Dry Sump Vs Wet Sump


Wet Sump Vs Dry Sump, Understanding The Differences

Today we’ll talk about the main differences of the wet sump vs dry sump oil systems, we will take a more in-depth look at their advantages and disadvantages between the two.

In order to understand the wet sump vs dry sump oil system differences, first we have to understand that the use of both systems is mostly based on the car owner’s budget and the type of use the car will get.

The biggest difference really is that the dry sump is going to add a few components in compared to the dry sump system which is only based off the original oiling system and has the capacity to be enhanced with parts bought in the aftermarket.

In racing terms, dry sump vs wet sump differs depending on the level of competition the car will be involved in, the dry sump system is designed for the highest levels of racing such as F1 where the maximum control and power are needed. Also, the oil pan of the wet sump is much bigger than the dry sump.

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Wet Sump System Usage And Advantages

On the wet sump system, you have the bigger oil pan where the pickup tube pulls oil to the pump. That pump will then send oil through the filter and then circulate it through the engine where it will then fall back into the oil pan.

A pretty basic system that has existed for decades. On the wet sump system, you will find the following advantages.

  • Lower cost
  • Less complex
  • Less weight
  • Heats up quicker
  • Less oil

A good example of cars with this type of system could be a factory made Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, or a Mini Cooper S. These two cars are not ideal for racing because they operate on a wet sump oil system.

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Dry Sump System Usage And Advantages

This system has a much shorter and shallower oil pan that has one or multiple pickup feeds at the very bottom, that oil will go through a first pump near the bottom.

The difference is that after the oil has gone through the first pump it will then go to a reservoir which is tall, cylindrical, and helps accumulate the oil.

Then you get a secondary pump which picks the oil from the secondary reservoir and sends it through the filter to then keep circulating through the engine.

The reason you use that second reservoir is because that gives you the advantage of using a shallower oil pan, this allows you to place the engine lower. This feature also gives you a fully flexible capacity in how much oil you want to have in the engine.

If you use a much larger external reservoir on the dry sump system, that will help you for racing applications because you have more capacity oil which means it’s going to take longer for that oil to be saturated with heat which means you will have better cooling.

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These Are The Advantages In A Nutshell

  • Shallower oil pan which is better for lower engines
  • Fully flexible oil capacity (reservoir)
  • Better cooling
  • Relocate reservoir for weight balance
  • Cornering won’t run the system dry, this is one of the biggest advantages of the dry sump system. Contrary to the wet sump system, when the car is making heavy turns and cornering you don’t have to worry about air going through the system because the secondary reservoir will always have oil pumping through regardless of the cornering in the oil pan.

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The best examples of this dry sump oil system can be a Ferrari 488 GTB or a BMW M6 which are cars manufactured for racing purposes.

So to clear any doubts about the dry sump vs wet sump debate, we can conclude that most cars use the wet sump system whereas cars built for racing are the ones most likely to have a dry sump system installed.

None is better than the other one, it just depends on what the car will be used for which is either daily driving or racing. The choice is yours.

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