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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 

 

 

F8A3C1C2-1BA2-4718-9593-16E9AD66DA51.jpeg

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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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  • 3 months later...

Steve (Nobbysr) - your PM mailbox is full!

If your alloy sump is still available, please send me a PM as I am interested and live in Oxfordshire.

Ian Cornish

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I think my alloy sump may have become porous as I seem to be getting a few oil drips from beneath it (definitely NOT from the timing cover seal - Alex and I solved that problem!).

Any suggestions for:

1 - a product to coat the outside of the cover to reduce or even stop the leakage (short-term solution)

2 - a product to coat the inside of the cover when I get round to removing it (probably this autumn at next oil change).

Ian Cornish

 

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5 minutes ago, ianc said:

I think my alloy sump may have become porous as I seem to be getting a few oil drips from beneath it (definitely NOT from the timing cover seal - Alex and I solved that problem!).

Any suggestions for:

1 - a product to coat the outside of the cover to reduce or even stop the leakage (short-term solution)

2 - a product to coat the inside of the cover when I get round to removing it (probably this autumn at next oil change).

Ian Cornish

 

You could try this inside the sump. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/175292138238?hash=item28d039c2fe:g:OfAAAOSwU2JiHKME

You would need to get it properly boiled out inside first though.

Stuart.

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I had an engine block treated by Ultraseal in Slough to fix a weeping stitched crack repair.I havn't since used the block so can't comment on how effective it is.Apparently it was common to use this process of resin pressure impregnation on many Rover V8 blocks which appear to have suffered porosity problems.

Roger M-E

  

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have  one sump fitted to my 3A have had no issues with leaks  and t have also checked the unused Moss one i have . Although not marked, Moss confirmed that their sumps have 4 supports in the inside which have a threaded hole in the top, which i am guessing is for other make/model engines .The issue is if you replace the oil pump the new version fouls one of these pillars . I have reduced this on the spare sump.as I had originally intended to use it.

I i have also I removed most of the casting flashing on the inside as they act as a catch point for insolubles. The oil temp has never been an issue as i use a high VI 10w/40  Engine oils  which has extremely good cold crank performance, good oil film thickness and circulates quicker at low temperatures than a 20w/50  . I do know people that have epoxy coated the inside of the sump, to aid clean draining of the old oil . Most steel sumps leak because the bolts are over tighten at some stage , where as i have found the Ally sump to be pretty oil tight .

just my observations 

steve

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1 hour ago, Nobbysr said:

I have  one sump fitted to my 3A have had no issues with leaks  and t have also checked the unused Moss one i have . Although not marked, Moss confirmed that their sumps have 4 supports in the inside which have a threaded hole in the top, which i am guessing is for other make/model engines .The issue is if you replace the oil pump the new version fouls one of these pillars . I have reduced this on the spare sump.as I had originally intended to use it.

I i have also I removed most of the casting flashing on the inside as they act as a catch point for insolubles. The oil temp has never been an issue as i use a high VI 10w/40  Engine oils  which has extremely good cold crank performance, good oil film thickness and circulates quicker at low temperatures than a 20w/50  . I do know people that have epoxy coated the inside of the sump, to aid clean draining of the old oil . Most steel sumps leak because the bolts are over tighten at some stage , where as i have found the Ally sump to be pretty oil tight .

just my observations 

steve

I have a NOS shortened aluminium end cap for a 4 cyl oil pump made specifically to give clearance when an aluminium sump is fitted.    

It is for sale    PM me if you need it

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Hi all

A few things on cast aluminium sumps from my experience;

Firstly, as Ian C says originally the Triumph factory competition part wasn’t used by the works rally team for fear of cracking as the international events got rougher, but they do seem to have found there way onto quite a few period race TR’s, so they definitely had a place. If you can find an original with the part number cast into the sump, they seem to be significantly better than the reproductions. I’ve used a steel sump for this reason in BST82B and I doubt that a cast alloy one would have survived some of the terrain I’ve been over with that car.

Secondly, there are two repros out there and both castings are made of soft material or cast in such a way that they are porous in my experience. The BASTUCK one is better, but as others have pointed out the new repro oil pumps foul one of the strengthening pillars. No amount of internal painting has fixed this porous issue for me. The oil pump interference problem is just a bit ****.

Thirdly, one of the repro aluminium sumps (and I forget which) was supplied with a machined aluminium oil drain plug, which welds itself in place after some miles so becomes a real problem. I ended up getting a few brass ones turned up which solved the issue. The filler was the same and less of an issue but I ended up changing it anyway and it’s an easy to get size (plumbing fitting as I remember). The original sumps had a steel filler and drain plug and the one I have is fine.

Fourly, I’ve found that the aluminium sumps need a thicker gasket to stay oil tight as whilst they seem to stiffen the block a little, the scratches and knocks they take seem to need better sealing. I’ve had some neoprene gaskets make to solve this and the compress into the little depressions and seal tight on an OE aluminium sump so this would work for others. Some use lots of Heldite or similar and unless you’re careful this gets into the wrong places. Long term the ones I’ve used on road cars do seem to work better than a pressed steel sump unless you’ve got a steel one that has had a gentle life, no dents, no ovalled bolt holes etc. and those are increasingly hard to come by. The neoprene gaskets help a lot - the steel diff cover is the same and I’ve done similar and had some neoprene gaskets made for that too.

FWIW I wouldn’t use one of the current repro aluminium sump on my own car - I’ve tried both types and done all the fixes and honestly I think it’s a matter of good fortune if you get one that doesn’t leak somehow or somewhere, either as you fit it or fairly quickly in service. The Stanpart one is a different animal and is good in all respects. The  aluminium material used for the modern ones seems to me to be too soft, the manufacturing / casting process / material quality obviously makes them porous, the machining is often dimensionally ‘off’ and the fittings are not good enough. The incompatibility with oil pumps is a serious problem and frankly owners shouldn’t need to ‘adjust’ something like this. The issue with the duff filler and drain plugs is very poor and this was the last straw for me !

Regards

Tony 

 

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11 hours ago, TR4Tony VC said:

Hi all

A few things on cast aluminium sumps from my experience;

Firstly, as Ian C says originally the Triumph factory competition part wasn’t used by the works rally team for fear of cracking as the international events got rougher, but they do seem to have found there way onto quite a few period race TR’s, so they definitely had a place. If you can find an original with the part number cast into the sump, they seem to be significantly better than the reproductions. I’ve used a steel sump for this reason in BST82B and I doubt that a cast alloy one would have survived some of the terrain I’ve been over with that car.

Secondly, there are two repros out there and both castings are made of soft material or cast in such a way that they are porous in my experience. The BASTUCK one is better, but as others have pointed out the new repro oil pumps foul one of the strengthening pillars. No amount of internal painting has fixed this porous issue for me. The oil pump interference problem is just a bit ****.

Thirdly, one of the repro aluminium sumps (and I forget which) was supplied with a machined aluminium oil drain plug, which welds itself in place after some miles so becomes a real problem. I ended up getting a few brass ones turned up which solved the issue. The filler was the same and less of an issue but I ended up changing it anyway and it’s an easy to get size (plumbing fitting as I remember). The original sumps had a steel filler and drain plug and the one I have is fine.

Fourly, I’ve found that the aluminium sumps need a thicker gasket to stay oil tight as whilst they seem to stiffen the block a little, the scratches and knocks they take seem to need better sealing. I’ve had some neoprene gaskets make to solve this and the compress into the little depressions and seal tight on an OE aluminium sump so this would work for others. Some use lots of Heldite or similar and unless you’re careful this gets into the wrong places. Long term the ones I’ve used on road cars do seem to work better than a pressed steel sump unless you’ve got a steel one that has had a gentle life, no dents, no ovalled bolt holes etc. and those are increasingly hard to come by. The neoprene gaskets help a lot - the steel diff cover is the same and I’ve done similar and had some neoprene gaskets made for that too.

FWIW I wouldn’t use one of the current repro aluminium sump on my own car - I’ve tried both types and done all the fixes and honestly I think it’s a matter of good fortune if you get one that doesn’t leak somehow or somewhere, either as you fit it or fairly quickly in service. The Stanpart one is a different animal and is good in all respects. The  aluminium material used for the modern ones seems to me to be too soft, the manufacturing / casting process / material quality obviously makes them porous, the machining is often dimensionally ‘off’ and the fittings are not good enough. The incompatibility with oil pumps is a serious problem and frankly owners shouldn’t need to ‘adjust’ something like this. The issue with the duff filler and drain plugs is very poor and this was the last straw for me !

Regards

Tony 

 

Hi Tony,

Please see PM.

Cheers.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/20/2022 at 8:15 PM, BlueTR3A-5EKT said:

I have a NOS shortened aluminium end cap for a 4 cyl oil pump made specifically to give clearance when an aluminium sump is fitted.    

It is for sale    PM me if you need it

Many thanks for the  offer but  i have taken the offending item out  when i spoke to Moss they were not apologetic for not including this in the description 

IMG_7104.JPG

IMG_7101.JPG

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Like with the Steel Sump, if not fitted properly they will leak. I personally use Wellseal  gasket seal and haven't had any issues but  during current engine work i did appear to me that the gasket was of thinner material . When i checked my old steel sump it was obvious that the bolts had been overtightened as the edges of the bolt holes were conical  and it took a great deal of hammering to get them flat . I did a double gasket  which worked  well . I bought some TR spared which included the moss sump and a used version  of an unknow which was cleaned and now on the engine see attached . I  did coat the gasket both sides till touch dry before assembly and that seems to work

cheers

Steve

IMG_6321.jpg

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Looking good Steve. One word of caution to add to this thread. I fitted the same adjustable timing gear and on start up there was a lot of noise and the paint bubbled up on the timing chain cover. Turns out not all covers are same depth (would you believe from a pressing:huh:) and the 6 cap screws ground a curved scar on the inner front face!

I re-machined the red holders around the fixings and bought shallower head fixings too. Good luck!

 

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Thanks Nigel 

Always grateful for a heads up on these issues . Some years ago i discovered  that Aluminium  front plates weren't such a good idea unless they had a harder steel insert!!!!  luckily Racetorations were able to machine the plate make an insert and there was no sign of the damage afterwards .Have turned it over a few times and then stripped down again to bin the £9 timing chain God knows what it would have sound like if i'd started the engine ,  I did check the old cam, which is in good condition and it was 1.5 tooth's out from new which if i'd know i may have stayed with the Standard Cam . So all advice is gratefully received 

all the best

Steve

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