A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with one of my friends about the turbo oil lines. I mentioned that my turbo is oil cooled and he suggested I check out an oil cooler. I figured it’s cheap insurance, plus he tends to know more about turbos than I do so I decided- what the heck. I originally looked into the Maximum Motorsports kit www.maximummotorsports.com (see pic below) but for $599 I was reasonably sure I could do my own cheaper.

Oil Cooler Kit for 1979-93 5.0 Liter - Click Image to Close

I started looking around online and did a little research into the different components. First thing, and in my opinion most important, is a thermostat to prevent the oil from being overcooled. Yes – the oil can become overcooled which can cause a bunch of problems in a street car. If you dont believe me, do a google search. In a fulltime race car a thermostat isnt needed since engine loads keep temps high causing a thermostat to stay open all the time, which is basically pointless.

The next thing you need is an adapter and fittings which relocate the oil filter mount and provide a pressurized line to the actual cooling unit. In my case I was able to find a combination thermostat/filter adapter called a sandwich adapter from Earl’s Performance Plumbing www.holley.com which mounts directly to the engine block.

Its made from a solid block of aluminum and inside sits the thermostat with -10 AN ports on the outside which feed/return the cooling unit. The cooling lines are reuseable, stainless steel, teflon lined -10 AN line with 90 degree reuseable swivel fittings.

The last piece is the oil cooler. I was able to find a highly efficient, aluminum 25 row, plate type cooler with a core size of approx 14 inches wide by 8 inches tall which is also from Earl’s:

What did all these parts cost me?

  • 1 x Earl’s Sandwich Adapter – 502ERL – $84
  • 1 x Earl’s 25 Row Oil Cooler – 82510ERL – $195
  • 4 x Summit 90 Degree -10 AN reuseable swivel fittings – 220087B – $64
  • 1 x Aeroquip -10 AN SS 6 ft. line – (free, left over from fuel install)Grand total of $351.75.

    Understand that I havent actually installed the cooler yet since the radiator isnt in, so I may need the adapters to help in mounting the cooler to the radiator support. If thats the case the adapters cost $30, which is still far below the price of other kits available.

    The next thing I needed to accomplish was the turbo oil returns which drained into the oil pan. The turbos were shipped with 1/2″ threaded hose barbs which required drilling the pan and threading the barbs in. Unfortunately I ran into a large problem. The threads were protruding too far into the pan and were hitting the support girdle, preventing a tight seal. Well, long story short and a few 1/2″ ground down nuts later, I was able to reinstall the pan without the oil drain barbs hitting anything.