You might want to read Catch Me If You Can… (pt 1) first
After a quick four-day break at the Caravan & Motorhome Club’s site at Wirral Country Park (excellent by the way… already trying to work out when we can go back!!) and a bit of work getting in the way it was time to get going again not he catch can… really it should be called the “Air Oil Separator” Install.
Last time, I’d decided if IKB would have been shaking his head… then it wasn’t right. I decided to make a new bracket out of 1.8mm aluminium sheet and go into full on origami mode. (ps.. after the last post someone emailed me asking what IKB was…. Mr Brunel was not pleased).
I wanted to make a bracket that passed under the air con pipe and bonnet cable release fitting so that it cleared everything and gave good access at the same time. As a test I did a trial bend if some 1mm thick steel I had just to get the shape…
Once I’d got the angles and size sorted it was time to move on to the aluminium sheet. My press brake… well I call it a press brake, in reality its a cheap basic hand folding machine but it works very well as long as you know its limits and don’t get daft trying to fold big stuff. It was all about the angles…
The first two were easy and I could form the lip with two folds, the second was less than 90 degrees so I just about got away with enough clearance. However folding the return that would lip over the front cross brace which was also less than 90 degrees also meant that I’d have a problem fitting it in the folder.
However, a little lateral thinking and taking the blade off the folding machine, inserting my workpiece and re-installing the blade meant I could fold in the opposite direction (downward)… result!
A quick trim and rounding off the edges gave me a rough folded bracket. A quick file of the edges and work-over with some fine emery removed all the tool marks… quickly followed up with a coat of etch prime to protect it.
I now had to work out how to mount the plastic housing the bonnet release cables were located in. On the rear of the fitting were two plastic tabs that locked into two square holes punched into the vehicles cross member.
So a few minutes spent with a dremmel and a couple of suitable sized swiss files later…
… and the piece was ready for a final rub over with scotch bright a second coat of etch primer and two coats of black.
All went a bit easy actually… which is flipping’ unusual for me. I released the bonnet (or ‘hood’ for my American friends) cable fitting and simply clipped it back in to the two new holes I’d made.
The Provent was installed next…
… again without any issues. Next was to sort out the plumbing.
I’d done a bit of research and asking around and the guys at ASH… AutoSiliconHose.com had come highly recommended. So a road trip over the Pennines to Mirfield (just east of Brighouse in West Yorkshire) was scheduled.
I had a basic list of what I thought I’d need and the chap behind the counter hooked me up with everything… including the alloy couplers he cut to size while I waited. Great service from ASH and I can definitely recommend them.
Back home with my shopping, it was time to start on the plumbing.
For securing pipes, I personally prefer spring clips… the type you install with special pillars, however the silicon hose OD was slightly too large for may normal stock of clamps so I had to opt for using the wire type. I’ll order some of the correct size and replace the wire clamps as soon as they arrive.
It was really simple now to just assemble the bits, cutting the silicon pipe to length as required. I used a pair of plastic conduit cutters to easily slice through the pipe.
Before I made the final connections to the crank case breather port or the turbo inlet port I blew the pipes clear using a high pressure air line.
All that was left to do was install the drain hose, one way valve and drain tap. I used normal 20mm oil line for the drain, inserting the one way valve about three inches below the outlet of the Provent catch can. The remainder of the hose was dropped down to chassis level and the drain tap added and secured with a couple of zip ties.
I secured the pipes in a couple of places with zip ties, now I know the route I can make a small stand-off bracket with two rubber lines “P” clips to mount on the engine to hold the pipes, although they are self-supporting because of the short length.
In the photographs above it looks like the piping is tight across the engine, I did do a pull and push test and there is plenty of movement at the 90 degree bends to allow the torque twist of the engine without pulling or pushing on the pipes at the catch can end.
The current mileage is 11,750 or there abouts, so I’ll check the drain and filter in 100 miles and each 100 miles after that so I can get an idea of how the setup is going. I’m not sure how long the filter is designed to last, but Ill put it on the schedule to replace ever main service. The other thing that is an unknown is how much oil I’ll get. I have been watching some YouTube videos made by Berrima Diesel in Australia (if you watch any of the Australian 4 x 4 or off-road channels you will recognise the name). I only found out about their catch can experience when one of the guys from one of the 4 x 4 adventure channels got in touch… even if you don’t think you need a catch can but drive a big diesel their videos are well worth watching.
Ok… I was saying I don’t know how much oil to expect… but it did surprise me that Berrima Diesels posted a video showing a new 4 x 4 with about 6000Km on the clock had produced about 300ml’s of oil using the same Provent catch can. It’s also worth taking look at what the have to say about the current oil specified in diesel engines.
The other thing I noticed was when I left the engine ticking over for about ten minutes. Bearing in mind I had just come back from West Yorkshire via the M62 and M60 and started the pipe install as soon as I got back so the engine was still hot, the difference in temperature between the short length of pipe exiting the crankcase vent and the inlet pipe of the turbo. The pipe exiting the crankcase vent port was almost at the temperature I could not keep my fingers on it, while the inlet pipe I’d connected too was still cool. I’ll have to get my thermomiterbob laser do-hicky out and get some readings… but anything that helps cool gasses going into the turbo has to be of benefit right?
That’s it for now, I know it’s not caravanning related that much… unless you want to get the best out of your diesel while towing. I promise the next one will be caravan related, honest!
As in part one I’d also like to give a shout out to Charles at HumbleMechanic.com for all the information and videos he produces about VW vehicles. Charles has been an absolute gold mine of information for all things VW and if you drive any of VW’s vehicles please be sure to drop in on his YouTube channel and take a look.
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Hi… the lack of comments on these sort of posts perhaps show that your target market are into caravans and not car mechanics! Time to create a separate blog for that perhaps?
I’d like more of your old caravan knowledge!
Simon Barlow said:
It’s really strange how different articles prompt different methods of response. When I did my first article about looking for a new tow vehicle, it followed the normal pattern of things reply wise. However as I went into it more, the comments dropped off, but the emails increased and anything about our Amarok generates more emails than comments. I think this may be down to the fact there aren’t many people towing caravans with Amarok’s in the UK, however in ‘stralia’ the Amarok is more widely known and I do get a lot of emails from Down Under relating to it.
I know of three people towing caravans in the UK with one (that have been in touch) and I spotted my first a couple of weeks ago at Wirral Country Park site… a great looking white one…(and I didn’t get chance to say ‘HI”) so that’s only 4 I know off. In general its about a 5 to 1 emails to comments that articles generally raise.
If I do a technical article relating to something on a caravan that usually raises a lot of emails from people that I guess may not want to ask their question in a public comment for fear of what others might comment back about them. I have had a couple of subscribers say that as ‘newsboy’s’ to caravanning they have asked questions on forums and basically been embarrassed off the forum be some of the comments in reply.
A long time ago I did a couple of pieces about battery banks and those articles got picked up by a boat forum in the USA and a Narrowboat forum both of which added my email address… I still get emails from these two communities but I don’t ever recall seeing a comment from a boat or narrowboat owner.
For the future, We do have a line of caravan articles planned. We are currently in the process of looking for a new caravan. We have decided on a twin axle centre bathroom layout but its the old problem of we like one but we also would like an internal water tank and the model dosen’t come with one (so could it be retrofitted… and would this be worth an article?)… or we like another manufacturer’s offering but it is limited on external lockers. However a well known YouTuber is also doing the same thing (new caravan) so we are holding off…. I don’t want to step on anyones toes so to speak.
🙂 Makes sense.
My white Touareg is scarce in general (compared to say a Discovery) but when on the road I see a few more of them towing a van.
Go to the caravan show before you buy!!! It opened my eyes. I wanted nothing else than a Swift and visiting the show confirmed my ideas on that. The build quality on some of the vans (think separate rear external light and wall panels with old fashioned sealer between – with moisture inside the rear lights already on their show models!!!) and that of others was stark. Want to control your van with your mobile phone? You can on a basic Swift Sprite but you can’t on a £34,000 Buccaneer! Ha.
I wanted a mid bathroom Swift too but then I realised the sink is in the way of my feet on the 560 vans and on both that and the 645, Swift fit a shower door and a handle that together can’t have cost them more than £2 – with no rails at the bottom (and a juddery action at the top) and the cheapest of cheap “door handle”). Utterly ghastly. So there went that van even if my feet could hang over the edge of the bed in the 645. Anyway go to the show. I can’t recommend my Swift high enough but check the shower doors on the mid bathroom ones before you sign up. I have a now extinct 2017 Swift Sterling Elite 580. Love it.
Simon Barlow said:
We like the Swift centre bath, transverse bed layout, but I do have a few niggles with it. We also like the Knaus Starclass… twin bed.. but again it has a few niggles for us… (inc £)
Unfortunately Sue has Jury service when the NEC show is on in October so it will be a schlep round the dealers sometime in August looking for a deal in the 2018 van’s as they clear out for the 2019 delivery schedule.
Is buying a caravan not an exceptional reason to get out of jury service?! 🙂
The Swift centre washroom and transverse bed is the 645 I’m on about. Get it go buy a Lunar shower door which is INFINITELY better and is of the EXACT same design as Swift’s yet has a proper handle and a proper rail at the top and bottom. But I bet the radius differs buy 15mm or something invisible to the naked eye…
That’s how I got my caravan in November of 2017 – it was a 2017 clear-out demo just before the 2018 stock arrived, and as I said before, one of the very last Sterlings.