How to Replace Chevy Truck Oil Cooler Linesby Russell Wood
On a Chevrolet V8 engine, the engine can heat up to some high temperatures. One of the ways the manufacturer minimizes heat is by installing an oil cooler that drops the temperature of the oil while it circulates through the engine. Of course, if the lines to the oil cooler break or blow, you'll lose oil and could potentially damage or seize up the engine. Fixing the engine cooler lines is a big job and can take a few hours to do correctly, but it can be done at home with hand tools. In this case, the project vehicle is a 1995 Chevrolet Silverado, but the process is similar for other vehicles as well.
Lift up the vehicle using the jack and place it on jack stands. Make sure the vehicle is secure before you crawl underneath it.
Drain the oil from the oil pan into the drain pan by unbolting the drain pan bolt using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Once the oil has drained out, reinstall the plug.
Unscrew an oil cooler line from the radiator using the line wrench. This will spill out some oil, so you may want to keep the drain pan handy. Follow the oil line to the oil filter, and unbolt the bracket that holds the oil lines to the engine using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Then push in the plastic clip on the oil filter assembly to release the line.
Unscrew the fitting from the oil cooler housing using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Then wrap Teflon tape around the end of the replacement fitting and install it in the oil filter housing using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Don't tighten it too much, otherwise you risk cracking the housing. Insert the replacement plastic fitting into the fitting manually.
Run the replacement oil cooler line from the radiator to the oil filter housing and push it into the plastic clip on one end, and tighten it down using the line wrench on the other.
Repeat Steps 3-5 for the other oil cooler line. Once it's replaced, tighten down the bracket that secures both lines to the engine using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket.
Fill the engine with the amount of oil the manufacturer recommends.
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Drain pan
- 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
- Line wrench set
- Teflon tape
- Replacement oil cooler line fittings
- Replacement oil cooler lines
- Replacement oil cooler line plastic inserts
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.