2003 Ford F-250: Project Outcast Part 3 Photo Gallery
Oil Cooler Rebuild
Mike McGlothlin –
Nov 1, 2012
Photo 1/16 | project Outcast Part 3 oil Cooler And Rebuild Kit | This 6.0L Power Stroke oil cooler rebuild kit came from MKM Customs, which in addition to offering aftermarket products, keeps a host of must-have OE items on its shelves. The most common failure on factory oil coolers is due to the coolant side of the oil-to-coolant aluminum heat exchanger’s internal passages plugging up with debris. On a more catastrophic (yet rare) note, the factory oil coolers can rupture and contaminate the cooling system with oil (and vice versa).
Photo 2/16 | project Outcast Part 3 oil Cooler And Rebuild Kit | This 6.0L Power Stroke oil cooler rebuild kit came from MKM Customs, which in addition to offering aftermarket products, keeps a host of must-have OE items on its shelves. The most common failure on factory oil coolers is due to the coolant side of the oil-to-coolant aluminum heat exchanger’s internal passages plugging up with debris. On a more catastrophic (yet rare) note, the factory oil coolers can rupture and contaminate the cooling system with oil (and vice versa).
Photo 3/16 | project Outcast Part 3 oil Cooler Removal | With the turbo, alternator, fuel and oil filter reservoirs, and intake manifold out of the way, the oil cooler can be unbolted and pulled from the lifter valley. With the underside of the oil cooler submerged in oil, it’s also ideal to allow it to drain a bit before disassembly (although no matter what you do, the heat exchanger will still be full of oil until separated from the cover).
Photo 4/16 | project Outcast Part 3 cleaning Valley | Then the leftover oil in the lifter valley was suctioned out, as were all oil and coolant passages, along with the mounting bolt holes. This was also an opportune time to clean up the mating surface on the block.
Photo 5/16 | project Outcast Part 3 pump Inlet Strainer | Since it’s made of a very fine mesh, it’s common to find a tear in the screen on the pump inlet strainer. The strainer sits in the lifter valley under the oil cooler and is the last line of defense for catching debris before oil makes it back to the high-pressure oil pump. The oil cooler rebuild kit comes with a new inlet strainer.
Photo 6/16 | project Outcast Part 3 heat Exchanger Removal | After removing the oil filter base and EGR coolant supply cover, we pulled the two mounting bolts for the heat exchanger (shown). Some key items needed to perform the rebuild are T30 and T45 Torx bits, and an inch-pound torque wrench.
Photo 7/16 | project Outcast Part 3 hammering Heat Exchanger Out | With the oil cooler cover resting on two 4x4-inch boards and the heat exchanger hanging between them, a socket and hammer were used to dislodge the heat exchanger. It’s important to use a socket 13⁄16 inch in diameter or smaller here because you don’t want to damage the inlet and outlet ports on the oil cooler cover (it gets reused).
Photo 8/16 | project Outcast Part 3 turbo Oil Drain | Since we pulled both the turbo and oil cooler, we decided to install Ford’s updated turbo oil drain (top) and turbo oil feed line (right). However, in order to run the updated (solid) oil feed line on ’03 to ’04 1/4 engines, a later-model oil filter base cover has to be installed. Luckily, Ford sells an all-inclusive adapter kit, which comes with the filter base, feed tube, feed tube gasket, O-ring, and hold-down bolt. Early 6.0L engines used a turbo oil feed line with a flexible, braided steel section, which was known to deteriorate internally.
Photo 9/16 | project Outcast Part 3 plugged Cooler | As we’ve shown you in the past (Oct. ’11), the tiny internal coolant passages in the heat exchanger are prone to gumming up over time—and they end up looking like this. If you look closely, you can see that virtually every other row of passages is completely plugged.
Photo 10/16 | project Outcast Part 3 oil Cooler Vent Hole | While rebuilding the oil cooler, it’s important to clean the sealing surface and inspect the covers for damage. Also, make sure the small oil cooler cover vent hole is clean (use compressed air), and that the oil cooler cover drain hole is free of debris (we used a paper clip, shown).
Photo 11/16 | project Outcast Part 3 gasket Install | The rebuild itself is very straightforward, with O-rings and gaskets being easily removed and replaced, and a new heat exchanger being swapped out for the old one. Here you can see the new oil cooler cover gasket being installed in its respective groove. Ford’s rebuild kit also comes with detailed instructions, and though this is a big job, even novice mechanics can tackle it if they take their time.
Photo 12/16 | project Outcast Part 3 oil Filter Base Install | Switching to the newer-style oil filter base called for swapping over the oil filter stand, as well as the factory engine oil temperature and oil pressure sensors. If you find yourself performing this update, don’t be alarmed that one of the three mounting bolt locations in the new oil filter base (for the oil filter stand) isn’t threaded: the bolt will self-thread.
Photo 13/16 | project Outcast Part 3 oil Cooler Cover Install | Following Ford’s recommended specs, the oil cooler cover assembly fasteners receive 192 in-lb (16 ft-lb), the oil filter base mounts to the oil cooler assembly and calls for 204 in-lb (17 ft-lb), and the EGR coolant supply cover bolts (shown) get torqued to 85 in-lb.
Photo 14/16 | project Outcast Part 3 oil Cooler Reinstall | To ease the startup process later on, we filled the oil cooler galley in the block with fresh Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 synthetic oil. Then the rebuilt oil cooler was installed.
Photo 15/16 | project Outcast Part 3 coolant Filtration System | If you want your fresh oil cooler to live a long life, we highly recommend installing a coolant filtration system. This bypass-style system from River City Diesel takes the larger contaminants out of the cooling system, keeping them from collecting and (eventually) blocking the coolant passages in the heat exchanger. River City’s coolant filter kit comes with a 27-micron filter (Napa PN 4070) and utilizes ball valves at the inlet and outlet of the filter head to simplify filter changes.
Photo 16/16 | project Outcast Part 3 flushed Coolant | 2003 Ford F-250: Project Outcast Part 3