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Old 08-13-2010, 11:33 AM
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Oil pan capacity

I am wondering if anyone knows how to calculate the volume or number of quarts my pan will hold with out installing the pan. I purchased a used pan after discovering that some knucklehead (probably some one who looks alot like me) had smashed the dipstick tube at the pan.
Both pans have a passenger side "snout" that sticks out approx. an inch. I have made soem measurements and used a few volume calculators but with the number I am getting I could help BP out in the Gulf.

Any help is most certainly appreciated.

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Old 08-13-2010, 11:49 AM
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Go the simple route and pour measured amouts of liquid into the pan until you have reached the full point..water is fine just dry the pan out when done..

Sam
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:57 PM
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I do not understand the reason you would want to figure that out. If the question is to figure where the full mark would be on a dipstick. Here is the way I would go about it.

I will use the SBC as the example, early model block. Four quarts fill the pan, so after you install the pan poor the 4 quarts in, slide the dipstick in and see where the oil shows and mark the stick accordingly.

Another way is to go to Moroso web site and look up the oil pans, they will give the measurements and tell what the volume is for the different pans. Oil pans in general are pretty much a standard size and volume.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddi1
I am wondering if anyone knows how to calculate the volume or number of quarts my pan will hold with out installing the pan. I purchased a used pan after discovering that some knucklehead (probably some one who looks alot like me) had smashed the dipstick tube at the pan.
Both pans have a passenger side "snout" that sticks out approx. an inch. I have made soem measurements and used a few volume calculators but with the number I am getting I could help BP out in the Gulf.

Any help is most certainly appreciated.
The advantage of a deep pan is to get the oil away from the crank, not necessarily to fill it to the OEM level.

You need a pick up that will extend to within 5/16"-3/8" clearance between the pick up and the bottom of the pan.

If it is stock depth w/kick outs and such, use a windage tray or scraper.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepi
I do not understand the reason you would want to figure that out. If the question is to figure where the full mark would be on a dipstick. Here is the way I would go about it.

I will use the SBC as the example, early model block. Four quarts fill the pan, so after you install the pan poor the 4 quarts in, slide the dipstick in and see where the oil shows and mark the stick accordingly.

Another way is to go to Moroso web site and look up the oil pans, they will give the measurements and tell what the volume is for the different pans. Oil pans in general are pretty much a standard size and volume.
The reason for wanting to know is I have a HV pump on a BBC, I would like to find this information out before I suck the pan dry and eat a bearing.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:45 PM
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I was also hoping to find this out before I waste the time to install it, pour oil into it, find out its too small and then have to do it all over again. the "snout" I spoke of is for the dipstick, from my understandign GM used 6 and 7 quart pans on my particular engine. There are cases where they did use smaller ones as well.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddi1
I am wondering if anyone knows how to calculate the volume or number of quarts my pan will hold with out installing the pan. I purchased a used pan after discovering that some knucklehead (probably some one who looks alot like me) had smashed the dipstick tube at the pan.
Both pans have a passenger side "snout" that sticks out approx. an inch. I have made soem measurements and used a few volume calculators but with the number I am getting I could help BP out in the Gulf.

Any help is most certainly appreciated.
What you mostly need to know is whether the pan you bought is deeper than the pan you had on the engine. The issue is keeping the pump intake about 1/4 inch above the bottom of the pan. Lower and oil has a hard time getting in, higher and a vortex forms allowing the pump to suck air (well actually crankcase fumes) along with some oil.

The idea of a deep pan is not so much to increase capacity as to move the oil level away from the crank, although additional capacity increases the time the oil has to rest before being recirculated which gives it an opportunity to loose the entrapped air it acquires passing the spinning crank back to the pan where it gets thrown around quite a bit and that stirs a lot of air into the oil. Cooling the oil and oil capacity have not a lot in common other than it takes more time for the oil to get up to operating temperature which is not a good thing.

Inverted T pans are used to maintain or increase capacity where distance between the road surface and the chassis is minimal preventing use of the preferred deep pan. In the inverted T pan the pick up doesn't have a lot of oil depth above it so these pans require careful baffling to insure the oil doesn't run away from the pick up because of vehicle maneuvers. Baffling is also helpful with stock and deep pans to insure the oil stays where the pick up is but these things are mandatory with the inverted T.

The factory uses a gallon in the pan and 1/2 to 1 quart in the filter for a total of 4.5 to 5 quarts, this should show full on a conventional dipstick. For a non-stock pan you need to determine where the full level would be for the quantity of oil you run. The operating engine at street RPMs has about two quarts in the pan, a quart in the filter, a quart in the galleys and a quart draining back and entrained with the crankshaft. In a high RPM (about 6000 RPMs) engine this changes to about a quart in the pan, a quart in the filter, a quart in the galley's and bearings and 2 quarts draining back and spinning with the crank. This points to the need for greater capacity to insure that more than a quart of oil is in the pan and that the oil has a chance to de-aerate before being reused. An engine going over 6000 requires a serious redesign of the lube system, if rules require a wet sump then you're looking a substantially higher capacity pan, and more capacity in the filtration system. If the rules allow or specify, a dry sump system is a much better solution.

In any case, anything but the most mundane grocery getter should have a windage tray, a crank stripper and pan baffles added to separate the oil from the crank and to insure that the oil in the pan is kept by the pump's intake. For a street engine there should be an oil cooler in the radiator, this greatly speeds warm up of the entire engine; this gets it off the rich choke mixture sooner greatly reducing upper cylinder fuel wash which extends engine life, reduces operating cost and way improves emissions output. An engine that sees hard work whether hauling a load of tools, a camper or boat, or going racing should have the thermostatically controlled oil cooler in the system to keep the oil from being overheated which is an event that tends to destroy the engine.

Bogie
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:37 PM
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Thank you Bogie, that make great sense, I will be hauling a camper and boat and in the near future the wifes car. This is a look a like grocery getter until it either persuided or provoked....

I have done a great deal of research and this being my first "true build" I dont want to make the mistake of trashing something right from the get go. I am 100% positive the wife (aka sponsor of this project) would be none to happy!

Thank you all for your advice and words of wisdom.
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddi1
The reason for wanting to know is I have a HV pump on a BBC, I would like to find this information out before I suck the pan dry and eat a bearing.
All the above are good reasons for the question, I did not have my crystal ball handy so I missed all that information from the first post you wrote..
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepi
All the above are good reasons for the question, I did not have my crystal ball handy so I missed all that information from the first post you wrote..
Hi pepi, I was just wondering if there was a way to calculate my oil pan volume before installing it. I had to buy a different pan because the dip stick tube "mysteriously" got crushed.
I agree everything that everyone has pointed out are great points. Some times when we get into these things, especially for first timers like myself, we tend to let things get by us that we normally wouldn't.

Last edited by muddi1; 08-13-2010 at 06:36 PM. Reason: spelling
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