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2003 5.4 Engine Oil Coolers


Old 05-22-2003, 08:35 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 19
2003 5.4 Engine Oil Coolers

Anyone have ANY idea how these work on the 03's? Or where they are located?

I can not find ANY information on them. Did Ford do a god job on these? They are standard equipment on all 2003 Expedition 5.4's.

Does it just run lines into the radiator?

Perhaps thats why people are having to use more than 6 qts of oil?

I had the same problem on my 2003 Cobra. Book said 6 qts but it took as much as 7....
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Old 05-22-2003, 09:35 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 16
Oil coolers

I don't know on trucks, but on air cooled airplane engines, the oil coolers are a small 4 square inch extra radiator through which oil flow is bypassed.
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Old 05-22-2003, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 56
According to the parts departments at two dealerships the oil cooler is an adapter oil cooler unit bolted on the engine block which the oil filter attaches to. As far as it's effectiveness, I don't know. And, if it is on all the 5.4L's, I dont know that either. However, with this information you should be able to look were your filter attaches and figure out if you have one.

Last edited by fineride; 05-22-2003 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 05-22-2003, 07:25 PM
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Location: Puyallup, WA
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You should see two smaller sized rad hoses running off of the lower hose to the adapter. The oil cooler uses the coolant coming out of the rad, but before it's gone anywhere else, to cool the oil as it goes in/out of the filter.

How effective is it?? Dunno, but I guess they (Ford) figured it needed it, as all the 5.4's have them that I'm aware of.
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Old 05-23-2003, 01:15 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 56
I checked mine this evening and I do not have the engine oil cooler. The adapter is bolted to the engine block and the oil filter screws into the adapter. If there was a cooler, as has been said, it would be attached to the adapter and the filter to the cooler. I thought I read somewhere that the 2003 Expy did have the oil cooler, and then again, maybe it was the Explore. I don't tow and I use synthetic oil after 5,000 miles so it really doesn't concern me that I don't have the engine oil cooler.

2003 F150 2WD XLT, Regular Cab/Short Box, 5.4L, XLT Sport Package W/Captains Chairs and Pwr. Driver Seat, Silver Ext., Ford Ft. Mud Guards, Bed Mat and Cabin Air Filter.

Last edited by fineride; 05-23-2003 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 05-23-2003, 04:23 AM
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Location: Cincy OH
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I think it's up front I have a 03 and i have 2 small like 3" wide by 6" long up front behind grill i thought that one was oil and the other was trany i will check in the daytime.

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Old 05-23-2003, 04:26 AM
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je3169, the one on the drivers side is a power steering fluid cooler.
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Old 05-23-2003, 08:36 AM
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I have looked and all I see is an oil filter connected to the block like any other car/truck.

I dont see anything special about it and nothing that looks like any oil cooler I've ever seen or installed myself.

Wonder if this is another Ford glitch? Wrong radiators and perhaps did not install oil coolers when I paid for one....

The brochure:


Says NOTHING about it.

Ford in Canada says all Expeditions come with them:


Last edited by 03-Eddie-Expy; 05-23-2003 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 05-23-2003, 09:36 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Southwest Virginia
Posts: 130
Like MitchF150 said. I have a 94 5.8l and it has this type of oil cooler. I didn't know they were still using this cooler. Just like he said, I have a little metal (I think) almost filter size piece that attaches to the block where the filter would normally go. The oil filter screws into the metal piece. Coming out from the metal can piece are 2 hoses going to the cooling system. I'm guessing that if the coolant is running 180+ that it just knocks the edge off the oil but probably doesn't do a whole lot. I may be wrong as I've never seen any data on how well these work. If you don't have one you probably aren't going to miss it. A bypass or remote filter mount would add additional capacity as well as provide some air cooling so you may want to look at this if you're wanting to cool the oil.
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Old 05-23-2003, 12:44 PM
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Location: Austin, TX
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I know many people who run those oil filter inserts to run to their oil cooler on their race cars, they seem to work just fine. We normally are running high volume oil pumps, no idea what the 5.4 has, but I seriously doubt it impacts the overall pressure, and lower oil temperatures is a great thing.
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Old 05-23-2003, 01:18 PM
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Location: Puyallup, WA
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Well, now that I think about it, I do have the factory installed remote oil filter, so the adapter on the block is acutally serving two purposes......

It has the coolant hoses running to it and it also has oil lines that run to the filter that's on the outside of the frame, behind the bumber on the drivers side.

Maybe they did do away with it???? Like I said, I was always under the impression that the 5.4's came with the tranny cooler AND the oil cooler??


I would think the coolant temp is a bit lower then 180 when it goes out the rad. I have a 'real' water temp gauge that takes the temp after it's gone through the entire engine (tapped into the inlet hose to the heater) and it reads a steady 195*. Even towing, so the temp of the coolant has to be around 120* or so coming out of the rad?
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Old 05-23-2003, 02:47 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
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My 98 Expy had a remote oil filter mounted right behind the Front bumper. It did not have a trans cooler. I installed a combo cooler (trans & oil).

My 03 does not have a remote mounted filter. It does have a trans and steering pump cooler installed by the factory.

My understandings of oil temps:

1. Too cold (below 180) is VERY VERY bad because it causes sludge to build.

2. Too hot (above 220) is also bad becuase most oils begin to rapidly break down.

I think synthetics typically help with #2 and can withstand higher temps with less degradation and can disipage heat better.

An oil cooler should be properly fitted for engine size and use. Too big of a cooler and the oil will tend to run too cool and thus form sludge. Too small doesn't help the situation much.


The ideal operating range for engine oil is 180F through 200F. While operating within this range, the oil works as a lubricant, coolant, and cleansing agent in the engine. Modern engines generally run with radiator coolant temperatures between 200F and 220F with oil temperature ranges between 20F and 75F HOTTER. In other words, when the engine is performing flawlessly, the engine oil is already overheating! Oil that exceeds 220F rapidly loses its ability to lubricate and cool causing accerlerated fatigue and premature component failure.


If running under a load (towing or driving off-road), heavy traffic, etc. you probably will want to use an oil cooler. They can prolong the life of the oil and engine. They can also keep you from over heating.

I'd be willing to bet I dont have one.
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