Finished fabrication for my catch can, off to welding!

Aaron

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Finally wrapped up the fabrication work for my catch can. I'll be making a second one for V8bait's car as soon as we find a second set of ADE fittings, but we're having trouble finding them, and I haven't ordered the materials for his yet. But so far it'll be identical to mine, as so far I haven't disliked any of the design aspects. We'll see how it looks/fits/works after welding.
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doublespaces

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Interesting, can you explain what is going on here vs the other options on the market?
 

Aaron

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Sure. There quite simply are no good options on the market, there are significant design flaws with all of them that bother me.

So I'm using ADE's valve cover fittings (Which I don't like either, but they're the only ones out there and I don't want to have my own machined). From there I'll run dual AN-10 lines to the middle of the can, entering at an angle.

Just above where the lines enter the can I'll have two perforated plates spaced by about 1/2". In addition to the air flow and swirl inside the can these with greatly increase the air/oil separation, letting the oil fall to the bottom of the can. Above the two separation plates will be a single AN-12 vacuum source. This will run, for the time being, to my turbo inlets, with a T splitting it to each inlet. Eventually I'd like to get a vacuum pump, but no plans as of yet.

There will be a small ball valve at the bottom of the can to drain, and the curved bracket there will weld to the can and bolt to the driver's side strut tower.

The size of the can, and the spacing and angled entry of the lines will provide good airflow and swirl aiding in good oil separation, meaning little if any oil will get into my intake tract.
 
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Aaron

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It absolutely would, you'd just have to adjust the AN fittings on the valve cover side to accommodate whatever those ones are.
 

doublespaces

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I don't fully understand the PCV system, although I've ordered a PCV kit from rob. I also have the EOS v2 intake manifold which has 1/4" npt ports which I will be using. Once I have it all in hand and figure out where things go I'll look again at what you've said and perhaps it will be more clear.
 

Aaron

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I'm really not a fan of his kits, or any of the others. They are all compromises to make them "bolt-on". But I digress.

1/4" tubing is not nearly enough for a PCV system, not even close. I'm using AN-12, which is 3/4" outside diameter, and I am still not sure if it's big enough, and I'd like to eventually run dual AN-12 lines for the vacuum.

The other problem with your design is that it uses the intake manifold as a vacuum source. Traditionally, N/A motors almost always had vacuum no matter the driving conditions, so it was perfect. However with modern tuning principles, engines rarely have vacuum, as they hold the throttle plate open as much as possible (Vacuum reduces gas mileage). The throttle plate's purpose is to fine tune idle, and to act as a backup in case the computer can't control throttle in other more preferred ways. If you ever go driving ad watch actual throttle percentage, you'll see how it really doesn't follow desired throttle, and that it rarely if ever goes less than 80% open. So, not only will that line rarely ever see any discernable vacuum, but the more troubling part is it will be subject to boost. And even if you have a leak-free check valve, when the motor goes into boost, your PCV and catch can will have zero vacuum, and more troubling, zero flow. And this is when you need adequate flow more than ever. My design isn't close to ideal, I don't have enough valve cover ports (I'd like 4), and I use turbo inlets for my vacuum source. These hardly ever pull any significant vacuum, however they airflow constantly, and that increases with boost.

Ideally, the design pulls a constant vacuum to the catch can, in turn pulling a constant vacuum to the valve cover. However, this requires a vacuum pump, and even on our relatively small engines, the vacuum pump requirement would require a sizable vacuum pump, significantly larger than even the OEM vacuum pump by the HPFP.
 

Aaron

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I had the can welded up a few days ago, and I finished the project today. If you have any questions just ask!

To fit the hoses I had to trim off the rear driver's side engine cover mount, and trim the engine cover. That was the only significant change needed to fit everything. I'll add some finished pics tomorrow, but the 12-AN vacuum line incorporates the OEM heating element, however for the time being only runs to one of the turbo inlets. In the coming weeks I'll order steel AN weld bungs, weld one to each inlet, then T it properly so it draws from both inlets. I'd also like to have it powder coated.

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doublespaces

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Any way to get some data points? Not sure if you want to mangle your can with bungs for measurements though.
 

mkster08

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Hell yes! Now you can make one for me :D:D

This looks awesome and a great solution.. I'm running single turbo, flapper still on with a 3/4 hose VTA right now and don't really like it, interested in the ADE fittings too
 

Aaron

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Catch cans are very difficult to get data points on. The important things you want to know is, is the can getting oil? That's easy to check, I'll open the drain valve in a few days and see. Next, is the oil staying in the catch can? So I'll disconnect the large vacuum source line and check to see if it's dry, and disconnect it from the inlet tube, make sure that connection is dry. Are you smelling oil? There shouldn't be any oil smells under any driving conditions.

The last thing, and this is the best test but also the most difficult, is getting a pressure/vacuum reading from the valve cover and/or crankcase. So not only is this difficult to get, but it isn't important at idle and free-rev, you really want to see it under throttle, under load. So you'd need to datalog. Maybe someday when I drill my valve cover to add more ports, but not going to do that right now.

The ADE fittings disappointed me. The fittings are different sizes, the PCV valve one being an 8, and other a 10. There's no reason not to make them both 10s, which would be a lot easier and slightly more effective. I stepped mine up to 10 immediately after the fitting. The smaller fitting from ADE, the 8 one, is also machined wildly incorrectly. The flange angle is supposed to be 37 degrees, and it isn't, it is far steeper, more like 65. I'm wondering if it isn't 53 degrees, and the manufacturer cut it opposite. Either way it's wrong. Not a huge deal since it shouldn't be under pressure, but it is more prone to leaking the way it is. I'll report back if I find leaks.

If you want one, you're going to have to pay for it! I'd need $500 per can, and that does not include the ADE fittings. But I could customize it in almost any way you'd like, and it'd be powder coated however you'd like.
 

mkster08

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Rip.. Maybe I got used to stinky n54 when I got rid of my cats a long time ago.. Let alone oil burning twins before single install.
 

Bmwfixerguy1

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VTA smells bad. Can you powder coat mine gold so it attracts the ladies?

I usually respect you as a pretty intelligent dude but that remark right there was just stupid!! You need to paint it like an AXE can!
 
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Bmwfixerguy1

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@Aaron

I have a pcv thread I posted with a poll ect.. Trying to collect pcv data and what other users have done and why. If you get a chance could you stop by my thread and post what you have learned:)

Also would like an update on how yours turned out!
 

Aaron

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I guess I never provided updates. Catch can has been installed for 1-2 months, and has been trouble free. I don't have any oil smell or leaks.

It's working really well. If I unplug the airflow tube you can see and smell the airflow just being evacuated due to crankcase pressure, and that's without any vacuum. I'm not getting any residual oil into my intake tract either. Draining the catch can gives very little oil surprisingly, but quite a bit of water from condensation buildup. There is still some oil.

At about 5,000 miles I drained the can, and got roughly 6oz of fluid. It caramel colored, maybe a bit more brown.

Overall I'm really happy with it. I believe the reduction in valve cover leaks will be significant.