Final Post on k series foam sump baffle

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craigyb
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Final Post on k series foam sump baffle

I've had my car for 5 years now (1.6K supersport), and will selling the car next week. New R400, with RTB upgrade, on order to arrive in April.

I also posted  approx 3 years ago that I would be sticking with the foam baffle, and replacing it as appropriate.

So for information:

5 Years, approx 15k miles, 10 trackdays

Replaced it twice. No problems of any kind.

I had incredibly negative comments last time I posted on this, and have not posted since on blatchat, howvever, I felt now is the time to close the loop. I hope the negativity isn't repeated - I'm simply giving information.

revilla
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Stripped my engine down for a rebuild recently. Discovered that it had the foam installed when I thought it did not, so it had been there for some time. To be honest it was absolutely fine, no sign of it being brittle and no sign of debris coming off it. I have opted to remove it after all the horror stories I've heard but they do seem to be quite variable - like yours, mine never gave any trouble. Whether we have just been lucky or not I guess we will never really know.

SV VVC 170 - 170.4 bhp @ 7100 rpm - 142.4 ft.lb. @ 4900 rpm

Roger Ford
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Almost all K-series racers use it, never heard of any of them having a problem. Don't know if that's down to changing them and/or the oil more regularly or what. Much as I wouldn't dare to disagree with OilyHands on the topic, all the other engine builders I've spoken to recommend keeping the foam.
 

Bob L
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Just changed mine.  The old one looked fine so was happy to replace with new.

oilyhands
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I think my sample size is probably a lot larger than most. I have seen around 30 instances where the foam has broken up and partly clogged (and in one case completely clogged) the oil pickup. One owner had his engine serviced less than 50 miles before and they claimed to have changed the foam, it was like crispy sea weed. You measure the overall efficacy of a system by the number of times it fails rather than by individual instances of success, I can't afford to take the risk that a carefully built engine will fail due to a broken up foam insert whose purpose is at best unclear,

Oily

Myles
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I'm one of Oily's 30. My foam went from new to a puddle of goo (blocking/impeding the pickup with fragments in the meantime) in around 70 miles (that was the point at which I saw the oil pressure waver).

Hateful thing. Cost me a small fortune. 

revilla
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Odd though isn't it that some last for years and some fail in as little as 70 miles ...

Does anyone have any information as to why there may be such a wide variation?

  • Have there been different materials used for the foam over the years?
  • Could it be anything to do with oil types?
  • Is it related to track use (I'm thinking oil temperature)?
  • Is there any link to HGF (I'm thinking coolant damage)?
  • Is there anything else in common between the engines where it fails which sets them apart from those that don't?

I'm not arguing with anyone, just intrigued as to why this happens so unpredicatably.

SV VVC 170 - 170.4 bhp @ 7100 rpm - 142.4 ft.lb. @ 4900 rpm

Mort
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Never had a problem with mine, although it does get changed every year.  When I bought my Seven it still had the original baffle which was 5 years old, and it was perfectly fine.

Maybe it has something to do with the oil used.  I tend to use the Caterham stuff.

CharlesElliott
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I think that Myles (from memory) had either HGF or coolant in the oil for some other reason. 

21jigsaw
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C21 supersport, 14yrs and 20k miles. Oil changed every 5k. The foam was a bit crispy / age hardened but still fully functional when changed. Seems like there is another factor in all of this.

AntonyH
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Our SV is on its second engine, the first having suffered oil starvation due to foam disintegration with the previous owner - being "not me" I have no idea how old that foam was of course, so possibly due to insufficient maintenance.

At last year's service the foam was at the "crispy seaweed" stage with some parts starting to become detached, so after some discussion I opted to dispose of it.

I've heard reasons for keeping it, relating to oil surge, but these seem mostly based in track use which we just don't do, so on balance removing it seemed safer.

It does seem, as 21jigsaw says, that there's possibly more in play than just the foam.

~~~
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