XR650L: Spud's Oil Cooler

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Spud Rider, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    For a while I have been considering different options to install an inexpensive, well-protected oil cooler for my XR650L. I finally decided to experiment with one of the Long/Tru Cool, power steering coolers sold by Baker Precision.

    http://www.bakerprecision.com/trucool.htm

    Because I wished to keep the oil lines feeding the cooler well protected, and as short as possible, I decided to purchase the 4”x4”x3/4”, small, power steering cooler, which sells for $29.95. After considering a side mount, I finally decided to mount the oil cooler on the bike’s downtube, as high as possible, directly behind the front fender.

    I constructed a frame for the oil cooler from 3/4”x3/4”, aluminum angle stock, and 3/4”, aluminum bar stock I purchased from Home Depot. I bolted the oil cooler to the angle stock, and completed the cooler’s frame by bolting two cross pieces of 3/4” bar stock.

    I mounted the bottom of the cooler to the frame with two, 1/4”x2” bolts, and a short piece of aluminum behind the downtube. I attached the top of the oil cooler to the frame with a plastic zip tie, which I intend to replace with a steel cable tie.

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    I purchased SAE J1019, transmission oil hose from a local CarQuest store. I ordered five, 90-degree, brass hose barbs from a local hose supply shop. Since I wanted to install a Trail Tech, TTO Temperature Gauge, I also bought some brass fittings from Fastenal. Most of these fittings are also available at many auto supply stores.

    I cut the external oil pipe just above the rubber grommet on the frame, and plumbed the oil line into the bottom of my oil cooler as shown in the photographs below. I plumbed the top line from the oil cooler into the line feeding the oil reservoir in the frame. I installed the temperature probe in the oil line between the engine and the oil cooler so I can get a continuous reading of the oil temperature as it exits the engine, before it enters the oil cooler. I secured the oil hoses to the bike’s frame using 5/8” loom clamps I bought from Home Depot. I drilled holes in the front fender, and shimmed the fender down with nylon spacers so it would clear the oil cooler.

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    After installing my Spud Cooler, I went on a 110-mile ride to test it.

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    I’m pleased to report the oil cooler works well. I paid approximately $95 to purchase the parts needed to assemble the oil cooler. I spent an additional $50 to plumb the TTO temperature gauge into the oil line. I will continue to report on the effectiveness and durability of this oil cooler as I accumulate more miles riding my XR650L with the oil cooler installed.

    Spud :beer
    #1
  2. Sourjon

    Sourjon TAT'erd

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    :thumb Good job Spud!

    John
    #2
  3. Grover6

    Grover6 Been here awhile

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    Nicely done:clap
    #3
  4. tjrockit

    tjrockit One day closer...

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    Excellent work!! :freaky
    #4
  5. thebigman

    thebigman bout a dollar 3.98

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    + another Spud
    #5
  6. Lane_N

    Lane_N Pig Wrangler

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    That looks great Spud! What kind of oil temperatures are you observing now under operating conditions?
    #6
  7. elsalvadorklr

    elsalvadorklr southern xr rider

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    damn goo job man!

    I need to do something like this too...

    is that temp reading you took right after shut down after or during the ride and what kind of riding was it?

    cheers
    #7
  8. XRider

    XRider Almost Lifelike

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    Very nice!
    #8
  9. Onederer

    Onederer Crunch Nugget

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    You have designed in too many points for potential oil leaks, rattles and front suspension interference.

    The fender is that close to the frame to allow room for the tire under it during full compression, lowering the fender may allow the tire to contact it, which depends on the tire used. No matter what type of material the strap at the top is, the bracket will most likely vibrate against the frame. For what you paid for all the fittings, you could have bought an inexpensive tubing bender and some tubing, requiring only four short pieces of hose and eight clamps to connect it all. You would still need a double flaring kit, but maybe you could borrow one because that would be expensive for a one time use. The way you mounted the cooler, you have blocked 1/3 of the direct air flow.

    The first attempt is often not successful. You made your first attempt, but it is not worth praise, keep trying.
    #9
  10. techforlife

    techforlife CDI REPAIR

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    Holy smokes Spud.....did ya buy stock in a hose clamp factory:lol3:lol3:lol3


    Kiddin.........looks quite decent.........how are your clearances when the wheel is turned full left/right........and hows the clearance for the fender and wheel at full compression??????????????

    If that checks out it looks good to me...i still like Marks cooler though.........but this is definately cheaper.

    Hey.i started a rebuild thread if you`re interested...read along,,,i have a few issues so far..but what doesn`t when you gut something completely apart........:lol3:lol3

    Good job.....know how about a good stereo install.....i`d love to have tunes on my bike going through the woods:wink:


    B
    #10
  11. elsalvadorklr

    elsalvadorklr southern xr rider

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    damn a little harsh but I understand your point

    I have a question for you

    has anybody done or know whats prefferable, airflow over the valve cover/topend OR lower oil temps with the introduction of an oil cooler?

    I ask this cause I have done the fender mod like spud using BIGGER less count holes and thought a liitle more airflow is better than not,

    I do not have an oil cooler installed though but want to

    If anybody has proof or data that will back up this question Id appreciate this

    I think this cooler is a great project well made and a lot of thought put into it, yes it needs a little trimming on the tubes and such as I too think its a little much but I think your last sentence was uncalled for...

    anyways

    to all a happy sunday

    christian
    #11
  12. techforlife

    techforlife CDI REPAIR

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    Well.........if you vent the back of the fender you get more airflow to the head....that`s a good thing in hot weather......but if you ride in alot of mud then venting the fender causes it`s own issues of caking mud on the fins/head which is really not good.........

    A big fin head would probably be the best bet....fins are out farther,catches more air,,venting the fender probably wouldn`t be needed then...depends on how/where you ride i guess...

    I know for me,the oil cooler definately stopped the oil from turning charcoal black in 500 miles...that in itself has to be a good thing..

    B
    #12
  13. purpledrake

    purpledrake No Pretensions

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    Hey Spud,

    Once again, you show your resourcefulness, and ability to keep us all in awe. Very good work.

    I have two questions.

    First, what problems (overheating) did you encounter that led you to add an oil cooler? I am guessing that the high Idaho desert in the summertime causes problems, but what were they?

    The second question regards the placement of the new oil cooler, and access to the spark plug. I don't know about you, but I can barely get my hand in there right now--have you tried to remove the plug since you installed the cooler?

    PD
    #13
  14. elsalvadorklr

    elsalvadorklr southern xr rider

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    yeah I vented my fender taking into account that I almost never ride in mud unless I have to...

    If I do for some reason I thought about adding screen mesh to the backside and glue it on

    my fender is also shorter in the back than stock, its a modded crf250 fender I think

    anyways

    I wish I could find a tranny oil cooler like spuds that I could mount where the xr250 and xr400 coolers mount as that would be the best, protection wise and airflow wise

    someday someday

    again spud congrats hope the cooler lasts and it looks like it works well so far...maybe just add a littel protection to the pipes and hoses so they dont get snagged?

    cheers
    #14
  15. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    Thank you for the kind words, John, Grover, TJ, and BigMan. :D

    Spud :wave
    #15
  16. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    On my 110-mile test ride I traveled on the freeway, gravel roads, and paved, secondary roads. My engine oil temperatures were usually running 170-210 degrees, Fahrenheit. I rode at 75-80 mph for 26 miles on the interstate. At the end of that ride my engine oil reached a high temperature of 258 degrees. I backed off the throttle to 65 mph for the last 3 miles before my exit, and the oil temperature dropped to 250 degrees before I exited the freeway. Once off the freeway, the oil temperatures quickly returned to lower levels. If you turn off the engine, the oil temperature cools rapidly. If necessary, I plan to cut out the drilled portion of my front fender, and install aluminum hardware mesh to increase airflow to the oil cooler. However, I will wait for warmer weather to see if this is necessary.

    Spud :beer
    #16
  17. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    Thank you Christian. :D That photograph was taken immediately after I returned home, and stopped the bike at the end of a long ride. :nod

    Spud :wave
    #17
  18. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    Thank you, XRider. :D

    Spud :wave
    #18
  19. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    You are correct about potential problems with full fork compression, and I'm glad you mentioned this. While designing this oil cooler I realized the front wheel would strike the oil cooler with full compression of the forks. However, I don't ride hard enough to fully compress the forks on my XR650L, so I reckoned this scenario would not be a problem for me. If I were going to jump the motorcycle, et cetera, I would not have installed my oil cooler in this location.

    My oil cooler installation is quite solid, and doesn't rattle. However, the installation does have enough flexibility to absorb vibration from riding. The 3/8-inch elbows have 4 hose barbs on each end, so I am confident they will not leak. I seem to be getting sufficient airflow from my drilled fender. However, I plan to cut a window in the fender, and install wire mesh if it is necessary to increase airflow.

    I'm still experimenting with this installation, so I appreciate all constructive input. If I encounter any problems with my current configuration of this oil cooler, I will be certainly report them.

    Spud :beer
    #19
  20. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

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    :rofl

    I can't fool you, Brian! I invested in hose clamp stock just before I started this project. :deal :D

    I mounted the oil cooler as high as possible while still maintaining good clearance with the forks when turned to full lock at both left, and right positions. Here are a few photographs to show the full lock, fork positions.

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    I don't doubt the wheel would contact the oil cooler with full fork compression. However, I don't ride the bike hard enough for that scenario to concern me. If I jumped the bike, or even came close to using full fork compression, I would not have mounted my oil cooler in this location.

    I haven't measured for clearance of the oil cooler with full fork compression. However, the doctored photograph below simulates the amount of fork travel available before the wheel impacts the oil cooler. Incidentally, my front fender is now in a different position than the one shown in the photograph.

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    If I pushed my "piggie" this hard, I certainly wouldn't consider mounting my oil cooler in its present location. However, I plan to ride my KDX220 in the nastier terrain, so I wanted to install an oil cooler for sustained, high engine rpms while riding on the freeway. I am confident I have enough fork travel available for the off road riding I have now reserved for my XR650L.

    During the design process for this oil cooler I conferred with my friend Andy, who is an experienced trail rider, and an experienced mechanic of 30 years. I have ridden with him a lot, and he doesn't think I will ever hit the oil cooler with my front wheel. He is also convinced this design is durable, and will not fail me. However, only time will tell. I will be sure to report any problems I encounter with this design. :nod

    P.S. Thank you for the kind words. :D I will certainly check out your rebuild thread!

    Spud :beer
    #20