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      11-16-2017, 02:36 PM   #1
dubversion
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DIY: After market oil cooler install 2006 335i N54

Hi all,

i've just completed installing an aftermarket oil cooler from ebay.
The car does have an OEM oil cooler, but temps are still hitting the 120 Celsius regularly, and i want them down or at least come down quicker.

there are several brands selling an after market oil cooler, but they quickly cost up to USD 1000. For other cars (other brands) the prices are often not as high. As there's nothing special about building an oil cooler in a BMW, i went the ebay route.

I purchased a 16 row oil cooler with fitment for the BMW N54 engine from the company "G-plus" Performance Parts and chose the "Racing oil cooler" for BMW N54. I paid GBP 85, so about USD 120.

I has the oil lines, the cooler and a block that fits the extra cooler in between the oem setup.

I decided to put the oil cooler in front of the passenger's side BMW kidney; it's not too difficult to access, you'll have to take off the bumper. Mounting is done on the hard plastic (it does require trimming the hard plastic on a few places). But because the oil cooler is fitted, it actually makes the whole thing stronger again.

You could argue that blocking the radiator may spike coolant temps, but a few people i spoke to said this is not an issue; the cooler oil makes up for it and of course the air does flow thru both the oil cooler AND the (stacked) radiator.

I'm still to test the system properly and will update this thread when i have done so.

It took us 2 nights with 2 people to figure out how to fit the oil cooler and route the oil lines (first night) and actually fit it, making the custom brackets. (second night).

It also requires a custom made aluminium bracket on which one side of the oil cooler is bolted. The other side is bolted in the hard plastic with a long M6 screw.

To get the oil lines to this part of the car required only a "sleeved" cut into the same hard plastic; the engine bay can be reached.

It's a tight fight to get the oil lines onto the cooler once it's installed. We first had one line on it (on the driver's side) then pushed the cooler+line in place and then struggled a bit to get the passenger's side line on the fitting.

Also to bolt the additional router onto the OEM fitting is not so easy, there's minimum space, particularly due to the cooland line going to the oil filter/thermostat housing. But we managed.

some pointers:

- you'll need to cut into the hard plastic. A one blade handsaw helps, a (wood or metal) file helps. Using a dremel is not so handy; it melts the plastic. A drill with a wide drill bit (22 mm or so) may also help, especially to cut the sleeve/hole for the oil lines.

- Make sure no oil leaks on your V-belt. I had a plastic bag covering the whole belt, all the way up to the bolt that you need to remove from the housing.

- Remove your engine floor board under your car. No need to get it full of oil.
- Remove the fan. It's easy and gives you much more space.

Here are some pics of the process:


i'm happy, soon we'll do some road test to find out if it was worth the trouble. But so far we have proven that installing a second oil cooler can be done with 10 hours of work and USD 120 for the oil cooler.


greetings,

Jeroen








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      11-16-2017, 02:39 PM   #2
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Great thread! Cant wait to see the results!
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      11-19-2017, 09:09 AM   #3
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final result:
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      11-22-2017, 04:25 PM   #4
DarkNemesis
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Can you provide a Link of where and what you bought?
cant seem to find a 16 Row Cooler at all.
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      11-23-2017, 05:45 AM   #5
dubversion
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Sure. it's this one:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/16-Row-AN10...3/232488998276

search ebay.com with "N54 oil cooler" and pick the GPLUS.
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      11-23-2017, 06:06 AM   #6
dubversion
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An update.

I've only driven about 4 trips after the install. 2 trips were less than 10 miles, one was about 25 miles.

Yesterday, on my way for a longer trip of 60 miles, the car went into limp mode cruising about about 80 MPH on a high way. Unfortunately, i didn't have my code reader with me. The car had a very crappy idling and i saw a few drops of oil at and around the inserted block near the oil filter housing.

I did NOT see the oil lamp go on.

On the night of the installation, driving home the 5 miles, i tested the oil level. It said "MAX", all green.

I decided, stranded at a gas station to call for a tow truck.

Back at the garage we saw the following codes

2A80 (??) VANOS sensor code
2F7B (??) oil pressure switch plausibility

I have to check the actual codes, but it was something like this.

After the car was towed and back after reading out the DME, we reset the codes and started to crank it to see if any codes would reappear.

Well, they didn't. I drove abount 25 test miles, low RPM, high RPM, no boost, high boost, nothing.

We also found that the oil leaks must have been drops, not significant at all. I cleaned it with some paper and tighten the obvious spot where some drops leaked.

After the test run, it said "oil level low, add 1 liter".

I added the 1 liter, and now it says "Max" again, with all green bars.


I was suprised about the delayed notification of low oil level, but now in hindsight i think this happened:

The oil cooler install adds probably 500 - 100 ml of volume to the oil system.
As i did NOT add oil (it was not indicated after the installation), i did my test drives.

The oil thermostat prevents the cooler system from opening until you reach operating temperatures. On a trip of 5 miles, it probably doesn't open at all, so the air trapped in the cooler and more importantly the hoses, were probably still in there and only started to move with the longer trip.

On the day the car went into limp mode, i suspect an air bubble getting stuck in the VANOS pressue pump, throwing the code and making the car idle rough.

By towing the car, the car slanted a lot and the air was now able to escape out elsewhere. This explains why the rough idling or even code has yet to be seen again.

It also makes sense that the oil pressure switch code was thrown: probably due to air bubbles.

For now, this is only theory, it could of course be that coincidentally i have an issue with my VANOS sensors and will need to replace them.

But the fact that it hasn't come back, makes me think i'm right.


So long story short: the added volume in the second oil cooler may trap air, throwing off the VANOS oil pressue, leading to VANOS codes, causing rough idling in my case.

I'll update again if codes return and/or oil leaks persists.

Last edited by dubversion; 11-23-2017 at 06:17 AM.
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      11-28-2017, 12:34 PM   #7
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Another update:

VANOS error has not returned.

The car still leaks some oil, it does not seem much, but enough to be annoying. It seems to leak where the block is in the OEM fitting; i am using OEM (rubber) O-rings there.
I'm actually not sure if we're supposed to do this.

Anyways, we're going to redo that part, hopefully that stops the leak. It also gives a change to examine the leak a bit more.

Last edited by dubversion; 11-28-2017 at 06:42 PM.
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      12-07-2017, 09:55 AM   #8
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Last update: I've replaced the oil pressure switch. It didn't help, the error came again. I guess the second oil cooler does influence the pressure a bit, but no warning lights some on, it's just a DME code that gets thrown. I don't worry, all seems well.

My initial results:
Before i would see oil temps of a warm engine between 110 and 1120 degrees Celsius. This is now reduced to 100 and 108. I think the oil cooler also increases the cooling speed: when it goes up towards 110, going back to (highway) cruising, quickly gets it down to 100 - 105 range.

Soon we're going to dyno tune the car; hopefully the extra cooler will keep things nice and cool then.

greetings,
Jeroen
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