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Oil Separator installation & R&R

Discussion in 'How-To' started by Tex Arcana, Jan 27, 2012.

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  1. Tex Arcana

    Tex Arcana Member Established Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    McKinney, Tx
    Theres ALWAYS alot of discussion when it comes to oil separators; from deleting the PCV altogether, to breathers and catch cans, to rerouted PCV systems and an actual oil separator.

    This discussion is about rerouting the PCV and installing a separator. It's what I did with my truck, and it's worked pretty well--I honestly think its been far Better than anything else so far, except the L&S unit, and I'd STILL install that on my rerouting scheme.


    So, without further ado, the reasoning behind rerouting and diagrams:

    Go with the L&S separator kit, it's the best one out there and the only one that truly returns the oil to the crankcase. *Also, it's probably a good idea to reroute the PCV system to something like this:
    o3XLU.jpg

    This is my setup as it stands, the separator isn't all that great, but it's better than the stock setup:
    iWf61.jpg

    The L&S will be even better because it'll pull all the oil from the airstream and dump it back into the valve cover thru the oil cap. You don't have to have the check valve, but it does stop any flow reversal under boost, which is why you see oil in the intake boot.




    Nice article on the L&S: L&S Automotive Performance - Oil Separator Article


    Better writeup by me at NLOC (What PCV do you use-Dime Mod-intake oiling - The National Lightning Owners Club Inc)


    L&S has the best setup so far, and the cost isn't near what it costs us in time and materials pulling the blowers to clean out the intercooler and other bits. And I wouldn't think twice about running the L&S with my routing scheme (which has been working on my rig since early 2007, nonstop).*

    And what's y'alls time worth?? ;) hell, what's a blown motor worth? :(
     
  2. Tex Arcana

    Tex Arcana Member Established Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    McKinney, Tx
    Now the R&R itself, including the rerouted system, which can be followed for a new setup:



    So I was cleaning up the garage, getting my crap out of the way so wifey can get her car back int the garage :wtf:, when I found this little beauty:
    aa1a0e20.jpg

    Which, of course, got me thinking about that oil separator thang again!! Of course, when you see my present setup, you know why:
    3e7556a7.jpg
    f2b5d146.jpg

    I didn't get a pic of it with oil, but it had about 3/4" in it. It's not a great solution, as evidenced by the oil on the filter (just a sintered-plastic thing), but when it runs you can see the oil and air swirling thru it.

    So, a "test fit":
    c120a4e9.jpg

    Hm, looks alright...

    How the old one is plumbed:
    5441a065.jpg

    Comparo between the two, the new one is HUGE in comparison!!
    ba16c4dd.jpg

    Exploded view, it doesn't look bad for a no-name flea-market $10 acquisition!
    f6d0c58e.jpg

    The sintered-brass filter inside the swirl insert:
    3ceece89.jpg

    Filter/swirlee assembled:
    e5a71997.jpg

    Cup drain, this is designed as a 150-psi compressor water separator/filter, so this bit is meant to seal under pressure; I have a feeling that it won't quite work as designed under vacuum:
    9a40a1fa.jpg
     
  3. Tex Arcana

    Tex Arcana Member Established Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    McKinney, Tx
    Bench comparison:
    6405525c.jpg

    After a run to my local (b)Lowe's--I just LOVE giving my paycheck BACK to them!!
    2166d706.jpg

    The 3/8" nipple inserted in the bottom of the cup, it *almost* threads in, but as you can see, there's a couple of notches that don't seal up:
    143a2ef1.jpg

    So, a bit of black RTV silicone on the threads:
    dc91f35a.jpg

    ...and that's about as far as THAT went! Instead, I went with some marine epoxy:
    accb98ae.jpg
    bd9ca3c4.jpg

    Yep, that'll do it.

    :wtf: steel wool?? Why?? Allnighte
    c81c45fc.jpg

    Uh, oh... What's ol' Tex thinkin' this time??
    c00e86bc.jpg

    Ahhhh... Additional filter media!
    6f42121a.jpg

    Yes, because I think it will filter oil vapor better, and give it a path for it to drain back down into the bowl. Either way, I think it'll help. I twisted the wool as I pressed it into the gap, until it filled it up, with the last layer being the tightest and thickest, to keep the rest in place:
    e09a2deb.jpg
     
  4. Tex Arcana

    Tex Arcana Member Established Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    McKinney, Tx
    Assembled:
    881c56ea.jpg

    Assembling the fittings, I had to buy seventy-bazillion of them to neck it up from 3/8" to the 5/8" barb fitting for the upper plenum port:
    3cc07f29.jpg

    Completed fittings, I'm not to sure about this:(:
    9b9b010c.jpg

    The original 1/4" NPT fitting on the inlet side, with some steel wool stuffed in there to try to give some condensation surfaces for the oil vapor to drop out and flow back to the valve cover :-/ meh:
    345523c2.jpg
    fd63bd09.jpg

    This is the so-called PCV "valve", I think it's a waste of time and effort, you can see daylight thru it!
    e936c782.jpg
    9a4acdcc.jpg

    Yes, I'm using red hose, it's all da (b)Lowe's had, so bite me! Either way, PVC pipe cutter makes a great hose cutter, nice square cuts:
    b2c9faa2.jpg

    5/8" ID heater hose is just the right size for the upper plenum port:
    d584cfbc.jpg

    Separator assembled and installed:
    66d342be.jpg
     
  5. Tex Arcana

    Tex Arcana Member Established Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    McKinney, Tx
    Something's not quite right... nice kink in the tubing:
    5eaa3eed.jpg

    Eh, I'm not liking this at all, the thing at the bottom is a ball valve, I'm thinking it'd be good for draining the thing--problem is, too tight quarters, that lever won't turn for sh1t. Hmmm... gotta cogitate on this one a bit...
    96ad3e89.jpg
    738da8ef.jpg

    So...on to the boot, decided to pull it and check for oil:
    738da8ef.jpg

    Clean as a whistle!! Well, mostly... the grime is from the last time I had oil intrusion, when the edge got folded under the lip of the throttlebody.


    Damn good thing I decided to pull the elbow, I think I've got some more replacements to do:
    8eadfe94.jpg
    a5d36046.jpg
    417e92fd.jpg
    8f7b49fa.jpg

    Fokkin'-a, that's not good! Time for an R&R!
     
  6. Tex Arcana

    Tex Arcana Member Established Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    McKinney, Tx
    Something's not quite right... nice kink in the tubing:
    5eaa3eed.jpg

    Eh, I'm not liking this at all, the thing at the bottom is a ball valve, I'm thinking it'd be good for draining the thing--problem is, too tight quarters, that lever won't turn for sh1t. Hmmm... gotta cogitate on this one a bit...
    96ad3e89.jpg
    738da8ef.jpg

    So...on to the boot, decided to pull it and check for oil:
    738da8ef.jpg

    Clean as a whistle!! Well, mostly... the grime is from the last time I had oil intrusion, when the edge got folded under the lip of the throttlebody.


    Damn good thing I decided to pull the elbow, I think I've got some more replacements to do:
    8eadfe94.jpg
    a5d36046.jpg
    417e92fd.jpg
    8f7b49fa.jpg

    Fokkin'-a, that's not good! Time for an R&R!
     
  7. Tex Arcana

    Tex Arcana Member Established Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    McKinney, Tx
    The check valve, that I taped to make sure it stayed together:
    0f29f270.jpg

    Unwrapped, looking decent:
    a89566c1.jpg

    But, doing a flow test, it doesn't check properly, gotta open it up.

    The inside, looking a bit grimy... oil residue?? Seems kinda dry:
    7bb42ebf.jpg

    "Houston, we have a problem":
    6b39cde4.jpg

    Picked a new one out of storage:
    56b0ca40.jpg
    08ebb1e4.jpg

    Underside of the elbow, showing my nice ghetto clamp on the PCV fresh air inlet and the other inlet hose (no idea where it goes), and the IAC (idle air control) valve inlet:
    dc645d61.jpg

    The barb fitting, came out a little too easily:
    be61419d.jpg

    Done, after cleaning the elbow, with proper clamps to boot(!):
    139e29cb.jpg

    Throttle body, clean as a whistle!!
    ad064ac9.jpg

    Tubing from the lower intake fitting, maybe the glistening is wet oil?? I can't tell, the finger test was inconclusive:
    68d9ed84.jpg

    New lines in place:
    58e2cac2.jpg

    Nice, shorts straight shot into the valve cover. Originally, there's a 90° that led straight to the fresh air inlet on the elbow, I eliminated it for a cleaner install:
    b96351f9.jpg


    Check valve in place, clamped properly:
    bffd326b.jpg

    Inlet lines, ditto:
    6f04db27.jpg

    In case anyone's wondering: the check valve concept WORKS!! The intake elbow being dry and having NO OIL in it, shows it's doing its job in stopping the reverse flow.
     
  8. Tex Arcana

    Tex Arcana Member Established Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    McKinney, Tx
    Now to deal with the screwy separator installation.*

    First, check the PCV vacuum inlet for oil, a little bit that I'd guess got by the old separator, far less than without:
    bf8f6b01.jpg

    Played around with it, came up with a not-too-ideal solution:
    a6039a4f.jpg

    You can just barely see it, but I cut down the ball valve lever so it'll fit better:
    a6320c66.jpg

    I used a rubber elbow on the PCV valve to make the turn for the tubing. The bit zip-tied up top is over a couple binding posts that, as it turns out, are connected to the stinkin' starter solenoid!! :eek: It's fun to hear the motor try to turn over when you're trying to clock the connector a little to make everything fit. :wtf: This, I don't like either, but I'll fix it later, there was a reason for that cover. :( I also need to redo the adapters from the 3/8" NPT outlet on the separator to the 5/8" barb fitting, that's WAAAYYY too long to work properly.



    So it's connected and working, at least I think so. I'm not seeing any oil swirling in the bowl, what I can see; and, after resetting the SES light (P0171 and P0174, lean banks), it came back fairly quickly. :mad: I can't get to the back of the lower intake to check that elbow, so I guess that's the next project, to pull the blower and get to it, and while I'm at it check and clean the intercooler and check the plugs.

    I'm pretty certain the mod is working overall, no need for open filters, dimes, or catch cans. Even a simple separator works decently, as long as its emptied regularly. The L&S unit would still be the best, however; and the rerouting of the lower intake drain, in conjunction with a check valve, works wonders.

    Edit: I've been using this for nearly five years now...
     
  9. Tex Arcana

    Tex Arcana Member Established Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Location:
    McKinney, Tx
    Update: I checked the bowl a couple weeks ago, and it's collecting oil, but it's not a whole lot, and it's still not "swirling" in the bowl like I think it should. :shrug:

    I still need to reduce that monstrosity batch of fittings, and shorten that all up, and get my relay cover back on, as well as mount the sep on the firewall. Of course, if I still don't like the way this one works (it could be leaking air), I'll look at some better ones elsewhere, and see what I can do. I did a bunch of looking, after the posting on General[M]ayhem's Automotive[M]ayhem forum, there were a bunch of ideas posted that essentially boiled down to the BMW cyclone separator setup, which might be workable.

    Either way, I'll be moving shortly, and won't be able to work on it past that point for awhile, so right now I'm stalled.

    Any questions? Let fly, I'm here to help!
     
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