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Author Topic: Oily intake-experiments and solutions  (Read 11219 times)
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millsj
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« on: July 19, 2011, 05:48:10 PM »

For those of you who track your MSM, you may (or may not) be aware that you can end up with an oily intake system.  Below are the experiments and findings that have ultimately let to an elimination of the problem.

First a little history.  Earlier this year, my wife and I were at the track co-driving the MSM.  A week or so after the event, I was cleaning all the dust from under the hood due to a slight off track excursion.  Cheesy As I cleaned, I noticed that oil had seeped from around the temperature sensor at the throttle body inlet pipe.  I also notice that oil had seeped out from around my MBC.  I had read on the forum that in certain track conditions, oil could pass through the OEM catch can and be introduced into the intake system.  Oil at the temperature sensor was a good indication that I was suffering from this problem.  I decided to do a little experiment to see if I was getting oil through the intake and if so, how much.

I ordered a cheap oil catch can off of E-Bay and installed it between the OEM catch can and the intake.  If oil was passing through the OEM catch can, then it should be caught in the second one.  Below are a couple of pictures of the new set-up. 







At the next event, I was armed with the new catch can and was curious how much oil I will get in the second catch can.  There was no oil in the first couple of sessions.  As the speeds picked up, I kept checking the can.  To my shock, after my fastest 20 minute session of the day, the catch can was almost full.  shockeyes I would approximate about 8 oz.  I drained the catch can and we kept driving.  I drained the catch can several times on Saturday.

On Sunday, we tried another experiment.  The leading train of thought is that the with heavy corning gís and sustained boost, oil is being sucked up through the drain line from the OEM catch can.  The OEM system has a drain line that runs from the catch can to the oil pan.  We decided to put a spring clamp on the drain line and see what happened.  After the drain line was clamped, I didnít get any more oil in the second catch can.

Now that I know where the oil is coming from, how do I fix it.  There was discussion of putting a check valve in the drain line.  I seriously thought about this option, but you would have to have a really light spring in the valve to allow the oil to pass through.  However, the real reason I didnít go this route is the check valves are expensive in the racing catalogs.

The next idea was to put a valve in the drain line.  I could shut the valve when I go to the track and then drive with it open any other time.  This is the route I decided to go.  I bought a ĺĒ ball valve from Lowes.  The handle was too big to fit in the space, so I screwed a wing nut on the valve to use as a handle.  I then used a clear piece of hose to install between the OEM catch can and the valve.  I can check this hose and if there is any oil in the hose during a track weekend, then I can open the valve and drain the oil and then close it again.  See below for the final solution. 







If you have had this issue, I would suggest taking your intercooler off and thoroughly cleaning it.  My intercooler was coated with oil and I even had standing oil on the intake side several weeks after the last track event.  I believe the oil-coated intercooler was contributing to my overheating issue at the last event even with the cross flow radiator and Spal fans.   I suspect that intercooler was not as efficient as it should be and was causing my IATís to be very high causing everything to run hotter, which caused a vicious circle with oil and water temps. 

An interesting side note is that my wife did not get any oil in the second catch can.  Her lap times were only about 2 seconds off my times and our shift points are in the same spots.  I wish I knew the exact condition that causes the oil to be introduced to the intake system, but that will have to remain a mystery for now.

Several members have also eliminated this problem by completely eliminating the OEM catch can system.  Apparently venting the crank case directly to an after-market catch can will also stop the problem.  I have not experimented with this solution, so I canít speak for itís effectiveness.

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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
SilverMiataRacer
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2011, 06:01:04 PM »

Nice complete explanation of the situation Joe!!!    afro
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Larry

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'95MSM
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Turbo clocked downward, new i/c plumbing


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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2011, 02:37:53 AM »

You have all of the necessary bits to keep testing.  I'll go 50-50 with you (generous, seeing as how my MSM will likely not ever set foot on a race track) for one of SMR's inexpensive Grainger (or similar source) check valves if you'll repeat your test with the in-circuit catch can.  If the check valve doesn't ever open, the worst that can happen is it will work just like your ball valve.

By the way, when you run with the ball valve closed, do you accumulate oil in the tube above it??  That would indicate the oil separator (it isn't a catch can) is still working under track boost conditions.  If it does and if the check valve does not accumulate oil, we'll have a solution.
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'05 running gear + '95 body
3.63 ring & pinion FM content: Blouch compressor mod, FM-Link, i/c & no-MAF intake.   BEGi: Stainless SGDP w/ metal core performance cat.   Custom stuff: Compressor clocked downward w/ new i/c pipe, big radius throttle elbow, 2.5" mid-pipe w/ Hushpower II, dual 2" axle-back w/ open Supertrapps, Toyota 4 pc cop ignition

245.2 whp on default FM-Link maps (with OEM midpipe)
mr_hyde
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2011, 03:26:42 AM »

Several members have also eliminated this problem by completely eliminating the OEM catch can system.  Apparently venting the crank case directly to an after-market catch can will also stop the problem.  I have not experimented with this solution, so I canít speak for itís effectiveness.
I can say with certainty that this works but will be the first to admit it is the quick, dirty and 'improper' solution.  Nice work on this Joe - I like the fact that you can shut off the valve and be sure you are ready for the track and then open the valve on the way home to be completely emissions friendly.  I'm interested to hear if you go any farther on this and would also like to know if you ever identify a difference in the laps the Mrs. was turning that would keep the intake dry on her sessions.
-h
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1990 Red - MSM Drivetrain, Adaptronic EMS, Xida 700/400, 15x9 6uls, Full Cage, SGDP w/80mm Corksport exhaust, ~260whp @ 15psi on Forged Rods.  bow2
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schmoo
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 03:27:32 AM »

If you're running on track with the valve closed and you're accumulating oil above the valve (normal behaviour), that oil is no longer in your crankcase. Will you open the valve between sessions to let the oil back into the pan and then close before hitting the track again?
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Driver-Limited Canadian 2004 MSM Track Toy in Velocity Red | FM Big Enchilada w/Hydra 2.7, FM AFCO Coilovers, 15x9 6UL Gen2 & Advanti Storm, FM Anti-Roll Bars, Carbotech Pads, FM SS Lines, FM Racing Rad, FM Oil Cooler, Momo Lesmo One Seat, Schroth Profi 2 Harness, HDHCDD M2 Hardtop with Harness Bar, AiM MXL Pro with Smartycam HD GP, Gutted Interior
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'95MSM
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 01:05:15 PM »

And if you are accumulating oil above the valve, the weight of the oil should help open the check valve.  Probably not by much, but maybe enough to make it an effective mod.
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'05 running gear + '95 body
3.63 ring & pinion FM content: Blouch compressor mod, FM-Link, i/c & no-MAF intake.   BEGi: Stainless SGDP w/ metal core performance cat.   Custom stuff: Compressor clocked downward w/ new i/c pipe, big radius throttle elbow, 2.5" mid-pipe w/ Hushpower II, dual 2" axle-back w/ open Supertrapps, Toyota 4 pc cop ignition

245.2 whp on default FM-Link maps (with OEM midpipe)
millsj
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2011, 07:23:01 PM »

I haven't had a chance to drive the car on the track since I installed the valve.  So far, there is not oil in the tube above the valve, but I have only drive to the grocery store once or twice. 

The plan is to check the tube between sessions and if there is oil in the tube, I will drain it and then close the valve again.

I'll do some searching and see if I can find a check valve with a very light spring.  My thoughts were also that a little bit of oil in the clear tube would cause a check valve to open, but it will have to be a valve that opens easily.  It anyone stumbles across one, a 3/4" valve works.
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
ASE05
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2011, 11:33:28 PM »

I can add my 2 cents here. I ran a similar set up on my SE in OZ but I blocked the return(syphon) from the sump altogether. I found no more oil in the 2nd catch can after this, same track conditions that originally had my 2nd can overflowing. The only small issue with blocking the return line to the sump is you're not returning the small amount of oil back into the system.

The OEM set up is crap as we all know if you track your car.

I also was running an inline water filter from a compressor between the PCV and inlet manifold. I tried all the different PCV valves and still had a bit coming through. I had to sell the car before I added a 2nd catch can to the system. There wasn't much oil getting through but there was some.

The motor had good compression/leak down test before selling her so there wasn't an issue there.

I'll be adding the 2 can system as a winter project. Or is there a way to combine the two?
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millsj
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 06:28:33 PM »

Just to provide another update....blow-by is pressurizing the oil pan and causing the oil to be pushed back up the catch can drain line and back into the intake.  We originally thought the oil was being sucked up the line, but it is being pushed up the line.  This was covered in another thread, but thought I would add the final info here.

I have been running the car on the track for about a year since the valve, and all is still well.   afro
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
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