oil separators

Many people have found that the intake and especially the intercooler core become saturated with oil quickly from blowby from the increased crankcase pressure from the supercharger.  This is especially a problem with overboosted engines.


In addition to potentially causing detonation due to the oil mist becoming part of the intake charge, the blowby oil cakes up on the intercooler core, which can dramatically reduce its effectiveness.
One recommendation is the reduce the oil fill level from 6 quarts to 5.5 quarts.  Another solution (although it has been the subject of great debate) is the use of an oil separator.  There are too many to list here, but most are just water separators for air compressor systems.  Most don't work that well.  There are also catch can solutions, but the reports are a bit mixed on those also.


I chose another option altogether -- the time-tested, but expensive, L&S separator.  It is self-draining and maintenance free, and works.
[details/photos to come]
I also decided to plumb in an eBay seller's kit to catch whatever small amount of oil might get past the L&S unit.  Here is the full text of the ad:

This oil separator kit keeps oil from the PCV system out of your engines induction (Intake) system. This particular setup is designed to prevent oil from entering the intake and supercharger assemblies on late model 1999 thru 2004 Ford Lightnings and Supercharged Harley Davidson trucks. On every one of these supercharged vehicles, the intake and supercharger are saturated with oil from the PCV system due to the high level of negative pressure (Vacuum) created in the upper intake by the supercharger, and elevated crank case pressure from piston ring blow-bye, created from increased cylinder pressure by the supercharger. Oil in the induction system of your engine can create detonation issues and plug fowling, along with several other issues including clogging the intercooler causing severe horsepower lose and reduced fuel mileage, and in some cases severe engine damage. Every one of these supercharged vehicles should have had a system like this installed right from the factory, but Ford never addressed this issue. It really is a simple fix, but you will see all kinds of elaborate setups out there, from commercial refrigerant oil separators and airplane engine oil separators plumbed with a spaghetti mess of tubing to automatically drain the oil back into the valve cover and others do not use a filter at all, they just delete some of the PCV lines and reroute the rest trying to reduce the amount of suction from the intake to the PCV system, causing high idle issues and drivability issues, not to mention reducing the efficiency of the PCV system. This kit works, and it has a true oil rated/safe separator, not a water separator and once installed its barely noticeable, not to mention it's not $180 like the other true oil separator kits!

Over the past months we have had customers come in with so called PCV Oil Separators purchased on eBay and at other online “Supposed” Performance Parts Dealers! All of these units were completely inoperative. One of the units had completely sealed off the crankcase, leaving no PCV ventilation, causing a tappet/valve cover gasket to leak. Best of all, another customer had the media inside one of these water separators disintegrate and go through the supercharger assembly, it skinned a lot of the Teflon off the rotors and grooved  the rotors bad enough we had to replace them and remove the intercooler to clean the little pieces of the separator out, this customer was so upset, he could not believe so much damage could happen in under a minute!

Here’s the truth folks! Most of these so called “PCV Oil Separator Kits” are nothing more than a mini water separator designed to be used with small household/garage air compressors! They will not filter the oil out of your PCV system properly and they can cause costly damage to your engine! If the supposed filter looks like a filter you’ve seen in your local discount store by the air compressors, that’s probably what it is!!! If they don't show you a picture of their setup installed on the vehicle they are listing it for, beware, they probably have no idea what they're doing! I’ve researched all of these kits our customers have purchased, most of these kits only consist of a mini-water separator $7.00, barbed fittings $2.40, and a very small piece of hose $.25, if that’s what you really want to put on your Hotrod, grab $10 and head for the hardware store! These filters/separators are not rated for oil, causing them to come apart or clog, most of the other kits don’t even use oil rated hardware, you will see; fuel line, vacuum tubing, and non-oil rated fittings on most of them!

If you’re looking for a real “PCV Oil Separator Kit” we have the answer for you, we’ve been putting this setup on vehicles for over 8 years without a failure, and we're selling it cheaper than the other so called PCV Oil Separator kits listed on eBay!!!

“BKU Motorsports PCV Kits come assembled and ready to install”

Kit Includes: Oil Separator Filter, manufactured by “ZEKS”, this filter should last a lifetime in this type of application!

[details/photos to come]


back to Lightning main page

© 11/05/2008 Tim Skelton