1984-'91 Corvette Oil-Cooler Maintenance

Did You Know There Were Hoses Down There?

Andrew Bolig Jan 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)

Step By Step

Look at the RPO codes to see if you have the oil cooler, or look under the front bumper at the front of the radiator to see if you have the pusher fan that was part of the option.

If you have the cooler installed on your Corvette, the next step is to get the proper hoses. Get the formed hoses for this application. You want this cooler to stay as reliable as it has in the past, and preformed hoses are the only way to do that. They are GM part numbers 14084012 and 14084013.

After you have drained the coolant, begin by loosening the hose clamps that hold the hoses in place. You can reuse the old clamps, but for the added insurance and the small price that new ones will cost, new clamps are the way to go.

Instead of just twisting the hoses to break them loose, try cutting the hose where the clamp resided. You should find that the hose comes off much easier.

There will probably be some coolant left in the block and oil cooler so you’ll need something other than your hair or shirt sleeve handy to catch the fluid.

After the fluid stops draining, finish cutting and removing the hoses. Compare these two hoses with the new ones and ask yourself which ones you would rather have on your car.

The hoses fit pretty straightforward, and they’ll keep your oil cooler working properly for years to come.

Many simple maintenance items can be overlooked because the more pressing issues that abound with our Corvettes camouflage them. That is, until they leave us sitting along the highway. Then they become the pressing issues of the day. One item that can put you in this situation is the oil cooler that was hailed as RPO KC4. This engine oil cooler was installed on ’84-’91 Corvettes. It was discontinued in the ’92 model year because it was deemed unnecessary with the use of synthetic oil in the LT1 engine. The oil cooler does a fine job of keeping the oil temperature lower by cooling it with engine coolant. Simple preventive maintenance can keep your oil cooler so reliable that you can almost forget it’s there. Follow along and we’ll show you how to give it the TLC it deserves.

The only thing left to do is to fill the cooling system. You may find that once the thermostat opens and the coolant level drops, the Low Coolant dash light will come on. A little trick to keep this light from popping up is to run the car with the radiator cap off. Once the car gets up to operating temperature, the thermostat opens and coolant starts to flow. When you see that happen, have a friend run the engine speed up to about 1,500 rpm. The fluid level will drop in the radiator and you can add more coolant to top it off. Make sure you put the radiator cap on before your friend takes his/her foot off the accelerator, or all the water you just put in the radiator will come back out a lot hotter than when it went in.

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