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Oil pan on stroker engine

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supervel45
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Post  John I. August 28th 2023, 9:55 am

I have a 552 in my 1979 F150. It's a 1971 SCJ D0VE A block bored .60 with a 4.5 in stroke crank. I've driven it about 2500 miles and been in a drag and drive, so it's reliable, but I'm wondering if the stock 460 oil pan the truck came with is large enough? I run 6 litres of oil in it, and haven't been above 5500 rpm, but I'm wondering if the increased volume of the engine would be too much for the stock pan, and would put extra pressure in the crankcase. I've doing a cam swap, and now would be the time to just pull the engine if it needs a different pan.

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Post  rmcomprandy August 28th 2023, 10:30 am

John I. wrote:I have a 552 in my 1979 F150.  It's a 1971 SCJ D0VE A block bored .60 with a 4.5 in stroke crank.  I've driven it about 2500 miles and been in a drag and drive, so it's reliable, but I'm wondering if the stock 460 oil pan the truck came with is large enough?  I run 6 litres of oil in it, and haven't been above 5500 rpm, but I'm wondering if the increased volume of the engine would be too much for the stock pan, and would put extra pressure in the crankcase.  I've doing a cam swap, and now would be the time to just pull the engine if it needs a different pan.

Getting the crankshaft windage farther away from the oil level will definitely help and so will a good louvered windage tray.
Any volume increase will certainly help the "bay to bay" breathing but, I can't tell you how much is "enough".

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Post  mystang460 September 9th 2023, 12:52 pm

I run a 76 F150 with a 460, 6" suspension lift, 3" body lift, & swap between 39.5 boggers for mudding/wheeling & 44 gumbos for drag racing. I'm actually switching back to the stock middle sump pan. It had a front sump car pan(with the dent from hitting the front diff) when I bought the truck years ago but it'd lose oil pressure going uphill for any length of time or when launching hard. I mainly mudbogged back then so I switched to a Moroso 10 qt rear sump pan but when I did decide to go wheeling, downhill lost oil pressure. It's better than the front sump due to capacity & baffles but it's still the same issue. It's also more of a pain because I have to pull the starter to access some pan bolts. Normally that wouldn't be much of a problem but the rear sump blocks access to the C6 inspection cover. Also, I run dual stage nitrous so pulling the pan is more often than a standard street truck.
The deeper rear sump also caused me to have to cut a slice in the bottom side of header tubes & widen them a bit. Those old trucks flex quite a bit & space is tight between the pan & driveline so there's not much room for error.
Overall I've learned thru trial & error that the stock middle sump is my best option for all around usage. Remote filter & cooler add more capacity so it's the best solution for my situation. It's mainly drag raced but it's still able to do a weekend in the mountains or our sand dunes without hearing the clickity-clack of losing oil pressure on a long hill. I've spun it to 6600 at the track & it lived but I admit I wasn't watching the oil gauge.
Those are some issues I ran across, hope it helps you make the best choice for what you use your truck for.

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Post  supervel45 September 9th 2023, 2:20 pm

John I. wrote:I have a 552 in my 1979 F150.  It's a 1971 SCJ D0VE A block bored .60 with a 4.5 in stroke crank.  I've driven it about 2500 miles and been in a drag and drive, so it's reliable, but I'm wondering if the stock 460 oil pan the truck came with is large enough?  I run 6 litres of oil in it, and haven't been above 5500 rpm, but I'm wondering if the increased volume of the engine would be too much for the stock pan, and would put extra pressure in the crankcase.  I've doing a cam swap, and now would be the time to just pull the engine if it needs a different pan.


A little more info maybe helpful.

Like what heads, compression ratio, ring package intake and cam you have now vs. the new one and the potential Rpm increase?

The last Dynoed 552 2 Bolt OEM Block with SR-71 heads and a solid roller went to around 7K Rpm, or a Tad Less. and peaked around 6,600-6,800Rpm, I believe, or so on HP. It made around 920-930HP for comparison. It was not for a Truck but, Track Drag car Type Deal.

I don't recall him running a vacuum pump either?

If you are not making a big jump in Rpm, myself if it's not Broke, sometimes it's Best to Leave it Alone.

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Post  Curt September 10th 2023, 11:01 am

Copy and paste;

By David Reher, Reher-Morrison Racing Engines

There seems to be some confusion about the true purpose of the lubrication system in a racing engine. The primary purpose of the oiling system is to lubricate the engine – period. It is emphatically *not* the place to look for horsepower in a bracket racing motor with a wet-sump oil pan.

Think of a sportsman drag racing engine as an endurance motor. It may only run at maximum power for a few seconds at a time, but those runs add up over a long season of racing. If you are a serious sportsman racer, you need an engine that can make 300 to 400 passes without looking at the bottom end. From my perspective, that’s the equivalent of running a 500-mile Winston Cup event or a 24-hour endurance race.

If you want maximum power, the best oil pan is no pan at all. A total-loss oil system is the ultimate solution for minimum windage. Many years ago we actually ran such a system on our dyno. We submerged the oil pump in a bucket of oil and fired up the engine without a pan. As you would expect, the dyno cell was a mess afterward – but we were able to see exactly how the rotating assembly threw off the oil.

I cite this experiment only as an extreme example of what it takes to make power with a wet-sump system. Obviously a total-loss oiling system is impractical on the race track; the traction and track clean-up problems would be insurmountable. The simple fact is that more power requires more pan volume – and the more room you have to spread out the oil in a wet-sump pan, the less likely you will be able to keep the oil pump pickup covered.

Unfortunately, reliability usually doesn’t sell in drag racing. That’s why some oil pan manufacturers tout the horsepower gains that are available with trick wet-sump systems. In my opinion, the places to look for power in a bracket racing engine are the cylinder heads, the camshaft and the induction system. It may sound dull, but you should look for rock-solid reliability and utter dependability in a wet-sump lubrication system – unless you are willing to inspect the bearings as frequently as the class racers who are restricted by the rulebook to wet-sump systems.

Big pans may make more power on the dyno, but the dyno doesn’t duplicate real-world operating conditions. If you think that baffles and trap doors will keep the pickup covered, I suggest that you try a simple experiment. Fill your pan with a few quarts of liquid that has roughly the same viscosity as hot oil. Tilt the pan backward at a 45-degree angle – that’s the equivalent of a 1 g launch – and watch what happens. Two g’s is about 60 degrees, and 3 g’s (a rate of acceleration that is achievable by a fast car) is around 72 degrees. You’ll see that most of the oil is standing up against the back wall of the pan instead of surrounding the oil pump pickup.

Now tilt the pan forward at the same angle to simulate what happens when the car decelerates. In fact, most cars are capable of producing more g’s on shutdown than on acceleration. Unless you have a well-defined sump, the oil pump pickup will almost surely suck air.

The damage produced by fluctuations in oil pressure is cumulative. Every time the hydrodynamic wedge of oil between the crankshaft journal and the bearing breaks down, there is metal-to-metal contact. It may last only an instant, but that is enough time to start microwelding the two surfaces. By the time you see the needle on the oil pressure gauge fall, the damage has already begun. If you tear down the engine every few weeks, this may not be cause for concern – but if you overhaul your engine only once a season, any loss of oil pressure is potentially dangerous.

Connecting rods often take the blame for oil system problems. I’m skeptical when a racer tells me that he broke a rod – nine times out of ten, the real culprit is a spun bearing caused by lack of oil pressure. If the crankshaft journal is black, the rod didn’t fail first. Broken rods don’t spin bearings – spun bearings break rods. A true rod failure will always leave the bearing intact – and it’s very rare to see that.

Sometimes good intentions produce unintended consequences. Suppose you install an oil cooler or a remote-mounted oil filter to make filter changes easier. That’s a fine idea – but now you have added several feet of line to the system that must be filled before the lubrication system is pressurized. Unless you have installed a check valve in the line, the oil will drain back into the pan when the engine is shut off. Now you’ve created the opportunity for an air lock, and you have definitely increased the time it takes for the pump to pressurize the system. If the engine loses pressure on shutdown, it will now take longer to recharge the system when you fire the engine.

I should also point out some precautions if you use a vacuum pump with a wet-sump system. We’ve tested vacuum pumps on numerous sportsman engines, and learned they are definitely worth power, especially in an engine with a tightly confined crankcase. The vacuum pump reduces the density of the air in the crankcase, which in turn reduces the resistance to the rotating assembly. It’s the same principle that allows an airplane to fly faster at 20,000 feet altitude than at sea level.

Unfortunately, too much vacuum can be a bad thing with a wet-sump pan. Remember that it is the pressure in the pan that forces oil into the pickup. When you reduce the pressure in the crankcase with a vacuum pump, you also reduce the pressure differential between the inlet side of the pump and the pan. Normal atmospheric pressure is approximately 30 inches of mercury; if you reduce the pressure in the pan to 15 inches, you have only half as much pressure pushing the oil into the pickup.

On the dyno, we see fluctuations in oil pressure when the crankcase vacuum approaches 15 inches with a wet-sump system. We use an adjustable air bleed (essentially a controlled leak) to regulate the maximum pan vacuum to between 10 and 12 inches. With the wet-sump system we install on our Super Series bracket racing big-blocks, we see no fluctuations in oil pressure at this vacuum.

In the high-tech pursuit of horsepower, racers sometimes overlook the basics. A reliable lubrication system is about as basic as it gets. All the power you gain with a marginal oiling system is useless if you’re smoking the bearings.

As a professional engine builder, I hate to see parts destroyed needlessly. I would much rather help racers step up their program to the next level than see them spend money on fixing broken motors. That is why I strongly recommend that you play it safe with the oil system and look for power elsewhere.
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Post  John I. September 10th 2023, 9:04 pm

Thanks for the answers guys. I've decided to just leave it for now, I've got a fastest street car shootout coming up in 2 weeks, and I'm out of time. Just got the cam out last night, and I still have to check ptv clearance, and determine my pushrod length, (I'm going from flat tappet to roller)and order them. If they don't get here in time, I'm done for the year. Unless one of you guys have some the right length and would be willing to airfreight them to me. JK.
I should have had this done months ago, but it's been a tough summer...my mom passed, we had a dirty 30's style drought (I'm a farmer) and lots of other stuff.

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Post  supervel45 September 10th 2023, 10:23 pm

^ Very Sorry to hear about your Mother.

I hope you get your parts in Time and Hope you make the Race. If you do I would love to hear how it went.

I don't have the parts you need and you need to list the size, incase  anyone does or can help.

Frank Merkl here is a Farmer up their also and may be your best quickest shot that's Semi Local.

The 1979 F150 BBF is my Favorite Truck and I'd love to see you make a Good Showing or Better Yet Win. Cool

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Post  John I. September 11th 2023, 4:18 pm

I'm removing the valve springs right now, hope I can get the pushrods in time, I'm running scja heads, so it's not a common length(s), and Frank runs C and 441 stuff, but maybe his son could have something laying around. I run in the daily driver class, no cage, no power adder, and your hood gets taped shut after tech so you can't go after anything. I'm at a big disadvantage because I can only run a 7.35 legally, and the late model guys get to go 6.40. But it's 4/10ths pro tree, I can cut low .100 lights with this thing, so I can maybe make it a round.
Last year I was running 8.1, treed a 7.7 Challenger and beat him, so even us blind pigs find an occasional acorn.

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Post  supervel45 September 11th 2023, 9:20 pm

John I. wrote:I'm removing the valve springs right now,  hope I can get the pushrods in time, I'm running scja heads, so it's not a common length(s), and Frank runs C and 441 stuff, but maybe his son could have something laying around.   I run in the daily driver class, no cage, no power adder, and your hood gets taped shut after tech so you can't go after anything. I'm at a big disadvantage because I can only run a 7.35 legally, and the late model guys get to go 6.40.  But it's 4/10ths pro tree, I can cut low .100 lights with this thing, so I can maybe make it a round.  
Last year I was running 8.1, treed a 7.7 Challenger and beat him, so even us blind pigs find an occasional acorn.

Does Your Transmission Still have an Automatic Shift Capacity?

Can you run a stop under the rules?

How good is your traction and the track prep?

I can see some advantages you have over a 6.40 car with a taped shut hood, 4/10ths Pro Tree withstanding, if you and your machine are very good.

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Post  John I. September 12th 2023, 12:13 am

I have an automatic valve body sitting on the bench I can use, but I prefer the manual reverse pattern with a brake, especially on the pro tree. I stage fairly deep, set the brake, and when all 4 stage lights are lit, I floor it, (starting line rpm is set at 3200 on a 3800 converter)and when I see anything happening on the tree, I bail off the brake. Truck weighs 4480 with me in it, I still have 3.25 gears, I run 12.5X28 MT ET streets, no traction aids. Track prep is always great at Medicine Hat. Best 60 foot has been 1.78. I don't think you can run a stop, I never paid much attention to that because I definitely don't need to slow down! Hoping this cam wakes the motor up so I can get closer to 7.35

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Post  rmcomprandy September 12th 2023, 10:23 am

We had a dyno oil pan made for a big block Chevrolet which was 3 feet by 4 feet and 2 feet deep with a removable bottom which had windows on 3 sides. Using a timing light, you could record video or even watch what was happening inside while testing windage apparatuses.

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Post  supervel45 September 12th 2023, 1:38 pm

Sounds like you have it covered pretty good.

On the stop, I thought you may have been up or over the track cage rule and having to slow up. It never generally hurts in bracket racing to sandbag a 1/10 or more for consistency on dial in.

^ With the rules you are under that may not be too workable, I don't know, it was just an idea.

I can see some of those 6.40 guys red lighting when they get nervous seeing you out a second on them if they don't race often as well as breaking out. Like you mentioned, earlier, they may spin. If you run your number every time on the .1 or better You probably will do better then you may think, unless all the other cars are all Pro Driver types.

I hope you get her going in time and out there, sounds like a blast.

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Post  supervel45 September 12th 2023, 9:45 pm

John I. wrote:I'm removing the valve springs right now,  hope I can get the pushrods in time, I'm running scja heads, so it's not a common length(s), and Frank runs C and 441 stuff, but maybe his son could have something laying around.   I run in the daily driver class, no cage, no power adder, and your hood gets taped shut after tech so you can't go after anything. I'm at a big disadvantage because I can only run a 7.35 legally, and the late model guys get to go 6.40.  But it's 4/10ths pro tree, I can cut low .100 lights with this thing, so I can maybe make it a round.  
Last year I was running 8.1, treed a 7.7 Challenger and beat him, so even us blind pigs find an occasional acorn.

Frank's pretty handy Wink and if he's bored and wants to play around and fire up a machine, I doubt it would be a problem for him. He may have buckets full of some racing junk he might not care about playing with either? Cool

Also the common .050" gaps don't apply to custom. Wink  Just a Idea is all. Probably not a good one but, I thought it may be worth a mention, You Know 1979 Ford BBF P/U and All.

Free to Ask sometimes.

https://board.moparts.org/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/2370707/re-shortening-pushrods-looking-for-advice-1st-timer.html

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Post  Mark Miller September 12th 2023, 11:03 pm

Does anyone know if the Canton 460 Fox Body Swap pan would work for the OP?I have a new one never used in the box i might be selling!!I have the 460 Truck Pan in my 89 Mustang now that was sold as the 460 Fox Body Swap Pan Years ago!!

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Post  John I. September 12th 2023, 11:54 pm

This is heads up, not handicap racing, so it's all out. I have no chance of winning this thing, but I love doing it. I'm 67 years old, did my time with a racecar, didn't care that much for it because I was too poor to go fast...then the street thing started to make a comeback, I'm into drag and drives, airport races etc. My main man Jesse in Lethbridge just made my day, he has 8.60's in stock, and has some used 8.20's. (Pushrods)
Mark, I've done some googling, some folks claimed to have used a Fox pan on a dentside truck but I think they've been 4X4s.

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Post  supervel45 September 13th 2023, 12:19 am

^Excellent!

That's the most fun kind of Racing. Done a little of both myself.

On the Pan if it's this one? I would say yes it will fit.

I put a Kohler Gen. 460 with a Giant deep Long Sump oil pan in one as well as made a front sump car pan go into mine with the 351400/429 460 adapt. mounts. The Kohler had Factory Mounts on a Factory OEM Truck.

Here below are the dimensions if you want to check. They were both 2WD.

https://www.cantonracingproducts.com/products/15-770-big-block-ford-429-460-fox-body-conversion-street-pan-rear-sump.html

Double/Glad on pushrods. Any pictures ect. of Race would be nice around this barren place. Smile

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