Dry Sump Design for a 600cc Yamaha YZF-R6 Engine 2011-32-0617
The Formula SAE competition challenges engineering students to design, build and compete in a single-seat race car. The rules limit the swept volume of the engine to 610cc and so most teams elect to use a motorcycle engine which inherently offers the desirable attributes of high power density and low mass. Engines from 600 cc motorcycles designed primarily for road use are particularly common in this competition. When used in the motorcycle these engines rarely suffer from oil starvation induced by lateral acceleration as the engine tilts with the motorcycle during cornering thereby keeping the oil pickup submerged in the oil. However, when installed in the race car, the engine is constrained in the horizontal plane and is also subjected to higher lateral accelerations. This causes oil surge during cornering and results in almost instant and catastrophic engine failure.
The Queens Formula Racing (QFR) team uses an 03-04 model, 600 cc Yamaha YZF R6 engine for their Formula SAE car. A number of designs aimed at preventing oil surge were previously tested including a custom designed baffle and the use of a hydraulic accumulator. An analysis of data recorded during track testing highlighted the fact that these designs, while successful at alleviating the oil starvation issues in the majority of cases, had not fully resolved the problem in every situation. A bespoke dry sump system was therefore designed to address this issue. The system was subjected to a rigorous test programme and its performance verified initially within an engine test laboratory and finally during track testing. The resulting system ensured consistent oil pressure during all conceivable manoeuvres on the track. The design, manufacture and testing of this system is described in detail in this paper.