EPC Accusump And Remote Oil Filter Installation - Maximum Lubrication Equation
Install Canton's Accusump Pre-oiler and CM Remote Filter to Protect Your Pontiac's Engine
From the March, 2009 issue of High Performance Pontiac
All contributors: Jim Dietzler
The basic Electronic Pressure...
The basic Electronic Pressure Control (EPC) Accusump and remote oil-filter kit includes a 2-quart Accusump; EPC-valve components; a CM remote filter; -10 AN fittings; AN/NPT adapters; braided hose; and a 90-degree, rotating, remote filter adapter.
Let's face it, at one point or another we've all worried about the best way to keep our PMD powerplant alive and in good condition for as long as possible. After all, it's not like you can just run over to your local Pontiac dealership nowadays and order up a bare replacement block. Yes, there are still plenty to be found in the salvage market, unless you're like the author and possess something like an early or late SD-, Ram Air-, or H.O.-equipped ride. In that instance, or even with a more bread-and-butter Pontiac engine, you worry about wear and tear on the internals every time you turn the key!
The majority of vintage Pontiac owners drive their rides infrequently, allowing the oil coating on the cylinder walls to slowly work back into the oil pan. Typically, it takes several crankshaft rotations to pressurize the oil galleries at start-up, and until then, the engine has minimal, if any, oil film protecting the surfaces. Independent studies attribute as much as 90 percent of engine wear to cold-start scuffing.
This is why Canton's Accusump system is a desirable modification. While a $500-$600 expenditure that doesn't improve performance may seem a little steep, consider the cost of either replacing or rebuilding a Pontiac engine because of normal wear. Combined with the peace of mind a pre-oiler and surge-protection system provides, it's a more-than-worthwhile expense.
Though the dark galling on...
Though the dark galling on this piston can be attributed to poor piston/ring-to-bore fit, the vertical scoring is typical of the cold-start scuffing that occurs during start-up.
After laying out all the components,...
After laying out all the components, it was clear the installation had to start at the engine in order to determine where everything would fit. Canton's sandwich adapter, which fits between the stock filter mount and filter, is an easy install and doesn't require the remote filter. However, even with a smaller oil filter, there was no room for the sandwich adapter and filter, so we decided to use the 90-degree, billet, remote-filter adapter and a CM remote filter. This system required removal of the bypass plate and spring.
Because of how the remote...
Because of how the remote adapter mounts, it's easier to install with the filter mount removed from the block. Trial and error determined the proper orientation of the fitting. Clearance at the transmission case and subframe left little room for error, and the torque-converter cover and the protruding forward-edge of the transmission-case ear needed trimming.
A carbide die-grinder mounted...
A carbide die-grinder mounted in a cordless drill made quick work of the transmission case, and a utility knife was used to nip off a bit of the converter cover's plastic. Though the initial product photo shows only straight AN fittings, when they ran smack into the subframe, it was realized that 90-degree fittings were necessary. An earlier-style 90-degree filter mount was tried but only made matters worse.
Once the position of the remote...
Once the position of the remote adapter was determined, it was match-marked with a paint marker, the assembly was removed, and permanent alignment marks were scribed on the fitting and filter mount as shown. At this point, the adapter was tightened to the filter mount, rotated into the correct position, then bolted back to the block with the AN/NPT adapters installed.
A variety of mounting methods...
A variety of mounting methods were considered before this setup was devised. This is a pull handle from a commercial push-style, panic door-bar system. To prevent any oil aeration in the CM remote filter due to vibration through the sheetmetal, a pair of isolators from a '72 Firebird radiator support were used for the upper mounting points of the bracket. A pair of hood bumpers were set to matching depth and attached to the lower point of the bracket. The Pontiac parts bin also coughed up a pair of rubber gaskets from Second-Gen Firebird spoiler attaching nuts. They will be sandwiched between the fender washers for added damping at the filter clamp.
A pre-oiler is nothing new to the internal-combustion engine industry. Patents for such devices date back to the '30s. However, those early units were complex affairs with springs, valves, chambers, and pumps. They never caught on within the automotive industry, most likely due to their expense, reliability, and component-longevity issues.
Canton's Accusump began life as John W. "Jack" Evans' engine pre-oiler and lubricant reservoir (1970, Patent No. 4,094,293) and was developed and sold through his company, Meca Development. Evans later focused his talents on the familiar aftermarket cooling systems that bear his name, and in 1983, Canton Racing Products bought the rights to Evans' pre-oiler.
In the ensuing years, Canton has changed various aspects of the Accusump, refining the internal valving and beefing up the reservoir construction with billet, machined screw-in end caps. Billed as the original oil accumulator, the internal surface of the Accusump's heavy-wall aluminum tube is roller burnished and Teflon hard-coated with a sliding double-O-ring piston that separates the tube into air and oil chambers.
The Accusump pre-oils the engine before you ever turn the key, ensuring that everything is oiled and minimizing friction between contact surfaces. Additionally, when equipped with an electric pressure switch of predetermined range, the Accusump automatically triggers the electric valve to deliver oil to the engine while it's running if a component of the system fails (the pump, pump driveshaft, oil filter, and so on) or the oil pickup is uncovered during braking, cornering, or acceleration. It gives the driver enough time to shut down the engine before more serious damage occurs or the system provides oil to the engine until reaching normal pressure. Accusump systems that use only the electric valve for simple pre-oiling or a manual valve that requires the operator to activate the system for pre-oiling or surge protection are also available.
Due to the tight confines around the oil filter, we used a remote oil filter in this particular Second-Gen Formula application. Over the years, we've seen plenty of remote oil-filter mounting systems in street and race cars. We've also seen quite a few failures of such systems, whether from poor oil delivery and the ensuing internal engine carnage it causes or outright failure of the lines on the track. Most of the former is due to the systems being cobbled together using hardware-store NPT pipe fittings with non-radiused angle fittings, while the latter often stem from poor layout and inferior materials. For example, using hose clamps, straight nipple fittings, kinked hoses, hoses not long enough to compensate for engine movement, and so on.
When assembling the system in our Formula, the number of 90-degree fittings and position of the filter were initially cause for concern. However, after reviewing the proposed system, Canton's tech department assured us there was nothing to worry about as long as we used the proper components. Radiused fittings like those provided by Canton minimize pressure loss whether 45-, 90-, or even 180-degree. If you go the cheap route and build such a system using off-the-shelf plumbing hardware, you're asking for internal damage caused by oil starvation due to pressure losses at the restrictive 90-degree NPT fittings.
Once the installation of the system in the Pontiac was complete, the gauges and line fittings into the Accusump and oil system were leak-tested. There are two methods to do this: First is pressurizing the system with 60 psi of air through the Schrader air valve and applying soapy water to the gauge and hose fittings; any bubbling indicates a leak. The second method is to pressurize the unit, note the pressure indicated on the gauge, and let it sit for up to 24 hours; any loss in pressure indicates a leak.
Once the oiling system was proven to hold pressure, the Accusump was precharged. Pressure was bled off at the Schrader valve to 7-10 psi. The engine was started and the Accusump was activated with the toggle switch, filling the unit. The pressure on the Accusump gauge should be a close match to the engine's oil pressure. After setting the precharge, the oil level in the engine was topped off to account for the oil now held in the Accusump.
One thing to note about the pre-oiling process, since the stock Pontiac oil-pressure sending unit is located at the tail-end of the engine's oiling system, you will only see a little movement on your in-dash gauge. This is normal since the engine's oil pump is not providing any pressure, and oil drainback within the large air volume of the engine block, combined with the open nature of the block thanks to the PCV and breather, won't allow it to continually maintain the pressure level of a running engine.
The next task was figuring...
The next task was figuring out where to place the remote filter. There wasn't a whole lot of room to work with under the hood, and with a bracket system in mind, the area above the heater core was selected. A pair of holes matching the upper bracket holes was drilled through the first layer of the firewall, and a nut was welded over each hole.
A test-fit of the completed...
A test-fit of the completed assembly had it sitting too low, causing the hood bumpers to rest on the heater-core cover flange. The center holes on the bracket were used instead.
With the bracket remounted,...
With the bracket remounted, the lower bumpers cleared the flange. When the installation is complete, these will be adjusted to sit off of the firewall about 1/4 inch. This floating mount will prevent the engine's torque movement from pulling the hoses from the fittings under acceleration.
When ready, the Accusump was switched off, then the engine. Then with the key in the off position or out of the ignition altogether, the Accusump was switched back on.
Now all that's left to do before each start-up is to turn on the ignition. This activates the Accusump since the switch is already in the on position. Wait for it to pre-oil the engine (15 to 30 seconds, depending on the size of the Accusump), and fire up the Poncho mill worry free! You may even notice it cranks easier and starts a couple of revolutions earlier than it used to thanks to the film of oil on the moving parts. Refer to the photos and captions for installation of the system.
|Parts And Prices|
|Qty.||Description||Part No.||Price (each)|
|1||Pair 2- or 3-quart mounting clamps||24-200||$17.50|
|1||Pair billet 2/3-quart mounting clamps||24-210||$80.00|
|6 feet||-10AN braided hose||23-605||$8.50|
|1||Electric pressure valve 20-25 psi||24-271||$148.50|
|1||1-inch check valve||24-280||$17.50|
|3||1/2-inch NPT to -10AN adapter||23-245A||$5.50|
|5||-10AN 90-degree fitting||23-665||$21.75|
|3||-10AN straight fitting||23-625||$9.75|
|1||1/2-inch NPT/2 -10AN T fitting||23-245TA||$25.50|
|1||-12AN Port to -10AN fitting||23-465A||$23.50|
|1||CM remote filter||25-106||$80.00|
|1||90-degree remote-filter adapter||22-593||$70.00|
|1||Pontiac Road Race pan||15-450||$300.00|
The 1/2-inch 308 stainless-steel...
The 1/2-inch 308 stainless-steel braided hose is rated for pressures up to 1,000 psi and has a temperature range of -40 to 350-degrees F. To begin assembling the AN fittings, the fitting threads onto the hose until fully seated.
A light film of oil on the...
A light film of oil on the male end of the fitting makes it easier to start the end into the hose. Once it was pushed in about 3/8 inch, the threads were engaged, and the two pieces are tightened until they butt into each other.
When using a vise to hold...
When using a vise to hold any of the aluminum or brass components, a set of aluminum jaw adapters were employed to prevent marring the finish. Aluminum wrenches specifically for AN fittings are available. A bit of tape on a standard wrench will prevent scratching.
A pair of aircraft cable cutters,...
A pair of aircraft cable cutters, available from most industrial/electrical supply houses for around $30, made easy work of the braided oil lines. The area around the cut was taped off to prevent the braided covering from crushing out and leaving frayed edges. A Dremel or air-powered cut-off wheel can be used to cut through the braiding, then the cut can be finished with a pair of scissor-style hose cutters.
Here are the hose assemblies...
Here are the hose assemblies that run between the remote filter and remote adapter mount. The upper assembly, which required a 131/4-inch length of hose, goes from the oil-outlet side of the remote-filter adapter to the bottom of the filter. The lower assembly runs up from the oil-input side to the T-fitting, then into the check valve and up to the remote filter. It required a 41/2-inch and a 41/4-inch section of hose. The final hose section that connects from the open 90-degree fitting on the T to the Accusump required an 81/4-inch piece of hose.
To assemble the EPC valve,...
To assemble the EPC valve, the pressure switch fitting and an -10AN / 1/2-inch NPT adapter (left) were threaded together in a vise. This assembly was threaded into the pressure valve and tightened so that the opening in the top of the switch fitting was in line with the top of the valve. It may require several tries with varying amounts of Teflon tape. The assembly was threaded into the Accusump using only the hex-ends on the valve with a wrench to tighten it. (Do not use the solenoid for leverage!) Aligning the top of the valve with the pressure gauge on the Accusump may require a few tries with the Teflon tape.
The side of the inner fender...
The side of the inner fender seemed the most logical place to mount the Accusump. It's recommended that the oil side be mounted slightly higher than the air side to bleed off any trapped air in the system during pre-oiling. The brackets must align level with each other to prevent undue stress on the Accusump unit and must be placed at the ends of the tube to prevent pinching it. Since the inner fender is curved, a straight edge was laid across the clamp brackets, and they were tweaked until the straight edge sat flat on the sides and center of both brackets. By the time you read this, Canton will have optional billet mounting clamps available.
In addition to the filter...
In addition to the filter mount, the extra hose length acts essentially as a preload, allowing for the movement of the engine and preventing pull on the hose connections.
Canton provides the wire,...
Canton provides the wire, terminals, and toggle switch to wire the system. The black wire mounted in the valve's No 1. lug-style terminal runs directly to ground. The red wire runs from the valve's No. 2 terminal to the pressure-switch Common terminal. It picks up the circuit again at the Normally Closed terminal on the pressure switch; then routes to the toggle switch in the car. The wiring to the toggle switch is routed behind the remote filter, into the engine harness, and then through the firewall at the speedometer-cable grommet.
Here is the completed wiring....
Here is the completed wiring. A section of loom or slip-over heat-shrink tubing can be used to clean up its appearance. An in-dash LED to indicate that the Accusump has discharged can be wired in series into the wiring run between the Normally Closed terminal and the No. 2 terminal on the valve.
A block-off plate for the...
A block-off plate for the radio opening was made, and the toggle switch was installed. Power is sourced from an ignition terminal on the fuse panel. This prevents accidental discharge while the car isn't running. The second switch is for reverse lights, and the Bird is a fender emblem.
The completed installation...
The completed installation fits nicely in a non-AC car and doesn't hinder access to the sparkplugs and so on. Some mounting suggestions for limited space include the area ahead of the core support and under the front fender brace in the passenger front corner of the engine compartment if an alternate coolant overflow reservoir is devised.
A Canton 6-quart Road Race oil pan has always been on the wish list for the Formula. In 1973, PMD added a baffle to the stock oil pan and eliminated the windage tray, at least on the Super Duty engines. While adequate for most spirited on-the-road driving, we decided the Formula may eventually see some autocross and hill-climb duty, so a pan upgrade is a worthwhile expenditure.
For Pontiacs, Canton offers four pans. The one shown here has a 7-inch-deep, 10 1/2-inch-long sump that fits all Pontiacs except the GTO. In some instances, stock exhaust systems may interfere with this pan. For GTOs and '67-'69 Firebirds, a pan with an 8-inch-deep, 8-inch-long sump is available. Canton also has a high-capacity 6.5-quart pan with side pouches and a stock replacement pan.
Though it has a greater capacity...
Though it has a greater capacity than the stock pan, the Canton pan is a shallow sump design that doesn't protrude lower than the subframe crossmember. It's gold-iridite plated, made from 16-gauge steel, and offers two prethreaded bungs, one for oil-level inspection and the other for adding an oil-temperature gauge.
Inside the sump is a removable...
Inside the sump is a removable baffle similar to the stock pan but covering a larger area of the sump. After inspection, Loctite was applied, and all internal hardware was tightened prior to the pan's installation.
Things are a little different...
Things are a little different under the baffle. Canton has welded a triple trap-door system into the bottom of the sump to keep the oil from sloshing away from the pickup. A pair of runners direct oil at the pickup.
Each trap door is hinged to...
Each trap door is hinged to allow one-way oil movement.
The additional depth of the...
The additional depth of the 6-quart pan requires a specific pickup in place of the stock item. For this pan and a Melling M54DS pump, pickup No. 15-451 was used.
Canton has also added a windage...
Canton has also added a windage tray to its product line. Rather than bolting to the main caps like the stock Pontiac tray, this one is sandwiched between the pan rails and pan. It requires the use of a dipstick kit and fits inside pans that are deeper in the front than the stock pan.