C5 AL4 oil cooler replacement
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  1. #1
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    Default C5 AL4 oil cooler replacement

    Hi
    I have heard in conversation that there is a AL4 oil cooler available that replaces the original one. Again from conversations I believe that there is a potential problem with the original cooler leaking coolant into the gearbox, with bad results.
    I have not had this peoblem, but as I wish to keep my C5 healthy for a long time I would be interested in this modification.
    So, any info on this oil cooler would be greatly welcomed. Who, how much, how hard to do etc?

    Cheers
    Michael

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    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Hi Michael, coolant is 14PSI or less, the oil pressure far greater.

    I'm yet to hear of this failure in Australia. PRV motors used to corrode their engine oil coolers, and the 80PSI oil would end up in the 14PSI coolant...

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    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Hi Michael, coolant is 14PSI or less, the oil pressure far greater.

    I'm yet to hear of this failure in Australia. PRV motors used to corrode their engine oil coolers, and the 80PSI oil would end up in the 14PSI coolant...
    It goes the other way when the engine is switched off though - gets to spend a couple of hours bleeding still pressurised coolant into the zero pressure oil system.

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    It goes the other way when the engine is switched off though - gets to spend a couple of hours bleeding still pressurised coolant into the zero pressure oil system.
    Thats one reason I run an oil cooler with a non-pressurised expansion bottle.
    I dont mind getting oil in my coolant but dont want coolant in the oil.

    Jo

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    It's still - in the context of Australian operated AL4 transmissions - bordering on airborne tortoise territory.

    Use of a suitable inhibitor/antifreeze, changed approximately every two years, will stall corrosion indefinitely.

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    In reality, just dropping in some decent synthetic fluid on a regular basis is probably the best bang for buck measure. Its not as the bloody things go for a very long time regardless of how well they're treated, so don't over capatalise on them....

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    I lay claim to the crown of "most abused AL4". Box installed 97K just prior to my ownership. Repeated tows exceeding 1 tonne gross (based on Kimbriki Tip weighbridge scales) in a Xantia wagon, (routes including the Harbour Bridge corkscrew), forced 3-2 downshifts at 80+km/h, countless traffic light drags and stallups. All on an A&B rebuilt C5 originated box with whining final drive. Oil change at 140K, then 230K.

    It's misbehaving now (238K), but I doubt it's water in the fluid; more likely a worn valve body. I still like it so much that I'll stay with the AL4.

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    Bravo addo.
    I still like the AL4 and believe they're unfairly (in some cases) maligned. In most cases, lack of service from new is the culprit.

    A diesel oil cooler can be fitted in place of the original if you have a petrol. They are a slightly larger capacity I believe. Can't recall unfortunately if they are a retrofit thing. David S will likely have the answer.

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    I lay claim to the crown of "most abused AL4". Box installed 97K just prior to my ownership. Repeated tows exceeding 1 tonne gross (based on Kimbriki Tip weighbridge scales) in a Xantia wagon, (routes including the Harbour Bridge corkscrew), forced 3-2 downshifts at 80+km/h, countless traffic light drags and stallups. All on an A&B rebuilt C5 originated box with whining final drive. Oil change at 140K, then 230K.

    It's misbehaving now (238K), but I doubt it's water in the fluid; more likely a worn valve body. I still like it so much that I'll stay with the AL4.
    Yes and compared to my goon, it was rough as guts when you first got it.
    I must admit, I liked my al4, except for the fact that it didn't change into 4th until 76 km/h so it forced me to speed toget 4th, or else drive along in 3rd in a 60 zone.

    Jo

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    You need a longer centre bolt, other than that it's plug and play for the physical mounting of a deeper cooler. The only other "gotcha" is differing angles on the outlet spigots.

    The way it downshifts when you learn to lift off before a corner, is nothing like the ZF. It's simply nicer. I'm not sold on the quality of A&B's work myself (note to the litigious: subjective opinion) and will source my next converter from JPAT or Mackie.

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    Well I'll put my claim in for the most pampered AL4 in the country. Now with 210k behind it in our Xantia. From 60k on (when we bought it) oil has been changed every 20k, now on its 3rd pressure regulation solenoid, the first replaced as a precaution. Performing faultlessly, I still like it. The key to long life with any mechanical contraption is cool clean oil
    Last edited by Greg C; 4th December 2012 at 08:01 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    (note to the litigious: subjective opinion)
    Can an opinion be objective??

    Jo

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    Mine shat itself at 60 and 95K. Currently at 105 and on its fifth gearbox.

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    Jo: When it's libellous, possibly!

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Jo: When it's libellous, possibly!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg C View Post
    Well I'll put my claim in for the most pampered AL4 in the country. Now with 210k behind it in our Xantia. From 60k on (when we bought it) oil has been changed every 20k, now on its 3rd pressure regulation solenoid, the first replaced as a precaution. Performing faultlessly, I still like it. The key to long life with any mechanical contraption is cool clean oil
    And at what temperature is your 'cooling' system operating? Many think that the AT transmission fluid should be about 90 deg. C. for optimum longevity of the oil and the bits in the box.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael16v View Post
    Hi
    I have heard in conversation that there is a AL4 oil cooler available that replaces the original one. Again from conversations I believe that there is a potential problem with the original cooler leaking coolant into the gearbox, with bad results.
    I have not had this peoblem, but as I wish to keep my C5 healthy for a long time I would be interested in this modification.
    So, any info on this oil cooler would be greatly welcomed. Who, how much, how hard to do etc?

    Cheers
    Michael
    Ok, thanks for all the replies.
    What I have heard is that there is a failure of seals that allows coolant to enter the gearbox - not good. I was under the impression the "fix" was an external heat exchanger type and complete removal of the coolant to the gearbox. Gearbox oil fed to an external radiator type cooler. I could be wrong - has happened before - anyone heard of this?

    Cheers
    Michael

  19. #19
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael16v View Post
    Ok, thanks for all the replies.
    What I have heard is that there is a failure of seals that allows coolant to enter the gearbox - not good. I was under the impression the "fix" was an external heat exchanger type and complete removal of the coolant to the gearbox. Gearbox oil fed to an external radiator type cooler. I could be wrong - has happened before - anyone heard of this?

    Cheers
    Michael
    The good thing about using engine coolant as the moderating fluid is it warms the oil up when it is cold and cools it down when it is hot, no thermostat required.
    Assuming it does not leak, it's an elegantly simple device.
    Jo

  20. #20
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    The oil cooler on the back of your AL4 is a sealed circuit. For coolant to enter the trans fluid requires corrosion or physical puncturing.

    The transmission bypasses its heat exchanger until the oil temperature sensor determines the fluid is hot enough to need a little cooling. This action is performed in the valve block.

  21. #21
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Folks,

    Father Goose (Bruce Elsegood from) wrote up an article in the NSW Club mag about how to fit a separate oil cooler to an AL4. I think it was 2009/10 sometime. He managed to source all the parts to fit where the heat exchanger sits currently to attach a couple of hoses to a oil radiator. Maybe someone from CCCNSW can find the mag and point a link to it.

    Cheers,

    Ken W

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    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    One of the transmission mobs in the uk sells the adaptor for external lines to be connected.

    Match that with an external cooler block with its own thermo fan and switch matched the internal cooling circuit thermostat in the AL4 (can't remember what temp it opens at...) and you keep it all very thermally stable.

    The heat exchangers work better i suspect in cold climates where getting fluid warm is more important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael16v View Post
    Ok, thanks for all the replies.
    What I have heard is that there is a failure of seals that allows coolant to enter the gearbox - not good. I was under the impression the "fix" was an external heat exchanger type and complete removal of the coolant to the gearbox. Gearbox oil fed to an external radiator type cooler. I could be wrong - has happened before - anyone heard of this?

    Cheers
    Michael
    Don't know about the Cit but on the AD4 (R19) i've done exactely that a few years ago. Just bought two bolts and drilled them through lenghtwise and axially, got two bango with barbs and bolted it all together (to an external oil cooler). I've checked the oil temps in various driving conditions and hot ambient temps and found that it still ran cooler then with the heat exchanger type. Not really surprising as the cooling system is under high pressure.
    Warming the transmission oil is not an issue - even in Melbourne.
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  24. #24
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I am quite certain these are correct thread and sealing diameter for an AL4:

    http://www.summitracing.com/search?k...%201.5mm&dds=1

    No point reinventing the wheel.

    Further to that, I observe that even in the case of my much-abused transmission, the oil wear counter was nowhere near threshold at any stage.

    So - I reckon there is a question mark over its (the external cooler's) benefit if all else is in good health.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael16v View Post
    Hi
    I have heard in conversation that there is a AL4 oil cooler available that replaces the original one. Again from conversations I believe that there is a potential problem with the original cooler leaking coolant into the gearbox, with bad results.
    I have not had this peoblem, but as I wish to keep my C5 healthy for a long time I would be interested in this modification.
    So, any info on this oil cooler would be greatly welcomed. Who, how much, how hard to do etc?

    Cheers
    Michael
    Hi Micheal
    you didn't say what year C5 but it's doubtfull your Al4 still has the old 9 plate cooler. The late type is 12 plate and 42mm wide. Coolers are a manditory replace at overhaul. There's no thru water flow until the engine thermostat opens and only bleed oil pressure until the oil temp sensor opens. So there's no advantage in fitting an oil to air cooler in my book. If the oil temp is too cool the cooler by pass sensor won't allow oil flow anyway. A high oil temp would result in all sorts of internal problems, least of which would be harsh thumpy shifts, [accumulators not receiving correct time flow], and possibly a gear fault warning. Fitting a new cooler won't guarantee it's not faulty and you could end up with the very problem you're concerned about. I think if you have the later cooler then don't shoot the horse before the paddock is ploughed. Faulty sealing rings will only produce an external oil leak, easily fixed and without taking the cooler off. There are two types of cooler available designated by the angle of the hose connectors. Hope that helps. Cheers.

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