I enjoyed the recent article on Multi-fuel Spin-On oil filter adapters. (MVM #124) Having driven M35s, M817s and M51s, I remember watching (and cringing) as the oil pressure gauge remained stationary for what seemed to be an eternity. I believe such an addition/upgrade to be well worth it for a variety of reasons.

    I’d like to add one item to the list of possible upgrades to military vehicle oil systems- actually any vehicle’s oil system, multi-fuel, military or otherwise. The addition of an oil accumulator can be very beneficial. Many racers may be familiar with Moroso’s Accusump (I believe they’ve changed the name to Accumulator).

    The function of an accumulator is to store excess oil. In the event of a drop in oil pressure the stored oil is released and protects the engine long enough to survive the event, or for the operator to shut it down. I’ve applied them in off-road situations to deal with unusual angles of attack. Another function is to pre-oil the engine before start up. Before shutting down the engine, the operator closes a valve (manually or electric solenoid) which retains the stored oil in the accumulator under pressure. Before again starting the engine, the operator opens the valve, releasing the stored oil into the engine and thereby pre-oiling the engine. As we know, the majority of wear occurs at startup. The accumulator adds capacity to the oil system. Additional capacity adds to the oil’s ability to assist in cooling the engine. (Oil is also a coolant which assists in carrying heat from the engine). The downside is buying more oil when its time for a change!

    Oil accumulators have long been used in hydraulic systems to deal with the expansion of fluid in a closed system as it heats up, and for similar purposes to those mentioned above. I’m currently researching the application of industrial/hydraulic type accumulators for the purpose of protecting vehicle engines. If/when I find out more I’ll pass it along. One advantage to an industrial type accumulator as opposed to a racing type accumulator would be greater capacity. The typical 3-quart capacity of the racing type may not be adequate for larger truck engines.

    By the way, this can also be used to protect your MV or your family car.

—Jerome Casey

    Thank you for the detailed information about oil accumulators. In addition to your tip about protecting engines, I’ve had good luck with an oil additive called Pro-Long, which has consistently raised oil pressure, made my engines run a bit smoother, and also protects during startup.

    While some this company’s performance and protection claims were supposedly disproved, I have a friend who’s a commercial fisherman and used Pro-Long in the G.M. 2-71 diesel engine that powers his boat. On a long trip from Bodego Bay to Santa Cruz, CA, with his boat on auto-pilot, the engine broke an oil line and ran at full throttle for about two hours with no oil pressure. Not only did it survive, but when I pulled the engine apart for him to check it out  there was no damage, or even major wear, to the bearings and cylinder walls. I’d call this proof enough that Pro-Long is worth using despite it being somewhat pricey.

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