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Thread: Oil cooler for a zetec Caterham?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Central WA
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    I don't know that they want higher oil temperatures than anything else. With the oil cooler, I did find my oil temperatures weren't getting high enough to drive out the moisture on the cooler spring and fall drives. So, that's why I put in a thermostat. It also helps the oil warm up more quickly so I can play harder with it sooner.
    2003 Birkin

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Roswell GA
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    888

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    Is there a US supplier of the dual gauge or did it come from the manufacture.
    Life happens while you're making other plans
    1995 Caterham Crossflow RHD
    1990 Miata
    2013 Mini (Her's)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Albany, NY
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    As far as running hot this is the post I've been referencing. Not sure of it's validity

    http://www.zetecinside.com/xr2/zetec...xrKeUekNhRFwfQ

    "The Zetec needs to run oil temperatures of above 100C which is why it only has a 3.8litre sump capacity. If the oil temperature falls below this engine wear increases rapidly"
    2001 Caterham Superlight R

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    3,423

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    I ordered my SPA oil temp/pressure gauge from King Motorsports in Wisconsin (use the Google).

    As to optimal oil temp being 213, that doesn't seem peculiar to Zetecs. As far as my very limited research shows, every engine works best if oil is a bit above 212 F since that is the boiling point of water. Hence any water that has adhered/accumulated in the oil system is then burned off. Ditto other realted oil pollutants. I will count on folks with actual knowledge to correct me here if warranted.
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati
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    Further thoughts: my Caterham's water temps run anywhere from 1/2 way to 3/4's up the gauge. If my oil were super hot, one would think the water would be too. Also, I have a 2 quart Accusump. That means I have a spare 2 quarts of oil sitting in a tank cooling off for 1/2-3/4's of every track lap. It is mounted high on the bulkhead on the passenger side where the seat back would be (if I had a passenger seat). So its in the cool airflow. It comprises 33% of the engine's total oil capacity (roughly 4 qt +2 system) and is cooling much of the time, then getting injected into the hotter engine oil in corners, then back out. All of which suggests that the oil pressure drop is not due to heat. We shall see what the new gauges say.
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    105

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    I am confused, unless you oil is getting so hot it's viscosity is going close to zero, I have no idea why an oil cooler will help your problem. You might show a little increase in oil pressure, but that will be from the extra effort to push the oil thru the cooler. Your water temp is good and you have tried different oils so I doubt it a heat/viscosity problem. Sounds like a oil pump or worn engine issue. I would change the oil pump and run super high quality oil with a lot of Zinc and thrash the thing to death.

    Just my opinion

    Graham

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NYC
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    4,038

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastg View Post
    ... thrash the thing to death.
    Trust me Graham - he has done that already...well and truly!
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R wit 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - engine and dry sump install time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (catching up on deferred maintenance)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth (fettling after long period of storage)
    1990 Range Rover 2 dr Classic

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    117

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    If you are concerned that oil pressure is low due to bearing wear, you can have an oil analysis run for about $15. Assuming copper-lead-tin bearings, those 3 metals would read high.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Port Angeles, WA
    Posts
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    I suspect the check valve in your oil pump is scored. I had a bit of grit, or something, do that to mine and had the same low pressures until I changed the pump. No pressure problems, since.

    Randall

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati
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    Both are good ideas. I am toying with having the bottom rebuilt, so swapping in a new oil pump is definitely a simpler way to go.

    Randall: Where did you get your oil pump and was it for a Zetec SVT? Parts for it seem can be hard to source.

    Blaine, I only put 30-40 miles on my last oil change (using your special oil formulation) before the wheel (literally) fell off. Is that enough mileage for an oil analysis?
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car

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