I used a Setrab on a RV-6 that was completed in 1999 and has been flying since with no problems. The airplane is no longer mine, but a friend owns it. I used the cooler with some consideration. When my build partner and I (both engineers) evaluated the cooler we obtained data from the manufacturer that supported that the burst pressures were adequate and it appeared to meet the cooling requirements. We bought the version with the AN fittings incorporated in the cooler. On examination of the cooler we felt it important to support the connecting oil lines so that the lines could not induce loading to the cooler. Since we did baffle mounting of the cooler, we made sure to secure the lines with clamps to the engine nearby to the cooler and not clamp the oil lines to the engine mount or other components that did not move with the engine. When consulting Setrab factory engineering, they confirmed that this approach was absolutely necessary to prevent fatigue failure where the fittings mate to the cooler.
When the 2000 oil cooler failure occurred, we investigated to see if we should be concerned. As it turned out the failure in that cooler was at the fittings and that the lines going to and from the cooler were not secured to ensure no relative motion between the lines and the cooler. Knowing that, we decided to continue on with the Setrab cooler.
I would emphasize that the lines must be supported so that there is no relative motion between the cooler and the line, thereby inducing cyclic loading in the cooler.
Separately I spoke to SW and they indicated that they occasionally see cooler failures from installations that improperly clamp the lines. If you have baffle mounted cooler, then this is easy if you do not clamp the oil lines to the engine mount or other stationary supports. On the other hand if you mount your oil cooler on the bulkhead, be sure to secure the oil cooler lines adjacent to the oil cooler to something that does not move like the engine mount. It is critical not to induce loads to the cooler from the lines.
RV6 built and sold
N199EC RV6A flying
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