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Old 04-16-2012, 12:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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will oil cooler location affect the engine's oil pressure?

I have a remedial question, I am installing an oil cooler onto my 1975 chevy 350 and I want to place it at the level of my radiator which means the oil cooler will sit approx 3 feet higher than the level of my oil filter (where the inlet and outlet hoses thread into). I am using a high pressure oil pump already that keeps my oil pressure between 40 and 60 currently. Is there any known problems with running a oil cooler this much higher, specifically I am worried about losing oil pressure and oil starving my engine.

This is probably a stoopid question but any experiance on this matter would be appreciated

Thanks
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not stupid. I'd like to know as well. Sounds like a good one.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Anything added to your oiling system will effect the pressure. Somewhere on the Internet is a article on drag racing engines and oil system losses due to right angles in the galleys and other obstructions. The losses can be significant. Is it going to ruin your engine? Probably not as long as you maintain a good minimum pressure. As far as it's mounting elevation, I'm sure they will play into it somewhat but I doubt it will cause any problems. Just keep in mind that too much restriction in the galleys can cause an overpressure situation at the pump that will not register at the gauge due to the relief valve on the pump opening up. This can normally be found by pressure dropping when the engine is revved instead of the pressure increasing. I'd also recommend swapping to a stock pump unless your engine is truly built for high RPM use. We all like to think that our engines are powerful racing engines but in reality high pressure pumps cause more harm than good in a mostly stock engine. Unless you are running 6k+ RPM and have made a lot of modifications to the oil system in the block, you probably have no use for a high pressure pump and most of the pressure is bled off into the pan. Similarly, high volume pumps can be bad for some situations as they can pump the pan dry under the right circumstances. Just my .02
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The small increase in elevation of the cooler will not cause a noticeable decrease in oil pressure. The increase in hoses the oil has to travel through and the cooler itself will result in more head loss, but I highly doubt it would drive your system into a dangerously low oil pressure situation.
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