Oil Catch Can

EvanS

Member
I did a bit of searching for this but there doesn't seem to be a huge number of posts for oil catch cans. Hein, did have three photos posted for this (of course he did) but I figured I would add what I could after doing the install myself.

Ok, so why a catch can?

Well, simple - I didn't want the EGR gasses containing oil to recirculate into the engine intake. If too much oil enters the intake it is known to coat the walls of the engine with oil which allows carbon build up. Having owned a BMW with the N54 engine I know this is a serious issue that should be avoided. However, there doesn't seem to be a dedicated oil catch can system you can buy for the OM642. I was told to buy this catch can which seems to be a top of the line catch can and has hoses that will work with the Sprinter system.

After taking the EGR hose apart and removing the air intake to the turbo, I found oil in the system :-( I was especially bummed to see this given that my van has 4,100 miles on it...

Anyway, here is a link that should show what I did and how I did it.

Photo 1 - Oil in the turbo intake.
Photo 2 - Oil on the sensor that is right before where the EGR hose connects to the air intake.
Photo 3 - Oil on said sensor
Photo 4 - Oil on hose that connected to sensor
Photo 5 - Location of catch can. This is below the air filter on the passenger side of the van. There are a few predrilled holes in the area that I widened to accomidate a 5/16th bolt. I would use something a bit smaller to prevent having to ream the holes to make them fit this bolt size. Use the red oil dipstick to orient the placement of the catch can. I did cut the bottom 1/4 off of the mounting bracket and drilled two holes in it to mount it in this location.
Photo 6 - Hose leading from catch can to air intake.
Photo 7 - Hose leading from EGR to catch can.
Photo 8 - Shows how hose goes from EGR to bottom of catch can then from top of catch can to air intake.
Photo 9 - Hose from catch can to air intake.

Couple of notes -

All hoses are 3/4
I cut into the EGR hose close to the firewall and then discarded the rest of the hose.
A 3/4 - 3/4 hose connector was uses to connect the EGR output to the hose that runs to the bottom of the catch can.
 
Last edited:

John E

Member
I bought a catch can for my '16 4-cylinder and hope to get it installed this week. These catch cans don't seem to be embraced by many here, for some reason. I don't post much (yet) but have been reading a lot.
 

asimba2

ourkaravan.com
I bought a catch can for my '16 4-cylinder and hope to get it installed this week. These catch cans don't seem to be embraced by many here, for some reason. I don't post much (yet) but have been reading a lot.
I am definitely interested in what you come up with.
 

Boxster1971

2012 Sprinter 3500 Ext
Engineering Explained posted a video last week titled: "Do Oil Catch Cans Actually Work?, Proof That Oil Catch Cans Are Worth It For Direct Injection Engines". But it adds yet another item requiring routine maintenance of emptying the catch can.

https://youtu.be/T-B4VRxAtbw
 

showkey

Well-known member
Word of caution: Oil catch cans in cold weather might freeze up. That can cause excessive crankcase pressure, blow a seal and end witha serious oil leak.
 

showkey

Well-known member
The hoses can also freeze............this is true with all PCV systems that’s why they are heated or routed to avoid those problems.
 

EvanS

Member
I don't mind adding this to my list of routine maintenence. It's easy to take care of and it prevent carbon buildup on the intake, also know as black death. Seems like a small trade off to me.


Not sure how freezing weather would affect the system. There is some oil in the bottom of the can, but unless it were so full that it were to block the air passing through I doubt it could do much harm.
 

showkey

Well-known member
Intake carbon build up is far more likely to be from the EGR system, especially in the Sprinter.

PVC systems are heated in most cars to avoid freezing. Usually with hot coolant. If they freeze which was a problem for many system years back before heaters......it ends in engine failure. The hoses in most systems are kept to absolutely shortest routes possible to minimize any problems. Even the valve covers in some vehicles were heated to prevent freezing in the liquid vapor separators.

PVC system were mandated have been in service for 70 plus years with no ill effects other freezing mentioned prior.
The whole sealed crankcase concept was burning the water and oil vapors from day one.
For those that don’t remember the alternative was a road draft tube the dripped water and oil and the vapors went into air. The oil was so contaminated intervals were 1000-1500 miles.

Yes, there has been a few manufactures ( Ford, Volkswagen) with carbon on the intake valves on DI gasoline engines mainly because there’s no fuel washing the back of the valve.

Sure would be nice to an independent long term study of catch cans effectiveness and benefits.......and not from the guys selling $300-$700. It makes for a great sale pitch to collect the water oil mixture........not sure the engine really cares because the amounts slime over the miles is small.
 
Last edited:

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
Part of the issue, is that the turbo still puts oil into the intake stream. So there is still oil to mix with EGR soot, to make deposits. I would argue that the extra oil from the PCV system may help to prevent more significant build up (the separator is already pretty efficient).
 

SD26

2012 NCV3 3500
Photo 5 - Location of catch can. This is below the air filter on the passenger side of the van. There are a few predrilled holes in the area that I widened to accomidate a 5/16th bolt. I would use something a bit smaller to prevent having to ream the holes to make them fit this bolt size. Use the red oil dipstick to orient the placement of the catch can. I did cut the bottom 1/4 off of the mounting bracket and drilled two holes in it to mount it in this location.
Photo 6 - Hose leading from catch can to air intake.
Photo 7 - Hose leading from EGR to catch can.
Photo 8 - Shows how hose goes from EGR to bottom of catch can then from top of catch can to air intake.
Photo 9 - Hose from catch can to air intake.

Couple of notes -

All hoses are 3/4
I cut into the EGR hose close to the firewall and then discarded the rest of the hose.
A 3/4 - 3/4 hose connector was uses to connect the EGR output to the hose that runs to the bottom of the catch can.
How did you cut the hose clamp closest to the air intake? Snips or does it just pull off?
 

SD26

2012 NCV3 3500
@SD26

I can't remember, probably just snipped them if they were crimped on.
Hey, thanks for taking the time to respond. :)

I see some cooling hose plumbing in your pictures. Did you plumb in a coolant filter or something?
 

EvanS

Member
I have 1/2 inch coolant hoses spliced into the heater core that runs to an Isotemp 22 liter heat exchanger. It's located before the spare tire under the van. The hoses are insulated with a heat shield to protect them from the exhaust system but also from any road debris.

Photo below is of the tank before I got the hoses on it.
 

asimba2

ourkaravan.com
I bought a catch can for my '16 4-cylinder and hope to get it installed this week. These catch cans don't seem to be embraced by many here, for some reason. I don't post much (yet) but have been reading a lot.
Did you get your catch can installed? Videos like this make me want to install one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4_dW98oJ1A&list=LLGmep-bTHViV43nl-0iFmvQ

The author is a diesel mechanic in Australia and has dozens of videos on the need for catch cans on modern diesels: https://www.youtube.com/user/BerrimaDiesel/videos
 

VanGoSki

Well-known member
^^ Funny how these videos are all from companies who conveniently sell these things. :hmmm:
 

SD26

2012 NCV3 3500
^^ Funny how these videos are all from companies who conveniently sell these things. :hmmm:
Is it?

If one finds and issue and builds a solution.
 

VanGoSki

Well-known member
Is it?

If one finds and issue and builds a solution.
They must love you on the shopping channel.

"Act now, and we'll throw in this deluxe water injection system, absolutely free!" :lol:

Seriously though. Both of these videos are presented as some sort of research studies. But if you look more closely, they both sell these devices. That's sleazy and it causes me to distrust them. They should make their alliances clear up front.

Look, I've watched the videos and they're well done and make what seem to be valid points. However, if you read through this thread, there's evidence presented by knowledgeable folks that using these devices may actually be detrimental. You had one person post a picture of the inlet of his turbo with a puddle of oil that bummed him out. And you had another member mention that oil introduced into the turbo is beneficial. Who are you going to believe? Personally, I think I'd lean towards the MB engineers who designed the engine.

There's also been evidence introduced that says it's bad to add complexity and backpressure to the crankcase vent system. And if it freezes, your engine is toast. What's this do to your warranty if you end up damaging your engine?

So if you have information on these things from a credible automotive engineering source that isn't selling something, I'm all ears. Otherwise, sorry. I don't get my information from infomercials.
 

Top Bottom