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DIY: Oil Cooler Cover

I just got finished installing an oil cooler cover with a friend and had a breakthrough that's worth sharing. My initial plan was to use some 1/16" aluminum from Home

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Old 11-07-2010, 05:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DIY: Oil Cooler Cover

I just got finished installing an oil cooler cover with a friend and had a breakthrough that's worth sharing.

My initial plan was to use some 1/16" aluminum from Home Depot (heating/AC section) which comes in 12" by 36" sheets for about $10. I have a Setrab cooler which came with two L-brackets for mounting. Since I only used one bracket, I used the second bracket for the cover (mounts to the top of the cooler since the top and bottom cooler mounts are identical). The issue was that I was initially planning to bolt the aluminum sheet (cut to size) to the bracket and bolt it to the cooler. The problem was that there is no way to remove the cover with the bracket attached unless you remove the front bumper.

***The breakthrough was Velcro. Instead of screws, we Velcro'd the aluminum cover to the perimeter of the oil cooler. Voila! Simple installation and removal from above via the engine bay. No more L-bracket required. No bumper removal for initial installation

Installation time <10min

Materials:
1. 12"x~10" (measure your cooler) aluminum sheet (thin is fine)
2. Heavy duty Velcro
3. Dremel or metal shears

Instructions:
1. Open the hood and remove the push-grommets that hold the black plastic cover just behind the lip of the front fascia and before the radiator. There are ~6 grommets in the front fascia and ~6 more in the black plastic cover you're removing.
2. The black plastic cover then pulls out, but you have to gently lift straight up to release two tabs from the leading edge under the fascia lip.
3. Look up the size of your cooler or measure through the front grille. Alternatively you can pull the fascia to facilitate things, but it's not necessary.
4. Cut the aluminum sheet to fit the front of the cooler. File the edges a bit to remove any sharp areas.
5. Apply Velcro to the side edges of the cooler via the access you got by removing the black plastic cover in the engine bay. A few 2-3" strips on each side edge and the top edge is plenty.
6. Apply the opposite Velco (hooks vs loops) to one side of the aluminum cover you've cut to size. Try to align them as best you can. If you've measured the cover well, you can simply combine the Velcro strips, apply one side of them to the cover and then apply the cover and exposed Velcro backing to the cooler all in one move.
7. Replace black plastic cover and grommets in reverse order.
8. Admire your work and warmer engine temps.

Images:
1. Cooler cover from front with fascia removed (not necessary but simplifies cover placement). Notice the cover overlaps the edges of the cooler a bit so the Velcro has a good landing zone on the cooler edges. It won't stick as well to the cooler grille.
2. View from above through the opening after removing the black plastic engine bay cover. Flush fit against the cooler face. I used the second Setrab bracket but it's not necessary.
3. View from side with front fascia removed.
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Last edited by spearfish25; 11-07-2010 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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very nice idea.. I will be needing to do this shortly... I purchased mod shacks oil cooler from him and he gave me a half cover than goes over the top, but in this NY winter I may need something a bit larger to cover the cooler.. thanks !

I would prob paint it flat black so it doesnt stand out in the fang area though.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Paint job is next weekend
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That is sooo much easier and more efficient that the bracket method, I was holding off on the cover since I wasn't sure how to mount it but this is such a simple solution that I feel like kicking myself for not thinking of it myself haha.
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great DIY! Good job!
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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wow thats a really good idea spearfish. +rep
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Easy, breezy, beautiful, covered oil cooler.

Awesome!

Here is a rep point for you!
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm going to do this tomorrow, thanks for the writeup! It's been getting a bit chilly in Florida.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Why not install a Thermostatic Sandwich Plate Conversion Kit. this plate keeps the oil in the engine until it reaches 180 and then opens up to cool above that. I have one installed and it works great. cost is about 150 and mounts between the filter and housing. It also kept me from drilling holes in the oil pan because it is already plumed to open and close by temperature. my 2 cents.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyefields View Post
Why not install a Thermostatic Sandwich Plate Conversion Kit. this plate keeps the oil in the engine until it reaches 180 and then opens up to cool above that. I have one installed and it works great. cost is about 150 and mounts between the filter and housing. It also kept me from drilling holes in the oil pan because it is already plumed to open and close by temperature. my 2 cents.
Have one. They bypass about 80% of the oil flow. In 32F or less weather, 20% flow is more than enough to keep the engine temps under 160F at all times. Thermostatic sandwich plates don't cut it in sub-freezing weather.

I'm keeping your two cents too .
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spearfish25 View Post
Have one. They bypass about 80% of the oil flow. In 32F or less weather, 20% flow is more than enough to keep the engine temps under 160F at all times. Thermostatic sandwich plates don't cut it in sub-freezing weather.

I'm keeping your two cents too .
The problem I see here is you driving in sub freezing weather. someone needs to call Z protective services on you for treating your baby that way. But really I have never seen a problem with the plate. The temps stay at 180 during normal driving but if I begin to get on it I will see a rise to maybe 200 before the Oil cooler starts to kick in and brings the temps back down. (I have the big 34 row mama jama and run only royal purple) but I have never seen the temps drop below 180 once the car is at operating temp. I know you can get the plates that only open up at 200 as well if you want a higher operating temp. Now I am going to take my 2 cents back to make that phone call to Z protective services, you said you name was??????
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I bought a piece of 12"x18" Aluminum and it cost me $21! Steel was about half that, but I thought it would be better to use aluminum since it weighs less (easier for the velcro).
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Oh, and stupid me, I forgot how much room the Stillen G3's take up, so I had to remove my bumper anyway. Doh. Not a big deal though, takes about 10-15 minutes to take off and put back on.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Good write-up spearfish! This would be so easy to do for anyone that hasn't installed a cooler yet.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Found another way to install the cover, in case others want to do this that have the G3 Intakes. You can just remove around 4-5 bolts that attach the bumper to the plastic undertray, and then pull it down a bit, then slip your hands in there to remove or put on the cover. You'll probably still need to take off the bumper once just to get the velcro on good, but after that, you won't have to remove the bumper.
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