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Old 03-22-2010, 09:17 AM   #1
SpeedDemon
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Question Oil Cooler Necessary

I'm going to continue tracking my 330 a lot more this summer and I'm wondering at what point an oil cooler is usually necessary.

I'm considering adding gauges so I can monitor oil temp, but I'm curious if its even possible to overheat the M54 in stock form doing advanced group HPDEs?

For those that have ran data acquisition or even gauges, what does it take to get the oil temps too hot on the M54?

If I do go with an oil cooler setup then what do you guys think of this Euro Style Racing Oil Cooler Kit from VAC Motorsports.

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
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That system will probably do the trick. I use the M54 BMW Motorsport housing, some AN-10 lines, and a Setrab cooler. I do suggest ditching the SS braided lines for something that's much easier to fabricate and route. I've been using Earls Pro-Lite 350 and then wrapping it with Russell Wrap-It Wire & Hose Protection.

Without an oil cooler, I was running around 280-300F oil temps. With the cooler, it's 220-230F. I even have my oil cooler mounted behind the radiator, so if it's in front, you will probably see something less than I do.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:55 PM   #3
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Do you think that I can get up to 280-300F in 30 minutes of being out on track?

Also, what are considered "bad temperature ranges" or "danger temperature ranges"?

What would be considered and optimal temperature range?

Thanks!!!
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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I called and talked to VAC and it sounds like it will be a pain to make their kit work with the factory power steering pump and reservoir; they suggested using an older E36 PS pump but it sounds like even that needs a custom bracket made and possibly even a custom reservoir. It sounds like a factory M54 piece would be a much better idea if it can be made to work on a dual-purpose street/track car like mine so... I took a look at the Motorsport M54 Oil Filter Housing on Turner's website and it is a pretty slick unit, but I definitely have some questions...

1. What parts would be needed to make the OE sensors work?
2. Does it have a thermostat in it like the OE S50B30 oil filter housing does? Will this thermostat still work well for a street car application or is there anything wrong with using it for that?
3. Anything else you can think of that I should know about?

Here are some pictures that I got while making some phone calls and doing some research:





For comparison's sake this is what the stock housing looks like:


Last edited by SpeedDemon; 03-22-2010 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
Do you think that I can get up to 280-300F in 30 minutes of being out on track?

Also, what are considered "bad temperature ranges" or "danger temperature ranges"?

What would be considered and optimal temperature range?
This thread is bursting with relevant info :
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...hlight=stewart
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:29 PM   #6
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yes, yes
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:34 PM   #7
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Here's what I do. I use that machined port for the oil pressure sensor (I use a different oil pressure sensor because I run an AIM dash) but the oil temp sensor needs to be relocated in the bottom of the pan using Turners adapter that replaces the oil level sensor. You'll need to extend the wires to that sensor. I just live with the oil level light going off every time the car is started. Also, to make that housing fit, you need to buy some M6X1.0 threaded rod from McMaster Carr and a M6X1.0 Jet nut from a place like Pegasus.

You have to remember, parts like these are motorsport parts and not some bolt on unit designed for the general consumer. As long as you take a bit of responsibility on your own, they will work.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:52 PM   #8
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Does the Motorsport housing have a built-in thermostat or would I have to run one inline?

Do you think that I could just use one of VAC's Inline Oil Sensor Manifolds to get the Oil temp and pressure off that single outlet on the Motorsport filter housing (to the OE sensors)?


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Old 03-22-2010, 05:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
Do you think that I can get up to 280-300F in 30 minutes of being out on track?

Also, what are considered "bad temperature ranges" or "danger temperature ranges"?

What would be considered and optimal temperature range?

Thanks!!!
From my track experience, oil temp should run no more than about 50-60 deg above coolant temp. Chas
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:42 AM   #10
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I have been logging oil temps for a while now and under all kinds of track conditions. What kind of ambient temps are you seeing at your track events? I will see if I can dig out something from my archive (along with corresponding coolant, IAT, RPM). to give you an idea. Of course other conditions apply, ie car setup, driving style, etc.

Some time last year, I decided to do this study. Might give you an idea on where to install the sensor too.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:11 AM   #11
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I'll put it to you this way. The hotter the oil gets (above 230) the engine makes less power. I found out the hard way back around 2003. We'd run a race and the drivers would start to complain after an hour that the engine was losing power. We'd start to notice that there would be a trail of black smoke under deceleration (i.e. going into turn one at Daytona). What I've found out is that the ECU is trying to save the engine by dumping more fuel in it and backing off on the ignition timing. The engine would lose power in about 40 minutes if we ran the stock radiator fan and shroud.

As long as the outside air temp was below 60 deg F, then the car seemed to be OK but then that all depended on the track. Places like Trois Rivieres were the worst as you never get enough straight line speed thus not enough air flow. When we would come in for a pit stop, it was not uncommon to see a small puddle of water under the car when it would leave. Some teams have tried bigger radiators and it would help but not as much as an oil cooler did.

The oil temp sensor does need to register the oil temp. If not, the ECU is confused and the engine will make less power. If you unhook the oil temp sensor, the engine uses about 30% more fuel and will even shoot flames out the tail pipe under deceleration followed by a big ol' backfire. It looks kewl but not something you really want to do.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Paddle.Shift View Post
I have been logging oil temps for a while now and under all kinds of track conditions. What kind of ambient temps are you seeing at your track events? I will see if I can dig out something from my archive (along with corresponding coolant, IAT, RPM). to give you an idea. Of course other conditions apply, ie car setup, driving style, etc.

Some time last year, I decided to do this study. Might give you an idea on where to install the sensor too.
Being in the pacific northwest means that I see a huge range of temperatures. The car will be out on track anywhere between 50F to 105F. The average will be closer to between 65F to 85F.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:50 AM   #13
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@mrshelley, Any thoughts on my questions about whether the Motorsport unit has a thermostat, and if it doesn't, if it would be possible to use an inline thermostat with it? Also, would it be possible to use a distribution block like the one I posted above to get pressure and temperature from the same 10x1.0 hole?
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:16 PM   #14
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It doesn't have a thermostat. An inline one would work. You could use that distribution block but I'd still go with the pressure sensor in the housing and the temp sensor in the pan. I am not a fan of adding distribution blocks. Just so you know, it's a really tight fit where the lines come out of the back of that housing. I have a pic sitting around somewhere of what it looks like on my car (the lines running to the housing). Let me look for it and I'll post it.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:27 PM   #15
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Just curious what you don't like about distribution blocks since I have no experience with them?
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:19 AM   #16
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Just curious what you don't like about distribution blocks since I have no experience with them?
well this talks about the block in the LeatherZ setup:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Paddle.Shift View Post
The leatherZ kit taps into the back of the oil filter housing. There are pros and cons. Pro being it reads the same place where the factory oil pressure is located. Con being that the vdo kit sender is way too big and that space is way too tight. Go for an Autometer, Defi or Greddy and you will get a 1/8 npt sender. More compact sender.

The drain plug is where I mount mine. The plug is M12x1.5 and there are adapters sold by Autometer or egauges that allow a M12 to 1/8npt.
I'm guessing they dislike the tight clearance of the dist. blocks and prefer temp from the oil pan.

from: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...&highlight=vdo
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:42 PM   #17
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Here's a distribution block alternative: an oil filter cap with ports for senders
http://www.uucmotorwerks.com/html_pr...enter/what.htm

$100. but it seems pretty convenient.

Edit: not for E46 non M.
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:20 PM   #18
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and speaking of oil filter caps, I came across this oil cooler set up that draws and returns from a VPD oil filter cap:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=552366

Not sure if it's still made anymore, but it too seems pretty convenient.
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:18 AM   #19
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Here's a distribution block alternative: an oil filter cap with ports for senders
http://www.uucmotorwerks.com/html_pr...enter/what.htm

$100. but it seems pretty convenient.

Edit: not for E46 non M.
Theres one for non-M available from CA-Auto
Non-M Oil Cap with sender holes
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:34 AM   #20
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Theres one for non-M available from CA-Auto
Non-M Oil Cap with sender holes
Glorious.

EDIT: Here's the U.S. vendor of that^:
http://www.bmpdesign.com/product-exe...earch_model/76

Per the thread topic- that link lead to another oil cooler option (scroll down)- though I'm not clear if it has any advantage over the previously mentioned ones:
http://www.ca-automotive.co.uk/produ...faWQ9Nw==.html
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