Keep it Flowing
Accumulator systems are remarkably simple yet effective gizmos. As its name implies, an accumulator is a hydraulic cylinder that stores a reserve supply of oil, then discharges it back into the engine when oil pressure drops below a predetermined level. Since they tap into the engine's oil supply system, accumulators don't require a separate pump. Canton's Accusump unit features an internal piston that separates oil on one side from pressurized air on the other side. When the engine is running, oil pressure entering the Accusump squeezes the piston farther into the cylinder bore until both sides of the piston reach a state of equilibrium. Anytime oil pressure drops-whether during hard cornering, braking, or acceleration-the pressure differential between the oil and air side of the Accusump forces the piston to push oil out of the cylinder and into the oil galleys. Depending on engine displacement and rpm, the Accusump can provide a 15- to 60-second supply of oil. Once oil pressure inside the motor stabilizes, the engine forces oil back inside the Accusump once again in preparation for the next time it's needed.
Canton's Accusump is offered in 1-, 2-, and 3-quart capacities, and with a variety of manual and electric accumulator valves. Per Canton's recommendation, we ordered up a 20- to 25-psi valve that automatically discharges oil out of the Accusump when pressure dips below 25 psi, and recharges the reservoir once oil pressure stabilizes back to 25 psi. Also available are manual valves in addition to electric valves that operate in the 35- to 40-, and 55- to 60-psi range.