Lancia Beta Forum

Technical stuff => Engine => Topic started by: swilkes on December 07, 2009, 03:45:36 AM

Title: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: swilkes on December 07, 2009, 03:45:36 AM
I have a 1984 Beta Coupe and yes its the oil surge problem.  I compete in the Beta and it seems I am plagued with oil surge issues (anyone else had this problem?).  I have done what the Guy Croft manual has indicated (top baffle with the gate fitted), but I still had issues.  I tried adding extra sump capacity buy adding capacity at the rear of the sump, but alas this weekend I ended up filling my catch tank (most likely thrusting forward under hard brakes, I guess).  I am about to go through another round of trial-and-error trap doors/baffling and I thought the forum may have some suggestions.  All are welcome.  I am in Australia and it seems getting a dry sump could be a nightmare (cost wise).  Is there anyone in the UK doing such a thing?  Any other suggestions for modifying the existing sump?  Thanks in advance to all who respond.  Cheers

Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: 75coupe on December 07, 2009, 09:28:31 AM

I have a similar problem with my 1975 2litre coupe which I hillclimb in Queensland, I too have a windage tray and single trap door, and I have to keep the oil level well up to stand any chance of preventing surge which seems to be worse around right hand corners. Did you remove the existing baffle etc before fitting the trap door? I have seen a montecarlo sump and this uses 2 trap doors, but it does not have the cut out like the coupe to clear the subframe.

Funnily enough I did not have a problem when I had the 1756cc engine in the car which actually has a shallower sump!!!! (It won't fit the 2000 unfortunately!) I have noticed that the oil drain tube from the breather is a lot further away from the oil pump on the 1800 engine, may be this is related somehow?

My engine is coming out soon for a rebuild, new HC pistons and 42/82 cams, and this is a problem I want to address, so will keep you posted. 

I see betaboyz do a kit, anyone have any feedback on it?

Thanks Ian

Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: lanciamad on December 07, 2009, 12:46:09 PM
Interesting... I use my HPE for track use, and have done 4 whole day track days and 3 action days over the last 2 years and have not had a problem with this. It's a standard IE engine and its been used at a variety of tracks, fast, long sweeping corners, chicanes, tight and twisty and never drops below half way on the gauge oil pressure wise, I just make sure its on Max everytime I go out and its been fine. It never seems to need oil other than when it lives on the limiter :-[
Only issue I have is from dead cold when I presume it is the rattling of bearings on initial start up, but i'm guessing this is quite normal until the oil pressure builds for the initial few seconds. I looked at an accusump, which seems a perfect solution to prevent this, but reading how it works has put me off if your putting your car through a long enough corner at speed. I am considering building an engine next year, and was going to go down the baffled sump route, such as the betaboyz kit; but am in two minds to do that or fit a dry sump system.
PS. Congratulations on your win Ian ;)

Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: swilkes on December 07, 2009, 03:09:32 PM
Yes its the right hand turns that caused my initial problems, prompting the initial sump modifications.  A trap door plus top baffle has been installed as per Guy Crofts manual.  However, on tight right hand bends, the oil pressure would drop.  When the oil level was max, the low pressure light came on.  Over filling by 1L resulted in no light, but a clear drop in pressure (I have installed improved dials and it clearly drops from about 60psi to 15 psi).  In an effort to reduce this effect, I added an additional 1.5 L to the rear of the sump, but this has created another problem (Ho Hum).  I now fill the catch tank with the extra sump capacity (I must have messed up something - will be checking soon).  I removed all internals from my sump before installing the baffle and trap door as outlined by Guy Croft.  Interesting that your earlier Beta sump performed better than the newer version.  The earlier sumps had no baffling at all (as far as I can determine).  The success of the HPE has me wondering what the difference is (or what I have done wrong).  I thought the HPE was the same as all other Betas (at least in the sump department).  Is this true?  Can anyone comment?  All other suggested improvements or experiences are welcome.  Hopefully by next weekend I will have my sump off and start improvements.  I shall let the forum know how successful (or not) changes have been.  Thanks.

Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: 75coupe on December 07, 2009, 09:17:44 PM
From what I understand, later IE and VX betas had improved sumps to earlier versions with baffling around the pick up area, does any one have a picture of this?

I have to run my oil level overfull and I know when it is too full as it blows it out the breather, then stops when it finds its own level.....Not an ideal situation!

The 1800 sump was identical internally to the 2000 one apart from being shallower, same single baffle.

Lanciamad are you using road tyres on your HPE? When I fitted Toyo R888 semi slicks to my coupe, it made an enormous difference to my corner speed and made the surge problem worse. If you have a start up rattle it would sound like the big ends are worn, the TC's don't rattle normally on start up.

Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: lanciamad on December 07, 2009, 09:46:05 PM
I'm currently using Dunlop track tyres, semi-slicks; and yes it makes a hell of a difference compared to road tyres, as soon as i've worn the dunlops out i'll be getting some R888's. The engine seems fine (It shouldn't the abuse it gets :D) it might be more fuel injection related, as I can only describe it, as judders while idleing for the first 5 seconds of being started then smoothes out and runs like a dream.
I've got an IE block in the garage which I might be using if I build an engine, i'll whip the sump off and take a pic tomorrow.

Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: swilkes on December 08, 2009, 12:47:52 AM
My 84 sump had the baffle mesh over the top of the intake and the side plates before I installed the full top baffle and trap door (my earlier 74 beta 1800 just had the side plate).  If it is of interest, I use the Toyo R888s and they are fantastic on the track (perhpas the reason for all the oil surging as indicated by 75coupe).  25psi all round (in the dry), spax inserts and stiffed suspension plus the engine mods make the car sing (in my opinion).  The tyres have made the greatest impact to handling (I think).  I run negative camber on the front (about -2 degrees).  I sure hope I can sort out this sump?  Thanks again.

Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: lanciamad on December 08, 2009, 04:09:21 PM
From an IE...
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Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: 75coupe on December 09, 2009, 11:57:42 AM
Thanks for the pics Marcus,

The sump looks identical to my 1979 2000 carb Beta sump.........does not have the extra mesh around the pick up I was expecting as Swilkes described on his '84 sump. Iam now thinking of cutting the base of a spare sump, mounting it to the engine and seeing if a second trap door can be fitted.

PS. Thanks for the congrats on the hillclimb win. What size & type of Dunlops are you using, a few of my fellow hillclimbers are using DZ03's and seem to rate them. I am using 185/60 x 14 R888's with neg camber and seeem to be lasting well. I run between 30 and 35psi front 28 rear, but I don't have power steering.......

May be we should start a seperate post on this subject?

Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: lanciamad on December 09, 2009, 02:10:48 PM
Reply is on: (
Keeping it on the original subject, if you have a go at fitting a second trap door any chance you could do a quick  how-to and a few pics of the final design if successful, would be of great interest to me :) as well as others.

Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: 75coupe on December 10, 2009, 10:46:36 AM
Will keep you posted and put it all together in a "how to" when I get time.

Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: WestonE on December 13, 2009, 09:42:34 PM

I am sure you know this but just in case. The VX pump has a reserve built into the pick up. I would expect this with the Guy Croft sump baffling and a 2 quart accumsump plumbed in to hold pressure for most situations. I believe if you are seeing a drop to 15PSi on an accurate guage with the engine under load and revs you to need to dry sump before you throw a conrod. I have built and run a number of beta units up to 185BHP with the baffled sump and VX Pick up approach and maintained good oil pressure.
Is the oil viscosity up to the job i.e. a 50 or 60 grade? I run Selenia 10w60 in my 200bhp mapped injection montecarlo.


Title: Re: Oil Surge Problems
Post by: swilkes on December 14, 2009, 01:14:32 AM
Firstly thanks a whole bunch to all who have responded.  I am a late comer to this site, but have loved it since I found it.  All information has been useful and it is great to hear others using their Beta's in a similar manner. 
I have solved my problems and I thought I would share it with the forum in case it helps others.  I am not running an accusump, but perhaps a thought for the near future.  I have attached images of the solution I have come up with (I am no welder and this has been done in fabrication shop for me).  I went back to the Guy Croft bible, had a good look at things, remeasured everything and came up with the images attached.  The baffle plate is 10 mm below than the crank and the pickup chamber has a 10 mm gap underneath.  The trap door is located between the pickup area and the windage slots on the top baffle as indicated by the line of spot welds (note the slots are pointing the in the correct direction - make sure of this!).  I have added an extra 1.5 L capacity at the rear (something I did earlier with limited success, but have kept in place - helps cooling is how I convince myself it should stay).  However, the bad result was due to a large diameter of the bleed holes (I think they were 25 mm).  When I hit the brakes hard, the extra oil surged to the front of my sump and up into the crank and out to the catch tank (combined problem of too large bleed hole and because my baffle plate was set too low I think it just splashed up rather than being contained).  Now the holes are smaller (6 mm) and under hard brakes extra oil still drains into the oil pickup area, but at a lower rate.  The trap door shuts on right hand turns.  Well it seems to have done the job and I am happy.  The message I have is to measure, measure and remeasure.  Following this, take your design and check it against other suggestions from this forum and Guy Crofts manual, then start the job, BUT not before.  Thanks again all.  If there are further suggestions and assistance please keep it coming.  I love this place; keep up the good work and hope this saves someone some pain.  Cheers.