What we do not see in most photos, (or notice, in Ian's vertical shot up the bore,) is the second part of the ball mechanism, which is a cylinder sleeve machined into the top of the bore. The ball is a perfect fit to the sleeve hole.
Did you look at the pictures I drew? The red sleeve? Is it not there in the two bottom pictures? I somehow keep missing, even with text and drawn pictures (colored highlights, too!) what I am trying to say with enough clarity.
This does two things:
1) When a hot engine is shut off, the spring seals the ball to the sleeve, so NO oil is allowed to leak out. He says this keeps the oil system primed between startups and extends engine life. He also said a side effect of this, was a nearly 100% reduction in hydraulic lifter bleed-down over non-seasonal periods of inactivity, since the oil has no where to go when one lifter is stuck compressed on a cam lobe.
2) When the crank case relief bore is worn out, the spring seals the ball against the sleeve so no oil pressure is lost due to wear under hot oil/low pressure situations like a hot idle after a freeway flog.
To me, this makes sense. Should I continue peppering him with questions?
Yes please. Is your photograph the sleeve that Adrian installs along with the ball, or is it just a comparison of the factory piston to the ball?
Robbie, you are an intelligent and devoted devotee of these remarkable cars, and this would be a service to your fellow owners if you can both understand exactly what I am saying, and be able to communicate to Adrian my question.
Look at my illustration of the Adrian ball and sleeve. The stationary sleeve is in red. It is blocking the main gallery.
A) His system does not allow the oil to bypass the cooler during warm-up.
(but give him an opportunity to explain how oil bypasses the cooler when cold, and get back to us)
I believe the ball can't serve as a pressure-actuated "oil temperature thermostat."
I believe it is serving only as a total oil pressure control valve, just an on-off switch.
The factory piston in the bore is serving as a progressive diverter between the oil cooler passage and the main gallery passage. Please let me know if you see this.
B) This is important! You wrote,
"When the crank case relief bore is worn out, the spring seals the ball against the sleeve so no oil pressure is lost due to wear under hot oil/low pressure situations like a hot idle after a freeway flog."
If you read my article, I claim that the factory piston is seated during any and all low pressure moments, it does not matter if the sides of the piston are sloppy in the bore, the crown of the piston is being forced against the seat with 17 pounds of spring force. These relief/control valves are closed at operating temperature! Do you, Robbie, think there is pressure loss due to oil leakage through the closed relief valves, if they are sealing at the top of the pistons? If the bearings flow three gallons a minute when they are worn and the viscosity is thin, how much do you think leaks past the relief and control valve piston tops?
Also, this notion that the oil system is sealed by the ball during seasonal inactivity is pretty much ludicrous. If we were to do a pressure bleed down test between an Adrian ball engine and a factory relief piston engine, you would see that the oil pressure drops to 0 in an equivalent period of time. Ask any hydraulic lifter being pushed by a 168# valve spring if it gives a damn what is happening at the relief valve. It will bleed down due to its own check disc's mood wholly regardless of whatever is happening in any of the oil galleries, including the lifter galleries!
Too many fanciful explanations going on at Adrian Ball Land.
NOW THEN, with a main gallery permanently blocked by the Adrian EndOThermostaticAction Stationary Sleeve, oil will still drain out between the bearings as it has since the beginning of the internal combustion engine era back in 1896.
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 94,615 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,990 miles