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E34 M50 oil pan baffle info

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    E34 M50 oil pan baffle info

    Hey guys,
    I'm one to bash on other peoples products or anything like that, but this is just something that you guys should check and/or be aware of if your using an aftermarket oil pan baffle with a trap door.
    So a little back story here, this is a customers car not mine, and he wants an S54 swapped into his car. He also specifically stated he wanted an oil pan baffle installed because he is fully intending on tracking the car. So to make things move along quicker for me here in the Northeast coast of the country i figured I'd order one in from VAC motorsports, i've seen a few other people use them with what i thought was no issues but i was wrong. After welding this baffle i tried to dry fit the pan onto the motor and found out i couldn't get an oil pan bolt in without wrenching the pan over. After reaching in the oil level sensor hole i was able to touch the flap in the baffle through one of the holes and COULD NOT open the flap at all. It was sitting hard against the oil sump pick up, which is very no bueno. After comparing the VAC baffle to the stock one i realized that oem one had a notch out on the bottom to clear the casting for the oil level sensor.


    Pay no attention to the weld marks, just dialing in my welder.





    So because of the lack of that notch the VAC baffle sits much closer to the sump pick up, or in this case, hard against it. I drew a line to show where the VAC baffle sits versus the oem baffle.







    And here is the Achilles motor sports baffle sitting perfectly where it's supposed to. Keeping in mind of the line showing where the VAC baffle sits VS OEM and the Achilles baffle. A good 1/2" difference.





    After talking to VAC they were told by their manufacturer/supplier (Moroso) that having 1/8" of swing space for the baffle to open is ok, but i don't buy it considering that I can't even get that. After installing and dealing with many other trap and baffled oil pans, this much of a lack in clearance is clearly a design problem with poor planning.
    Dealing with VAC right now is quite the struggle because they don't want to admit to a design problem so trying to get a return on this is quite the problem right now. We'll see what happens.
    In the meantime, here are some more pics of the Achilles baffle.













    -Oz

    #2
    I went with the Achilles too. It is being welded into the pan right now pang with my turbo drain.


    1989 332IS -S-Fiddy Four-Some weight removed.
    5 lug E36 M3 Brakes Coilovers and LTW's and No ABS. Like the LTW FLAG PM for Details.
    Twitter @germanironryan
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      #3
      Good info! I'll be going with Achilles as well.

      1991 Alpine S52 318is
      Instagram:
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        #4
        This is interesting...I have a VAC baffle and was planning on installing it in the near future as my engine goes back together. Seems I had better make a note of this so I can check fit and clearance before I weld the baffle to the pan.

        Not sure I like the answer from VAC...seems like a waste to have a hinged flap that cannot move.

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          #5
          I don't like it either at all. I got Achilles baffle in and fit up and it fits much much better and the baffles can go wide open (hinges max travel limit).
          As far as VAC is concerned, I'm very not pleased. They refused to give me a full refund and want me to ship back on my dime. Not happy at all.

          Comment


            #6
            My VAC baffle works great and has for over two years of hard driving.

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              #7
              Originally posted by M3PO View Post
              My VAC baffle works great and has for over two years of hard driving.
              I appreciate the feedback - it is good to hear from those using the part as well as those who find issues. I know there have been many who have used the VAC part and have been happy with its performance.

              It still concerns me nonetheless and it would be good to hear from others including an official comment from VAC.

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                #8
                Originally posted by M3PO View Post
                My VAC baffle works great and has for over two years of hard driving.
                Honestly you really got check the action of the baffle opening with it on the engine. With that said, i hope yours is opening up right and i'd love to see pics of it to see whats different, if you have any, if not don't worry about it, obviously. lol

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Wizard13 View Post
                  Honestly you really got check the action of the baffle opening with it on the engine. With that said, i hope yours is opening up right and i'd love to see pics of it to see whats different, if you have any, if not don't worry about it, obviously. lol
                  I don't have any pics but my engine oils itself just fine. I've had the baffle in for a long time with lots of hard driving.

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                    #10
                    I think Achilles makes great products, but those pop rivets concern me...
                    Originally posted by priapism
                    My girl don't know shit, but she bakes a mean cupcake.
                    Originally posted by shameson
                    Usually it's best not to know how much money you have into your e30

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                      #11
                      I got my oil pan back last week and had the same problem. Definitely a lot of modification for a $160 piece of metal. There were a little more cutting needed on other parts needed to fit it in. You can see that on the right side of the piece in the first picture.

                      Here's the stock M50 pan baffle vs the VAC one:


                      And a picture of it in there not welded to the pan yet:
                      Last edited by AllydNYC; 06-27-2016, 11:19 AM.
                      E30: '91 318is - M52/ZF320 | Azev A 16X7.5 | H&R Race/Bilstein | Completely refreshed suspension/brakes/drivetrain


                      An Associate/Bachelors degree is America's most overrated product

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                        #12
                        I had the same issue as the OP. I talked to VAC about it and they said they were going to redesign it a year ago. I wound up having to clearance the baffle significantly in a few other places where it also didn't fit well. That said, after addressing the issues and making it fit, everything is ok. But IMO it should never have been an issue...
                        '89 325i OBD2 S52 BUILD THREAD
                        Shadetree30

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                          #13
                          Installed my VAC baffle today and like others the fit was not good out of the box.

                          I had to file down the perimeter metal in many places to allow the baffle to fit without interference and sit down "square" in the pan. Along the vertical sections of the baffle up to 5mm of material needed shaved...tedious work to make right and not open up a huge gap.

                          As others have shown, I also had to cut the lower section as well as the flap to fit around the oil level sender mounting area. Since the sender area is curved, I ended up with two different width cuts to keep the fit as tight as possible while still allowing the flap to fully seat on the baffle.

                          It is a shame that this much work is needed on such an expensive piece. The VAC baffle I installed in My E36 M3 fit like a glove with zero issues. VAC needs to revisit this design or take it off the market.
                          Attached Files

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                            #14
                            I just got snaked by this part as well. Trying to decide whether to go through the hassle of modifying it or go through the hassle of returning it and getting the Achilles baffle.
                            -P

                            Moosehead Engineering

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                              #15
                              Achilles unit is holding strong and working great in my 500hp S50.


                              1989 332IS -S-Fiddy Four-Some weight removed.
                              5 lug E36 M3 Brakes Coilovers and LTW's and No ABS. Like the LTW FLAG PM for Details.
                              Twitter @germanironryan
                              Facebook- German Iron BMW
                              Instagram @iron.german
                              Youtube- https://youtu.be/fsTZymnLyZc
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