Articles
Symptoms:
Leaking oil cooler lines.
 
Procedure:
  1. Drain the oil. Place an oil catch basin under the oil cooler where the lines attach - you're going to need it!
  2. You will need either a very large open end wrench or an adjustable wrench to unbolt the lines from the block. I used an adjustable...tightened the wrench onto the bolt and gave it one good whack to break it free. Once you break it free, you can loosen the bolts the rest of the way with your fingers. I should also mention that I removed the oil filter and covered the opening with a clean shop rag just to give myself some extra room. It wasn't really necessary, but since I was changing the oil anyway... I went ahead and removed it. I also shoved several shop rags in and around the oil cooler lines in front of the block and in and around the oil cooler to try and prevent dripping. Be forewarned,  no matter how much prep work you do to prevent leaks and spills you're going to make a big mess no matter how you approach it. I should also mention that I didn't bother to remove the radiator shroud or the air cleaner, there is no need to unless you really are concerned about leaking oil all over the place - I wasn't. You won't drip too much oil from the top oil cooler line on the block, but the lower one makes a big mess! If you're quick and well prepared, keep the blue caps that come on the new lines close by and shove them on to the ends that connect to the block ASAP. This will help deter excessive leakage from the lines as you're removing the other end.
  3. Grab a 3/8" socket drive, a 3" extension and a 10mm socket to remove the bolt that connects the other end of the lines to the oil cooler. Again, this is going to create a serious mess. Have the white caps off the new lines close by so you can plug the ends ASAP.
  4. Once you have removed the old set of lines, clean the male threads coming from the block well. Also clean the area around the holes of the oil cooler. Make sure that the old O-rings from the oil cooler lines are not stuck on the oil cooler. I then applied a coat of Permatex Thread Sealant With Teflon (white colored) (Part No. 14) which I bought at AutoPalace for $2.99 to the male extensions coming from the block. Apply a liberal coat making sure that it gets into the threads and then wipe any excess off making sure that you don't get any of it (including "strings") around the openings leading into the block. I then dabbed my finger into some motor oil and lubricated the O-rings (which should already come with the new set of oil cooler lines) the same as you would when you lubricate the rubber gasket on an oil filter before installing it.
    NOTE: The block fitting is a simple flange/compression type which does NOT *by design* require any sealer. RTV, if mis-applied, can become mobile in the oil system and cause a variety of potential problems.
  5. I attached the lines to the block first. This takes some arm muscle because the lines do not come preformed into the necessary shape. You have to bend them. Never the less....it takes some muscle, but they go on quickly. Once you get the female ends on, it takes a little more muscle to get the other end on to the oil cooler. Also, it's a little difficult to tell if the lines are "in" or not, so make sure you really wiggle the lines around before bolting them into place. Once you're sure they are in place, replace the bolt that locks them to the oil cooler. You're done. Enjoy the cleanup! Now, if you're not one to get off the feel of oil all over your hands, possibly on your pants or shoes, take your ZR to a dealer and them do it - you're going to get a little dirty no matter how you approach this. It is, never the less, easy to do and painless. For safety sake, below, I have included the instruction from the service manual. You will notice that it states to torque the fittings to 89 lb, in. and 41 lb ft. I didn't have the necessary torque wrench/tools to do this, so I tightened the lines to what I felt comfortable with.
From pg. 6A2A-19 of the Service Manual:
Remove or Disconnect:
  1. Negative battery cable ( I didn't bother to do this).
  2. Oil cooler line fittings at oil filter housing.
  3. Bolt retaining oil cooler lines at oil cooler and lines from vehicle.
Install or Connect:
  1. Cooler lines and bolt.
    IMPORTANT--Be sure that new oil cooler O-rings are in place prior to installation.
    Tighten: Bolt to 10 N.m (89 lb. in.).
  2. Oil cooler lines onto filter housing.
IMPORTANT--Use a backup wrench on the oil cooler line fittings. (I didn't have to do this.)
Tighten:
Lines to 56 N.m (41 lb. ft.).
 
Author: Rob Loszewski
 
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