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Running Engine Oil Thru Automatic Transmission Radiator Cooler.
Topic Started: Sep 12 2015, 10:51 PM (1,576 Views)
Rondawg
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My 92 Vert has a 5 speed, but it has a radiator from an automatic, obviously the tranny cooler portion of the radiator is not being used. I was wondering, if I piped the engine oil thru the unused tranny cooler portion of the radiator would be a good idea?

* I always figgered the coolant heats up faster than engine oil, so it seems it would get the oil.warmed up quicker.
* I have no idea how hot the oil normally gets. Would it keep the oil cooler when it's running hard?
* Having extra oil in circulating around seems like a good idea.

Something like this would make it easy to run oil lines into the radiator:

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Mythstae
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This has been brought up before, the basic gist I can recall is:

Don't.

But, why not?

A. The lines in a transmission cooler are insufficient to allow the proper circulation. You'd starve your engine for oil and ruin it. Plus also,
B. Hotter oil gets you better gas mileage, or something like that :hmm
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Rondawg
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If you add enough extra oil to match the extra capicity of the tranny cooler, the circulation of the oil that is in the motor should not be changed. Cold oil surely is not good for MPG, so assuming the coolant heats up quicker than the oil, I would think, the oil would warm up faster being pumped thru a warm radiator.
I wonder how hot the oil is under normal running conditions?
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David95237


The trans cooler will not flow enough gallons. You would have to have a relief valve to pass the rest of the oil
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ZXTjato
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bass heads

I know its not quite the answer you were after but when I bought parts from T3 he sent me an actual oil cooler with all the adaptors and hoses. the hoses are quite large and the inlet and outlet of the mini radiator are large also. I wonder if the trans lines are to small? they are kind of small if I remember correct. have not had an auto around in a while. :dunno
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Rondawg
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David95237
Sep 12 2015, 11:22 PM
The trans cooler will not flow enough gallons. You would have to have a relief valve to pass the rest of the oil
Not pass enough? It will pass whatever it passes. If it passes an gallon a minute or a gallon an hour why would ya need a check valve?
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David95237


So if your oil pump puts out 5 gallons a minute to satisfy the motor and the cooler will only pass 1 gallon a minute, What are you going to do to not starve the engine?
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Rondawg
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I don't see how it would starve the engine in any way. The oil (whatever ammount) that goes into the cooler is instantly gonna be pumped right back in the motor. It's a closed loop system. Like putting in a bigger radiator and filling it to capacity is not gonna starve the engine of coolant!
I was an assembly and test technician on big comercial turbo fan jet engines for years. They have a fuel oil heat exchanger. Fuel is warmed and oil is cooled in this thing which looks like a heavy duty oversized heater core. Same principle as what I am thinking here.
I was just wondering if doing this would heat the oil faster, especially on cold winter mornings. And keep the oil a bit cooler when operating temp is reached
& if it would be a good thing or not?
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David95237


done here
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ZXTjato
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bass heads

maybe what hes getting at is like breathing through a straw?
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Old Man


Rondawg
Sep 13 2015, 12:10 AM
I don't see how it would starve the engine in any way.
1 1/2 inch fire hose ------(engine oil pump)
versus
3/4 inch garden hose-----(radiator hose connections)

So by your definition you could fight a fire with a 3/4 inch garden hose and not have to use a regular 1 1/2 inch fire hose and there would be plenty of water to fight the fire?
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Memphis metro


Why bother? Just change oil at regular intervals as it should be. There is no need for oil to heat up quickly. It will be plenty hot enough by the time the thermostat opens for the coolant system. Now if you wanted to run 20w50 in your car of which is not called for then you have a reason to heat your oil up but if your running what the engineers determined your engine needs for engine oil then you have no real reason to heat your oil up any faster than it already does. No real reason to cool it down either such as automatic transmission fluid. Are you taking up racing? In a geo metro, I do not see the need.
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Stubby79
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Use a block heater if you want to warm your oil(and everything else) up sooner.
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myredvert
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myredvert

Quote:
 
I was an assembly and test technician on big comercial turbo fan jet engines for years. They have a fuel oil heat exchanger. Fuel is warmed and oil is cooled in this thing which looks like a heavy duty oversized heater core. Same principle as what I am thinking here.
Same principal except in principal the fact that aircraft systems are engineered tends to produce significantly different results than DIY imagineering. And beyond the infinitely greater amount of actual engineering that goes into the system design and professional analysis of systems and operational safety considerations, aircraft are subject to indescribably more strict maintenance intervals and quality control standards. You can not compare one to the other while ignoring the reality of the engineering, design, and maintenance differences.

The idea of wanting to warm the oil a little quicker and keep it running slightly cooler is a good idea - in "principal." Oil actually does take notably longer to warm to normal operating temperature than the coolant, and in operation typically runs warmer than the coolant, but in a normally operating system those things are all within normal systems tolerances and dsign considerations.

But there are several things that you need to consider without getting too tunnel visioned, and others have brought up one main functional issue that you don't seem to be giving much consideration. Would the system in fact have sufficient flow? Just because the system is "closed" doesn't mean the flow rate will be adequate to cycle fresh oil to the engine at the rate it was designed to have.

One important principal in systems design is to first ask the question "Is it even needed?" And if it is actually needed what is the least risky method of accomplishing the goal? And by risk I mean to both the most important component consideration in the loop, the engine, as well as the amount of risk in terms of safety.

And so far you have not even mentioned the fact that you would be intentionally increasing the odds of system failure by installing more fittings and lines where they were never needed for the system to work properly as designed. Do you really want to risk losing your engine because of a single point failure in a home made modification you didn't even need? And if it even provided adequate flow rates at the proper pressure, will you also "engineer" an automatic bypass system to ensure adequate oil is still routed to your engine in the event that your home made system becomes blocked or develops a leak?

And since you brought up aircraft systems, and those systems are always engineered with just a tad bit more consideration and knowledge about safety than is typically found on an internet forum - you will be routing flammable liquid directly to the place on a car that very commonly produces fluid leaks in a frontal collision that previously would have posed a fairly low risk to the occupants. Not as dangerous as fuel in the radiator, but considerably and unnecessarily more dangerous than originally designed. It's one thing to "live with" coolant becoming uncontained in a collision, placing flammable liquids in the same position may not be something that is as easy "to live with." Literally.

And auto manufacturers install oil coolers in systems when they are required for proper engine operation, e.g., in higher power design evolutions that used basic systems that were originally designed for engines with smaller amounts of thermal production, or when making an oil system of self sufficient cooling capacity is not practical. So if you are considering adding two or three super hummer turbo chargers and increasing your hp to significantly more than 100, then maybe you should consider an oil cooler at that time. Otherwise, as so eloquently stated by Ms. M - "don't do it."

My opinion is that if you don't want to increase the risk to your engine or the risk toyourself and others in a collision but would like to warm the oil quicker - then consider Stubby's advice and use an electric "pre-heater" of some type.

Since you brought up the "principal" of a fuel/oil heat exchanger in a turbine engine, in many if not most cases the actual reason for that heat exchanger is because of a primary need to heat the fuel and eliminate the reliance on fuel anti-icing additives to prevent the fuel from gelling with prolonged exposure to extreme low temperatures at altitude - not to "pre-heat" or cool the oil. It's an engineered necessity - the principal of which you may have misunderstood. And they don't put them in the front of a vehicle where even a relatively common minor frontal impact can compromise the system and spray/leak flammable liquid in the vicinity of ignition sources.

Other than those important differences in engineering, systems design, and safety, sure, in principal your idea is pretty much the same. ;)
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68custom


not a good idea. listen to your peers!
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