are the photos taken straight from nonstopaviation.com on their valve
installation, and of the valve itself. The valve is pretty
simple, but well thought out and put together. The ONLY concern I
have is that in every case, the more complex you make something, the
more likely it is that you can have problems. Adding a control
valve of ANY sort can mean you could have the valve stick closed or
something, causing an emergency. So, as with anything you
install, do a good job, tighten everything well, and understand it
fully...verify that you have minimized the chances of problems.
As you can see from the above pics, they mounted theirs on the back of the engine baffling. In my case, the 4" SCAT tube bumped into the engine mount too badly when I tried the valve there. Besides that, I didn't need one more cable strung out from my firewall. So, I mounted mine to the oil cooler box itself. Either way works fine, so I went with the cleanest installation. It also prevents added weight from hanging on the baffle flange...and I've heard from at least one person who's flange had broke before (unrelated to this valve). I prosealed the halves of mine so that a weld break wouldn't break the whole thing. At any rate, you can see that the valve is pretty simple. You do have to think through the opening and closing of the valve in relation to how the cable approaches the valve. That took some head scratching to find a good route for the control cable.
are my oil cooler pictures. I'll have to say, at first when I
unboxed the Airflow 2006X cooler, and put it side by side, I was pretty
ticked off. The 2 coolers are VERY identical in most every
way. The machining looks like the parts were made on the same
machine....down to almost every detail. In fact, on the bottom of
the cooler is stamped what looks like 2-letter initials of people, and
even some of the 2 letter combos were the same between the 2 coolers. I
was convinced that in reality, there would be no difference...and that
I had wasted over $400. I emailed the Matronics List to make sure
there was at least ONE person other than me who had SWITCHED
coolers....not had originally started with a 2006X, but who had flown
with the others, and switched to it, who had actually seen a
temperature drop. Sure enough, there were a couple people who
had, so I decided ot install the fittings and install the cooler.
If you look really carefully, the only differences I can see between
1) the Aero-Classic is either gold cad plated or anodized in some way to look gold
2) the Airflow 2006X has maybe 10 or so more "VVVVVVV" shaped pleats per row...they're narrower V's.
I was convinced that the added V's couldn't possibly make a big difference, and that if anything, they'd restrict the airflow more. But, I pushed ahead and installed the cooler. I did take the time to fix an old "bad". When installing the original cooler, I used the supplied aluminum blue fittings. As it turns out, you don't want aluminum. Not only are they less durable, but aluminum into aluminum galls a bit. So, I switched my fittings to steel with the new cooler. It's not a big deal, but steel is really the better way to go.
the above pics, you can see the Airflow systems cooler installed. I
took it for a test flight to leak-test the fittings before I installed
the valve. I flew last Friday for an hour, and I was able to get
185-187F out of the original Aero-Classics oil cooler. The
that day was high 20's-low 30's F. That would be perfect for me,
if it stayed there year round.
After installing just the 2006x cooler, today's flight, I flew only maybe .4 or so hours. It was maybe 20F out, but maybe a little less. I flew until I hit 174 or 175F and it didn't climb very fast in temp at all. I got the feeling that the 2006X cooler did indeed cool a little more than the other, but the day was colder too, so it was hard to tell.
I was becoming a bit happier with my expenditure of greenbacks.
then the next step was to install the nonstopaviation.com cooler
butterfly valve. This took some thinking. As I mentioned
above, I installed it on the cooler box. I'm sorry that I didn't
take any preliminary pictures where you can see the valve, but the
above center picture has the valve installed. It raised the attach
level for the 4" SCAT tube about 2-3" or so...but otherwise didn't have
any real effect on the hose routing. I installed it so the
control lever faced the center of the plane, and the push-pull cable
came in from above. That orientation allowed the valve to open
and close well. I then used some existing holes with bolts and
screws in them to route the cable across the firewall above the other
lines as you can see. The -3 size clamps are perfect...I only had
2 of them, so I used some -2's in some places which seem to work
OK. I can easily replace them another day after I order -3's if I
want. The cable goes through the firewall, and then up next to my
throttle quadrant. As you can see in the photo below, I now have
2 black knobs. The LEFT one is my Alternate Air for the filtered
air box. That's a "pull it once" knob, because you have to land
and un-cowl to re-set the valve. So I labeled my new Oil cooler
control knob "Pull to Heat Oil" so I wouldn't get confused. Other
than that, there's no other cockpit related change.
doing the installation, I went for a quick flight of only .3 or .4
hours. I kept the valve
closed until the oil temp hit 190F after takeoff. Then I set
the valve wide open and it went down under 180F for a bit, and
then climbed back up to 183F or so after a couple minutes.
The weather outside was a little warmer today...ground temps
were in the 30's....and I believe slightly warmer than
Friday. This gave me the idea that the new cooler was maybe 7-8
degrees F more effective...but the temps climbing back to 183F or so
made me unsure. It could be as little as 4 degrees.
Now, none of this is scientific, but, it does appear that even with just looking at this tiny snapshot in time that isn't very well compared, that the 2006X cooler does drop the temps a little....maybe at least 4 degrees, but just guessing by the way it reacted to going full open, it could be more towards 7 or even 8 degrees F lower. I don't know that I'll believe it'll do 15F lower, but something in the neighborhood of 5-10F is probably likely.
Now, again, this is only a very very small snapshot in time. I'll have to play with it on some longer flights, especially when I get on vacation in a couple weeks where it's warmer (coming up shortly!!), and see how the temps look now. At present though, I'm thinking that Nonstopaviation.com valve is probably a pretty nice thing to have for us cold-weather fliers (or for LOP flying at higher altitudes on cold days) to keep the oil temp in the good range, and that the 2006X cooler is probably worth the added $$$ if you drop the Van's standard cooler from the parts list and order that one instead. If you always fly in warm weather, you may not want the valve, but, you may still find your temps don't get up high enough to hit that 180-185 degree minimum to burn off moisture...especially if you have good oil cooling....so it's something to look at.
Now for a quick un-paid-for plug. Although you can get the cooler from other places, if you're going to get one, try emailing Alex at rvtraining.com. I've found him to a good source for a couple of things, and he is a good guy for Transition training too. If I were starting from scratch, I'd buy that cooler from the get go. My other cooler did work ok for me, and many other folks, but if there is something better, then I guess that's the way to go.