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Dry-sump engines - cooling the oil

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Many fundamental decisions have to be made when it comes to cooling an engine in the chassis. Do we have one radiator or perhaps two? Do we place them at the front of the car or at the side - or possibly, if more weight is required over the rear wheels, can we get adequate cooling by placing it at the rear? To those assigned with cooling the engine and students of vehicle design, these decisions are no doubt all too familiar. But when it comes to the oil system, however, especially...

Scavenging the turbo

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In any dry-sump engine application the task of getting the oil out of the sump is often much harder than putting it in. This is because oil tends to flow better at the 3-4 bar pressure at the outlet of a pump than it does at the 0-0.7 bar depression of the oil-air mixture at the inlet. For this reason you will often see at least two scavenge stages emanating from the sump of a dry-sump engine and possibly another from each of any cylinder heads. For a vee engine, therefore, we are likely...

Pump gear teeth

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What is the difference between a gear tooth in a gearbox and that in an oil pump? In case you were expecting some form of witty answer I'm afraid I'll have to disappoint you. For although at first glance the two might appear to be the same, in reality the tasks they are being asked to undertake are very different. In the case of the transmission, the object is to transfer the tangential force from one rotating shaft to that of another, while for the pump it is not so much the...

The swirl tank

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The advantages of a good dry-sump system over that of a good wet-sump design in a race engine can be broadly stated as those of installation and oil control. The low-line sump pan in the dry-sump installation enables a significantly lower crankshaft centre line and the ability to control the movement of the oil to avoid 'surge' when accelerating, braking or cornering. Once we have removed the oil from the engine, however, one disadvantage is getting back into a state whereby we can...

The Roots-type scavenge pump

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I suppose it's the mechanical engineer in me but ever since I can remember I have always been fascinated by complex curves. It may have been the Spirograph I received as a child, rolling one circle around another to produced a series of intriguing spirals. Or it could have been the Lissajous figures describing complex harmonic motion later on at university. Either way, the complex geometries produced in such a simple way left a major impression. The geometry of the gerotor oil pump is...