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M20 Oil Cooler Needed?


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Under normal driving conditions, you really wont need it. The stock m20i oil coolers do very little with actually cooling the oil.


All you have to do is unscrew the entire setup, and replace it with BMW part # 11112140435




Your oil filter with bolt directly to that.


On my personal m20 2002 i have the oil cooler removed.


Hope this helps!

Edited by s99
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The eta didn't have one...


Consensus is that's because it didn't need one!


That's the way to get rid of the sandwich- use the eta spud.


If you're planning on a lot of track time, maybe it'd be worth it,

or a lot of hot, high- speed freeway.


Otherwise, I'm with the consensus...



"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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Thanks guys - I'm not planning on track time (MAYBE an open lap day once in awhile, maybe some autocross once in a while), but that's what my E36 M3 is for.


Sounds like I'll be running without then! I don't think the motor I picked up even came with it. The oil filter is on there, but I didn't look hard enough to see the cooler.

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The thermal valve doesn't open until 200F oil temp, same as on the S14.  They both use the same thermal valve (I'm not referring to the housing).  Besides 200F is associated with dino oil that can't stand as high a temperature, dino flash point temp is too low.

A radiator shop is a good place to take a leak.


I have no idea what I'm doing but I know I'm really good at it.

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I'd at least put in a oil temp gauge.



THIS is good advice whether or not you have a cooler.

My E30 race car had a stuck oil thermostat and saw oil temps of around 240f

when I first built it.  Not bad- but it was cool spring weather, and I wasn't pushing

it all that hard.


Got a working t- stat, and now it stabilizes at 220 no matter the weather.



Edited by TobyB

"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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2002 turbo oil cooler seems to open up around 190F or so. At least according to my VDO (pan temp). 


I would recommend an oil cooler for sure. The other place its useful besides the track is traffic. If you live in an area where you get caught in traffic jams, then it can keep temps under control.


My tii used to struggle even with an oversized radiator in NYC traffic. Though it was only in situations where it was was over 90F, very hot and humid etc... Oil cooler completely solved that.

'76 02 (USA), '05 Toyota Alphard (Tokyo) - http://www.bmw2002.net

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I do not have an oil cooler on my M20 converted car for a few reasons.

1)Not a whole lot of room, especially if you want to run the stock e30 set up.

2) I run a 70 degree thermostat. Engine runs cooler and temp gauge usually hangs out around 1/3 of the way.

3)Perhaps the biggest reason is that I run Motul 15w50 synthetic , which does not break down anywhere near as easily as a generic 20w50 dino oil.

I do agree that an oil temp gauge is not a bad idea though, because then you never have to "guess" if the oil temp is ok or not...and yes, ETAs as well as the later M20B20 as found in my girlfriends e30 320i never had oil coolers.


1976 2002 - Mintgrun

1986 535i - Bronzit

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