It’s been 15 days since I have driven the car. A few weekends ago I put it on stands to fix a small but persistent Power steering leak, do an oil change and while in there, install the oil cooler I bought two years ago.
The problem is, the cooler I purchased is just way too large to fit practically when mounts and lines are attached. Sheet metal and bumper need to be cut to make it work, and it really is overkill. So I have ordered a new core about half the size and have been waiting for it to arrive ever since. Apparently when some vendors say “in stock, ships in 2-3 business days” what they really mean is they will contact their supplier in the UK sometime in the next week to have one shipped and not tell the customer. At least I don’t need the car and haven’t had a lot of time to work on it anyway.
I did have time to work on the steering though. The leak was on top of the crossmember between the hardlines on the rack and the hoses going up to the pump. I got a brand new set of lines for an EJ25D to replace the used EBay ones I have been using ever since the swap. I also installed a new 04’ STI steering rack. I used the L&E Fabrications GD-GC steering coupler as it wasn’t much more expensive than if I bought a GD coupler and made one myself, and it saved me all the labor. The L&E coupler works, but it was pretty nasty. The splines were all messy so i really had to clean them out and the threads for the bolt had to be re-tapped.
Other than being really annoying, everything fit ok and so far no leaks. As soon as the new oil cooler comes in I’ll get to work on that.
So the 25 row Mocal was way too big. Not only did it have hard interference with the bumper beam in just about every location but it also was a bit overkill. Note the mangled A/C condenser and damage from the original owner as well as overspray from the “fix” Somehow that thing is still working problem free after all of these years!
So I got a little gun shy and ordered a MUCH smaller cooler, hopefully not too small. This one is a Setrab 1 series 16 row. It fits much nicer. If I find I need something larger I can move up to the wider version and still be okay.
Yes I still have the factory water to oil heater/cooler hooked up. I couldn’t find any real data on how it affects oil temps. I figure it can’t hurt to have it heating the oil up in the cold. And hopefully it doesn’t warm it up too much post air-oil cooler, but that’s what I’m looking to find out. In theory, the oil should be noticeably warmer than the coolant anyway, right? I also didn’t want to pull the timing belt to swap the water pumps out at this time.
Unfortunately I lost the new oil temp sensor I was going to install so I am waiting to fill and leak check until the new one goes in, hopefully tomorrow. With some luck I’ll get it wrapped up this weekend.
Ive been driving it a bit more and the oil temps seem to be.... low. Sitting stuck in traffic in 80 degree F weather, I was seeing about 90C (about 195F) on the gauge. As soon as I get moving the temps drop to 65-70C (150F-160F). And I do have a 180F thermostat in the sandwich plate. I’m sure they will be higher on the track, but it’s quite a bit too cool right now.
My baja with just the factory oil cooler/warmer sits right around 90C in the summer.
Using the Outback EJ25D power steering lines and the EJ20K pump, the return line doesn’t match up to the reservoir. I had been using a small piece of line looped up over the air inlet, but after installing the new lines with the new rack, I just couldn’t get it right. There was a kink in the return line reducing flow.
I never had a power steering cooler and didn’t get one of the JDM ones with my swap stuff. I figure by adding one, which I should do anyway, I can solve the return hose routing solution a bit more elegantly.
Sometimes I spend top dollar on parts, sometimes I go cheap. This was done super cheap in the form of a $25, 9” Hayden P/S cooler kit off Amazon.
The cooler mounts in front of existing radiator or condenser with plastic zip tie like things that you fish through the fins and secure on the backside with a little locking plate. A piece of adhesive foam attaches between the P/S cooler and, in my case, A/C condenser to prevent damage.
Leak checked and so far so good except for a little bit of air in the system still. I almost feel bad. It looks so cheap right above the oil cooler which looks so nice. It should work just fine though.
It’s that time of year again where I gather parts over the winter so I can spend all spring and summer installing them instead of driving the car.
So I kinda decided to piece together some stuff for a flex fuel setup. The plan is for a little more safety, cooler temps and hopefully a bit more power by running E85 when I want to. The easiest way seemed to be with a top feed conversion, then I figured I’d redo The lines with Ethanol compatible stuff while in there, as well as a flex fuel sensor so I can use 93 or E85. And the the off brand 255 LPH pump isn’t E85 compatible so I was just going to throw a Walbro in there and change out the in tank hoses... one thing led to another and I just ordered a whole new fuel hanger with an AEM 340 LPH pump that has provision for a second pump if I decide to bigger down the road with the next motor.
Hopefully I’ll get some time this year to get it all installed and dialed in.