has the factory oil cooler; I added the thermostat when I restored her car. The thermostat works really well, and doesn't slow warm up in the spring and fall, so the heater comes into play sooner (along with the heated seats)!

On a Spitfire, if mounted in front of the radiator, it must be close enough so there is not excessive turbulence between the oil cooler and the radiator. Otherwise the marginal radiator (especially the smallish ones with the wide blanking mounting plates) will be less effective. Make sure your side panels for directing airflow into the radiator are in place. I managed to mount mine quite low by placing the hoses below the cooler.

For the excellent reasons Steve cited in post #18 above, I'm using a Moss kit. Unfortunately, it didn't come with the thermostat base. I'll be covering my oil cooler in spring and fall. Rubber hoses last for years on the MGB, the protected hoses are nice, but can hide a pin hole leak. I succumbed however to the bling.

The pictures are from my website. The first of the MGB; the next set from the Spitfire.

Warmly,
dave


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bonnett1954 Avatar
bonnett1954 Silver Member Dave Bonnett
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
1978 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Union Jack"
Nice setup Dave, Where Did You Get The 1- 1/2 Inch Carbs For The Spitfire?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015-11-12 02:29 PM by bonnett1954.

1147cc Avatar
1147cc Silver Member Douglas Hansen
Westminster, SC, USA   USA
its a better idea to run the cooler with the lines on top so you dont get trapped air.



Douglas Hansen
New Parts; Engine Rebuilds; Sheet Metal work and Advice.
http://www.1147cc.com

spurs1canada Avatar
spurs1canada Silver Member Barry Hotspur
Winnipeg, MB, Canada   CAN
1972 Triumph GT6 MkIII "Mellow Yellow"
1976 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Li'l Red"
Would the cooler work if it was lying flat between rad and timing cover,does it have to have an actual wind blowing through it? i say this because i'm sure anything blocking the front of my rad in the Summer heat here would defo be bad,the way they have traffic lights set in Winnipeg means you never get through two lights,the car just gets hotter and hotter especially if stuck downtown with the hot tarmac beneath you.

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1147cc Avatar
1147cc Silver Member Douglas Hansen
Westminster, SC, USA   USA
if you car over heats in that driving condition I would figure out why and fix that first.
Sounds like a major problem.
you car should be able to sit in 100F at idle without overheating.

In reply to # 1328894 by spurs1canada Would the cooler work if it was lying flat between rad and timing cover,does it have to have an actual wind blowing through it? i say this because i'm sure anything blocking the front of my rad in the Summer heat here would defo be bad,the way they have traffic lights set in Winnipeg means you never get through two lights,the car just gets hotter and hotter especially if stuck downtown with the hot tarmac beneath you.



Douglas Hansen
New Parts; Engine Rebuilds; Sheet Metal work and Advice.
http://www.1147cc.com

hearditallbefore Avatar
Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK   GBR
In reply to # 1328894 by spurs1canada Would the cooler work if it was lying flat between rad and timing cover,does it have to have an actual wind blowing through it? i say this because i'm sure anything blocking the front of my rad in the Summer heat here would defo be bad,the way they have traffic lights set in Winnipeg means you never get through two lights,the car just gets hotter and hotter especially if stuck downtown with the hot tarmac beneath you.

Mount it vertically on the side of the radiator?
Seems a popular solution.



Swatting the yellow jackets away from the Triumph apple of truth…

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spurs1canada Avatar
spurs1canada Silver Member Barry Hotspur
Winnipeg, MB, Canada   CAN
1972 Triumph GT6 MkIII "Mellow Yellow"
1976 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Li'l Red"
I have the viscous clutch fan doesn't seem to do much when stationary,it doesn't boil over but it doesn't seem to go down when stuck like that.

britsnspits Avatar
britsnspits Michael Stoliker
Bethlehem, PA, USA   USA
1976 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "The Phoenix"
1978 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Lucky"
Why not mount the oil cooler vertically between the radiator and the mounting frame and cut the blank mounting plate out to let air flow through it? You could drill holes in the U-shaped mounting frame to stick the hose fittings through and run the houses outside the radiator frame.

colodad Avatar
colodad Silver Member Calvin Williams
Grand Junction, CO, USA   USA
Great photos of the cooler and mounting Dave.
I didn't have my oil gauge last year, so I didn't know if my over heated oil was having a pressure drop, but yesterday I saw 10 psi. That freeked me out...
Air temps are climbing in Western Colorado now. My old 7.5:1 CR changed to 9:1 CR and that raises the block heat too.
I had parked for 20 minutes, restarted the engine, 800 rpm the oil was 10 psi. Temp gauge reading hot, ele fan kicked on, etc..
Oil cooler is what I read, cooler is what I need. Winter could over cool for sure here ?

spurs1canada Avatar
spurs1canada Silver Member Barry Hotspur
Winnipeg, MB, Canada   CAN
1972 Triumph GT6 MkIII "Mellow Yellow"
1976 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Li'l Red"
Yeh no doubt keeping oil cool on hwy important,my Spit oil pressure drops after a while at high speed down to 32 lbs, agreed not a new engine so wear and tear no doubt,just feel too much heat under bonnet and not enough air coming in to clear it.I'm almost thinking that the radiator side shields are blocking airflow to engine compartment.

grumpicus Steve Jackson
Leicester, Leicestershire, UK   GBR
In reply to # 1350168 by colodad Great photos of the cooler and mounting Dave.
I didn't have my oil gauge last year, so I didn't know if my over heated oil was having a pressure drop, but yesterday I saw 10 psi. That freeked me out...
Air temps are climbing in Western Colorado now. My old 7.5:1 CR changed to 9:1 CR and that raises the block heat too.
I had parked for 20 minutes, restarted the engine, 800 rpm the oil was 10 psi. Temp gauge reading hot, ele fan kicked on, etc..
Oil cooler is what I read, cooler is what I need. Winter could over cool for sure here ?

As I said previously in post #18 of this topic, the main problem is the poor transfer of heat from the oil system to the cooling system - not the cooling system itself. Drive the car moderately hard for any length of time & the oil will heat up above the coolant temperature. Oil pressure is fine as long as the revs are kept high, but let the revs drop, glance at the oil gauge....and prepare for a panic attack! A thermostatic oil cooler is the way forward if you plan to drive at higher speed for more than just a few minutes at a time. Once the ambient air temperature goes above freezing, drain out the 10W/30 grade oil and refill with 20W/50.

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