From high profile low-production shops like Singer and Guntherwerks, to boutique specialist like SV Auto who only build a handful of cars every year, there is no shortage of talented and experienced mechanics building hot-rod, resto-mod, and restored Air-Cooled Porsche 911s, many of these shops being daily customers of SSF. Through state-of-the-art distribution networks, builders now have easier access than ever before to top manufacturers of performance hard parts and software from around the globe to help merge classic Porsche style with 2022 technology.
Billet intake plenums, combined with Formula-1 level servo-units controlling drive-by-wire engine management systems through mil-spec wiring harnesses on top of built engines – how sophisticated and technical air-cooled Porsche engines have become.
5 years ago, if someone would have told you that their naturally aspirated 911 makes 400hp, you’d laugh at them, roll your eyes, and call them a liar. If someone told you that today, you’d raise a brow, but you would think twice about second guessing them. Porsche engine development has become so sophisticated, power levels seeing on dyno sheets floating on the internet seemed to be getting one-upped by a new “up and coming” builder or enthusiast on a monthly basis. With all of that power, comes more heat generated by the engine. This is where my company, CSF Cooling, has answered the call with innovative, high performance, air-cooled oil cooler solutions for Porsche 911.
The CSF 911 world debut at last year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. Placing in the top 12 of the show’s Battle of the Builders competition, and showcasing CSF’s new line of front bumper oil coolers.
The CSF 911 in its natural habitat at California Speedway at the Falken Tire Invitational private track day.
The hottest word today in the Porsche lexicon is “backdate”. Everyone is looking for that classic 70’s look. Whether they’re chasing the period-correct classic 911 look, or something more race inspired with a ’73 RS style front bumper, or maybe even wanting to go more aggressive with the later IROC style massive opened-mouth front bumper.
Both the 73’ RS style and IROC style front bumpers both have functional bottom center front oil cooler pockets. These additional oil coolers were needed to help keep race cars cool in demanding competitive environments, especially when drafting behind other cars where direct air-flow sometimes was inadequate, or in hot weather climates in busy summer racing months.
’73 RS / RSR Bumpers and Proper Oil Cooling
Slightly smaller than the larger IROC bumpers, this is the perfect look for a balanced blend of street car and race. Many people swap to this type of bumper but often keep the oil cooler opening closed off or take an even bigger shortcut by leaving the oil cooler cavity empty behind a mesh screen. If a center oil cooler has been added into the cooling loop, they’re often universal oil coolers which have had to be retro-fitted in to work, not designed to fit the bumper it’s being installed in. 99% of the time, they’re an afterthought often being installed after paint and body.
Blocked off RS style bumper on the left and wider RSR style bumper on the right with mesh screen blocking off the empty cavity.
The proper way to install one of these coolers is to cut the front tub to create more exit airflow for optimal cooling. This also allows proper routing of the lines to go straight back and around the oil cooler, as well as allows the additions of small fans to be used to pull airflow when the car is idling (i.e possibly sitting in traffic or pit lane).
The CSF 911 back from paint, with front tub cut for front oil cooler placement. This allows better airflow through the cooler with additional space behind the cooler for adding a fan shroud.
In 2021, while I was building my own 911, I developed two new oil coolers to work perfectly for these bumpers – one a dual-pass cooler to allow the cooler to work in series with the right front fender oil cooler (which we’ve also developed), or as a single stand-alone cooler. The other being a single-pass design which can be used in high horsepower or race set-ups where there are two fender oil coolers (one on each side).
CSF oil coolers made perfectly for Porsche bumpers
The bigger front cavity allows for more room between the inside of the front bumper and the front tub. The CSF IROC style oil cooler comes with a slight 15 degree tapered female ports to allow the oil cooler lines to hug the contour of the front bumper without having to cut or modify the bumper or tub. This is the latest solution for enthusiast looking for the race look as well as the added performance of a larger oil cooler. And it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than trying to source a $10,000 used vintage RSR Porsche motorsports cooler!
A new CSF IROC style oil cooler compared to a 70’s RSR cooler costing ~5,000-$10,000 used and extremely hard to find.
CSF’s oil cooler showing perfect fitment on the inside of a IROC style front bumper.
Front Right Fender “Carrera” Style Oil Cooler
- 65-73 911’s came with no front oil cooler (very few (and rare) 911S models from 69-73 came with a plate type tube/fin oil cooler)
- 74-83 911’s came with a brass tube style oil cooler known as the “trombone” style
- 84-89 911’s came with an actual tube/fin style cooler often know as a “Carrera” style cooler
A “trombone” style cooler (top) vs. a new CSF “Carrera” style OEM+ oil cooler with “Wide-Mouth” high-flow fittings.
As builders and enthusiast have started to hot-rod engines of these older cars, full retro-fit kits have become popular for older cars. Kit builders are supplying customers with new lines, proper mounting brackets, horn relocation brackets, additional fans, and all the fittings needed to complete the installation. Many now choosing CSF’s new OEM+ oil cooler because of better performance, better technology, the coolers being readily available along with a better price point compared to trying to source a new oil cooler from Porsche. More features allow for more set-up configurations compared to the original oil cooler invented almost 40 years ago!
Comparing an original Carrera style cooler from the 80’s to a new CSF oil cooler. Make sure you to check your customer’s oil cooling system for clogging and corrosion during their next maintenance appointment, it may be time to change especially before summer.
Full Oil cooler kit system consisting of a CSF right fender oil cooler and IROC front bumper oil cooler with all the items necessary for installation.
My own 911 that I debuted at last year’s SEMA show churns out almost 400whp out of my custom built 3.9L 993 motor swapped into my 82 SC backdate. I chose to run both one of my new right fender oil coolers as well as a dual-pass ’73 style front bumper oil cooler. In my left fender, instead of running an additional oil cooler, I chose to shoe-horn in a 986 Boxster A/C condenser for my electric AC set-up.
A great solution for ultimate oil cooling with the modern comforts of A/C
Even on the hottest day, and after either sitting in traffic or beating on my car at California Speedway, I’ve still yet to see over 80*C on my gauge (that’s 180 degrees F) – Going into summer, it’s time to get COOL and Stay COOL – CSF and SSF have you covered!
The CSF 911 was a top 12 finalist at this year’s SEMA Show – Battle of the Builders Competition
SSF Auto Parts (Wholesale Distributor) are the European Repair Specialist’s complete source for auto parts. Their goal is to provide their clients the most comprehensive, quality coverage for German, Swedish and British vehicles, excellent customer care, and rapid dependable service.