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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I am wondering if anyone knows how effective the OEM K20/K24 oil cooler/warmer is compared to nothing. I am building a JDM K24A for my Civic and I would like to have some type of oil cooler/warmer like I have on my D17 to help warm the oil up quicker and keep it from getting too hot, but I question the effectiveness of that little OEM thing. I would like to get one if it is actually effective since it is a very simple and clean OEM setup, but I don't want to waste my money on something worthless if it doesn't meet my expectations and I would end up using my current heat exchanger setup anyways, so any input on this matter would be appreciated. Thank you in advance as always!
 

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Hello everyone, I am wondering if anyone knows how effective the OEM K20/K24 oil cooler/warmer is compared to nothing. I am building a JDM K24A for my Civic and I would like to have some type of oil cooler/warmer like I have on my D17 to help warm the oil up quicker and keep it from getting too hot, but I question the effectiveness of that little OEM thing. I would like to get one if it is actually effective since it is a very simple and clean OEM setup, but I don't want to waste my money on something worthless if it doesn't meet my expectations and I would end up using my current heat exchanger setup anyways, so any input on this matter would be appreciated. Thank you in advance as always!
I’ve always wondered if in a track setting the water circulating through the cooler could actually make the oil get warmer , without being able to radiate the extra heat off. My last k24/20 didn’t Have one on it and I never noticed it take excessively long to warm up and also I didn’t ever pull out a steaming dipstick. But it was a street driver no track car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I’ve always wondered if in a track setting the water circulating through the cooler could actually make the oil get warmer , without being able to radiate the extra heat off. My last k24/20 didn’t Have one on it and I never noticed it take excessively long to warm up and also I didn’t ever pull out a steaming dipstick. But it was a street driver no track car.
It shouldn’t cause a higher oil temp on the track as long as the cooling system is working correctly and keeping the coolant temp normal, the oil takes longer to warm up than the coolant but reaches a higher temp since it has no radiator to cool it off like the coolant does. The oil can get very hot under load (easily 250+ degrees) but the coolant shouldn’t run much over 200 on the track with a proper cooling system.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The coolant being sent to the oil cooler is coming from the lowest possible temp available. Honda believes it works.
I didn’t realize that the oil cooler got coolant from the cold side of the system. If that’s the case I wonder how Honda keeps it from overcooling the oil in the winter when the coolant returning to the engine is quite cold. The heat exchanger setup I built uses the warm coolant running through the heater core so it quickly heats the oil up from a cold start in addition to keeping it from getting much hotter than the coolant temp under load and it works, my oil temp is always within a few degrees of coolant temp after it is warmed up whether it is winter or summer.
 

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the feed is from the water pump housing, so in winter is is part of the small circuit similar to the cabin heater. This particular temperature is regulated by the thermostat, so not ice cold water should hit the donut once the engine is warm. On the Elise K20 conversions this cooler is not sufficient for track work. There, most fit either a Laminova heat exchanger or a air cooled oil cooler. If the Laminova is fit in the big circuit to the radiator, it won't warm the oil much as long the thermostat is closed as there is little flow.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the feed is from the water pump housing, so in winter is is part of the small circuit similar to the cabin heater. This particular temperature is regulated by the thermostat, so not ice cold water should hit the donut once the engine is warm. On the Elise K20 conversions this cooler is not sufficient for track work. There, most fit either a Laminova heat exchanger or a air cooled oil cooler. If the Laminova is fit in the big circuit to the radiator, it won't warm the oil much as long the thermostat is closed as there is little flow.
That's what I thought, thank you for confirming. I used one of these stacked plate heat exchangers on my Civic to keep the oil's temp around coolant temp. I ran the oil through one side of it with a sandwich plate and 10AN hose and I ran the coolant through the other side with the heater hoses. The coolant flows through the heat exchanger before flowing to the heater core and back to the engine. The oil now warms up much quicker and stays warmer in the winter and doesn't get as hot when I am beating on it in the summer heat. Once warmed up the oil temp always stays within about 5 degrees of the coolant temp of around 185 degrees whether I'm cruising the middle of the winter or beating on it in 100 degree heat.

But even though this setup works great, I would prefer an OEM heat exchanger for my K24 build if I could get similar results since it is simpler, cleaner, lighter, more compact, and less of a hassle to install since I wouldn't need to worry about mounting a heat exchanger, running extra hoses, etc. It doesn't sound like I will get great results from the OEM style heat exchanger though so I probably won't end up getting one. As small as it is I don't see it helping by more than a couple of degrees.
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
this is I and many others use:


That heat exchanger looks very nice but from what I can find they are also $500+. I got my 30 plate heat exchanger for $110 shipped and it does the same thing. It's not as shiny fancy but it is very effective. The other reason my setup is better for a street car is because it starts warming the oil immediately from a cold start since the heater core always gets flow. That heat exchanger won't start warming the oil up until the thermostat opens since the radiator gets no significant flow with the thermostat closed. On a race car that may not matter much but on a street car it's also important to get the oil warmed up as quickly as possible, often even more important than cooling the oil. Heating the oil up to normal operating temp quickly helps improve fuel efficiency and extend the life of the oil and ultimately the engine, especially if the car lives in a cold climate and is frequently used for short trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
you can fit it in the big return path if you use an external thermostat. it would then also heat cold oil
Not sure what you mean by the big return path or an external thermostat? I have an OEM thermostat in the stock housing.
 

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you can fit a Rover pressure relieve external thermostat that features are full 32mm full flow return path to the water pump. This means there is always full water flow though the engine independent of thermostat position. It just blends in flow from the radiator as temps rise. if you now mount the laminova in the return path, it does both heating and cooling of the oil, but at full capacity, not only with the limited capacity of the low coolant flow though the donut or a similar heater circuit.


102738
 

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Discussion Starter #14
you can fit a Rover pressure relieve external thermostat that features are full 32mm full flow return path to the water pump. This means there is always full water flow though the engine independent of thermostat position. It just blends in flow from the radiator as temps rise. if you now mount the laminova in the return path, it does both heating and cooling of the oil, but at full capacity, not only with the limited capacity of the low coolant flow though the donut or a similar heater circuit.


View attachment 102738
I didn't know people did that, thank you for sharing! Other than being able to use the oil cooler setup you described, what is the benefit of using this thermostat instead of the OEM thermostat setup? Seems to me that the OEM setup of using the thermostat bypass, throttle body coolant lines, and heater hoses to allow enough flow through the engine while the thermostat is closed to ensure that the engine warms up evenly and hot spots don't form should be adequate? It's not like these engines have a problem with the block or head warping from hot spots forming during warmup. The only time I could possibly see that being a problem is if someone is beating on the engine while it is cold before the thermostat starts to open, maybe then someone may heat something up enough to cause a problem over time? I don't beat on the engine while it's cold though so that's not a factor for me.
 

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the Honda k20 thermostat actually works in a very similar way and opens under high pressure, i.e. high revs.
The thermostat mentioned by me was developed for an engine with a classical thermostat that just opens or closed and requires a small flow bypass, often shared wit the cabin heater.

If you fit such an external pressure relieve thermostat to a K20 you gain access to a major full pump flow bypass flow. This would allow you to rapidly heat up the oil with a high heat exchanger even before the thermostat opens. It is also useful in a electric water pump set-up as it won‘t change flow resistance as much as in the current set-up with its smaller bypass. This simplifies and stabilizes electric pump control and with it temperature control.

Once the thermostat is mostly open, it all not matters anymore what type you run.
 
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