Oil Cooler Question

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by Jezza, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Jezza

    Jezza Member

    I ride a 2007 Road King, and live in Japan, where we get very hot summers. I worry about how hot my bike is getting when riding in summer and have thought about fitting an oil cooler. I know that cooler oil is better, but can anyone tell my what cooler oil actually does for the bike? I'm sure it'll extend engine life but are there any performance advantages? I'm planning on doing a cam upgrade next year, and thinking of adding a Fueling oil pump and maybe a Fueling Cam Support Plate at the same time, but I'd like to know what the advantages of cooler oil are before spending the extra cash. Any thoughts and advice most welcome.
  2. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    An oil cooler is a another way for the overall engine to shed heat generated by combustion. When oil comes in contact with engine bearings and parts like the cylinder heads, as long as the oil is cooler than the metal part, it will take on or absorb heat from that metal part. Now if there is some way for the oil to release this heat to the atmosphere (oil cooler), it can go back in and pick up more heat. The oil can do this over and over again in a big loop fashion. Any part that the oil comes in contact with, heat from those parts will transfer to the oil. On late model engines there are oil jets that spray oil to the underneath area of the piston and skirt in order to help reduce heat.

    The only issue you have with an oil cooler is that the bike needs to be in motion for the oil to dump it's heat to the atmosphere. It really does not do a whole bunch of good if your sitting still in traffic and that's the time you need it most.
  3. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I put a Jagg 10-row low mount on my '03 UC to help reduce the oil temp and thereby heat in the engine. It is a pretty good set up, although the "reinforced rubber" oil lines from the filter adapter to the cooler and back can be improved by replacing them with some braided SS lines available from Custom Chrome or other suppliers. Install the hoses first to make sure you have the lengths right, and then order the SS braided lines to length.

    There are units out there with built in fans some of which come on when the oil temp gets to a certain level etc.

    There are also HD bikes and other manufacturers bikes that are liquid cooled.

    So it all depends on what you want to ride, and what you think you need to add to your bike.

    There is no doubt that if you can keep your oil cooler so it can absorb more waste heat from your engine, that things will be better for the engine and the oil. Heat is the enemy of both.


    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    The one thing I'm going to do is put on the Fan that takes the place of the Horn.
    I will switch it on, blowing cooling air across the engine heads, that Should also Help dissipate the heat.

    I use a Left side, down frame, Jagg oil cooler on my 09 FLHR and along with the Fan(when i buy and install), it should help when stuck in traffic... I will Always "pull off" and cool before it would harm the engine.

    Using Full synthetics oil-lubes in your bike will Help keeping it cool and Lasting longer... Better protection with the Synthetics...

    I use only Redline products,
    20/50 engine
    MTL/Primary lube in primary
    Heavy Shockproof in tranny...

    I believe in Baseball Go M's/ ICHRO 51 :D
    :rofl Next Season!!!

  5. Spade5

    Spade5 Active Member

    I have read that cooler oil can help reduce detonation on a modified engine. Like was mentioned previously the oil sprays on the bottom of the pistion and cools it somewhat. If the piston is cooler I think the anti-knock sensor will not have to retard the timing. I think that is how it works.

    In my opinion an oil cooler is about the best investment you can make.
  6. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    Think of it as an extra heat sink:s
  7. roadking milo

    roadking milo Member

    Just added an HD oil cooler on my 02 roadking, but took it a step further and added two 2"x2" fans from Big Sky Fans, have them placed so they are sucking air through cooler, man what a difference, have them wired to a toggle and that takes care the traffic sitting. fans are pretty powerful, say rain and washing wont hurt any. rode through a few heavy downpours and their still working............................Dave
  8. 09RGlideKY

    09RGlideKY Active Member

    I averaged a 20 degree drop in oil temp with my HD cooler. Doesn't help much in low speed traffic stop and go.

    That is where the fan comes in that is mounted where the horn goes. This covers you all around...
  9. Jezza

    Jezza Member

    Thanks for all the suggestions guys. So I understand how oil coolers work now, and it sounds like adding a fan is a good idea for stop go heavy traffic riding. Extending engine life is definitely a big plus, but does cooler oil have any effect on how the bike performs (i.e. improved torque, fuel efficiency etc), or is cooler oil more about extending engine life?
  10. nakkers

    nakkers Active Member

    Too much heat affects both performance and life. But, don't worry, there are plenty of HDs in the southern USA and Mexico, Australia and other countries that last a long time with proper maintence. Oil cooler and keep the oil changes on the frequent side of the recommended intervals.