I've read here that the Cadillac (97-01 Catera and 03-04 CTS) and Saab (~2000 9-5 SE 6 cylinder) use the same basic engine.
In an attempt to save some cash, I decided to order up an oil cooler for a Cadillac to see if it would work. The Cadillac part was $230 whereas the Saab part is $460+.
The part arrived and I physically compared the two oil coolers. As far as the dimensions are concerned, they are as close to identical as they need to be. No worries about fitment whatsoever.
However, the two oil coolers do exhibit differences in materials and construction:
(1) The Cadillac oil cooler is steel whereas the Saab oil cooler is aluminum. I know that aluminum conducts heat better than steel, so this difference has me concerned.
(2) The Cadillac oil cooler joins the various flow paths with small tubes whereas the Saab oil cooler uses corrugated aluminum, very similar to a radiator. Again, it looks as though the Saab part would dissipate heat better than the Cadillac part.
A couple of questions come to mind:
(1) Is the Cadillac engine substantially different in some manner such that it requires less oil cooling???
(2) How much of a risk is there in using the Cadillac part rather than the Saab part???
My gut reaction is that these parts are different for a reason and that I should forget the price difference and order the proper Saab part. Opinions and related experience welcome!
Photos here: http://thisoldtractor.com/gtbender/saab/
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