SRT10 Oil Pump Failure (Gen 3) w/ Photos

Nine Ball

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A couple months ago, I was warming up my 2006 Viper to get ready to pull it out of the garage, when my oil pressure gauge all of a sudden went to 0 psi. I was hoping it was just a sensor, but it wasn't. Keep in mind that my car is heavily modified, and makes over 1,000 hp at the wheels. It has been perfectly reliable for well over a year, and several racing events. This was the stock oil pump, which has approx 14k miles on it. The inner gearotor is just cheap cast metal. It is likely that the added hp put the additional stress on it, since my engine revs up much quicker than a stock engine does.

Needless to say, it was a pain in the *** to get the thing out of the engine. Here is what I had to remove:

Paxton supercharger system
All belt-driven accessories (A/C, power steering, alternator)
Crank pulley (really fun with steering rack in way)
Front engine bay crossmember
Drain engine oil
Drain coolant
Multiple coolant hoses
Oil cooler line
Remove oil pan
Remove oil pick-up tube
Remove front engine / timing chain cover assembly
Remove the 8 worst stripping torx head screws in the history of screws (to get oil pump plate off)

Here is what I found. I know of a few other high-hp cars with the same failure. Most of us seem to be in the 800+ rwhp range. Those of you planning big mods might want to address this now, rather than later.

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You can see where the initial cracks likely formed, along the edges of the gear-drive flats. Those look like terrific stress riser areas. Once it let loose, I'm sure the other cracks were soon behind.

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Here is an example of a typical oil pump gerotor, the pump works by spinning the smaller gear inside the larger gear. This goes around the crankshaft, so that gap between the inner teeth is what moves the volume of oil as it spins. Pretty simple concept, most cars use similar setups now.

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Many other cars have similar failures. Explanations vary. Here is a decent write-up about a similar failure. http://www.skylife4ever.com/2011/01/real-problem-with-rb26-oil-pump.html

Tony
 
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dester243

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I think I remember you bought an upgraded gear unit for it. Nice details in the write up and great pictures.

I assume you caught it all before any real damage was done?
 

Nine Ball

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No metal particles found in the oil filter or pan, I caught the problem right as it happened. But, I'm still going to pull some rod bearing caps off while the pan is off, just for an inspection. Might as well, also to see how the engine is doing after a year of 1000+ hp.

RSI (www.racingsolutions.com) sells a billet gerotor upgrade, but it isn't a direct swap. You have to send them the front engine cover so that they can machine it to fit the new gerotor. Not really a cheap solution, either.

Tony
 

ACRucrazy

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That's brutal. You would think after all they know about these engines by now they could offer s bulletproof bottom end from the factory, I mean it's not like the stock blocks are cheap to begin with.
 

wikkid

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I do a lot of my own stuff. I wish i had the knowledge to rip down my car like that. Im not saying i cant, it just might not go back together right.... wish you lived close by, i would be hanging in your garage a lot..lol
 

speedracervr4

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That's brutal. You would think after all they know about these engines by now they could offer s bulletproof bottom end from the factory, I mean it's not like the stock blocks are cheap to begin with.

His power level is double the OEM rating, no way the factory is going to build everything to withstand that H.P. They have to save money some how.


I do a lot of my own stuff. I wish i had the knowledge to rip down my car like that. Im not saying i cant, it just might not go back together right.... wish you lived close by, i would be hanging in your garage a lot..lol

It's all in the service manual. This engine is a lot simpler than most modern engines to work on.

OP, thanks for sharing.
 

Allan

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Wow. :omg:

.....Now that's something else I have to worry about.:crazy2:

I am suprised to see the stock genIII pan. I guess that doesn't matter for straight line top speed runs.
 

Dan Cragin

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I have seen this type of failure before but only on engines that have had crankshaft issues or have been line bored incorrectly. Check the keyway to make sure it fits correctly.

I had an engine with an aftermarket crankshaft that caused this problem.

Check the front main bearing for excessive wear as well, the crank could be bent.

Dailey makes a budget dry sump if you wish to upgrade.

Hope this helps.
 

Mamba52

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Under hard acceleration my oil presure drops, my car now has 43k miles. I'm wondering if I have the same issue. I have changed my oil pan to a swinging oil pickup.
 

Nine Ball

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Dan,

Stock crank here, didn't have to line bore anything. My engine is basically just forged rods and pistons, with ARP hardware. Stock mains. There are numerous engines (other than Viper) with the exact same failure. Please take a look at that link I posted, it has some good reasoning and evidence behind the failure. It seems some gerotors fit too loose on the crank, maybe we need billet replacements that fit tighter?

http://www.skylife4ever.com/2011/01/real-problem-with-rb26-oil-pump.html

Tony
 

Allan

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Tony, the bouncing off the rev limiter makes sense to me.
The rapid acceleration/deceleration of the crankshaft would be like a jack hammer on the pump gear.
(like the wheel hop does to the rear diff.)

Do you/ did you, run your motor up to that point a lot?
I drive my car hard, but I don't get that close to the rev limiter anymore, as I don't see the point for what I am doing with the car.
( I have more issue with tires and brakes)
Your modded monster probably gets to redline real quick. Is this a possible cause?
Those Skyline/import dudes are always bouncing the rev limiter. .......Is that the problem?
 

Nine Ball

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I've definitely hit the rev limiter a few times, usually related to tire traction letting go. The car can lay down black marks at 80 mph ;)
 

Tiago

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My motor had stock main caps too so its not a line bore issue. Plus my crank checked out ok.

My car revved so fast in 1st and 2nd gear that I laid on the limiter almost everytime on those two gears LOL.... it broke in 2nd gear during a pull but not on the limiter, it was up there a ways 5500 rpms or so :D
 

345s-bspinnin

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Tony, thanks for sharing your experience with us. We are all aware that pushing the limits on these cars quickly depletes engineering margins set forth by their designers. Do keep us posted on your progress.


My motor had stock main caps too so its not a line bore issue. Plus my crank checked out ok.

My car revved so fast in 1st and 2nd gear that I laid on the limiter almost everytime on those two gears LOL.... it broke in 2nd gear during a pull but not on the limiter, it was up there a ways 5500 rpms or so :D

Do you have pictures your pump failure? Was it a similar failure mode as Tony's?
 

Nine Ball

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Tiago and I both blame the tooth fairy. She visited his house first, though. :)

I contacted Bill Dailey at DaileyEngineering.com about his wet and dry sump setups for the Viper. They won't work with the Paxton, as his kits use a small pulley that bolts to the front of the OEM crank pulley. That is where my Paxton drive pulley is.

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In order to use an external dry or wet sump pump, it will have to be driven off of the OEM serpentine belt position.

Tony
 

viper04

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Tony,
thanks for sharing, good info to have. Will look into doing this. Please keep us posted on what you find.
 

V10TT

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Good excuse to go TT!!

Tiago and I both blame the tooth fairy. She visited his house first, though. :)

I contacted Bill Dailey at DaileyEngineering.com about his wet and dry sump setups for the Viper. They won't work with the Paxton, as his kits use a small pulley that bolts to the front of the OEM crank pulley. That is where my Paxton drive pulley is.

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In order to use an external dry or wet sump pump, it will have to be driven off of the OEM serpentine belt position.

Tony
 

slowhatch

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Damn tony, at least you have the know-how to do it yourself and you were watching the oil pressure on startup. If that would of happened under load with your eyes on the road or it would of gotten real expensive.
 

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