Why Use An Engine Breather Oil Catch Tank - Motorsport Tech Session
March 28, 2013
Over the years we have been asked on many occasions about oil catch tanks. Some of the common questions we have experienced is how to fit, what fittings to use, how and why do you use an oil catch tank?
The main reason for the oil catch tank is to prevent any oil being spread over a race track through excess engine breathing when under extreme use.
The MSA now states that a 2 ltr oil catch tank must be used on all 2 ltr engine capacity and over.
If you intend to take your car down the drag strip or onto the circuit for a track day then you're going to need an oil catch tank, but what exactly do they do?
Well, most engines have a breathing system that allows the engine to vent its oxygen-less, oil-laden fumes back into the intake system. This has two detrimental effects on your engine's running: firstly you're more likely to encounter carbon sludge build-up in the intake system and secondly it will run far less efficiently with these fumes in the intake charge.
The oil catch tank allow just the breather gases to be recirculated round like standard but remove all the harmful debris and sludge that keeps going round and round your engine. It will also prevent clogging up of inlets and throttle body etc so will help keep your performance higher than reducing over time.
By removing the breather pipes from the intake system and directing them to a catch tank, you will remove both these problems in one go.
If you're entering a proper race series then it is worth checking if there is a minimum capacity given by the race regulations before purchasing one, as it may well need to be of a particular size and capacity to pass the scrutineer.
These catch tanks don't have to be just for race cars either, any car will benefit from having one fitted and you'll see most modified road cars will use a similar set-up.
There are many various sizes, shapes and designs of oil catch tanks available so when you are in the market for an oil catch tank have a good look around before you make your purchase. In the old days an old drinks can or bottle was used and in some cases it did the trick. I would not advise this the structineers will not allow the car to go on the track or race, it will be far better to purchase a professional made oil catch tank that is made for purpose.
Thank you for your time.
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