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Recommendations on an oil cooler kit

This is a discussion on Recommendations on an oil cooler kit within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Can anyone recommend a good oil cooler kit for a 2000 Trans Am? Thank you John Foyztoy Djfac@Aol.com...

  1. #1
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    Cool Recommendations on an oil cooler kit

    Can anyone recommend a good oil cooler kit for a 2000 Trans Am?

    Thank you
    John
    Foyztoy
    Djfac@Aol.com

  2. #2
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    If you are talking about the engine oil cooler, I rob them off of 3/4 ton 6.0 trucks that have factory oil coolers. The LS1 already has the provisions in the block right above the oil filter.

    So I get the fittings and lines from the truck, and also the cooler itself because it uses screw on flare style fittings for the factory lines. In most cases I've been able to adapt all the factory stuff, sometimes I have new lines made.

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    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Buy a B&M oil cooler kit and di it right. These kits can be used on engines or transmissions.
    My ride is a 2002 Camaro SS SLP #3296 with 30k, LTH, 3" Y, CME, Frost tune, K&N, ported TB, Blackwing lid, Bellows, MSD, Denso Iridium, and 85mm MAF, Bilsteins, Eibach springs, SLP strut brace, Adj. Panhard, TA Girdle, UMI, Pro 5.0, Nitto NT555
    My wife has a 2004 GTO with the rare SAP, 18" wheels, K&N Cold Air System, MSD, Ported TB, Frost tune, Denso Iridium, Flowmaster cat-back, 3200 Yank, 75k

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    From what I've found, unless you buy really high end stuff, the aftermarket has nothing but hose barb and screw clamp type of coolers with cheap rubber lines.

    My opinion that's a bit hokey and susceptible to leaks. The factory stuff was about as good as it gets with it's high pressure flare fitting lines that is part steel and part high pressure hose that is hydraulic clamped together, best part is that it's made to bolt directly to the block just as the factory intended it. It really doesn't get much better (or easier) than that.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I'll go a step further, this is probably more information that Djfac bargained for but we are all here to help right?

    These are pictures of my sandrail. To help explain, we use this thing off roading 100 miles from home through rough terrain up in the mountains where you won't see people for days. In other words your rig has to be rock solid dependable because you could be stuck for a long time.
    This is an air cooled VW which never used an oil filter from the factory. Like most people with these engines, I added one. These are 37 degree fittings (if I remember right) with 2500 psi hose custom made to run a remote oil filter. I had these made in the 1980's and as you can see, still in service without a hint of giving up. Matter of fact, they'll outlast the engine, and most likely outlast me . That's what you want if you want something dependable.
    A lot of people rig these things with hose barb, and cheap rubber fuel line and worm clamps from the local auto store. It works for a while. Eventually the worm clamps loosen up so you have to constantly check them. After 100's of heat cycles the cheap rubber lines also harden up and become brittle. These types of setups tend to "weep" oil over time, you have to make it a routine to check it. And like most things that are hard to get to, out of site, or just plain forgotten, people just don't keep up on it or don't have the time. Next thing you know, BAMB, you just sprung a leak out in the middle of no where land, because that cheap fuel hose just cracked or you had a worm clamp work loose.....YOUR STUCK.
    Better off to do it the right way and never have to worry about it again. Some people call this overkill, I call it never leaving me stranded in the wilderness.



    Here is a picture of the factory oil cooler line setup for an LS engine. As you can see it's made to bolt right on above the filter with a gasket, and looking further down the line it comes with a bracket to bolt to the side of the block. This thing hugs the oil pan tightly as it runs up front to the cooler so it fits in nearly any chassis configuration. It's a nice clean install, heavy duty and made to be trouble free for the life of the vehicle. The other end bolts onto the oil cooler as well, no clamps.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Would this be something beneficial for my 403 FBJ?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I like oil coolers any time I can add one without too much clutter. Is it necessary?? Probably not for most street applications.

    A lot of newer cars have them nowadays, and you see them almost always on trucks from 3/4 tons on up that are meant to do a lot of towing.

    If you are going to do a lot of road type course racing with the car, I might look into adding one. Relatively cheap to do if you find a 3/4 ton LQ truck in the yard, grab the lines and cooler for next to nothing.


    Even my 88 Iroc L98 had a factory engine oil cooler on it sandwiched between the oil filter and block, with steel lines that ran up front. For some reason GM got away from that when the 4th gens came out, yet the LS1's have always had the provisions for it in the block.

    I could go back further, the SD455 in 73-74 also had provisions in the block for oil cooler, as well as most of your high performance big block chevy stuff dating way back into the 60's. Even the new 502 crate motor I have sitting here is full of pipe plugs at the oil filter location, again for oil cooler provisions.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I'll drive you guys nuts talking about this but we can even get into Ford and how they saw oil coolers as beneficial.

    I have a 69 SCJ mustang. Part of the SCJ package was steeper rear gears. Either 3.91 or 4.30 is all you got. Ford found in testing they didn't like the oil temps at extended highway cruising. Their solution was an oil cooler. So any SCJ you see, the oil cooler up front is a dead giveaway.

    They didn't skimp either. They used a special oil filter adapter with 37 degree fittings and part steel, part high pressure line wrapped in steel coils to protect it, which again screws to the oil cooler up front.

    Here are pics of mine. At one time they were reproducing these parts about 20 years ago and then quit. Not sure if they ever started up again. But a good SCJ oil cooler setup, looking for original parts can set you back $3k-$5,000 easily.


    Here's a pic top side with cooler.


    Hard to get a pic of lines installed on the car but here are some old ones, you can clearly see the steel coil protecting the softer part of the lines. It's quality made OEM stuff for sure.



    Look at pic above and you can just start to see a bracket with a single bolt on the frame. Yes they even put PS coolers on these things.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 08-03-2015 at 11:33 AM.

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    Thanks for the informatio. Very helpful. And yes I never skimp on parts for my Foyztoy. The B&M looks complete.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Maybe GM didn't worry about it on the 4th gens because of the ultra tall final drives, aluminum blocks (LS1s at least)?

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