Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Raceline Wet Sump

I have never been entirely happy with my sump installation.  In particular, the fact that there is no baffling, with the consequent risk of oil surge when driving hard.  When building the car I had changed the standard Zetec oil pressure switch for a lower (15psi) version.  This at least should give some advance warning of oil pressure problems, but by the time it illuminates permanent damage to the engine may already have occurred.

In 2012 I did have one trip to Brands Hatch and one to Curborough Sprint Circuit.  While I had no oil pressure issues on these two occasions I started to think that I'd be pushing my luck with the three track sessions that I have booked this Spring.

So I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to the Raceline wet sump.  This is very highly rated by those that use it.  It is even used on many race cars.  Most racers considering it to be good enough that at upgrade to a full dry sump installation is not even necessary.

The old sump was removed without any major problems.  Then it was time to start preparing the Raceline sump ready for installation.

Here is the main pan.  It is a very nice piece of engineering and you can see where the effort has been spent on the design, the casting and the machining.

Here is the Ford windage tray, Raceline windage tray and oil pick up pipe, etc.

First the oil pick up pipe is installed, with two rubber o-rings to make a seal into the main pan.  A metal filter gauze is inserted into this pipe from the outside of the sump.  This can be removed and cleaned at oil changes, if required.

Next the Raceline windage tray is bolted into place.  This windage tray is one of the methods used to control oil surge.

After that the Ford windage tray is bolted to the Raceline windage tray.  The Ford windage tray is designed to 'scrape' oil of the crank and con-rods.  Helping the oil to fall to the bottom of the sump and not be whipped up into the main engine block.

Standard Zetec Silvertop sump gasket fitted along with oil drain plug and gauze filter plug.  There is a double top hat spacer with rubber o-rings fitted that makes the oil seal between the sump pan and the engine oil pump.

The sump itself fits very well.  The main issue, and one which consumed a lot of time, was getting access to all the sump bolts.  Many are hidden by things like the starter motor, engine mounts, etc.

The old Tiger ERA sump was higher than the gearbox bellhousing.  The Raceline sump is level with the bellhousing.  The previous sump had around 100mm of ground clearance, but unfortutately the Raceline sump only has about 65mm.  This is too little, especially as the car is used a lot on country lanes, where there is often a raised centre to the road.  So the springs on the front dampers were wound up by 20mm.  Due to the geometry of the wishbones this translates to an increase in ride height of about 35mm, i.e. back to around  100mm under the sump.  Result.  I will take a look at the rear ride height as soon as I can and get the car leveled again.

Before running the engine for the first time I removed the plugs and rotated the engine by hand (socket set on crankshaft pulley).  I wanted to make sure that the Ford windage tray was not fouling the crankshaft or con-rods.  Next, I took the spark plugs out and cranked over the engine until the oil pressure light went out.  Once this was done it was time to fire up the engine and go for a test drive.  I'm happy to report that so far all appears to be working fine and there are no leaks.  Roll on the good weather and some track time!

No comments:

Post a Comment