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Project Viper GTS: Part 9 – RareFab/Roe Racing Oil Pan Baffle Kit

by Billy Johnson

 

Due to the high capabilities of the Viper, a huge strain is put on the factory oiling system on road courses and at the strip.  This can cause oil starvation and a spun rod bearing.  Using modern rubber can increase this risk, especially for 1996-1999 Gen-2 Vipers which have arguably the worst oil pan of any generation of Viper.  To combat this problem, we upgrade to the larger 10-quart oil pan and windage tray from the 2000-2002 Vipers and install RareFab/Roe Racing’s race-proven Oil Pan Baffle Kit.

The 1996-1999 Gen-2 Vipers got the short end of the stick when it comes to oil pan design.  For some reason the engineers at Chrysler changed from a 10-quart pan with a pretty decent baffling system to a smaller and more open 8.5-quart design which has four cast bosses protruding into the center of the pan to reduce oil slosh.  This turned out to not be as effective as the original Gen-1 design.  In 2000, the pan increased back to 10 quarts but with the same open, four-boss baffle design.

 

PROBLEM:

Over the years, it became apparent that when continuously driving Gen-2 Vipers at the limit, especially on stickier track rubber, oil starvation was a real problem and would occasionally spin rod bearings, especially on left hand sweepers.  The solution was to install trap-door ‘flaps’ to the existing bosses to create three distinct chambers to prevent the oil from sloshing away from the pickup.  This design has been proven effective on race cars and track cars for close to 20 years.

Since the Viper is so much fun to drive and is at home on the track, we reached out to our friends at Roe Racing to get the RareFab/Roe Racing Viper Oil Pan Baffle Kit to protect our engine and give us a piece of mind while tracking the car.

 

RareFab / Roe Racing Oil Pan Baffle KitThe RareFab/Roe Racing Viper Oil Pan Baffle Kit includes a front and rear Trap-Door “Flaps” as well as a new Top Plate with an improved drain back design.
 
Viper Gen 2 No Baffle Oil Pan TestThe Stock Gen-2 Viper oil pan design is fairly open with four cast bosses to reduce oil slosh and starvation.  High G-forces from cornering, accelerating, and braking causes oil to slosh up against the walls of the pan and away from the oil pickup below the mesh screen in the center of the pan, which starves the oil pump and can lead to engine damage.
 
Gen 2 Viper RareFab / Roe Racing Oil Pan Baffle TestWith the RareFab/Roe Racing Oil Pan Baffle Kit installed, the trap doors create three distinct chambers which keep the oil pickup submerged in the highest of G-forces when at the track or strip.  Note, the rear trap door and top plate are not installed for demonstration purposes.
 
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Comments
spdracerut
spdracerutlink
Monday, February 27, 2017 5:55 PM
Great info Billy. It always boggles my mind when OEMs seem to go backwards in their designs...
BillyJ
BillyJlink
Monday, February 27, 2017 7:38 PM
Well it was the 90's and the Viper was virtually the highest performing street car at that time. On 1990's technology tires, oil starvation issues weren't as significant as they are on modern rubber like the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, let alone track-focused tires and slicks.

These days, many manufacturers are investing more time and effort into the oiling systems of their track-focused cars. Unfortunately the Gen 3-4 Vipers also have oiling issues and run on more modern rubber. Gen 5s have a much better swing-pickup that performs much better.
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