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HOW TO GET THE CORRECT OIL COOLER for your
Step Number One; Identify the type of oil cooler
that's currently bolted to your TCM engine (don't rely on parts-manual
information). You can try looking for a part number on the oil cooler - but
chances are that you won't be able to find one (or if you do see a part number,
you may not be able to read it).
If there's no part number visible, here's how to
put a positive I.D. on the unit: First determine
weather it's an 8-bolt, or a 12-bolt oil cooler:
12-Bolt Continental oil coolers have 5 mounting bolts along
each side, vertically - and 3 bolts along the top and bottom sides (yes, it does
add up to twelve). 8-Bolt units have 3 bolts along each side.
If it turns out that you've got an 8-Bolt oil
cooler, then you can stop right here because that's about all you need to know.
12-Bolt oil coolers (on the other hand) are the ones that require you to gather
more information to ensure that you will get the correct replacement unit (read
12-Bolt Oil Cooler I.D. Checklist:
Determine weather you've got a
Congealing, or a Non-Congealing oil cooler. The easiest way to
determine which type you've got, without unbolting the cooler from the engine, is to
ascertain the thickness of the cooler's base-plate (this is the part that's
welded to the cooler, not to be confused with the oil cooler adaptor plate
located between the oil cooler and the engine). Here's the key:
Congealing oil coolers have a base plate thickness of roughly 1/4".
Non-Congealing oil coolers have a base plate thickness of about 3/4". Another
clue has to do with the location of the Vernatherm (a fancy word for the
thermostatic oil control valve). Non-Congealing oil coolers use an
adaptor plate that's got a Vernatherm threaded into it. If there's no Vernatherm
screwed into your oil cooler's adaptor plate - and there should also be no
place to screw one in - then it (the Vernatherm) is located elsewhere on the engine
you've definitely got a Congealing type of oil cooler).
CONGEALING vs. NON-CONGEALING WHAT'S THE
Engine oil thickens at cold temperatures, this
thickening is commonly referred to as congealing. Even though it may be
bolted right up to a nice, toasty-warm engine, it's possible for a Congealing
type oil cooler to remain cold enough to cause the engine oil inside it to
remain cold and thick (congealed). Only when your engine's oil temperature gets
up to about 160 - 180F does the vernatherm direct any oil to the oil cooler. The
two quarts of congealed oil inside the oil cooler will be in no great hurry to go anywhere, despite the
sudden request for cooling place by the vernatherm. Eventually the warmer oil
will have its way and oil flow through the cooler will occur, but this can take
To avoid this situation, Non-Congealing oil
coolers were designed to have a small - but continuous - amount of engine oil
flowing through them at all times - even when the vernatherm is in
full oil cooler by-pass mode at low oil temps. Non-Congealing oil coolers
feature what is (non-technically) referred to as a "Wee-Wee Hole" (as in the
picture above, right). This "Wee-Wee Hole" is a passageway running through the
center of the oil cooler, through which a constant supply warm engine oil is
pumped. This keeps the oil cooler - and the roughly two quarts of oil it
contains, at (or near) the temperature of the engine. This way, engine oil can
easily flow through the oil cooler the very instant that its flow is directed
there via the vernatherm.
At this point, you've got enough information to
determine weather your TCM engine has an 8-Bolt oil cooler, or a 12-Bolt oil
cooler. If yours is a 12-Bolt cooler, then you will have also determined if it is of
the Congealing, or the Non-Congealing variety. The next question is:
Do You Need A 7th Stud, Or A Non-7th
Stud Oil Cooler?
TCM's 7th cylinder hold-down stud modification
affects both types of 12-Bolt oil coolers; Congealing, and Non-Congealing (in
the above examples, a Congealing type oil cooler is shown). All 12-Bolt oil
coolers have a single half-moon cut-out in the base plate's bottom edge. If
there's a second such cut-out along one of the vertical edges of the
cooler's base plate, then you've got a 7th Stud type of oil cooler. This added
notch in the cooler - along with a re-located oil cooler attachment bolt-hole,
provides clearance for the added 7th cylinder hold-down stud. 7th Stud type
coolers also require the appropriate 7th Stud adaptor plate and gasket.
12-Bolt, Non-Congealing Continental oil coolers are available in three different lengths: 10", 11", and 11.5" - as measured from the gasket surface of the cooler's base plate, to the furthest reaching part of the tank on the opposite end of the oil cooler.
That about covers everything you will need to know so that you will have the best possible chance of getting the correct replacement oil cooler for your Continental engine.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Cooler Service, Inc.
1677 Curtiss Court, La Verne, CA 91750
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