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Practical Engine Building: Improving Oil Supply

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Improving Oil Supply


00:00 - One of the common reasons for an engine failure is due to a lack of lubricating oil to critical components such as the engine bearings.
00:08 When it comes time to assemble our engine, this does potentially give us some opportunity to correct deficiencies in the oil flow or oil supply path through the stock engine.
00:19 What we can achieve here is very dependent on the particular engine we're working on and of course what deficiencies there may be in the factory oil supply.
00:30 What we're really looking for here is anywhere that there are sharp edges in the oil supply pathway.
00:37 The oil doesn't really like making very sharp transitions around sharp corners so if there's sharp corners and transitions in the oil galleries, these can all add up to reduce the potential oil flow.
00:51 So for our demonstration here we're going to have a look at a couple of simple options, we're initially going to have a look at the Subaru FA20 front cover and we'll also have a look at a couple of minor modifications on an engine block as well.
01:04 Now with the Subaru FA20 front cover, this houses the oil pump assembly which is driven off the crankshaft.
01:12 So this picks the oil up from the sump, it then pumps it through the oil pump, transitions the oil out to the oil filter, then it comes back from the oil filter and is passed through the rest of the engine.
01:25 So anywhere that there's a flow restriction in this front cover is going to affect the oil supply to the rest of the engine.
01:34 In particular what we can see here is the two oil galleries where the oil is supplied up to the oil filter and then returns from the oil filter, both have quite sharp edges where the oil galleries are cast into the front cover and then final machined during manufacture.
01:52 So what I'm going to do here is simply get a die grinder and I'm going to smooth or radius all of those sharp edges.
01:59 What we're trying to do is just break down and radius any of those sharp edges to promote improved oil flow.
02:05 So let's go through that process now.
03:30 So that's the process we're going to go through when we're trying to improve the oil supply.
03:35 We're just going to be assessing our particular engine, looking for any sharp transitions in the oil flow pathway, and if we can get to those sharp transitions, we just want to chamfer or smooth them with our die grinder.
03:49 Now any time we're doing this, understandably we want to be very careful that we don't remove too much material.
03:55 The last thing we want to do is actually grind through a casting and end up destroying it.
04:01 Now that we've looked at modifying the front cover for our Subaru FA20, let's have a look at the process being applied on a cast iron engine block as well.
04:11 In this example we're going to be looking at the oil gallery supplying oil to the oil filter housing on a Toyota 1FZ engine.
04:19 Now as we can see here, the transition from the oil gallery into the oil filter is quite sharp, so what we're going to be doing is just using our die grinder again, radiusing those sharp edges and smoothing them out.
04:32 So let's do that now.
05:30 So I've just gone through the process there of chamfering that oil supply hole.
05:34 And it does take a little bit longer when we're dealing with a cast iron block, it's a little bit harder to remove that material.
05:41 Now when we're doing this process, we're not trying to end up with a polished finish.
05:45 All we're really trying to do is smooth out those transitions and take away any sharp edges.
05:51 And you can see that's exactly what we've got now.
05:54 The attention you place during this stage of the engine preparation is really going to depend on what you're trying to achieve.
06:01 Understandably if you're doing a basic freshen up on an otherwise standard engine, it's probably unlikely that you're going to need to go to this sort of effort.
06:10 If on the other hand you're building a high RPM, high powered engine, that's going to be running well in excess of where the original factory engine was designed to operate, then small details like this can really pay dividends with improving the life expectancy of your finished engine.

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