Checking oil level for remote cooler/filter setup

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Checking oil level for remote cooler/filter setup

Postby Mark P. » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:55 pm

I built a new 2275cc engine last summer and added a remote Fram HP1 filter, thermostat, and oil cooler. The engine uses a small deep sump that only adds about 1/2qt of oil but the plumbing, filter and oil cooler probably total another 2qts. I don't know how to maintain the correct level of oil in this setup. If I turn the car off, let it cool, and measure the level in the crankcase, is that sufficient? Or will it be too low when running or too high? How would I know? Just did an oil change and put 1/2qt of oil in the filter and 3qts in the crankcase. Level was full on the dipstick.

Reason I'm asking is I've discovered a pretty good oil leak from the cylinder-to-case mating surface. At least it looks like that is the culprit (cyl #1 mostly at the moment.) I'm guessing this is due to being over-filled when running as it didn't leak there over night but was obviously wet. I let it idle 10 minutes today and it was dripping out of there pretty good. I have a breather on the valve covers so the crankcase shouldn't be under a lot of pressure.
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Re: Checking oil level for remote cooler/filter setup

Postby RS-60 mark » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:21 pm

Mark, I learned to NEVER fill more than 1/2 low on the dip stick. If I do, then oil will find a way to puke out until it gets to 1/2 low -- where it pretty much stays happy. I don't know why, it doesn't make sense, but that's just the way it is. My setup is about like yours; 2332, remote filter and cooler, slimline sump.
Running at 1/2 low isn't really like 1/2 low because, as you said, you have at least a couple of extra quarts running around in there. Try running at the low line on the dip stick and see what happens. If the oil stays in the engine then you can add.

There are other reasons oil can puff out past the push rod tube O-rings. But for now, answer your "too much oil?" question by dropping to the low line on the dip stick and see what happens.
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Re: Checking oil level for remote cooler/filter setup

Postby RVosari » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:28 am

With any high pressure remote cooler / filter arrangement, keep in mind each foot of additional oil line is a further invitation to disaster !

For an oil cooler the mount height matters… If it is mounted low so that oil will stay in the cooler and lines when the engine is not running, you check the oil level as you would normally. It will take some extra oil to get it to the full level so there may be some guesswork involved the first time… subsequently you'll have some idea of how much extra the system will take when filling from empty.

If it is mounted higher up so that oil will drain back into the pan when the engine is not running, you'll need to lower the cooler so that oil stays in it. Fill to the normal level, then install the cooler to its former location and check and mark the new "full" level.

The best system by far is a low-pressure feeder that takes sump oil and passes it through a cooler and then back to the sump…Maserati did this in 1958 ! [8D]

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Re: Checking oil level for remote cooler/filter setup

Postby albaran » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:58 am

I have a similar setup to the one you describe. Rein is right about the cooler height. I would use the stock dipstick markings and not overfill. Although there is a lot of plumbing in my arrangement, the only oil that drains back is the line from the filter to the engine which isn't that much. A drawback is that when you do oil changes, you still have some oil in the cooler.
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