Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: VA / CA
Well that turned out to be a lot more complicated than I was expecting! My plan was to remove the AC condenser, and mount the oil cooler in its place. That in and of itself was a major chore, having to remove the bumper, grill, fan shroud, and radiator. Once that was out, I loosened the AC fan from the front of the condenser, loosened the AC pipes on each side of the condenser, pulled the condenser up and out, then the AC fan. In the process of removing the bumper, 3 out of the 4 bumper bolts broke off, so I had to drill those out and use new bolts when I put the bumper back on.
I had already removed the AC belt a week ago, and removed the bracket bolts for the lower AC bracket. Removed the top AC bracket bolt, and was able to lift the AC compressor and bracket out of the way, so I could access the oil filter adapter plate from the top, in order to tighten down the oil filter adapter bolt. The Fram PH3950 oil filter was NOT going to fit, no how, now way, with the bottom AC bracket in the way. Once it was up and moved, the new oil filter was easy to put on. Got that on hand tight, and the hose barbs were already installed on the sandwich plate when I put that on. Put the radiator back in, reattached the upper and lower hoses, and the overflow hose.
Put the oil cooler in front of the radiator, and looked at where the hoses would have to attach to it. I decided on mounting it at a 45-degree angle, with the hose ends at the bottom. Used the mounting straps and rubber spacers and secured the oil cooler. Cut the oil cooler hoses to fit, and sprayed some Armor All in the ends so they'd slide easier over the fittings on the sandwich plate and oil cooler. Tightened down on the new hose clamps, and it was done.
Since I just installed a new oil filter, I figured I'd do an oil change while I was at it. Drained the old oil, put the drain plug back in, then poured in new oil. Put in 4 quarts of regular Havoline 10w40 from a 5-gallon jug, put the oil cap back on, refilled the radiator and overflow tank, then fired it up.
I let it run for several minutes while I put some tools away, then revved it up a few times as well. Checked all the hose connections for the radiator and oil cooler setup, checked the sandwich plate and oil filter, didn't see any leaks. Shut it off, checked the oil and coolant levels, topped them off as needed, added a bottle of oil treatment, then started it up and let it run again while I put the grill, bumper, and push bar back on. Once I realized I had to drill out the bumper mounting holes, I shut it off and started on that task.
Drilled out the four holes, put the bumper back on with new bolts, washers, and nuts. Put the push bar back on, tightened everything up, and was finally done. I'm going to use my mexican speed wrench (crescent wrench) tomorrow to remove the other AC hoses, so I can completely remove the AC compressor and bracket, and put it with the other AC-related parts I had already taken out.
Spent 8 hours at my storage unit doing this, and I'm beat. Removing the AC condenser was a lot more complicated than I anticipated, and there's no way to install the oil filter on the sandwich plate with the bottom AC compressor bracket in its stock location.
So if anyone else is thinking of doing this, be forewarned...
1987 Samurai hardtop (restoring to stock, more or less)