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Any hose will do?

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Oil flow within an engine is something that is given great consideration during the design stage, be it by a manufacturer of a commercial unit or a bespoke race engine. However, ancillaries such as oil coolers and dry-sump systems are sometimes not subject to the same level of scrutiny. This can often be the case when the engine is being fitted to a car without the involvement of the engine constructor. Obviously correct sizing of the 'plumbing' is important - there is little point...

Oil tanks

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Where regulations allow, most racecars run a dry-sump oil system, with the engine lubricant scavenged from the crankcase and stored in an external tank. This allows for a higher degree of oil control, a reduction in the possibility of oil surge and starvation, better de-aeration of the oil and, where applicable, a reduction in installation height thanks to the elimination of the sump pan. The design of the oil storage tank is of vital importance to the efficiency of the system, with the...

Oil coolers - the Laminova

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Engine oil is rather like that famous brand of lager that is said to refresh the parts other beers cannot reach, for in cooling the piston undercrown, valvetrain and bearings it is clearly performing a function in those areas inaccessible to the engine coolant. As in the case of the engine cooling system, this heat eventually has to be distributed into the passing air surrounding the vehicle. For many years, and where natural flow of air around the sump was insufficient, the most common...

The oil pressure relief valve, or when to leave it alone!

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In the world of automotive engineering there is a strong belief that unreliability creeps in when humans interfere. Take servicing the engine oil system, for instance. Consisting of a pump, a filter, some bearings and one or two other components - not forgetting, of course, the oil - when assembled under the cleanest of conditions and serviced regularly to the same standards, we can expect the engine to last for the full design life (generally at least 150,000 miles, or 240,000 km) and...

The wet sump

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When it comes to any form of competition engine, I prefer my oil systems to be like my Martinis - dry. But as 99% or more of the engines in the world store their oil immediately below the crankcase, it will come as no surprise that some race regulations insist that this arrangement must be retained. And apart from having to mount the engine a little higher in the chassis and the ever-present issue of oil surge on corners and under braking/acceleration, other problems, sometimes totally...