LS Oil Cooler

Discussion in 'General Tech' started by BigSouth, Jan 15, 2020.

?

Is your LS oil cooler hooked up or blocked off?

  1. Hooked Up

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Blocked Off

    3 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. BigSouth

    BigSouth Doesn't play well with others!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Location:
    Shelby, NC
    All you guys running LS swapped rigs... Is your oil cooler hooked up or blocked off. Pros and cons appreciated.
     
  2. Tim C

    Tim C Wizard

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Fayetteville
    I'm not running an ls, but I do have an oil cooler added to the 390 stroker in my Fairlane. As long as there's no clearance issues running lines and you can protect the cooler from damage (if it's the add on style vs the stock gm radiator version) then I'd run it. Cooling the oil will ease the load on the cooling system, which is why I put one on the Fairlane. It would creep hotter and hotter at idle in 90+ degree weather til I'd shut down at 240. After the oil cooler it runs no more than 215 coolant temp ever.

    Oil is what cools the bottom of the pistons and the crank, cam and valve train. That's why all the modern trucks gas and diesel alike run oil coolers, and many have jets spraying oil on the bottom of the pistons. That's the only way you can be making 400+hp pulling 30k+ with a pickup sized radiator.

    If you don't use a radiator tank or other coolant to oil cooler (in other words if you run a standalone air to oil cooler like an add on transmission style) you'll need a thermostat to allow the oil to warm up enough to evaporate condensation.
     
    BigSouth likes this.
  3. rockcity

    rockcity everyday is a chance to get better

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    No engine oil cooler on my LS1. I didn’t feel like I needed it. Engine keeps low enough temps for a crawler that I didn’t feel it was necessary. Less $, less stuff to break and screw up.

    I figured I’d run a quality oil and change it every season and I’d be good.


    I haven’t needed it yet as I rarely drive the buggy aside from a day trip to UNF. On the first generation of the buggy with a LQ4, same thing. No oil cooler and it was good for a couple years and had reasonable use before it caught fire.
     
    Paul and BigSouth like this.
  4. Paul

    Paul Dr 'Dre Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    Kings Mountain
    Yo Brian, who just told you this ^^^^, exactly! LOL!
     
    rockcity and BigSouth like this.
  5. BigSouth

    BigSouth Doesn't play well with others!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Location:
    Shelby, NC
    I guess a few more details are in order. Very mild 5.3 LS, overkill CBR radiator and dual fans in the rear of the buggy. I’m referring to the OEM oil cooler in the oil pan. My initial thoughts are to block it off with a fancy aluminum plate and let oil temps follow coolant temps. That’d make 2 less lines to run and possibly break on the trail. Just wanted to make sure the engine wouldn’t suffer.
     
  6. rockcity

    rockcity everyday is a chance to get better

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    Again, I have no cooler on my LS1 or on my previous LQ4. I removed the cooler fitting and use it as my accumulator port.

    many aftermarket and factory options for bypass plates for this fitting set up.
     
    BigSouth likes this.
  7. a_kelley

    a_kelley mechanical fixer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Location:
    Rutherfordton
    GM shipped the LS motors both with and without oil coolers. I'm not quite sure what was the deciding factor, but if you block it off, you should be aware that the factory block off plate is not just a plate, but has a passage milled out to permit oil to circulate though it! I say don't run a cooler, if you compromise a line, it doesn't take very long for the motor to pump itself dry. One of my customers lost a 6.2 due to the cooler line blowing out of the radiator on the interstate - by the time the gauge registered no oil pressure, it was already too late. Wiped out all the bearings.
     
    BigSouth likes this.
  8. Bebop

    Bebop Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2019
    Location:
    NC
    IMO, it depends on how you work it.

    With quality oil, you don't need a dedicated cooler if you're not putting long periods of load on it.

    My buggy doesn't have an oil cooler as it's a trail riding rig. If I were to race it, I totally would add one.
    My truck has an oil cooler cause it tows (under load) for extended periods at a time.
    Same for cars that see track use etc...

    By this logic you don't run a cooler for anything. I'd rather run one when needed and make sure the lines are in good shape. That's maintenance.
     
    BigSouth likes this.
  9. rockcity

    rockcity everyday is a chance to get better

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    My buggy blew the line to the accumulator last trip and it wasnt long (a couple seconds) and at least half the oil was on the ground. It was a mess. And a simple issue nearly left me inoperable had I not shut the engine down as quick as I did. A few quarts and a quick fix of the oil line and I was back running again. But, something like that could spit 8 quarts pretty quick and if you don’t have a couple gallons of oil with you, well it’s a no-go until you do.
     

Share This Page