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Installing an Oil Accumulator

Posted in How To on September 1, 1999
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Photographers: Cole Quinnell
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The system uses a sandwich adapter on the oil filter. Braided-stainless hose and aluminum AN fittings plumb the Accumulator into the oiling system. The Accumulator is essentially a reservoir with a floating piston. The floating piston allows the unit to be pressurized without causing the oil to foam. It holds three quarts and has a gauge that monitors the pressure. The system uses a sandwich adapter on the oil filter. Braided-stainless hose and aluminum AN fittings plumb the Accumulator into the oiling system. The Accumulator is essentially a reservoir with a floating piston. The floating piston allows the unit to be pressurized without causing the oil to foam. It holds three quarts and has a gauge that monitors the pressure.
The oil filter is removed. Check that there is adequate clearance under the filter for the extra 1-1/2 inches that the sandwich adapter will provide. The adapter we used will work on small- and big-block Chevy engines. Other engines will require fabrication or the purchase of a remote filter/oil cooler adapter. The oil filter is removed. Check that there is adequate clearance under the filter for the extra 1-1/2 inches that the sandwich adapter will provide. The adapter we used will work on small- and big-block Chevy engines. Other engines will require fabrication or the purchase of a remote filter/oil cooler adapter.
The oil-filter mount is unbolted from the block, and the area is cleaned with a rag. The new mount doesn&#8217t have a pressure bypass like the factory unit. The oil-filter mount is unbolted from the block, and the area is cleaned with a rag. The new mount doesn’t have a pressure bypass like the factory unit.
The O-rings in the adapter should be lubricated with engine oil. Install the adapter using the supplied Allen-head bolts. We utilized the provided plug to fill the unused port. If an oil cooler is installed in conjunction with the Accumulator, this port will be used for the return line. The O-rings in the adapter should be lubricated with engine oil. Install the adapter using the supplied Allen-head bolts. We utilized the provided plug to fill the unused port. If an oil cooler is installed in conjunction with the Accumulator, this port will be used for the return line.
Moroso Accumulator mounting brackets are available from Summit. These brackets allow it to be bolted to a flat surface, although they could be installed on a rollcage using 2-inch U-bolts if desired. We marked and drilled holes to attach the brackets on the inner fenderwell of this Jeep. Moroso Accumulator mounting brackets are available from Summit. These brackets allow it to be bolted to a flat surface, although they could be installed on a rollcage using 2-inch U-bolts if desired. We marked and drilled holes to attach the brackets on the inner fenderwell of this Jeep.
Install the Accumulator in the clamps and tighten securely. Be sure that the manual valve, gauge, and air-fill valve are accessible. Install the Accumulator in the clamps and tighten securely. Be sure that the manual valve, gauge, and air-fill valve are accessible.
We decided to use an electric valve. It is also made by Moroso, and can be purchased from Summit. The manual valve included with the Accumulator was left in place. It can be turned off to prevent seepage if the vehicle is parked for long periods of time. All pipefittings are sealed with Teflon tape. We decided to use an electric valve. It is also made by Moroso, and can be purchased from Summit. The manual valve included with the Accumulator was left in place. It can be turned off to prevent seepage if the vehicle is parked for long periods of time. All pipefittings are sealed with Teflon tape.
Two wires are connected to the electric valve. One of the wires is a ground and the other is connected to the included switch, mounted in the dash. Two wires are connected to the electric valve. One of the wires is a ground and the other is connected to the included switch, mounted in the dash.
We ordered a 6-foot section of braided stainless steel line that was the perfect length. If you need to cut the hose, wrap the area to be cut with tape and use a chopsaw or a cut-off wheel. A hacksaw usually makes a mess unless the teeth on the blade are very small and sharp. In this photo, the first part of the AN-fitting is installed. We ordered a 6-foot section of braided stainless steel line that was the perfect length. If you need to cut the hose, wrap the area to be cut with tape and use a chopsaw or a cut-off wheel. A hacksaw usually makes a mess unless the teeth on the blade are very small and sharp. In this photo, the first part of the AN-fitting is installed.
Here the fitting is protected with a rag and placed in a vise. The second part of the fitting is lubricated with engine oil, and the two pieces are threaded together. We mounted the hose and wiring inside the framerail for protection. Here the fitting is protected with a rag and placed in a vise. The second part of the fitting is lubricated with engine oil, and the two pieces are threaded together. We mounted the hose and wiring inside the framerail for protection.
A hole is drilled in the dash for the toggle switch. It is wired to a 12-volt keyed power source. If the engine stalls, it will need to be restarted quickly or the switch will need to be turned off. Otherwise, the Accumulator will release its contents into the engine, causing the oil level to be too high. The advantage to using the toggle is the ability to use the Accumulator as a pre-lubing device. Simply turn on the ignition, flip the toggle, and watch the oil-pressure gauge rise. Then start the engine. A hole is drilled in the dash for the toggle switch. It is wired to a 12-volt keyed power source. If the engine stalls, it will need to be restarted quickly or the switch will need to be turned off. Otherwise, the Accumulator will release its contents into the engine, causing the oil level to be too high. The advantage to using the toggle is the ability to use the Accumulator as a pre-lubing device. Simply turn on the ignition, flip the toggle, and watch the oil-pressure gauge rise. Then start the engine.
With the valve open, the Accumulator is pressurized to 60 psi with compressed air. This is done to move the floating piston to the empty position. The pressure is bled down to 6 psi and the engine is started. The Accumulator will fill up and build pressure. With the valve open, the Accumulator is pressurized to 60 psi with compressed air. This is done to move the floating piston to the empty position. The pressure is bled down to 6 psi and the engine is started. The Accumulator will fill up and build pressure.
We checked the oil level after turning off the Accumulator and the engine. It was down 2-1/2 quarts. We poured in 1-1/2 quarts and decided to run the level a little low, since we have the reserve. Doing this will keep the crank from being submerged in oil during extreme angles. We checked the oil level after turning off the Accumulator and the engine. It was down 2-1/2 quarts. We poured in 1-1/2 quarts and decided to run the level a little low, since we have the reserve. Doing this will keep the crank from being submerged in oil during extreme angles.
There are several ways to wire the system. Our fuel-injection computer wasn&#8217t working properly, so the electric-fuel-pump turn-on has been bypassed with a toggle switch. Once our computer is fixed we will wire the Accumulator to the pump power. When the engine stalls in this configuration, the valve will close as soon as the pump stops. If your vehicle is carbureted, a vacuum-operated switch could be used to control the Accumulator. If there is vacuum, the valve would be open; without vacuum (stalled engine) the valve would close. However, this method won&#8217t work with big cams. There are several ways to wire the system. Our fuel-injection computer wasn’t working properly, so the electric-fuel-pump turn-on has been bypassed with a toggle switch. Once our computer is fixed we will wire the Accumulator to the pump power. When the engine stalls in this configuration, the valve will close as soon as the pump stops. If your vehicle is carbureted, a vacuum-operated switch could be used to control the Accumulator. If there is vacuum, the valve would be open; without vacuum (stalled engine) the valve would close. However, this method won’t work with big cams.

With all the advances in automotive technology, four-wheelers have been able to conquer previously impassable trails. These trails provide obstacles that put vehicles in precarious positions and at angles extremely close to rolling. In such situations, an engine is often run without oil pressure. This is because the oil in the engine is directed by gravity, which often guides it away from the oil-pump pickup. The only time the oil isn't directed by gravity is when it's under pressure.

Drag- and circle-track racers have found many ways to maintain oil pressure under acceleration and cornering. Special oil pans, baffles, and even dry-sump systems have been conceived to keep expensive engines lubricated. The problem with these cures is the cost. Custom baffled pans often exceed $300, and a complete dry-sump system can cost more than many of the engines four-wheelers would be trying to protect. Summit Racing may have the cure for a potentially sick oiling situation: a Moroso Accumulator. It stores pressurized oil that is released when the engine’s oil pressure drops, and it can also be used as a pre-lubing device. Read on and see how we install this race-inspired unit on our rockcrawler.

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