147 1.9 JTD 16V - missing oil cooler - problem? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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147 1.9 JTD 16V - missing oil cooler - problem?

Just noticed the Alfa I bought has a missing oil cooler. Seeing the prices made me sick.
Will it be a problem to not install a new one, because honestly with the price of this kit, I might as well sell the car?
2003 147 1.9JTD 16V 140HP.
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Originally Posted by tishobg View Post
Just noticed the Alfa I bought has a missing oil cooler. Seeing the prices made me sick.
Will it be a problem to not install a new one, because honestly with the price of this kit, I might as well sell the car?
2003 147 1.9JTD 16V 140HP.
Sorry to ask a daft question but is it definitely the engine oil cooler, which lives behind the drivers side front fog light? Autolusso make a Mocal kit for the 147/GT/156 and fit it for around 350 all in, at least I think that's what I paid. It is there for a good reason but the original parts are known to corrode, especially the pipe unions but running around without one is not a great idea. I really wouldn't recommend driving around too long without one, so for the time being make sure you keep on top of the oil changes to prevent it degrading and causing damage.

Now: 156 GTA | Quaife LSD | 330mm Brembos

Then: 147 Sport Q2 | Autolusso Remap | Swirl Flap & EGR Delete | Mocal Oil Cooler Kit | JTD Performance FMIC Kit | High Flow Elbow | Wizard Downpipe | PF Pads & 5.1 Fluid | Autolusso Braided Brake Lines | MTech Short-Shifter | Autolusso Silicone Turbo-to-MAF Hose | Refurbed Q2s
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Originally Posted by tishobg View Post
Just noticed the Alfa I bought has a missing oil cooler. Seeing the prices made me sick.
Will it be a problem to not install a new one, because honestly with the price of this kit, I might as well sell the car?
2003 147 1.9JTD 16V 140HP.
Sorry to ask a daft question but is it definitely the engine oil cooler, which lives behind the drivers side front fog light? Autolusso make a Mocal kit for the 147/GT/156 and fit it for around 350 all in, at least I think that's what I paid. It is there for a good reason but the original parts are known to corrode, especially the pipe unions but running around without one is not a great idea. I really wouldn't recommend driving around too long without one, so for the time being make sure you keep on top of the oil changes to prevent it degrading and causing damage. http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/image...ies/thumbs.gif
Yes, Im talking exactly about that cooler. I bought the whole car for less than 1500 quid . I'm from Bulgaria , so the currency is much different. 350 to me would equal my monthly salary, and I only got a summer job. A new one is definitely not an option, unfortunately. What is the damage a lack of such a cooler could cause?
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Yes, Im talking exactly about that cooler. I bought the whole car for less than 1500 quid . I'm from Bulgaria , so the currency is much different. 350 to me would equal my monthly salary, and I only got a summer job. A new one is definitely not an option, unfortunately. What is the damage a lack of such a cooler could cause?
I see. I'm sure I've seen a thread on here by someone who removed their oil cooler completely and had no issues. However, Bulgaria is quite a bit warmer that the UK am I right? Engine oils are formulated to work best within a certain temperature range so if it gets too hot it begins to degrade through thermal breakdown (it would have to be pretty hot though), thus losing some of it's lubrication qualities. Coolant helps lower the oil temperature to some extend but it would not completely solve an oil temperature problem. I don't want to scaremonger but I like to know that my oil cooler is there, expecially when I drive the car in a spirited fashion . You might be able to grab a used kit from a breakers yard, just make sure the pipe unions are in good order as it's these which tend to go first, and genuine new ones are stupid money for what they are. Use the correct grade/viscosity of oil and check it regularly, the oil in the JTD turns black fairly quickly which is normal but the JTD's don't drink it like the Twin Sparks do. Remember also that good fresh oil keeps the turbo happy too. Also look out for oil pressure warnings.

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Make sure you are looking on the right side of the car (ie probably the passenger side to the OP)

But yes, running a turbocharged engine with the oilcooler missing in a hot climate isn't a great idea.
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Make sure you are looking on the right side of the car (ie probably the passenger side to the OP)

But yes, running a turbocharged engine with the oilcooler missing in a hot climate isn't a great idea.
Will get some pics once I get the car out of the shop. Changing upper turbo hose and brake pads now.
Climate here is hot, but nothing extreme. In the hottest days of summer, in my city, it reaches 34C. I usually go on spirited drives in the evening when its below 30C.
Got the number of a fellow who might have it second hand, we'll see.
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Remember that the engines that don't have a rad type oil cooler have a oil-coolant heat exchanger, so simply bypassing the original oil cooler isn't the same as the versions that didn't have one originally.
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is it missing in that the cooler has been removed and one pipe has been connected back to form a loop, or is there no sign of one at all like it was made for the Siberian market or something?

Can you post a link to a picture of the oil filter fitting?
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is it missing in that the cooler has been removed and one pipe has been connected back to form a loop, or is there no sign of one at all like it was made for the Siberian market or something?

Can you post a link to a picture of the oil filter fitting?
Exactly the latter you described. The pipe is connected back forming a loop. Exactly. I'll get the car from the shop on Monday, I'll provide with pics then. After talking to my mechanic, he said it won't cause any issues and that the car looks pretty good all-around. I've nearly mended and changed all the faulty parts, excluding this and a thermostat.
EDIT: VIDEO I just found an old video from when I noticed it lacks a radiator there, here's it and you can see how it forms a loop,it's not fully removed.

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Are you planning to do a lot of miles in it?

If the oil cooler is really expensive, maybe leave it and just change the oil 3 times a year, for example.


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Are you planning to do a lot of miles in it?

If the oil cooler is really expensive, maybe leave it and just change the oil 3 times a year, for example.


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Wow. Is it really that big of a deal to not have it? I mean, what exactly are the downfalls? Oil 3 times a year will cost my heaps of money as well.
Can I fit an aftermarket ,way cheaper,cooler ? 300€ is above and beyond what I consider paying for a car that costs 5 times the radiator piece, the whole damn car.

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You don't need a sandwich plate or thermostat as you still have those attached to the car you also have two original alfa pipe end fittings to fit onto it. . So this is the way I'd tackle the problem Most places have hydraulic repair factors that do repairs for tractor and grass cutting hydraulic systems etc you must have one of these near you somewhere their components are of industrial standard and are usually much cheaper than buying anything claiming to be automotive/ motorsport components. Take in the one pipe and get them to remove the pipe from the end fixtures and connect a seperate pipe to each fixture instead. At the other end of the pipe they can put two 90 An-10 or similar oil cooler fixtures they should be able to swage them on like the real pipes from the factory. you can then buy a cheap standard oil cooler, The original Alfa cooler is a 13 row core by about 250mm wide but most oil coolers have the rows closer together than the alfa ones so you will need a 19 row cooler of about 233mm width to fill the aperture in the ducting reasonably. If you get one of the cheaper brands like Motomech or APS this would cost about 55 in GB. these are perfectly good for the job pressed section oil coolers are hardly new technology any more. the main cost might be at the hydraulic services centre but at least they will be on an earnings level appropriate for your country. They may be able to provide the cooler as well. Anything labeled motorsport is always massively overpriced and as the oil cooler is very hard to see in the 147 it doesn't need anodised blue and red fittings or stainless braided pipes.
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You don't need a sandwich plate or thermostat as you still have those attached to the car you also have two original alfa pipe end fittings to fit onto it. . So this is the way I'd tackle the problem Most places have hydraulic repair factors that do repairs for tractor and grass cutting hydraulic systems etc you must have one of these near you somewhere their components are of industrial standard and are usually much cheaper than buying anything claiming to be automotive/ motorsport components. Take in the one pipe and get them to remove the pipe from the end fixtures and connect a seperate pipe to each fixture instead. At the other end of the pipe they can put two 90 An-10 or similar oil cooler fixtures they should be able to swage them on like the real pipes from the factory. you can then buy a cheap standard oil cooler, The original Alfa cooler is a 13 row core by about 250mm wide but most oil coolers have the rows closer together than the alfa ones so you will need a 19 row cooler of about 233mm width to fill the aperture in the ducting reasonably. If you get one of the cheaper brands like Motomech or APS this would cost about 55 in GB. these are perfectly good for the job pressed section oil coolers are hardly new technology any more. the main cost might be at the hydraulic services centre but at least they will be on an earnings level appropriate for your country. They may be able to provide the cooler as well. Anything labeled motorsport is always massively overpriced and as the oil cooler is very hard to see in the 147 it doesn't need anodised blue and red fittings or stainless braided pipes.
I don't entirely understand what you mean, but I'll have to look up the manual of the oil cooler to see how it works and possibly will then understand it.
Looking at the way it's built, I presume the pipe that forms a loop on my car has to come off, separate pipes in each fitting and in-between them, a radiator? That's just how I imagine it , am I anywhere close to reality?
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If you look at the pics on Autolusso's website, maybe it will be clearer to you.
But it wouldn't be complicated to get a cooler in there.
Diesel Oil Cooler Replacement Kit - 147 / 156 / GT 1.9 16v and 2.4 10v - Autolusso New Alfa Romeo Parts
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I don't entirely understand what you mean, but I'll have to look up the manual of the oil cooler to see how it works and possibly will then understand it.
Looking at the way it's built, I presume the pipe that forms a loop on my car has to come off, separate pipes in each fitting and in-between them, a radiator? That's just how I imagine it , am I anywhere close to reality?
Yep that's pretty much what I said.
You won't get fittings like the Alfa ones from anywhere else and each pipe is about 90 GBP from Alfa so you need to reuse the fittings you already have on the oil filter ends of the new pipes you get made. that's where the Hydraulics repair company comes in, you cant do that bit yourself.

of course you could cut your old pipe in half and use the old ends and join in some new pipes with joiners and Jubilee clips but that wouldn't be anywhere near as secure in my opinion and if one blew at speed your car would be a scrapper in less than 30 seconds.

Last edited by Yorkshirekeith; 07-08-16 at 18:42.
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Yep that's pretty much what I said.
You wont get fittings like the Alfa ones from anywhere else and each pipe is about 90 GBP from Alfa so you need to reuse the fittings you already haveon the oil filter ends of the new pipes you get made. that's where the Hydraulics repair company comes in, you cant do that bit yourself.

of ourse you could cut your old pipe in half, use the old ends and join in some new pipes with joiners and Jubilee clips but that wouldn't be anywhere near as secure in my opinion and if one blew at speed your car would be a scrapper in less than 30 seconds.
Oh okay, I believe I understand now. Where my current pipe is, the Hydraulics repair company cuts it (or whatever) and inserts the new pipe in the Alfa fitting, hence reusing them . Then I just need to manage to route pipes to the radiator and be done with it?
On another topic, How exactly having a pipe so close to the ground, if split in half will end up in a major oil leak and dead car, seemed like a good idea to Alfa engineers? I honestly can't wrap my head around it.
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If you look at the pics on Autolusso's website, maybe it will be clearer to you.
But it wouldn't be complicated to get a cooler in there.
Diesel Oil Cooler Replacement Kit - 147 / 156 / GT 1.9 16v and 2.4 10v - Autolusso New Alfa Romeo Parts
After looking at the pics, I'm positive I know how the system connects. The pipe that form a loop on my car, the two ports it connects to, each goes to the different inlet ports of the radiator. Must be something close to that.
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After looking at the pics, I'm positive I know how the system connects. The pipe that form a loop on my car, the two ports it connects to, each goes to the different inlet ports of the radiator. Must be something close to that.
It is exactly that.
It isn't complicated at all.

You have the connectors that connect to the engine, so all you need is an oil cooler rad, some oil hose of the appropriate size, unions from the pipe to the rad. You may be able to simply chop that loop pipe and, using hose joiners, connect it to the new hose to the oil rad.
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have a look at this picture:

http://image.slidesharecdn.com/mybas...?cb=1265297900

Without oil cooler you cut the oil life by 75% or more, with regards to oxidation stability.

Not only that, but the kinematic viscosity in use will be much lower (not really an issue) and so is the dynamic viscosity at both low and high shear rates, and that's an immediate issue. if your bulk oil temp is 120C as measured, the temp inside the crankshaft bearings will be 140C and in the big ends well over 150C. Same deal for the turbo bearings, and for the camshafts. Also, the slider cam followers are very much dependant on oil viscosity for survival
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On another topic, How exactly having a pipe so close to the ground, if split in half will end up in a major oil leak and dead car, seemed like a good idea to Alfa engineers? I honestly can't wrap my head around it.
Your car is also missing the undertray....
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Your car is also missing the undertray....
I've bought a lemon, haven't I...

I'm working night shift today, Will go to my shop in the morning and try to figure a fix there. The guy seems pretty chill and definitely is up to a budget challenge, he has done a lot of Renault 5 thermostat fixes for example. Are those hose joiners reliable ? Definitely sounds like an easier thing to cut the loop hose and connect some random different ones to a standard industrial ,probably second hand, radiator . Total cost would be a fraction of what I'd need to pay for a new one.
EDIT: Found genuine Alfa oil cooler rad ,thx to some scrapyard deals for 25 euros, only the rad itself, excluding the hoses. If I were to buy that, will it be an easy fit with some new hoses, not Alfa silly money hoses, but ones that are normally priced?

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have a look at this picture:

http://image.slidesharecdn.com/mybas...?cb=1265297900

Without oil cooler you cut the oil life by 75% or more, with regards to oxidation stability.

Not only that, but the kinematic viscosity in use will be much lower (not really an issue) and so is the dynamic viscosity at both low and high shear rates, and that's an immediate issue. if your bulk oil temp is 120C as measured, the temp inside the crankshaft bearings will be 140C and in the big ends well over 150C. Same deal for the turbo bearings, and for the camshafts. Also, the slider cam followers are very much dependant on oil viscosity for survival

Can we read the oil temp from the ecu on the 147/GT? ....i'm thinking we can't.

I wonder how close coolant temp is, against oil temp.


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EDIT: Found genuine Alfa oil cooler rad ,thx to some scrapyard deals for 25 euros, only the rad itself, excluding the hoses. If I were to buy that, will it be an easy fit with some new hoses, not Alfa silly money hoses, but ones that are normally priced?
The issue will be that I'm sure the connections to the OEM Alfa oil cooler are not std.
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You can't buy the Alfa fittings on their own and the genuine Alfa pipes cost the best part of 100 each.
Buying the alfa cooler ( known for rotting around the bottom corners ) means you will need to buy the alfa pipe as well.
Both these items are known to fail ( the most likely reason yours has been removed ) so buying either from the breakers is a risky fix.
Many Alfas have the under tray missing, it's not ideal but many carry on with no ill effects you just need to rust protect and grease everything a bit more often, but undertrays can be had for about 28 on E bay and whilst they aren't the originals they will protect the lower fittings adequately.

Last edited by Yorkshirekeith; 07-08-16 at 18:46.
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