Topic: Bike engine oiling

Hey guys,

I thought I'd gather your opinions on this topic. Are the lateral G's pulled during cornering going to effect the oiling in the bike engines (we are using two honda F4i's). What have the previous bike engined cars done? These are wet sump engines, and it concerns us because a bike really only pulls vertical G's due to it's ability to lean into corners. Also to consider, we will be mounting them longitudinally, not sure how the would play in yet, we still have to do more research. Going dry sump is just another cost that we'd like to avoid (not that we don't know how to do it).

As for a quick update on the project, we are closing in on a deal for acquiring several F4i's on the cheap. We will be buying several blown engines from formula SAE teams and combining the good parts to make two good engines. As for the chassis, that is still slightly up in the air, but we just came across a rolled crx race car, although it looks like it is going to be out of the budget anyway. As soon as we actually start the build, I'll make sure to start a build thread and post lots of pics.

2 (edited by pennintj 2011-08-04 12:47 PM)

Re: Bike engine oiling

It's Lemons, so I'd say nothing.

However one of the last Grassroots Motorsports I picked up awhile back had an article on motorcycle-engined cars. They cut down the pan & ads baffling to keep the oil in the right places.

Seems like it would cut down on oil volume though, which would be bad.

-=Tom

-=HFC Tom

Re: Bike engine oiling

Use 2-stroke engines problem solved. BONUS stinger chambers will annoy everybody.

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Re: Bike engine oiling

Lots of engineering time has gone into the oiling system of a bike.  It needs to get oil when accelerating hard upright, while accelerating hard in a wheelie, and at a 45+' angle.  Id imagine it would do fine going around a corner around 1 lateral g.

If you do have issues you cound design a trap door oil pan for them.  I really dont think it would be necessary though.

-Killer B's (as in rally) '84 4000Q 4.2V8. Audis never win?

Re: Bike engine oiling

Thanks for the input everyone. After talking with the engine tech from our previous SAE team, we think we are probably going to build a jig so that we can run the engine at various angles while on the work bench. This way we can simulate lateral acceleration caused by cornering and monitor the oiling system at the same time. Yes I know lots of you probably think this is over the top, but that's the way we work. We want to engineer this thing to the best of our abilities so that hopefully we don't grenade an engine over something silly we overlooked.

Re: Bike engine oiling

What's the equation again about the number of engineers on a team...

Constructor/Owner/Driver - Billy Beer Ford Futura

Re: Bike engine oiling

See you in 5 years.

Former chief proprietor and lead bad idea generator of Binford "More Power" Racing, 2010-2013: humbly self-proclaimed the best Chevy Beretta in Lemons history.

Re: Bike engine oiling

BigDave wrote:

Thanks for the input everyone. After talking with the engine tech from our previous SAE team, we think we are probably going to build a jig so that we can run the engine at various angles while on the work bench. This way we can simulate lateral acceleration caused by cornering and monitor the oiling system at the same time. Yes I know lots of you probably think this is over the top, but that's the way we work. We want to engineer this thing to the best of our abilities so that hopefully we don't grenade an engine over something silly we overlooked.

post a good build thread/blog  we'll appreciate it, for good or ill.

Rally Baby 87 Audi 4KQ, Audi 90 Quattro Coupe, 1975 Mercedes R107, 87 E30s, E36s, the Whorenet, Rocco...
J. Phil: "Audis Never Win".  He might be right.But!, the K Dominates 2013 NJ and NH (not, but...). 
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NJMP 2012 Organizer's Choice - R107, 2013 Monticello IOE Whorenet ! Organizers, CMP fall 2013 w/NSF

Re: Bike engine oiling

Lateral Gs pull oil away from the pickup. The Angry Hamsters have a pile of V65 honda rods and ventilated cases they could show you from those results.

Some bike engines are better than others at oil control. You want something with a deep, narrow sump, which F4s don't have.

Try your 'hold the running engine at an angle' trick with an oil pressure gauge plumbed into a main galley. Hopefully (and I know a couple of SAE Challenge teams who've dry sumped theirs) you'll find the F4 does ok.

Otherwise, run the oil level high by at least 1/2 qt, and/or add some sump depth/oil pan trap doors etc. It really depends on the duration of the g loads and the orientation of the motors in the car - if they are both longitudinally mounted, they will have more problems around corners, if laterally, accel/braking since bike engines are set up for fore/aft oil control...

Volvo 544 - now with Chevy 3.9 power!
2007/2012/2013 Driver's Championship (what was I thinking!?) 108 races and counting
11/18/20

Re: Bike engine oiling

X-args wrote:

Lateral Gs pull oil away from the pickup. The Angry Hamsters have a pile of V65 honda rods and ventilated cases they could show you from those results.

Some bike engines are better than others at oil control. You want something with a deep, narrow sump, which F4s don't have.

Try your 'hold the running engine at an angle' trick with an oil pressure gauge plumbed into a main galley. Hopefully (and I know a couple of SAE Challenge teams who've dry sumped theirs) you'll find the F4 does ok.

Otherwise, run the oil level high by at least 1/2 qt, and/or add some sump depth/oil pan trap doors etc. It really depends on the duration of the g loads and the orientation of the motors in the car - if they are both longitudinally mounted, they will have more problems around corners, if laterally, accel/braking since bike engines are set up for fore/aft oil control...

Then there's only one thing for it: Tuned Mass Dampner attached to the engine, which of course needs pivoting engine mounts.

http://s4.hubimg.com/u/2516171_f496.jpg

That way, with the lateral forces the engine can pivot, while the car stays "flat" to the track.

-=Tom

-=HFC Tom

Re: Bike engine oiling

X-args wrote:

Lateral Gs pull oil away from the pickup. The Angry Hamsters have a pile of V65 honda rods and ventilated cases they could show you from those results.

Some bike engines are better than others at oil control. You want something with a deep, narrow sump, which F4s don't have.

Try your 'hold the running engine at an angle' trick with an oil pressure gauge plumbed into a main galley. Hopefully (and I know a couple of SAE Challenge teams who've dry sumped theirs) you'll find the F4 does ok.

Otherwise, run the oil level high by at least 1/2 qt, and/or add some sump depth/oil pan trap doors etc. It really depends on the duration of the g loads and the orientation of the motors in the car - if they are both longitudinally mounted, they will have more problems around corners, if laterally, accel/braking since bike engines are set up for fore/aft oil control...

Finally, a useful reply.... Thanks a bunch X-args, we'll keep this in mind.

Re: Bike engine oiling

Hey X-args, your reply just sparked a lightbulb. If we used the stock oil pan with a surge tank welded to the bottom, this would most likely solve this problem. We would cut out a small hole for both oil to drain into the surge tank and to route the extended oil pickup. The only thing to calculate now is the tank volume required to not run dry during sustained cornering, shouldn't be too difficult. Just have to know the flow rate of the pump and the duration of the longest possible sustained acceleration.

Re: Bike engine oiling

BigDave, where are you guys located?

Quad4 CRX - Wartburg 311 - Civic Wagovan - Parnelli Jones Galaxie - LS400 - Lancia MR2 - Boat - Sentra - 56 Ford Victoria
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Re: Bike engine oiling

BigDave wrote:

Thanks for the input everyone. After talking with the engine tech from our previous SAE team, we think we are probably going to build a jig so that we can run the engine at various angles while on the work bench. This way we can simulate lateral acceleration caused by cornering and monitor the oiling system at the same time. Yes I know lots of you probably think this is over the top, but that's the way we work. We want to engineer this thing to the best of our abilities so that hopefully we don't grenade an engine over something silly we overlooked.

Is the jig gonna be a centrifuge? how do you plan on testing this again?

I'd say a cbr engine has gone through a bit more oiling issue testing than a magma engine.

I think the test rig should be the car.  Get up to operating temp then up to speed, drive in high g circles at very light engine load and log or watch oil pressure. If its an issue then worry about it.

-Killer B's (as in rally) '84 4000Q 4.2V8. Audis never win?

Re: Bike engine oiling

dculberson wrote:

BigDave, where are you guys located?

Michigan, just outside Ann Arbor.

Re: Bike engine oiling

So you'll put it in a car and just test to distruction? EXCELLENT!!! post pictures after you blow it up.

or you might just figure out how to dry sump it and save your self all the testing trouble. figure out how to get oil to the oil pump from an external tank, using some other external pump.

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Re: Bike engine oiling

jrbe wrote:
BigDave wrote:

Thanks for the input everyone. After talking with the engine tech from our previous SAE team, we think we are probably going to build a jig so that we can run the engine at various angles while on the work bench. This way we can simulate lateral acceleration caused by cornering and monitor the oiling system at the same time. Yes I know lots of you probably think this is over the top, but that's the way we work. We want to engineer this thing to the best of our abilities so that hopefully we don't grenade an engine over something silly we overlooked.

Is the jig gonna be a centrifuge? how do you plan on testing this again?

I'd say a cbr engine has gone through a bit more oiling issue testing than a magma engine.

I think the test rig should be the car.  Get up to operating temp then up to speed, drive in high g circles at very light engine load and log or watch oil pressure. If its an issue then worry about it.

No it's not going to be a centrifuge, that'd be really complicated to say the least if I know what you're thinking of. The easiest way to explain what we are going to do is imagine if the engine were mounted normally in the bike. While stationary and the engine running in neutral, tilt the bike to one side or the other. Except we won't have the bike frame, so we will fab up a simple rotating mount which we can just have on the floor or bench. By knowing the constant acceleration due to gravity, we can simulate the composite acceleration due to both gravity and cornering/braking by changing the angle at which the engine is oriented.

Re: Bike engine oiling

BigDave wrote:

Hey X-args, your reply just sparked a lightbulb. If we used the stock oil pan with a surge tank welded to the bottom, this would most likely solve this problem. We would cut out a small hole for both oil to drain into the surge tank and to route the extended oil pickup. The only thing to calculate now is the tank volume required to not run dry during sustained cornering, shouldn't be too difficult. Just have to know the flow rate of the pump and the duration of the longest possible sustained acceleration.

Yep, that would do it. Think Accusump levels of extra oil, maybe 1-1.5 qt extra.
If you have the space under the car to package it, just do a 3"Hx4-5" square extension off the bottom of the sump; if you have a machinist on staff, make a 1.5" extension ring of the whole pan and move the pickup down appropriately. It just takes aeration of the oil to make those rod bearings fail, so make sure you've got the depth.

FSAE guys also add a pan gasket windage tray to steer the oil towards the pickup; I've also seen pickups modified to be narrower and more central in the 'divot'.

Cheers,
-Anton (x-args)

Volvo 544 - now with Chevy 3.9 power!
2007/2012/2013 Driver's Championship (what was I thinking!?) 108 races and counting
11/18/20

Re: Bike engine oiling

If you go the surge tank route it seems like you will need to warm your oil before you fire the thing up to avoid the oil pump sucking the oil out of the tank faster than it can refill itself.

I don't see anything wrong with jrbe's suggestion to use the car as the test rig.  That seems like the best/most lemony solution to me.  If you are worried about being too busy to shut it off, dump the car out of gear before you turn it and hook up an engine kill to an oil pressure switch.  If it passes that test then keep it in gear and drive it harder.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita"  1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless) 2002 Jaguar x-type
Gone bye-bye
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Re: Bike engine oiling

What about converting to Dry Sump?

http://www.west-performance.com/drysump.php

-=Tom

-=HFC Tom

Re: Bike engine oiling

X-args wrote:

Yep, that would do it. Think Accusump levels of extra oil, maybe 1-1.5 qt extra.
If you have the space under the car to package it, just do a 3"Hx4-5" square extension off the bottom of the sump; if you have a machinist on staff, make a 1.5" extension ring of the whole pan and move the pickup down appropriately. It just takes aeration of the oil to make those rod bearings fail, so make sure you've got the depth.

FSAE guys also add a pan gasket windage tray to steer the oil towards the pickup; I've also seen pickups modified to be narrower and more central in the 'divot'.

Cheers,
-Anton (x-args)

For extra insurance against a marginal oiling condition, it might be worthwhile to have your rod bearings coated.  Swain Tech will coat a 4-cylinder set of rod bearings with their PPM product for less than $30, plus shipping.

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Re: Bike engine oiling

This is a Lemons car right?  When do you plan on getting this thing done?

I can appreciate overengineering things but if you do this along the whole build you will never ever finish it.  If you manage to sell your soul to finish it you will have to hope Phil/Jay/Judge x likes it enough to not award it a million laps.  The more fancy you get the the more likely harder it will be to slip through without laps.

You can do all the tests you want trying to simulate what you think will happen, what a computer program, or what common sense will tell you is fine/right/necessary but the only good way imo is to do the real test with the real stuff in reall conditions.  If something is missing from the test (the actual car pulling lateral g's for example) its very possible to chase your tail for no reason at all or think things are fine when they arent.  Sometimes overengineering something can end up not as good as what was there in the first place. 

Also realize the angles and forces that these engines need to be able to suck oil in.  It is from a superbike that can do some crazy angles and forces.  Think of what happens to the oil during a hard accelerating wheelie or a sustained wheelie.  Leaning the bike over but not cornering too hard can sort of simulate your lateral g test, it needs to suck oil then too.  Braking hard to the point that the rear tire is a couple feet off the ground is another amazing feat of a bike engines oiling system.  Id imagine a superbike engine (but maybe not an old cruiser engine) would have oil sump issues pretty well licked but i may be wrong.

Basically im saying dont go chasing problems that might not even be there.  Using the car as the test bed has the added benefit of being useful later and moving things towards completion.  Just leave sump room if needed and time to do it before it needs to make the race.  Dont get too wrapped up in theory so that you leave no time for real world testing.

Dropping oil pressure will be obvious, and running it on low oil pressure at light throttle & rpms wont do much at all to it.  If its fine you can drain a quart and test again to see if it will be ok if its using oil.

Im not trying to discourage you, quite the opposite. I'd love to see another bike engined car ripping around out there.  Im trying to offer some different points of view and possibly save you time and aggravation.  I know my comments dont always come off as having good intentions but thats all i had with any of my advice to you.

-Killer B's (as in rally) '84 4000Q 4.2V8. Audis never win?

Re: Bike engine oiling

jrbe wrote:

This is a Lemons car right?  When do you plan on getting this thing done?

I can appreciate overengineering things but if you do this along the whole build you will never ever finish it.  If you manage to sell your soul to finish it you will have to hope Phil/Jay/Judge x likes it enough to not award it a million laps.  The more fancy you get the the more likely harder it will be to slip through without laps.

You can do all the tests you want trying to simulate what you think will happen, what a computer program, or what common sense will tell you is fine/right/necessary but the only good way imo is to do the real test with the real stuff in reall conditions.  If something is missing from the test (the actual car pulling lateral g's for example) its very possible to chase your tail for no reason at all or think things are fine when they arent.  Sometimes overengineering something can end up not as good as what was there in the first place. 

Also realize the angles and forces that these engines need to be able to suck oil in.  It is from a superbike that can do some crazy angles and forces.  Think of what happens to the oil during a hard accelerating wheelie or a sustained wheelie.  Leaning the bike over but not cornering too hard can sort of simulate your lateral g test, it needs to suck oil then too.  Braking hard to the point that the rear tire is a couple feet off the ground is another amazing feat of a bike engines oiling system.  Id imagine a superbike engine (but maybe not an old cruiser engine) would have oil sump issues pretty well licked but i may be wrong.

Basically im saying dont go chasing problems that might not even be there.  Using the car as the test bed has the added benefit of being useful later and moving things towards completion.  Just leave sump room if needed and time to do it before it needs to make the race.  Dont get too wrapped up in theory so that you leave no time for real world testing.

Dropping oil pressure will be obvious, and running it on low oil pressure at light throttle & rpms wont do much at all to it.  If its fine you can drain a quart and test again to see if it will be ok if its using oil.

Im not trying to discourage you, quite the opposite. I'd love to see another bike engined car ripping around out there.  Im trying to offer some different points of view and possibly save you time and aggravation.  I know my comments dont always come off as having good intentions but thats all i had with any of my advice to you.

Thanks for the input, I really do mean that. Not having a non-engineer on the team to put us in check can lead to us bouncing some crazy ideas around, and while they might make sense in theory for us engineers, they lead to us missing the big picture. And as for the projected completion, we are hoping for next year's second gingerman race.

24

Re: Bike engine oiling

I have blown up piles of wet sumped gsxr engines during FSAE. Lucky for you, the general rumors were that F4i's are more resistant to the oil starvation issues than other engines (especially the f*&%ing gsxrs).

This is certainly an issue on high performance bike engined cars. The acceleration profiles of cars are significantly different than a bike, and the magnitudes are much larger in braking and turning. In a corner, a bike sees low relative lateral acceleration due to the lean angle. Wheelies do cause occasional oil starvation- I think it was an older generation gsxr motor that was the bane of stunters due to spun rod bearings.

We'd see the most issues (if I recall correctly) during long right sweepers. All the oil from the pan would flow up into the stator cover and our telemetry would show multiple seconds of 0 oil pressure. We solved it with a dry sump, but it certainly was not a Lemons budget solution. Many other FSAE cars have figured out good wetsump designs.

Some major differences between you and an FSAE car.
-you aren't pulling 1.5+ Gs
-you aren't height limited on your oil pan
-you dont really care about weight- not like a 400lb tube frame racecar, at least.

We built custom oil pans with baffles and trapdoors. This took some  work to develop, and getting a thin, welded oil pan to seal to the engine can be a pain. Blanchard grinders are your friend. Our oil pan was only about 1" deep due to CG constraints, so if you make one make it nice and deep, and extend the pickup. If you can cut apart and mod a stock pan, that's probably not a bad way to go.

Adding oil volume helps as well.

We ran an accusump for a while. It helped, but we'd still lose oil pressure on occasion.

I would try going to fsae.com and asking on the forums if a team will sell you some of their old F4i pans for cheap. If the pans even mostly worked for FSAE, they should be plenty good enough for a Lemons car on crappy street tires. If the teams changed engines or lowered their engine in the chassis, those old pans are worthless to them.

Team Wienerschmoker

Re: Bike engine oiling

I'll preface what I'm about to say by saying that I'm not an engineer and know nothing about bikes, so consider this more of a silly suggestion to promote outside the box thinking, as opposed to something serious...

But would it be possible to put the end of the oil pickup at the end of a hose so it could swing with the oil as well? I can see issues with this, like the fact that the bottom of the pan would need to be circular so that the pickup doesn't drag on the bottom and can still reach the corners...but I figured I'd throw it out there.

Sorry if it's a dumb idea...be gentle.  smile