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Old 04-14-2012, 11:18 PM   #1
Spud Rider OP
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XR650L: Spud's Oil Cooler

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 4x4x3/4, small, power steering cooler, which sells for $29.95. After considering a side mount, I finally decided to mount the oil cooler on the bikes downtube, as high as possible, directly behind the front fender.

I constructed a frame for the oil cooler from 3/4x3/4, 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 coolers frame by bolting two cross pieces of 3/4 bar stock.

I mounted the bottom of the cooler to the frame with two, 1/4x2 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.





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 bikes 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.






























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













Im 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
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:29 AM   #2
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Good job Spud!

John
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:40 AM   #3
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Nicely done
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:21 AM   #4
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Excellent work!!
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sourjon View Post
Good job Spud!

John
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Originally Posted by Grover6 View Post
Nicely done
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Originally Posted by tjrockit View Post
Excellent work!!

+ another Spud
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by therealbigman View Post
+ another Spud
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
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by purpledrake View Post
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
I haven't had any overheating problems yet, PD. I'm trying to prevent problems. I can tell the oil gets mighty hot inside these engines, and I decided adding an oil cooler was a good idea, since I removed the stock air scoops when I installed my aftermarket fuel tank. Also, I wanted to be able to monitor the oil temperature with the digital, TTO temperature gauge. Now, if the oil temperature rises too high, I can at least back off the power, or stop the engine until it cools down.

Removing the spark plug is not any more difficult after installing my oil cooler. My oil hoses are all routed away from the spark plug, so they do not hinder access to it.

Spud
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:13 AM   #8
Lane_N
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That looks great Spud! What kind of oil temperatures are you observing now under operating conditions?
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lane_N View Post
That looks great Spud! What kind of oil temperatures are you observing now under operating conditions?
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
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Spud Rider View Post
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
258degF AFTER the oil cooler?? (looking at the pics) that doesn't sound right....
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by beechum1 View Post
258degF AFTER the oil cooler?? (looking at the pics) that doesn't sound right....
Yes, at the end of 26-mile, full throttle run on the freeway, my oil temperature slowly rose to 258 degrees. I backed off the throttle to 65 mph, and the oil temperatures kept dropping for 3 miles. Then I turned off my exit, and the freeway experiment was over.

Please note, I intentionally installed my temperature probe in the oil line closest to the engine, before the oil enters my oil cooler.



I placed the probe in this location in order to get a reading as close as possible to the temperature of the oil inside the engine. In contrast, the XRs Only temperature gauge is located in the oil reservoir, which probably contains the coolest oil in the system.

If someone will loan me an XRs Only temperature gauge, I will be glad to compare the temperatures simultaneously, at both locations. I would return the XRs Only temperature gauge after a few days of experimentation.

Spud
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:16 AM   #12
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As I said earlier, I suspect the front wheel might hit the oil cooler with full compression of the forks. This is a valid concern, so I want to provide some additional information. I have installed a lowering link, and raised my forks 1-inch in the triple tree. I don't know how much free sag I have with my current forks. The doctored photograph below shows approximately how much the front wheel can travel before it impacts the oil cooler on my lowered motorcycle.



I think I can raise the oil cooler about an inch, if necessary. I can also trim the rear of the fender so the wheel will not grab it long before it would impact the fender. When I get a chance, I will lift the front wheel and see how much free sag I have in my forks.

Spud
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:53 PM   #13
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Good job Spud!

we need more fabricators out there doing stuff like this!

don't let the nay-Sayers get you down,(from reading several different forums)

also on a side note,I keep reading about how bad it would be if you got mud on your cooler (from several different forums)...um...the oil will still be cooler then without a oil cooler...to think that somehow getting mud on your oil cooler will make it hotter then running no cooler at all just doesn't make sense.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:09 PM   #14
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Good job Spud!

we need more fabricators out there doing stuff like this!

don't let the nay-Sayers get you down,(from reading several different forums)

also on a side note,I keep reading about how bad it would be if you got mud on your cooler (from several different forums)...um...the oil will still be cooler then without a oil cooler...to think that somehow getting mud on your oil cooler will make it hotter then running no cooler at all just doesn't make sense.
Thank you, Kyo.

Spud
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyoXR View Post
Good job Spud!

we need more fabricators out there doing stuff like this!

don't let the nay-Sayers get you down,(from reading several different forums)

also on a side note,I keep reading about how bad it would be if you got mud on your cooler (from several different forums)...um...the oil will still be cooler then without a oil cooler...to think that somehow getting mud on your oil cooler will make it hotter then running no cooler at all just doesn't make sense.
Spud:
I was just stumbling around Thumpers and found your oil cooler project. I agree with Kyo, a good project, and very good pics to show what you're doing. Figure something out, build it, take notes, make improvements if they become necessary, ride. It's projects like this that got man on the moon and robots on Mars.

I had an oil temp gauge in the drain plug (yep, bad location, but a first try) and saw 275* on a slow, hot jeep road. It's also where the oil is hottest; like your choice, before the cooler. But that's why I run full synthetic (Mobil 1 automotive, 15-50). If Suzuki is happy with15-50 dino oil in the DR650, I'm more happy with synthetic. It's my safety factor. And I'm sure that's a whole bucket load cooler than what the NASCAR engines are running. The DR has 2.5 qt capacity, another comfort to me.

Anyway, my suggestion: add another alum strap as high as possible, under the frame tube (red arrow). Even though the cable tie will dampen vibration, it's a weak spot. Keep up the experimenting and I'll tell NASA to look for you here.

Ok, I'm goin' back to the DR650 thread, before I get stoned by Honda riders.

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