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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Article 1/4

I thought I would share what I'm doing to create my own oil catch can / breather assembly. This setup will replace the abysmal stock catch can for a larger unit, and allow for increased crankcase venting, all while making serviceability far more convenient.

1.) The engine compartment of the 5.9 24v Cummins is pretty busy, but there is usable space if you get a little creative. After some consideration, I decided to make use of the empty space along the side of the battery on the passenger side, between the coolant tank and the air filter intake tube. The image below shows what that area looks like in the stock configuration prior to any modifications.

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2.) I decided to make a mounting bracket that makes use of the battery hold down clamp and bolt. This bracket will allow for the mounting of a large 2L oil catch can / breather. Pictured below is a simple drawing of the bracket. Although this basic bracket does require fabrication, it can be made with any 110V hobby welder. I used my Lincoln 135+ MIG, and made use of what extra metal I had. All the necessary materials can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. The body of the bracket is made of 16 gauge steel, which is rigid enough to serve as a mounting point, but thin enough to fit between the side of the battery and the hold down clamp / bottom of the battery tray. I'll go into more detail of the bracket construction in later steps.

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3.) Pictured below is the front and back of the bracket. I used a 1" length of 3/8" ID / 1/2" OD tubing on the top right of the bracket. The welds along the tube were ground down to prevent any interference with the battery clamp. The bolt for the clamp will pass through this tube, holding the mounting bracket captive in place. A nut was used on the top left mounting point. I drilled out the threads with a 1/4" bit. The two threaded posts were made with 3/8" all thread, plug welded from the back of the bracket, and the welds lightly faced with an angle grinder to make the bracket as flush as possible. I radiused the corners with an angle grinder, and hand sanded the bracket to make sure there are no sharp corners or edges.

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4.) Before we go any further, let's take a look at how this bracket actually fits and works. Here is the bracket mounted along the side of the battery. The top of the battery clamp and the bottom of the battery tray hold the bracket tightly in place. The bolt for the battery clamp passes though the tube on the bracket, holding it captive, and ensuring it cannot move. You can just see the end of the tube below the bottom of the battery clamp. Simple. The nut for the top left mounting point is hidden behind the positive battery cable, and will be detailed in later steps.

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5.) A little primer and Satin Black paint to make things pretty. My spray paint of choice is Rustoleum Professional. Spray paint often gets a bad rap. Powdercoating is both wonderful and convenient, but I've found with the proper preparation and application process, I can make spray paint almost as durable and aesthetically beautiful as powdercoating. In my opinion, the big benefit to spray paint is it can be easily touched up at any time. And of course there is the cost savings.

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6.) Time to unveil the catch can / breather, and get it mounted! I used a Top10 Racing 2L Oil Catch Can / Breather from Amazon. The can is made from aluminum, fully TIG welded, internally baffled, has a 12AN breather filter, two 10AN input lines, and a 10AN screw drain fitting. It's a very high quality piece for an absolute bargain price. I used two pieces of double sided adhesive along the back of the catch can to mitigate any vibration noises. 3/8" nylock nuts are used to mount the catch can to the bracket.

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Article 2/4

7.) To do the final mounting of the bracket and catch can / breather assembly, simply unbolt the two battery clamp bolts, remove the clamp, insert the assembly into the bottom of the battery tray, and put the clamp back on the top of the battery, sandwiching the mounting bracket between the clamp and battery. Make sure the bolt for the clamp passes through the tube provision on the bracket. Tighten the battery clamp bolts.

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Good measurements are a thing of beauty.
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8.) Now back to that mounting point on the top left of the bracket. My Interstate brand battery has some plastic webbing I decided to make use of. I drilled a small hole in the webbing, and used a #10 x 2" machine screw and nylock nut to secure the top left of the bracket. The height of the webbing is actually the perfect size to hold the nut captive. For those hesitant about drilling a hole anywhere on a battery, the mounting hole in this instance is drilled in the extra plastic webbing where the temporary carry strap is anchored. Those anchor points are strong enough to support the full weight of the battery. A small hole in the webbing has absolutely no impact on the battery itself. Obviously this mounting option will not work for all batteries (such as an Optima). Securing the top left of the bracket is not absolutely necessary, and I did it more for posterity.

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9.) The oil catch can / breather comes with a nice O-ringed drain, which simply requires partially loosening the the drain valve. The oil drains through two internal ports in the valve. No messy draincocks to deal with. I threaded a 3/8" barb and used 3/8" ID fuel line to serve as the drain line. Now comes the real beauty of this particular location in the engine compartment. As you probably know, this area is directly in front of the passenger front tire, with clear access to the ground. I routed the drain line straight down, and loosely secured it to the front fender with a rubber lined clamp. The clamp is loose enough to allow the hose to spin freely as the drain valve is opened.

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View from the ground looking directly up at the catch can and drain.
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The drain hose stub is just visible below the inner fender, to the left of the green of the Gates serpentine belt in the background. A nylock nut is used to secure the clamp to the fender.
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Continued:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Article 3/4

Well, the shipping of my billet oil cap has been delayed en route, so I thought I would go ahead and plumb half of the oil catch can / breather.

10.) I decided to use Evil Energy 10AN fittings, which I would describe as high quality budget fittings. Since the fittings are just for a catch can / breather, there was no need to splurge on high quality fittings like Earl's. That said, I did spend a little extra for things to look nice and clean. There are less expensive ways to plumb this setup, namely if you were to use brass fittings. My parts list consists of the following items, all available on Amazon:

(2) 10AN Male to Male Fittings with O-rings
(2) 10AN 45 Degree to 5/8" Barb Fittings
(1) 10AN 90 Degree Full Flow to 5/8" Barb Fitting
(1) 10AN to 3/8" NPT Threaded Fitting with Rubber Washer
(1) 3/4" Barb to 5/8" Barb Billet Reducer
(5) Stainless Steel Worm Drive Band Clamps
(2) 12AN Billet Hose Separators
(1) 6' Length of Gates 5/8" ID Heater Hose (not pictured)

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11.) Remove the stock oil catch can and 3/4" ID hose from the crankcase breather valve. Cut roughly 3" from a straight section of the stock hose, and discard the remainder. Assemble the stock 3/4" ID hose and new 5/8" ID Gates hose using the billet 3/4" Barb to 5/8" Barb reducer, and secure with band clamps. You can just see the shoulder of the billet reducer between the two hose sections in the picture below. I decided to use 5/8" ID for the breather hose because the fittings on the catch can are 10AN (5/8"), and it has the additional benefit of being slightly easier to route in the engine compartment than 3/4" ID hose.

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12.) Secure the end of the 3/4" ID hose to the stock crankcase breather valve with a band clamp, and route the 5/8" ID hose behind the upper radiator hose. Check to ensure that none of the band clamps are rubbing the radiator hose. If they are, cut a little length off the 3/4" ID hose and reassemble.

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13.) Route the 5/8" ID hose towards the new oil catch can. Screw the 10AN Male to Male fittings into the 10AN female holes on the catch can, making sure the O-rings are on the catch can side. You can just see the O-ring on the catch can side of the top fitting in the picture below. Screw one of the 10AN 45 Degree fittings into the bottom 10AN male fitting. Route the 5/8" ID hose to the 5/8" barb of that fitting, and trim the excess hose length. Secure the 5/8" ID hose on the barb with a band clamp.

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14.) Screw the remaining 10AN 45 Degree fitting to the upper 10AN male fitting. Unfortunately this is where I have to stop today, so I taped off the upper fitting. The upper 5/8" ID hose will eventually be routed to the 10AN 90 degree fitting that will be threaded into the billet oil fill cap, making for a dual breather setup.

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Article 4/4

15.) I center bored my new billet oil cap on a lathe using a 19/32" bit, then tapped the cap with a 3/8" NPT tap. Boring the 19/32" hole can also be done on a drill press. The only issue with that method is the hole may not be perfectly centered, but you can get very close if you measure carefully. I left a shoulder on the ID of the bore to prevent over tightening the 3/8" NPT to 10AN male fitting.

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16.) Screw the 3/8" NPT male to 10AN male fitting into the newly threaded billet oil cap. Assemble the 10AN 90 degree full flow swivel fitting onto the 10AN male fitting. Push the 5/8 ID hose onto the 5/8" barb, and route the hose to the upper 45 degree 5/8" barb on the catch can. Trim off any excess hose. Double check to make sure all band clamps and fittings have been properly tightened.

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17.) I went a little overboard and ended up using three 7/8" ID hose separators (there was a sale on a 5-pack). Now you can step back and admire the final result! I think this makes for a very attractive, unique oil catch can / crankcase breather setup.

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I hope you find this information useful. Feel free to copy my idea. All I ask is that you credit back to this post when possible, and be nice to the people around you. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you, much appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I finally finished the install and write-up. See above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again for reading. Hopefully this article will serve as some inspiration to either copy my design, or create your own catch can / breather setup. No sense in paying an arm and a leg for an off the shelf unit when you can create something better for a lesser price. Any comments or feedback is welcome. Enjoy!
 
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