The design, development & production of the FUJI oil pick up pipe.
It’s well known throughout the Subaru fraternity the potential pitfalls with the OEM oil pick up pipe, but for those not aware let’s take a minute to explain.
The original oil pick up pipe locates at the base of the engine block and is designed to draw oil out from the oil sump pan and distribute it around the engine (via the oil pump and various galleries). Over the years there have been many occasions where vehicle owners have experience the pipe failing which has resulted in total engine failure.
The prime reason for the failure is due to fatigue (caused from age and frequent temperature cycles) and a lack of adequate support on the main pick up pipe tube. In essence the weight of the pipe assembly hangs from a mounting flange with only a single thin support to prevent movement, over time this places too greater pressure on the main pipe and as a result it usually cracks just short of the mounting flange.
Naturally, we wanted to create a product which would combat this issue but if possible add further advantages.
After scanning the internal surfaces of all three sump variants (EJ20, EJ25 & twin scroll) we then created a model of the original pick up pipe. From this we were able to accurately measure distances from the pick up pipe to the base of the sump and identify additional areas which could potentially be used for an additional support bracket.
The CAD models revealed that the original oil pick up pipe ended some distance away from the base of the sump, therefore should the car be low on oil, or the sump oil level effected from prolonged / harsh cornering (forcing the oil to flow into the cylinder heads) then the original pipe wasn’t ideally placed.
Various prototypes were then produced based around the information and measurements we obtained, firstly to increase support to the main oil feed pipe but also to lower the oil pick up point. A chosen final design was then 3D Onyx printed to check fitment and clearance.
The production design was created to feature additional support as originally intended, however the component was further evolved to utilise our already existing “Castle Head” oil pick up pipe adapter.
The adapter was produced previously and stems from Subaru’s rally days, where “flattened sumps” were often a common occurrence during rally stages. Without any adapter / protection the sump could be crushed up to the oil pick up pipe head, preventing the engine oil from circulating. The castle head allows over 1″ of reduction whilst still maintaining the ability to draw oil through the open castellations.
The length of the pick up pipe was designed to give exactly 2mm clearance from the base of the sump (taking into account fitment of the castle adapter), ensuring the engine has every chance of survival should the volume of oil in the sump be decreased to a worrying level.
With the prototype produced and tested we then had to consider the production process. The full assembly is produced from various welded components, all of which must be match together in harmony to ensure fitment of the final piece. A jig was designed and produced, emulating the underside of the EJ Series engine.
From this, a steel tool was created which locates all individual components and allows them to be welded in the correct position and orientation. further tools were then produced in 3D onyx allowing each and every pick up pipe to be trail fitted before being lovingly packed for dispatch.