[Question] Water Cooled or Water Heated Oil Pan ??
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Water Cooled or Water Heated Oil Pan ??

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    Junior Member JDog's Avatar
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    Question Water Cooled or Water Heated Oil Pan ??

    I recently purchased a 1978 Bahner jet boat with a 502 GM Performance engine. The 502 has a 10 quart Dooley Enterprises oil pan which appears to be modified with internal cooling tubes. I am in the process of swapping the 502 with the 454 in my 1993 Dana.

    I have read a multitude of posts related to both cooling and heating of the oil which seems to contradict each other at times. From what I can gather, the oil needs to be heated up to a certain point when afterwards it’s best to be cooled. Keep in mind that I am not building a drag boat, but rather a Dana cruiser with a little performance. My main objective is to take the necessary precautions to maximum the engine’s longevity.

    I plan on using the Dana’s Indmar aluminum exhaust manifolds and risers since I prefer to run the engine cover on my Dana and understand the thru transom headers will create too much heat when covered. I am installing a pressure relief valve although there seems to be differing opinions whether they are necessary when running water cooled exhaust logs/manifolds. I am further considering a thermostat kit.

    I would like to get some opinions on the best method to plumb the oil pan based on my objectives and setup. Should I plumb it with cold water off the pump (this is how the Bahner was configured)? How about warm water off of the exhaust manifolds? Where should the water be routed or exhausted to when leaving the oil pan? Or, should I just cap the holes in the oil pan and not use it at all (which sure seems like a waste)?

    Thanks in advance...

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    Default Oli Pan

    Quote Originally Posted by JDog View Post
    I recently purchased a 1978 Bahner jet boat with a 502 GM Performance engine. The 502 has a 10 quart Dooley Enterprises oil pan which appears to be modified with internal cooling tubes. I am in the process of swapping the 502 with the 454 in my 1993 Dana.

    I have read a multitude of posts related to both cooling and heating of the oil which seems to contradict each other at times. From what I can gather, the oil needs to be heated up to a certain point when afterwards it’s best to be cooled. Keep in mind that I am not building a drag boat, but rather a Dana cruiser with a little performance. My main objective is to take the necessary precautions to maximum the engine’s longevity.

    I plan on using the Dana’s Indmar aluminum exhaust manifolds and risers since I prefer to run the engine cover on my Dana and understand the thru transom headers will create too much heat when covered. I am installing a pressure relief valve although there seems to be differing opinions whether they are necessary when running water cooled exhaust logs/manifolds. I am further considering a thermostat kit.

    I would like to get some opinions on the best method to plumb the oil pan based on my objectives and setup. Should I plumb it with cold water off the pump (this is how the Bahner was configured)? How about warm water off of the exhaust manifolds? Where should the water be routed or exhausted to when leaving the oil pan? Or, should I just cap the holes in the oil pan and not use it at all (which sure seems like a waste)?

    Thanks in advance...
    Could you please post a picture of your oil pan.

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    Junior Member JDog's Avatar
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    Default Hopefully these are clear enough to see... Thanks


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    Senior Member Fonz69's Avatar
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    I am just guessing but that did not come from Dooley that way

    Not a bad idea if it does not ever leak......

    Would think it should be controled by a thermostat so it only cools after the oil gets up in temp though

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    Why in the hell would you do that?

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    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    If you pull the pan off I'd like to see a pic of the inside. If anything in a jet boat you need to cool the oil not heat it. The only time I hear of people needing to add heat is when they don't run the motor long enough or run it for extended periods of time at idle. The solution to that is run it longer or harder.

    The only real way to know what you need if anything is to put a temp gauge on the oil and see what it does when you run it. Anything less is just a SWAG.

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    Junior Member JDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fonz69 View Post
    I am just guessing but that did not come from Dooley that way

    Not a bad idea if it does not ever leak......

    Would think it should be controled by a thermostat so it only cools after the oil gets up in temp though
    Nah, I checked with Dooley and they do not offer such an animal. I agree with the thermostat application but I am not sure how I could accomplish that, less some sort of thermostatic sensor valve or a mechanical selector valve....

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    Junior Member JDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Last Mohican View Post
    If you pull the pan off I'd like to see a pic of the inside. If anything in a jet boat you need to cool the oil not heat it. The only time I hear of people needing to add heat is when they don't run the motor long enough or run it for extended periods of time at idle. The solution to that is run it longer or harder.

    The only real way to know what you need if anything is to put a temp gauge on the oil and see what it does when you run it. Anything less is just a SWAG.
    Yeah, I have been debating on whether or not to pull the pan and check a bearing or two. The engine was supposedly run only a few hours but you never really know. The guy who built the boat passed away before he could enjoy it, so I have no access to any information less than the stack of invoices I managed to obtain with the boat. It does appear a lot of time and effort was devoted towards setting up the boat and pump.

    I will post a few pictures of the pan if (probably, more like when) I remove it.

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    Junior Member JDog's Avatar
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    Default Hum...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldelmn8tr View Post
    Why in the hell would you do that?
    Which part?

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    senior member turbo wog's Avatar
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    looks like a home made oil cooler.water plumbed in from the back heats up a little & enters at the front of the motor. then probably dumps from the thermostat housing into the pipes or out the transom

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    I like the idea, had a similar idea myself. The only problem is what you described, how cold should the cooling water be. Since the vast majorty of non-thermostat jet boats are plumbed with the cold water from the pump going into the exhaust manifolds first to preheat the water before going into the engine, that means the preheated water is still cold enough to cool an engine. The engine coolant is always colder than the engine oil for cars, so it is definitely cold enough to cool the oil.
    I would run the water thru the manifolds first, then oil pan, then thru the engine. If you find out you are over cooling the oil (unlikely) you can always route it thru the engine first. I like the thermostat idea for the engine cooling on this setup as well. If I ever get money/permission to go to an LS engine setup, that is exactly how I will do it. And I will add some cooling coils to the oil pan on that deal similar to what your guy did.
    I agree you should pull the pan and see what you have in there. I would think it would take a fair amount of surface area to actually cool the oil measurably, but there is a good delta T between the lake water (or preheated water, only less) and the engine oil, so it might be suprising, especially with the rediculous flow rate coming out of the jet.

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    Junior Member JDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo wog View Post
    looks like a home made oil cooler.water plumbed in from the back heats up a little & enters at the front of the motor. then probably dumps from the thermostat housing into the pipes or out the transom
    I agree they are home made/custom made. The plumbing is as you described it. The original set up dumps from the thermostat housing into the headers and out the transom. Simple enough and may work okay for the thru transom headers, but I question how it would work for the water logs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDog View Post
    I agree they are home made/custom made. The plumbing is as you described it. The original set up dumps from the thermostat housing into the headers and out the transom. Simple enough and may work okay for the thru transom headers, but I question how it would work for the water logs.
    i run water logs. i have water going through the inter-cooler into tho front of the block, out the thermostat housing into the water logs.... teed off of the main line in to the inter-cooler i run the water for the carburetor housing, turbos & oil cooler.out of the turbos it dumps into the headers & out of the oil cooler it dumps out the transom. i run only in the summer. i still overheat the oil on wot passes down the river, mile runs & stuff like that. my oil gets river temp water, to give it 140-190* water would be pointless.i am running a lot of power so my motor may create more heat than yours.to keep your bearing alive you need to keep your oil from getting hot. you can run from the pump to the exhaust into the motor & out the motor or however it was suggested & then tee off the main line in & give the oil cooler cold water & dump out the transom like my set-up is . you are using this as good weather recreation not ice fishing right?
    Last edited by turbo wog; 12-15-2011 at 08:02 PM.

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    Junior Member JDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slim pickens View Post
    I like the idea, had a similar idea myself. The only problem is what you described, how cold should the cooling water be. Since the vast majorty of non-thermostat jet boats are plumbed with the cold water from the pump going into the exhaust manifolds first to preheat the water before going into the engine, that means the preheated water is still cold enough to cool an engine. The engine coolant is always colder than the engine oil for cars, so it is definitely cold enough to cool the oil.
    I would run the water thru the manifolds first, then oil pan, then thru the engine. If you find out you are over cooling the oil (unlikely) you can always route it thru the engine first. I like the thermostat idea for the engine cooling on this setup as well. If I ever get money/permission to go to an LS engine setup, that is exactly how I will do it. And I will add some cooling coils to the oil pan on that deal similar to what your guy did.
    I agree you should pull the pan and see what you have in there. I would think it would take a fair amount of surface area to actually cool the oil measurably, but there is a good delta T between the lake water (or preheated water, only less) and the engine oil, so it might be suprising, especially with the rediculous flow rate coming out of the jet.
    Thanks for your input. I have considered this very set up but there are still several issues to contend with. Remember that I have two lines coming from the manifolds (one on each side) and only one line into the oil pan. I have considered various methods using T-valves on each line to help equalize the distribution of water between the sides while joining the new t'd off lines into one, and direct it through the pan. While I can rob a portion of the water from each side of the manifolds and I am unsure whether best to dump it into the engine (and how) or out the transom.

    Of couse, I guess I could route both manifolds through the oil pan, but to me, it sure seems to be a lot of water running through the narrow opening of the pan--one more reason I need to open her up and she how she is designed. Of course, the original set up used sent it directly from the pump to the pan.

    The more I tinker with the pencil and paper, the more complicated this simple tasks seems to become.

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