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  1. #1
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    6 out of 6 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No

    My new oil cooler

    So there is a little known fact that the xi only comes with and a oil cooler if spec'd with the sport package AND the 18" wheel package. It is also limited to 135 mph without the 18s but the COBB AP took car of that... Click here to enlarge Mine was spec'd with the sport package but not the 18" wheels so no oil cooler. Click here to enlarge

    The options for aftermarket oil coolers are AR (smallish, really meant to augment the stock oil cooler, that I don't have), Stett (great option but pricey), and the place with the dual oil coolers that was going to be $2500 (Ultimate Racing??). Anyway, the Stett option is a grand but only if you have the factory setup. I did not and so it was around $1500 all said and done. I wasn't willing to spend that much and figured I could do it on my own for cheaper.

    Step 1 - get an oil filter housing with thermostat capable of using an oil cooler. Mine was not setup for that and there is no way to make my stock housing work. I could have ordered the parts from Tischer but figured I'd try the salvage yards. Car-part.com does not list the oil filter housing as a separate item so I just called the yards that had long blocks for sale and asked. I would email this pic to make sure they had what I wanted.

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    This is my actual engine bay. Again, suck. Click here to enlarge
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    Luckily I found a shop that had the parts in Houston and $225 later I had the oil filter housing and thermostat.
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    Now the tricky part. How do you get that housing to fit aftermarket stuff?? Stett would not sell me their block off plate by itself and the $2500 oil cooler shop would not sell me their fitting either. Undaunted, decided to tap the thermostat housing with a 3/8" NPT fitting and run a 3/8" NPT to -8AN fitting. -8 AN is the same size that the Stett system uses and it sizes perfectly to 3/8" NPT. If you want -10, you need a bigger NPT thread. Tapping this thing is no small deal. I needed a vice, a friend, a big tap holder, and a break when it was all done. That's a big tap...

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    Next up: mounting. The next several images are me looking at the space and identifying the right size cooler.
    Fender liner
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    Liner removed
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    Close up of the brake duct with the cover on the mesh removed
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    half of the brake duct
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    Cover on the mesh - I removed this of course.
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    Duct out and fully assembled
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    There's a screw holding the duct in place in the front of the car that holds onto this tab.
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    The screw is on the opposite side of this plastic area. Sorry, best I could do.
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    The next four are of a box that I used to size up the area. It's tough to get an idea of how much space you have without something to reference by. I figured others might be able to use this.

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    I settled on an Earl's 34 row narrow cooler. This is not as wide as a SETRAB cooler so the capacity is lower but it's probably double the stock cooler. I bought my -8AN fittings, adapters, cooler, and lines from anplumbing.com which is the Earl's store. I spent a lot of time researching the parts I needed but went with the black Ano-tuff fittings and Pro-lite hose. All of the hoses have a 300 deg F tolerance and I didn't want to mess with the wire braid. I believe Stett uses this as well. They have great videos of how to make the AN fittings go on the braided lines. All in all it was great experience dealing with Earl's. They're always willing to answer questions and even took returns when the 60 deg fittings I bought didn't work for the space. I ended up with the 34 row narrow Earl's cooler, 7 ft of Pro-lite hose, two 3/8" NPT to -8AN adapters, two 45 deg -8AN fittings Ano-Tuff, and two 90 deg -8AN fittings Ano-Tuff.

    Now we're on to mounting the thing. I have spent the most time with this part. It's is VERY time consuming and frustrating to try and develop a mounting strategy with home depot brackets and a dremel tool... I eventually just bought some steel angle that had holes and went to work. I'm sparing you the THREE different SETS of steel brackets made and just showing the final option. I made these, sanded and painted them and then glued cut up heater hose on the side that will contact the frame rail.

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    I'll be essentially squeezing the main frame rail with these two steel pieces and mounting the cooler to the outside steel. This way I don't have to drill anything into the car. That's my personal preference and others can do as they wish. I just didn't feel comfortable drilling there.

    Click here to enlarge

    Next we have to make the cooler attach to the steel. I bought a $45 piece of Al angle and went to work with the dremel tool to make the upper and lower brackets. All coolers are made to work with brackets. YOu should not try to use the cooler top and bottom to secure the cooler. They are not strong enough. I got the idea for this design from the brackets that are actually sold for the Earl's cooler. I need it to extend out on one side so I just made mine. I have a love/hate relationship with my dremel tool now - especially since THREE separate SETS of Al brackets were fabbed before this one...

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    Note the notch. It plays an important role.
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    Bottom view
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    Side view
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    Cooler mounted: The notch holds the cooler in place so the squeezing steel brackets don't slide down the frame rail.
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    Top view from engine bay. I put heater hose around the bolts to cushion everything.
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    More views of the mounted cooler
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    Now with the lines

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    My fender liner was cut all to hell during several mock ups. I'm ordering a new one because these NUMEROUS cuts aren't necessary but this gives you an idea of the tightness.

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    This is a view without the fender liner of the bottom of the cooler when mounted. It's real close with the 34 row cooler.

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    Here's a shot from the front bumper mesh. I never removed the bumper during the whole thing.
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    More shots from the mesh. Note the notch doing its thing.
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    One thing is clear. I need a new Iphone with a better camera....
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    I painted my oil filter housing with caliper paint. I never understood why BMW left it bare Al as it just oxidizes and looks like $#@!. I followed this DIY for removing the intake manifold. http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=520922 but got to the part with this bracket and gave up.

    http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/9327/img0718z.jpg

    I could never get mine off and didn't want to spend too much time fooling with it.

    Turns out you can remove the oil filter housing bolt but just lifting the intake manifold with all of the nuts and bolt removed. It's a pain but it does work.

    I don't have pix of the install as time was short but here are some shots of the lines on my housing, etc.

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    More with a POS LED flashlight. Ooooh blue.... Click here to enlarge

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    Not wanting my lines to rub. I'll be ordering an Al line holder from anplumbing to pretty this up.
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    I let the car idle for about 20 min while buttoning everything up and promptly beat the $#@! out of it. Oil temp never went over 245 and the cooler was hot. I'm guessing that's what my thermostat opens at. I was going to remove it altogether but read the Mr.5 thread about the housing and from it it seems without the thermostat, the oil won't go through the cooler. If anyone knows differently please post up. I don't like it that high but I doubt it'll go any higher... :happyanim:

    No leaks:happyanim:

  2. #2
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    it should be lower than that at all times with a cooler? The AR design one might be smaller, but I have repeatedly abused customers cars with them while logging and the temp gauge never passed 230..and they didnt have the factory oil cooler either.

    Only on a very hot day I was able to get the oil temps to come past 250, and that was after several 0-150 runs back to back...a short drive of about a mile to let it cool down immediatley brought it back to 230..

    but kudos to the DIY you made here..quite informative.

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    Wow man great work. Very nice diy project.

  4. #4
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by boom Click here to enlarge
    So there is a little known fact that the xi only comes with and a oil cooler if spec'd with the sport package AND the 18" wheel package.
    That is kind of weird, requires the wheels as well? Doesn't follow any logic.

  5. #5
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Matt@Camber-Toe Click here to enlarge
    it should be lower than that at all times with a cooler? The AR design one might be smaller, but I have repeatedly abused customers cars with them while logging and the temp gauge never passed 230..and they didnt have the factory oil cooler either.

    Only on a very hot day I was able to get the oil temps to come past 250, and that was after several 0-150 runs back to back...a short drive of about a mile to let it cool down immediatley brought it back to 230..

    but kudos to the DIY you made here..quite informative.
    Thanks. I'm not saying my car will always operate at 245. I let it idle for a long time to make sure the oil was flowing. I pulled out of my garage at 235. It had risen that high just sitting there with no air flow. The cooler was not warm but that's probably because the oil pressure was low just from idling. As soon as I boosted it it went 245. I checked the cooler after a couple of bursts and it was hot so I knew it was working. I don't actually know what the normal operating temp will be. I'd hope it's in the 220-230 range.

  6. #6
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    Your install looks great. Quality write up and DIY as well. Did you end up saving enough money for it to be worthwhile in your opinion?
    Click here to enlarge

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    very nice job boom, custom is always cheaper and more fun eh? i just did my stett cooler and i have to say it did make a noticeable difference. on the cnc distribution block they provide, i would make a shallow recess for the o-ring that goes in between the filter housing the the cnc block, instead of a flat edge. i could see a potential o-ring crush which would give rise to an inevitable oil leak. lets just hope it doesnt happen. with you using the stock oil cooler n54 housing i dont see a problem like that on your end, nice work on the black too, custom baby Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge
    2007 335i Coupe
    Mods: Check the Garage

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SSDD Click here to enlarge
    Your install looks great. Quality write up and DIY as well. Did you end up saving enough money for it to be worthwhile in your opinion?
    Thanks vey much. All totaled, it was around $680. Def not cheap but less than half of the available options. It was work but worth it.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by oddjob2021 Click here to enlarge
    very nice job boom, custom is always cheaper and more fun eh? i just did my stett cooler and i have to say it did make a noticeable difference. on the cnc distribution block they provide, i would make a shallow recess for the o-ring that goes in between the filter housing the the cnc block, instead of a flat edge. i could see a potential o-ring crush which would give rise to an inevitable oil leak. lets just hope it doesnt happen. with you using the stock oil cooler n54 housing i dont see a problem like that on your end, nice work on the black too, custom baby Click here to enlarge
    If you have a picture of the underside of that block off plate I'd love to see it. That was the one thing holding me back from just using a plate of Al and some fittings. I appreciate the support. I love the custom $#@! as well. It so much more fun. Frustrating but fun in the end. Thanks again.

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    Nice DIY boom! Good job!
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Twinturbom3 Click here to enlarge
    Keep on jealousing.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dOpEdUpM3 Click here to enlarge
    Nice DIY boom! Good job!
    Thanks. I hope others try it.

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    That is an awesome writeup! Plus, for some reason, those hoses are giving me a boner. Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Ryan Mills Click here to enlarge
    That is an awesome writeup! Plus, for some reason, those hoses are giving me a boner. Click here to enlarge
    Thanks! The cool thing is that they're not insulated like the stock lines so you can feel when your oil cooler is working.

  13. #13
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    Badass! Thanks for sharing.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by alpinedevil335 Click here to enlarge
    Badass! Thanks for sharing.
    Thanks. I'd like to see others follow and do cool custom stuff.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by boom Click here to enlarge
    Thanks. I'd like to see others follow and do cool custom stuff.
    I wonder if sticky ever got to setting up a DIY section?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by alpinedevil335 Click here to enlarge
    I wonder if sticky ever got to setting up a DIY section?
    You guys are never satisfied. I'll get it on it, I want it a certain way.

    I want to be able to tag a thread as DIY and for all tagged threads to display on a DIY page. Trust me, I have a vision for it.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    You guys are never satisfied. I'll get it on it, I want it a certain way.

    I want to be able to tag a thread as DIY and for all tagged threads to display on a DIY page. Trust me, I have a vision for it.
    Was wondering why it hadn't gone up yet. All makes sense now.
    Take your time Sticky do your thing.

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    you wanna do this on my car next? Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    you wanna do this on my car next? Click here to enlarge
    You buy the parts and we can do it. The only real issue is tapping the thermostat housing. I needed a drill press a vice at the machine shop where I work. If you get a fitting to run AN fittings, it's cake. See if STETT or AR Design or the other oil cooler vendors will sell it to you. Otherwise we'll have to tap the housing.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Your fabrication skills are amateur at best...........









    J/K Bro, looks great. Nice work, as always. I got to see first hand how much time and energy Jason put into this project. Heck the DIY he posted is more work than I am willing to do on my car...lol.

    Bump for a true, dedicated enthusiast!
    OE Tuned 11sec DD

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    nice work! i did a few runs today and was reminded how hot this car can get
    Click here to enlarge

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