WHAT IS A SPINTRIC®?
“A totally full time functioning device, becoming part of the dry sump system.” This is not an engine breather/vent can.
The “Spintric®” air/oil separator is an in-line air separator for dry sump oiling systems, as typically used on racing engines. This device follows an invention by Gary Armstrong Patented in 1983, where the air and oil is separated mechanically, being part of the dry sump pump, and incorporated within the pump, driven by the same shaft (patent # 4,414,006) 1983.
The Spintric® air/oil separator is a very simple looking, yet highly sophisticated device, utilizing several complex channels allowing what I call “centripetal air separation” to work. The same laws of physics working in the previous patent, and other similar devices relying on the dry sump pump are at work. However, separators in the pump make a longer, larger diameter, more difficult to mount dry Sump pump. The Spintric® mounts separate from the dry sump pump, in-line from scavenge out to scavenge in on the dry sump tank. We also make a special dry sump tank with the Spintric® mounted to the tank, (optional)
The Spintric® has NO MOVING PARTS. The oil traveling back to the tank is the only “moving part”. The internal centripetal (centrifugal) force is generated by the internal channels shape, cavities, port and undulated manifold, and relief ports, forces the air out of the oil prior to entering the tank. The device can be mounted virtually anywhere in the scavenge oil return line. In-line meaning that it is connected in between the scavenge outlet fitting on the pump and the return fitting on the inlet to the dry sump oil tank. There is another fitting where the extracted air that is separated from the oil scavenged out of the pan, returns to the tank. This fitting on the tank should be in a higher location, such as a vent fitting. This is important as the air extraction line is not totally without oil. The percentage of air varies with pump RPM (oil flow speed), oil temperature and flow volumes. However, the amounts generally are between 30-70% air. Keep in mind this is the same percentage of air that is NOT IN the oil as it flows into the tank. This allows the oil to be much less aerated as it makes its way to the bottom, and consequently to the pressure stage feeding the engine it’s “life blood”. This affords less oil pressure drop, better more efficiently cooled oil, and more lubrication to the engine. Air obviously, is not a good lubricant! I recommend the air extraction feed into the tank have a deflector, or a tube close to the internal tank wall.
Installation: The size of fittings on the Spintric® should be the same as the line size. The air outlet line should be at least a, -10 (-12 preferably). We make the units with -10, -12 or -16 in/out fittings. The Spintric® may be mounted anywhere the scavenge return line goes back to the tank, preferably, closest to the tank.
Mounting: All units come with an aircraft type stainless steel T-bolt clamp and built in bracket. This allows the unit to be securely mounted. Also, the lines to and from should be tie wrapped in position, as in standard race car plumbing procedure.
Cleaning: The Spintric® fittings and inlet and outlet manifolds are removable if necessary. However, the unit itself is permanently assembled and cannot and need not be disassembled. Units can be cleaned by running solvent, hot soapy water etc. through the entire unit, in both directions. This back flushing procedure will clean the internal passages completely.
Why Should I Choose a Dry Sump System?
The simple truth is that, with something like a road racing application where you’re regularly pulling more than one lateral G, there’s no way you can design a wet-sump pan to contain the oil properly. Dry-sump systems were invented for that reason—to store the oil in a separate container that allows you to control the sloshing and maintain proper pressure.
Windage trays and baffles are only effective up to a point. You have to contain quite a bit of oil in a wet-sump pan, and you have to have an opening for the oil pump to 9t down in, so that creates a giant opening in the windage tray. There’s also a lot of delay involved with the opening and closing of baEes when cornering, and no matter how tight you try to seal it, the oil is always going to sneak up the sides. These solutions are basically band-aids.
And a wet-sump system can cost you horsepower. The best analogy is to imagine operating a trolling motor out in a lake. If you pull the prop out of the water, you’re immediately going to pick up a thousand rpm or so, and that’s because of the difference in drag between the water and the air—air creates hardly any drag. Similarly, there’s a tremendous amount of viscous drag created by the crankshaft being in the oil. With our Corvette dry-sump system the car is running around the race track with less than a quart of oil in the engine at any given time, so the crankshaft is mostly turning in air, and that is providing horsepower that would otherwise be lost to drag in a wet-sump system.
Dry-sump systems also offer performance benefits that go beyond horsepower, like the ability to set the engine lower in the car because you don’t have to accommodate a deep oil pan. You can also play around with weight distribution in terms of where you put the dry-sump tank, and being able to do that strategically is a huge advantage. It’s not just about engine reliability, and that’s something that people often overlook. If you’ve got a driver off to one side of the car, being able to put the weight of the oil over to the other side of the car to offset some of that can make the car more competitive, and that’s something you can’t really do with a wet-sump system.
Yes, there is more complexity, and yes, a dry-sump system is going to be significantly more expensive. But ask yourself how much your engine costs. How many engines can you afford to blow up over the course of a season? If the answer is one or more, you’ve probably already paid for the cost of a dry-sump system three times over. Consider it an insurance policy.