Monitoring oil temps ?

ikle

Active Member
Over the years I have been wondering what my oil temps are, since I don't run the stock or any oil cooler. I have read a lot of threads where some say it's nessesary to run the stock oil cooler or after a machanical failure a external cooler. Then some don't think a oil cooler is needed at all. The argument has been "GM wouldn't spend extra money if it wasn't needed " and others say " I haven't run one in years and had no issues ". But I haven't read a single thread that has documented prove whether it's needed or not. I am not trying to bring up an old debate, I am just looking for the right way to monitor oil temps.

So what I plan on doing is weld a bung on the side of the pan just below the oil pickup tube. Would this be the best place to accurately monitor my oil temps ?

Thanks, Kyle.
 

earlbrown

runs with scissors
That's a fine place to monitor oil temps. When I started monitoring mine I just coupled a precision temp sender to the turbo feed line and ran it to my powerlogger. Same with my trans temp.
 

Boost231

What's An Intercooler
Staff member
Got mine onnthe oil pan and hooked to my egt adapter logged with the xfi

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GNRick

Retired member
While its always fun to look at gauges, is it necessary to moniter the oil temp? When my transmission temp got hotter than normal, it was a sign that my tranny was about to fail. Fwiw my 1982 280zx has a factory oil temp gauge.
 

dank GN

BlackArts Automotive (661)993-8277
The guys who replied to this thread are you running a oil cooler ? What've your temps ??
 

ravege

Active Member
I worked at a server manufacturer in another lifetime, and those systems were designed for worst case scenarios, not average/usual operating environments. So when people say 'why would GM put an oil cooler on if it wasn't needed', was GM thinking of average driving conditions, or the case of a heavily optioned car, with 5 adults, a trunk load of stuff, driving up a steep hill on the hottest day of the year with a/c on full blast? Probably somewhere in between, but based on the factors in which my car lives which includes frequent oil changes, I decided to eliminate my cooler.
 

Boost231

What's An Intercooler
Staff member
No oil cooler here.. oil temp is more important that coolant temp when beating on the car. Yes you don't want high coolant temps but you don't want cold oil.

With the TA alum block it cools down so fast and stays cool so I want to make sure my oil temp is up

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earlbrown

runs with scissors
Keep in mind, what the factory installed is NOT an oil cooler. The heat exchanger was installed into 195* water. It's more of an oil equalizer. In the 80's with this new fangled fuel injection and stuff it was all about getting the engine warmed up and into closed loop as soon as possible.

During startup, the coolant heats up faster than the oil. The factory heat exchanger would put heat INTO the oil. Now if the oil temps ever exceed the water temp, it turns into a cooler (a crappy one since the deltaT would be VERY low).


Think about it in terms of the same set up we call a transmission cooler.... The FIRST thing you do on any performance build (or if you don't like buying transmissions on a DD) is to install an external air/fulid cooler in series wtih the factory unit...


That being said, a bone stock car with 1987 oil is NOT going to have the same demands as a 'normal' modern GN with up to, and sometimes, over twice the power. Modern oils can put up with more heat than it's 80's counterparts. Synthetic can put up with even more than that.


That being said, if oil is too cold, it can't do it's job. Yes, you might get away with it. but that doesn't make it right. The only way to know for sure is to check the temps and go from there.


If the oil is too hot, you need a cooler, period. If it's consistently too cold, it needs to run through the radiator and pick up some of the water jackets waste heat.
 

bison

Moderator
Staff member
Keep in mind, what the factory installed is NOT an oil cooler. The heat exchanger was installed into 195* water. It's more of an oil equalizer. In the 80's with this new fangled fuel injection and stuff it was all about getting the engine warmed up and into closed loop as soon as possible.

During startup, the coolant heats up faster than the oil. The factory heat exchanger would put heat INTO the oil. Now if the oil temps ever exceed the water temp, it turns into a cooler (a crappy one since the deltaT would be VERY low).


Think about it in terms of the same set up we call a transmission cooler.... The FIRST thing you do on any performance build (or if you don't like buying transmissions on a DD) is to install an external air/fulid cooler in series wtih the factory unit...


That being said, a bone stock car with 1987 oil is NOT going to have the same demands as a 'normal' modern GN with up to, and sometimes, over twice the power. Modern oils can put up with more heat than it's 80's counterparts. Synthetic can put up with even more than that.


That being said, if oil is too cold, it can't do it's job. Yes, you might get away with it. but that doesn't make it right. The only way to know for sure is to check the temps and go from there.


If the oil is too hot, you need a cooler, period. If it's consistently too cold, it needs to run through the radiator and pick up some of the water jackets waste heat.

Have you ever logged the cold side of a properly functioning radiator/cooling system?


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ikle

Active Member
150's avg
Just a heads up, from all my research on the net, oil needs to get up to a curtain temp to burn off any contaminates. From my findings the perfect range for oil to work the best is between 230-260 degrees, at 275 degrees the oil starts to break down and synthetic oil can withstand up to 300 degrees.
 

earlbrown

runs with scissors
Have you ever logged the cold side of a properly functioning radiator/cooling system?



What's a "properly functioning'' cooling system?? I have a GN and they all have 2/3rds clogged original radiators. :D




That is a good point though. I was basing my reply on the odds of having a taxed cooling system sitting in traffic with the A/C blasting... then kicking the crap out of it. You know, most peoples 'normal' street car.
 

turbo89

Well-Known Member
Just a heads up, from all my research on the net, oil needs to get up to a curtain temp to burn off any contaminates. From my findings the perfect range for oil to work the best is between 230-260 degrees, at 275 degrees the oil starts to break down and synthetic oil can withstand up to 300 degrees.


no way would I want engine oil to be @ 260 degrees
 

earlbrown

runs with scissors
Full Synthetic has a breakdown point of around 500F.

That's rated though. No idea what temp it actual breaks down at.
 

earlbrown

runs with scissors
Not one single engine I run has dino in it. I run synthetic in my lawn mower.


It's amazing how much of a difference you can see with a simple single cylinder changing over to fully synthetic.
 

Fat Nat

Well-Known Member
Oil coolers on a gn lmfao. These pos blow up long before oil temp is going to mean anything vr1 20w50 and let her eat
 
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