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Bike oil cooler


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What will you use the car for, james?

Heavy load applications, motorsport, towing, pass-storming, anything where the engine is working hard, esp. if at relatively low raod speed, or in very hot climates, then an oil-cooler can be useful.
Anything else, it's more complexity, things to go wrong;  you're better off without it.


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The smaller engined spits are generally ok without an oil cooler, particularly if you don't thrash it.

1500 spitfire is generally recommended to fit a 13 row, but again depends on how much you thrash it (16 row for race use). If as you say you only do road use then I can't see the ten row doing any harm, PROVIDED you use it with a thermostat!! Fitting a cooler without a thermostat will actually damage the engine, tis an all together common mistake. Oil needs to be at a certain temp to do it's work properly, which is (IIRC) about 76C, and using a cooler unregulated means the oil actually takes longer to heat up, and therefore does not lubricate anywhere near as well.

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Recommended by whom?
Ah, I see, brookster for one.
I still stand by my opinion, and support him abouyt thermostats
Cold oil is as useless as over-hot, but the window is not very narrow.  90-110C approx.

The best decison maker is to measure the oil temp, under the conditions you expect to use the car.
And oil temp guage, a remote infrared thermometer gun (onl £25 at CPC at present), 'temp-tabs' (sticky, one-use labels that change colour to tell you how hot something has got) can all be used,to measure the sump temperature.  IF the oil does over heat, yu have every reason to fit a cooler.


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Any cooler will help, and after a recent incident any 1500 that is likely to be used with a little vigour ought to have a cooler.
Mocal sell a thermostat, about £30 I think on ebay, less secondhand. Opens about 80 degrees, so fine for our cars.

And decent oil, not the cheap nasty stuff with no specification....

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Just realised how badly my post reads, so to qualify!

I agree with John, unless you plan to really load the engine, a cooler is probably not necessary. My comment regarding uses of coolers on 1500 spits in particular was supposed to be aimed at using the car hard, so read it as hard use 13 row cooler, race use 16 row.

The rest of what I said I stand by.

John, the article I refer to is this one: http://triumphspitfire.rickbaines.com/weaknesses-of-triumphs-1500-engine/

Also, you mention a window for oil temps. Are you suggesting it is safe to run oil at the temps you mention, or is that the point where it starts to break down??


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If your on a tight buget and like a tinker you can get one of these off a Vauxhall 1.7D cheap, wide and fits nicely under the radiator space, the pipes can be modified/cut to fit push on or threaded hoses direct onto cooler, and mounting brackets would be needed. Mine got broken in the post so never fitted it, picked up a new Mocal 13 row cooler and braided hoses v.cheap for a tenner on a lucky auction win but the Vauxhaull cooler looks like a neat fit.
The bit you need that will cost is the thermostat housing/fittings/hoses, they all came to about 45 quid.

But you can fit one of these:
'in-line' from a non thermostat housing which are alot cheaper

Keep checking ebay for a bargain, the universal 10/13 row coolers are dead easy to fit and are always on, search for MG midget oil coolers as they are standard fitment on them things  ;)

Also instaling a cooler adds approx a further 0.5lt oil capacity so another good reason to fit one.

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The oil filter thread on a 1500 is 5/8 UNF so you will need a sandwich plate adapter 5/8 - 5/8 to maintain the standard spitty oil filter or 5/8 - 3/4 that has more common oil filters for Fords, Japs etc.

You must fit a thermostat control, otherwise the oil will stay too cold for a runabout, race engines can run without thermostat.

For less fittment hastle and less joints that might leak I would go for a thermostat plate (rather than the standard one you have listed above) and this ebay item is a fair price:


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Yes, that ebay one will fit , Mocal make one thermo plate part no: SP1T ( rather ironic)  and the adapters to suit different engines.

Heres a PDF website with technical info:  

I would stick with the 5/8 UNF - 5/8 UNF adapter as the spitty filters are easy and cheap to buy

My set up cost £45 for the thermo plate, £6 for the adapter,  Â£5 for the pipe adapters and washers plus £5 postage from a performance website, you may be able to source them cheaper but the ebay seller is a fair price?

The cooler and pipes were NOS on a bargain ebay auction for £20 delivered.

Like tim says , fitting second hand coolers is a gamble and may cost you £££'s if it fails at the wrong time

Also another thing to note is the thermo plate doesnt 'shut off' completely, it allows a very small flow of oil past the thermostat so the cooler rad has minor fresh oil flow through it even when its below the 80 degrees opening point. Stops the cooler rad staying full of cold oil then a sudden rush of cold oil in the system when the thermostat opens.  

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