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Since I offered this advice several years ago, the topic comes up with some regularity. My answer today is the same as then, yes and no.

If you have a garage queen that you limp down to the Ice Cream Parlor once a week/month, don't bother. If you enter the freeway with the loud pedal matted, then it's real cheap insurance.

The first photo shows the stock pan with 6.5 qts. of liquid. The level is 4 3/4" above the pan floor and slightly over the pan baffle. The second photo is 5.5 qts., the stock fill, and it's 4 1/4" from the floor and just touching the baffle. The third photo is 4.5 qts. which is the amount, with the engine running, that you'd see with a 6.5 qt. fill. I'm using 1/2 qt. #s because of the filter volume of approximately 1/2 qt. The 4.5 qts is 3 3/4" from the floor and 1/2" under the pan baffle. If you're running the stock fill, then you'd have 3.5 qts. with the engine running, and it would be 3 1/4" from the floor. In addition to the pan baffle, there is a full length windage tray offering great protection to the rotating assembly. The distance from the bottom of the windage tray to the pan baffle is 2 1/2", so there's significant space between the oil and the crank.

The real danger comes from the forward mounting of the pickup tube. Under aggressive acceleration the oil runs to the rear of the sump while the pump is quickly draining the pan. The LS oil pumps are crankshaft driven unlike the old Gen 1 small blocks that were camshaft driven. The LS engines pump LOTS of oil, but drain back slowly. It is easy to uncover the pickup tube and lose oil pressure momentarily. Do that often enough and you can start seeing some bearing damage.

So, if you continue to run the stock pan and you drive aggressively, do yourself a favor and dump in an extra quart. It will do no harm and could save your engine!

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Thanks so much for the pictures I had wondered this and have one more question. What does the sump look like if you raise the front of the pan like it would see in a hard launch getting on a highway ramp lets say. With the stock fill does it take much oil away from the pickup?
 

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If you have a garage queen that you limp down to the Ice Cream Parlor once a week/month, don't bother.
Saaaayyyy... are you hnanging around our neighborhood or something?! :oops:

Even though that may describe our R’s habits more often than not, it still gets a good half-quart extra ‘cause you gotta blow out the gunk now and then. ;)

Thanks again for in-depth info!(y)
 

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Thanks so much for the pictures I had wondered this and have one more question. What does the sump look like if you raise the front of the pan like it would see in a hard launch getting on a highway ramp lets say. With the stock fill does it take much oil away from the pickup?
I didn't take any pics with the pan angled, but did play around with that scenario in the past when I modified the stock pan. It doesn't take much angle to get the pickup tube in danger.

The first photo shows the baffle removed from the stock pan. The pickup is centered in the opening between the front pan wall and the hollow tube running through the pan. It's open under that tube and oil can migrate to the rear chamber then run up the angled wall and continue on to the rear of the pan. A simple trap door under the tube would have helped significantly in trapping the oil where it's needed.

The second photo was my modified stock pan with the tube and filter area chopped out. I relocated the pickup closer to the sump back wall. I changed the pan baffle to help seal off the front sump, but have no pics of that. The pan held 7.5 qts, nicely and I ran a large 1 qt. remote filter with it. I eventually modified a C6 pan for additional volume and that's what I currently run.

The last photo is the real nice/efficient full length windage tray used on the LS2. I haven't seen inside the LM4, so not certain what that tray looks, assuming there is one.
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Discussion Starter #5
Saaaayyyy... are you hnanging around our neighborhood or something?! :oops:

Even though that may describe our R’s habits more often than not, it still gets a good half-quart extra ‘cause you gotta blow out the gunk now and then. ;)

Thanks again for in-depth info!(y)
You are welcome. I've been wanting to do this write up for quite awhile, but could never find the time. Now that us Michiganders are officially grounded, I'm spending a little more time on the computer.

Hey, throw the full quart in there, these are thirsty little devils!
 

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Topspin thanks again for the information on the oil pan. It has been one of those things I will do at some point but for now will probably go with an extra quart in the pan for good measure. Glad the SSR does not have a lot of travel in the front suspension like some of the old muscle cars did.
 

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Thanks for taking the time to post this thread. I sincerely believe that the extra quart is a necessity in the front sump pan. I have heard so many horror stories from the TBSS side of the family about spun bearings...... we know they get driven with a lot more abandon than the SSR.

There are a number of us running the C6 oil pan without your mods and I wonder if you would speculate on recommended oil level in that pan. I don’t mind the extra insurance of an additional quart, but have not seen any test info on how much headroom we have before oil level is TOO high......

Your thoughts?

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for taking the time to post this thread. I sincerely believe that the extra quart is a necessity in the front sump pan. I have heard so many horror stories from the TBSS side of the family about spun bearings...... we know they get driven with a lot more abandon than the SSR.

There are a number of us running the C6 oil pan without your mods and I wonder if you would speculate on recommended oil level in that pan. I don’t mind the extra insurance of an additional quart, but have not seen any test info on how much headroom we have before oil level is TOO high......

Your thoughts?

Mike
Yep Mike, the TBSS boys tear up a bunch of lower ends from using the same lousy oil pan! Those guys daily drive them, tow with them, and often times race them. And if they're the AWD version they're stuck with that junk pan. We're lucky, we don't have to use that pan!

I never looked at the level in the C6 pan because I decided immediately that I wanted more capacity. I have a buddy that works in the garage at the GM proving grounds and he mentioned some oil starvation problems with the C6 Vettes when driven hard. In evaluating the pan I could see where it had some shortcomings. The pickup tube is located in the forward portion of the rear sump with a lot of dead area behind it. To my eye it's designed to be equally effective when accelerating, cornering, and braking - things Vettes do. I wanted my pan to have additional protection for straight line acceleration.

As you're aware there's no top baffle on the C6 pan, so you may need to be a little careful with additional oil volume. I'm going to have my pan off this weekend, so I'll take a closer look at the original sump area.

Here's the stock and modded C6 pan for those that haven't seen one.

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Discussion Starter #10

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Ken,
What’s your opinion of PCM’s oil pickup relocation kit for the stock pan?

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ken,
What’s your opinion of PCM’s oil pickup relocation kit for the stock pan?

Personally, I would never invest $325 in the stock pan as it has other issues, also. But, if I had AWD and was forced to retain the stock pan, that is a nice improvement.

These photos are of the other real problem area in the stock pan. Our pan is the only LS pan with the oil filter relocated to the passenger side. This nasty restrictive device is what accomplishes that task. The tubes are 1/2" I.D. and the crush bends shrink that I.D. further! These become the smallest oil passages in the complete oiling tract, limiting oil flow. The last photo shows a blow-off valve that functions @ 55# of oil pressure. I've never been able to find an explanation as to why this pan has that feature when no other LS pan has it. No matter what you have as oil pump output pressure, you're limited to 55# final pressure to the bearings!
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Just to note, I have the stock pan on my '06 and I have run a full 7.5qts (1.5qts over stock) for at least the last 10-12 years and I have over 60,000 miles on my truck towing my Airstream. The 7.5qts hasn't shown any problems whatsoever. Having said that, I would one day like to swap to the C6 pan.

I use 6qts Mobil1 15w50, a half quart of Rislone ZDDP treatment (a little less than 2 bottles), and 1qt of Duralube. Not "Slick50" (which is snake oil BS) but Duralube engine treatment.

Duralube proved itself to me in 1991 when I cooked a 1973 VW bus engine dry with a dead oil pump for several miles, filling the van with smoke...and it didn't seize. When I brought it to the shop, the entire staff couldn't believe it still ran. They asked me what I used. I've been using it ever since...a quart of Duralube. And I still have the van.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Just to note, I have the stock pan on my '06 and I have run a full 7.5qts (1.5qts over stock) for at least the last 10-12 years and I have over 60,000 miles on my truck towing my Airstream. The 7.5qts hasn't shown any problems whatsoever. Having said that, I would one day like to swap to the C6 pan.

I use 6qts Mobil1 15w50, a half quart of Rislone ZDDP treatment (a little less than 2 bottles), and 1qt of Duralube. Not "Slick50" (which is snake oil BS) but Duralube engine treatment.

Duralube proved itself to me in 1991 when I cooked a 1973 VW bus engine dry with a dead oil pump for several miles, filling the van with smoke...and it didn't seize. When I brought it to the shop, the entire staff couldn't believe it still ran. They asked me what I used. I've been using it ever since...a quart of Duralube. And I still have the van.
In 2000 Duralube settled with the Federal Trade Commission For $2 mil for false advertising, just like Slick 50, STP, and Prolong had before them! Stick with the Mobil 1, you'll be fine.
 

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Duralube worked in my VW van. I agree on those other products...Slick50, Prolong, etc...crap. I would normally lump Duralube in with those...if I didn't witness it work personally. Check ProjectFarm on YouTube where he verifies that Duralube increased compression. I think Duralube back in the 90s went too far in their claims...but that doesn't mean it doesn't help with cold start wear and the like. It DOES bond to metal...whether that is desirsble or not can be argued. But it does do something.

My Dodge Neon lasted 263,000 miles with it, my Caravan 254,000, my VW Beetle 180,000, my Geo Metro 190,000...Duralube seems to do something.

Also, on another side note...it sounds strange, but Duralube works unparalleled as a control pot lube in old stereos. It sticks to the metal preventing that all-familiar scratchy sound. One application lasts decades. Ive tried everything...including normal products for that purpose...and synthetic motor oils. Nothing works in this fashion like the Duralube engine treatment. Whereas regular contact cleaner/fader lube/pot lube need to be reapplied every so often (including DeOxit), I treated my parents' 1969 Sansui receiver in 1999 with Duralube because the pots were so scratchy they would lose signal just by the touch...unusable! Now, after sitting for up to two years at a time, the second you TOUCH any control they are all dead silent. After 21 years since treatment. I don't know what's in Duralube, but it absolutely does stick to metal where regular oils drain off...I don't know if it does that under heat/pressure in an engine, but Duralube actually does something.
 
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