If you’re Bill Gates or that kid who owns Facebook, you can probably spare a million bucks more easily than a regular working man can cough up a thousand dollars. That’s just the way things go, so there’s no sense in being a hater. For car guys, this means that regardless of your budget, whether you have a $3,000 motor or a $23,000 motor in your street machine, you probably bought yourself as much horsepower as you could afford. Given all the cash that hot rodders are willing to dump into an engine without thinking twice, it’s somewhat peculiar that the oiling system is often an afterthought. Not only does the slick stuff touch just about every moving part in an engine, but even if you lose oil pressure for just the briefest of moments, the entire lump can go kaput. That’s not much breathing room, and considering all the money that’s at stake, perhaps it’s time to take oiling systems a bit more seriously.
Whenever the driver is having fun, the oiling system isn’t. Every time you entertain yourself by turning the wheel, stomping the brake pedal, or popping the transbrake, g-forces try their hardest to uncover the oil pump pickup. Fortunately, a little ingenuity goes a long way in fighting the forces of physics. Oil pans with kicked-out sumps, trapdoors, and baffles go a long way in keeping the oil where it should be, but there’s far more to it than that. Accumulator systems store an emergency supply of oil to save a motor if starvation becomes an issue, and the ultimate in oil control is a dry-sump system. Granted these are well-known facts, but as oiling system technology continues to rapidly advance, plenty of new innovations are out there to help keep an engine lubed and happy. Furthermore, proper oil management isn’t just about component longevity. Plenty of horsepower can be had by optimizing oil flow. To get educated on the latest trends in oiling technology, we contacted Thor Schroeder of Moroso Performance Products. The company has been on top of the oiling game for more than four decades, and proper oil control is far more involved than slapping on a pan and calling it a day.
Once an oil pan is bolted to an engine, it’s impossible to see what’s going on inside the crankcase. Consequently, during the design process we experiment with transparent oil pans, high-speed cameras, and strobe lights to try to document the affects of windage firsthand. Over the course of a year, Moroso performs hundreds and hundreds of dyno pulls using our in-house DTS dyno. During the development process of a new oil pan design, Moroso builds versions with transparent windows to analyze how different features affect windage and overall oil control. This is done so that when the oil pan hits the marketplace it will be a top performer. At Moroso, our oil pans are built using brand-new oil pan cores. We use a laser cutter to cut each sump so that the tolerances are the same from oil pan to oil pan. Conversely, cutting each oil pan core by hand leads to variations from core to core when matching up the fabricated sump with the oil pan core itself. All of our oil pans are designed using three-dimensional software for perfect fitment.