What is the story behind oil starvation with the M96/M97 engine?

In a true dry sump engine, the oil is scavenged from the engine and kept in an oil tank from which the oil pump has a steady supply of oil to ensure adequate oil flow under high G-forces. In a wet sump engine, those G-forces can cause oil to slosh away from the oil pickup that is centrally located in the engine’s sump, momentarily starving the engine of oil.

The M96 engine utilizes an “integrated dry sump,” which in layman terms is nothing more than a wet sump. Although there are many theories as to why there is oil starvation, the two that hold most credence are that the scavenge pumps and associated oil return passages (and de-foamers) cannot return and process the oil fast enough AND that under high G-forces, oil is trapped in the cylinder heads and is not scavenged back to the sump.

LN Engineering offers a complete host of solutions to the oil starvation problem, depending on driver skill and level of car preparation. Put on a sticker a tire, you go faster. The faster you go around the corner, the more G-forces you will exert on the engine and stress the stock oil system on the M96 engine. Read up on all the options to choose which solution is right for you.

X51 Oil Baffle for stock oil pan

.5 qt deep sump

X51 Oil Baffle for oil pan fitted with .5 qt deep sump

2 qt deep sump


Another theory is the that oil is getting too hot, leading to the oil becoming too thin and aerated. Use of Joe Gibbs XP9 oil reduces aeration while maintaining film strength at higher temperatures, however the only way to reduce oil temperatures is to removes the factory oil to water heat exchanger and installation of an external oil cooler.

Joe Gibbs XP9

Oil cooler delete