6.5L Diesel Oil Cooler Upgrade, Heath Diesel

Volume 2 Issue 3 - Diesel Articles

Heath Diesel 6.5L Diesel Oil Cooler and Hose Upgrade

Few things irritate truck-crazy people more than a messy oil leak. While it is unfortunate, many 6.5 drivers are too familiar with the poorly built stock diesel oil cooler hoses on these vehicles. They are known to leak, to fail and to ruin engines. Those of us, who have replaced these leaky rascals, find that the costly, dealer-supplied service replacement hose assemblies seldom provide more than a short term fix. These factory service units will often begin to leak oil within a few months after being replaced. Colder climates accelerate the onset of failure.

Leaking diesel oil cooler hoses are tough to live with, but a complete failure of one of these hoses is not uncommon and can result in the loss of the engine. The message here is that these tell tale leaks cannot be ignored.
In addition to the hoses that can leak, the special snap together type fittings used to connect the factory hoses to the engine block can separate, causing a total loss of lubrication. These spring clip, snap together fittings incorporate a wire clip that can break. The push-in fitting can then pop apart, resulting in a major loss of oil and that awful crunching and banging noise from deep within the engine.

Todd Hughes, Heath Diesel’s long time production manager and a fellow constantly in search of ways to improve the 6.5, has developed a fine solution to this pesky issue. And now, after a substantially long evaluation period, Heath Diesel Power is proud to introduce Todd’s Blue Ribbon Diesel Oil Cooler and Hose Upgrade Kit.

Heath Diesel 6.5L diesel oil cooler and hose upgrade kit

Heath Diesel 6.5L diesel oil cooler fittings Heath Diesel 6.5L diesel oil cooler clip removal Heath Diesel 6.5L diesel oil cooler

(Click on any image to enlarge and for more information.)

The Blue Ribbon diesel oil cooler kit embodies a host of heavy duty, premium quality components. They are designed to provide exceptional performance and outstanding service life. The kit supplied heat exchanger is a plate and fin design, offering excellent heat extraction and low resistance to oil flow. The Blue Ribbon kit uses special, super duty, aircraft quality hose. This hose provides superior fluid compatibility, abrasion and corrosion resistance for exceptionally reliable service.

This large, 10 extruded PTFE Teflon type hose is covered with high density a 304 stainless steel braid covering for protection. It is grossly overbuilt for this application, with operating pressure rating of 1,500 PSI and burst pressure rating of 6,000 PSI. It is rated for a temperature range of 100 to over 500ºF. Heath assembles its Blue Ribbon hoses with an additional protective nylon mesh type sleeve as a further guard against damage to either the hose or other compenents with which it might come into contact.

The kit also includes Parker Hannifin’s best threaded fittings. These high quality, zinc dichromate-plated, one piece carbon steel fittings are used in both the engine block and in the heat exchanger.

The Parker steel fittings provide a vastly better assembly than is possible with lower cost brass parts. In addition to being structurally weak, brass fittings are not compatible with the threads of the aluminum heat exchanger. The two relatively soft materials commonly suffer galling of the threads when screwed together. When the threads gall during assembly, the parts may be rendered unusable. Steel is best.

The finished product provides superior diesel oil cooling system performance along with the security of a high quality construction. The Heath Diesel organization is serious about quality and its commitment to customer service is the stuff of legend. The Blue Ribbon kit is yet another example of this dedication to perfection.

6.5L Diesel Oil Cooler Installation

Follow along as we perform the installation of the Blue Ribbon system on a typical K2500 6.5 GM truck. The new Blue Ribbon system is a direct replacement for the problematic factory setup and it fits the truck perfectly. This is a straightforward, in-the-driveway, basic-hand-tool installation.

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Bill Heath owns Heath Diesel Power in Ellensburg, Washington. He races at Bonneville in his 6.5L Land Speed Racer whenever he gets the chance.


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