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Camaro V8 LS3 / L99 Engine, Exhaust, and Bolt-Ons Bolt-Ons | Intakes | Exhaust

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Old 03-21-2013, 01:17 PM   #1
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Talking The "Catch Can" Explained!

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.

Carbon build up on intake valves



A "catch can" 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 of as intended.

Fluid captured in catch can after 800 miles


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 fluid but the vast majority passes straight through and ends up where you don't want it. Be sure that the can is designed with an effective internal filtration and baffling system to pull the oil vapor out of suspension. Apex Motorsports and Elite Engineering catch cans are both great options for Camaro owners. As always, if you have questions regarding this or any topic the crew at Apex Motorsports is more than happy to answer them.

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Well just emptied mine. Only on the car for about a week and a half now. I'd say she works better then the RX can I used to have.

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We cruised down to Somerset, KY for the powercruise which was about a 350 mile round trip, a portion of which had some uhh, spirited street driving. The catch can was bone dry prior to the cruise. This is a photo of the catch can later that night.

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Old 03-21-2013, 01:30 PM   #2
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Is it possible to just delete the PCV hose or at least just put a filter on it?

Basically disconnect the hose, put a filter on it to where the gases from combustion can still escape, but now you won't have any air or gases from the crankcase entering your intake? Then just take a rubber end piece and cap off the opening on the intake?
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #3
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you can but you ofcourse won't have a pcv system and those filters you speak of could get saturated in oil and drip and smoke form landing on the manifold
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:40 PM   #4
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you can but you ofcourse won't have a pcv system and those filters you speak of could get saturated in oil and drip and smoke form landing on the manifold
Oh ok. Just curious. I plan on getting a catch can, though I just wanted to ask about the other way seeing a it may be cheaper.

Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:45 PM   #5
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Got my Elite catch can from Apex installed today.Look's Great and a pretty easy install. Thanks,Chase. Windscreen installed today also,looks great too.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:32 PM   #6
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Excellent thread Chase!

What most dont understand is why we have a PCV system on the engine. Most think it is for emmissions only, and that is only part of it.

Every engine has a certain amount of blow-by, or pressure that gets past the rings during the combustion process. This is made up of a bunch of compounds and most are harmful to the engine ober time. The PCV system removes these while still in a suspended (gasseous) state. If these are not removed, when the engin is shut down and cools, these harmful compounds condense and settle into the engine oil and onto the internal parts and cause damage in the following ways:

Unburnt fuel: Thins the motor oil and reduces it's protective properties.

Water: Reduces the oils ability to protect and is corrosive to steel and cast parts.

Carbon particles: Carbon is extremely hard and abrasive, and even thought most of the particles are large enough to filter out by the oil filter, but the smaller particles are not and as they accumulate and circulate your increasing wear on the internal parts substantially.

Sulfuric Acid: This is formed by a combination of water and hydrocarbons from the combustion process and does no harm until the concentrations reach a certain PPM, then it begins to etch the bearing surfaces and crank & cam journals....engine builders that look closely at the bearings and journals on built engines w/out proper crankkcase evacuation see this as splothes, or "worm track" looking stains...this is actually damaging and eating into the case hardning of the journals as well as the softer bearing surfaces.

There are a bunch more compounds but this should paint the picture.

Proper crankcase evacuation needs a clean filtered make up air source entering one bank of an engine, traveling through pulled by the intake manifold vacuum or other source through the crankcase and flushing, evacuating these compounds out and into the intake air charge where most is passed through harmlessly and or burnt during the combustion process and further by the catalytic converters. What IS damaging and causes issues is the oil vapors/mist that is pulled out with these compounds and needs to be separated.

So deleting the PCV system, or just running breathers, etc. will releive the crankcase pressure from the blow-by....but unless your changing oil every few times the engine is run, the wear is accelerated substantially. This is probably the most misunderstood system on any engine today and even some of the best shops/techs dont have a grasp or understangin as this is not taught...it has to be learned and all aspects of it.

On our drag engines we use belt driven vacuum pumps (best solution period) to pull a constant vacuum that not only keeps the crankcase evacuated of these compounds, but we buid the engines with a low tension piston ring so it helps seal better resulting in more power as well. The problem w/belt driven systems is none will last more then 5-8k miles on the street before needing vanes/bearings/shafts replaced. The electric ones we have tried through the years dont last much longer, so adding a good functioning oil separating catchcan is the best street solution. Far to many put $10-$15-$20k plus into an engine build and dont address this part that is so inexpensive to install it makes me shake my head......but that amount of investment why not spend a few $ more for the peace of mind.

On ALL gasoline cars and light trucks today a good can is critical as most are direct injection and the fuel additives of top tier fuels have no effect (see top picture in thread) on keeping the intake valves deposit free as no fuel touches the valves vs a port injection engine that it passes the valve, but oil dosent burn well and you want zero in and combustion chamber as the oil reduces the amount of useable octaine and causes detonation and less energy released per explosive event.

Anyone can test there can for effectiveness for app $10 installing a clear glass inline fuel filter between a cans outlet and the intake manifold vacuum barb. See how quick the filter staturates w/oil.

The only ones worth installing IMHO are in this order of actual testing to measure pull through:

RX
Saikou Micchi
Elite & AMW tied
And from there the rest fall far short.....but dont trust my claims, try for yourself if you have a can you purchased because you recognize a big brand, or the claims of the vendor, etc. and you will be amazed. There are tons of versions on the market, but few actually do a good job and even a beer can w/2 fittings will catch as much as most cans sold for $50-$200. You cant judge by looks, you have to understand the processes that actually work.

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Old 03-21-2013, 02:45 PM   #7
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just a myth
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:12 PM   #8
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just a myth

Oh man, don't get that stuff started.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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We make all this up.....same as the thousands of techs that have contributed these actual pictures of the issues......takes a ton of time to make all this up and doctor all the photos, and I have only been building race & performance engines and for over 38 years (starting as a GM tech for Pontiac/Olds/GMC in the 70's), and owned/raced/run/mangaged professional drag race teams with years of Divisional, National, and World Championships both NHRA & IHRA.

Click on this link for a compilation of pictures shoing the results of not running a good catchcan on todays DI engines.....this is a group from all makes/manufacturers posted by mechanics and machine shops showing the results. This is NOT just a GM issue....and these deposits we see getting bad at 8-10K miles to the point power & economy is degrading:

http://www.google.com/search?q=intak...w=2021&bih=875
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC2150 View Post
We make all this up.....same as the thousands of techs that have contributed these actual pictures of the issues......takes a ton of time to make all this up and doctor all the photos, and I have only been building race & performance engines and for over 38 years (starting as a GM tech for Pontiac/Olds/GMC in the 70's), and owned/raced/run/mangaged professional drag race teams with years of Divisional, National, and World Championships both NHRA & IHRA.

Click on this link for a compilation of pictures shoing the results of not running a good catchcan on todays DI engines.....this is a group from all makes/manufacturers posted by mechanics and machine shops showing the results. This is NOT just a GM issue....and these deposits we see getting bad at 8-10K miles to the point power & economy is degrading:

http://www.google.com/search?q=intak...w=2021&bih=875

Tracy don't mind him, he's got a BWM now! Thanks for the info always a pleasure reading your stuff. Now how would you go about me? You've seen my setup and catch can is vented. I'm SD and the Driverside is capped. Should I vent the D/S (what is the part to do it with) and plug the catchcan back to the intake? Ps I'm a stroker with hellfire rings and built a lil on the loose side.
"Talk to me Goose" I mean Tracy. Lol
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:17 PM   #11
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Great job Chase! Keep these threads coming
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
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The only ones worth installing IMHO are in this order of actual testing to measure pull through:

RX
Saikou Micchi
Elite & AMW tied
And from there the rest fall far short.....
Tracy, in earlier posts you have mentioned the Mike Norris can as a good one. That is what I am running so I am curious - have you changed your mind? I know you can't test and list all the catch cans out there nor do I expect you to. So, I ask only because you have mentioned the Norris can in the past.

Thanks for helping us out on this always heated topic.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:44 PM   #13
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I probably should have had a catch can long ago... Like 55K miles ago.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:49 PM   #14
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Here's what my catch can caught after 1,800 miles last fall. The bottle is a 500ml one.

This is from the dirty side can, the clean side one had just fumes, and I like it like that...

Name:  Catch can 3000KM march 2013.JPG
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:11 PM   #15
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Tracy don't mind him, he's got a BWM now! Thanks for the info always a pleasure reading your stuff. Now how would you go about me? You've seen my setup and catch can is vented. I'm SD and the Driverside is capped. Should I vent the D/S (what is the part to do it with) and plug the catchcan back to the intake? Ps I'm a stroker with hellfire rings and built a lil on the loose side.
"Talk to me Goose" I mean Tracy. Lol
LOL! Your SD tuned so no need to control the clean side air entering. I would put a breather (an open non valved one) on the opposite valve cover you have the can evacuating from and then use the IM vacuum barb to evacuate (as long as your NA) that way at all running except WOT (when there is no measurable vac at the barb) your always evacuating and your can will trap any oil from ingesting. If you have more crankcase pressure at WOT than will run through the dirty side it will vent out the breather and all is good (assuming your off road only use as far as emmissions).



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Tracy, in earlier posts you have mentioned the Mike Norris can as a good one. That is what I am running so I am curious - have you changed your mind? I know you can't test and list all the catch cans out there nor do I expect you to. So, I ask only because you have mentioned the Norris can in the past.

Thanks for helping us out on this always heated topic.
Yes, the MN can (or CCA and several other brands on it) works well with most mild builds and only allows a moderate amount of pull through. It came in just under the Elite/AMW and thats only because of the coalescing chamber size so small and the outlet barb is only app 1" from where the droplets are dripping from the coalescing chamber so some get pulled out. Still an excellent can.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:22 PM   #16
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Thanks Tracy, and cap the Valley cover tube? Or "T" it to the passenger side valvecover leading to the catch can?
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:23 PM   #17
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Sorry Apex! Didn't mean to high jack one more response and ill shift it back to you guys. Lol
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:24 PM   #18
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ROFL guess people missed the joking part.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:24 PM   #19
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Go away BMW boy "your drunk" lol
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:53 PM   #20
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Great job Chase! Keep these threads coming
Thanks. Seems like lately some have forgotten what a technical forum is for and decided to unleash their sales staff instead. That is not how we operate. We will focus on providing technical material and being an asset to the community.

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Sorry Apex! Didn't mean to high jack one more response and ill shift it back to you guys. Lol
No apologies need. That is what this thread is about.

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ROFL guess people missed the joking part.
I knew better.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:07 AM   #21
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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.

Carbon build up on intake valves


A "catch can" 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 of as intended.

Fluid captured in catch can after 800 miles


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 fluid but the vast majority passes straight through and ends up where you don't want it. Be sure that the can is designed with an effective internal baffling system to pull the oil vapor out of suspension. RX Performance and Elite Engineering catch cans are both great options for V6 and SS Camaro owners. As always, if you have questions regarding this or any topic the crew at Apex Motorsports is more than happy to answer them.
A pic of mine i got from you Chase. Great write up.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:34 AM   #22
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I installed an Rx can recently on a car w/3,000 miles. Is there anything I need to do check for and clean out any build up of oil? Also, if I find "mythical" oil, is there a special procedure to clean it out?
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #23
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Tracy don't mind him, he's got a BWM now! Thanks for the info always a pleasure reading your stuff. Now how would you go about me? You've seen my setup and catch can is vented. I'm SD and the Driverside is capped. Should I vent the D/S (what is the part to do it with) and plug the catchcan back to the intake? Ps I'm a stroker with hellfire rings and built a lil on the loose side.
"Talk to me Goose" I mean Tracy. Lol
i had a catch can which works and a breather for valve cover and the clean side capped off....i went road racing and the pressure built up in my crankcase and blew my rear main seal. i now run the same catch can with the 1LE seperator that catchs the clean side and lets it drain back in while being able to relieve pressure in crank.

i know the rx catch can works beautifully. and the 1LE sperator is oily where i didnt put it so i know that it is doing some collecting and letting it drain back in.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:06 PM   #24
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i had a catch can which works and a breather for valve cover and the clean side capped off....i went road racing and the pressure built up in my crankcase and blew my rear main seal. i now run the same catch can with the 1LE seperator that catchs the clean side and lets it drain back in while being able to relieve pressure in crank.

i know the rx catch can works beautifully. and the 1LE sperator is oily where i didnt put it so i know that it is doing some collecting and letting it drain back in.
I remember BA, so that worked for you hu?
Thanks for the tip bud. I appreciate that!
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:11 PM   #25
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So deleting the PCV system, or just running breathers, etc. will releive the crankcase pressure from the blow-by....but unless your changing oil every few times the engine is run, the wear is accelerated substantially.

Have to disagree here. Breather caps were all that was available until around 1970 or so (give or take a few years). PCV systems have not been on cars since day one. The statement of substantially accelerated wear is not substantiated.

Letting the fumes go to atmosphere will not accelerate wear as opposed to leaving the PCV system in place. And as has been pointed out, not recycling those fumes into the intake has advantages.

The average car will not see a benefit between pulling a mild vacuum and venting to atmosphere.

Will disconnecting the PCV cause error codes? I do not know. This could be a complication.
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