HITTING A GUSHER
Oil Pump Technology - You Choose!
Peel open a racing Rule Book – it doesn’t matter which sanctioning body or association and you’ll be met with contradictions. Things are regularly as clear as mud. And often rules and good sense appear to collide. One pretty common racing rule is the "internal wet sump oil pump" standard. Here's something that, at first glance, looks like a Catch-22. Race engines usually live longer with dry sump systems. In contrast, the regulations often state that you can't have a dry sump (there are a number of very good reasons for this, not the least of which is cost). Now what? It usually boils down to using a stock or modified factory style pump. Consequently, you're also forced to live with all of the factory pump shortcomings too: Cavitation, pump chatter, scattered spark, broken pickup tubes and so on. Sure there are some band aid fixes for some of these problems, but there some better ideas available too.
Case-in-point: Titan Speed Engineering offers a series of dedicated race pumps with considerable improvements over OE-gear pumps. Titan started with a clean slate and re-engineered the internal wet sump oil pump into a form that's more in line with the technology of a dry sump. No, it's not as cheap as a replacement gear pump, but neither are billet crankshafts, billet rods or compacted graphite race blocks. On the other hand, this sort of wet sump oil pump might also be inexpensive insurance for anyone running high dollar internal engine components in a category that mandates the use of an internal wet sump oil pump. Bench testing has shown these Titan pumps flow 30 to 50-percent more volume than all other conventional wet-sump pumps. The pickup area is 80-90-percent larger too, but just as important, Titan's unique, anti-cavitation design is arranged to prevent the destructive cavitation that affects conventional "spur gear" oil pumps.
So what's the real difference between spur gear pumps and gerotor pumps? Before examining the differences, let's look at what goes on inside a conventional internal wet sump oiling system. We asked Bob Sanders of Titan to elaborate:
"To pump oil in a racing engine (or any engine for that matter), the first challenge is to get the oil into the pump. You have to understand that the actual oil begins to get contaminated by unburned fuel and combustion by-products as soon as the engine starts. Each of these contaminants lower the lubricity of the oil, but more important, they make the oil much more difficult to pump. Basically, pumping the oil means squeezing the oil (along with the new contaminants) up to something between 60 and 150 pounds per square inch of pressure.