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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > VK Oil Cooler Review: Track Tested



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      06-16-2009, 09:21 AM   #1
Bubbles
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VK Oil Cooler Review: Track Tested

VK Oil Cooler Review.

Install: Not the easiest project to complete without a lift, but it’s doable. Make sure you have at least 7 quarts of oil handy, some “oil clean-up” and rags just in case things get messy (which happened in my case). I had an issue with one of the hoses (which may have been user error), so I had two hoses made at the local hydraulics store and Vince split the cost with me. The first time install took me 4-5 hours, now I can swap the OEM oil cooler back on in about an hour and install the VK oil cooler in nearly the same time.

When you remove the OEM cooler, make sure the O rings from the OEM hoses are not left behind in the thermostat entrance. Lay some rags just below the OEM hoses to catch any oil that may fall when you disconnect the OEM hose. Make sure you have a thin-walled 13 mm socket as well, I had to go to the hardware store to pick this up because all of my sockets were too thick. Also, an adjustable wrench makes the job much easier. I added nearly a quart of oil after the swap, which is about right considering the oil remaining in the OEM hoses and OEM oil cooler. I used some permatex high temp race thread sealant for all connections.

Shipping: Kudos to Vince for a superb wrapping job, almost too good. When you see this oil cooler it screams quality. I blew out the cooler with compressed air and was happy to see it was free from debris. The oil cooler came in two business days from ordering.When you compare the VK oil cooler with OEM you can't help but laugh at the size difference.

Performance: I’ll set the scene for you, a nearly 4 mile road course with ambient track temperatures inching near 103F, UV index of 14 with high humidity. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t run, but I had just completed my custom cool-shirt system V2 with 19 QT capacity, so worst case scenario I would be comfortable running in a "pace car" with pulled timing.

Wow! The N54 is an extraordinary engine when it's happy and cool.

Typically, with cooler ambient temps, three laps in I’d be hitting 280-290F oil temps. Well, I was just below 250F. So I turned it up a notch and started dropping into a lower gear in turns I would normally not bother due to temps. Temps went to 255-260F and stayed there with no power loss.

Second session, I ran with some Porsche guys and the car did terrific. In the past, the timing would get pulled after lap 2, but this time, the power stayed on lap after lap. I was running personal best times and after 15 minutes temps hovered around 260-270. Then, I started getting greedy by holding high revs (something I would never do in the past). Finally, at the 28th minute of the 30 minute session oil temps hit 275-280, power was getting pulled but not because of the oil temps, the coolant temps had spiked despite running nearly straight distilled. One cool down lap, brought oil temps back below 250F.

Conclusion: The VK Oil Cooler works period! Triple digit temps with 14 UV index and the product perfromed. My only regret is, I waited so long to add this modification. I'm not an easy person to please, but Vince has brought a great product to market and in my opinion is a must-do mod for anyone tracking an N54.

Nice work Vince.
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      06-16-2009, 09:50 AM   #2
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Great Review...
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      06-16-2009, 09:57 AM   #3
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worst part of that job is routing the hoses and getting them aligned correctly so you dont strip the hose or adapters. them hoses wont bend in tight spaces lol
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      06-16-2009, 10:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sexye92 View Post
worst part of that job is routing the hoses and getting them aligned correctly so you dont strip the hose or adapters. them hoses wont bend in tight spaces lol

It's funny you mentioned that because it's true. The hoses I bought were a bit more flexible to work with and I added about 1.5 inches to both. In hindsight, .75 inch extension would do it.
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      06-16-2009, 10:11 AM   #5
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Great Review...
Thanks, it's a good product
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      06-16-2009, 10:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
It's funny you mentioned that because its true. The hoses I bought were a bit more flexible to work with and I added about 1.5 inches to both. In hindsight, .75 inch extension would do it.
yea i made new hoses myself, we got the wrong setup in the kit, but mine werent much more flexible, had to mount the hoses to the cooler before mounting the cooler to the car to make it easier instead of trying to manipulate the hoses
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      06-16-2009, 10:56 AM   #7
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Thank you for taking the time to do a review, Im glad to see you are happy with the oil cooler. Enjoy your car!

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      06-16-2009, 11:43 AM   #8
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I want one!
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      06-16-2009, 11:46 AM   #9
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Great review, I need ones of these OC'ers as a stand alone since I dont have one from the factory
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      06-16-2009, 11:51 AM   #10
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Great review, I need ones of these OC'ers as a stand alone since I dont have one from the factory
thats what i installed, its not as bad as you may think to do, actually out of the entire install changing the oil filter housing was the easiest imo
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      06-16-2009, 12:29 PM   #11
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Nice review Bubbles. It seems that a high capacity oil cooler is almost a must if one intends to do some serious tracking.

BTW, does the VK Oil Cooler kit use the same model Setrab Oil Cooler that the Dinan kit uses?
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      06-16-2009, 01:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ybbiz34 View Post
Nice review Bubbles. It seems that a high capacity oil cooler is almost a must if one intends to do some serious tracking.

BTW, does the VK Oil Cooler kit use the same model Setrab Oil Cooler that the Dinan kit uses?

Biz....it looks nearly identical
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      06-16-2009, 02:45 PM   #13
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So, I guess both an upgraded radiator and upgraded oil cooler required for track!
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      06-16-2009, 03:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
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So, I guess both an upgraded radiator and upgraded oil cooler required for track!

Yes, then suspension...you get the picture...
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      01-27-2010, 11:17 AM   #15
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I see this is on sale again. Tracking a car at >100F with no problems proves it really works. I'm in for this! Good work Vince!
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      01-27-2010, 11:31 AM   #16
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I use this OC on my car since quite some time, had no problems with the hoses Vince provides. The OC works great !
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      01-27-2010, 11:52 AM   #17
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We are using specially made Goodyear hoses that are much more flexiable. I have a few units in stock for $595 PM me if your interested.
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      01-27-2010, 12:01 PM   #18
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Great review...

I have a question for those who know:

Does the OEM oil cooler have a thermostat control to only kick on at near 250 degrees? ( I heard that somewhere)

Does the VK oil cooler have a thermomstat to kick on sooner, maybe at 215? As you guys might know, oil viscosityis rated at 215 degrees, I cant believe BMW has these cars running 250?

TIA
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      01-27-2010, 12:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSlick View Post
Great review...

I have a question for those who know:

Does the OEM oil cooler have a thermostat control to only kick on at near 250 degrees?

Does the VK oil cooler have a thermomstat to kick on sooner, maybe at 215? As you guys might know, oil viscosityis rated at 215 degrees, I cant believe BMW has these cars running 250?

TIA
In daily driving I see 100 DegC with the VK OC (about 10-15 DegC lower than stock ). Use the N54 sticky to get all temp infos about the engine.
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      01-27-2010, 12:07 PM   #20
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link and pics to said oil cooler kit please!
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      01-27-2010, 12:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e.n335 View Post
In daily driving I see 100 DegC with the VK OC (about 10-15 DegC lower than stock ). Use the N54 sticky to get all temp infos about the engine.
Considering thats about 212 F, that is def lower, driving around town and getting on it in the summer time I experience temps near the 250 mark but never exceed it.

Thats more or less what im looking to hear. My specific question I guess quite simply was, what temp is the thermostat said to kick on stock (havnt really found an exact number) for the OIL cooler OEM.

And, does the VK oil cooler have this thermostat to come on sooner (at a lower temp)? Sounds like it does if you average temps in the 212 range, thats where I'd like to have my car sit personally.


Might have to put VK OC on the list
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      01-27-2010, 12:38 PM   #22
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^ The thermostat is always a little bit opened, at least that is what I experienced. I don't think somebody can answer your question.
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