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  #1  
Old 08-29-2010, 01:41 PM
kevinh's Avatar
kevinh kevinh is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 1,419
Default Case study: switching from Van's oil cooler to SW

Hi ya'll,

So my original Van's oil cooler (now for sale - PM me an offer if you want it) has worked fine for 300 hours. It was fine for cross country flying, but on hot days a series of loops oil temps and CHTs would get high enough I had to back off for a while (I'd let things cool down when CHTs reached 420).

I know an oil cooler is just for cooling oil, but a local RV friend said that he had the same problem until switching to the SW8406. I figured that I liked working on the airplane and for $600ish bucks it was a good experiment.

Wow! I swapped the oil coolers (after having to slightly rework the aft baffle). Now my CHTs and oil temps are 20-40 deg cooler for the same OAT and mission. I was never able to get the CHTs above 390 even after a bunch of loops.

I guess the SW has higher airflow resistance and more of that airflow is either doing useful work exchanging oil cooler heat or going through the cylinder fins.

I have an O360-A1A (ECI and superior parts from Aerosport Power).

Your mileage may vary, but so far I'm a happy camper.

PS: If you are building a plane that you will not use for acro and want a Van's oil cooler I've got one for sale. ;-)
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-kevinh, Track my RV-7A, flying, alas, sold in 2013 after 450ish hours. (I'm now building something different)
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2010, 09:36 PM
Rupester Rupester is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Mahomet, Illinois
Posts: 2,195
Default JUst out of curiosity ...

...was your original cooler a Harrison-Niagara or the older, more infamous, poor performer? (can't recall the mfgr's name)
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Terry Ruprecht
RV-9A Tip-up; IO-320 D2A
S. James cowl/plenum
(Dues paid thru Nov '18)
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2010, 09:37 PM
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kevinh kevinh is offline
 
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Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 1,419
Default

The newer one - I'll look up the part # when I get home.
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-kevinh, Track my RV-7A, flying, alas, sold in 2013 after 450ish hours. (I'm now building something different)
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2010, 09:57 PM
Rupester Rupester is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Mahomet, Illinois
Posts: 2,195
Default The old one ...

..that achieved infamy was made by Positech. Vans changed from Positech to Harrison-Niagara awhile back for the "standard" factory cooler General feedback provided that was a HUGE improvement, though still not as effective (or pricey) as the SW units.
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Terry Ruprecht
RV-9A Tip-up; IO-320 D2A
S. James cowl/plenum
(Dues paid thru Nov '18)
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2011, 04:21 AM
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dbuds2 dbuds2 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fl
Posts: 390
Default Do you still have

Your original oil cooler? I'm not going to be able to mount the larger Viagra cooler Van's sells on myRV8, it's too big. Need the stock Niagara unit.
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Bud Smith, RV-8, ECI IOX360 , Dual PMags, Dynon SkyView, Whirlwind 200GA, IFR and N88ZP has "slipped the surly bonds of earth".
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2011, 08:28 AM
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Neal@F14 Neal@F14 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Posts: 2,183
Default

We originally had the Van's supplied Niagara 7-row cooler on the RV-8 in my avatar. It was woefully inadequate for the heat-monster ECI Titan IO-360 engine (from America's Aircraft Engines). Oil temps in the 230's. We then installed a 13-row Aero Classics cooler (IO-540 sized) and I actually got it to fit on the rear cyl #4 baffle, but it was way too close to the engine mount, and also rubbed the fiberglass cowling a little. It cooled too well also, and was just simply overkill. The third cooler I installed is an SW10599R 9-row unit (~ $650). It cools just right in hot Texas summer heat, but had to fabricate a pilot-controllable air door to restrict airflow over the cooler for winter flying.

There is a much cheaper alternative to the expensive SW cooler... the Aero Classic 10-row cooler is just about the same exterior physical dimensions of the SW10599R and costs less than $260 from Spruce. For tighter spaces, they also make a 9-row cooler too, that would likely outperform the 7-row Niagara cooler by a significant margin.

The design and build quality of the SW coolers are definitely the best of all three brands I've tried, and if an extra $350 is not that big of a deal to you, then the SW is definitely the brand of oil cooler to get.
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Airplaneless once again...

Last edited by Neal@F14 : 01-06-2011 at 12:06 PM.
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