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Old 09-27-2007, 08:08 AM
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Block Oil cooler - Can I plug them?

Last time I *thought* I knew what I was doing I was wrong:

see SBC + Water Routing (heating/coolant ?) "SBC + Water Routing (heating/coolant?)"

So I come again before you with grand plans of bypassing something because it's become a pain in the ***. Long story short I've got an 1989 Chevy Pickup Truck that has a radiator with an oil cooler. Obviously there are (2) lines: send/return to/from the block near the oil filter.

The radiator has a serious leak and it's ridiculously expensive to buy another one that has the oil cooler. I don't tow, I don't feel I really need an oil cooler.

I went to my buddies junkyard and pulled a dual core radiator from a similar year truck. I get home only to find that the oil cooler lines don't fit in the bungholes.

Me being the most awesome mechanic on earth, I destroyed the lines from the donor vehicle whilst removing the dual core radiator. I attempted to go to the parts store to buy the lines but I can't even find the right size.

I'm sick of this oil cooler mess, my wife is upset because I'm driving her car every day since the other truck is down...I need to get it rolling. So, is it at all possible to simply buy some brass plugs and remove the oil cooler lines, plug the block and be happy? Or will I have oil routing issues if I do this?
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:25 AM
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To be honest I would take a line for the exit to the return just a couple inches you know since I'm not sure if the plugs would work. Most of these engines re-route all the oil through the cooler. Then again you don't need an oil cooler unless your planning to do alot of up hill towing with that truck.
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:47 AM
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that would be the smartest thing to do. Maybe I'll just do that if nobody can give me a definitive answer.
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unstable
Last time I *thought* I knew what I was doing I was wrong:

see SBC + Water Routing (heating/coolant ?) "SBC + Water Routing (heating/coolant?)"

So I come again before you with grand plans of bypassing something because it's become a pain in the ***. Long story short I've got an 1989 Chevy Pickup Truck that has a radiator with an oil cooler. Obviously there are (2) lines: send/return to/from the block near the oil filter.

The radiator has a serious leak and it's ridiculously expensive to buy another one that has the oil cooler. I don't tow, I don't feel I really need an oil cooler.

I went to my buddies junkyard and pulled a dual core radiator from a similar year truck. I get home only to find that the oil cooler lines don't fit in the bungholes.

Me being the most awesome mechanic on earth, I destroyed the lines from the donor vehicle whilst removing the dual core radiator. I attempted to go to the parts store to buy the lines but I can't even find the right size.

I'm sick of this oil cooler mess, my wife is upset because I'm driving her car every day since the other truck is down...I need to get it rolling. So, is it at all possible to simply buy some brass plugs and remove the oil cooler lines, plug the block and be happy? Or will I have oil routing issues if I do this?
This gadget really isn't an oil cooler, at least that's not why the factory put it there. It's really an oil heater, designed to warm the oil to provide better early after start lubrication with the swill that passes for oil these days and it's intended to speed engine warm up to get the injection off choke enrichment earlier than otherwise possible when the oil just eventually warms up with use, this improves upper cylinder lubrication by reducing fuel wash on the cylinder walls which greatly improves engine life especially if you do short trips where the engine would otherwise not get to operating temp. and it's intended to reduce cold start emissions, which are really high, by getting the engine warmed faster. You will find that discontinuing this arrangement will result in about twice to three times the length of time it currently takes to get the engine to operating temp a much longer in time winter.

For towing, you have to purchase the towing package which includes a real oil cooler in addition to this radiator heating device. People who don't do this find themselves buying transmissions and or engines 'cause this stuff went up in smoke.

To get around your "problem" cheaply just rout a rubber hose suitable for the pressure and fuel and oil resistant from one of the tubes along side the engine to the other or take the adapter off, remove the oil filter nipple and reinstall in the block oil filter casting and put the filter back on. This makes short work of the problem but like I said introduces cold start lubrication, fuel wash, and emissions problems.

Bogie
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:04 AM
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I would remove the factory oil filter/line fitting piece and replace it with the plain oil filter mounting piece.

tom
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:04 AM
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bogie,
thanks for the insight. I'll see what's involved in removing this arrangement from the mix all together because it's very annoying. Honestly I'd rather have it hooked up correctly but I don't know the year or model of the truck that I took this radiator from and my buddy that owns the yard is jerking me around saying he's going to call me and let me know or let me go back and get some more stuff.

meanwhile my wife is of course getting upset with me because I'm driving her car.

Also the fittings that thread into the radiator are kind of odd-ball, I'd call it a flange but it's not. It's as if part of the steel line actually protrudes into the radiator to create a seal. So this pretty much rules out getting a few brass fittings and doing my own flanges or running rubber hose back to the block.

just wondering why my life seems more difficult than it needs to be sometimes
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:05 AM
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Tom-
thanks for the insight as well. I'm going to see if I can take this approach.
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Old 09-27-2007, 05:43 PM
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oil cooler/heater

Yup I did the same thing. Drop the oil filter take the two
allen head bolts out drop the whole aluminum housing with
lines everything and purchase the stock screw on aluminum
set up. I have a few of them I would give ya one ,but I'm here
your there.
They are cheap though.
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:21 PM
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Block oil cooler

Just take the old oil cooler adapter off at the block and mount the oil filter like several million other SBC's. No hassle, no chance of a line breaking and losing an engine.
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Byers
Yup I did the same thing. Drop the oil filter take the two
allen head bolts out drop the whole aluminum housing with
lines everything and purchase the stock screw on aluminum
set up. I have a few of them I would give ya one ,but I'm here
your there.
They are cheap though.
these available through NAPA or Autozone or do I need to mail order it?
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Old 09-29-2007, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unstable
these available through NAPA or Autozone or do I need to mail order it?
I climbed up under there this morning and I'm only seeing a single hex...is this right? And also, if anyone can tell me whether or not this is available at autozone/napa I'll have a better idea of whether I should just run a hose from one line to the other for the time being while I mail order or I can pop this thing off and go to the parts store.
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Old 09-29-2007, 09:47 AM
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Block oil cooler

It's been a while since I've had one apart but here goes. Is the single hex you're talking about where the filter screws on? I think that's it, unscrew it and the adapter should come off. If not, I think the normal filter adapter is held on with 2 5/16 bolts, that may be the case with the cooler adapter also. In any case, undo the bolts you see under the oil filter, whatever they are and the cooler adapter will come off. The normal adapter is available through GM dealers or even a junk yard off an old SBC. I think they're all the same. I just called my local NAPA and they don't have them, only the gasket. They said it was a dealer part. If you bypass the line with a hose for now be sure to use fuel injection spec hose and double clamp both ends. Regular fuel line wasn't made to handle the amount of oil pressure the oil pump can produce.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:43 AM
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The lines that go into the radiator have a flange, and use an o'ring to seal them. I have worked on many of these trucks. The correct o'rings are only available at the dealer. Most of them have required new lines, because the lines have a rubber section that allows for engine movement or vibration. The oil leak is most likely from the factory crimp in the rubber section. You should be able to purchase a New radiator for your truck below $200.00. I just called my supplier of radiator's and could sell you one for $190.00's and laugh all the way to the bank. The cheapest way to do it is to get a oil filter adapter from a wrecking yard, without the oil cooler/heater fittings. Your's does bolt on with 2 allen bolts. You can replace it easily enough to get you going. Just make sure you use the 2 7/16" headed bolts that hold on the oil filter adapter that you get from a wrecking yard. Your oil leak will quit just as soon as the oil drains out of you radiator.
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Old 09-29-2007, 12:38 PM
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www.radiatorbarn.com -> I've bought a couple radiators from them and they've always been fast to ship and good quality for an excellent price.

In this case though . . . I might look at the rubber hose approach! A single row with oil cooler/heater (whatever it is), is reasonable, around $135 shipped, but a double row is like $240!
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