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Old 10-30-2011, 05:46 PM   #1
kiteman

 
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catch can research shows it's worthless

i posted this on a catch can thread in the v6 forum, but really my research applies specifically to the lsx motors, though i think the gist is the same for any engine. anyway, this is worth a read. take note of the c4c5 poster's title: "gm world class certified technician." there are two other mechanics on the post that agree the catch can is a waste of time and money.

http://corvettemechanic.com/forum/3841-catch-can.html

Quote:
Catch cans were invented because of someone wanting to make money, its that simple.

PCV systems are ALWAYS not enough at high rpm usage. This is why this occurs. The higher the engine revs, the more pressure occurs in the crankcase, which the valve will not ventilate. So, the residual oil vapor comes up through the fresh air hose to the intake.

Someone just thought it would be a great idea to make a dollar off it.

I would like SOMEONE to show me ONE ENGINE/CAR MANUFACTURER THAT MAKES ONE. This is because there is no need.

The fact that your running synthetic oil, only allows the condensed oil that is there to run into your engine.

And you burn it.

There is no harm to your intake manifold, throttle body or engine as this occurs.
key note is that you burn it. people see their catch can filled with oil, or even see it inside their intake and then freak out. but many don't realize as that gets sucked into your engine (that is operating at very high temperatures), the type of oil that is going into the engine via the intake is burned up immediately. the result...it sounds to me, is harmless to your engine. thoughts?
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:53 PM   #2
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It is harmless, correct. The catch can does keep your intake tract clean, however, and will prevent a lot of blow-by from reaching the clean tract on more radical setups (big inch, big overlap, or FI).

Venting the valve covers is necessary to supplement the LS pcv system, as well.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:55 PM   #3
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But is the catchcan hurting performance? If not, I like the piece of mind I get by having one on my car.
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:06 PM   #4
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I have always suspected the Catch Can was not really neccessary.

However,I have one on my car with the thought that it could only help and does not harm anything.

Plus I think it looks cool.

I don't have one on my 5.3 Silverado with almost 200k on it and it runs like new
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:08 PM   #5
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I'm not sure that I would agree that linking one thread on another forum where someone says it is unnecessary truly qualifies as "research."
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSS View Post
I'm not sure that I would agree that linking one thread on another forum where someone says it is unnecessary truly qualifies as "research."
do you know what that website is?

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Thank you for visiting the Corvettemechanic Community. CM is a corvette enthusiast website with a staff of fully certified GM and ASE Master Technicians who service these great vehicles. We will assist you in a timely manner finding the correct resolution to any issues you may have with your vehicle. We provide the most up-to-date information available for all period year Corvettes. So whether you drive a 1966 corvette or a new ZR1, we are here to help you. Remember as technicians we have access to information most persons don't.
i'd say that is not only relevant (lsx engines), but pretty damn concrete evidence/research.

the tech makes a wise point: why has no car manufacturer ever made a catch can of their own? you'd think if it were a problem not having one, they would either come up with a solution or warranty the problems caused by the blow-by. seems pretty logical to me
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kiteman View Post
well, the guy works for GM and is a pretty reputable source from what i know about that forum. i'm sure there are others out there, but this was the most relative (lsx motors) and concrete info i could find.

the tech makes a wise point: why has no car manufacturer ever made a catch can of their own? you'd think if it were a problem not having one, they would either come up with a solution or warranty the problems caused by the blow-by. seems pretty logical to me
Then why do they offer/ recommend a cleaning at ~20k miles? If you were a dealer and could make 100 bucks off a part once or several hundred multiple times over the life of a vehicle which would you choose?
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:35 PM   #8
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Just not too long ago I see an article how not having a catch can is bad and now I see someone write how having a catch can is just a waste of money.

I did give this some thoughts couple times in my lifetime or as long as I have known about catch cans. As cheap as it cost to put a catch can in every manufactured vehicle wouldn't the mfg's do this if infact something as simple as a catch can really does help prolong your engine?

Im more confused now LOL.
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:39 PM   #9
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Manufacturers need to run closed crankcase vent systems due to emission regulations That is why you do not see them. They are harmless but really are a waste of money.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:11 PM   #10
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yea, let me just run multiple qrts of oil through my engine....no big deal, it just runs on oil and gas. thats what i want. a two stroke engine.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:16 PM   #11
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For the average car owner that tools around town for 3-7 years and trades in their car it is not necessary. For the automotive manufacturers it is a simple business decision. Do you incur increased costs ($100 isn't much until you multiply it times 100,000+ units a year and realize that is right out of your profit) and add a "catch can" to fix something that will not be a real issue until after your warranty is expired? Do you add a system that requires the owner to do a maintenance process they are not familiar with and possibly ignore (draining the can) that could cause an issue within the term of your warranty? The answer is no.

Here is an excerpt from a conversation that Tracy (SC2150) and I had a few weeks ago.

Quote:
Dodge 6.1 Hemi w/3000 miles on it:


Forged piston with only 6-8 runs down the track with no evac system. Excess crankcase pressure plus nitrous lifted the ringland and the carbon build up was that quick. The oil ingestion from no proper evac and catchcan system caused alot of the detonation that melted the top ringland enough to allow it to lift.



C6 Z06 w/9k miles on it...bone stock:


Typical piston top after running for 50-100k w/no oil separating can:


Cylinder head intake ports:


The DI engines are very problematic to the build up as no fuel passes the intake valves to help keep them clean (Mobile, shell commercials "gunk") so the V6 it is critical to have one installed right from new. We see the Mini Cooper with needing the cylinder head removed to manually clean in as little as 25-50k miles.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:21 PM   #12
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A catch can has been a recommended add on to the ls motors for years, it is cheap insurance in my opinion.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apex Chase View Post
For the average car owner that tools around town for 3-7 years and trades in their car it is not necessary. For the automotive manufacturers it is a simple business decision. Do you incur increased costs ($100 isn't much until you multiply it times 100,000+ units a year and realize that is right out of your profit) and add a "catch can" to fix something that will not be a real issue until after your warranty is expired? Do you add a system that requires the owner to do a maintenance process they are not familiar with and possibly ignore (draining the can) that could cause an issue within the term of your warranty? The answer is no.

Here is an excerpt from a conversation that Tracy from RevXtreme and I had a few weeks ago.

A catch can is not an EVAC system though. It has nothing to do with the PCV, it simply catches the oil vapor that would naturally just pass completely through.

You will need to vent the valve cover. The way it works, is the valley cover is hooked into the vacuum side of the intake manifold (behind the throttle plate) which draws the air out of the valley/motor. The clean air is being drawn from the motor is pulled from the top of the motor, preferably the valve covers. They are hooked into the throttlebody where clean, metered air is drawn. This creates a cycle, by which internal air of the motor is flushed with clean air.

'Air enters intake filters, travels through MAF, some gets drawn by the PCV infront of the throttleplate into the valve covers, cycles down into the crankcase, gets sucked into the valley, through the LS3 valley cover, and into the intake, behind the throttleplate (where its sucking like a straw), into the combustion chambers and out of the exhaust.

Without this vacuum circulation you will not effectively clear out the crankcase, nor, will you be able to properly tune with a MAF if it is not in the closed loop like described.'

The catch can simply sits in between this cycle. It is neither important nor necessary, it just absorbs most of the vapor, but has nothing to do with the actual pressure venting of the system.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:40 PM   #14
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In regards to a post that mentioned maintenance...how hard is it to drain, and how often should it be drained? I'm considering putting one on, but I don't know whether I should. Does it matter that I live in Minnesota, so will the can contents freeze? I would not think so, but that is something to consider around here.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSS View Post
Then why do they offer/ recommend a cleaning at ~20k miles?
you know some dealers still get away with recommending oil changes every 3,000 miles? and that has been deemed completed unnecessary even for conventional oil these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DietCoke View Post
A catch can is not an EVAC system though. It has nothing to do with the PCV, it simply catches the oil vapor that would naturally just pass completely through.
yeah, you got it. i think that is what those guys on CM were trying to make clear. a catch-can is not even a bandaid in the process, but advertised as such (read: marketing hype).

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You will need to vent the valve cover.
how is that done exactly?
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteman View Post
you know some dealers still get away with recommending oil changes every 3,000 miles? and that has been deemed completed unnecessary even for conventional oil these days.



yeah, you got it. i think that is what those guys on CM were trying to make clear. a catch-can is not even a bandaid in the process, but advertised as such (read: marketing hype).



how is that done exactly?
With a filter/one way valve. Several vendors sell vented oil filler caps (breathers). You have to get creative with the second valve cover (though its not necessary on most mild setups to vent both)
There are many styles, but they all generally look similiar to this

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Old 10-30-2011, 08:16 PM   #17
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Over time the oil entering through the intake reduces the efficiency of the engine.. plain and simple.. it does this by building up on the valves and chambers and intake tract.
Does it mean your going to blow your engine up like in the pictures ? No, thats not the normal thing to have happen. I'd suspect the tune or lack there of and abuse more than anything will get you the same result but the facts are that it is detrimental to the health of the engine... all engines not just the lsx...

Yes there is truth to what Apex said about the cost involved and as well is the fact that its a constant maintenance item as well and that does not go over well with consumers when buying a new car as well.

This is why we have spent as much time as we have to develop our can to be the most effective can on the market


Venting to atmosphere will produce a nasty smell on occasion inside the car.. most people will not like it one single bit.

You should maintain flow in one direction but as the engine heats up the vapors are ejected whether you have vacuum on the crankcase or not.

Last edited by CC Performance; 10-30-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:25 PM   #18
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Couldn't agree with APEX and CC Performance more. Catch Cans are useless in the short term, but if you care about the life span of your engine it is essential. Engines lose horsepower overtime, the extent of the performance loss depends on the owner and their maintenance.

We don't sell catch cans (wish we did) so this is unbiased. We have torn down many engines, specifically the LS1 where the manifold is drowning in oil. Can't see the logic behind accepting that as ok. This restricts airflow on a minimal level, but more importantly it will inevitably reach your values and chambers.

If you believe in an aftermarket throttle body reducing restriction and increasing performance, then a catch can is certainly beneficial to keep the interior of the manifold smooth instead of oil lined. The real issues will be seen in 5+ years when this build-up begins to damage major components.

Its like smoking; easy to say it doesn't matter, until people start getting lung cancer.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:32 PM   #19
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i am no expert but i also i have heard that oil in fuel mixture reduces octane..so a catch can will be a good thing, especially in forced induction or hi compression motors.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:35 PM   #20
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:36 PM   #21
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where is SC2150 ..this member knows a lot about this topic
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:40 PM   #22
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I would like to see

I would like to see a normally aspirated engine ran 20,000 miles with out a catch can and another ran the same mileage with a catch can and see photos of both in comparison.I have a feeling there will only be a matter of how much of a coating of oil each has.As they say the proofs in the pudding or the intake.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:47 PM   #23
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In anticipation of my purchase...I've read up on what I could regarding catch-cans...given the reality of oil ingestion...dangerous or not...and a supercharger in the way in my case: I'd rather catch those vapors and all the garbage they carry with it, before they coat the rotors of the LSA.

I'm going to get one VERY shortly after purchase, and enjoy pouring out all that nastiness every oil change.

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Old 10-30-2011, 08:53 PM   #24
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I'm happy with my catch can. I'd rather my engine not burn nasty oil especially with FI
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:08 PM   #25
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by DietCoke View Post
With a filter/one way valve. Several vendors sell vented oil filler caps (breathers). You have to get creative with the second valve cover (though its not necessary on most mild setups to vent both)
There are many styles, but they all generally look similiar to this

Where did you get the chrome one from in the pic?
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