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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched for this already but couldn't find a answer.

When I bought my bike it had a oil cooler.. do I need it ? Its ugly and looks like crap mounted on the front of the bike so if I do not need it I really don't want to run it.

I've had the guys down at Harley tell me I don't need to run it.

Whats your opinions on this ?

Thanks !
 

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Depends on the Climate, Your Style of Riding, (back road mountains vs city-lugging)
Guys will say that it does not hurt but you seem to answer that you do not like the looks so NIX the cooler and run a quality 60W oil in the Summer, I use Valvoline VR-1 'and I do not want to get into an oil debate that can last a month on any forum! '
Everyone seems to have the Magic Grease !
 

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Grab a dipstick with a thermometer and run it, then bypass the cooler and see what the difference is without the cooler.

I've never run one but I use a dipstick thermometer.
 

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If you ride in temps of above 90 degrees, you definitely should run an oil cooler on an Ironhead. And if above 80, it is still a damn good idea. Cast iron heads cool very poorly and Ironheads run hot.

Be wary of what the guys at the local Harley shop tell you. Most of them know squat about ironheads.
 

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dunno which Mason City you live in (there are a few), but most of them are in cooler climates. I run a cooler and a dipstick thermometer, and oil temps never go above 170.

But then again form should always trump function. By all means - ditch the cooler. We can't have any of theat functional shit mucking up our rides, can we?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I live in mason city, iowa. Its pretty cold around here other than the middle of the summer which can reach 90 plus. I would run it if I could find a way to hide it.

I can't run it under the frame can I ? I would imagine air flow has to be hitting it pretty good.

The guys at the local HD shop are knowledgeable actually. Two of them had XLCH's back in the day in the mid 70's and one of them lived in california at the time and he said he never had a problem and he didn't run a oil cooler so thats what I was going off of.
 

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I can't run it under the frame can I ? I would imagine air flow has to be hitting it pretty good.

I think anywhere there is open air to hit the fins would work. Putting it ahead or away from the main heat source (engine) would be best if you want to cool things down faster.
 

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More damage is done by too COOL of oil than by too hot. If your oil never reaches about 220 deg. then it will never burn off condensation and the moisture will result in corrosion to the bearings and shafts. If you run a cooler, make sure it has a thermostat that actually works, or be VERY vigilant about covering the fins in cold weather and short trips (ideally, you should cover it for the first few miles on every trip).
 

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i figure if they didn't come with them from being stock... they really don't need them... just one mans opinion... if it meant the bike lasting or not... they would have designed it in with the system. i suppose like everybody has been sayin not a bad idea if you run very hot temps at long periods of time.
 

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i figure if they didn't come with them from being stock... they really don't need them
You could also use that argument for decent brakes, they aren't supplied as standard either

Best set up is an oil cooler fitted with a thermostat so it cuts in and out as required automatically

Fitted a small oil cooler to an ironhead I owned years ago, engine was noticeably quieter running the oil cooler

Have oil coolers fitted on all my bikes
 

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I can't run it under the frame can I ? I would imagine air flow has to be hitting it pretty good.QUOTE]

If something bounces up and breaks some fins you'll loose your oil & pressure and slicken up that rear wheel pretty quick. :eek:
 

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I run coolers on all my sportsters. But I am in Florida, where we cook breakfast on the sidewalk at 6am. So my situation is different than yours. Mostly the coolers are for intown traffic jams and riding in traffic, light to light. Running down the road at speed, the motor gets enough air flow to run the correct temps. But like everything on a mc, everybody has their own ideas. The thermostat controlled ones are the best, and yeah, they are ugly. But heat kills motors, if the heat is constant and noncontrolable. I say you are safe NOT to run one. But then, it is not my place to tell you anything. Just offer my opinion.
 
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