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Old 11-18-2010, 01:58 AM   #1
suberdave
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Default Fuel in oil catch can???

so i have a Hybrid setup with a EJ257 block with EJ20K heads.

i am running 2 catch cans on on the PCV and one on the valve covers.

it has about 7500 miles on it. it has had no problems other than this one...

i checked my catch cans and both of them had fuel in them. how would this happen? could i have so much vacuum on my turbo inlet under boost that is pulling air from the intake and pulling fuel?

any help?

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Old 11-18-2010, 08:22 AM   #2
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Are you sure it is fuel?

I would suspect it is fuel smelling water from condensation.

I get it on my car when it is cold. A catch can that routes coolant through it should solve your problem.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:54 AM   #3
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Do you have a built motor?


The crankcase contains water vapor and fuel in it. That is the blow-by from combustion. Every engine has blow-by even new it will have a tiny amount by design of the sealing rings.



You might have alittle fuel in the can but it is most likely what rocket said is fuel smelling water.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:42 PM   #4
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is this normal?

i had the same catch can on it with the 2.0l an never got water/fuel in it.
now i have a semi-built 2.5l hybrid and it is getting water/fuel in it. i have had to empty it twice now in about 9 months. very small trace of oil, mostly water/fuel.

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Old 12-28-2010, 06:14 AM   #5
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Hi. Just interested to know how you've plumbed up the can that connects to the crankcase and to the port under the throttle body...
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:30 AM   #6
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I am a fully built e85 car and have 900 miles on engine at this point and have changed my oil 3 times so far per element tunings engine break in instructions..and after 900 miles have noticed the element tuning catch can was about 25% full of yellow fuel smelling liquid..did anyone figure out this issue? I didn't notice the liquid in my oil when I changed my oil the 3 times..I am concerned since I have about 20k in my engine..bout to change the oil at 1000 miles to full synthetic per phil and will surely more closely inspect the oil..
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:05 AM   #7
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The catch can is doing its job. The stuff is just condensed blow-by. It's mostly water because the primary burn products are CO2 and water, it has a little bit of unburnt fuel in it, and it's a yellowish emulsion because it has a small amount of oil and other stuff in it. If you're not seeing an accumulation of this stuff in your oil, and the contents of the catch can are mostly this watery stuff and not huge amounts of oil, then it all sounds pretty normal--the oil in the engine heats up enough to vaporize the watery stuff. In a stock PCV system, it just gets routed back to the intake manifold and burned. With catch cans, it collects.

I'd ask the builder whether they'd expect it to produce blow-by at this rate, but considering that it may not be fully broken in yet, it might get better with time.
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Old 04-29-2020, 07:00 AM   #8
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Sorry to ressurect this old thread, but I have a "similar case".

I have installed only 1 catch can to the heads and block breather (routing is heads and breather into can -> turbo inlet)

For 40min of spirited driving the can collected 2-3 spoons of thick (high viscosity) black liquid???
Smells like oil and gasoline and its doesnt have any yellow tint to it. Pitch black.
The good part is the car doesnt puff a white cloud on start.

Should I be worried about the content of the can and the filling rate?
(Built motor, big PW clearances ~0.08cm ~0.031'', 2618 pistons, 5w50 amsoil )
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Old 04-29-2020, 10:52 AM   #9
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for everyone who is getting fuel smell in there catch can it's most likely your car running PIG RICH and unburnt fuel is making its way past the pistion rings into your engine oil....once in your engine oil your catch can with pick up some oil from pcv hose underboost...thats how your getting fuel and oil in your catch can

one way to check if what im saying is correct is do an oil change.....if your oil smells like fuel u need to check your AFR....if its pig rich then thats whats happening.....to fix this problem is.... to fix you pig rich problem... probably easy said then done cause it could be over 10 things causing it

AFR's into the 10.1 - 10.4 will do this on WOT
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Old 04-29-2020, 01:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexosenov View Post
For 40min of spirited driving the can collected 2-3 spoons of thick (high viscosity) black liquid???
Smells like oil and gasoline and its doesnt have any yellow tint to it. Pitch black.
The good part is the car doesnt puff a white cloud on start.
That's a lot for 40 minutes of spirited driving.

40 minutes on-boil on track with a somewhat modded car I can see.
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Old 04-29-2020, 03:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterabbitrexy View Post
for everyone who is getting fuel smell in there catch can it's most likely your car running PIG RICH and unburnt fuel is making its way past the pistion rings into your engine oil....once in your engine oil your catch can with pick up some oil from pcv hose underboost...thats how your getting fuel and oil in your catch can

one way to check if what im saying is correct is do an oil change.....if your oil smells like fuel u need to check your AFR....if its pig rich then thats whats happening.....to fix this problem is.... to fix you pig rich problem... probably easy said then done cause it could be over 10 things causing it

AFR's into the 10.1 - 10.4 will do this on WOT
Yep you are damn correct these are my readings on the AEM AFR gauge
10.4 drops to 10.0
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Old 04-29-2020, 03:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerBMotorsport View Post
That's a lot for 40 minutes of spirited driving.

40 minutes on-boil on track with a somewhat modded car I can see.
Well I wasnt on track, but I was wotting a LOT. Modded car of course, but ....

We are still using the 565cc injectors and I believe they are hyper maxed out to achieve this power.

Wondering if we get bigger injectors it will be any better.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by alexosenov View Post
Well I wasnt on track, but I was wotting a LOT. Modded car of course, but ....
Not quite the same, but you're not at a power level where you should have that much blow-by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexosenov View Post
We are still using the 565cc injectors and I believe they are hyper maxed out to achieve this power.

Wondering if we get bigger injectors it will be any better.
No. If you're at the limit of the injectors, bigger ones are going to add more fuel to the blow-by gasses not less.

I would start with the basics; compression and leak-down will verify the health of the engine.
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Old 04-29-2020, 07:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerBMotorsport View Post
Not quite the same, but you're not at a power level where you should have that much blow-by.



No. If you're at the limit of the injectors, bigger ones are going to add more fuel to the blow-by gasses not less.

I would start with the basics; compression and leak-down will verify the health of the engine.
Thank you for the advice. I will have to do some logs and leak/comp tests.
The engine has less than 5k km.
One more thing I have noticed is that when I am switching gears (i think) no matter if I am driving aggressively or cruising I can smell raw fuel in the coupe??
I am seing like 13.4-13.9 afr while cruising, but still many many times the smell of unburned raw fuel is there. I have checked my fuel lines, but havent found anything suspicious... Call me a madman, but there might be something really wrong with my fuel system...

PS: Wallbro 255

Last edited by alexosenov; 04-29-2020 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 04-29-2020, 09:00 PM   #15
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Yeah, if you're on a Walbro 255 you are no where near the power to be pushing that kind of oil.

As KB said, check your compression, leak-down, etc...

I'm thinking you have blow by from ring gaps, if you're PTW is actually .031" on a 2.5L.

The gas is certainly coming from fueling.
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Old 04-30-2020, 02:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemade WRX View Post
Yeah, if you're on a Walbro 255 you are no where near the power to be pushing that kind of oil.

As KB said, check your compression, leak-down, etc...

I'm thinking you have blow by from ring gaps, if you're PTW is actually .031" on a 2.5L.

The gas is certainly coming from fueling.
Homemade wrx you know your stuff.....when i had fuel in my engine oil i did have some nasty piston side skirt damage and caused fuel to blow by past my piston rings....i see u must know he has blow by issue for u to state he shouldn't be pulling oil at those power levels....again you know your stuff......thanks for coming and giving your advice over the years....its people like you take help us subaru fans alive on forum and on the streets
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Old 04-30-2020, 03:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemade WRX View Post
Yeah, if you're on a Walbro 255 you are no where near the power to be pushing that kind of oil.

As KB said, check your compression, leak-down, etc...

I'm thinking you have blow by from ring gaps, if you're PTW is actually .031" on a 2.5L.

The gas is certainly coming from fueling.
To be fair, we haven't asked how full his car was on oil (unless I just blatantly missed it). If over full it's very easy to push some excess oil out.

In my autox car I'll push oil out until it stabilizes the level just below the full mark on the dip stick, then I just get residual every event. If it's over the notch it will push some out and this is using an IAG competition AOS.

I have to guess his PTW isn't .031". That thing would slap harder than a scorned day time soap opera house wife.
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subydude View Post
To be fair, we haven't asked how full his car was on oil (unless I just blatantly missed it). If over full it's very easy to push some excess oil out.

In my autox car I'll push oil out until it stabilizes the level just below the full mark on the dip stick, then I just get residual every event. If it's over the notch it will push some out and this is using an IAG competition AOS.

I have to guess his PTW isn't .031". That thing would slap harder than a scorned day time soap opera house wife.
I was thinking the same today.. I am adding oil a lot like, maybe I am overfilling, because of imperfect ground leveling.
Next thing .. My favourite route is like 10min drive non-stop wot, mountain road, power slides in dem corners. (night time only due to obvious reasons)

Last time I checked my engine bushings were shot.. Going to change them next.
The engine jumps a lot on WOT, neutral gear.

Today I have changed the oil and left it half-way on the dipstick. The old oil did smell like gasoline a bit, but not as harsh as the content of the can.
Cleaned the MAF and reset the ECU -> 11.0-11.2 AFR WOT instead of 10.0-10.4

Theory 1 :
I 100% believe Homemade WRX is right. It's just big PTWC + hard cornering with WOT and the engine jumping around because of the shot bushings.
Correct me if I am wrong, dont subarus have the tendency to spew oil through the heads on hard turns?
Thank you whiterabbitrexy for pointing the rich AFR. When I saw the content of the can I was like ?? My MAF is probably dripping in oil

Theory 2:
I do hit the rev limiter a lot..

Theory 3:
Change to thicker oil ?? A tiny bit

PS: The engine is super super super quiet.

Last edited by alexosenov; 04-30-2020 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 05-01-2020, 07:46 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subydude View Post
To be fair, we haven't asked how full his car was on oil (unless I just blatantly missed it). If over full it's very easy to push some excess oil out.

In my autox car I'll push oil out until it stabilizes the level just below the full mark on the dip stick, then I just get residual every event. If it's over the notch it will push some out and this is using an IAG competition AOS.
The dipsticks on these cars are generally horrible. Pretty easy to get false readings for a couple of reasons.

Depending on which pan you have, we can figure out exactly how much oil should be going in at an oil/filter change. This would make for an easy solution if you were just putting in too much oil, and whipping to the point where there was excess vapor and it just got pushed out the vents with the normal blow-by stuff. I don't suspect that's the case with the very strong fuel smell.

Auto-X vs road coarse is oil slosh vs oil surge. If he's hanging the ass end out on corners his lateral loads are going to be lower, plus the angle of attack is going to be excessive further reducing lateral loads. Homemade may call me out on this as I'm using aviation terminology as the proper rotational velocity formula has not been awoken by my coffee yet :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexosenov View Post
Theory 1 :
I 100% believe Homemade WRX is right. It's just big PTWC + hard cornering with WOT and the engine jumping around because of the shot bushings.
Correct me if I am wrong, dont subarus have the tendency to spew oil through the heads on hard turns?
Thank you whiterabbitrexy for pointing the rich AFR. When I saw the content of the can I was like ?? My MAF is probably dripping in oil
A few of these could certainly be contributing, agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexosenov View Post
Theory 2:
I do hit the rev limiter a lot..
Define a lot. I wouldn't think this would contribute more than marginally.

If you hit it a lot, you may want to consider adding a soft rev limiter before the hard rev limiter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexosenov View Post
Theory 3:
Change to thicker oil ?? A tiny bit
An oil analysis and your engine builder will tell you what oil to run. Adding thicker oil to mask a problem does just that. It doesn't fix the problem. You're already using some pretty heavy stuff already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexosenov View Post
PS: The engine is super super super quiet.
Odd. Are you sure what you're showing here as P/W clearance is not ring-end-gap? Tight pistons with excessive ring-end-gap would certainly increase blow-by %
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Old 05-16-2020, 06:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerBMotorsport View Post
The dipsticks on these cars are generally horrible. Pretty easy to get false readings for a couple of reasons.

Depending on which pan you have, we can figure out exactly how much oil should be going in at an oil/filter change. This would make for an easy solution if you were just putting in too much oil, and whipping to the point where there was excess vapor and it just got pushed out the vents with the normal blow-by stuff. I don't suspect that's the case with the very strong fuel smell.

Auto-X vs road coarse is oil slosh vs oil surge. If he's hanging the ass end out on corners his lateral loads are going to be lower, plus the angle of attack is going to be excessive further reducing lateral loads. Homemade may call me out on this as I'm using aviation terminology as the proper rotational velocity formula has not been awoken by my coffee yet :P



A few of these could certainly be contributing, agreed.



Define a lot. I wouldn't think this would contribute more than marginally.

If you hit it a lot, you may want to consider adding a soft rev limiter before the hard rev limiter.



An oil analysis and your engine builder will tell you what oil to run. Adding thicker oil to mask a problem does just that. It doesn't fix the problem. You're already using some pretty heavy stuff already.



Odd. Are you sure what you're showing here as P/W clearance is not ring-end-gap? Tight pistons with excessive ring-end-gap would certainly increase blow-by %
The pistons are Manley : 632202CE-4
(Might seems odd, but as we are in EU, at the machine shop they told me its either 0.07mm or 0.08mm and those guys actually repair airplane engines , there was one when I went there + one huuuuuuuge engine from god knows what it had like 20+ cylinders :O , not to mention all the other car engines, but damn they had some interesting stuff to be witnessed)

Quick update : I did an oil change (5w50 amsoil again)(old one had like 3k kms). Keeping the oil at 75%-80% on the dipstick.
After several sessions it's not that full. It has some, but not that much, the content looks totally different and its yellowish ( :O shocker , kiddin)

Last edited by alexosenov; 05-16-2020 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 09-27-2020, 04:34 PM   #21
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Odd question... what would happen if say an ounce of methanol or gasoline was put into an empty catch can? Would it vaporize and clean residue from the intake tract, or would it vaporize and ignite in the intake tract? Or would it just sit in the can?
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:52 PM   #22
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since you have a build engine, maybe you should use a thicker oil like a 10w40 or something like that. that is what i am using for my built engine BTW.

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Old 09-28-2020, 12:27 AM   #23
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Odd question... what would happen if say an ounce of methanol or gasoline was put into an empty catch can? Would it vaporize and clean residue from the intake tract, or would it vaporize and ignite in the intake tract? Or would it just sit in the can?

Neither. It will sit there, or more realistically, evaporate into the atmosphere. The catch can gives an area where hot nasty from the combustion cycle can condense from vapor back into liquid nasty. How is the gas or whatever going to get back into the intake tract? Have you plumbed the catch can back into the intake? Why? Ok I get that most of the hot nasty will condense in the can and much less hot nasty would make it back to the intake, not for me.



My can (centrifuge) is small, which has its pros and cons. I get great separation because the velocity in the centrifuge/can is high due to the small'ish size, but I have to dump the liquid nasty (mostly water) every week or about 400-miles. Its E85 and the liquid nasty is VERY persistent. I tried to clean it out thoroughly once using a variety of solvents and de-greasers. Liquid nasty laughed at my acetone...so F it. I gravity drain it overnight and call it good. If you find something that will break down liquid nasty please report back.
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