Oil pressure accumulator

ZephTheChef

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Engine failures and builds always get me thinking about oiling, even if it didn't directly contribute to my failure, so I am looking for comments/experience on oil pressure accumulators. Has anyone run one? Think it's a good idea, bad idea, not worth the $$$, etc. Specifically, I know James is the resident 3800 oiling guru and has indicated that the series 2 pumps may not flow enough under all conditions. What are your thoughts on a pressurized reservoir, whether DIY or commercially purchased? Would I be better off redesigning the oil pickup like you've talked about before, or with a large accumulator?

Obviously it would either have to have a membrane, otherwise maintain a specific orientation if it were just an air chamber if I were to build my own. It would be a convenient time to figure something like this out while the car is down for a new engine anyway. I would love to hear any input or ideas for putting something together myself, or if buying a ready-made setup is the way to go. I think I would like to have pre-lubing as well as oil starvation prevention, so an ignition activated solenoid is a must if I do this.
 

1quick

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I dont know if my 3800 camaro thread exist any more or where james dropped pictures of his oil mods into other threads, but there are pictures on here of all the little tweeks he does to help channel the oil where it needs to be faster and more efficiently, one big one is opening up the main oil feed channel in the oil filter adapter, we also did a oil filter bypass delete, timing chain scraper, and something with the windage tray to aid in oil drain back that all that comes to me off the top of my head, I know he went further with a couple other motors, the gen 3 oil pumps were supposed to be better also but i think you need the full front cover for that I cant remember and then you need to run the 5-30 04+ oil spec
 

ZephTheChef

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One of my concerns is that it functions in both ways...if there's 50psi in the accumulator at idle, and the pressure in the oil system is increasing with RPM, the accumulator is collecting oil rather than supplying it. Does this prevent pressure from ramping up as quickly as it should during acceleration? Is that an argument for a smaller accumulator, or for adding a restrictor inline?
 

ZephTheChef

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I dont know if my 3800 camaro thread exist any more or where james dropped pictures of his oil mods into other threads, but there are pictures on here of all the little tweeks he does to help channel the oil where it needs to be faster and more efficiently, one big one is opening up the main oil feed channel in the oil filter adapter, we also did a oil filter bypass delete, timing chain scraper, and something with the windage tray to aid in oil drain back that all that comes to me off the top of my head, I know he went further with a couple other motors, the gen 3 oil pumps were supposed to be better also but i think you need the full front cover for that I cant remember and then you need to run the 5-30 04+ oil spec
I know I have seen the oiling passages threads, and talk about the pump/front cover differences and porting and smoothing various oil passages. Don't think I have seen the timing chain mods or bypass delete.
 

OffshoreDrilling

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Seems way too much like overkill and wasted time/money. Keep it simple. How many 3800s use them or report any benefits from using one? I thnknthat anecdotal evidence should be enough to justify whatever answer you're looking for. Get the car running properly first. Fix things that don't need fixing afterward.
 

1quick

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for what its worth my first turbo motor was an l26 that was all stock aside from the cam and valve train and it lasted a full year at 522whp then i put it in another car and sold it and its still on the road today 3 years later
 

ZephTheChef

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The more I think about it, the more I would tend to agree that it is "probably" not worth it. It could be a decent chunk of change and adds a bunch of potential leaks/failure points to my oiling system. But then again...I do love me some overkill, and if I could build something with mostly stuff I already have just laying around I would do it if I thought it would bring me a little extra peace of mind.

I think everybody knows by now I don't necessarily tend to do things the easy way or the right way, and that I enjoy experimenting more than anything.
 

OffshoreDrilling

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GET THE CAR RUNNING RIGHT FIRST.

nothing wrong with overdoing, but get things working the way they are before you end up with a car like kevin's regal thats never going to see the light of day again. Or when it does run, the community is so dried up that no one cares any more because you can buy a minivan making more power.
 

Turbocharged400sbc

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its more of a preluber system

keep you from dry starts, then accumulates a new charge once running.

most setups ive seen you push and hold a button to open the solenoid, it fills passages, release, startup, when at operating temp/warm, push and hold for same amount of time to recharge.

without being mounted to the main galleys/etc I wouldn't use it as a pressure crutch. your just using it to remove 80% of bearing wear...dry starts

the #2&3 main passages would need accumulators below the cam bearings, not practical. far more practical to fly cut the block behind the cam bearings and remove the restriction that kills em and the #2,3,4,5 rod bearings.
 

ZephTheChef

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GET THE CAR RUNNING RIGHT FIRST.

nothing wrong with overdoing, but get things working the way they are before you end up with a car like kevin's regal thats never going to see the light of day again. Or when it does run, the community is so dried up that no one cares any more because you can buy a minivan making more power.
Oh I intend to. I am just looking at other things I should be considering while the engine is out. Or that I should be looking at for the second engine I will be building for it to have on hand as a spare. I am hung up waiting on some stuff I have ordered so I have been thinking about other stuff I can be doing while waiting on parts.
 

ZephTheChef

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its more of a preluber system

keep you from dry starts, then accumulates a new charge once running.

most setups ive seen you push and hold a button to open the solenoid, it fills passages, release, startup, when at operating temp/warm, push and hold for same amount of time to recharge.

without being mounted to the main galleys/etc I wouldn't use it as a pressure crutch. your just using it to remove 80% of bearing wear...dry starts

the #2&3 main passages would need accumulators below the cam bearings, not practical. far more practical to fly cut the block behind the cam bearings and remove the restriction that kills em and the #2,3,4,5 rod bearings.
So you don't see any value in having an accumulator plumbed in post-oil filter except for cold start lubrication? I think it unlikely any engine that goes in this car will last long enough for me to worry about long-term wear taking it out. I was more interested in preventing the oil filter from bypassing and having a pressure reservoir to prevent oil starvation if the pump can't meet the demand (or has suction side issues/cavitation). I was planning on having an ignition-triggered normally closed solenoid so that it functions both as a pre-luber and pressure accumulator during operation.

I could see if the oil passages and cam intrusion are what starves the bearings as opposed to oil pump capacity then it would be useless, but I know you have talked about the pump being questionable, especially with the stock suction side so I was wondering if a giant pulse dampener/pressure reservoir might help with this.
 

Thirdgen89GTA

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The ones i looked at for Road Racing insurance were automatic. With an automatic switch for discharge and charging. I had concerns about oil starvation issues during extended G-loads when cornering.

When the circuit was powered on, the system was prelubed. Then when the engine was running the accumulater was recharged. If oil pressure dropped below a threshold when the engine was running it automatically discharges the accumulator until pressure comes back up, or it runs out and your engine goes boom. Once the sump is providing pressure again, the system recharges so its ready for the next hit.
 

ZephTheChef

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The ones i looked at for Road Racing insurance were automatic. With an automatic switch for discharge and charging. I had concerns about oil starvation issues during extended G-loads when cornering.

When the circuit was powered on, the system was prelubed. Then when the engine was running the accumulater was recharged. If oil pressure dropped below a threshold when the engine was running it automatically discharges the accumulator until pressure comes back up, or it runs out and your engine goes boom. Once the sump is providing pressure again, the system recharges so its ready for the next hit.
That's exactly what I was looking for. Was it more complex than a single ignition triggered solenoid? The problem I see is that it may well continue to provide pressure during a pickup problem or pump shortage, but then that debt has to be repaid. Your engine also will not see higher oil pressure until the pump has also brought the accumulator volume up to that pressure. Which may not take much time at all, but it still presents some pressure lag.

There may be a way around that such as limiting flow into the accumulator through a restrictor but then having a separate solenoid triggered by an ignition-powered relay which is triggered based on oil pressure below X amount to allow the accumulator to feed oil back into the engine at an unrestricted rate, without allowing it to recharge at an unrestricted rate (thus robbing oil pressure to an extent from other places in the engine...not robbing it so much as diminishing total system pressure for a longer period of time once the pump is able to supply more oil than required once again). That system would require two solenoids, and two lines to the accumulator, of course.
 

Thirdgen89GTA

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That's exactly what I was looking for. Was it more complex than a single ignition triggered solenoid? The problem I see is that it may well continue to provide pressure during a pickup problem or pump shortage, but then that debt has to be repaid. Your engine also will not see higher oil pressure until the pump has also brought the accumulator volume up to that pressure. Which may not take much time at all, but it still presents some pressure lag.

There may be a way around that such as limiting flow into the accumulator through a restrictor but then having a separate solenoid triggered by an ignition-powered relay which is triggered based on oil pressure below X amount to allow the accumulator to feed oil back into the engine at an unrestricted rate, without allowing it to recharge at an unrestricted rate (thus robbing oil pressure to an extent from other places in the engine...not robbing it so much as diminishing total system pressure for a longer period of time once the pump is able to supply more oil than required once again). That system would require two solenoids, and two lines to the accumulator, of course.
I'm fairly sure they wired to 12v ignition, with an arming switch so you could disable the system if you wanted. The ones I was looking at were on Summit Racing under the Accusump brand.
 

ZephTheChef

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I'm fairly sure they wired to 12v ignition, with an arming switch so you could disable the system if you wanted. The ones I was looking at were on Summit Racing under the Accusump brand.
I hadn't looked for a while, last time I did I was thinking they only had the ignition activated solenoid. Now it appears they have a pressure control valve that only allows the kit to operate when engine pressure is over or under a set value. Which is cool. I'm not sure what they are using that functions as a reversible one-way valve, but it would be a lot cleaner install than a two-solenoid system.

https://www.cantonracingproducts.com/product/24-273/24-273----ACCUSUMP-EPC-VALVE-35-40-PSI/

Of course, their pricing is ridiculous on everything. Cuz racecar.
 

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I would buy the pre-built system that operates on pressure control. My main concern with something not automatic is maintaining a proper oil level in the pan, which could lead to excessively high oil level and increased windage loss and oil temperature rise.

Again, probably only really useful in road racing applications. Lots of LS RX7s have them to help out the oil system from starvation in turns on a racetrack.

I have a baffled deep pan in my car (84 regal) to ensure good oil delivery on launch. Not sure the 3800 series 2 has much of this issue in a transverse mounted arrangement.

I'm not so sure dry start prevention is worth the $$$, especially when you are running a stock crank, and you can get another engine for $150. With a billet crank and some other fancy parts, the extra insurance would be worth it. This isn't some $30,000 engine.
 

Thirdgen89GTA

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I would buy the pre-built system that operates on pressure control. My main concern with something not automatic is maintaining a proper oil level in the pan, which could lead to excessively high oil level and increased windage loss and oil temperature rise.

Again, probably only really useful in road racing applications. Lots of LS RX7s have them to help out the oil system from starvation in turns on a racetrack.

I have a baffled deep pan in my car (84 regal) to ensure good oil delivery on launch. Not sure the 3800 series 2 has much of this issue in a transverse mounted arrangement.

I'm not so sure dry start prevention is worth the $$$, especially when you are running a stock crank, and you can get another engine for $150. With a billet crank and some other fancy parts, the extra insurance would be worth it. This isn't some $30,000 engine.
I wouldn't get it just for dry start. I want it for extended G-Loads in the Carousel at Road America as extra insurance. But pre-oiling the engine before start sounds pretty nice too though as a side effect of having it installed.
 

ZephTheChef

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Yeah, thats what I was talking about. Pre-lube system only seems like a big PITA for little benefit
But any automated setup is going to function in that capacity as well. The only real trick is figuring out a proper DIY solenoid/plumbing setup...I mean pricing is kind of outrageous on these. I mean assuming you don't need to mount it in some weird orientation we're talking about a relatively low pressure cylinder, a solenoid, and a line. I feel like you could throw something together for $50-100.
 

10sec

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Cheap usually doesn't go along with reliable.
 

ZephTheChef

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Cheap usually doesn't go along with reliable.
My point being they are probably selling you a $30 solenoid and $20 worth of lines. The only real selling point to me over a DIY setup is that it can be mounted in any orientation, whereas a reservoir with no plunger or bladder would have to be mounted vertically. I agree, the system as a whole adds lots of potentially catastrophic failure points/leaks...and I don't think I will be building one for this car. But it's still in the back of my mind.
 

Handsome Jesus

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But any automated setup is going to function in that capacity as well. The only real trick is figuring out a proper DIY solenoid/plumbing setup...I mean pricing is kind of outrageous on these. I mean assuming you don't need to mount it in some weird orientation we're talking about a relatively low pressure cylinder, a solenoid, and a line. I feel like you could throw something together for $50-100.
go for it.

I think you can do it for way cheaper than you can buy an accusump system.
 

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