1989 7.3 engine oil cooler rebuild - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-19-2011, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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1989 7.3 engine oil cooler rebuild

just rebuilt a 1989 7.3 idi non turbo. got the first run on it today. engine sounded smooth and ran well. BUT big problem!!!! i got a lot of oil in the coolant. i rebuilt the oil cooler while i had it down, it has 220,000 miles on it. original problem was leaking water from the head gaskets...decided to give it new bearings and hone and ring the cylinders while i had the engine down. i tried to take off the oil cooler with the engine in. not enough clearance. i plan to raise the engine a bit, remove the left side motor mount, and try that. QUESTION, is there a trick to getting the new o rings in the cooler? it came apart easy enough, but i had considerable difficulty putting it back together. i think i must have damage the o rings during reassembly. any help would be greatly appreciated.
i have had this truck since new. 1989 f350 supercab dually. i use it to tow a fifth wheel camper cross country. this is the first failure that required anything but minor part swap.
thanks, courtem.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 02:59 PM
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Reassembly of the oil coolers on those is a bear at best. There are two tricks I used and managed to screw it up about 15% of the time regardless....

1) Use "Eaton o-ring lube" on the o-rings, I've never found anything better

2) Heat the end caps in the oven to 250*F and wear your welding gloves! This will expand them making reassembly *easier* but never fool-proof.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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I lifted the left side of the engine about 2 inches and removed the oil cooler. Took it to a machine shop and had new o rings put in. I nicked one when I put it in without a press. The hydrauling press allows the process to remain square while pressing. I had to wiggle the ends trying to do it without a press. Lesson learned: use the proper tools to do it properly!
After the next test run I'll let you all know if the machine shop had better luck.

Last edited by courtem; 12-21-2011 at 03:09 PM. Reason: incomplete post/spelling
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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John G. Thanks for the tip. I had not considered heat in the process. It makes sense to expand the end caps. The even heat from an oven may prevent distortion of the part due to uneven heating.

Last edited by courtem; 12-21-2011 at 03:11 PM. Reason: incomplete post
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-22-2011, 03:03 AM Thread Starter
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1989 F350, DRW, SC. Well, I got the oil cooler back on. The engine oil was not contaminated, but was 4 quarts low after the initial rebuild run. The oil went from the cooler into the engine water jacket. I have fille the radiator 5 times and brought the truck up to operating temp. the fourth time the water did not feel like it had oil in it so I added one quart of Peak Performance Super Cleaner and Flush. Ran the engine about an hour at various speeds. A little more oil cam out and was floating on top in the radiator. Rapid drain by removing the lower hose and put a garden hose at the inlet tube and at the radiator cap to clean out the bottom of the radiator. Recharged with water and two quarts of Peak. Still getting some oil slime floating on top. I thought about putting dish washer detergent to cut the oil but did not because I was afraid that it will foam at the water pump and cause other problems. Any ideas about how to get rid of the oil, or am I on the right track to getting it out before I put in the antifreeze? The truck runs great and sounds strong, no smoke that I can see, now if I could just get the water jacket clean I would be back on the road.!!!!!
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