Let’s say you own a C6 Corvette. During the first few months of ownership, you’ll obviously follow the break-in procedure. After everything has settled down and you’ve developed a feel for the speed and power of the car, you decide to take your ‘Vette to the track. After a few laps, you start to notice a problem in the bends and twists of the course. Almost every time you aggressively ride through the apex of a turn, you notice your oil pressure starts to drop for a moment. This could lead to bad things happening such as a bearing failure due to prolonged oil starvation. So what’s happening? And how can it be fixed?
First, we need to take a look at the engine and see what’s happening with the oil. In a traditional motor, the oil in your car goes through what’s called a “wet sump” process. The oil starts its trip through the motor in the bottom of the oil pan, or as it’s traditionally called, the “oil sump.” The oil pump then draws oil from the sump and galleries distribute it where things need lubrication. The oil then falls back to the bottom of the pan courtesy of gravity and the process starts all over again.
In normal, every-day driving situations, an oil set-up like this works great. However, when it comes to performance vehicles, this isn’t so great. The reason why your oil pressure drops in the bends is because of oil starvation. This happens when gravity sloshes all the oil to a section of the sump that the oil pump can’t pull from. So how do you fix the problem?
The solution is relatively simple. You install what’s called a dry sump system. The difference between a Dry Sump and Wet Sump is that the Dry Sump setup collects and stores the oil in an external reservoir apart from the engine. From there, it works almost like an IV drip in the hospital. An external pump pulls the oil from the bottom of the reservoir, sends it through the engine, and then pumps it back into the reservoir. The oil sump at the bottom is replaced with a shallow collection area where the oil is gathered and shipped back to the reservoir.
The biggest benefit of the Dry Sump system is you never have to worry about oil starvation or cavitation again. This allows for more horsepower and more aggressive driving on the track. It’s such a big plus for high performance driving that the C6 ZR1, Z06, and Grand Sport both feature it from the factory.
Now that we know how to fix it, where do you go to find a quality dry sump setup? Look no further than Moran Motorsports. Mike Moran focused on building a dry sump system for the C6 Corvette that not only let you keep power steering and air conditioning (which is a requirement for those of us living in the South), but also eliminated the stock oil pump. By doing so, Moran fixed cavitation issues with the stock pump that occur above 7,000 RPM. The entire kit is bolt-on and daily drivable. For the entire kit, including the custom oil sump, the price comes in at $4,600.00. For ordering information and questions regarding your C6 and Morans’ dry sump kit, contact Moran Motorsports at (734) 947-1234