If there's a common thread amongst Moroso's vast array of products, it's that they're all hardcore, every single one of them. Founded by racers for racers, few companies have contributed to kicking the snot out of the guy in the other lane more than Moroso. Whether it's an oil accumulator, a vacuum pump, or a dry-sump pan, if you need something out of the Moroso catalog, chances are you have a pretty serious street or strip combination. Even the company's more mainstream parts, like deep-sump oil pans and front drag skinnies, are a staple of every dragstrip in the country. However, meeting the demands of high-end racers-who can spot shoddy craftsmanship from a quarter-mile away-is no easy feat. For a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to keep such a legendary marquee at the top of its game, we recently had a conversation with company President Rick Moroso. As we found out, parts once associated only with high-end race cars are becoming much more common in street applications, which translates to more power potential for the average street machine.
"My father, Dick Moroso, was one of the era's most successful Modified Production drag racers in the '60s. He left his racing career behind in 1968 to start the company known today as Moroso Performance Products. As an avid racer, he knew firsthand what parts were in demand, and his new business specialized in designing, testing, and manufacturing specialized products aimed exclusively at racers' needs. The performance world quickly recognized that Moroso products performed well because they were designed and built for racers, by a racer! Even today, we specialize in ultra-high-performance racing parts. My father's legacy fuels Moroso's continued commitment to incorporate the very latest technology necessary to deliver exceptional products to our customers, from grassroots asphalt and dirt track racing to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NHRA, IHRA, NMCA, and NMRA."
From the very beginning, the Moroso product line has revolved around the needs of hardcore racers. As such, the designers at Moroso continue to work closely with professional engine builders and racers to engineer products designed to solve real-world challenges. "Our customers look to Moroso for our combination of highly skilled craftsmen and precision machinery guaranteed to deliver race-proven products," says Rick. "These include specialized tools, maximum-performance chassis and suspension components through our Competition Engineering by Moroso division, and state-of-the-art ignition wires through Moroso Wire Technologies. Moroso also tests new product designs on our own fleet of project test cars, including my father's classic '61 Corvette, and several late-models. We've carved out a niche dedicated to serious racers, and that wouldn't be possible without actively participating in motorsports."
Pressure and Volume
Oil control is often a balance between pressure and volume, a relationship that's far from simple. Oil pressure is the measurement of how much resistance there is against the oil pump outlet. According to Rick, this simple way of measuring oil pump output tells you that the pump is getting oil to the components of your engine by force-feeding it, creating a hydrodynamic wedge. That said, oil volume is what most racers care about, but they have no way of measuring it. Oil volume is the value of how much oil is flowing through the engine, and ultimately pulling heat away from the bearings and the journals, or the two mating surfaces that are being protected. "An increase of oil volume has its good and bad points. One good point is that the proper amount of volume will always guarantee that your engine is protected," Rick explains. Regardless of oil pressure, oil volume will protect your parts long before oil pressure will. Lower viscosity oils are a perfect example of how the oil pressure is lower, but the flow rate is higher. The oil pump creates less backpressure, but the thinner oil flows more freely through the engine, and pulls the heat away from the parts more efficiently. "The negative side of increased oil volume is the inability to return the oil fast enough to the oil pan to maintain the required oil level to keep the oil pump submerged. When the oil volume is higher, it will fill the heads and lifter valley faster. If there is any restriction, which is quite common, it will cause a buildup of oil-and as a result-the oil will not return to the pan fast enough. External drain backs are a common way to solve this problem."
With all the different shapes and sizes of parts that go into a short-block, designing an oil pan that performs and fits well is a tremendous challenge. While different types of automated machinery, such as computer-controlled turret punch presses and various CNC machines, are used to make the individual components, Moroso oil pans are precision welded one at a time by skilled craftsmen who take pride in their work. "Many of our latest oil pans come directly from our success designing custom pans. Once Moroso's R&D department completes their design work, it is entered into a computerized interface where exact tolerances of the original pan can be repeated endlessly," says Rick. As part of Moroso's comprehensive quality control process, components are computer checked for dimensional accuracy before assembly. Once all components are welded, the completed pan is fitment checked on the corresponding engine block. Moroso routinely performs high-pressure leak tests on its fabricated pans. "Moroso was the first company to manufacture racing oil pans with deep and kicked-out sumps, thereby solving lubrication problems for countless racers. Features such as one-piece billet aluminum rails and billet end seals provide stability and ensure consistent sealing surfaces, while trapdoor baffling and louvered windage trays provide improved oil control."