SmartFerrari

CCV - Anyone made a catch-can yet?...

37 posts in this topic

Greetings all,

I've been off this site for a while, but after dealing with several EGR plugging issues (I've lost count, but I think I'm on my fifth change) and noticing the profuse amounts of oil accumulation at the CCV hose connection on the intake line, I've decided to try and rectify this issue.

I've TIG welded a small canister to fit the best location I can find in the engine bay and am planning to install it next week (as I've booked the week off from work and was planning to do an oil change, plus doing these mods). But before I do ANY installations, I'd like to know if anybody else has come up with one? My plan was to locate it on the passenger's side of the engine compartment, inbetween the wheelwell plastic liner and the small computer bolted to the frame rail. I noticed it could accomodate a decently large canister and mine measures approximately 5 X 5 X 2" (well, it tapers down to 1" width-wise because of the wheelwell, but nonetheless).

My diesel truck-owning coworker (Ford F250) is familiar with the EGR/PCV issues inherent with diesels and we poked around in the engine bay of my car, offering suggestions. My plan was to just run a vent line to the atmosphere out of the canister, but he said when he did that with his truck, the stink was unbearable. He said I could try and venting to atmosphere first and see how it smells, but figures I'll run it back into the intake shortly afterwards. I think it'll defeat the purpose and just reintroduce oil vapours back into the intake circuit. Although as I've looked into mine, I think the issue with profuse amounts of oil is just because it literally dumps right out of the valve cover into the intake pipe (not like a true PCV system that uses a valve. I used my boroscope and looked down the inside of the valve cover and it's just a long passage way, no valving or anything preventing liquid from coming out). With my canister I made, the line I plan to run will go UP first, before making a long route to the canister, thereby reducing oil LIQUID from getting into the canister. Any thoughts?

My other job is going to do something about the EGR valve. I'm not keen on removing it entirely, I like the idea of a blank-off plate (as described elsewhere in this forum). My concern is, are there any LONG-TERM issues doing this? Threads I've seen about this go back to 2012 (and earlier in most cases). What I'm worried about is any increased heat that may result in the combustion chamber from the lack of "cooled" exhaust gas coming in.

I've seen the Emulator and that's cool, but I already have the MB actuator patch cable installed and it appears to work awesome. My last EGR plugging didn't trip the error code, so it looks like it works (or so I think... The car did it's usual bogging-down, no-more-than-2000RPM running bit but DIDN'T trip the check-engine light. Sure enough, the EGR was plugged... Again... :( ).

Sorry for the long post and any repost this may be. Like I've said, it's been a while since I was last here.

Thanks,

Peter

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I think Bil (not with us anymore), Tolsen, and myself has/had some form of a CCV system.

I can't voucher for the others, but I can tell you my experiences. I built mine using a small camping fuel bottle. I used brass fittings and JB welded them on. I made somewhat of an offset so that it created sort of a vortex flow. It worked well for about a year and half until -20C last winter it froze sending oil shooting up my dip stick. I removed the system and opt to just let it be since my EGR is completely removed. I think Tolsen has a post of his design and it has been the best (IMHO) and holding up the longest without issues so far. If you search around the forum you'll find lots of details/attempts from others.

Most pre made CCV catch cans have too much restriction in the flow to work properly.

My 2cents

Izzy

Edited by stickman007

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Pipe containing ccv gases must be short or it may freeze up in cold weather. Therefore better fitting tank on left side of engine. Make space by removing egr actuator.
I once had a fool proof system just like in the olden days dumping breather gases and oil mist to atmosphere and road. Difficulties passing annual vehicle testing forced me into engineering a breather gas oil separator. Most oil is separated out and returned to sump. Gases are piped to air inlet at same position as the original system. The separator has now functioned flawlessly for three years. Does not require any cleaning or maintenance.

Edited by tolsen

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On some really old worn out diesels I have owned a tube into a 2L pop bottle worked fine, the vapours were not offensive smelling and it was not restrictive nor prone to freezing, it was usually a winter car and saw -20/ -30C. Just a length of garden hose going into a pop bottle (less then 20" of hose), I cut the treads of the top of the bottle so there was enough room around the hose going into the bottle to let excess pressure out, yet collect all the oil. If too much is getting out some stainless steel wool from a kitchen scrubber would work or steel wool wrapped around the hose at the entrance. If there is any restriction you run the risk of blowing oil seals or running on your oil, the engine needs to vent.

Usually this a last ditch effort due to excessive blow by...is the engine that tired? What fuel and oil are you using? Blowby is the result of poor running/leaking compression into the crankcase, poor fuel can lead to it from misfires and poor idling and incorrect oil that burns too easily. I understand exactly what you are trying to do, just wondering why your egr valve is giving so much trouble.

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Just get rid of the EGR entirely. There's too many problems with them my biggest issue that I have with it is all that crud is not only in the EGR but also throughout the intake and if any bits come loose basically sand blast the internals of the engine over time. With vw's removing the intake is essentially a maintenance item (Google TDI EGR :lookaround: )

I know its there for emissions purposes and also helps with warm ups via the EGR cooler (Average size cooler does only 56btu/min on a 2500hd when the EGR loop is active so my guess the smart sized one is peanuts if not none when you account for the heat loss in the lines) but having it comes with the risk of lowering the life span of the engine and more maintenance.

I had my EGR delete on my coupe from 162,000km and I'm sitting at just over 320,000km's now same with the rest of my fleet.

As for the CCV why not before you do a oil change just pull the IAC sensor from the bottom of the Intercooler and give it a couple revs with an oil pan underneath and call it a day? The VW ALH TDI's allways had a bit of oil in the IC especially ones driven only in town and most of them had a screw installed so when they do an oil change pull the screw and drain the IC .

Just some food for thought

Edited by dmoonen

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I definitely don't like the idea of putting the tank on the passengers side of the engine compartment, the hose length would be too long and you would get oil condensing in the hoses but worst of all in the winter water vapour would freeze blocking the vent and then the dipstick would pop out of the tube resulting in oil everywhere.

So remove the EGR valve and locate the tank there.

Use something like Tolsens cyclone to separate the oil from the mist.

Use the two coolant lines you removed from the EGR and connect them to a copper tube wrapped around the outside of your cach can - cyclone device, this will allow it to be heated by the coolant in winter and hopefully prevent the water vapour from freezing.

Use large diameter hoses.

Good luck

Canman

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Okay guys, thanks for all of your replies, I appreciate it. I should have come here first before making one... In any case, I'll post the photos of it and I wlecome critique (oh boy, I may regret that! :) ).

So the consensus is that the passenger's side is too far away? I was planning on using 3/8" ID hose to route to and fro, but with the mention of garden hose, that's typically 1/2" to 5/8". Surely this engine can't be pumping that much gases into the crankcase?

I must admit my severity of oil in the intake tract is really due to my short trips I make with this car on a daily basis. I can't help it. I live about 6km from work and use this car as my daily driver. I drive into Vancouver at most, twice a month (I live AND work outside the city, thank God), so it doesn't see much highway use (56,000km only on the odometer).

Or maybe, I'm making too much of a big deal about the oil accumulation, as I don't have a reference as to what is how much or how little. This is my first diesel car and turbo'd car. To me, the combination of the oil vapours and the exhaust soot is what gums-up the EGR, so if I can eliminate both, then all should be well(?). Thus my reason for keeping the EGR in place and just blanking off the exhaust port.

Anyways, here's the pics of the tank, plus a tool I made to extract the piston out of the EGR body for better cleaning:

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Pipe containing ccv gases must be short or it may freeze up in cold weather. Therefore better fitting tank on left side of engine. Make space by removing egr actuator.

I once had a fool proof system just like in the olden days dumping breather gases and oil mist to atmosphere and road. Difficulties passing annual vehicle testing forced me into engineering a breather gas oil separator. Most oil is separated out and returned to sump. Gases are piped to air inlet at same position as the original system. The separator has now functioned flawlessly for three years. Does not require any cleaning or maintenance.

So is this what you're using?:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Land-Rover-Defender-Cyclone-Engine-Oil-Breather-ERR1471-/370379451772?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item563c55ed7c#ht_1682wt_982

You reference this ebay ad in a thread in this section...

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I am unsure whether anyone tried fitting that Landrover cyclone on a Smart car.

You've made quite and impressive egr cartridge puller. Mine is a lot smaller and allows pulling cartridge in situ.

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I made my own air oil separator:

AirOilSeparator.jpg

DSC02806.jpg

I simply could not source anything small enough to fit the available space.

DSC02833.jpg

This cyclone separator has proved very effective. I might add a demister in the future once I have removed EGR actuator and fitted my Polish EGR simulator.

PS. EGR cartridge removal tool:

DSC03186.jpg

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Okay guys, thanks for all of your replies, I appreciate it. I should have come here first before making one... In any case, I'll post the photos of it and I wlecome critique (oh boy, I may regret that! :) ).

So the consensus is that the passenger's side is too far away? I was planning on using 3/8" ID hose to route to and fro, but with the mention of garden hose, that's typically 1/2" to 5/8". Surely this engine can't be pumping that much gases into the crankcase?

I must admit my severity of oil in the intake tract is really due to my short trips I make with this car on a daily basis. I can't help it. I live about 6km from work and use this car as my daily driver. I drive into Vancouver at most, twice a month (I live AND work outside the city, thank God), so it doesn't see much highway use (56,000km only on the odometer).

Or maybe, I'm making too much of a big deal about the oil accumulation, as I don't have a reference as to what is how much or how little. This is my first diesel car and turbo'd car. To me, the combination of the oil vapours and the exhaust soot is what gums-up the EGR, so if I can eliminate both, then all should be well(?). Thus my reason for keeping the EGR in place and just blanking off the exhaust port.

Anyways, here's the pics of the tank, plus a tool I made to extract the piston out of the EGR body for better cleaning:

Nice. It looks like you have some undercut there in pic #2 :icon_smile:

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I made my own air oil separator:

AirOilSeparator.jpg

DSC02806.jpg

I simply could not source anything small enough to fit the available space.

DSC02833.jpg

This cyclone separator has proved very effective. I might add a demister in the future once I have removed EGR actuator and fitted my Polish EGR simulator.

PS. EGR cartridge removal tool:

DSC03186.jpg

Thanks for posting these photos! After I had posted my reply, I was poking around and came across your photo of the installed cyclone. The drain is connected back to the sump, correct? Whereabouts exactly? I have a spare, original sump (which was replaced by the Smarttune drain-plug version), so I can weld on a fitting to accept a return hose from a cyclone. I was thinking that maybe somewhere near the highest point of the sump pan...

I also saw that piston remover ratchet a while ago and was inspired by it. I figured a puller could both remove AND install. Required a lot of machining though...

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Nice workmanship.

Canman

Nice. It looks like you have some undercut there in pic #2 :icon_smile:

Thanks. I tend to make myself more work than I have to. ;)

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That EGR cartridge puller is a piece of art... Uselessly overkill on the functionality side, but both gorgeous and effective.

Hydrocarbon combustion produces a lot of water, that's the "hydro-" part. Under condensing conditions you need to deal with (very roughly, quick check, feels right, in the ballpark anyway) 1 1/2 litres of water for every litre of diesel burnt. That's a lot of water if it comes out of gaseous form! Almost all of it goes out the exhaust of course, but the blow-by still counts as sopping wet once it cools much below boiling. Add icing conditions and engineers start dreaming of electric heating elements as the easiest way of dealing with the problem.

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That EGR cartridge puller is a piece of art... Uselessly overkill on the functionality side, but both gorgeous and effective.

Hydrocarbon combustion produces a lot of water, that's the "hydro-" part. Under condensing conditions you need to deal with (very roughly, quick check, feels right, in the ballpark anyway) 1 1/2 litres of water for every litre of diesel burnt. That's a lot of water if it comes out of gaseous form! Almost all of it goes out the exhaust of course, but the blow-by still counts as sopping wet once it cools much below boiling. Add icing conditions and engineers start dreaming of electric heating elements as the easiest way of dealing with the problem.

An old-timer welder in my first job taught me this saying:

"When in doubt, build it stout, with materials you know about".

So what you're saying about the condensation is that once I go through a tank of fuel, I should have about 30 litres of water in my crankcase? If people like Tolsen and others are using a cyclone catch can and just returning the condensed oil back to the sump through a drain tube, then what about the condensed water from the atmosphere? Shouldn't that just eventually make it's way out through the crankcase as well, out the CCV port, into the cyclone and up through the outlet vent, into the intake tube?

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I brazed a hose barb to bottom of sounding tube for oil return.

Sounding tube? Do you mean the oil return line from the turbo, or the dipstick tube?

On my Ferrari, the CCV system is nearly identical and features a return line to the top of the oil sump:

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So what you're saying about the condensation is that once I go through a tank of fuel, I should have about 30 litres of water in my crankcase?

Most of that 30 litres leaves with the exhaust, no problem. The remainder is only a problem when it condenses or even worse freezes.

It's just a good example of the sheer quantity of water that needs to be dealt with.

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I brazed a hose barb to bottom of sounding tube for oil return.

Sounding tube? Do you mean the oil return line from the turbo, or the dipstick tube?

On my Ferrari, the CCV system is nearly identical and features a return line to the top of the oil sump:

The tube you use for taking oil soundings.

DSC02844.jpg

Photo shows brazed on tie in at dipstick tube. The two black hoses are cooling hoses for oil cooler. Belt is alternator belt. Part of timing chain cover is also seen. The black horizontal tube is right hand side drive shaft. A rope is tied around it - a left over from when I was testing out different size restrictor plugs and kept draining and refilling coolant several times per day. The rope made the coolant run into my drain tray and not dripping all over the place..

I used a clear hose initially so I could visually verify whether my separator was working. You can clearly tell it has oil in it.

Edited by tolsen

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I brazed a hose barb to bottom of sounding tube for oil return.

Sounding tube? Do you mean the oil return line from the turbo, or the dipstick tube?

On my Ferrari, the CCV system is nearly identical and features a return line to the top of the oil sump:

The tube you use for taking oil soundings.

Photo shows brazed on tie in at dipstick tube. The two black hoses are cooling hoses for oil cooler. Belt is alternator belt. Part of timing chain cover is also seen. The black horizontal tube is right hand side drive shaft. A rope is tied around it - a left over from when I was testing out different size restrictor plugs and kept draining and refilling coolant several times per day. The rope made the coolant run into my drain tray and not dripping all over the place..

I used a clear hose initially so I could visually verify whether my separator was working. You can clearly tell it has oil in it.

Aha! The dipstick tube! Got it. So obviously you've had no issues with oil surging up your hose from the sump? I suppose with the generous length, even if there was some surging, it wouldn't be enough to splash up inside the cyclone.

Now armed with this amazing info and photos, I'll be able to do this and enjoy worry-free driving. The instances of the EGR gumming up were never in mid-drive, but when it did happen (like getting ready to go home after work), it was a good thing I live close by. Very annoying trying to drive a car so gutless.

Many thanks again Tolsen and to the others as well.

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Okay, so I thought I'd post an update to my - successful - installation of the cyclone separator and the EGR delete modification.

Wow, what a difference! The car certainly feels like it has more pep to it. I also noticed it takes longer to warm up, in that when I take my usual route, over a certain distance I'd get the three bubbles on the temp gauge before, but now I have to go longer before the three bubbles come up. I've only logged around 150km since doing this mod on the Thanksgiving long weekend so I can't judge fuel consumption, but will later when I get down to an empty tank.

It wasn't without some alterations though. I had to re-do my connection at the dipstick tube, because the fitting I welded on was angled too far out and the driveshaft brushed it when out on my initial test drive. When re-doing that, at least when I pulled the hose off there was oil in the hose, so the system was functioning (trace amounts of oil present in the cyclone/separator as well!). I also had to strap down the separator/cyclone as it vibrated a lot with engine vibration and rattled on the chassis rail at certain RPMs.

Please note that for the EGR delete, I rotated the piston assembly (as noted from elsewhere in this forum), but when the assembly is installed fully home, there is a micro gap at the bottom which could allow soot to enter over time. With that in mind, I made a blank-off plate as a double measure.

Will check next year at my next oil change interval to see if I have any oil build-up in the hoses and intercooler header.

I made the cyclone/separator out of stainless tubing (1/2" OD) and the unit itself is a left-over item I had in my toolbox at work (a float for a propane tanker-truck "Rotogauge" level indicator gauge).

There are many photos with some descriptions. Enjoy!

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Amazing workmanship.

I'm always surprised by how many people have persistent EGR problems. In my 180,000 km with my CDI, i never once had it go into "limp" mode, and only had the EGR cleaned out once during a service at Mercedes-Benz Oakville.

Maybe i was just lucky. Maybe my car was put together on the right day… who knows? But i only ever put premium diesel in it (Sunoco Gold or Shell V-Power), so maybe that has something to do with it?

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