30,000 Mile, No Catch Can Report

Hack

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I have a Fiesta ST and I get a lot in the catch can. Frankly to me it's surprising. And not just oil vapors. The residue typically has a strong gasoline smell. Annoying, because it means to me the ECU dumps a lot of excess fuel into the cylinders at times.

I realize the 2.3 EB is completely different, but they are both Ford designed engines and they run a similar amount of boost in stock configurations.

My wife's 2013 Escape just turned 100k miles and it knocks and pings all the time. It's done it since before the warranty expired and when she took it in the dealer said "that's normal". I guess yeah, maybe all Fords of that age knock and ping like they are garbage. So, the thing does run fine and it's beyond 100k. Maybe that's good enough for today's car buyer. It's just that carbon buildup is going to shorten the engine's life versus a car with port injection (my opinion). Or it will require expensive maintenance that an older vehicle wouldn't have needed. It's really soured me on new vehicles.

That experience is a big part of the reason why I now have a 2017 GT rather than something newer with DI. I just don't trust that direct injection cars are going to last like the older port injection vehicles. Yes Ford did a combo PI/DI which is much better than pure DI, but I still don't trust it.

 

Mike Pfeifer

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The question I have, and it’s because I really don’t know, is this: just because some oil condenses in the catch can, do we know that the air exiting the catch can is completely free of oil vapor? Or even significantly lower in oil vapor? Just because you find oil in there, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s 100% of the oil vapor that went through it, right? An honest question. I don’t have an eco, but I do work on DI engines and have seen some catch cans installed on cars here and there. Just wondering for my own automotive knowledge.
 

jdsfly

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For #3 in freeway mode yes. In autocross on sticky tires there is a high probability of oil getting whipped around by the crankshaft. I see 1.2 lateral/braking Gs with Falkens. See Walt's post on the NĂĽrburgring Mustang. So for high performance (autocross/track) drivers a catch can is probably useful. Especially since burning oil lowers the octane rating, which will reduce your power.
You could look for an oil pan with a deeper sump and/or additional baffling, to help mitigate this, when racing.
 

jdsfly

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The question I have, and it’s because I really don’t know, is this: just because some oil condenses in the catch can, do we know that the air exiting the catch can is completely free of oil vapor? Or even significantly lower in oil vapor? Just because you find oil in there, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s 100% of the oil vapor that went through it, right? An honest question. I don’t have an eco, but I do work on DI engines and have seen some catch cans installed on cars here and there. Just wondering for my own automotive knowledge.
No, a catch can doesn't capture all of the oil in blowby vapors. If you want to know how much they miss, install a second catch can between the first catch can and the intake manifold.
 

Hanavarian

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I used to G max my '69 Karman Ghia 1600 CC could have used a catch can so much fuel went into crank case, unbeknownst to me ( rarely checked the oil) destroyed the engine.
 

TorqueMan

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Here're a couple of points didn't see covered in this thread.

  1. The 2.3L EcoBoost includes an air/oil separator installed at the factory, so there is a system in place to prevent oil from the PCV system getting into the intake system.
  2. The issue of valve contamination with direct-injected engines is not new. Ford addressed it with the aforementioned air/oil separator, specifying use of less volatile (lower vapor) oil, and changes to valve/fuel injection timing that puts extra fuel in the cylinder and keeps the intake valve open long enough during the intake cycle to allow some of it to flow back out into the valve port, providing a modicum of detergent action. The fact we don't see widespread reports of driveability problems related to valve contamination from owners with high-mileage cars strongly suggests these mitigating strategies are effective.
  3. The true value of a catch can is not that it prevents valve contamination (although it stands to reason it could help if this was an issue with these engines). The true value of a catch can is it lowers the amount of oil vapors entering the cylinder along with the air charge. This is extremely important in cars running high boost/high horsepower. Higher boost and horsepower demand drastically increases heat, and heat requires careful control of fuel octane. The oil vapor from the PCV system is meant to be burnt as part of the air/fuel mixture, and it has an effect on that mixture's octane. The higher the boost, the more oil vapor you will get into the intake system, which can significantly lower the octane of the mixture getting burned. As we all know, the surest way to provoke an RUD event with a small-displacement, turbocharged engine running at high boost/power/heat is to muck with octane.
 

ICU812

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1. The carbon that accumulates on valves and piston tops can't be wiped off with a rag. It gets baked on. You need to use a solvent or abrasive media, to remove it. The photos, in this thread, of carbon on valves are no where near enough carbon to produce any noticable symptoms of a poorly running engine. Look at some photos of early 3.5 Ecoboost engines, before Ford solved the problem. They accumulated way more carbon.
2. Top Tier Gas and API SN+ and SP oils were specifically formulated to help mitigate carbon buildup and LSPI.
3. On modern engines, the crankshaft doesn't dip down into the oil as it rotates. Our engine is pressure lubed, so there is no need for that.
Asking about using a rag on the valve will show if wet oil is making it to the valve,
2) oil has to drain back from the valley and heads even under normal driving some of it gets batted around by the crank, when you are getting after it, going to red line then shifting even more so. Even the BEST pressurized oiling systems suffer from this.
I'm not sure what your point was I know it isn't a splash oil system like a 1900-1920's vehicle.
 

TurboNub

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So much back and forth on this thread I don't know what to do bro lol. Can we get a freaking census on this?!
 

RubyRed15

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So much back and forth on this thread I don't know what to do bro lol. Can we get a freaking census on this?!
Without actual research, no. No we cannot.

Here's your working bottom line: install a catch can if you think it will be beneficial; do not install a catch can if you do not. In both cases, remain open to new information.

The end.
 

ihasnostang

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i was considering running some CRC GDI/turbo carbon remover after 15k on mine. Having a borescope would show how well it works, unfortunately i was only able to look at #1 valve. This could be an extended interval maintenance item if it worked. This will have to wait until spring
 

Turboash

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It’s just a peace of mind…
 

Sigma6

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So much back and forth on this thread I don't know what to do bro lol. Can we get a freaking census on this?!
in a nutshell
It’s just a peace of mind…
I will add its”cheap” piece of mind. But factor in the average mustang owner won’t own the car long enough for this to be a common concern.
 

TeeLew

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You could look for an oil pan with a deeper sump and/or additional baffling, to help mitigate this, when racing.
Jesse Ringley has done some nice pan baffling work.
 

rvercitypony

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I know I'm late to this thread, but my with my mods I had a couple of ounces in my catch can at 24,000 miles. However, I sometimes reach 25 lbs. of boost at WOT, so I can live it. Keep modding!
 

 
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