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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The "Catch Can" Explained

Added Aug 22, 2011, Under: Engine,General Automotive


Modern engines feature a variety of emission control devices and systems to reduce the toxic gases released into the atmosphere. One of these is called the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system. During the combustion process a small amount of gases leak or “blow-by” the piston rings and create a positive pressure in the crankcase. The PCV system vents these gases along with oil mist from the crankcase and routes it back into the intake manifold so it can be burned off. The problem is, over time the excess oil vapor collects along the inside of the intake tract and forms a “gunk”. This can lead to a variety of issues including carbon build up, retarded timing, detonation, and power loss.

An oil-air separator is an aftermarket device that will condense and collect the oil vapor before it has a chance to reach the intake system. As the gases and oil vapor enter the can they typically pass through a screening mechanism that gives the oil vapor something to adhere to. As the droplets form they drop harmlessly into the bottom of the reservoir so that they can later be drained. The other gases are allowed to pass through so that they can be burned off as intended. These devices are often referred to as “catch cans”, though that term is truly more accurate when describing a fluid overflow tank designed to just capture leaking or overflowing fluids.



When it comes to selecting a catch can you will get what you pay for. Cheap catch cans (less than $100) are plentiful but they are often little more than an empty can with two ports. These will capture a small amount of oil but the vast majority passes straight through. Be sure that the can is designed to be opened so that it can be periodically drained and cleaned.
 

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Too bad it's not piped into the exhaust behind the mufflers...then you'd never have to empty it!
 

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good post....ive often wondered about these things....sounds like a necessity if you have an aftermarket intake? i dont have one yet but from pictures ive seen, unless the connection is mounted on the bottom of the intake tube, i havent seen anywhere for the psv valve to connect to the intake tube....
 

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I never thought I needed one after my corvette was re-ringed at 9000 miles because it was buring a quart of oil every 1500-2000 miles.

I came across a catch can that was priced right and installed it. I change my oil once a year or every 3000 miles which every comes first ( usually once a year) and the catch can is half full with oil.

My car is a heads and cam corvette
 

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Discussion Starter #13
good post....ive often wondered about these things....sounds like a necessity if you have an aftermarket intake? i dont have one yet but from pictures ive seen, unless the connection is mounted on the bottom of the intake tube, i havent seen anywhere for the psv valve to connect to the intake tube....
It does not connect to the intake tube, the intake manifold sits on top of the engine.
 

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Good post, do you recommend one over another at a decent cost. I would beleive it should be easy to install..
 

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Good post, do you recommend one over another at a decent cost. I would beleive it should be easy to install..
Thank you. There are several good ones out there, we have been using and selling the Elite Engineering catch can for about a year now with good results. It is actually the one pictured in the article.
 

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here is a pic of my 2010 SS with catch can..and also some changes to heater hose move from over fuel rail on passenger side..and removal of the pretty engine cover/blanket, that does an excellent job of holding in heat right over the intake manifold.:)

bud:cool:
another pic of airaid CAI
 

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Thanks for the write up; however, Catch cans are typically something meant for forced induction vehicles right? I thought the oil blow by wasn't that big of an issue in a N/A engine?
 
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