21 April 2010|
When tuning your car it is easy to overlook the finishing touches. The best approach to modifying your car is a balanced approach to every system. Even the smallest hydraulic, cooling or lubrication items might become an issue later on down the road. So be sure to inspect them all and, if possible, add upgrades that will perform better. One issue we have had with our project GT-R has to be the oil blow-by in the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system, so we wanted to talk with S-Max Performance about their fresh catch can design.
Earlier in the year we even had one of the MAFS covered in oil and grime, which caused the car to buck and hesitate. We cleaned it and everything was fine but a few months later, one of the turbos failed at Mosport on the Mario Andretti Straightaway at over 200km/h. Luckily it was a clean break but we have a theory about why the exhaust wheel snapped clean off and flew out the exhaust. During the tear down, we noticed the turbo with the missing turbine had its compressor side caked in oil. The result is that the assembly became off-balance and ended up breaking at 120,000RPM! The oil in the intake system was even worse than we expected when we removed the GReddy intercooler and the twin HKS Sequential blow-off valves. They were both covered in oil and dirt, also a result of the excess oil in the system.
“To go fast you want the right mixture of air and fuel,” says Dave Hary, the owner of S-Max. “And that equation doesn’t include oil. Although your car may be able to burn the oil vapor off, we have seen firsthand what all kinds of hard driving can do over time.”
We know too because it cost us a turbo and lots of clean-up to remedy the situation. The performance of the car was also suffering from the restriction of loads of oil in the system. The intercooler yielded around half a liter when we tipped it over and the blow-off valves needed to be degreased heavily so they would not leak under boost. The installation of an S-MAX catch can eliminated this
oil from clogging the system.
The catch can has the PCV breather hoses plumbed into it instead of into the intake. The S-MAX can features dual inlets and the vapor breathers through the supplied Green filter on top. The excess oil accumulated in the catch can is dealt with in two ways, either drained at every oil change or plumbed back into the system. However, plumbing it back into the sump is for race cars only and not advised for street cars because water added to oil forms a milky sludge that is not going to perform under extended oil changes. The excess oil is drained though the bottom plug and the new oil will need to be topped up to account for the lower level.
The new S-Max catch can is made from durable 6061-T6 aluminum and features -10 fittings to tap into the crankcase ventilation system. The polished catch can is a two piece design that can be unscrewed to drain oil and also serves as a method to adjust the bracket for different mounting positions.
Its design also features a #8 port on the bottom so users can utilize S-Max petcocks to drain the fluid without having to remove the can. The exclusive breather filter made by Green Filters of PA, USA, is an innovative friction fit (although we still used a clamp as picture). All of the necessary hardware is included for a quick and painless install.
S-Max does more than just catch cans too, as their website lists dozens of heavy duty performance products such as: intercoolers, filters, FPRs, swirl pots and the exclusive Cool Can.