What is the Best Oil Cooler? Earl's UltraPro Oil Coolers

What is the Best Oil Cooler? Earl's UltraPro Oil Coolers


OR...What is the best oil cooler for YOUR SPECIFIC APPLICATION?

 By Jean Genibrel 09-22-2023

The best oil cooler/oil heat exchanger/oil radiator/oil-lubricant cooling device (no matter what you call it) may not be right for your scenario. Only the right unit will best suit your needs! We believe that Earl's UltraPro is the best available, but you must choose the right size for your needs.


coolers gang
coolers gang shot

 AppliedSpeed.com offers nearly 100 oil coolers from Earl's UltraPro oil radiators. They are all of the best construction and design. With AppliedSpeed.com, you can choose your part by its category like engine, transmission, gearbox, power steering, differential, and then identify your application, like engine power, and the vehicle's loaded weight.


Do You Want or Need to Cool The Lubricants of Your Car, Jeep or Truck?

Do you want (need!?) to install an oil cooler in your passenger car, truck, motorhome, RV, Jeep, off-road vehicle, street rod, or race car? You may think that your vehicle is already equipped with the necessary equipment from the factory, but remember that cars are built for "normal driving". 

OK, so you think "My transmission (engine oil) is not getting hot"; but an oil cooler is preventive! Should the weather heat up, or if you travel over long hills, against wind storms or slippery conditions like in snow, mud or ice, then your ride needs additional cooling.

But how do you know which unit is the right one for your application, like for an engine, an automatic or manual transmission, a differential, or power steering?

AppliedSpeed.com offers transmission and power steering cooler kits for Jeeps by B&M Racing. The kits are easy to install and they protect street driven Jeeps as well as those used off-road, and rock crawling with big tires.



Older and newer muscle cars are highly popular on the street and at the track. Keeping temperatures under control becomes essential after the "more power" bug bites. Under that condition, the water radiator is insufficient to cool the oil and the transmission; damage will happen, even with new parts. New LS and Coyote engines have become favorite engine swaps that require cooling help with the engine oil and transmission, even with a low stall speed torque converter. How do you know what size and type to buy? In AppliedSpeed.com click on the appropriate category and choose the horsepower range of your engine. 

How do I Choose the RIGHT Oil Cooler for My Scenario?

The Problem!

"The fine needlework of online marketers and slick salesmen"

Most manufacturers and mass marketers sell all types and brands of "oil coolers," but at the end of the day, they leave you to guess which one best suits your needs. 

Mass sellers do not even know where their cooling parts come from or whether they suit engines, transmissions, or what. So instead, they sell them by the BTU capacity and "number of rows" as if that helps you pick the right unit for your application.

Those are unacceptable methods and they do not help you make the right choice.

What is more, there are many parts of questionable design and quality on the market. By assuming, you will end up with a cooler that is too small or too large, wrong outlets, or improper construction for your intended use.

The Solution!

Introducing AppliedSpeed's Four Click Method©!  A  Seamless Experience in Identifying the Precise Oil Cooler for Your Particular Scenario to Choose the Right Earl's UltraPro Oil Cooler.

AppliedSpeed.com's extensive experience in motorsports and performance ­­­has partnered with a new generation of web design and product integration specialists to create synergy to devise the Four Click Method© for a seamless path to the exact purpose-made Earl's UltraPro oil cooler for your specific needs.


Late-model Muscle Cars have more power than those of older generations. In addition, the engines are larger, and the engine bays are very crowded. All those added attractions create heat, and the engine bay becomes an air trap that plugs up the air flow, increasing the need to cool the transmission and the engine.
 How do you know what size and type of oil radiator to buy for your application? In AppliedSpeed.com, to cool the engine oil, click on "Oil Coolers," then "Engine Oil Coolers" on the tile on the home page, and choose the horsepower range of your engine. You can follow the same process for your transmission, differential, or power steering and pick the exact Earl's UltraPro oil cooler for your own needs, not what the kid at the parts store said you need.


Later, from the list of suggestions, pick the one that best suits your plans for the car, perhaps the weight of the trailer you may tow, and the environment where you use the vehicle.

When done with your choice, save it to the cart and go to hoses, accessories, and then fittings in that order.


The Four Click Method©

First Click: Click on "Oil Coolers" on the left dropdown menu or the tile on the main page.  "Collection List" appears.

Second Click: In "Collection List", there you select the unit type of Earl's UltraPro oil cooler to fill your specific scenario, like engine, manual or automatic transmission, differential, and power steering with or without fans 

Third Click: Choose your Earl's UltraPro based on horsepower, weight, function like towing, racing, off-roading, Jeep, etc.

Last Click Save to cart. Then select your fittings and hose 

 Charts for cooler applications

The chart above identifies the vehicles, the activities, and the applications that require an Earl's UltraPro oil cooler. Note the legend at the bottom of the chart.

 Miatas NASASuper Modifieds

All racecars can benefit from an Earl's UltraPro engine oil radiator, from the small Mazda Miatas that form the bulk of SCCA and NASA competition to the high horsepower circle track Super Modifieds. High power racers like Super Modifieds also use power steering and differential fluid radiators due to their high torque engines, huge tires, heavy downforce, and caster stagger in the front suspension and rear tire stagger.


AppliedSpeed.com, with the "Four Click Method©," has distinguished the Earl's Ultrapro oil coolers they sell from Holley's companies like Earl's Performance and B&M in five categories of purpose-made units to fit your exact needs.

Now, you can find a suitable oil radiator for your application and the usage of your vehicle in five categories.

Those categories are for:

  1. Engine Oil
  2. Automatic Transmission Fluid
  3. Differential Oil
  4. Manual Transmission Oil
  5. Power Steering Fluid

Simply click on the category appropriate to your needs and follow the prompts until you get to the right cooling parts for your application. Then choose the best one by its effective cooling surface area.



Earl's has developed Earl's UltraPro oil coolers with the experience of Carroll Smith nd Smokey Yunick to develop the Earl's UltraPro line of oil coolers identifiable by their surface area to satisfy any requirements.

AppliedSpeed.com's Four Click Method© selector identifies its oil coolers by their effective surface area as the most critical factor in comparing the cooling ability between nearly 100 Earl's oil radiators. 

The surface covered by the fins and the tubes of the radiator defines the effective surface cooling area. All AppliedSpeed coolers are listed according to their effective surface cooling area to allow you to choose a lubricant radiator to fit your application, your driving habits, and the climate you anticipate to face.


 AppliedSpeed's Four Click Method© and its effective cooling surface area allows you to choose the type of vehicle, its horsepower, and its weight, and you decide based on the environment the coolers will be facing. 

So, if you need to cool your 400-horsepower muscle car, AppliedSpeed.com displays oil coolers in a range that matches the horsepower output and usage of the vehicle, like racing, cruising, towing, off-roading, Jeep, or just street use.

Yes, But What if The Coolers Suggested by The Four Click Method© Cover a Wide Range? 

In Comes The Effective Cooling Surface Area.

The effective cooling surface area concept has been developed by Earl's Performance engineers to help you choose within the range of the coolers displayed based on your environment, your engine's horsepower, towing weight, and possible future power enhancements.

For example, a higher requirement should receive a larger surface area and for a lower demand, choose a unit with a smaller cooling area within the range given.

The quantity of oil contained in the system also affects your choice. For example, a dry-sump system or an engine equipped with an extra capacity oil pan may use a part number in the lower range of the list in the AppliedSpeed.com Four Click Method©. 


 This Earl's UltraPro part 210ERL displays typical Earl's generously sized inlets with US threads that accommodate fittings up to -14 (7/8-inch) for improved flow and most effective cooling. The large side tanks gather the fluid to disperse it into the tubes evenly, ensuring maximum cooling effectiveness, core strength, and minimum pressure loss. Note the large mounting ears at all four corners. 



 The Best Lubricant Cooler is The One That is Right For Your Needs!

Earl's Ultrapro oil radiators are all made of the best materials, welding, fins, and tube design, but "best" should also mean "right for the application." Earl's part number 425ERL is one of the units available from the company. With a surface cooling area of 84.5 square inches, it would be inadequate for an engine of 500 horsepower, and it would be overkill for a power steering system. However, it would suit a muscle car with 325 horsepower that is street-driven and occasionally drag-raced.



The fins of an Earl's oil radiator swirl the passing air to remove as much heat from the oil as possible. The fins are corrugated into "V" shapes to further increase the rigidity of the radiators with this triangulating pattern. When brazed to the tubes, they provide a natural conductive bridge for the heat to travel to the cool air.


Answer: It is The One That is Purpose-Made for your Application




 RVs with overhangs and a trailer in tow are  likely candidates for coolers as road racing or circle track racing cars. RVs and racing cars use an engine, transmission, power steering, manual transmission, and differential cooler to overcome the additional heat created by the engine's power and other conditions such as hills, headwinds, and repeated shifting. AppliedSpeed.com's Four Click Method© directs you to the right oil radiator for your application to meet your demands and requirements.

413erl413erl earl's cooler





 When looking for the right oil cooler for your application, the effective surface area is the most important feature to assess over other specifications like the number of rows. Earl's 413ERL on the left of the image above sports 13 rows, and it has 52 square inches of effective surface area. On the right, Earl's part number 234ERL contains 34 rows with an effective cooling surface area of 66.8 square inches. The 234ERL has 2.6 times the number of tubes/rows compared to the 413ERL, yet it only contains 1.28 times the effective cooling area of the 413ERL. Effective cooling surface area wins.


What is "Purpose-Made for Your Application"?

1.      If you have been surfing the net for a device to cool your automotive lubricants, you have noticed that most of those sell under rather generic and "universal" categories.

Many resellers and manufacturers gloat at how great their coolers are, but none tell you which ones are right for your application. To select, you must sift through page after page of oil radiators that may be too big, too small, or of the wrong construction for your scenario. To "simplify" things, a manufacturer goes as far as to suggest buying "...the largest possible cooler and limit the flow with a thermostat!"

2.      Some manufacturers only list the number of tubes, or rows, the oil coolers have, and their BTUs as if that data is supposed to help you choose which unit is most suitable for your needs. Instead, choose from a manufacturer like Earl's performance who displays the effective cooling surface area like withe the Earl's UltraPro to give you a choice to best suit your application.

The requirements should be identified by you and only you to point toward the right cooling unit for your application. The AppliedSpeed.com oil cooler menu selector helps you to determine the right Earl's UltraPro for your application.


The Right Oil Cooler? What is the Right One? What is the Best Oil Cooler?

  1. The right one is purpose-made for your application, such as for the engine, auto or manual transmission, differential, and power steering.
  1. The right one is from a supplier that uses the effective cooler surface area for your easy comparison such as the Earl's UltraPro coolers.                                                           
  2. The right one is of the correct construction for your application. The proper structure for all applications for effectiveness and durability is the Stacked Plate design with internal tube oil turbulators. Other critical factors include fin design, brazed welding, and extensive port dimensions.
  1. The right one has adequate surface area and port dimensions to keep the temperature within an acceptable range and limit pressure loss.
  1. The right one is from a well-established manufacturer with extensive experience in cooling products and fluid conveyance like Earl's Performance and B&M Racing.
  1. When you choose the right cooler, it is sufficient to maintain the fluid temperature and to minimize pressure drop.


Tube and fin cooler

 Tube-and-fin types are the least effective and reliable oil coolers. Their design stems from old kitchen refrigeration technology where the fluid that passes through condensers is gaseous, so back pressure is not an issue. However, in automotive, the long tubes create a loss of pressure that renders those radiators unacceptable for at least the higher viscosity lubricants. For high performance applications, the low efficiency of the tube-and-fin coolers would require a surface area up to ten times the effective surface cooling area of the stacked plate design. What's more, the large size of the tube and fin types weighs down and weakens the structure, which renders these units unacceptable in off-road and dirt racing. 



  • In AppliedSpeed.com's categories, manual transmission and differential units are identified by the power the engine they are attached to produces.
  • AppliedSpeed.com suggests a list of several units in a various effective cooling surface areas for each application.
  • Now suppose the buyer wishes to install power adders, or he/she faces other situations that would initially increase the oil cooler's requirements. In that case, they can choose a larger effective cooling surface area.
  • Think: Manufacturers build their vehicles for "normal" use! Unfortunately, this approach does not include driving in hotter climates, towing, racing, and those who operate in a more spirited manner do not fall in the "normal" driving category.






Share this post...

Previous post Next post


  • James Ryan - August 31, 2022

    You guys nailed it. Choosing an oil cooler is like buying shoes. You need the right size to work properly. Your way of choosing an oil cooler is the best. I used to try and pick through the “number of tubes,” but it did not mean anything. Now I have a way to help my customers. https://appliedspeed.com/blogs/tech/choosing-the-right-and-best-oil-cooler-for-your-needs

Leave a comment