Hints and Tips - Oil Catch Tanks

Date: Wed, 19 May 1999
From: Ian Grace
Subject: Oil catch tanks

The latest VSCC Newsletter had a piece about oil catch tanks. The VSCC don't require them, but other clubs do. What exactly is a catch tank, and why is it required?

Ian Grace


From: Neil Sherry
To: Ian Grace
Subject: Re: Oil catch tanks
Date: Wed, 19 May

These are normally fitted to the engine's crankcase breathers where these vent to atmosphere. The idea is that if you blow a piston, lose a piston ring or just suffer hideous blow-by there is the danger that not only gases but also oil could be forced out of the breathers. The catch tank collects the oil whilst allowing the gases to pass through, preventing contamination of the track or road surface. The MSA lay down volumes of catch tanks according to engine size and (I think) event type.

If the engine is fitted with a closed circuit breathing system where the breathers vent to the air cleaner, carburettor or inlet manifold then catch tanks are not required.

Neil Sherry
'34 MGPA, '71 Sprite Turbo, '68 MGCGT, '71 Rover P5B
Herts, UK


Date: Thu, 20 May 1999
From: Dr G W Owen
To: Ian Grace
Subject: Re: Oil catch tanks

Ian,

Following on from the previous reply, while the idea of catching oil is sensible, the RAC have failed to take on board the implications of methanol contaminated oil. Thus on a methanol burning car with a bit of blow by, you may end up with a volatile catch tank. Add to that a piston failure on a supercharged car and you end up with a 3 litre vessel containing an explosive methanol mixture

Beuracrats

Speed

Dr Geraint Owen
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Bath


Date: Thu, 20 May 1999
From: Ian Grace
Subject: Catch tanks

Thanks to all who responded - I feel a little more informed now!

Ian Grace


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