( CSF #8218 )
Designing the ultimate BMW E30 Oil Cooler was not an easy task. While with custom fabrication anything is possible, CSF prides itself on making upgraded products that fit like a factory unit. Fortunately, BMW already did some of the leg work for this in the late 1980s. The new CSF #8218 is based on the race proven and championship winning formula used by BMW.
To give you some history on this topic, we have to go back to 1987. After BMW decided to enter Touring Car and DTM racing, they created what most would consider to be the ultimate E30 M3. In the span of about 5 years, the Group A spec M3 became the most successful touring car of all time. This race spec BMW won two champion’s titles in both the European Touring Car Championship and German Touring Car Championship (aka DTM) along with countless other victories.
E30 M3 Group A / DTM
Five hundred of these cars were sold to the public for homologation purposes. They remain one of the most sought after BMW’s in the world and are the inspiration for countless builds. The original Group A M3 featured a 300 HP version of the 2.3L S14 engine from 1987-1989 and a 2.5L version that produced 330 HP. The engine was supported by a plethora of significant upgrades. To keep that extra power under control these cars had upgraded suspension, wheels, tires, brakes, and cooling system.
The BMW Engineers had to design an oil cooler that could keep up with the added power of the race spec engine and perform under the grueling conditions on the track. The size of the standard factory oil cooler was increased by about 50% while using the same mounts and connectors as the standard production M3. The CSF E30 Group A / DTM Race Style Oil Cooler is the same size as these race coolers with some modern upgrades/updates.
So if you’re looking to upgrade or add an oil cooler to your E30, why not go with one that matches the specs from the Group A E30 M3?
While most of the engineering that went into the first M3/3-Series was top of line at the time, there is plenty of room for improvement. The cooling systems on the E30 are fairly adequate for normal to semi spirited driving. However, the factory oil cooler can still struggle to keep up under aggressive driving or track days. The vehicle is also old enough that many of the factory systems really need to be replaced.
While your original system may still be functional, it is likely not in the best shape. Dented, clogged, and weathered coolers just can’t perform like a new cooler. Even then, the old tube and fin design don’t compare to the durability and performance of a bar and plate design.
CSF understands that most owners don’t want to change the look of their Bavarian classics at this point. That’s why the E30 Group A / DTM Oil Cooler was design to fit in the factory location with no custom mounting hardware necessary. The CSF Oil Cooler offers superior cooling capacity, modern technology, and costs less than a genuine OE replacement.
Design & Engineering
When designing this new cooler, CSF wanted to ensure the best possible performance while ensuring the cooler was as durable as possible. As you’ve seen, oil coolers and other heat exchangers can take quite a beating over time. CSF utilizes an extremely rugged and durable Bar/Plate design which can stand up to far more abuse. The CSF “Aero-Flow” Bar design reduces weight compared to other Bar/Plate designs while maintaining maximum strength and air-flow. These “Aero-Flow” bars improve heat dissipation with high density turbulated multi-louvered fins. Turbulation increases the turbulent flow through a tube, effectively increasing heat exchange rates and abilities.
OEM VS CSF
|Core Type||Tube & Fin||“Aero-Flow” Bar & Plate|
|End Tank||Stamped Aluminum||Cast Aluminum|
Brazed w/ Gasket
|100% TIG Welded|
Cast Aluminum End Tanks
At around 50% larger in size, the CSF #8218 Oil Cooler increases both fluid capacity and core surface area. The overall performance of the Oil Cooler far exceeds the factory cooler’s limits. 100% All-Aluminum construction ensures the best performance and durability. In addition, the black powder coat finish provides extra protection and offers an OEM look behind the grille of your E30.
Tim Hardy Racing – Turbo M52 E30
Tim Hardy Racing recently participated in the 2022 Pike Peak Hill Climb with their 1987 BMW E30. While not your typical E30 build, it was the perfect opportunity to get feedback oil cooler performance for the the E30 in a race setting. While the #8218 Cooler was not available while the car was being built, but CSF was able to offer a prototype version to them. As their E30 was running a custom core support to accommodate the custom intercooler, the benefits on the #8218’s bolt on design would not have been utilized anyway.
Feedback from Tim Hardy was 100% positive. All the CSF cooling systems on the car exceeded expectations. Being able to keep a 700HP turbocharged M52 swapped E30’s oil temps in check while racing up Pikes Peak shows how efficient these coolers are in the most demanding circumstances. Tim Hardy and his team finished 3rd in Class (Pikes Peak Open) and 12th overall with a time of 11:09.400. You can read more about the race and build here: CSF takes the Podium at Pikes Peak Hill Climb 2022
Group A E30 M3 Historical Success
As previously stated, the CSF E30 Group A / DTM Race Style Oil Cooler is based on the size and specs of the original Group A E30 M3. As the most dominant Touring Car of all time in racing, you can be confident that a cooler of this spec can keep up with almost anything you can do with your E30.
Group A version of the M3 had a lot of impressive victories from 1987 to 1992. Some notable victories include:
- 1987 European Touring Car Championship – 1st Place Overall – Winfried Vogt
- 1987 German Touring Car Championship (DTM) – 1st Place Overall – Eric van de Poele
- 1987 World Touring Car Championship – 1st Place Overall – Schnitzer Motorsport
- 1988 European Touring Car Championship – 1st Place Overall – Roberto Ravaglia
- 1988 German Touring Car Championship (DTM) – 1st Place Overall – Schnitzer Motorsport
- 1989 24-hours of Nürburgring – 1st Place – Team Bigazzi
- 1990 24-hours of Nürburgring – 1st Place – Linder Motorsport
- 1991 24-hours of Nürburgring – 1st Place – Schnitzer Motorsport
- 1992 24-hours of Nürburgring – 1st Place – Team Bigazzi
The full list is quite extensive, but it is obvious that a properly built E30 Chassis is capable of incredible things.
Whether you are looking to build a track car, weekend warrior, or just upgrading your restoration project, the CSF Group A / DTM Race Style Oil Cooler is the best possible choice for your E30.
BMW E30 Group A / DTM Race Style Oil Cooler Features (CSF #8218)
- Group A / DTM E30 M3 Oil Cooler Design
- Direct fit oil cooler for BMW E30 M3
- Can fit all E30 Chassis (see applications and fitment notes)
- High Efficiency & Rugged Durability Bar/Plate Design
- “Aero-Flow” Bar Lightweight Construction for Strength and Maximum Flow
- Cast End Tanks with 100% Tig Welded Construction
- Satin Black Finish for Extreme Protection Against Corrosion and Debris
- Comes complete with fitting kit for both OEM style as well as -10 AN male connections
- MSRP/MAP: $499.00
- OEM Part Numbers:
- BMW: 17211712658
- 1986-1993 BMW E30 M3 (S14)*
- 1985-1987 (up to 09/87) BMW E30 325 w/ Factory Oil Cooler*
- 1988-1993 BMW E30 325 w/ Factory Oil Cooler*
- 1984-1993 BMW E30 3-Series w/o Factory Oil Cooler*
1986-1993 BMW E30 M3 (S14)
The long factory oil hard line will not be able to use support brackets on the back of the radiator. This is due to the adapter fittings pushing the lines out about a ½” from factory so the brackets won’t line up but the lines will still run to the proper location and can be connected.
1985-1987 (up to 09/87) BMW E30 325 w/ Factory Oil Cooler
Requires custom lines (factory hard line passes over the oil cooler normally but this unit is too tall to run that line over the top).
1988-1993 BMW E30 325 w/ Factory Oil Cooler
Requires custom lines & mounting hardware. E30 Chassis has provisions for OEM mounting hardware. OEM Mounting Hardware part number listed below.
1984-1993 BMW E30 3-Series w/o Factory Oil Cooler
Requires lines, mounting hardware, and sandwich plate (or provision for oil hook up). E30 Chassis has provisions for OEM mounting hardware. OEM Mounting Hardware part numbers listed below.
The BMW OEM Parts Required for Retrofit:
– Body bracket: #17211719126 x 2
– Rubber grommet: #17211712839 x 2
– Grommet insert: #17211712844 x 2
– Grommet hex head screw: #07119916886 x 2
– Oil cooler O-rings: #17222245358 x 2
E30 Oil Cooler Mounting
Castro Motorsport explains how factory oil coolers mount to different BMW E30 Models. As well as the difference between the factory oil coolers and lines on the BMW E30 M3 and M20 Powered E30 3-Series.
All Late Model (After 09/87) E30 3-Series equipped with factory oil coolers use these inner mounting locations.
All E30 M3 Models & Early Model
(Up to 09/87) E30 3-Series equipped with factory oil coolers use these outer mounting locations.
All E30 Models come with both mounting location provisions from the factory. You can use either mounting location with the proper hardware. Therefore OEM Hardware can be used to mount the CSF #8218 Cooler whether your car was equipped with one from the factory or not. Note: Factory lines differ between the various models so changing your factory cooler style will require new/custom lines.
E30 M3 with Factory Lines
Here is an image of the CSF E30 Oil Cooler #8218 installed on an E30 M3 using the factory oil cooler lines. As you can see it mounts perfectly with the OEM hardware. There is ample clearance between the oil cooler and the front mount electric fan.
Most aftermarket condenser/auxiliary fans should have similar clearance. While it is unlikely that the a fan will cause a clearance issue with the cooler, it may limit your options on how you run your oil lines. Traditionally, the M20 oil cooler lines run above the cooler, and a large/think protruding auxiliary fan could make running new lines over the cooler more difficult.
Customers running turbo systems with a front mount intercooler (FMIC) maybe also have fitment issues.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding fitment conflicts with other aftermarket parts.
Where to Buy
Please contact an authorized CSF dealer or distributor to order.