New Oil Cooler

Even though I didn't really need one and it didn't quite fit!

Just after I got back from Australia (hallo Down Under Zedders ) she was booked in to Outlander to have a bit of cosmetic touch-up. Should have been a nice, sweet job - just a couple of days, maybe a week - and funded by those awfully nice people at Norwich Union Direct.

Phone call from Mark "did you know you had a bit of an oil leak?". No. B*gger. Wasn't spotted at the service 4 weeks earlier. Ah well, it's booked in for a big job in a few days, I'll worry about it then. Off I toddle to pick her up and the bodyshop bloke pointed out the trail of oil left as he brought her round. Not really drivable without a very expensive noise within a few hundred yards.

Diagnosis: there's some metal pipework taking the oil from the engine to and from the oil cooler. And it was described to me as "corroded to duck" (or something like that - the mobile was a bit crackly). Call for help to Mike at MJP and he explained that there was a complete new oil cooler kit which would be easier to fit and cheaper than the replacement Nissan pipework. Ah OK. let's do that then.

Apparently not only would the Nissan pipework be expensve but also, apparently, to replace it involves taking the front bumper off. Whereas the new oil cooler came with Aeroquip hoses which just needed threading through the something or other (I'm not exactly mechanically minded - a bit of a problem if you own a Zed really :) ).

I didn't really need one

"Aha" I hear you cry "why not just use some new hoses to replace the ducked pipes and connect up to your original oil cooler. That'd be cheaper and quicker." Err, well you're right. But both mechanics missed it and neither Mike nor myself worked this out until too late. Worth bearing in mind if the same happens to your Zed.

And it didn't quite fit

The kit was supposed to be a simple bolt-on replacement. Someone who had fitted one said "yeah, it went straight on - just a bit of twisting to the bracket needed". So it was a complete PITA when the mechanic said it didn't fit. A little bit of to-ing and fro-ing between Mike and the mechanics (haha - for the older generation, that one) and yes the kit would fit straight on but only if you've junked the OEM Airbox for aftermarket induction kit. And, being Captain Stock, I haven't yet. So a different bracket had to be fabricated. Another point you should bear in mind if you're looking at a new oil cooler.

And this is what it looks like in situ:

better airflow than OEM?
taller - hence the bracket problem
not as wide as the OEM
driver's side (RH)
LH end + optional leaves
top of cooler + new pipes
bracket detail passenger side
bracket detail driver side


page updated 9 Oct 05