What is the likely cause of slight oil in air inlet to the turbo? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
'99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the '99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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What is the likely cause of slight oil in air inlet to the turbo?

Just checking a few items on the truck, common things mentioned in posts and 7.3 articles—eventually I will have to address up pipes to collector as I can see a little soot where exhaust donut gaskets are wore but motor doesn’t seem excessively loud under hood. I haven’t had time to check for play in the turbo wheel yet as described by members to answer one of my previous posts, but was checking the air filter and filter box. Looked up inside plastic hose inlet to the turbo with a flashlight— light oil mist on the plastic and just a very small amount of oil laying in bottom
Truck is running good, doesn’t smoke at start up, idle, or after warmed up but I’m sure there is wear on the turbo with 186,400K. I’m also not seeing any significant oil consumption and just recently switched to Rotella T6 and have put on about 500 miles since . I will try and check for play in the wheel soon.
What is the likeliest cause of the oil being present in the air inlet near the turbo?

From what I’ve read here, issues with the turbo pedestal and EBPV actuator all lead to external leakage.

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 12:06 AM
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The crankcase vents into the inlet of the turbo at the top of the driver's side valve cover. Looking thru the hard plastic bit bracketed to the top of the engine, you can see a hump on the bottom that is the inlet from the crankcase. Oil vapor from the engine is what causes the oil film you're seeing. Perfectly normal.
Some guys detach the CCV hose and plug the inlet on the turbo fitting and vent the crankcase into a catch bottle or just out the bottom of the chassis. Not recommended to keep things like the bottom of your truck and the environment clean.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by klhansen View Post
The crankcase vents into the inlet of the turbo at the top of the driver's side valve cover. Looking thru the hard plastic bit bracketed to the top of the engine, you can see a hump on the bottom that is the inlet from the crankcase. Oil vapor from the engine is what causes the oil film you're seeing. Perfectly normal.
Some guys detach the CCV hose and plug the inlet on the turbo fitting and vent the crankcase into a catch bottle or just out the bottom of the chassis. Not recommended to keep things like the bottom of your truck and the environment clean.
Thank you for the quick reply, I have learned a lot here since June 2018 but have a long way to go- Lol I’ll check out that CCV and I agree better to feed it into air inlet rather than blowing it onto frame/road
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 06:43 PM
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The CCV discharging into the compressor inlet is NOT one of Ford's better ideas! And there is no harm in dumping the CCV directly to atmosphere.

The original Navistar (IH) T444e used a direct vent (no connection to the intake). The "dog house" on top of the left rocker cover faced the other way (pointing towards the firewall), and connected to a steel tube which ran down the side/back of the block and discharged towards the ground.

Ford (in order to meet the light-duty truck emissions requirements) came up with the hardware for the IH engine, to direct the CCV into the intake/compressor, thus "recovering" the vapors and preventing them from directly going to atmosphere... much like the implementation of PCV valves on gasoline engines.

But most gasoline engines don't have a turbocharger or a charge-air cooler (CAC, "intercooler")...

When these oil vapors are introduced into the compressor housing, they get compressed and heated along with the intake air. Then the hot compressed air and vapors enter the CAC where they are cooled. At this point, that cooled oil vapor condenses back into oil and coats the inside of the CAC and tubes, and causes all of those weeping leaks around the CAC coupler hoses, not to mention the loss of efficiency for the now oil-coated CAC. The compressor housing and intake piping also ends up collecting oil residue.

Furthermore, as the oil vapor is condensed in the CAC, it tends to collect in the bottom of the cooler, and over long periods, you can end up with a sufficient quantity in the bottom of your cooler. Not a good thing!

I have been running an open CCV for nearly 14 years, with no problems. Before the open CCV was installed, I had pulled the stock plastic-tanked CAC out (replacing it with an all-aluminum aftermarket). The truck was about 3 or 4 years old. I drained at least a quart of oil from the CAC!

Once the open CCV went on, my weeps in the CAC lines disappeared, and no more oil residue ANYWHERE in the CAC system.

There is a small amount of vapor discharging from the vent when my engine is idling hot. But it doesn't drip or cause any residue under my truck.

BOTTOM LINE: No problem to dump your CCV directly to the air!

Now, with all that said, I am planning on installing a Racor CCV filter (pic below). These are used extensively in marine applications, to coalesce the CCV vapors from boat engines before being discharged back to the engine's air intake. They're supposed to work quite well. The one shown is a model CCV4500-08R, and perfectly sized for a 7.3. They come designed for either "open" or "closed" CCV systems.

We'll see how it works!

~Al
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 10:27 AM
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Calico5, what year is your truck? My 2000 came with an all metal intercooler and when I pulled it to fix a leak there was hardly any oil in it. I cleaned it anyway, but was surprised how little oil there was in it after 17 years.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calico5 View Post
The CCV discharging into the compressor inlet is NOT one of Ford's better ideas! And there is no harm in dumping the CCV directly to atmosphere.

The original Navistar (IH) T444e used a direct vent (no connection to the intake). The "dog house" on top of the left rocker cover faced the other way (pointing towards the firewall), and connected to a steel tube which ran down the side/back of the block and discharged towards the ground.

Ford (in order to meet the light-duty truck emissions requirements) came up with the hardware for the IH engine, to direct the CCV into the intake/compressor, thus "recovering" the vapors and preventing them from directly going to atmosphere... much like the implementation of PCV valves on gasoline engines.

But most gasoline engines don't have a turbocharger or a charge-air cooler (CAC, "intercooler")...

When these oil vapors are introduced into the compressor housing, they get compressed and heated along with the intake air. Then the hot compressed air and vapors enter the CAC where they are cooled. At this point, that cooled oil vapor condenses back into oil and coats the inside of the CAC and tubes, and causes all of those weeping leaks around the CAC coupler hoses, not to mention the loss of efficiency for the now oil-coated CAC. The compressor housing and intake piping also ends up collecting oil residue.

Furthermore, as the oil vapor is condensed in the CAC, it tends to collect in the bottom of the cooler, and over long periods, you can end up with a sufficient quantity in the bottom of your cooler. Not a good thing!

I have been running an open CCV for nearly 14 years, with no problems. Before the open CCV was installed, I had pulled the stock plastic-tanked CAC out (replacing it with an all-aluminum aftermarket). The truck was about 3 or 4 years old. I drained at least a quart of oil from the CAC!

Once the open CCV went on, my weeps in the CAC lines disappeared, and no more oil residue ANYWHERE in the CAC system.

There is a small amount of vapor discharging from the vent when my engine is idling hot. But it doesn't drip or cause any residue under my truck.

BOTTOM LINE: No problem to dump your CCV directly to the air!

Now, with all that said, I am planning on installing a Racor CCV filter (pic below). These are used extensively in marine applications, to coalesce the CCV vapors from boat engines before being discharged back to the engine's air intake. They're supposed to work quite well. The one shown is a model CCV4500-08R, and perfectly sized for a 7.3. They come designed for either "open" or "closed" CCV systems.

We'll see how it works!

~Al
Very interesting— come to think of it my old 59 Chevy w/283 had a road draft tube, but I removed and silver soldered a fitting in a freeze plug to replace it and routed the fumes into a pcv valve back into the intake—no problems...... but no issue of an intercooler on the gas engine as with the diesel.

Which leaves me with that being my only concern. I’m surprised a drain wasn’t built into the bottom of the intercooler (CAC) or is there one I’m not aware of?

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 11:33 AM
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I did my big build at 270k miles. My intercooler had virtually no oil in it at all. I know because I used the green stuff to clean it out, thinking it might have residue in it. To be sure, I measured the green stuff when I filled the cooler with it. If it had oil in it, when I removed the green stuff, it would have had a greater volume, ( if oil were in there), and would have been dirty. THe stuff sat in there sealed up for over 2 weeks while my motor was out for balancing, then another day while I put it back together. So it cleaned along time, and there was "0" volume gain, and the green stuff was not dirty at all, and I was able to re use it on other projects. So my cooler had virtually no oil in it at all. Maybe a table spoon at most. Im sure if you have some blow by problems or bad engine wear, then more could get by. But in my opinion venting as designed does absolutely nothing bad for your truck. Also, almost every car or truck made today has a turbo on it. All of them vent the gasses into the intake, because it does nothing bad and makes making emissions easier for the developers. My rig has and EGR!!! That's raw soot right into your intake. Gets dirty and I do EGR tune ups to clean it out of the intake, but does nothing to the performance of the rig, and doesn't pollute near as much as dumping it in the atmosphere. Venting your CCV into the air is just plain irresponsible and your polluting our already polluted air. Since it does absolutely nothing to your motor to keep it stock, why would you change it. Eliminating it does not give you more power, or make your motor last longer. Some claim the clean air makes more power. BUt they are badly mis informed. Your turbo compresses about 2 times the amount of air your motor can consume, that's why it builds pressure. So your motor has more than enough air to make power, CCV isn't going to change that at all. My motor makes over 500hp, my CCV is stock. Made no more hp removed. Not even a half horse power. So improvements are speculative, and have no proof or merit. AS for pollution, you don't even need a test for that, its obvious venting to the air is straight pollution. And plugged intercoolers are caused by broken motors, not a properly functioning CCV.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Absolute;4651186] I know because I used the green stuff to clean it out, thinking it might have residue in it. To be sure, I measured the green stuff when I filled the cooler with it. If it had oil in it, when I removed the green stuff, it would have had a greater volume, ( if oil were in there), and would have been dirty. THe stuff sat in there sealed up for over 2 weeks while my motor was out for balancing, then another day while I put it back together. So it cleaned along time, and there was "0" volume gain, and the green stuff was not dirty at all, and I was able to re use it on other projects.

Good Info. I’ll have to search more on this. Is there any kind of a periodic maintenance (cleaning) that is supposed to be performed on the intercoolers or is it more of a “troubleshooting” issue— I looked at them online just out of curiosity, they’re pretty expensive. Absolute, nice write up on the cps (color difference/performance) on the other post too.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 01:33 PM
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Good Info. I’ll have to search more on this. Is there any kind of a periodic maintenance (cleaning) that is supposed to be performed on the intercoolers or is it more of a “troubleshooting” issue— I looked at them online just out of curiosity, they’re pretty expensive. Absolute, nice write up on the cps (color difference/performance) on the other post too.[/QUOTE]


If you mean cleaning the intercooler as periodic maintenance. I'd say no. I only did it because of the rumor at the time that they get plugged with oil, and I had just spent 35k on high performance parts, and wanted to clean it. It was that point that I learned they don't plug up, unless you have motor issues putting more than designed into the system. Like a hole in a piston. Lol. My stock motor had nothing wrong with it, hence my clean intercooler. But yes, some residue does escape the boots some how, so have to clean my motor once a year. I can understand the stock boot issues, but the Riffraff ones I got baffle me how the residue still gets out. But it does. Minor cleaning for a clean enviroment. And as I stated, after 35 k in high performance upgrades, my CPS data could be specific to my motor. I never did any testing on the stock motor.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 02:38 PM
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And there is no harm in dumping the CCV directly to atmosphere.
Except you're dumping hydrocarbon vapors directly to the atmosphere. Diesels are dirty enough without adding to the mess. Since you're in SoCal, I'm surprised you haven't been fined by CARB when you go get your truck smogged. Tampering with emissions is a NO-NO, especially in CA. Just saying.

International applications are for big trucks which don't have the emission restrictions that ours do. Not that Ford's solution is trouble free, but it was their best attempt.
Your catch can might be a good alternative.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 06:00 PM
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Except you're dumping hydrocarbon vapors directly to the atmosphere. Diesels are dirty enough without adding to the mess. Since you're in SoCal, I'm surprised you haven't been fined by CARB when you go get your truck smogged. Tampering with emissions is a NO-NO, especially in CA. Just saying.

International applications are for big trucks which don't have the emission restrictions that ours do. Not that Ford's solution is trouble free, but it was their best attempt.
Your catch can might be a good alternative.
Well... there are ways around CA's ridiculous emissions rules. Can't legally do ANYTHING to modify your engine in CA, in reality...

But we manage to work around those issues. LOL. It's kinda funny, Mexico is a stones-throw from us (I LITERALLY can see it from where I work), and they have NO emissions regulations whatsoever... But I guess the air down there doesn't come across the border (just their sewage, and "refugees").

A big part of my day-job is maintaining a 110-metric ton ship-loading crane, with a 30-litre Cummins QST engine in it, as the prime-mover. That engine's crank case vent runs directly to atmosphere...no problem. All of our 6 or 7 stand-by Gensets (all diesels, varying in kW capacity) have open CCV's, no problem. And that's just our company. Many over-the-road, medium- and heavy-duty trucks STILL have open CCV's... and they are putting millions more [combined] miles/hours than I'll EVER run in my truck. I'm not really concerned about the less-than-a-drop-in-the-bucket (if that) I may be contributing. So please don't preach to me about [alleged] pollution.

The Racor unit is not just a "catch-can". It actually has a high-tech coalescing filter element in it, which effectively removes the oil from the discharge air stream. The vapor is condensed/coalesced, and the oil is collected, and can be returned to the crankcase/pan through a hose (at shutdown), if desired. Several of our newer pieces of stationary and marine equipment are coming with these (but larger) as add-ons. Time will tell how well they work...
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Your stationary gensets have open CCVs ?

So no oil escapes from them or is captured before it enters the atmosphere or drips on the ground?


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Your stationary gensets have open CCVs ?

So no oil escapes from them or is captured before it enters the atmosphere or drips on the ground?
Nope.


None drips from my truck either!

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Your stationary gensets have open CCVs ?

So no oil escapes from them or is captured before it enters the atmosphere or drips on the ground?
Nope.


None drips from my truck either!
You misunderstand, the thing I enjoy most about this 7.3 forum is that it is so chill. Usually the soapbox posts are in that other forum...Lol

I just wondered how your gensets with open CCV didn’t create an oily residue, are they equipped with the Raycor you were describing?

Guys have discussed re-routing their CCV line and some don’t even bother catching it. The trouble I have read about is more a practical one in cold climates because the moisture in the line has been found to freeze. That would not be a problem in your region. But most of those discussions were years back because the concensus seemed to be it was not really worth the effort.

I guess if I was paying an extra $1/gallon in CA Fuel Tax than the other States, I would be pissed too.


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So please don't preach to me about [alleged] pollution.
I wasn't necessarily preaching to you. You just stated there was no harm in dumping the CCV to the atmosphere, which you have to admit is dirtier than burning the oil vapor in the engine. I was also wondering how you managed to pass smog checks.

My truck isn't exactly stock either, but we don't have smog checks anymore. Back when we did, one guy got all irate because a vacuum hose had come loose from my wife's car. He threatened to fail it, but I plugged it back in and said, "THERE! It's legal now. Test it." and it passed of course. I'm sure there are a few smog guys in CA that would take the same approach.

First truck -- 1929 Model A Ford pickup, restored from ground up. Wish I still had it!
'99.5 F250 PSD Supercab LB 4x4, ZF-6 w/SB Con OFE, 3.73LS, Boost & pyro gauges, Swamps S175/146 injectors, DP 80 HP Econo PCM (classic version
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), AIS,
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regulated return,
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  Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com > 1999-2007 Ford Super Duties > '99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain

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