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Catch Can Filling Up Too Fast When Tracking

Dragk913

Ready to race!
Location
DFW, Tx
Plan is to swap out the Spulen V2 for the new APR full CC when it ships which should be even better based on tester reports.

Where have you seen commentary on the APR CC? I was trying to decide between the Spulen and the APR, but couldn't find any feedback on APR's new system. I ordered the Spulen, but it's backordered at USP, so I can still cancel if the APR is a better system.
 

bobivy1234

Ready to race!
Location
Greensboro, NC USA
Car(s)
2016 VW Golf GTI
Where have you seen commentary on the APR CC? I was trying to decide between the Spulen and the APR, but couldn't find any feedback on APR's new system. I ordered the Spulen, but it's backordered at USP, so I can still cancel if the APR is a better system.
It's pretty limited but various FB group members that got samples, one guy on YouTube has a video on it so mainly word of mouth at the moment from trusted folks. They all say it has been really solid with very limited CC volume instead of most of these that just fill up on overflow oil.

I've had my APR one pre-ordered since early April so alledgedly it should ship out on the 18th but we'll see. I'll sell you my Spulen when I get this one. FWIW, the Spulen did great for me at the track so I would continue to use it otherwise.

Also for Spulen, you can buy the R kit like I did and it's exactly the same as the GTI kit and may even be cheaper.

Edit: APR got delayed again to 6/30, not sure if this will ever ship. Either they are going through serious QC issues or they are still waiting on parts from Int'l suppliers as they told me a while ago.
 
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victorofhavoc

Autocross Newbie
Location
Kansas City
My PCV experience with 8 track days in a '16 GTI this year is summed up as follows:
  • Replace OEM PCV as soon as possible
  • Don't buy the BL OEM plate, terrible blowby worse than OEM (I've got one to sell for cheap!)
  • Get Spulen V2 or new APR CC ideally if it ever ships (anything with a new plate), VWR is last in my list
  • With the new PCV plate and CC, no oil smoke/starve/minimal loss
  • iAbed baffled oil pan is great and helps with additional oil starve and blowby mitigation
  • Get an oil cooler while you're at it, necessary for track use
This week I had a track day with 1:40 of WOT track time and measured 8oz (~0.25L) of oil in my Spulen V2. Reaching out to Issam at iAbed to see if there is an ideal dipstick range so that I'm not overflowing the pan as well as my first session filled the Spulen about a third then it was minimal from there.

Plan is to swap out the Spulen V2 for the new APR full CC when it ships which should be even better based on tester reports.

In my opinion, everyone should get a PCV plate replacement and oil cooler for the track. iAbed pan is a nice-to-have that adds confidence in lateral G sweepers and also lessens the oil starve/blowby issues and for me is still worth the cost, it's a great product.
I don't necessarily agree with the full pcv replacement. Yes it will solve the problem, but so will an inline catch can. There are pros and cons to either method, but realistically the oem pcv does a very good job at gas/liquid separation. It's only when it gets overwhelmed with oil that it gets through and that's where the can comes in.

Two ways, both adequate. I agree with everything else 100% though.
 

aaronc7

Autocross Champion
Location
Clovis, NM
A Can on OEM pcv won't help the issue, on the OEM PCV that oil is getting sucked straight into the intake port (there's no hose to put a can inline). Most aftermarket PCV systems 'fix' this issue by simply removing this part of the pcv function and vent only to the TIP.

I'm keeping OEM PCV as long as i don't have issues, then I'll probably suck it up and get APR if I need one. Sucks there is not a solution that maintains all OEM 2-way PCV functionality and works well in high power/track conditions.
 

Dragk913

Ready to race!
Location
DFW, Tx
It's pretty limited but various FB group members that got samples, one guy on YouTube has a video on it so mainly word of mouth at the moment from trusted folks. They all say it has been really solid with very limited CC volume instead of most of these that just fill up on overflow oil.

I've had my APR one pre-ordered since early April so alledgedly it should ship out on the 18th but we'll see. I'll sell you my Spulen when I get this one. FWIW, the Spulen did great for me at the track so I would continue to use it otherwise.

Also for Spulen, you can buy the R kit like I did and it's exactly the same as the GTI kit and may even be cheaper.
Awesome. Thanks for the info!
I'd definitely be interested in your Spulen kit(y) My Golf doesn't get tracked, but the stock PCV isn't super happy at hybrid boost levels (and I agree with you on the BL revision - it's not helpful at all).
 

bobivy1234

Ready to race!
Location
Greensboro, NC USA
Car(s)
2016 VW Golf GTI
I don't necessarily agree with the full pcv replacement. Yes it will solve the problem, but so will an inline catch can. There are pros and cons to either method, but realistically the oem pcv does a very good job at gas/liquid separation. It's only when it gets overwhelmed with oil that it gets through and that's where the can comes in.

Two ways, both adequate. I agree with everything else 100% though.
Can you give me an idea of how an inline catch can would be routed in the GTI? I'm trying to figure out how that would be plumbed in this car without a PCV hose like aaronc7 mentioned.
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Newbie
Location
Kansas City
Can you give me an idea of how an inline catch can would be routed in the GTI? I'm trying to figure out how that would be plumbed in this car without a PCV hose like aaronc7 mentioned.
Do you guys have a different car than I do? Lol. I'm so confused here as there is very clearly a hose leading from the pcv to the intake. The bfi can I have keeps the oem air oil separator and plumbs into the port on the valve then runs to the can then back to intake.

I don't have any smoke or blowby issues with it, and I do get collection of oil into the can. I actually just dumped it yesterday. It was clear, pure oil, and approximately 3oz. I haven't done an oil change since mid may last year and since then this car saw about 22 sessions. The intake and turbo are clear of oil last i checked (August when I removed the aftermarket intake).
 

aaronc7

Autocross Champion
Location
Clovis, NM


Two modes of PCV operations:



 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Newbie
Location
Kansas City


Two modes of PCV operations:



I see now what you're getting after.

The condition that causes the blowby for me is right turns pushing 1.2G. This is related to the return flooding and forcing oil into the pcv. During this period the operation of the pcv is in the latter image state and that's when the can fills. Under boost we're in a different operating state for sure, but you shouldn't have flooding at that point unless you're doing dumb things on track like flooring it suddenly in a sweeper. The baffled pan also keeps that return from flooding.

It's certainly possible to make enough boost to overwhelm the valve entirely though, and it's certainly possible to gunk up the valve enough over time to where it won't operate properly...
 

bobivy1234

Ready to race!
Location
Greensboro, NC USA
Car(s)
2016 VW Golf GTI
Do you guys have a different car than I do? Lol. I'm so confused here as there is very clearly a hose leading from the pcv to the intake. The bfi can I have keeps the oem air oil separator and plumbs into the port on the valve then runs to the can then back to intake.

I don't have any smoke or blowby issues with it, and I do get collection of oil into the can. I actually just dumped it yesterday. It was clear, pure oil, and approximately 3oz. I haven't done an oil change since mid may last year and since then this car saw about 22 sessions. The intake and turbo are clear of oil last i checked (August when I removed the aftermarket intake).

Ok this is officially over my head so you're saying you just have the OEM PCV plate with a catch can attached right? I was thinking there was something down in the crankcase that other cars would have to port out pressure versus just using the stock hose past the PCV plate so that's my general misunderstanding in terms of where an 'inline' catch can would occur. Didn't you mention you've had to replace the OEM PCV a few times now or am I thinking of someone else?

For now, I'm satisfied with the aftermarket plate and it solved all my oiling issues so I'm sticking with it because when I was blowing smoke with both the OEM and BL plates it really impacted my enjoyment of the track day. Didn't get to try the OEM plate with a CC but it is moot at this point.
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Newbie
Location
Kansas City
Ok this is officially over my head so you're saying you just have the OEM PCV plate with a catch can attached right? I was thinking there was something down in the crankcase that other cars would have to port out pressure versus just using the stock hose past the PCV plate so that's my general misunderstanding in terms of where an 'inline' catch can would occur. Didn't you mention you've had to replace the OEM PCV a few times now or am I thinking of someone else?

For now, I'm satisfied with the aftermarket plate and it solved all my oiling issues so I'm sticking with it because when I was blowing smoke with both the OEM and BL plates it really impacted my enjoyment of the track day. Didn't get to try the OEM plate with a CC but it is moot at this point.
The diagram Aaron posted is possibly the best one I've ever seen of this pcv design! Great find @aaronc7 ! It makes a lot of sense when you dig into that diagram and he even pulled out the on throttle and off throttle functionality.

Yes, pcv valves are generally supposed to be wear items that you replace every 10k miles. No one lists them as such though because they're emissions control devices and manufacturers only care about initial emissions to pass tests. With the amount of track time i put on it i wear out the pcv in about 5k, but generally this has been 2.5-3k track and 2-2.5k street fwiw. Thing is, more time under boost puts more stress on the valves and eventually they will fail. That's just how valves work. There are better designed valves out there that are used in race applications because you don't want to just go full open.

My personal choice is to keep the pcv because I don't trust aftermarket parts to not leak. I've also heard of several reports where the vwr plate has come loose or a bolt has slipped through and done some real damage. I don't know if that's install error or not, though. I keep everything as oem as possible and fix what needs fixing as I go, but that's because I have been burned by a lot of "oem quality" or "better than oem quality" parts that are certainly not well thought out (looking at you 034 intake....).

I don't think a full pcv replacement is the "wrong" route though, it just comes with a different list of cons to the inline setup. Nothing wrong with going this way.
 

aaronc7

Autocross Champion
Location
Clovis, NM
Yeah, I think the root cause of the issues with the OEM ones for track stuff is generally oil control--- it fills up with oil from extended high rpm use, high G etc...and then either when high vacuum is introduced (hard braking, smoking after a hard braking zone), it sucks the oil right out. Or similar to as you described above-- high sustained right hand sweeper and the oil can just start pouring into the intake tract etc.

Just following posts on here and FB I feel like the former (burning oil after hard braking, then into a turn), is more common, and aftermarket PCV fixes that as it completely removes the true vacuum source from the system. The downside is you usually end up having to empty the can every so often, even if you don't drive hard....lots of oil getting flung around in the head + poor baffle design.

APR's isnt really much different other than it utilizes the RED section in the above diagram. So you are able to vent crankcase pressure from the oil pan area AND the cyl head area. I think this must make a big difference in that the crankcase pressure now has it's own dedicated pathway (RED section) and allows the engine oil up in the cyl head to flow back down into the pan better with less resistance etc. But it still eliminates the "2 way" aspect of the PCV.....which still has some nice benefits I think, but not the end of the world.

Limited reports so far are that guys who went from VWR or spulen to APR are getting a lot less collection in the can now, which tells me APR is just doing a better job controlling the oil the engine and letting it drain back properly. I haven't seen any good on track reports yet.

Edit: of course another potential issue with the stock PCV are those rubber "check valve".. some of those are holding back 20-30psi of boost! If one are those fail you're in for a bad time. That's the other reason to upgrade.
 

bobivy1234

Ready to race!
Location
Greensboro, NC USA
Car(s)
2016 VW Golf GTI
My personal choice is to keep the pcv because I don't trust aftermarket parts to not leak. I've also heard of several reports where the vwr plate has come loose or a bolt has slipped through and done some real damage. I don't know if that's install error or not, though. I keep everything as oem as possible and fix what needs fixing as I go, but that's because I have been burned by a lot of "oem quality" or "better than oem quality" parts that are certainly not well thought out (looking at you 034 intake....).
As far as I know, VWR fixed that with the latest revision (year or two old now) where the breather top hat bolts are on top instead of the bottom and most folks loctite those top ones during install. Spulen v2 has bolts for the breather on the underside and when I got mine I took those out and reinstalled with blue loctite as I've heard similar things. I know I torqued my PCV to factory spec and so far I haven't seen any issues of leaks but hasn't been on there a real long time so I'll keep an eye on it.

APR's isnt really much different other than it utilizes the RED section in the above diagram. So you are able to vent crankcase pressure from the oil pan area AND the cyl head area. I think this must make a big difference in that the crankcase pressure now has it's own dedicated pathway (RED section) and allows the engine oil up in the cyl head to flow back down into the pan better with less resistance etc. But it still eliminates the "2 way" aspect of the PCV.....which still has some nice benefits I think, but not the end of the world.

Limited reports so far are that guys who went from VWR or spulen to APR are getting a lot less collection in the can now, which tells me APR is just doing a better job controlling the oil the engine and letting it drain back properly. I haven't seen any good on track reports yet.
The APR CC got delayed again to 6/30 when I ordered it back in early April for an 4/18 delivery so there is either some crazy QA issues going on as I've heard some rumblings or they really have a supply chain issue which is what they told me a while back that was causing delays. I'm eager to get that on and test at the track as I agree there is limited real on track feedback but all sounds positive so far. Spulen v2 seemed great out on track and I know that was battle-tested by the EQT guys and others where VWR seems to catch way more oil versus either blocking or getting it back into the pan.
 
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