Cars and trucks with modern common rail direct (CRD) fuel-injected diesel engines are often praised for being fuel efficient, powerful, and environmentally friendly. This all-around performance tends to deteriorate over time, even if regular maintenance schedules are followed. [read more link to blog article]
A CRD diesel engine compresses a mixture of diesel and oxygen at extreme pressures, causing combustion. This combustion creates exhaust gasses that contain a high concentration of oxygen that will react with nitrogen, creating oxides of nitrogen (NOx), a pollutant that helps create smog, acid rain, and ground-level ozone. In order to reduce NOx to meet strict emissions rules, the diesel engine uses an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve setup that diverts some of the inert gasses back to the intake. This drops the concentration of oxygen in the intake manifold, reducing NOx output and lowering combustion temperatures.
Another force in play here is the positive crankcase pressure caused by internal combustion. The downward strokes of the pistons create positive air pressure in the crankcase. Blow-by gasses are added to the crankcase as well due to the combustion process. These gasses in the crankcase often contain hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, water condensation, NOx, and vaporised oil droplets. Due to strict emissions controls, these cannot be vented into the atmosphere, and are instead fed back into the intake to be burnt once more.
The combination of EGR and crankcase gasses inside the manifold create soot, oil, and other sorts of sludge. As it travels towards the combustion chamber, it gets deposited onto the inside walls of the intake pipe and manifold. Over time, it builds up, causing the engine to lose power and fuel efficiency, and requiring an expensive trip to a mechanic to clean the intake manifold and piping.
Even with meticulous maintenance, sludge build-up is inevitable. Therefore, the best way to keep a CRD diesel engine running at its peak performance always is by using a Ryco catch can. A catch can separate oil, hydrocarbons, soot, and condensation from the crankcase gasses, making the recirculated air cleaner.
Ryco has developed a crankcase ventilation system kit that efficiently removes the impurities from the crankcase air. This kit fits between the engine PCV valve and the engine air intake. It contains a Ryco-replaceable filter that is highly efficient at coalescing impurities in the crankcase air. These impurities eventually get larger and larger until it drips down into the Ryco catch can’s high capacity 310ml reservoir. The reservoir is fitted with a secure drain for easy removal and maintenance.
It is recommended to check and drain fairly regularly on the first installation to determine the crankcase output, but most CRD engines will require a drain with every oil change. Different drain intervals may be required depending on engine power output, usage, and mileage. The filter is easily changed out by removing four of the catch can housing screws, and replacing it with a new Ryco Filter, part number RCC151F.
The catch can also feature an integrated relief valve that opens under excess crankcase pressure if the filter is blocked. The filtered crankcase ventilation gasses will now no longer deposit sludge in the intake, saving CRD engine owners expensive trips to the mechanic.
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