Project [Rotary] FD RX-7 Part 1 – Regenesis

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The internal baffling for this oil pan is fairly simple and only two materials are needed to fabricate it: sheet metal for the main baffling and piano hinge stock for the trap doors. The sheet metal is cut so that it fits the pan well and a notch or hole is cut for the trap door. The piano hinge stock is purchased as a long length (three foot lengths are common) and then cut to the size that is needed. This can then be welded to a piece of sheet steel to complete one side of the oil baffling. Rinse and repeat for the rest of the baffling plates and trap doors. These plates are then welded together into the baffling subassembly that gets welded to the oil pan's windage plate.

oil pickup locationChecking where the pickup sits in relation to the windage tray before any fabrication begins. It's always a good idea to formulate a solid design before cutting any metal and making a template/test piece out of cardboard first works well.

 

baffle pieceOne of the side baffle plates cut and contoured to the oil pan with a section of piano hinge welded to it. The pin barrels in the hinge have been opened up slightly to guarantee there is no binding. All sheet/hinge material is 16ga steel and the hinge pin diameter is 3/16 inch.

 

baffle subassemblyAll baffle plates finished and welded together as a sub-assembly. Notice that the rear door is smaller than the left and right doors. This will eliminate any possible interference between the doors when decelerating through a corner. Also, the hinges are wider than the openings cut for them to make sure they have a solid surface to close against.

 

baffling completeEverything welded together and ready to bolt into the pan. Notice the direction of the hinges and how the baffle plates double as retainers for the hinge pins. By mounting the hinges in this orientation, the trap doors can only open a little past 90-degrees. This helps to ensure that the doors won't get stuck open because they rotated all the way around.

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