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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are lots of posts of people who are happy with their supercharger installations, a few with discussions of minor problems. Those are nice, but only serve to increase interest in installing the kits.

I have seen a few posts that refer to engine failures related to superchargers, but no real discussion of what went wrong except that it seems fuel starvation and going lean under load can be a serious problem. Seems to me that it would be very helpful to see some posts detailing serious problems with supercharged engines. It seems that problems can best be avoided if we know what they are and what caused them.

Anyone out there care to share some sad stories so others need not learn the hard way what to avoid?
 

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from working with people who've had problems the best way to avoid them is to either never run below 3/4 of tank on track, check the oil (FI cars use a lot of oil) , properly install catch cans and monitor them.

adding a larger oil pan and accusump increases the amount of oil in the system, but the problem is the oil sticking at the top of the engine, so they give you a little more time to be in an oil starving situation.

changing out the fuel tank for something like brent's is one of the best ways to cure fuel starvation, since not only does it help it not starve, but it helps to protect the fuel pump, a surge tank is not a cure for fuel starve., just the same as an accusump or oil pan is not a cure for 'oil starvation' it just helps.

I'd also say, that if you suspect a problem, don't go out and hammer on it and see if you can feel/hear it doing something odd. Find out whats making it odd in the pits or at the shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
By "oil sticking at the top of the engine" I assume you mean that under hard and prolonged cornering there are conditions when the oil does not return quickly enough to the pan. I am guessing that the oil pump starts to suck air and either it fails or the oil pressure drops since there is nothing more in the pan to push into the engine.
 

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what CX said.. its mainly simple items to check for and always make sure you have fuel in the tank..
 

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from working with people who've had problems the best way to avoid them is to either never run below 3/4 of tank on track, check the oil (FI cars use a lot of oil) , properly install catch cans and monitor them.

adding a larger oil pan and accusump increases the amount of oil in the system, but the problem is the oil sticking at the top of the engine, so they give you a little more time to be in an oil starving situation.

changing out the fuel tank for something like brent's is one of the best ways to cure fuel starvation, since not only does it help it not starve, but it helps to protect the fuel pump, a surge tank is not a cure for fuel starve., just the same as an accusump or oil pan is not a cure for 'oil starvation' it just helps.

I'd also say, that if you suspect a problem, don't go out and hammer on it and see if you can feel/hear it doing something odd. Find out whats making it odd in the pits or at the shop.
I know of a handfull of track related failures and they seem to be from something that causes a lean condition -- tuning, injector faliure, fuel starve, or a combination of the bunch. I'm not familiar with high oil consumption as the cars I see have normal consumption. Also, you just don't want a larger pan but rather one with trap doors such as the Moroso.

Concerning fuel cells, I'm not familair with Brent's setup but the LS/ATL "fuel cell" is not really a fuel cell; it's just a bladder with foam and two trap doors. (I have one.) But if you add a BOE surge tank you can create a real fuel cell. Or just run the BOE with the stock tank.

I am quite familiar with ATL fuel cells and Black Boxes. Surge tanks such, as written below, eliminate fuel starve. Our best bet: a BOE surge tank.

ATL High Performance “Drop-In” Surge Tanks
Toll Free: 1-800-526-5330 www.20 atlfuelcells.com
Surge Tanks, also called “collectors”, are
small semi-flexible tanks installed inside the
main fuel cell bladder. ATL’s Surge Tanks
maintain a reservoir of gasoline around the
pickup hose to prevent engine starvation
during acceleration, cornering, braking or
at low fuel levels.
• Uses Exclusive ATL Trap Doors
• Scavenges Down to the Last Drop
• Works w/Internal or External Fuel Pump
• Eliminates Fuel Starvation & Air Entrapment
• Light & Thin for Minimal Fuel Displacement
• Flexible on Impact; Won’t Cut Bladder
• Custom Sizes Available
• Easily Installed into Fuel Cell Foam
• Prevents Fuel Pump Cavitation
 

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yeah the moroso pan is what i was thinking.

the additional issues with the surge tank only is that as brent noticed the fuel pump overheats when its starving and it shortens the life, its already running to capacity, additionaly he mentions the risks of all the extra fuel plumbing.

since i'm the one who suggested the surge tank in the first place to phil, i think its a good idea, but its not a cure, since the problem still exists.


i'm suprised you haven't seen the higher oil consumption, i've yet to see an FI car that doesn't, and this has caught a few people out.
 

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yeah the moroso pan is what i was thinking.

the additional issues with the surge tank only is that as brent noticed the fuel pump overheats when its starving and it shortens the life, its already running to capacity, additionaly he mentions the risks of all the extra fuel plumbing.

since i'm the one who suggested the surge tank in the first place to phil, i think its a good idea, but its not a cure, since the problem still exists.


i'm suprised you haven't seen the higher oil consumption, i've yet to see an FI car that doesn't.
Curious: For instance...I have no issues with fuel starve in my race car. What issue still exists?

Our race engines must be built right and broken in right -- pretty much straight to the red line :D And in them we use real race oil (Brad Penn) not the watered down street stuff.
 

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You might not have an issue with fuel starve, but do you have an issue with your fuel pump overheating and possibly failing in the future? which pump are you running, the larger capacity 190Lph or the basic 160lph which has a lower flow capacity and runs hotter.

Hence why i say its not a cure, since you may end up with a fault with the pump that was directly caused by the starvation, but it does help.

So your oil comments reflect mine, take proper care of the engine, which means doing right by the oil and breaking the engine in properly, proper maintenance and common sense, you're just saying the same as I am basically.
 

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Just as a data point... I have a factory SC, a CharlieX Gotham Tune, and catch cans... I have very little oil consumption. And I track my car regularly, as well as check my oil regularly.
 

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Perhaps driving style can effect it, boosted points out that engine braking can cause the 2zz to use more oil.

Carl was reckoning on using 1/4-1/2 qt per 500 track miles, he's the first one that really watched the consumption.

I look after my oil levels, but i've seen enough engines that had problems found to be low oil/fuel starve to make it worthwhile to note it to others. But YMMV
 

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You might not have an issue with fuel starve, but do you have an issue with your fuel pump overheating and possibly failing in the future? which pump are you running, the larger capacity 190Lph or the basic 160lph which has a lower flow capacity and runs hotter.

Hence why i say its not a cure, since you may end up with a fault with the pump that was directly caused by the starvation, but it does help.

So your oil comments reflect mine, take proper care of the engine, which means doing right by the oil and breaking the engine in properly, proper maintenance and common sense, you're just saying the same as I am basically.
I run the 190 and it may fail, time will tell. But even so, in any race situation in which the fuel system is setup with a submersible pump you run that risk as you run the fuel level down. And in races that last over 90 minutes or more you burn quite a bit of fuel. In the end, using your line of thinking with our setup, there is no cure. ATL, BOE, and I think there is. Our disagreement is merely definitional as to what "cure" means.
 

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Agreed, i'm just not willing to say that a surge tank is a cure for fuel starvation, it will help , and its a good overall solution, i just feel there are better ones as well as additional things that can be done to make it even more effective.

However there are still caveats that people ought to be aware of, just as there are with the moroso and accusump.
 

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Don't know if it's related to my SC, but after replacing a couple gear synchronizers, my mechanic noticed some misfiring at low RPM which was caused by sticking valves, and after the head came back with new valves, a compression and leakdown test showed my #3 cylinder is at low compression, so I'm gonna try replacing the piston with a new one and see if that works...if not, new block!!! :)

So the moral of my possibly unrelated story is: Be cautious, preemptive, and careful about your SC-ed (and warranty-less) Lotus :)
 

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might be worth adding that since we're talking about the add on kits, that the increase in oil consumption expectations is going from NA to FI cars, if you're already used to an FI car then its not the same.


what were your compression numbers , bm ?
cheers.
 

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Never had any oil consumption issue on any boosted Toyota engine (of dozens), nor on the Elise. I'm running a turbo so I'd expect it to use a bit more than a S/C setup, but so far next to nothing.

I engine brake a lot, out of habit.
 

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I'm not saying 'issues' i'm saying 'can use more than NA so be sure to keep an eye on it' people are making it much more complex a thread than it needs to be, the simplest way to say it is, keep an eye on the oil levels. Every single S i've ever looked at has oil in the intercooler, clean it out and it'll be back after a run or two.

i'm suprised people haven't seen the threads about it, its been a long discussed thing.

boosted is the one that mentioned the engine braking, he's the toyota rep chap so i defer to him on that.
 

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The v2 modified oem fuel tank offered through S111 is designed to eliminate fuel starvation. I will eventually do the swap.

This solution negates the need for a surge tank or 5 year limited shelf life kevlar cell.

-Robert
 

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To stay consistent with the ambiguity within this thread, a better tank doesn't negate fuel starve, it just helps protect againts it. LOL. :D

I've talked with Ralph about his tank mod and he my surge tank and we concur that in a perfect world you would do as DMH does and run both a good tank (be it modified or a cell) and a good surge tank and you'll cure fuel starve problem for all practical purposes.

As it applies to the track, there is no way for the *engine* to fuel starve with a well designed surge tank- be it mine or one of your own making unless there's an equipment failure-which is beyond the subject matter.

It's a verified fact that Lotus race cars or aggressive track driven cars are still fuel starving despite having Lotus fuel cells (like cup cars for an example that come with fuel cells). DMH has had it, as have several others who push hard. We've had a few cup cars and others who are running cells that have still come to us for a surge tank fix and their fuel starve issues went away. A surge tank like ours is more expensive than the gas tank fix and less expensive than a cell. It also upgrades the majority of the fuel system at the same time with a better fuel pump, regulator, etc. It completely eliminates fuel starve of any kind to the engine and that's the important thing here. A better gas tank is an excellent step towards prevention. The tank mod is especially cool, as it's economical and easy. However, it is subordinate to a surge tank in the ranks of fuel starve prevention.

At the end of the day, the fueling issue has been resolved and there are options out there to "cure" it...Dead horse...

As others mentioned, the next problem with the car is oiling. To date, I don't know of a really good and widely available fix for that... The baffled pan helps. The accusump is up for debate, IMO-- but let's assume it works OK... Word is that we're still getting oil pressure drops in the hard turns even with both of those systems in place.

Perhaps removing some of the miles of oil lines from the oil cooling system would help. Get the coolers closer to the engine and reduce the accusump line by half and place it behind the seats would be productive? Thicker oil too?;)LOL... There's all sorts of theories as to what may help. I personally only know of one guy who has spent the time to data log oil pressures with any depth on the track and that's Ralph (V2). It will be interesting to see if he comes up with a unique track tested solution.

Regarding PCV oil blow by getting into the intake tract... The solution is pretty simple... Don't run PCV at the track (vent to a catch can and then air) and that will rid you of most of the problem unless you're driving like a banshee on the streets 24-7-eek-;)

Cheers,

Phil
 
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