Oil Catch Can Install!!

Drew

Test Drive
Supporting Member
Location
Little Rock
My Gen1 Xterra had a huge oil-burning issue, from the time I drove it off the lot (at only a young 32,000 miles old) until the day she passed (well over 390,000 very hard miles - I was not kind to her).

I've noticed that my 2nd Gen burns oil, too, even though I bought her a year ago at a lower middle-age (84,000 miles), and I treat her much better now, compared to my Gen1. For instance, my Gen1 spent many hours hard riding through logging roads and other National Forest trails, not to mention tank trails on National Guard reserve property, within the first three months of ownership. By 6 months, I'd put over 50k miles on her. Gen2, on the other hand has only been off-road twice, on well traveled tracks, and only to exercise the 4x4 and make sure every thing remains lubed and serviceable. Also, after a year and a half of daily driving, I've only added about 30k miles to her odometer. She's my baby.

Not sure what my malfunction was, but I've only recently learned of oil catch cans and using them to mitigate the issue of burning oil through the PCV system.

Alright - now to the meat of this post:
I've purchased an oil catch can from Amazon.

After agonizing about finding where to install it, I finally decided to utilize the bracket holding my High Pressure AC line, near the brake Master Cylinder (driver-side).

In many of the videos I watched, people modified the bracket by drilling through it, or they utilized some holes in their firewall. Since the factory padding is still on my firewall, I didn't have anything there I could utilize, so I chose the bracket. Unfortunately, I discovered that if I modified the bracket as described in a couple of Youtube videos, I would have to remove the entire assembly to empty the catch-can, instead of just being able to unscrewing the bottom from the top housing.

So, for now, I have attached it to the bracket using a hose clamp and three zip-ties - Ugly, I know, but this is temporary.

OilCatchCan_Installed_Kinda.jpg

This lifts the can high enough that I can unscrew the bottom half to empty it.
In the near future, I will fabricate an assembly I can use to wrap around the High-Pressure line, and the original bracket holding the line, and then screw into the new assembly for a more secure hold, and move it slightly rear-ward and still keep it above the low-pressure AC line there in the back (below the can).

Then I got some PCV hose from Autozone/Orielly's/Advanced Autoparts - and completed the connection to the Crank Case:
PCV_OutTube.jpg
Pictured above is the brand new connection. The original connection is a pinch, style, hose clamp, and because of the limited space, it was a real pain in the arse to remove. One thing to note is that this valve is about 1/2 the size of the much easier to reach valve on the plenum - pictured next. The clamp pictured came with the oil-can set, and it almost is too wide for the valve nozzle there. However, it turns out to be just perfect to fit right there as it tightens down just behind the nozzle head.

Here is the return air line:
PCV_ReturnTube.jpg
This one is so much easier to get to and was the last line I hooked up, but the first line I pulled off, as I found it easier to rotate the line and break the seal at the PCV nozzle that is basically under the electrical cable in this picture. Once I reached back behind with some small needle nose pliers and twisted/rotated the original return air hose, I found it a little easier to work with.

Anyway, the Oil Catch Can is installed, today is mile 0. I will report back in a few thousand miles and let you know how she's doing.

Safe Driving!!
 

Drew

Test Drive
Supporting Member
Location
Little Rock
Way overdue update:

Almost a year since install and I am just now getting back to this. I've added just under 50k miles in that 10 months and have changed my oil about 7 or 8 times (every 6k-8k miles). When I empty the catch can it is about 1/4 to 3/4 full, depending on whether I'm at 6k or greater when I take it out. I've noticed the most oil in the can after long hours of sustained driving - like hours on the freeway. I've driven out west a couple of times and taken several other long road trips. I also live in an area where it gets real hot in the summer and
Being new at all this gear-head stuff and not a mechanic by trade, I'm not sure how terrible that is, but I have an inkling it's not the best news. From what I can tell, there is no oil in my radiator fluid, nor do I seem to have any other apparent leaks.

My conclusion - If oil blowing back in from PCV is a bad thing, I say install one, especially if you drive long-range.
 
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