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Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

General engine tech -- Drag Racing to Circle Track

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hbps1978
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Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by hbps1978 »

All,
What can I do to improve my wet sump oiling system? I have a 1989 four bolt main hydraulic roller camshaft block. I'll be using a hydraulic roller camshaft in this engine. This engine will be in a weekend driver. Max rpm of this engine would be in the 5800-6000 rpm range. I will be using Comp Cams short travel lifters. The engine will have aluminum roller rocker arms.
What type of block modifications can I do to keep consistent oil pressure throughout the rpm range. What oil pan and oil pump? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by Walter R. Malik »

hbps1978 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:09 pm All,
What can I do to improve my wet sump oiling system? I have a 1989 four bolt main hydraulic roller camshaft block. I'll be using a hydraulic roller camshaft in this engine. This engine will be in a weekend driver. Max rpm of this engine would be in the 5800-6000 rpm range. I will be using Comp Cams short travel lifters. The engine will have aluminum roller rocker arms.
What type of block modifications can I do to keep consistent oil pressure throughout the rpm range. What oil pan and oil pump? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Use an oil pan which does not uncover the pick-up at any time. The importance of a well designed oil pan which controls oil slosh under all conditions is paramount.
Something designed for road racing will usually be a very good street HP pan.

Use a Melling "sharks tooth" pump ... they now have replacement cast iron body pumps with sharks tooth gears.
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by ProPower engines »

If your serious you can restrict the oil to the cam bearings a bit.
I use a .080'' insert to feed the cam bearings on oval track stuff. Its amazing how much oil will flow through a .080'' hole.
Like whats used on a Cleveland or M series Ford engine for serious race useage.
Also the lifter bore to lifter body clearance can be more then you really need/want so a lifter bushing job
will solve that.
Also you can machine the rear cap where the oil pump mounts to ensure it will seal perfectly.
You may consider a restricted push rod as well with a hyd. lifter being used if its a drag/street warrior.

Supply oil where its needed the most based on the intended use by restricting wasted oil flow elsewhere.
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by af2 »

ProPower engines wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:24 pm If your serious you can restrict the oil to the cam bearings a bit.
I use a .080'' insert to feed the cam bearings on oval track stuff. Its amazing how much oil will flow through a .080'' hole.
Like whats used on a Cleveland or M series Ford engine for serious race useage.
Also the lifter bore to lifter body clearance can be more then you really need/want so a lifter bushing job
will solve that.
Also you can machine the rear cap where the oil pump mounts to ensure it will seal perfectly.
You may consider a restricted push rod as well with a hyd. lifter being used if its a drag/street warrior.

Supply oil where its needed the most based on the intended use by restricting wasted oil flow elsewhere.
Yes!! 15 years and great oil pressure until the rod bolt broke. I run BB pumps though.
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by steve cowan »

ProPower engines wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:24 pm If your serious you can restrict the oil to the cam bearings a bit.
I use a .080'' insert to feed the cam bearings on oval track stuff. Its amazing how much oil will flow through a .080'' hole.
Like whats used on a Cleveland or M series Ford engine for serious race useage.
Also the lifter bore to lifter body clearance can be more then you really need/want so a lifter bushing job
will solve that.
Also you can machine the rear cap where the oil pump mounts to ensure it will seal perfectly.
You may consider a restricted push rod as well with a hyd. lifter being used if its a drag/street warrior.

Supply oil where its needed the most based on the intended use by restricting wasted oil flow elsewhere.
Does restricting the oil to cam bearings increase pressure and volume to lifters??
I have never owned a later model / vortec block, are they priority mains oiling, I suspect not??
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by steve cowan »

hbps1978 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:09 pm All,
What can I do to improve my wet sump oiling system? I have a 1989 four bolt main hydraulic roller camshaft block. I'll be using a hydraulic roller camshaft in this engine. This engine will be in a weekend driver. Max rpm of this engine would be in the 5800-6000 rpm range. I will be using Comp Cams short travel lifters. The engine will have aluminum roller rocker arms.
What type of block modifications can I do to keep consistent oil pressure throughout the rpm range. What oil pan and oil pump? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Deburr and contour oil return from heads to block, I have not used a sharks tooth pump but have used a Moroso billet pump for a couple of years but you need a 8 1/4" deep pan.when I use a 7 quart pan I only fill with 5 quarts and I always use a long oil filter.
The standard chev oil pump is still a excellent piece in my opinion, as said by pro power flat mating surfaces important and gear end float some thing to consider. I am making a fixture at the moment with a sump, clear acrylic, main cap and pressure guage, more of a project than anything, probably been all done before but need to see with my own eyes :D
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by ProPower engines »

Supply oil where its needed the most based on the intended use by restricting wasted oil flow elsewhere.
[/quote]
Does restricting the oil to cam bearings increase pressure and volume to lifters??
I have never owned a later model / vortec block, are they priority mains oiling, I suspect not??
[/quote]

Yes its will help out any part that needs more oil.
Just to be clear the restriction on a chevy is done with the hole diameter in the bearing. They can be ordered that way
I was doing a bunch of ford and mopar stuff and had insert restrictor on the brain but same thing applies.
The cam bearing just don't need 4000 gal's a second to lube it with w .260 hole size.

The cleveland and M series can should be restricted down as well. Funny thing about them is the front cam bearing has 2 feed holes so you need to block off 1 hole and restrict the other but its all in aid of keeping more oil going to the bearings then flooding the valve covers and creating a ton of windage. The lifters hyd. or solid can be restricted. I use a .110 restrictor on the rear main transfer location in the block where the 3 feed holes meet for the lifter bank.

But no a vortec block is no priority main oiling. They are the same as every other sm blk. GM produced.

One thing guys accept is too much main clearance because they just do not want to get the right main bearing set or sets to make it perfect. Rods same thing. As an example depending on who's rotating assembly your using the main and rod journals will differ from high to low spec dimensionally yet they all come with a set of std. bearings for both right??
Now lets say you have a set of eagle rods and a scat crank just because they were a good deal.

Now most scat cranks are right on low limit for the mains most times and the eagle rods are on the high side of spec.
Use a std. bearing and most times ya get .003 + depending on the bearings. And they always give you the cheaper version of the bearings in the SI series of King bearings. They have there place but for most they want a tri metal bearing but to get closer you need a std and a +.001 set to get it where it needs to be for most applications between .0022-.0025.

But if you use the .001"" for each inch of journal diameter and a 1/10th for every .100 of diameter as a rule till you figure out how tight you can be you won't have too much clearance.
The other thing is full grooved mains cut down the amount of rod clearance you can get away with. Like mopars they can be snugged up on the rods a bit with a full groove main bearing set and live a long and happy life
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by steve cowan »

Dave,
thank you for you response,much appreciated,i have been in the situation with bearing clearances you have mentioned.
i have read over the years with you circle track experience so i have a question if you dont mind-
is the any benefit in running a oil feed line from the plug on the outside of the block at oil filter boss area to the oil gallery plug on the front of a gen 1 block??
my thought is oil feeding from both ends,has this been done before?? i have never seen it.
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by steve cowan »

Dave,
thank you for you response,much appreciated,i have been in the situation with bearing clearances you have mentioned.
i have read over the years with you circle track experience so i have a question if you dont mind-
is the any benefit in running a oil feed line from the plug on the outside of the block at oil filter boss area to the oil gallery plug on the front of a gen 1 block??
my thought is oil feeding from both ends,has this been done before?? i have never seen it.
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by ProPower engines »

I have done that many times. It does ensure the crank gets oiled from both ends.
I thought it was better then just relying on the small single 1/2 " galley to feed all the mains etc. since the oil goes from the rear to front in the block itself I have just add'ed a #8 line from the rear to the front. Never seen any issue with doing it.

Just looked for some easy insurance to oil the front of the crank.
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by steve cowan »

good information Dave
thank you :D
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by tenxal »

hbps1978 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:09 pm All, What can I do to improve my wet sump oiling system? I have a 1989 four bolt main hydraulic roller camshaft block. I'll be using a hydraulic roller camshaft in this engine. This engine will be in a weekend driver. Max rpm of this engine would be in the 5800-6000 rpm range. I will be using Comp Cams short travel lifters. The engine will have aluminum roller rocker arms.
What type of block modifications can I do to keep consistent oil pressure throughout the rpm range. What oil pan and oil pump? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
For your application, there just isn't a whole lot needed. A decent standard volume oil pump (don't fall into the high volume/high pressure trap) like the Melling 10553 (use the yellow spring), make sure the pick up tube is 3/8" from the bottom of the pan, weld the pickup tube to the pump body, a decent oil pan (Champ and Milodon make good pans) and use a quality oil filter like the Wix 'R' series or the NAPA Gold. Baldwin is another good one. Avoid the standard Fram or AC filters like the plague.

One of the biggest contributors to steady oil pressure is lifter bore clearance, This is an area that's very overlooked but crucial. After market lifters tend to be all over the place on O.D. so have a competent machinist check the lifter bores for dimension before ordering lifters. Spend the time to do your homework on the lifters before you buy. Shoot for a minimum of .0015 and no more than .002 lifter to bore clearance. Keep the rod and main clearances around .0025.

Enjoy your project!
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by Walter R. Malik »

steve cowan wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:12 pm
ProPower engines wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:24 pm If your serious you can restrict the oil to the cam bearings a bit.
I use a .080'' insert to feed the cam bearings on oval track stuff. Its amazing how much oil will flow through a .080'' hole.
Like whats used on a Cleveland or M series Ford engine for serious race useage.
Also the lifter bore to lifter body clearance can be more then you really need/want so a lifter bushing job
will solve that.
Also you can machine the rear cap where the oil pump mounts to ensure it will seal perfectly.
You may consider a restricted push rod as well with a hyd. lifter being used if its a drag/street warrior.

Supply oil where its needed the most based on the intended use by restricting wasted oil flow elsewhere.
Does restricting the oil to cam bearings increase pressure and volume to lifters??
I have never owned a later model / vortec block, are they priority mains oiling, I suspect not??
Other than roller cam bearings or soldering the holes closed in the plain cam bearings and re-drilling new holes, I don't know of any other way to restrict oil to the camshaft with an O.E.M. small block Chevrolet block.
Maybe some of these intelligent engine builders here must have a way, though.

On an everyday street engine, I think I'd want normal oil up top to cool the valve springs.
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by ClassAct »

tenxal wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:08 am
hbps1978 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:09 pm All, What can I do to improve my wet sump oiling system? I have a 1989 four bolt main hydraulic roller camshaft block. I'll be using a hydraulic roller camshaft in this engine. This engine will be in a weekend driver. Max rpm of this engine would be in the 5800-6000 rpm range. I will be using Comp Cams short travel lifters. The engine will have aluminum roller rocker arms.
What type of block modifications can I do to keep consistent oil pressure throughout the rpm range. What oil pan and oil pump? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
For your application, there just isn't a whole lot needed. A decent standard volume oil pump (don't fall into the high volume/high pressure trap) like the Melling 10553 (use the yellow spring), make sure the pick up tube is 3/8" from the bottom of the pan, weld the pickup tube to the pump body, a decent oil pan (Champ and Milodon make good pans) and use a quality oil filter like the Wix 'R' series or the NAPA Gold. Baldwin is another good one. Avoid the standard Fram or AC filters like the plague.

One of the biggest contributors to steady oil pressure is lifter bore clearance, This is an area that's very overlooked but crucial. After market lifters tend to be all over the place on O.D. so have a competent machinist check the lifter bores for dimension before ordering lifters. Spend the time to do your homework on the lifters before you buy. Shoot for a minimum of .0015 and no more than .002 lifter to bore clearance. Keep the rod and main clearances around .0025.

Enjoy your project!


THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^

You have to work pretty hard to have an oiling issue with a SBC. In fact you have to do something to screw it up. A good pan with a good pick up and as long as the clearances aren't retarded, that thing will oil to 10k plus.
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Re: Small block Chevy wet sump oiling improvement

Post by dannobee »

Take the two lifter galley plugs out in the back of the block and use these restrictors. Drill them out to 0.080" if it makes you feel better. Used them for years in circle track engines.

https://www.moroso.com/oil-restrictor-kit22010/
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