1. Why do I need a catch can system on my vehicle?
All gasoline engines can benefit from proper PCV vapor evacuation and the removal of oil mist.
For proper combustion, your engine needs only air and fuel in the combustion chamber. An oil separating catch can system will intercept other contaminants and allow for a cleaner running engine.
Our systems use constant vacuum to pull the PCV vapors out of the crank case and once they coalesce, the harmful deposits are left behind. These include sulfuric acid, unburned fuel, oil mist and water. These compounds are what build up on the valves and are known as valve coking. In boosted vehicles the intercooler will ingest some oil and water as well.
The main benefits of the RX, Tracy Lewis Signature series PCV air/oil separation crankcase evacuation systems over most “catchcans” are as follows:
95% plus effectiveness at stopping and retaining all oil and other contaminants present in the PCV vapor. Most cans on the market are 15-30% effective and allow more to pass through than they trap.
Provide true evacuation at all times VS only when intake manifold vacuum is present.
Eliminates crankcase pressure by always pulling suction on the crankcase, never allowing pressure to first build and then vent as any breather or tank system does.
Does NOT defeat, delete, or negatively affect ANY functions of the OEM PCV system. Only enhances it for a emissions compliant close system. Most vented/tank/breather solutions defeat many of the critical functions of the PCV system resulting n shortened engine life and increased wear. By evacuating at all operating modes not only does the oil remain cleaner longer, engine life is also extended. Vented tanks, etc. defeat these critical functions allowing most of the contaminates to remain in the crankcase and engine oil.
Improves fuel economy by 1-3 MPG average by reducing knock retard caused by detonation as well as allowing a more complete energy producing burn during combustion. ANY contaminates present have a negative affect.
Capacity of several times the average “catchcan” so draining is only needed every 5000 or so miles. Note Ford Ecoboost needs to be drained more often.
Traps far more than oil from the PCV vapors, also traps water, unburnt fuel, sulfuric acid, abrasive soot, carbon, and ash particles and more.
2. Why don’t the auto manufacturers install these on new vehicles?
Manufacturers are constantly pushing to move away from any end-user maintenance.
Because an oil catch can system has to be emptied periodically, it opposes their desire for you to keep your hands off.
3. What’s the difference between the Single, Dual and Monster Catch Can? Which do I need?
Single Valve: This can be used for the budget minded buyer that still wants the most effective air/oil separation system. Can be used on most naturally aspirated engines that are basically stock. Uses the same evacuation as the stock system, only uses intake manifold vacuum.
Dual Valve: Most common solution for all gasoline engines, Naturally Aspirated, Super Charged, or Turbo charged. Uses secondary evacuation suction source to provide evacuation at all operating modes where the OEM system only evacuates at idle, cruise, and deceleration. The dual check valves will automatically default to the strongest evacuation suction source no matter the operating mode. A must for any turbo or centrifugal supercharger system. This is a good solution for boost up to 8# in most cases.
Monster: Same as above but designed with app. twice the capacity and ability for all big cube, big power builds and any with boost over 8#. Can support 1000-1200 HP plus if engine has not piston/ring/cylinder sealing issues. Size of this makes many installations a tight fit, but well worth it. Ford Ecoboost F150 owners, this is a MUST if you live in a climate that gets below freezing in the winter due to the large amount of contaminates the Ecoboost 3.5 and 2.7L engines produce.
4. What does the clean side separator do?
While the catch can eliminates most of the oil and condensates which come through the dirty side,
the clean side separator, as the name implies, takes care of the little bit that can come through the clean side.
Here is how it works.
Anytime you exceed 2/3 throttle, reversion pulses reduce any measurable vacuum inside the intake manifold.
When this happens, the PCV system stops evacuating and pressure builds in the crankcase. The oil vapors are pushed backwards out the fresh side inlet allowing ingestion. The Clean Side Separator will intercept these vapors.
5. Can I install a catch can system myself or do I need a mechanic?
6. How often do I drain the can?
All engines are different depending on PCV design, piston ring seal, and if DOD or not (displacement on demand creates added oil mist) so start by checking at 500-1000 miles to get an idea of the fill rate of your engine. In winter cold weather, these trap more than summer due to the added amount of moisture and fuel from cold start enrichment, etc. Most will be able to run up to 5k miles between empty intervals, others may only go 1-2,000 miles. NEVER let the main separator fill to full!! This will allow what has been trapped to be pulled through and into the engine defeating the benefits.
What do I do with what is caught? Dispose of properly as you would any engine drain oil. Most autoparts stores have drain oil collection tanks for this. NEVER drain onto ground as this is a pollutant that has been removed from the engine.
7. Will a catch can system improve my fuel economy?
Yes! Depending upon the vehicle, you can realize up to a 3 mile per gallon increase in fuel economy.
Think about it this way, if you remove the contaminants in your engine, it will operate more efficiently.
The end result is improved efficiency.
8. How does a catch can system resolve the “shudder” on the F-150 EcoBoost?
The Ford F-150 EcoBoost is an amazing truck, the small displacement engine with twin turbos is a monster! Yet there is an inherent issue that can be dangerous due to the design and placement of the CAC (intercooler). Condensation accumulates in the intercooler very quickly, as much as a quart has been drained in under 10,000 miles. In just 1,000 miles this issue has been known to rear it’s ugly head. At wide open throttle (e.g. entering a highway, passing a vehicle) when the vehicle is in boost the turbos build pressure and push the water in the intercooler into the combustion chamber. This extinguishes the spark and makes the engine stumble and may even cause the engine to shut down and go into limp mode. This requires you to pull off to the side of the road and restart the vehicle. Our catch can system extracts the water, unburned fuel, oil & sulfuric acid out of the crank case before it can collect on vital engine components.