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  1. #1
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    Question Oil temps and hydraulic lifters + 15w-50

    First off, I have a stage II twinscrew...I'm going to call it a Kenny Bell system. I'm also running a setrab oil cooler fed from the VAC billet housing. I've been running Valvoline VR1 5w-30 synthetic and my system holds 8 qts. Over the summer on the track in 100 degree temps, oil temps would climb up to 260 degrees while my coolant gauge would stay right at halfway.

    My installer says 260 degrees is fine. Most (including me) think it is high. I would like to stay around 230-240. Before I get a larger heat exchanger, I would like to see how much a thicker/better oil will help. I want to use Redline 15w-50 or Castrol TWS 10w-60. My installer also says that 50 and 60 wt oil will damage my hydraulic lifters and cause me to drop a valve. Bimmerworld specifically recommends 15w-50 redline for HPDE use.

    I'm 90% sure my installer is full of $#@! on both accounts (260 temps are OK and 50/60wt oil is bad). Opinions.

  2. #2
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    First off, I have a stage II twinscrew...I'm going to call it a Kenny Bell system. I'm also running a setrab oil cooler fed from the VAC billet housing. I've been running Valvoline VR1 5w-30 synthetic and my system holds 8 qts. Over the summer on the track in 100 degree temps, oil temps would climb up to 260 degrees while my coolant gauge would stay right at halfway.

    My installer says 260 degrees is fine. Most (including me) think it is high. I would like to stay around 230-240. Before I get a larger heat exchanger, I would like to see how much a thicker/better oil will help. I want to use Redline 15w-50 or Castrol TWS 10w-60. My installer also says that 50 and 60 wt oil will damage my hydraulic lifters and cause me to drop a valve. Bimmerworld specifically recommends 15w-50 redline for HPDE use.

    I'm 90% sure my installer is full of $#@! on both accounts (260 temps are OK and 50/60wt oil is bad). Opinions.
    I would say that Bimmerworld is in a very strong position to recommend oil...and many other parts.

    Regarding the temps: Some pro endurance racing oils are designed to run over 250 degrees....as in they are at their best when hot.

    As odd as it sounds...have you considered keeping your existing setup, and working on airflow both in front of and behind the heat exchanger? If you've got the oil cooler in front of the radiator, there is room to improve airflow.
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    Thanks. Yeah, I'm going to go with the 15w-50 against my installer's recommendations.

    Yeah, I do have the oil cooler in front. I plan to ditch the A/C which I'm sure will help. How can I improve cooling? Here's a pic of the oil cooler. Not the current version which is now a setrab but you get the point.

    Click here to enlarge

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    Hmm... if you're talking in Fahrenheit and not Celcius, 260F doesn't sound that high for an engine oil temperature.

    Personally, I aim for running the thinnest oil that does the job. A thinner oil will circulate more through the bearings instead of the oil pressure bypass, and in doing so provide greater engine cooling. Also you have less losses and better lubrication at startup. For this reason there is the possibility you'll see higher oil temperatures with a heavier oil.

    I think an oil analysis to see if there is excessive wear of either the oil or components, and logging your engine's oil pressure to see if it stays sufficiently high at temperature would give you the answer you're looking for. If oil pressure doesn't get too low, and there is no excessive wear of oil or components, I'd keep things as is.

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    Thanks...talking fahrenheit. You're only the second person that I've heard say that 260 might be acceptable for the long term. I've already ordered the 15w-50 so I want to see how much of an improvement I will see.

    Obviously its much cooler now so I can't directly compare data points now vs over the summer.

    Is there a correlation between decreases in ambient temps vs oil temps? If ambient temps temps frop X degrees, oil temps should drop Y degrees? I have a data point of 100 degrees ambient with oil temps at 260 degrees for 5w-30. I am about to put in 15w-50 and would like to see if it provides an additional drop in temperature beyond the drop associated with the decrease in ambient temperature.

    I do have another data point at 70 degrees ambient with oil temps at 245 degrees.

    If I can run 15w-50 in the summer and all is well and then switch to 5w-30 for the cooler months, I'll be happy with what I have and just make minor improvements. I might need to save the space for a larger water to air heat exchanger for the twinscrew laminova cores.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bigjae1976 Click here to enlarge
    Is there a correlation between decreases in ambient temps vs oil temps? If ambient temps temps frop X degrees, oil temps should drop Y degrees?
    I don't think there is necessarily a set direct correlation like that but ambient temps will no doubt have an effect.

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