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Thread: Engine Running Warm in South Florida

  1. #1

    Engine Running Warm in South Florida

    I am looking for a complete front oil cooler set-up for my SWB 911 (non-spoiler). I assume that my options are limited to a fender mounted oil cooler (non trombone). I have seen a few companies selling OEM coolers for 1974 and newer model 911's which mount under the right front fender. I am told that these will also fit early SWB 911's. This seems to be what I need to buy. However, I am also in need of the rest of the hardware, pipes brackets, thermostat, etc. Anyone have an extra set-up available, or any leads on where I can find these cheap?
    I checked out Elephant Racing who specializes in this stuff, but they are VERY expensive. They have a patent pending on finned oil lines which they contend doubles the cooling ability of the front oil cooler. They want $650 for their finned oil lines alone. Based on their pricing, it seems that they are marketing to the high end racing crowd which may be a little overkill for my needs.
    I have a 2.4S engine with low miles which I am just now breaking in. It is running warm for me in South Florida and with the 90 degree plus high humidity weather the engine temp is leveling off at around 215-220. I know that this is within acceptable limits, but will not be good for the engine over time.
    How much can I expect the front oil coooler to bring down my engine temp? Also, I realize that the engine shroud currently on my engine is the early 2.0 liter style which does not have not the cooling duct leading to the on engine oil cooler. How much heat reduction could I expect if I switch to a later model shroud with the duct?
    All thoughts and suggestions are welcomed

  2. #2
    The front mounted radiator coolers first appeared with the 1969 models, if I'm not mistaken. That may make it tough to find used cooler lines to fit well with your shorter wheelbase because of the dimentional differences. I'm sure anything can be fabricated, but none of it is cheap...hoping that some of the short wheelbase guys will weigh in here.
    Paul D. Early S Registry #8 - Cyclops Minister of West Coast Affairs
    "Now, to put a water-cooled engine in the rear and to have the radiator in the front, that's not very intelligent." -Ferry Porsche (PANO, Oct. 1973)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,008
    Hi Garth,

    I assume you are in contact with the reputable boneyards for the pipes etc. I would be careful about the cooler unit itself as many of the used ones have nasty surprises lurking inside. On the other hand, you should be able to flush the lines etc of any undesirable material.

    Good luck.
    Harry

    Member #789
    1970 VW Sunroof Kombi Bus - "The Magic Bus"
    1973.5 911T Targa for fun - "Smokey"
    2009 MB C300

  4. #4

    Hi Harry

    Hi Harry,
    Oddly enough I was looking at the Pelican Parts message board posts on this very topic a few minutes ago and read your post concerning the compact cooler which mounts in back and goes directly into the oil reserve tank.
    I was thinking about dropping $250 in order to see how it works. Firstly, it is not very invasive, and secondly, it looks super simple to install. Thirdly, my car does not seem to have the serious overheating problems that some of the board members refer to - Some of these guys are running their cars at 230F. Mine seems to stay at or below 215ish and that was on a really hot day in South Florida. The idea is, if the compact cooler can bring down my temps just 10-15 degrees, I would be very satisfied since that is well within acceptable operating temp's.
    If I decide to go the other route, I would lean toward the Elephant Racing set-up since it would be turn key and would probably give me enough cooling effect than I would need in the most extreme conditions. I guess that after we consider what gets spent on engines and rebuilds in the world of Porsches, the extra $500 for the premium set-up is more justifiable than a nice set of useless Cibie foglights.
    I am still open for suggestions though, if anyone has any. I would clearly prefer to buy good used lines and other pieces if anyone has the stuff. I will definitely be buying a new oil cooler though.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,008
    Garth,

    If you watch the ads on places like Rennlist, Pelican etc, every once and a while you will see the parts you need. The Compact cooler is intriguing and if it only lowers the temp by 5 degrees, it sure can;t hurt. For me, in Oregon, normal driving seems to be ok with the engine cooler but when I Autocross in the summer, it sure does get hot! That compact cooler may be a low $$ way to go but I have my reservations.
    Harry

    Member #789
    1970 VW Sunroof Kombi Bus - "The Magic Bus"
    1973.5 911T Targa for fun - "Smokey"
    2009 MB C300

  6. #6

    Porsche cooling tidbits

    I was reading Bruce Anderson's performance handbook yesterday regarding oil coolers and there were some interesting comments on Porsches and engine cooling.

    1)Engine temperatre moves in a 2:1 corelation with ambient temperature. If the temperature outside increases 10 degrees (Fahrenheit), the engine temp increases 20 degrees.

    2) External oil coolers first appeared on production 911's with the 69' 911S. Therefore, a good thumb rule is that any 911 engine developing 170 or more horse power would need an external cooler - unless of course you live in Alaska....

  7. #7
    "at or below 215 ish" isn't really that bad, IMHO...220 makes me nervous, at 230 I'd pull over, park in shade (if there is any) and lift the engine lid. All that said, 220 makes me nervous because that's the highest I've seen it. A skilled mechanic once told me that when your temp/pressure needles are on a horizontal plane, cruising the S engine at around 4,000 RPM, everything is fine. Horizontal plane on my temp gauge is 215ish. This same mechanic told me you WANT to see oil temps above 190 or so, in order for any condensed water to "boil away"...sometimes, living here in the NW, running the factory front cooler, getting oil temp to go above 180 is a problem. Thermostat to the cooler opens, and there the temp stays, 180 or perhaps a bit above.
    Paul D. Early S Registry #8 - Cyclops Minister of West Coast Affairs
    "Now, to put a water-cooled engine in the rear and to have the radiator in the front, that's not very intelligent." -Ferry Porsche (PANO, Oct. 1973)

  8. #8

    Good Info

    PWD72S,
    Good info which I will keep in mind when I am back in South Florida later this week.
    By the way, was that you who posted a pic of the front end of your car on a different post? If so, what color green is your car? It looked like signal green. Plse post a few more pic's if you would so I can get a better idea of the color and confirm the paint code.
    Thanks

  9. #9
    Garth, it's 31 year old paint..."irish Green". "Irish" because the gemans would NEVER paint a car "British Racing Green" Weird color, it seems to get lighter or darker depending on variables. At night it looks almost black. In sunlight or strobe flash, almost pea pod color. Here's a shot of the car in flat light..a cloudy day, light drizzle...photo by Ron Madaio.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Paul D. Early S Registry #8 - Cyclops Minister of West Coast Affairs
    "Now, to put a water-cooled engine in the rear and to have the radiator in the front, that's not very intelligent." -Ferry Porsche (PANO, Oct. 1973)

  10. #10
    And here's one, same car, same paint, in deep shade...
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Paul D. Early S Registry #8 - Cyclops Minister of West Coast Affairs
    "Now, to put a water-cooled engine in the rear and to have the radiator in the front, that's not very intelligent." -Ferry Porsche (PANO, Oct. 1973)

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