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XR650L Oil Cooler by helrich

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XR650L Oil Cooler by helrich

Postby 4Strokes » Wed May 18, 2016 10:41 am

I finally got the XR400R engine oil cooler installed on the bike the other day, and it is working very well. After a few short test rides to make sure nothing was going to come loose and spray oil everywhere I went for a long ride on Friday in 95 degree weather. I did a mixture of pavement, dirt roads, and sugar sand trails. The temperature stayed nice and cozy between 200-225 degrees, without the cooler it would have been more like 250+ and probably needed a stop or two to cool down.

I originally tried to buy a full kit from Summers, but they do not offer it anymore, so I basically tried to duplicate theirs. I first bought an oem cooler with all of the mounting bits and bobs. Next were the oil lines, I realized that I could interrupt the long line that runs from the base of the tank down the downtube. Here is where it got tricky: the fittings on the bike and the cooler are metric, but just about all the threaded pipe/hose parts out there are well, to put it mildly, not metric. I had no idea there were so many different types of pipe threads- and after a week long crash course on the web I was given an honorary degree in Threadology. Anyway, it turned out that Earl’s Performance Plumbing had all the fittings and adapters that I needed. Here is the list:

  • Oil tank: 16mm female adapter to 6 AN male, and a 45 degree hose end.
  • Left cooler: 16mm female adapter to 6 AN male, and a 90 degree low profile hose end.
  • Right cooler: 14mm female adapter to 6 AN male, and a 120 degree hose end.
  • Crankcase hose: 18mm male adapter to 8 AN male, an 8-6 AN reducer, and a straight hose end.
  • 6’ of 6 AN hose.
To attach the cooler, Summers apparently manufactured a bracket that screwed into the headtube. I would have liked to have welded attachment nuts to the frame, but I am a little nervous about welding right on the oil tank, (opinions anyone?). Therefore, I cheesed out a little bit in this area because it is getting really hot here in Florida, and I also wanted to see if it was going to work overall. So I got two tee nuts and used the world’s finest cold weld, JB Weld. I also fabricated an small tab to fit into the slot in front of the cooler and cold welded it to the frame. With that in place, I cut the hoses and connected everything up. I cranked the starter with the left side disconnected until oil came out, checked and tightened, leak tested, and reassembled. After the first test ride I found that the tee nuts had come loose, but there is still enough of a bond to hold it there with the hoses connected. I may look into a stronger way of attaching it in the future, but it seems ok for now.

I am sure that the decrease in oil temperature is also due in part by the extra hose hanging out in the breeze. I needed about an extra 1/2 quart of oil, but I also pumped some out when priming the cooler. Part numbers would vary depending on where you bought the fittings, but that is the catalog description- Earl's Performance Plumbing. No special tools are needed to cut the hose, just follow the directions, (included with the hose), and be prepared to screw up at least once- but it will make a lot more sense after doing it a couple of times. The length was determined by guess-timating, when in doubt, just cut it long, connect the fittings, and then see how much you need to take off. I am getting tempted to to weld on the tee nuts, just have to find someone with a tack welder, (and a steady hand).

With all of the pieces, it was only about a couple of hours, not including my attempt to JB Weld the nuts on. BTW, although that is not the strongest solution, it works "well enough for now" as the oil lines and other stuff surrounding it keep it in place. Someday I'll get around to doing it right- but other than that it is really a matter of pulling the gas tank, cutting the lines and screwing everything together with lots of teflon goo.

oil_cooler1.jpg
Oil Cooler and Braided Lines

oil_cooler2.jpg
Oil Cooler Mounted to Frame

oil_cooler4.jpg
XR400R Oil Cooler on XR650L

oil_cooler3.jpg
Oil Cooler Braided Line Routing

Credits: Submitted by helrich and edited by 4Strokes.com.

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