Iconic Protection - Oil Catch Can Kit R&D, Part 1: Design, Test, Produce
Close your eyes and picture an American pickup truck. You're probably imagining a Ford F-Series. And whether you know it or not, that F-Series you're picturing probably has a V8 under the hood. Like the F-Series itself, the Ford V8 is an icon of American automotive culture. Customers could have their iconic truck with an equally iconic V8 since the first F-Series truck was introduced in 1948. Over the years, the F-Series and the V8 powering it evolved. 42 years after the first F-series rolled off the assembly line, Ford introduced the Modular V8 that would power the F-150 for the next 28 years.
The 2011-2017 F-150 continues the iconic pairing of F-series and V8 into the modern era. With additional low-end torque and a few other modifications, the 5.0L Coyote V8 mated to the 12th and 13th generation F-150s was tailor-made for the life of a truck. Despite its bespoke fitment and iconic heritage, however, the Coyote V8 is not without its faults. An unhealthy appetite for its own oil is one of them.
Unlike its EcoBoost cousins, the Coyote 5.0L utilizes port-injection instead of direct-injection. Port-injection is certainly an older and less efficient means of delivering fuel to the cylinders, but it pulls double-duty in washing blow-by and carbon off the back of the intake valves. Port-injection does not, however, help the rest of your 5.0L intake from becoming coated in blow-by. Even with clean valves, a dirty intake and cylinders ingesting oil will degrade performance just as quickly as dirty valves. But Mishimoto has been working on a catch can kit to keep your 2011-2017 F-150 5.0L V8 running clean.
Like many of our catch cans, the process was pretty simple: design a bracket, route the lines, and make sure it works.
Before anything could be designed, we needed to evaluate the stock PCV system. There is a small pipe that connects the PCV valve on the passenger side valve cover directly to the intake manifold. That's it.
So, our engineers brought in both F-150s and got to work building brackets. These trucks share several features, including the engine layout and most of the firewall where we would mount our catch cans. However, there were some differences between the two bodies. A couple studs on the firewall were in a different place, to be clear. That made it necessary to create a unique bracket for each one. 3D scanner in tow, our engineers stripped back the area of the passenger-side firewall where we would be mounting our catch can and began scanning.
With the firewalls mapped out, the design process could begin. Catch can kits are one of our favorite types of projects here at Mishimoto. Their simplicity allows us to make prototypes in-house and have the instant gratification of putting everything on the car and seeing how it works. The design process started with our waterjet cutting out the flattened brackets.
Flat sheets of metal in the shape of brackets are useless. Before we could get to the really fun parts, we had to bend the brackets into shape then route the lines that would carry blow-by to the can and fresh air back to the engine.
After the brackets were bent, we mounted each to their respective trucks with our compact baffled oil catch can installed and began routing the lines. This process was rather easy, thanks to the similarities between the two truck bodies and engines. Our mounting location for each can was the same and the PCV system layout is the same for both, therefore both sets of lines could be the same. To make matters even easier, it's almost a straight shot from the catch can to each port. The only tricky parts were the quick-connect fittings on the end of each line.
Our design and prototyping process was complete. If you're still following along with the process outlined in the beginning of the post, you'll know that the next step was to make sure it worked. We sent the two trucks out into the world to be driven around for at least 1,000 miles before coming back to see what the cans collected.
A few weeks later the trucks were back in our development facility. We eagerly popped the hoods on each and unscrewed the catch can bottoms. As the familiar odor of used oil tinged with a touch of fuel and water filled the shop, we emptied the respective cans into beakers. The two engines produced nearly the same amount of blow-by over 1,000 miles. That's not surprising considering the 2011-2014 Coyote 5.0L and the 2015-2017 Coyote 5.0L are nearly identical. Each can caught about 25ml of pitch-black blow-by that would otherwise be building in the intake manifold.
With all our designing, prototyping, and testing complete, the only task left was to begin producing these kits. That signals the end of this post, but the beginning of something awesome for you guys. These kits are now on discounted pre-sale.
If you're looking to keep your 2011-2014 or 2015-2017 F-150 5.0L clean and blow-by free, check out our website. And, as always, feel free to ask any question or leave any feedback you might have!
Thanks for reading,