BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/22/21 9:25 a.m.

Right, so as some of you have already seen in my BRZ build/maintenance thread, I got about ten track minutes out of the engine in my BRZ before it played the song of its people[1].

I haven't drained the oil or pulled the oil pan yet, but I can see glitter in the oil on the dipstick, which tells me more than I want to know. Right now I have to assume that the sad remains of the bearings and potentially other important bits have been evenly distributed through the oil passages in the engine and everything else that the oil gets into, like the oil cooler that has about 300 miles on it.

Obviously I either have to ensure that I get all of the debris out of the oil cooler before reusing it so I don't grenade the new used engine, or I need a new oil cooler. I seem to remember that the general advice in cases like this was to replace the oil cooler.

Has anybody got a successful method to clean out an oil cooler that's potentially full of bearing material in a fashion that doesn't get the EPA into my shop within five minutes, or is this a lost cause and I get to replace the radiator/oil cooler I just bought?

The secondary concern is that it blew a lot of oil smoke out of the exhaust when it let go, so right now I have no idea if the cat'd header is reusable or not. May have to figure out how to get a camera down the header tubes and have a look at the cat.

[1] "Knock knock who's there *bang*"

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/22/21 9:37 a.m.

There's probably a way that people have gotten away with, but my question is "how much is a new one" and "is the juice worth the squeeze".

Easy for me to say with someone else's money, but still. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/22/21 9:37 a.m.

Sadly, it's time to replace the cooler. There's no surefire way to clean it out.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/22/21 9:39 a.m.

I'm in the "new cooler and throw the old one away so you're not tempted to use it again in 5 years" camp.

For the cat, I'd keep it and see what happens. If it's damaged, you're not liable to hurt anything finding out.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
7/22/21 9:43 a.m.

Having coated a catalyst with a lot of oil by accident before (not engine failure, but test facility failure), it very much depends on how much oil got there, and how hot the catalyst was.  If you shut down reasonably quickly, then it's probably ok.

But you will find out pretty quickly if the phosphorus caused problems or not....

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/22/21 9:50 a.m.

Oil cooler is junk.  You're not going to get it all out.

 

More fun is, if there are nonremovable baffle plates in the oil pan, it may be scrap time for that, too, although I saw an interesting homebrew "ultrasonic" cleaner that may be workable.

 

 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/22/21 9:59 a.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:

There's probably a way that people have gotten away with, but my question is "how much is a new one" and "is the juice worth the squeeze".

Easy for me to say with someone else's money, but still. 

Well, replacing the existing one with the same parts is going to be about $900. Going for separate radiator and oil cooler is going to be more if I get the one I want.

That's only half the problem though, the other half being if and when I can get the parts - the "best" (and IIRC only ducted) standalone oil cooler is the GReddy one, and that seems to be out of stock just about everywhere.

But as you, Tom and Keith pointed out, it's not worth the risk of blowing up the next engine because I cheaped out.

Ugh. This is getting pretty close to the car being an economic total loss.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/22/21 10:03 a.m.
alfadriver said:

Having coated a catalyst with a lot of oil by accident before (not engine failure, but test facility failure), it very much depends on how much oil got there, and how hot the catalyst was.  If you shut down reasonably quickly, then it's probably ok.

The oil level at the dipstick shows that I didn't lose a lot of oil, but the smoke show lasted for about 45s until the engine shut itself down for good.

But you will find out pretty quickly if the phosphorus caused problems or not....

That's what I'm not looking forward to...

I'm currently guessing that at least the O2 sensor upstream of the cat is likely to be in an unhappy state also?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/22/21 10:05 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Stock sump, no baffle plate and the aftermarket baffles on these are very similar to the ones you stick in a rotary (just a flat plate).

The replacement engine will get a baffle plate and a Killer B oil pickup.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
7/22/21 10:06 a.m.

The best answer is to replace, but if you shop around, you might find a transmission shop that has a cooler flushing machine that works pretty darn well.  I forget the brand name, but it uses hot oil, pushes one direction, then the other, for as long as you want.  There is a screen filter that catches the junk, so you can quickly check what is coming out, clean the screen, flush, clean the screen, and so on.

They seem to work pretty well, and its probably at least as important to get a trans cooler clean as it is an engine cooler, if you think about it.  

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
7/22/21 10:21 a.m.

When I 'runt' an engine in 2019 I just added a new external oil cooler, and left the old one unused in the radiator.  Saving a lot of money.

 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/22/21 10:32 a.m.
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) said:

When I 'runt' an engine in 2019 I just added a new external oil cooler, and left the old one unused in the radiator.  Saving a lot of money.

Hadn't thought about that - I need to compare the radiator with the built in oil cooler with the stock one though, I think it is a tad wider and that will cause problems snaking lines oil cooler lines through between the body of the car and the radiator.

The radiator is actually the cheap part - a new CSF one is something like $260 IIRC, it's the oil cooler that is expensive, especially if you want one with a thermostat, which I do.

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
7/22/21 10:33 a.m.

I have successfully cleaned a cooler after an engine...'incident'  Flushed it repeatedly with solvent and then refilled it with and gave it an ultrasonic cleaning, which dislodges any particles that managed to stay in there in the previous washes.

I also use a large external filter right before the cooler to minimize anything getting in there in the first place.

The utrasonic cleaners may need to work at it for awhile (plug the solvent hose in one port and just let it run for an hour) until it comes out clean).

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/22/21 11:33 a.m.
 

Ugh. This is getting pretty close to K-swap time.

???

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
7/22/21 11:35 a.m.
BoxheadTim said:
alfadriver said:

Having coated a catalyst with a lot of oil by accident before (not engine failure, but test facility failure), it very much depends on how much oil got there, and how hot the catalyst was.  If you shut down reasonably quickly, then it's probably ok.

The oil level at the dipstick shows that I didn't lose a lot of oil, but the smoke show lasted for about 45s until the engine shut itself down for good.

But you will find out pretty quickly if the phosphorus caused problems or not....

That's what I'm not looking forward to...

I'm currently guessing that at least the O2 sensor upstream of the cat is likely to be in an unhappy state also?

Actually, the WBO2 sensor is probably ok- for some reason, we don't see Ph poisoning like the catalyst does on O2 sensors.  And the effect of Ph poisoning is really minor compared to lead- so even with some poisoning, the catalyst will still be pretty effective.  

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/22/21 11:35 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

No engine swaps other than stock for stock. I either have to get this car back on the road ASAP or replace it ASAP as it's been taking too much time away from the other vehicles already.

Plus I don't think it would pass MD inspection with a K swap, and MD is a pretty big market around here.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/22/21 11:36 a.m.

I'd like to know more about this cooler. You really just have to replace the core, so unless it's packaged with something else that's an off-the-shelf part. The thermostat (if it is the usual sandwich type) should be easy to clean. 

Got any links or pictures of what we're dealing with here?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/22/21 11:40 a.m.
alfadriver said:
BoxheadTim said:
alfadriver said:

Having coated a catalyst with a lot of oil by accident before (not engine failure, but test facility failure), it very much depends on how much oil got there, and how hot the catalyst was.  If you shut down reasonably quickly, then it's probably ok.

The oil level at the dipstick shows that I didn't lose a lot of oil, but the smoke show lasted for about 45s until the engine shut itself down for good.

But you will find out pretty quickly if the phosphorus caused problems or not....

That's what I'm not looking forward to...

I'm currently guessing that at least the O2 sensor upstream of the cat is likely to be in an unhappy state also?

Actually, the WBO2 sensor is probably ok- for some reason, we don't see Ph poisoning like the catalyst does on O2 sensors.  And the effect of Ph poisoning is really minor compared to lead- so even with some poisoning, the catalyst will still be pretty effective.  

That's good news, thanks.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/22/21 11:43 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I'd like to know more about this cooler. You really just have to replace the core, so unless it's packaged with something else that's an off-the-shelf part. The thermostat (if it is the usual sandwich type) should be easy to clean. 

Got any links or pictures of what we're dealing with here?

It this part, an upgraded radiator with a built in oil cooler in one of the side tanks:

https://jacksonracing.com/product/fr-sbrz-dual-radiatoroil-cooler/

The only shelf this comes off is at Jackson Racing . The other oil coolers I'm looking at are stand alone units, so for those it would be relatively easy to just replace the cooler itself.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/22/21 11:55 a.m.

Ha, when we sold one of those 15+ years ago we called it a "twincooler". Turns out that a standalone oil cooler and a normal radiator was more effective, not to mention less expensive. So in this case, I'd be tempted to go with a new "normal" radiator, a Mocal cooler from BAT and build some new lines from the thermostat.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/22/21 12:09 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Awfully bizarre to have an in radiator heat exchanger AND a thermostat.  Usually the heat exchanger acts as a self regulating thermostat given the cooling medium.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/22/21 12:15 p.m.

I took another look - I lied. Our twincooler was actually two separate liquid-air heat exhangers built into the same package. The oil cooling was not an oil-water setup. This thing is basically an automatic transmission radiator :)

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
7/22/21 12:15 p.m.

I don't think the adapter plate has a thermostat - the idea is that the engine coolant both helps heat up and stabilise the temperatures of the oil, so a thermostat at the oil sandwich plate would work against it.

APEowner
APEowner SuperDork
7/22/21 12:16 p.m.

Any good radiator shop can clean the cooler and you should be able to disassemble and clean the rest of the system. 

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/22/21 1:23 p.m.

Jeez... you really do have absolutely no luck :(

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