External oil cooler for Silverado/Sierra's?

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by PantheraUncia, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    This is something that has confused me for a long time as we know heat is the main enemy of engines.... I see posts about adding or upgrading transmission coolers all the time; However no one, even google is not able to produce any evidence of an "external oil cooler".

    Apparently they exist and they are not standard issue, the reason for this, at least on my 2000, above the oil filter, there are 2 ports (I assume an in and an out) and I have heard some people in passing, refer to an oil cooler.

    This is not the best pic, I had posted it in reference to the oil leak problem I am having in my 5.3L but it looks like there is a port on top of the casing that the oil filter is attached to (facing up).


    If anyone could provide some insight as to what an oil cooler(I know what it is, but specifics), with links, photo's and potential part numbers, that would be great.

    Thank you.
  2. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Im on a kindle and its giving me problems posting pictures and links but if you change your google search a little to "external engine oil cooler" I think you should find a bit more info.
  3. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    External oil coolers come stock on the heavier trucks I think. I have the 350 in my Suburban, and I plan to install an oil cooler and dual-filter block on it using a remote oil filter adapter. It goes in place of the stock oil filter and gives a pair of fittings that you can route the oil elsewhere for filtration and cooling if you want. Coincidentally, it also increases your oil capacity by a little bit.
  4. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    An LT1 out of my firebird did not have an oil cooler, but I bought an LT1 out of a 96 Caprice wagon and it had a heavy duty oil cooler which I deleted and bought the block off plate kit.
  5. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Hi Guys,

    I am not sure what happened to my message notifications but I did not get any notices that people had replied back.

    I will adjust my google search and see what I come up with. I probably won't perform this upgrade on my current truck as it is not worth it at this point, but the truck I am looking at getting by Feb of next year will get the upgrade.

    Are external oil coolers specific to gas engines or are they available on Duramaxes as well since diesels run cooler to begin with?. (they also take 11 quarts of oil instead of 5.5 ot 6 quarts like my 5.3L.
  6. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Ive seen external oil coolers on almost every make internal combuston engine, many are probably overkill for the engine their on but if you have a hard working engine it can almost allways benefit from oil cooling.
    Keep in mind though much like engine coolant you want a minnimum temperature for oil so it doesnt stay to thick (viscosity), if your running an engine a lot on the highway and in town but not pulling a lot of loads you might want to look at a double filter system it'll offer a small amount of cooling, better fitration, and an increased oil capacity.
    If heavy hauling is your plan then maybe both mods would be better (external oil cooler, and double filter).
  7. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    My Avalanche has an OEM trailer package and an external oil cooler. I assume, the oil cooler is part of the towing package.

    The radiator has a transmission cooler on one side and an engine oil cooler on the other side. There is an external cooler for both mounted in front of the radiator.
  8. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Yeah that also concerned me as I have been reading more about it, There is a "min" temp threshold also, so most engines operate at 185-250 dgrees F in our cases, how low is "too low"?

    and this is the first I have heard about a double filtration system?
  9. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I dont know what the minimum temp would be, and I suspect it would change with different maufacturers and types/grades of oil. With no real technical info to back me my guess for a decent oil temp would be something like 150 deg. Coming out of the cooler.
    Also oil thats to cool then routed back through the hot engine can develop whats called "coking" basically a burning and oil separation issue when its heated to fast, which would be another reason to watch for to much cooling.
    Heres a sample of a double filtration system http://www.hamburgersperformance.com/DOUBLE-Oil-Filter-Relocation-Units
    What most users do is run two filter on the system, then at oil change time remove filter number 1 and discard it, place filter number 2 in 1's spot and place a new filter in 2's spot.

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