Oil Cooler Upgrade Install Guide

CAUTION: Before beginning please make sure that the engine is completely cold. Hot engine will have extremely hot oil and components leading to the danger of being burned. Install at your own risk. Not recommended for novice installers. I have updated this document that Vince/VKM put together with some comments from my installation (in blue), marked up existing pictures with red lines, and replaced some pics with my pictures. My car is an E92 (Coupe) so this may have been why there were some slight differences in my installation. If in doubt, compare this to the original pdf document from VKM as it may be more applicable to your installation. Bill

Tools needed for install:

13mm, 10mm, 8mm, and 6mm socket wrenches with extension

T20 Torx driver

T20H Torx wrench

7/8” stubby wrench

Adjustable Wrench (8” or 200mm length)

17/64” drill bit


Dremel or similar cutting tool


STEP 1: Remove air duct screws using a T20 Torx driver (one on either side) and disconnect air intake piping so that you can have room to access the oil cooler thermostat housing.


STEP 2: Using a 13mm socket wrench remove the bolt that holds the oil cooler lines into the thermostat housing. Please place a container under the thermostat as it contains oil. I used a small ¼” flex head ratchet with a regular 13mm socket, be careful that no oil contaminates the serpentine belt located under and to the rear of the oil filter housing.



STEP 3: Using a 13mm socket wrench with extension, remove the screw on the other end of the oil lines. Note: Place a container under the oil fitting because the lines will contain oil (a decent amount of oil, more than enough to make a huge mess). Try to have the container lined up and be fast, dumping oil takes no time at all 



STEP 4: Locate the thermostat housing adaptor provided in your V K Motorwerks oil cooler upgrade kit. It will look like the part shown below:


Step 5: Remove the two O-Ring seals from the OE thermostat hoses and install them on the VK adapter. Using the bolt that you previously removed from the thermostat, attach the V K Motorwerks adaptor to the thermostat housing. You may use some grease to help lubricate the adaptor. I found that the bolt area on the adapter is tight, a narrow wall socket is required and my ¼” 13mm socket would not work. My 1/8” 13mm socket worked fine with an adapter (also helped as an extension) using my ¼” ratchet.



Step 6: Lift your car using a jack and jack stands and remove your right front wheel to access the wheel liner bolts.


Step 7: With the 8mm wrench remove all the bolts holding the wheel well cover in place. Only the lower left screw on the vent retains the fender liner but its easy now to get the other three as well. Three more screws in the top of the liner and three screws down the side are removed. One plastic nut is removed using a 10mm socket or wrench. Five screws are removed from underneath, some are hiding unless you are looking straight up at them, specifically the one with the arrow in the picture below.

Caution: pull off the wheel well liner SLOWLY…there is a Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) sensor attached to the rear of the liner. Simply push the tabs together and the plug should slide out. Do not use excessive force.






Step 8: Remove the screws and bolts on both sides of the cooler. Please keep the cooler straight when you remove it since it will be filled with oil. The three smaller screws (two on one side, one on the other) require an 8mm socket, the single bracket screw requires a 10mm socket, and the two nuts require a 13mm socket.

Step 9: Remove the air vent that is behind the OEM oil cooler by loosening the tab inside the oil cooler air vent and pulling up. The rubber piece that holds the brake duct and the intercooler duct together in the front can be pushed through and out from the front grill on the brake duct side using a screwdriver so that they can be removed seperately.





Step 10: Now you must remove the brake duct vent. You can do this by removing the 8mm bolt located on the bottom left and side of the air vent. I found it easier to flex the duct and push towards the front of the car to pull the front tabs out of the retaining holes, it allowed the duct to move a bit for easier access to the single bolt at the front of the duct with a socket wrench or wrench.



Step11: Using a T20H Torx socket remove the metal bracket attached to the top of the OEM oil cooler. The cheap bits I bought broke on the first screw, so I used a pair of pliers on the outside perimeter of the screw to get the second one out, a little slower but doable if you don’t have one of these bits. After removing the screws, you should have the bracket and two plastic washers.




Step 12: Reinstall the bracket, you just removed to the top of the V K Motorwerks oil cooler with the two 6mm hex head bolts that came in your kit. The supplied bolts do not work with the OE plastic washers, I used a ¼” drill bit to drill out the washers while clamped in a vise.




Step 13: Remove the rubber rings from the OEM oil cooler and install on your new oil cooler. It is easier to install these with the metal center section removed.





Step 14: Place your brake duct vent as shown below:



Step 15: From the left edge, measure 1 inch in and draw a line going perpendicular to the duct. From the same left edge, measure 4 inch in and draw a perpendicular line at this spot. It should look like this. Due to variances on cars, the 1” and 4” guidelines are close, I found the 1” mark to be about 3/4” for me after adjusting and the 4” mark to be closer to 3.75”.



Step 16: Cut out the area in between the lines. It is hard to see depth in the pictures provided but I would start out at about 1/4" and cut more if you need to. I also went ahead and cut ALL the plastic pieces at the same time.



Step 17: After completing step 16, your brake duct vent should look like the picture shown below. Reinstall the vent by hooking the two rear locating pins into the holes and then reinstalling the 8mm bolt at the front.

Step 18: By hand, attach the hose with two 90 degree fittings to the inlet on the top of the V K Motorwerks oil cooler. Attach the straight fitting to the bottom of the oil cooler. Do not tighten the hoses yet. After trying to do it a few different ways I found it easier to install the bottom/straight fitting hose after installing the intercooler; the top/angle fitting HAS to be installed on the intercooler BEFORE the intercooler is installed.



Step 19: Mount the bracket and install the oil cooler to the car. Once the oil cooler is mounted use a 7/8” stubby wrench to tighten both of the hose fittings on the oil cooler. This is probably the toughest part of the install because of the tight space. The top oil cooler fitting is best accessed from the front using the cutout the hose passes through, the bottom fitting can be accessed from below and behind- it IS tight but doable.

Now, just for kicks, compare your OEM intercooler to the new one you just installed.

 Sears Item# 00944100000-Model# 44100


Step 20: Run the lines to the thermostat adaptor and connect them. Make sure that they are not rubbing up against any thing that can make them rip. The hose ends on the oil filter thermostat adapter can be tightened using an adjustable wrench. Also make sure not to over-tighten the hoses. I used a combination of soft plastic edging on metal edges and plastic conduit and cut heater hose to make sure the oil cooler hoses would not be rubbing, make contact with, or get cut on anything. Small adjustments to the angle of the fitting as they are tightened can make a bit of difference too. I will probably check these hoses periodically to make sure no rubbing issues exist.





Step 21: Now you will have to relocate your TPM sensor. To do this you will have to push out the pins in your wheel well liner. I used the T20 Torx driver I already had out to push the pins out from the module side and release the plastic rivets.


Step 22: Place the TPMS as shown in the picture below and use a 17/64 drill bit to make holes to install the locking tabs. The 1/4” drill bit I already had out worked fine for this, you will want to position the TPMS module as close to the edge as possible to avoid interference with the screw that will be close to the plugged in harness.


Step 23: Take the OEM oil cooler vent with the side of the vent that faces into the wheel well count to the third vent fin from the left. Measure up 5.25 inches from the bottom. Now mark this spot and cut as shown in the pictures below.



Step 24: Now you will need to cut the backing of that vent: Mark the top of the vent as shown and cut.




My cut deviated a little from the suggestion above, noted by the red line where the suggested cut really did not work because the vent louvers are in the way.


Step 25: Now you have to cut the wheel well liner. Mark and cut as shown below. Use the left and bolt screw as a reference point to figure out how far to cut down. I had to move the left edge in the first pic below out a ¼” to clear the cooler louver, again may vary due to build variances. I found there were several ridges at the base of the fender liner that caused clearance issues so I notched them to make them a little more flat (picture shows what they looked like BEFORE fender liner was cut).




Step 26: Now install the wheel liner and vent and you should end up with this:


Step 27: Put on the wheel and air intake piece that you took out. Check your oil level, add if needed. My car was showing about a ¼ quart low after installation.

Step 28: Enjoy your car!