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Oil Coolers and stuff....

Julians Biatch

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I have been looking on Ju's site at Pat Buxtons westy build (here) and i noticed a little radiator thing in front of the rad. Is this an oil cooler? I have seen them fitted on some high power Jap turbo things but never realised a Westy had one... Has anyone fitted one to a 7? If so, did it make much difference? Does a dry sump negate the need for one or will they compliment each other?


Anyone used forced induction in a 7? Or even water injection or Nitrous Oxide?

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I am no expert so here goes:


Lots of cars have oil coolers.


Cooling on a 7 is a little marginal in some cases (eg SLR race cars) as the highly tunned engines put out alot of heat in situations when they are beeing used hard (racing, sprinting)


Most cars do not need them.


Oil/Water coolers seem a good alternative - they help heat the oil when cold and have less plumbing (and weight)


Turbo's have been fitted to 7's - Swiss production 7's or the factory Xflow and XE protypes - and a few owners have fitted Cosworth engines. Probably the best referance for these are all the 7's books.




Greg, Q 86 NTM (Green 185BHP XF)

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I love the idea of building a car from the bare spaceframe up, panelling it yourself. Access for fitting the suspension, etc. looks wonderful. One reason for getting a Westfield (even if there aren't any other reasons :-)


Use of an oil cooler on a seven depends on the engine. On a crossflow they are not considered essential. Can't say about other engines though. The thing you are looking at in the picture is definitely an oil cooler. You apparently have to be careful when mounting them in the position shown to make sure that the air flow through the oil cooler and then through the water radiator doesn't become turbulent. I've just read about this in the very interesting catalogue I recently got through the post from Think Automotive, which describes the issues when installing an oil cooler.


The same catalogue also describes the Laminova oil/water heat exchanger, an item that has often been mentioned on techtalk. You can order a copy of the catalogue from the web site.


The installation of an oil cooler can have an effect on the oil pressure (reducing it) and also on the effectiveness of the water radiator (if the oil cooler is mounted in front of it) and I think you need to make sure that the installation is designed correctly for the engine.


I would imagine a dry sump neither negates nor complements an oil cooler but you would need to consider the whole installation to know what the issues are. I would consult either Caterham or your engine builder for your particular installation.



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