Thursday, November 12, 2009

gPAN - Baffled Oil Pan Testing Results

Oil starvation is one of the 3 issues that must be fixed on any track driven Lotus. This problem has spun rod bearings and/or killed pumps. Sorting it has been on our development list for a long time. Like with our fuel starvation solution, we've tried to address problem at the source - the pick up. We had originally considered the Accusump but data collected by Ralph@V2 has shown that it is not effective. Keeping the oil trapped around the pick up became the right approach for us. The gPAN is essentially a baffled oil pan that we believe will fix the issue.

To confirm the gPAN's performance, we ran our Elise with the final version on track this past weekend and collected oil pressure data. We have been working diligently to get the fitment and ease of install correct. Our Elise has been running with a gPAN for over 1 month with no leaks. We installed an AiM data logger along with an oil pressure sending unit to log our performance. The car was run on Spring Mountain at the last Lotus Challenge race and West Coast Lotus Meet. Conditions were perfect and we ran with R888 tires.

After running a few sessions, we down loaded the data. The oil pressure ran quite consistently around 50psi with 3 different drivers over several sessions. We looked at the data closer coupled with lateral g data to look for potential starvation. Turns 1 & 2 are a fast right hand and then a left hand sweeper. This is a severe area of the track that should cause serious oil starvation, but our results show a constant >50psi of oil pressure. See the graph below from this area of the track.

Based on these results, we are confident that we've sorted a good fix for the oil problem. We should have them available by the end of the year.

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