Homemade Oil Catch Can

Oil catch cans act as a safeguard to ensure oil doesn't get so far into your vehicle's engine that it clogs up, causing the engine to burn off the oil and send lots of smoke through your exhaust. You can stop this process quickly once you have diagnosed the problem and get to work on your car or truck.

  1. Diagnosis

    • If you catch your car burning oil, open your hood and check to see if there is a thin film of oil on any of the hoses connected to your car's exhaust system. The film of oil might be found inside of the tubes, so be sure to check thoroughly. If you're unsure, take your car to your mechanic; he will be able to tell you if the problem is fixable by yourself or if you will need to hire someone to take care of it.

    Parts

    • To make your own oil catch can, make sure you have the correct parts on hand. First, you need a container. Auto stores sell pre-made canisters, but you can also use containers like aluminum water bottles you find at sporting goods stores. Also necessary are two 5/8-inch brass hose barbs to connect to PVC hose tubes; an oil level tube; 3 to 5 feet of heater hose; a drain valve; zip ties or a clamp; and a cold weld -- such as epoxies made by several manufacturers -- that will help hold the seals.

    Tools

    • To create your own oil catch can, you need the appropriate tools. Many of these likely will be found in your own toolkit, but you might need to go to your local hardware store to buy some of them. You will need a tap to start your drill holes; vice grips; a drill bit that fits your tap; a center punch; thread cutting oil; a screwdriver; a hacksaw; a file; a power drill; and a bench vice. Collect all of these and your oil catch can parts before you begin working on the can.

    Procedure

    • Park your car in your garage and turn it off. Once it has cooled off, open your hood and place the catch can where you plan to install it. Measure the areas where your hoses will be routed, and then drill holes into the can to accept the 5/8-inch brass hose barbs, which should be placed at right angles to each other. Place the drain valve on the bottom of the bottle, and the oil level gauge on the side, with the bottom brass hose barb as low as possible on the assembly. Do a test fit in your car to help determine how much hose you will need. Wherever you put the can, make sure it clears the intercooler. Once you are happy with its placement, mix your epoxy and apply it around the brass barbs you installed to make sure they are properly sealed. Let it dry entirely, then install the catch can into you car.

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