Push your muscle car to the limit, and sooner or later you may run into some oiling issues. Since we've already covered basic oil system tech in the past, we decided to focus our efforts on hard-core racing applications this time around. So if you've ever cracked a cast oil pump from repeated wheelstands, sucked a pan dry while barreling down the corkscrew at Laguna Seca, or can't keep oil from whipping around the crank in your 8,500-rpm small-block, then this story's for you. For expert guidance, we sought out the advice of Thor Schroeder of Moroso, Mike Zeranski Jr. of Canton Racing Products, and Bob Sanders of Titan Speed Engineering. Now get schooled and stay lubed.
Thor Schroeder: "Maintaining oil control can be a challenge in road race vehicles that see constantly changing cornering loads. Moroso's road race oil pans feature sumps shaped like an upside down 'T.' This shape serves many purposes. One benefit is that it allows for extra oil capacity without reducing ground clearance. This is important since road race and autocross cars are often lower to the ground for handling and braking purposes. Likewise, proper road race oil pans must have trap door baffling, which are hinged pieces of sheetmetal that open up to a 45-degree angle during acceleration, cornering, and in some cases braking. The trap door baffles are attached to sheetmetal dividers, so during hard acceleration a trap door baffle will swing open and release a pocket of oil that has been held back by the divider. The released oil then feeds the oil pump pickup and keeps it submerged the entire time. The sides of the sumps that tee out are called wings, which hold pockets of oil that are held by trap door baffling integrated into each side. When a car takes hard right or left turn, the trap door on the opposite side opens up and releases oil to feed the oil pump pickup. When the trap door closes, the reserve of oil builds back up in order to be ready for the next time that it's needed. In the coming months, we will be expanding our line of multi-baffled road race oil pans."
Mike Zeranski Jr.: "Canton's road race oil pans are designed to provide the oil control necessary to maintain oil pressure and reduce horsepower loss, and are available for a wide range of popular chassis configurations. Deep-sump and T-sump designs extend the oil pan sump deeper or to the sides. This expands the oil pan's capacity while still providing clearance for the crossmember, steering components, and exhaust system. This extra capacity helps prevent oil starvation by providing additional oil to feed the demands of a high-performance engine. To control that oil and keep it directed to the oil pump pickup, we use baffling systems designed to work with the oil pan sump design. Our baffle systems use a combination of precisely positioned oil runners, one-way trap door baffles, and slosh baffles. Oil runners bring oil moving across the bottom of the pan toward the opening in the trap door baffle. The trap door baffle opens to allow oil into the compartment around the oil pickup, then shuts to prevent oil from moving away. The slosh baffle keeps the oil in the sump from splashing up away from the pickup. This not only keeps oil close to the pickup for scavenging, but keeps it from splashing into the rotating crank and absorbing horsepower."