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Old 07-25-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
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Thin Oil Cooler

I tried to change the oil in my Georgetown the other day. Apparently the oil filter was stuck. I put this filter on so I have no idea how it got stuck. But after four hours and buying every wrench the parts store had I finally got the oil filter off.

Unfortunately while trying to pop the oil filter gasket loose I punctured the oil cooler. So the way this works on this Ford V10's (From 2003 - 2010 at least as far as I can tell) is that the oil filter screws onto an oil cooler. The oil cooler is attached where the oil filter would normally attach. Some coolant is diverted from the lower radiator hose to come back and flow through this oil cooler/heat exchanger to keep the oil cool. Seems like a pretty good way to accomplish this but apparently this oil cooler is very thin aluminum. You'll see in the pictures that I didn't bend the edge of it very far but that was enough to start a pretty fast leak.

Note that the picture of the damage is a close up. The actual damage is only 5mm across.

The oil cooler is available from ford dealers. Take in your VIN number and tell them you need the "Oil Cooler", the part number is crazy because it applies to a bunch of different vehicles and is of all different shapes and sizes. Most web sites and e-bay wanted to give me the wrong part but the ford parts web site and my local dealer had the correct ones as long as I used my VIN. $125 and it arrived in one day.

The secret to getting this off (or on) is that there is a very large (14mm) Allen head hole up the center of where the oil filter screws on. So you need a 14mm Allen wrench (or socket). Harbor freight had a large Allen socket set for $20. However the sockets from harbor freight are barely long enough and in fact where too short to use on the replacement cooler. Another option is to use a 3/8" bolt with two nuts cinched up on the end. A 3/8" bolt has a 9/16" head, which is about 14mm.

I lost about a gallon of coolant before I clamped needle nose vice grip pliers onto each hose to stop the flow. This made it easy to work on and prevented be from having to drain the coolant. The spec says that there is almost 8 gallons of coolant in there and I didn't want to deal with that.

So it's all buttoned up and in a quick run test I didn't get any leaks.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:21 PM   #2
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Good info!
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
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Just a word of advise on the V10 or any Ford modular engine really. Do not use the cheapy Fram filters. There are many reports of the cardboard breaking down and migrating into the engine causing blockages in the oiling system. Just an FYI, you may have had and continue to have great luck with that filter but it is not recommended.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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^^^^ X2 ^^^^
What he said!

Don't use the cheapest filter you can find.

Use a quality-brand filter, and you may have to look around for it.

Baldwin, Fleetguard, Donaldson, etc...........

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Old 07-25-2012, 05:39 PM   #5
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For years now I've used the top of the line fram. I wonder if they have the same problem as the cheap frams.

The one I tore apart in the picture above wasn't cardboard so I'm guessing not.
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:59 PM   #6
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Though it looks like it says Extra Guard, maybe you're using a Fram Tough Guard? They are reportedly better filters.

For a good primer on filters, Google "minimopar filter study".

Part of the results you'll get back will include:
Opinions and Recommendations - Oil Filters Revealed - MiniMopar Resources

Sorry about the oil cooler. Bet that wasn't easy or cheap! Is it really fragile?

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Old 07-25-2012, 09:02 PM   #7
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I just bought two Ford Oil Filters for $3.97 each.
FL-820S
Not a major expense and not worth any disagreement on which filter to use.

Motorcraft FL-820-S
Ford F1AZ-6731
Wix 51372
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