Introduction: Oil Catch Can - DIY


This is my second Instructable.

Not only am I an audio enthusiast, but also a car enthusiast. This Instructable will cover the steps to create an Oil Catch Can (Oil Tank Reservoir).

Oil Catch Cans are devices that are installed in cars in order to avoid zoot, water and oil to recirculate to the engine. Typically, the valve cover has a breather and a hose that's directly connected to the intake. What this does is to burn off blow-by gases. Like depicted in the picture above.

That picture shows a type of catch can that retains most of the offensive particles of zoot and oil, and lets cleaner air to get back into the intake. The catch can described in this article will sort of mimic the same principle, although the catch can will vent to open atmosphere. The reason for this is particular, my car no longer is fuel injected, and instead uses carburetors, so the valve cover was disconnected - and in being so, oil would soil the engine bay.

Step 1: Parts Needed

  • Aluminum Water Bottle
  • Motorcycle Air Filter
  • Small section of rubber hose
  • Epoxy Putty
  • Car Fire Extinguisher Mount
  • Steel Fiber
  • Copper/Bronze Fitting
  • Nuts, bolts, self-tapping screws.

Step 2: Catch Can Assembly

Although commercially available Oil Catch Cans have a drain valve, I did not find such item at the local hardware store, that will be added in the future. Other catch cans have a gauge to measure how full it is, this one doesn't feature one.

Pictures show the following: fit the rubber house section to the mouth of the water bottle, this will provide a good seal, and since only gases will be present, there's no risk of any leaks.

Drill a hole on the water bottle, two thirds from the bottom to the top. This will allow for a significant sludge build-up before thigs get clogged. This hole needs to be widened by using either a round file, since aluminum is quite soft, the process will be quick. Install the brass/copper fitting with an appropriately sized wrench. Mix the epoxy putty and apply to the base of the fitting.

Stuff the water bottle with the steel fiber, this will act as a trap for water and oil droplets, as well as carbon deposits.

I used a Car Fire Extinguisher Mount to install in the engine bay. As you can see, I used rubber to make it hold on securely, this came off a punctured wheel inner tube.

Step 3: Oil Catch Can Installation

I trial fitted the catch can in several places, and since the water bottle is medium sized, I opted to install it in front of the carburetors. Car engine bays are... unpredictable, so installing it was going to be a challenge. I found a steel rail on one of my desks, so it was removed and it was used to hold the catch can in place.

A couple of self-tapping screws, a couple of nuts and bolts and it was almost ready to be connected to the valve cover.

I used 3/8 inch rubber hose to connect the valve cover to the brass fitting. I considered engine movement, you might want to consider the same, in order not to break/disconnect anything due to engine movement.

The results are: Engine bay is cleaner.

There are countless ways to fabricate your own Oil Catch Can, these were just some of the items I already had at hand, except for the Epoxy Putty and the Steel Fiber. The water bottle was a gift, the self tapping screws I had from a previous project, the Air Filter was bought years ago, so realistically, the cost for building it was very low.

Thank you for reading!