Oil Cooler Cleaning

Last updated: March 20, 2001

From: "Carlos A. Iglesias" (rotary@mediaone.net)
Sent: 07 December, 1998 19:26 PM

Oil Cooler Servicing.

Oil coolers are quite expensive. Even Mazda Comp price range in the $400 a piece range.

When I found that my coolers were contaminated with by bearing shavings, I started the search for the most cost effective solution. Replacement with new ones was postponed in search of a more "reasonable" solution. I was advised by two of the major rotary tuners that they had attempted flushing them and neither felt that effective flushing was possible due to the internal structure of the passages on the coolers. A call to EVERY RX salvage shop that I know of resulted in no joy.

Remembering that one of the aviation specializations in every helicopter detachment was oil analysis, I contacted the exceptional AD (Aviation Machinist Mate) from my last detachment who happened to be the squadron experts in the field. I discussed my situation, and he informed me that all the branches of the Armed Services, as well as the FAA have stringent and effective standards for dealing with just such cooler servicing. He said that the protocol was effective and I could rest assure that as long as I found an FAA certified facility, that the coolers would be thoroughly flushed and overhauled.

After searching AirBaseOne.com, I called several of the FAA certified Oil Cooler service specialist. Though they all provided FAA certified procedures for flushing, servicing and overhaul, I chose American Oil Cooler in TX because of their extensive experience with Porsche oil coolers. I sent both my BADLY beat-up oil coolers to Mike at American.

The coolers were to be flushed, have the thermostats overhauled, have the fins straightened and have the entire cooler Anodyne coated. I did opt not to have the oil coolers X-rayed, which would have been another $60-$75 apiece.

Since it was his first RX oil cooler, Mike did have to have the proper fitting manufactured to connect the FD coolers to the flushing device. Once that fittings were manufactured, the turn around time was about 4 days. I received the both of my coolers back in EXCEPTIONAL shape; they looked 95 percent of their new conditions. For the first time in years, I could see completely through each of the oil coolers.

Needless to say, I highly recommend them, especially as they are probably the only FAA Certified oil cooler specialist to also have the appropriate fitting to service RX coolers. If you have any further question, feel free to contact Mike at American.

American Cooler Service

BTW, I now have stainless steel mesh (Pegasus medium mesh) in front of each cooler and the radiator to prevent the inevitable pelting.

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