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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > N52 Cooling Capabilities



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      12-14-2020, 11:53 PM   #1
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N52 Cooling Capabilities

Hey there, I wanted to know if the 328i stock radiator is good enough for track. I know that some people here have added oil coolers but I do not see anybody talking about aftermarket aluminum radiators at least for the n52 motor.

I plan on running thunderhill, and was wondering if its necessary during the summer where temps can be 100f.
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      12-25-2020, 12:58 AM   #2
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It says that Thunderhill elevation is 293ft. That is excellent as high altitude will create more issues than ambient temperature.
I had issues with oil temperature here in Colorado, but High Plains Raceway here is between 4,900-5,200ft, which puts a lot of strain on cooling system.
That being said, I would still do some retrofit. I am doing oil cooler now, stock from N55. But, you really do not need that IMO in CA unless going to some high altitude tracks. What I would do is go this route:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/07-13-BMW-N...8AAOSwzDxfpKog

That is much cheaper than dedicated oil cooler, as with oil cooler there are numerous other stuff that needs to be changed. This heat exchanger is pretty simple, effective, and in normal driving might save you some fuel as it will accelerate oil warm up. There is one more coolant hose you need to add if manual, not sure about automatic transmissions. But, search on Google, there are threads by people who did it.
I would go this route before you go bigger radiator.
Also, code your mpg gauge to oil temperature gauge so you know your oil temperature.
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      12-28-2020, 03:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edycol View Post
It says that Thunderhill elevation is 293ft. That is excellent as high altitude will create more issues than ambient temperature.
I had issues with oil temperature here in Colorado, but High Plains Raceway here is between 4,900-5,200ft, which puts a lot of strain on cooling system.
That being said, I would still do some retrofit. I am doing oil cooler now, stock from N55. But, you really do not need that IMO in CA unless going to some high altitude tracks. What I would do is go this route:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/07-13-BMW-N...8AAOSwzDxfpKog

That is much cheaper than dedicated oil cooler, as with oil cooler there are numerous other stuff that needs to be changed. This heat exchanger is pretty simple, effective, and in normal driving might save you some fuel as it will accelerate oil warm up. There is one more coolant hose you need to add if manual, not sure about automatic transmissions. But, search on Google, there are threads by people who did it.
I would go this route before you go bigger radiator.
Also, code your mpg gauge to oil temperature gauge so you know your oil temperature.
thanks for the suggestion. I have known about this heat exchanger that exists on some x3 n52 and some other models. do you have anecdotal experience with it lowering Temps on track before and after? I have the sports package in my e92 so it already has an oil gauge. thank you for the information
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      12-30-2020, 09:42 AM   #4
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So, Heat exchanger is part of all N52/53 in Europe. It is designed for performance set up where higher temperatures are expected. I read thoroughly this thread:
https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1412435
Your oil temperature will be more in check bcs. water pump on these engines work less during cruising, keepin high coolant temp. for efficiency. However, during performance driving it works at maximum to cool off engine as much as possible, lowering coolant temperature sometimes to 80c. That will cool off oil dramatically. Is it enough? N52 is not turbo, it does not create such high oil temperatures. I would personally go this just bcs. it is super easy and fast. It will help you during regular driving to keep oil temperatures in check. If you still have an issue, you can use same oil filter housing to add thermostat and oil radiator.
Now, I am in the process of adding cooler. Since here season is over, I am not in a rush, so next week I am going to slowly start to assemble it. You need oil filter housing with port for heat exchanger or thermostat. I got used OFH from 2015 X5, and new thermostat. Found brand new BMW oil cooler on eBay for $200. Usually used ones are around $200. You need supply and return hoses. Used are around $100, new around $175 per hose. Then you need air duct on right side that takes air not only to brakes (you have that now) but to oil cooler. You need different fender trim that has opening for heat to dissipate from cooler. Hard to find used one, new one is around $120. Knowing what I know now, I would go heat exchanger route to try it, before oil cooler. But, I already started to buy stuff and it was too late at that point.
Use also heavier oil. Heavier oil creates more heat, no doubt. But at high temperatures it also dissipates more heat than thinner oil. So, something like Motul 5W40 300V or Redline 5W40 or even 10W40 would be really good. Mobil1 15W50 iavailable in Wal Mart is good oil too for track.

Last edited by edycol; 12-30-2020 at 10:17 AM..
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      12-30-2020, 12:42 PM   #5
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To add one more thing. Regardless which route you are going, make sure you prime oil pump.
Procedure:
Disconnect fuel injectors (not sure fuse or relay would do trick).
Crank for 10sec, rest starter for 20sec. This procedure should be repeated three times.
Make sure battery charger is connected during priming procedure.
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      02-18-2021, 12:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aphael View Post
Hey there, I wanted to know if the 328i stock radiator is good enough for track. I know that some people here have added oil coolers but I do not see anybody talking about aftermarket aluminum radiators at least for the n52 motor.

I plan on running thunderhill, and was wondering if its necessary during the summer where temps can be 100f.
I've tracked my 330i (still a N52) over 15 times and only experienced a high temp warning once in my life late in a 30 minute session where I was really going hard. Now my temps aren't as bad as yours due to being in CAD but if you're just looking to have fun on a few HPDE to get your feet wet I wouldn't worry too much. If you're taking competition more serious its not a bad idea and one that I have on my to do list in the future due to how plug and play a factory oil cooler option is.
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      02-22-2021, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volasko View Post
I've tracked my 330i (still a N52) over 15 times and only experienced a high temp warning once in my life late in a 30 minute session where I was really going hard. Now my temps aren't as bad as yours due to being in CAD but if you're just looking to have fun on a few HPDE to get your feet wet I wouldn't worry too much. If you're taking competition more serious its not a bad idea and one that I have on my to do list in the future due to how plug and play a factory oil cooler option is.
He should not have issues as altitude is low. Altitude is killer, not so much ambient temperature.
I just finished installing oil cooler on my N52. Works great, though did not run on track yet.
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      04-28-2021, 11:17 PM   #8
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First track run with oil cooler.
The temperature stayed between 230-240f.
Ambient temp: 58f
Altitude: 5,000ft.

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      04-30-2021, 08:09 PM   #9
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I installed a OEM 335i oil cooler a few years ago. I did my first track day last month it was 85 degrees and after going flat out (shifting 7500rpms) for the full 20 mins session I was between 255-260 on the last lap each session.
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      05-01-2021, 01:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biginboca View Post
I installed a OEM 335i oil cooler a few years ago. I did my first track day last month it was 85 degrees and after going flat out (shifting 7500rpms) for the full 20 mins session I was between 255-260 on the last lap each session.
255-260 is nothing for oil. Are you running heat on full ventilation during track time?
My issue is altitude. Altitude is much worse for cooling than any ambient temperature. At 58f at 5,000ft it is probably more strenuous than 100f at sea level. I do run heat on full net strength though to help to cool.
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      05-01-2021, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edycol View Post
255-260 is nothing for oil. Are you running heat on full ventilation during track time?
My issue is altitude. Altitude is much worse for cooling than any ambient temperature. At 58f at 5,000ft it is probably more strenuous than 100f at sea level. I do run heat on full net strength though to help to cool.
No wasn’t running heat, but did run the A/C lol
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      05-01-2021, 11:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biginboca View Post
No wasn’t running heat, but did run the A/C lol
LOl. Running heat will lower it 10-15 degrees at least.
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      07-03-2021, 01:15 PM   #13
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I found the attached pages from BMW's technical info on the E90. It looks like power is reduced when oil temps reach 148C/298F and coolant temps reach 117C/243F. Oil temp of 158C/316F or coolant temp of 125C/257F is an emergency state
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Oil Temperature System Protection.pdf (634.4 KB, 31 views)
File Type: pdf Coolant Temperature System Protection.pdf (525.2 KB, 34 views)
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      07-04-2021, 01:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Fieri View Post
I found the attached pages from BMW's technical info on the E90. It looks like power is reduced when oil temps reach 148C/298F and coolant temps reach 117C/243F. Oil temp of 158C/316F or coolant temp of 125C/257F is an emergency state
117c coolant might be timing pullback not limp mode.
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      07-10-2021, 11:19 AM   #15
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Went to a track yesterday.
102 degrees at 5,000ft. Ultimate test for oil cooler. Also, I diluted coolant to distilled water ratio to 20/80 for better heat exchange.
No problems whatsoever! 335 oil cooler is obviously overkill for N52, which is what one wants. Also, I tracked with cowling and engine cover. No issues, though I did run full heat and ventilation on max to help cooling.
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      09-01-2021, 06:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biginboca View Post
I installed a OEM 335i oil cooler a few years ago. I did my first track day last month it was 85 degrees and after going flat out (shifting 7500rpms) for the full 20 mins session I was between 255-260 on the last lap each session.
Curious as to what temps you were getting before oil cooler install. Sounds like it works great though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edycol View Post
Went to a track yesterday.
102 degrees at 5,000ft. Ultimate test for oil cooler. Also, I diluted coolant to distilled water ratio to 20/80 for better heat exchange.
No problems whatsoever! 335 oil cooler is obviously overkill for N52, which is what one wants. Also, I tracked with cowling and engine cover. No issues, though I did run full heat and ventilation on max to help cooling.
Well this is good to know! Sounds like I should get one as well
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      09-01-2021, 09:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumbie View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biginboca View Post
I installed a OEM 335i oil cooler a few years ago. I did my first track day last month it was 85 degrees and after going flat out (shifting 7500rpms) for the full 20 mins session I was between 255-260 on the last lap each session.
Curious as to what temps you were getting before oil cooler install. Sounds like it works great though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edycol View Post
Went to a track yesterday.
102 degrees at 5,000ft. Ultimate test for oil cooler. Also, I diluted coolant to distilled water ratio to 20/80 for better heat exchange.
No problems whatsoever! 335 oil cooler is obviously overkill for N52, which is what one wants. Also, I tracked with cowling and engine cover. No issues, though I did run full heat and ventilation on max to help cooling.
Well this is good to know! Sounds like I should get one as well
Well, what are your temperatures?
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