Garage > Mechanicals

Bubbles in engine oil

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raueda1:
I was alarmed today to discover that my engine oil was quite foamy.  This was immediately after driving at highway speed and at high ambient temperature (90F ?).  However, after idling for a few minutes the foaming subsided and the oil level was fine.  The bubbles were fairly large, say 1-2mm.  The oil wasn't at all whipped into a mousse as when mixed with coolant.  Oil pressure is normal and there's no knocking or other signs of oil issues - just foamy after driving.  I recall using a zinc additive, can't recall exactly which one though.  Thoughts on what this means and how worried I ought to be?  If at all?  Thanks and cheers,

BCK1963:
Dave, as long as the oil remains clear and there is not severe odor of gasoline I woudn't  worry.
Did you glance into the reservoir or did you notice it on the control stick?  I recall to have seen bubbles on a control stick before (don't remember the car, though), so it can happen.
You mentioned the most important aspect yourself:  No signs of white mouuse due to emulsified coolant.

daantjie:
Some grist for the mill:

http://speed.academy/dry-sump-oiling-explained/

raueda1:
Well, that's quite the grist!  Anyway, thanks gentlemen for the remarks.  I made it back home today through the amazing topography of Nevada at relatively high speed and without a hitch.. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised since oil pressure has always been fine - if the foaming were really an issue I guess the engine would have been toast long ago.  Cheers,

BCK1963:
Very interesting link but the guy focuses on the advantages of oil suppy on race cars, which is clear given his profession.
The apparent reason for using a dry sump engine in our 6.9 is space: An engine with wet sump would be considerably higher and would not have fit under the hood.
Another area where dry sump engines are often used is tanks: The need to maintain the silhouette of a tank as low as possible makes dry sumps the engine types of choice. I know that particularly for Maybach engines for german tanks of the 30s and 40s. Despite those engines the Tiger I and Tiger II tanks were not exactly 'low', and ceasing oil supply during sharp cornering was not not really an issue for them  ::)

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