Design and Development of a Compact and Lightweight Oil Pan for High Performance Vehicle Applications 2014-01-1640
Designing and developing a structural oil pan that optimally fulfils all the requirements in terms of structural, NVH, weight, cost, functions and packaging space for high performance vehicles can be really challenging. These requirements on the other hand tend to compromise one and another if the part designers give imbalanced priorities over certain requirements if compared to the rest. In the past, this delicate balance can only be evaluated during the actual prototype testing rather than during the design stage. Once shortcomings are identified during the prototype testing, it is often necessary for designers to conduct costly and time consuming design iterations all over again. To avoid the trial-and-error approach, this paper discusses a generic design methodology based on a unique oil pan's basic shape to effectively address the crucial requirements during the design stage. In particular, the design approach relies a lot on the use of 3D CAD software to systematically conduct numerous design iterations. While going over the design methodology, this paper also discusses about the various tests and the general acceptance criteria that need to be passed during the development phase. Understanding that an oil pan needs other components to work effectively to meet the functional requirements, this paper also discusses about the integration of the oil pan with other components like windage tray, oil pick up, oil pump, cylinder block and critical fasteners. With the oil pan integrated well, this paper also discusses how the proposed oil pan design contributes in making the whole engine assembly lighter, smaller, simpler and cheaper.