Project S2000 Part 8 - Oil Control

By Khiem Dinh

Khiem Dinh is an engineer for Honeywell Turbo Technologies at the time of this writing.  All statements and opinions expressed by Khiem Dinh are solely those of Khiem Dinh and not reflective of Honeywell Turbo Technologies.

Oil is the vital life blood of an engine.  It allows the engine's internal components to slide past each other with very little friction or wear.  However, there is one place an engine does not want oil and that is in the incoming air stream.  On a naturally aspirated engine, oil dilutes the incoming air charge reducing power.  On a turbocharged car, the oil can coat the inside of the intercooler reducing cooling efficiency resulting in reduced power.  Lastly, oil effectively reduces the octane level of the fuel-air mixture in the cylinder making the mixture more knock prone.  Anyone that has tracked a Z32 generation 300ZX is familiar with the blue oil smoke screen created in long right hand turns.  This is also an issue on AP1 generation S2000s.  This is where an oil catch can (OCC) comes into play.  While researching OCC setups for the S2000, we just couldn’t find anything that met our criteria of being well engineered and also well suited to a street car.  Broadening our search, we came upon the Saikou Michi Company and found what we were looking for.

We knew Saikou Michi could make the right part for us after reading this on their website: "These are not blingy or flashy, but just the best functioning system needed to trap the nasties that flow out of your engine and can make it into your manifold and intake."  Functional and anti-bling is the perfect recipe for Project S2000!  Oh yeah, Saikou Michi is made in the USA!

Saikou Michi's new S2000 specific dual oil catch can setup!

So what makes the Saikou Michi OCC so awesome?  It can be described in one word, baffling.  Try researching OCC setups and see how many are properly baffled.  There are lots of blingy polished catch cans with external sight levels features, but neither of those things make an OCC function better.  The design Saikou Michi has implemented has two barriers to trapping oil.  The first is having the oil containing vapor enter the bottom of the can where the oil can condense and pool.  The next line of defense, that many other OCCs do not feature, is a mesh assembly.  Saikou Michi uses a stainless steel mesh assembly to make sure that as much oil is trapped as possible.  The oil particles in the vapor will condense as they come into contact with the fine mesh separating the oil from the air flow.

The oily vapors are sucked through the inlet and directed to the bottom of the can.  There, the heavy stuff can condense and settle.  The snorkel holes allow the OCC to keep on functioning as the oil level rises.  The SS mesh assembly traps the rest of the oily stuff leaving clean air to go back to the intake and intake manifold.


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Wednesday, May 04, 2011 11:07 PM
I don't know how you time your articles sometimes to coincide with me shopping for a particular item, but keep it up!

Since you specifically mention the z32, do you have a reccomendation for turbo cars? specifically on the z32 where you have the vent tubes on both intake cam covers getting vacuum pre turbo, and PCV's on the D-side exh. cover that gets vaccuum from the plenum. Is the pre-turbo pipe not a good enough vaccuum source that you could use that alone? If the plenum is better at part throttle, do you think the difference is enough to require both? finally, if you say it is required, or at least that you reccomend it, do you have anything to say about off-road only (track) cars using systems that vent atmospherically and use no vacuum source?

Thursday, May 05, 2011 12:12 AM
What he said ^^^

Nice article!
Thursday, May 05, 2011 1:23 AM
IIRC open vents aren't any better, and may be worse for some cars as the crankcase can't be held at a vacuum, but I also may be remembering how a PCV system works completely wrong. YMMV

Open vents do also lay down a bit of an oil mist around where the filter is, too.

I don't remember what the vaccuum before the throttle plate should be at part throttle, but IIRC it should be equal to that in the plenum. Where the pre-turbo source wouldn't be as good is when the throttle plate is closed, because you won't get near as much bacuum as the plenum source.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Thursday, May 05, 2011 3:13 AM
Wow, Saikou Michi's prices are good, too. Time to send them an email about getting one made for my Coyote 5.0.
Thursday, May 05, 2011 6:15 AM
Is this cool to post?

N/A Crank Case Ventilation

Turbo Crank Case Ventilation (Not 100% complete yet.)
Thursday, May 05, 2011 6:27 AM
I could be wrong, but the brand name loosely translates to "supreme road" (in Japanese).
Now, I never heard that company before, and for all I know it could be a great catch can, but the question I have is: why does an American company come up with such a lame name?
I am hoping it's not a marketing strategy to attract those young kids that are infatuated with JDM products.
Thursday, May 05, 2011 6:45 AM
@Ben, thanks for the links. More info is always good!
@jdm, I'm 95% sure the owner is Japanese-American like Kojima
Thursday, May 05, 2011 6:48 AM
Also, you've probably never heard of it because its basically a one man operation. He makes them to order. America, the land of opportunity right? He started his own business and is having a go at it.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Thursday, May 05, 2011 7:34 AM
I was hoping to hear an update on the oil temp problem under track conditions. Any updates on solutions?
Thursday, May 05, 2011 8:05 AM
The 12 feet of tubing slightly undermines the stealthy-ness of the catch can. ;)
Thursday, May 05, 2011 9:02 AM
Just curious if you looked at Crawford units. They seem to now produce a universal separator. I don't know if they mean universal all cars, or universal Subaru fitment. Cap extra port/s?

Sorry for the store link, that's the only one I found.

Which leads me to ask, what is your take on units that return to the engine, verus units that store the oil and need to be emptied?
Thursday, May 05, 2011 2:28 PM
great link Ben, thanks.
Thursday, May 05, 2011 3:55 PM
@Der Bruce, I'm almost done gathering all the parts for the oil cooler setup. It's going to be different from any of the typical oil cooler setups you've seen.

@Fabrik8, only the front 6' are really visible and they're black at least :)

@Binary, I did look at the Crawford units while I was researching OCCs. I just couldn't think of a good way to mount them. Also, they use coolant to help condense the oil in the OCC and I didn't want to run coolant lines to it. Lastly, they're designed to drain back into the engine which is nice because it makes them maintaince free. I had two concerns about that: 1. I didn't know what would happen if the crank case pressure where the OCC drained into ended up being high, and 2. I also didn't know how I'd drain it on the S2k without modifying something. On #1, I suppose you could put in a trap like on kitchen sinks.
Thursday, May 05, 2011 8:53 PM
Have you considered get rid of that heavy OE battery, get an Odyssey PC680 and relocate it in the trunk? That way you open up a lot of space for the catch can.
I'm not knocking on your catch can decision, but I use a Baker catch can, and it's far from being flashy, and does the job just right.
Anyway, my .02
Thursday, May 05, 2011 9:55 PM
@JDMized. Nope, sure haven't. A few reasons why: 1. I'm a lazy bastard. 2. I hate electrical work and only do it when absolutely necessary. 3. The trunk is small enough. Yes, going to a smaller battery would shave some weight, though adding all the heavy gage wires will probably add it back. Moving the battery to the trunk will improve the weight distribution as I've added weight to the front (radiator, more fluid, chassis bracing). So, in my view point, any performance or packaging benefit gained is not worth the effort or cost. The battery isn't cheap. The wiring isn't cheap. You have to add in a fuse too and maybe a kill switch. The difference in weight might be a wash due to the extra wiring needed. I'm not sold on the reliability of the Odyssey in a street application requiring cold weather starts, running the stereo, etc. So really the only benefit would be a slight change in weight distribution and that probably changes more with changes in fuel load. If this were a race car, sure I'd relocate the battery. But this is a street car. The trunk is JUST big enough as is to fit a medium size roller and carry-on bag.
Thursday, May 05, 2011 10:43 PM
Fair enough, it's not my car afterall.
I have used the Odyssey battery in my last couple of cars. Race cars and street driven cars. Never had any issues, even with the stereo and what not.
I suggested to move the battery:
1. because you gain space behind the shock tower.
2nd for weigh.
A regular OE battery can weigh as much as 35lbs. The Odyssey PC680 weight a scant 14lbs. Please don't tell me that 0 gauges wires weigh 20lbs.
I'm sure you know what you're doing, my suggestion about the trunk was just an idea. An Odyssey battery (or Braille) can be bolted down flat on the floor, and can be even located under the passenger's seat.
Anyway, keep up the great work, and looking forward to the next upgrade.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 1:20 AM
Well, after reading this update on project S2K, I placed an order for a custom dual inlet OCC from saikou, built exactly to my spec.

Glad I came across this article from motoiq when I did, because I was right about to begin cutting up and welding on my aluminum Greddy OCC, in order to add some baffles and set it up for dual inlets/single outlet.

This saikou product for the money CANT BE BEAT!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 7:51 PM
@Tony, I was close to fabbing up my own OCC until i came across Saikou Michi.
Sunday, February 05, 2012 1:07 PM
what type and length of hoses are you running?
Sunday, February 05, 2012 8:17 PM
@usafstud, top picture on page three, photo caption :)
Saturday, May 19, 2012 8:24 PM
Your Asian so you like black?
Monday, July 16, 2012 3:35 PM

So, what a lot of people seem to do is connect the catch can to the bigger vacuum line from the valve cover to the intake before the throttle body, and then remove the PCV line and cap the ends.

What are the pro's and con's of that? Obviously it would have a detrimental effect on emissions, but other than that, what do you think?
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