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      08-13-2017, 05:51 PM   #1
johnmyster
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DIY: n52 Oil Cooler retrofit

Given my driving style and climate, it seemed an oil cooler would be prudent for oil/engine longevity, as my motor has relatively low miles on it to-date. Using stock BMW parts gave me two options. Oil to air, or oil to coolant.

The oil to coolant (flat plate exchanger) option seems better suited to stabilizing oil temps given my climate and driving style...especially because it can also warm the oil after cold starts. (I see that oil temps lag significantly behind water during warm up.) For high performance driving, I would've gone with air-oil. The N52s installed in larger vehicles (and in other countries) had the air-coolant option. Finding parts was easy...but not well documented on the internet.

This link details the oil filter housing with cooler assembly.

This link details the hose connections for the cooler assembly.

Because my car is a manual, I needed the coolant pipe (11537516414) because mine did not have the hose barb for external heat exchanger(s). If you have an automatic, you'll already have this. Just replace the hose running to your trans cooler to the one that supplies.

The coolant pipe was $16 on ebay. The filter housing and exchanger assembly was $65 on ebay. The hose was $17 on Amazon (Rein CHH0507.) New gaskets for the housing and exchanger were $11 each.

The hose support clips on the front of the engine (two) were already present to support the added hose.

The hardest part of the job was getting the screws back into the new coolant pipe. They're small, and even with the front exhaust manifold free, there's barely room to get your hand to the screws. Wobble extensions were critical for me, and it took me four tries repositioning the hose on the end of the pipe to get the screw holes to line up perfectly. If you have an auto trans, you won't need to bother with this. For me, total time was about 4 hours.

For the record, you don't need to remove the intake to get to the filter housing bolt that is under the first runner. I used a long 1/4" extension, a 1/4" flex adapter, and the correct e-torx socket (on a 1/4" to 3/8" adapter) to make it happen. Amazon has some flex extensions that I may add to my kit for jobs like this.

Worth it? Maybe. I needed to do a coolant flush anyhow. Oil temp comes up faster and tracks right with coolant, and that was the point.
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      08-14-2017, 10:17 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmyster View Post
Given my driving style and climate, it seemed an oil cooler would be prudent for oil/engine longevity, as my motor has relatively low miles on it to-date. Using stock BMW parts gave me two options. Oil to air, or oil to coolant.

The oil to coolant (flat plate exchanger) option seems better suited to stabilizing oil temps given my climate and driving style...especially because it can also warm the oil after cold starts. (I see that oil temps lag significantly behind water during warm up.) For high performance driving, I would've gone with air-oil. The N52s installed in larger vehicles (and in other countries) had the air-coolant option. Finding parts was easy...but not well documented on the internet.

This link details the oil filter housing with cooler assembly.

This link details the hose connections for the cooler assembly.

Because my car is a manual, I needed the coolant pipe (11537516414) because mine did not have the hose barb for the hose to the heat exchanger. If you have an automatic, you just replace the hose running to your trans cooler to the one that supplies both.

The coolant pipe was $16 on ebay. The filter housing and exchanger assembly was $65 on ebay. The hose was $17 on Amazon (Rein CHH0507.) New gaskets for the housing and exchanger were $11 each.

The hardest part of the job was getting the screws back into the new coolant pipe. They're small, and even with the front exhaust manifold free, there's barely room to get your hand to the screws. Wobble extensions were critical for me, and it took me four tries repositioning the hose on the end of the pipe to get the screw holes to line up perfectly. If you have an auto trans, you won't need to bother with this. For me, total time was about 4 hours.

For the record, you don't need to remove the intake to get to the filter housing bolt that is under the first runner. I used a long 1/4" extension, a 1/4" flex adapter, and the correct e-torx socket (on a 1/4" to 3/8" adapter) to make it happen. Amazon has some flex extensions that I may add to my kit for jobs like this.

Worth it? Maybe. I needed to do a coolant flush anyhow. Oil temp comes up faster and tracks right with coolant, and that was the point.
What are your new temps?

What sort of oil are you using?

If you find someone good with these ECU's you can just force the water pump to maintain a lower temp. Easier solution.
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      08-14-2017, 10:55 AM   #3
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The water pump already runs at full speed under high load, and the thermostat already opens at a lower temp when needed. There's no point in messing with that and it won't solve oil temperature problems either.
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      08-14-2017, 11:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumptuous Hummus View Post
If you find someone good with these ECU's you can just force the water pump to maintain a lower temp. Easier solution.
The goal wasn't to run cooler. I wanted to see better regulated oil temps, as I imagined BMW did when they put these heat exchangers on other n52 applications. With no dedicated oil cooling whatsoever, transient oil temps seem pretty decoupled from water temps...especially for a motor with a complicated valvetrain and tight specs on oil performance.

This n52 technical documentation says that the engine has four different temperature profiles. I notice the highest temperatures (water ~215 F) are maintained during steady highway cruising. The lowest (water ~180 F and sometimes lower) seems to be for "spirited" and stop/go efforts. I imagine the BMW engineer types are smart enough to preference high temperatures for economy, crankcase cleanliness, etc. I notice my engine swings between "modes" pretty quickly, so I don't think the engine is under cooled (in terms of radiator or coolant flow) for my needs.

I doubt the water pump would be completely off during warm-up conditions. Some flow would (even with thermostat/radiator flow closed) would be necessary to warm the block up evenly and give flow to the heater core...and would provide flow to any such ancillary coolers (engine/trans/etc) that are fitted.

Further insight into how the engine management program controls temp via combined thermostat, e-fan, and water pump control would be interesting topic...one I'm sure haasmachine has looked into.
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      08-14-2017, 11:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmyster View Post
The goal wasn't to run cooler. I wanted to see better regulated oil temps, as I imagined BMW did when they put these heat exchangers on other n52 applications. With no dedicated oil cooling whatsoever, transient oil temps seem pretty decoupled from water temps...especially for a motor with a complicated valvetrain and tight specs on oil performance.

This n52 technical documentation says that the engine has four different temperature profiles. I notice the highest temperatures (water ~215 F) are maintained during steady highway cruising. The lowest (water ~180 F and sometimes lower) seems to be for "spirited" and stop/go efforts. I imagine the BMW engineer types are smart enough to preference high temperatures for economy, crankcase cleanliness, etc. I notice my engine swings between "modes" pretty quickly, so I don't think the engine is under cooled (in terms of radiator or coolant flow) for my needs.

I doubt the water pump would be completely off during warm-up conditions. Some flow would (even with thermostat/radiator flow closed) would be necessary to warm the block up evenly and give flow to the heater core...and would provide flow to any such ancillary coolers (engine/trans/etc) that are fitted.

Further insight into how the engine management program controls temp via combined thermostat, e-fan, and water pump control would be interesting topic...one I'm sure haasmachine has looked into.
Interesting... thanks for taking the time to write up on your experience with this project.

The car runs hottest during highway trips To increase fuel efficiency and help with emissions. There is absolutely no other reason why these vehicles need to run so hot as it only hurts performance when oil temp rises past 100c.

I know that the car has these profiles, but the oil temp just always seems to be between 110c-120c regardless of what sort of driving I'm doing unless it's simply Cold outside. I notice that the engine runs and performs better at the 100c mark which is the temp I wish I could maintain in the summer too, not just during cold weather. I've been debating to fabricate a custom hood for the summer to help extract hot air underneath the hood and increase radiator flow, as I'm not sure how else I can lower temps without installing an oil cooler.

My biggest concern is not only the affected performance, but these high temperatures Calls for good quality oil that must be strongly resistant to shear. The oil that most of us use, and the lengthy oil change intervals are not helping.
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      08-15-2017, 02:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumptuous Hummus View Post
Interesting... thanks for taking the time to write up on your experience with this project.

The car runs hottest during highway trips To increase fuel efficiency and help with emissions. There is absolutely no other reason why these vehicles need to run so hot as it only hurts performance when oil temp rises past 100c.

I know that the car has these profiles, but the oil temp just always seems to be between 110c-120c regardless of what sort of driving I'm doing unless it's simply Cold outside. I notice that the engine runs and performs better at the 100c mark which is the temp I wish I could maintain in the summer too, not just during cold weather. I've been debating to fabricate a custom hood for the summer to help extract hot air underneath the hood and increase radiator flow, as I'm not sure how else I can lower temps without installing an oil cooler.

My biggest concern is not only the affected performance, but these high temperatures Calls for good quality oil that must be strongly resistant to shear. The oil that most of us use, and the lengthy oil change intervals are not helping.
Straight six, that you @sumptuous Hummus?

Oil shearing, secondary deletes and hood venting... I see you're hitting on all your old topics. You come to play nice?

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      08-19-2017, 07:55 PM   #7
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You could run straight water in warm months to help a bit with temps. It has more cooling capacity than 50/50 mix coolant/antifreeze
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      08-19-2017, 09:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matteblue3er View Post
You could run straight water in warm months to help a bit with temps. It has more cooling capacity than 50/50 mix coolant/antifreeze

Can you explain how straight water has more cooling capacity?

I'm really interested in the science behind this one.
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      08-20-2017, 05:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matteblue3er View Post
You could run straight water in warm months to help a bit with temps. It has more cooling capacity than 50/50 mix coolant/antifreeze
The specific heat of antifreeze mix is indeed lower than pure water.

I can't see how that's relevant to adding an oil cooler to a car that previously had none in order to realize more consistent oil temperatures. Thanks for the irrelevant nonsense.
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      08-20-2017, 06:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmyster View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by matteblue3er View Post
You could run straight water in warm months to help a bit with temps. It has more cooling capacity than 50/50 mix coolant/antifreeze
The specific heat of antifreeze mix is indeed lower than pure water.

I can't see how that's relevant to adding an oil cooler to a car that previously had none in order to realize more consistent oil temperatures. Thanks for the irrelevant nonsense.
I knew about the specific heat value but I don't see how that will alter the amount of heat rejected by the cooling system.

I would never run pure water in this motor. The water pumps need the lubricants found in the antifreeze. The anticorrosion properties are needed to keep the system clean and the system pressures are lower with a good antifreeze mix.

Just bad advice that needs proper debunking.
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      08-20-2017, 10:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjahl View Post
I knew about the specific heat value but I don't see how that will alter the amount of heat rejected by the cooling system.
Doesn't water have significantly higher thermal conductivity than ethylene glycol in addition to the specific heat? So it should be able to absorb more thermal energy without an increase in temperature, and it should be able to dissipate said heat quicker.

But I agree the lubrication and corrosion inhibitors trump that point since the cooling system is designed to be able to adequately cool the engine with a 50/50 mix. I'm also not well versed enough in the science to know if the properties simply average out when mixed, if there's more complex math to it, or if there's some sort of synergism or antagonism that goes on.
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      08-20-2017, 05:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terraphantm View Post
Doesn't water have significantly higher thermal conductivity than ethylene glycol in addition to the specific heat? So it should be able to absorb more thermal energy without an increase in temperature, and it should be able to dissipate said heat quicker.

But I agree the lubrication and corrosion inhibitors trump that point since the cooling system is designed to be able to adequately cool the engine with a 50/50 mix. I'm also not well versed enough in the science to know if the properties simply average out when mixed, if there's more complex math to it, or if there's some sort of synergism or antagonism that goes on.
Spot on.
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      09-08-2017, 09:19 AM   #13
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I've got an 07 N52 and the temps creep up to the 270 range when I push my car hard on backroads. Is this all I need to complete the install? I'm pretty good at working on my car but this seems pretty complicated for some reason. http://www.ebay.com/itm/2009-BMW-328...BYZV-W&vxp=mtr Or would I be better off getting a Mishimoto universal oil cooler like this one- https://www.ecstuning.com/b-mishimot...ow/mmocul~msh/
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      09-08-2017, 11:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StorminNorman00 View Post
I've got an 07 N52 and the temps creep up to the 270 range when I push my car hard on backroads. Is this all I need to complete the install? I'm pretty good at working on my car but this seems pretty complicated for some reason. http://www.ebay.com/itm/2009-BMW-328...BYZV-W&vxp=mtr Or would I be better off getting a Mishimoto universal oil cooler like this one- https://www.ecstuning.com/b-mishimot...ow/mmocul~msh/
I think the eBay link you've gotten is some sort of tranny to coolant heat exchanger. Your engine doesn't currently have any oil outlet/inlet for a cooler. That is accomplished by changing out your oil filter housing to one that accommodates this. There are two styles, depending on if you want to do oil to air, or oil to coolant.

This link is the package I purchased: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2005-2007-BM...53.m2749.l2649

Then I needed the hose (CHH0507) and the coolant inlet pipe (11537516414). If your car is an auto, it already has the coolant inlet pipe and that makes the job MUCH easier.

I didn't look very hard, but quickly spotted this one on ebay for $90 or best offer: http://www.ebay.com/itm/172850382782
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      09-08-2017, 11:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmyster View Post
I think the eBay link you've gotten is some sort of tranny to coolant heat exchanger. Your engine doesn't currently have any oil outlet/inlet for a cooler. That is accomplished by changing out your oil filter housing to one that accommodates this. There are two styles, depending on if you want to do oil to air, or oil to coolant.

This link is the package I purchased: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2005-2007-BM...53.m2749.l2649

Then I needed the hose (CHH0507) and the coolant inlet pipe (11537516414). If your car is an auto, it already has the coolant inlet pipe and that makes the job MUCH easier.

I didn't look very hard, but quickly spotted this one on ebay for $90 or best offer: http://www.ebay.com/itm/172850382782
Thank you SO much for this. I made him an offer and got it for $75! So since my car is an auto, I only need CHH0507 and a new gasket, right?
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      09-08-2017, 09:12 PM   #16
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I'd put fresh gaskets in...see this link. Between housing and head, as well as between housing and heat exchanger.

I think I was wrong about the auto tranny thing. You may need the outlet pipe and same hose I needed. Check this diagram, check your car, and go from there.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=11_3755
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      09-09-2017, 11:06 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmyster View Post
I'd put fresh gaskets in...see this link. Between housing and head, as well as between housing and heat exchanger.

I think I was wrong about the auto tranny thing. You may need the outlet pipe and same hose I needed. Check this diagram, check your car, and go from there.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=11_3755
Ok. New gaskets it is. Can I reuse the bolts that hold the oil filter housing on to the engine or are those the one use only kind? I looked at my car and I didn't see anything I could connect the oil cooler to. I took pictures of my engine. I circled what I think is the transmission cooler and here is the link for Trans cooler plumbing. http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=17_0319 I studied the diagram the best I could and I think I need PN: 11537522999 but let me know what you think.
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      09-11-2017, 08:04 AM   #18
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According to REALOEM for a '07 328xi with N52...

You already have coolant inlet pipe 11537516414. That's great news, because it's behind the front exhaust manifold and was a huge pain to swap...as I had to loosen the manifold to get to it and was still next to impossible to put the new one in.

You currently have hose 17127540020 running between that pipe and the "low temperature cooling module." You'll replace it with hose 11537522999, which has a T fitting in the middle of it. You won't have to touch the lines going to the trans cooler...which you have correctly identified.

To show it differently, you are subtracting part 28 in this diagram:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=17_0700

You are adding part 12 in this diagram:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=11_3755

So yes, my research agrees with yours. I re-used my mounting bolts. They are aluminum, but they weren't highly torqued and so I can't imagine they were torque to yield. They just hold the housing to the head enough to compress the rubber seal. Aside from that, you'll need a $1 hose clamp to hold the new hose and the oil cooler. Gasket 11427525335 goes between the housing and the oil cooler. Gasket 11427537293 goes between the head and the housing. I think the set can be had for less than $20 on ebay or amazon. I was due for a coolant flush and oil change at the same time, so I did a thorough parts clean/wash of the heat exchanger internals before adding it to my car.

Last edited by johnmyster; 09-11-2017 at 08:14 AM..
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      09-11-2017, 08:18 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmyster View Post
According to REALOEM for a '07 328xi with N52...

You already have coolant inlet pipe 11537516414. That's great news, because it's behind the front exhaust manifold and was a huge pain to swap...as I had to loosen the manifold to get to it and was still next to impossible to put the new one in.

You currently have hose 17127540020 running between that pipe and the "low temperature cooling module." You'll replace it with hose 11537522999, which has a T fitting in the middle of it. You won't have to touch the lines going to the trans cooler...which you have correctly identified.

To show it differently, you are subtracting part 28 in this diagram:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=17_0700

You are adding part 12 in this diagram:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=11_3755

So yes, my research agrees with yours. I re-used my mounting bolts. They are aluminum, but they weren't highly torqued and so I can't imagine they were torque to yield. They just hold the housing to the head enough to compress the rubber seal. Aside from that, you'll need a $1 hose clamp to hold the new hose and the oil cooler. Gasket 11427525335 goes between the housing and the oil cooler. Gasket 11427537293 goes between the head and the housing. I think the set can be had for less than $20 on ebay or amazon. I was due for a coolant flush and oil change at the same time, so I did a thorough parts clean/wash of the heat exchanger internals before adding it to my car.
Awesome, thank you so much! I really appreciate the time you put into all that!!
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      09-21-2017, 05:38 AM   #20
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Intersting thread
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      09-21-2017, 05:48 AM   #21
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Also I'm not super expereinced on all these parts and hoses, but I'm looking to do this in the future
But I this has been done before? Hopefully this thread helps you and maybe you can elaborate a little bit more
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1294930
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      09-21-2017, 10:24 AM   #22
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I would replace the bolts. They are all TTY - but the yield strength on aluminum is much lower than steel, so it seems like they aren't torqued all that high. You're risking them breaking and then you get to do it all over again, instead of spending the $5 on new bolts. I don't think any of the aluminum bolts are to be used again.
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