Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
4/13/08 2:08 p.m.
feature_image

The Sunbeam Tiger featured the small block 260 or 289 Ford V8 engine. Most Ford V8s were equipped with simple spin-on oil filters, which were mounted horizontally at the left front of the engine. A Sunbeam Tiger, though, was equipped with a remote mounted oil filter because the stock Ford V8 filter had clearance issues with the frame rail.

Using a shorter filter eliminates the need for this remote oil filter housing. We aren't sure why the manufacturer didn't use this simpler solution. Maybe these shorter filters didn't exist back then. Maybe Sunbeam feared that they wouldn't do the job if people did not change them often enough.

Either way, we think a shorter filter would work fine: Today's oils are much improved, and monitoring the setup will be easy considering the high levels of care and frequent light service our classics receive. On a stock Tiger, this small filter is a good way to go--these remote oil filter setups are expensive, difficult to find and are prone to leakage.

Unfortunately, with the CAT (California Association of Tigers) headers we acquired from our engine builder, Abacus Racing, we would not be able to use even the shortest of oil filters. In an effort to keep the headers of equal length, one header tube ran right in front of where the spin-on oil filter mounts.

This problem was of minor concern; we wanted to install an auxiliary oil cooler anyway. Our car is based in forever-warm Florida and has way more than stock horsepower, so this seemed like a good idea.

To start this job we went to our local race parts store, Action Performance, and picked up a super-thin Permacool oil filter block off plate (part No. 2791). The plate featured an inlet and outlet to run remote lines. From there we called BAT, the U.S. Mocal distributor. We've always had good luck with Mocal pieces and the guys at BAT are pros to deal with and knew just what we needed.

They sent us what they call their Cobra oil cooler kit. Designed to fit Cobra kits cars, this was the perfect kit for our similar (size, shape and engine configuration) Sunbeam Tiger.

The Mocal oil cooler fit into our grille nicely. We could have installed it with no cutting, but in an effort to keep it out of the radiator's way, we notched the front valence sheet metal slightly and made a nice neat installation. To this oil cooler, we ran BAT's amazing, new, lightweight racing oil hose. If you have ever used miserable braided steel oil hose, you will appreciate this Teflon-based product. It's lighter, more flexible and much, much easier to attach to fittings. Plus, this oil hose gives you no splinters during assembly. While a little more expensive than standard braided hose, we will always use this lightweight hose in the future. We were that impressed.

With our oil filter adapter and our oil cooler mounted, it was time to mount the remote oil filter housing. Again, BAT supplied us with this piece. We tried to mount it near the original location (left front), but there was no room. We finally decided on the easiest place to get to the filter: the firewall where the original brake booster had been located. We weren't using the brake booster; we had gone with a little more modern dual master cylinder setup instead.

With all the components in place, it was just a matter of cutting the hose, installing the fittings and checking for leaks. We had no leaks, no hose rubbing anywhere and everything worked perfectly. We were pleased with our installation and pleased with BAT for sending us the right stuff and introducing us to lightweight racing hose.

Read the rest of the story

odl21
odl21 New Reader
5/13/08 6:46 p.m.

can you tell me how many rows the cooler has? i'd like to buy one from mocal in the UK but i already have a remote filter so i just need some extra plumbing and the cooler.

thanks.

odl21
odl21 New Reader
5/19/08 3:41 p.m.

how about the general dimensions of the oil cooler?

thanks.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
5/27/08 9:26 p.m.

The cooler is about 12" wide by about 5" high. It is the standard cooler that BAT sells for a Cobra kit car.

Our Preferred Partners
hOhSSGntlpp4ev29hd2lGMweV1aqjBLQr4LX8LmaxRtPvdJOz2cBDBCGHx6mz8Uc