So you’ve decided to install an oil cooler on your vehicle to help lower operating temperatures and improve performance. Great choice. Now you need to determine what size and type of barb fittings you require to properly connect your oil lines to the cooler. The last thing you want is to end up with the wrong fittings and have to make another trip to the parts store.
When it comes to barb fittings, you’ve got some options to consider. Do you go with straight barbs, 45-degree angled barbs or 90-degree barbs? Each has its pros and cons depending on your setup.You’ll also need to determine the inner diameter of your oil hoses to get the proper barb size. Too small and you restrict flow, too big and you risk the hoses blowing off. It may seem like a small detail, but choosing the right oil cooler barb fittings is important to get right the first time. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to select barb fittings that will have your new oil cooler working at peak performance in no time.
Understanding Oil Cooler Barb Fittings
To get the right oil cooler barb fittings for your setup, you need to understand a few basics.
First, determine what size oil lines you have and need. The most common sizes for oil coolers are -8AN, -10AN and -12AN. Measure your existing oil lines to find the inner diameter and choose barb fittings to match. If you’re installing new oil lines, decide what size you want based on how much oil flow you need. Bigger lines and barbs mean more oil flow.
Next, choose between straight barb fittings, 45-degree angled barbs or 90-degree elbow barbs. Straight barbs are simple but may require more tubing for the best routing. Angled barbs, especially 45-degree, can make for a cleaner install with less tubing. 90-degree elbow barbs are very compact but can kink tubing.
You’ll also need to pick barb ends – pipe thread, AN thread or push-on hose ends. Pipe thread and AN thread screw into your oil cooler ports, while push-on hose ends slide over the ports. Push-on ends with clamps are easiest but AN thread forms the most solid, leak-proof seal.
Finally, consider materials – aluminum, steel, brass or stainless steel. Aluminum and steel are light and affordable. Brass and stainless are more corrosion resistant but pricier. For most, aluminum or steel barbs work great.
With the right fittings for your oil lines, cooler ports and needs, you’ll have your new oil cooler installed and keeping your engine at the perfect temperature in no time.
How to Choose the Right Barb Fitting Size for Your Oil Cooler
Choosing the right barb fitting size for your oil cooler is important to get the best performance and prevent leaks. The most common sizes are -8, -10, -12, and -16, which correspond to the inside diameter of the hose in 1/16-inch increments.
To determine what size you need, first check your oil cooler’s port size. The ports are where the hoses attach, and the barb fittings must match for a proper seal. If your ports are -10, go with -10 barb fittings.
Next, consider your oil flow rate and hose size. Higher flow rates require larger diameters to prevent restriction. If you’re using -10 hose, -10 or -12 barbs are good options. For -12 hose, -12 or -16 barbs work well. In general, it’s best to match the barb size to your hose size or go one size larger.
You’ll also want to consider the material. Barb fittings typically come in anodized aluminum, brass, or stainless steel. Anodized aluminum and brass are more affordable but stainless steel has the best corrosion resistance for most automotive uses.
Finally, determine if you need 90-degree, 45-degree or straight barb fittings based on how your hoses will be routed. 90-degree barbs are very versatile and help when space is limited.
With the right barb fitting size and material, your oil cooler will have proper flow and a leak-free connection to the hoses. Take your time selecting quality barb fittings, and your oil cooler will serve your vehicle well for years to come.
Installing Oil Cooler Barb Fittings: Step-by-Step Guide
Once you have the correct oil cooler barb fittings for your setup, installing them is fairly straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get them connected:
Gather your supplies
In addition to the barb fittings and oil cooler, you’ll need oil line or hose, hose clamps or worm gear clamps, a wrench or pliers, and oil. Make sure you have everything on hand before starting the installation.
Attach the fittings to the oil cooler
Screw the barb fittings into the ports on your oil cooler. Tighten them securely with the wrench but be careful not to overtighten. You want them snug enough to seal properly without damaging the oil cooler.
Cut the oil lines to size
Measure and cut sections of oil line to run between the engine and oil cooler. It’s best to leave the lines a bit long at first – you can always trim them shorter, but you can’t add length back!
Connect the oil lines
Slip the oil lines over the barb ends of the fittings and tighten the hose clamps to secure them in place. Make sure the lines are pushed all the way onto the barbs for a good seal.
Route and secure the oil lines
Run the oil lines between the engine and oil cooler, securing them along the way with clips or zip ties. Route the lines away from any moving or hot parts that could cause damage.
Add oil and test.
Add oil to your engine to fill the new oil cooler and lines. Start the engine and check for any leaks. Make any necessary adjustments to hose clamps or line routing. Once everything looks good, you’re ready to roll with a cooler running engine!
Following these simple steps will have your oil cooler barb fittings installed in no time. Be sure to double check all connections and test thoroughly to ensure maximum performance and avoid overheating issues. Let your engine run cool!
So now that you have all the information about the different types of oil cooler barb fittings, you can make an informed choice for your setup. The most important things to consider are ensuring maximum flow and preventing leaks. Go with a size and material that will handle the pressure and temperatures in your system. And don’t forget to check your hose diameters to get the right barb size. Installing high-quality fittings may require an initial investment, but will save you headaches down the road. Your engine will thank you for keeping it running cool with the proper oil cooler setup. With the right parts selected, you’ll have your oil cooling system up and running in no time.