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Tell me this is a bad idea: cheap oil cooler


Alex3000
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OK, so my car is 1st gen rx-7 and has, by all accounts, a pretty good oil cooler stock.  The fins on my original stock cooler are all bent and smooshed and in any case I am considering adding a second one (points hit worth it if it keeps the car cool.)

 

So, I want to replace my 30 year old cooler with a stock type replacement but THIS IS ALL I CAN FIND.  

 

Is this too cheap to be true?  Anyone ever use OPL stuff?

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Alex3000 said:

OK, so my car is 1st gen rx-7 and has, by all accounts, a pretty good oil cooler stock.  The fins on my original stock cooler are all bent and smooshed and in any case I am considering adding a second one (points hit worth it if it keeps the car cool.)

 

So, I want to replace my 30 year old cooler with a stock type replacement but THIS IS ALL I CAN FIND.  

 

Is this too cheap to be true?  Anyone ever use OPL stuff?

My ebay radiator is only $15 more and it's about 5x that size! And it has worked for many events now. So, no I don't think it's too cheap to be true.

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5 minutes ago, Alex3000 said:

You want to know how much an actual oem replacement is?

 

:o:o Wholly cow!  Friggin Mazda OEM. 

 

We were looking for a new ABS sensor for a 626.  Dealer wanted like $350 for it.  Crazy talk.  We bought a new set of spindles from a wrecker, they came with sensors attached!  We pulled one over on that guy good!

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The factory front mounts on the rx7s are absolutely phenomenal oil coolers. That said though, I also bought an eBay bar and plate cooler for my car, and I am very pleased with it so far. My only quibble is the hose fitting hexes are not the standard AN sizes so you may need some odd size wrenches to tighten things up. The threads in the cooler and the tapers were just fine though.

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3 hours ago, Alex3000 said:

OK, so my car is 1st gen rx-7 and has, by all accounts, a pretty good oil cooler stock.  The fins on my original stock cooler are all bent and smooshed and in any case I am considering adding a second one (points hit worth it if it keeps the car cool.)

 

So, I want to replace my 30 year old cooler with a stock type replacement but THIS IS ALL I CAN FIND.  

 

Is this too cheap to be true?  Anyone ever use OPL stuff?

 

 

 

The RX-7 oil cooler rejects 1/3 of the engine heat so you want to be careful about a cooler for the RX-7.  It is not just an extra crutch to help out.  I know we have one on the shelf from our RX-7 days, not sure whether it is first or second gen.  We will be at the October Road America race if you are interested.

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15 hours ago, Ron_e said:

 

The RX-7 oil cooler rejects 1/3 of the engine heat so you want to be careful about a cooler for the RX-7.  It is not just an extra crutch to help out.  I know we have one on the shelf from our RX-7 days, not sure whether it is first or second gen.  We will be at the October Road America race if you are interested.

 

Hey thanks for the offer.  It's a bit of a catch 22 though as I will not be entering the car in any races until I have the cooling issues resolved.  To your point though, this is why I made this post because, while staying in a "reasonable" budget is essential to my "racing program", oil cooling is so key to the rotary. But hey, if it seems legit, I am going to plumb two in in parallel and duct both properly.  If that isn't enough to get temps down then I'm buying an e36.

 

I ordered the cooler I posted above yesterday. I figure I'll get it, inspect it, and if it's not junk then I'll start making up lines and figuring mounting out and blah blah blah. If it is junk... back to the drawing board.

 

I'll keep the chump community updated as to whether or not it's garbage.  

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It will be interesting to find out what you see when you get the cooler, but from what I understand those are junk and completely ineffective. The key is to look at the tank on the side that has the fittings, on a OEM Mazda cooler there is a divider between the 2 fittings forcing the oil to make 2 passes through the cooler, if there is no divider between the 2 fittings the oil will just take the path of least resistance and go straight in and straight out and not go through the cooler at all. If the tank is divided then it should be fine.

 

The way I went was to use FC coolers, they are readily available on EBay for around $50, and they don't have the thin fitting bosses that are prone to cracking like the first gen coolers. You will have to make mounts and change up the plumbing since the FC cooler has the fittings in different places.

 

I like to remove the bypass thermostat since that is one more thing that could go wrong. If you take the big plug out of the bottom that holds in the thermostat you will see a hole in the divider between the fittings that the thermostat bypasses oil through when it is open. I fill this hole with an M8 button head screw, a crush washer on both sides, and a mechanical lock nut. That way I always have all the oil going through the coolers.

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18 minutes ago, mhr650 said:

It will be interesting to find out what you see when you get the cooler, but from what I understand those are junk and completely ineffective. The key is to look at the tank on the side that has the fittings, on a OEM Mazda cooler there is a divider between the 2 fittings forcing the oil to make 2 passes through the cooler, if there is no divider between the 2 fittings the oil will just take the path of least resistance and go straight in and straight out and not go through the cooler at all. If the tank is divided then it should be fine.

 

 

You know, I read that very criticism somewhere on the internet as well.  But I just can't believe someone would manufacture an oil cooler, however cheap it may be, that would just have an inlet next to an outlet with nothing channeling the oil through the cooler.  

 

So, yeah, that is my main criteria as to whether or not I use it, assuming it is adequately constructed. 

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36 minutes ago, bbaker480 said:

Today I learned we have $1500 in oil coolers just hanging out in the garage......

 

Yeah, hang onto all those old rx7 parts.  I feel like the underground parts market for these cars is skyrocketing.  I know I have paid amounts I would not like to say out loud for questionable junkyard parts.

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UPDATE:

I received the oil cooler.  Unpacked it and all and all it looks pretty good.  There are a few mars/scratches here and there but for $60 it seems like a pretty nice little cooler.

 

Also, it does have a blocking divider!  I stuck a paper clip in to see if I could feel any gaps and it feels pretty solid.  I also shined a flashlight in one side to see if I could see light bleeding through any gaps to the other side and, again it seemed fine. I'm keepin it!

 

Weird thing though:  The plugs for the inlet/outlets had oil on them (you can see in the pictures)... I am assuming it may have been flow tested?  Or someone returned it... Either way I suppose it's not too concerning given it's stated purpose.

 

80-img_1283_e7f45cab59b59277ce5b46fc1ea4

 

 

80-img_1286_208686668d5255cd9ed3b32edd3b

 

Wayne was equally as concerned about the quality of the oil cooler.

80-img_1284_26bc086682885871c4c9421dd4be

 

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On 9/1/2017 at 5:31 PM, Alex3000 said:

UPDATE:

I received the oil cooler.  Unpacked it and all and all it looks pretty good.  There are a few mars/scratches here and there but for $60 it seems like a pretty nice little cooler.

 

Also, it does have a blocking divider!  I stuck a paper clip in to see if I could feel any gaps and it feels pretty solid.  I also shined a flashlight in one side to see if I could see light bleeding through any gaps to the other side and, again it seemed fine. I'm keepin it!

 

Weird thing though:  The plugs for the inlet/outlets had oil on them (you can see in the pictures)... I am assuming it may have been flow tested?  Or someone returned it... Either way I suppose it's not too concerning given it's stated purpose.

 

80-img_1283_e7f45cab59b59277ce5b46fc1ea4

 

 

80-img_1286_208686668d5255cd9ed3b32edd3b

 

Wayne was equally as concerned about the quality of the oil cooler.

80-img_1284_26bc086682885871c4c9421dd4be

 

Looks just like a 1st gen cooler to me.  Nice work.

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