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Aluminum Oil Sump - experience


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Hello All, 

Having my oil sump off, I think about exchanging it to a aluminum one. I like the seal surface compared with the original one especially when used with paper seal.

Further advantages like improved cooling ...

It has been reported that leakages may be an issue due to porosity. Difficult to belief as standard on modern cars...

Any input and experience appreciated.

Cheers

Oliver

www.limora.com/de/oelwanne-115011.html

 

 

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A oft-mentioned argument against  the use of an aluminium sump is that castings tend to be (relatively) fragile to impact.  ie. they can fracture or puncture a hole through with consequential very-rapid loss of engine oil.   The original pressed steel ones will take a whole lot of bashing, and that may lead them to seep a little oil ..but unless you're very unlucky indeed, total loss is unlikely.    Accordingly, not recommended.  Improved cooling is better achieved in other ways.

Pete

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Original alloy sumps hang below the chassis.

Shorter versions are available but may require a special oil pump pick up to allow sump fitment.

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Hi Oliver,

I like the idea of a aluminum oil pan very much, but...

a TR4 driver with a oil temperature gauge told me the problem with oil temperature is - it's mostly too cold,

Before you buy the oil pan ask for its heigh and check: is it still between the frame or lower (touching the ground first).

Ciao, Marco

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Oliver

i went this route and it opens a can of worms IF you fit a temperature gauge to the Ali sump ( just fit a plug !!)

as the tr 4pot oil doesn’t get hot.

they do sit a little lower than the steel ones  

but it’s a personal choice in the end  

it is just bling it’s not “needed” .

steel ones can leak but if the edge to the block is properly fettled it should be ok.

and all the engines other leaks will still drip off the blots of an Ali sump  !!

my new engine has the Ali sump fitted and an oil cooler and all properly sorted  by professionals 

 

 

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As Pete mentions, alloy sump is vulnerable in really rough conditions, which, Graham Robson told me, is why the standard steel unit was used on the TR4 Rally cars. 

Even if bashed really hard (and it happened occasionally!), most of the oil remained inside.

However, I don't rally my car and I must admit to having had an alloy sump fitted when the car was rebuilt in the early 1990s.  The oil gets decently hot, but I would never fit an oil cooler as it doesn't get that hot!

Ian Cornish

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The 1950's Sunbeam motorcycles I ride have an all alloy engine with a cast aluminium sump.  The engine is 'wet sump' and because its oil capacity is marginal (many of us think 'inadequate') it is common practice to fit a 20mm cast aluminium spacer (sump extension) between the sump and the engine case, to increase the engine's oil capacity by a useful percentage (15 - 20% comes to mind).  The consequential effect on running temperature (improved cooling) is negligible ..But, because of the additional capacity - the oil does take longer to warm up from cold.  When the bike is being used mainly for localised trips &/or the weather is also cold then I prefer not to use the sump extension.

An important note is that the cast aluminium sump and the spacers we have require their gasket faces to be leveled / flat before they will seal.  Whether old or brand new parts require this to be very carefully checked, as they are very often bowed or twisted (..by as much as 1/32" / 0.8mm).  We speculate this is the result of uneven tightening and reused gaskets on old leaky engines, or poor storage on the manufacturer's shelf ?   Mostly we can do this gasket-surface refacing at home < here >  because these sumps are quite short (2-cylinder engine), but an engine sump from a four or six cylinder car would probably need its gasket face to be refaced / leveled by a machine shop.  A pressed steel sump pan will twist over its overall length, but a cast aluminium one is reluctant to do so.  This was also the case with the cast aluminium rocker cover I bought for my TR4. Although brand new and very pretty - it was slightly twisted.

Hope that helps,

Pete         

 

Edited by Bfg
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  • 2 weeks later...

I thought that the main advantage of an aluminium sump is that it strengthens the relatively weak bottom of the crankcase. Needed only if the engine is highly tuned and driven hard.

If oil cooling is the objective, who remembers the cheap fix of drilling two 1" diameter holes in the front and back face of the standard steel sump below the oil level and missing the pump pickup and welding two pipes between them so that air flows through them via the forward motion of the car. One of the cheap tuning fixes when the cars were worth very little and we had little money.

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I do have a Moss one for sale  if you are interested. The internal  reinforcing has been shortened  to allow current oil pumps to be used a problem  which is common with many alloy sumps currently for sale . I have uprates the Springs on my 3A and haven't had  have any problems with grounding 

cheer

Steve

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If I fitted an ali sump it would drag on my drive let alone on the road! so I did fit an oil cooler with a thermostat (that, if fails, fails open). this seems to be the best of both worlds and after about 30 mins of spirited driving in our present weather it does open on occasions 

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