ARMSTRONG RACE ENGINEERING: EVERYTHING DRY SUMP
Visit us at the Autosport International Show on Stand #E496
Designing and building dry sumps has been what Armstrong Race Engineering, better known as A.R.E. has been doing for more than 40 years. The science and engineering involved has been the main passion for founder/ owner Gary Armstrong.
“In the beginning everything except F1, Indy, and a few others used fabricated stock steel sumps. ARE recognised the advantages of using a cast aluminium part for its strength, sealing, and resistance to vibration fatigue,”says Armstrong. “I was a Formula Ford racer, but soon decided I was a better engineer than a driver. I was unhappy with the dry sumps available for my engines, so started designing and making dry sump systems myself.
“I started from scratch to design a pan that took advantage of the centrifugal force of the oil leaving the crankshaft, better trap it, and thus make a more efficient scavenging system. This parameter has always been more important than the ease of using a modified stock sump.”
ARE’S newest version of dry sumps are called ‘fluidic’. The viscous drag of the oil in the crankcase, when eliminated to a great percentage, increases the engine horsepower by an amazing amount. This is aided by a design that ‘makes available’ the oil to the scavenge pumps, allowing them to also work more efficiently. It’s a true ‘system’ allowing all the dry sump components to work in concert.
The dry sump oil pumps are not allowed to be ‘simple’ pumps either. From the much-needed packaging and mounting of the pumps, to paying great attention to the fluid dynamics involved, every unit has a purpose. Only the best alloys, gear/rotor design, bearings/seals and of course flow efficiencies can be permitted in today’s highly sophisticated racing engines. Today’s super CNCS and CAD/ CAM programs can result in highly reliable, yet very powerful ‘hearts’ to the racing engine.
When the FIA’S global spec junior racing category, Formula 4, made its debut in the United States, it was significant that the ARE was chosen to supply specifically developed dry sump systems for Honda’s K20 engine ( left). More than 130 units have been supplied now as the series heads into its second season.
“The expanding product line of ARE dry sumps has presented the need for a smaller version of dry sump pumps we call the ‘mini mite’,” says Armstrong. “This pump started with a contract to build a very small, very high (relatively) RPM pump for one of the top echelons of racing, Indycar. The RPM needed to run this pump resulted in a very innovative design of pump, particularly in the ‘anti cavitation’ features of the pump cavities and pockets. Now this Mini version pump is heading for the smaller, higher RPM engines such as cycle engines, still requiring dry sumps to stay alive.
“A new and ever expanding product in our stable is the Spintric air/oil separator. This unit, being totally passive, simply connects in-line on the scavenge oil return from the pump to the tank, and eliminates up to 70 per cent of the air in the oil on the way to the reservoir. The additional air is then sent back to the top or ‘air gap’ in the top to your tank to be sent to atmosphere with your vents.”
For more information visit www.spintric.com.