This is a write up for a CCV (Crankcase vent) mod for Ford F-250/350 7.3 Powerstroke ('94.5-'98.5). I am going to explain things in a way so the average person will be able to do this mod. I am not liable for any problems that may be associated with this write up. This is purely experimental. Do this mod at your own risk!
First, we must understand why doing a CCV mod is a good choice. Oil vapors in the crankcase need to be vented, or else pressure will build up inside and eventually that will lead to a blown seal, making the engine an oil fountain. As of this writing, I was quoted for an engine removal and installation at $2150 at my Ford Truck dealership. None of us want to have to do that. The truck comes with a crappy system to vent the vapors. On the driver's side valve cover there is a metal dog house. It has wire mesh inside to catch oil vapors, which allows the oil to go back into the engine. From that doghouse, there is a 90 ˚ elbow hose (3/4") that attaches back into the intake tube, between the filter and the turbo inlet. This setup allows a vacuum to be present to help draw the vapor from the engine, creating a perfect balance (as to not cause engine seal leaks). Back-pressure in this system is bad! Visualize a full soda cup from McDonalds, with a straw and cap. Blow into the straw. The soda will seep through the opening for the straw, right? Same thing with the Powerstroke engine.
Anyways, this design creates a problem, because the doghouse does not do a very good job of catching the oil vapors. Instead, the vapors condense in the intake tube, creating a real mess. The oil then goes through the turbo inlet, and into the turbo boots and beyond. My truck was a complete mess. Oil was all over the intake before the turbo, the turbo was drenched with oil, and the boots (after the turbo outlet) were saturated, leaking oil, and being eaten away by the oil. Inside my engine right past the boots, oil was everywhere as well. This situation provides for a very nasty looking engine. It will make you think you have a leak when you really don’t. Now you see why performing the mod is in your best interest.
There are many different mods out there for the CCV, but most designs are flawed. Here are some:
1. Run a hose from the doghouse down and out to the rear of the vehicle.
a. There will be low spots on the hose, allowing for oil accumulation (back pressure source).
b. The length of the hose must be 20', and 20' of hose causes back pressure.
c. Oil will drip onto the pavement eventually.
2. Run a hose from the doghouse down and to a catch can or filter mounted to the frame, then routed out somewhere like the rear of the vehicle.
a. Again, there will be low spots on the hose, allowing for oil accumulation.
b. Again, the hose length will cause back pressure.
c. The filter or catch-can will be a source of back pressure (just like a muffler is on any exhaust system).
3. Run a hose from the doghouse down and let it dangle near the front tire or driver's door.
a. This method will surely leak oil on the pavement.
b. The nasty stench of the vapors will find their way into the cab.
In the methods above, the intake hole where the elbow hose used to fit is either covered or you can replace the intake tube with 4" PVC pipe or metal exhaust pipe. Some methods route the hose over the brake booster or intake tube to create a rise in the hose, to allow the oil to drain back into the engine, but regardless of doing that or not, these above methods are dangerous for the engine. You can do those mods, but sooner or later you will run into issues. Mine creates a source of vacuum in order to prevent back pressure by utilizing the stock intake tube.
My method is simple, and many people have done it this way for the same reasons I did it. My design choice was to route hose from the doghouse over the intake hose and brake master cylinder, down to the frame (making sure there were no low spots) and connecting the hose to a filter canister. Another hose is connected to the filter canister on the outlet port and back up to the intake hose fitting (making sure there were no low spots). This completes the setup. You keep the stock intake tube! This way, there is vacuum in the system while also providing for a catch can/filter system to keep the oil out.
Here are some of the tools you will/might need for this:
• Drill (for drilling holes into the frame and fabricated metal parts.)
• Bench vice (to hold fabricated metal parts in place.)
• Vice grips
• Wire cutters
• 10mm socket
• Handsaw or something to cut hose with
• \Socket for hose clamps (usually 8mm socket size)
• Flat/cross tip screw driver
Here are some supplies you will need:
• Foam, like the kind you find in cushions. I used Motorcraft FA-1603 crankcase breather filter. Ford dealerships will have these, or maybe you can find these at AutoZone, Napa, Advance, or Kragens.
• Some steel wool pads (without the blue soapy stuff.) Go to a grocery store for this.
• Something like a long bolt to prop the steel wool close to the inlet and outlet ports of the canister. Hardware store.
• Zip ties. You can find these at AutoZone, Napa, Advance, or Kragens.
• Metal from Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH), Lowes, Home Depot, etc… to mount filter housing to the frame.
• Misc nuts, bolts, washers, and lock washers. Go to any hardware store mentioned above or you can find these at AutoZone, Napa, Advance, or Kragens.
• 3/4" hose or larger, order about 15' of this stuff. I ordered 20' and had about 2 yards left over. I used heater hose, but I'm sure there are better hoses out there that can withstand oil and fuel. You can find these at AutoZone, Napa, Advance, or Kragens. Just ask the guy to cut you how much you need (they keep it in the back.)
• 4 hose clamps. You can find these at AutoZone, Napa, Advance, or Kragens.
• 2 hose fittings that can accommodate 3/4". You can find these at AutoZone, Napa, Advance, or Kragens. Also a hardware store will have this.
• Get filter housing. I lucked out with mine, but some people make theirs out of PVC Pipe, so go to a hardware store for that and get like 8-10" length of 5" diameter PVC cut. These numbers are flexible, so get whatever size you want as long as it is large enough to accommodate the hose fittings and can hold some oil. Try to find something clear if you can, that way you can see what is going on inside of the filter housing. It is a plus if you can get it to unscrew to empty it of oil, but if your design is not like this, then you will have to drill a hole at the bottom and install a
o Drain ****.
o RTV to seal the canister.
• Optional: Pressure/vacuum gauge. I want to upgrade mine to have one of these sooner or later.
1. Remove 2 hose clamps from intake tube (between air filter and turbo inlet)
2. Remove 2 10mm bolts holding the intake tube to the engine.
3 Remove intake tube. Remember the CCV elbow hose is attached to the tube from the bottom. Remove the elbow as well. Do not discard elbow, as you may want to go back to stock later if the setup is not to your liking.
a. PS: The orange intake hose and aluminum intake tube was discontinued by Ford. They replaced it with the black tube and black hose from the 99-03 model trucks. You might want to get the new setup because the aluminum tube might be harder to reposition the CCV inlet to the side instead of straight down like it is stock.
4. Wipe the oil from the intake tube, as well as the hoses on either side of it.
5. Set aside intake tube.
6. Route hose down from the top of the engine to the driver side frame. Make sure the hose is over the intake hoses and brake master cylinder before it drops down. I removed the wheel well for easier access. Attach hose end to the doghouse with a hose clamp. I didn't reverse the doghouse because then you would have to bend the hose to a point where it collapses on itself, which will cause restriction.
a. If you want, go to the dealership and buy the 4 o rings for the doghouse. The ones on there probably are rotted away. 2 are for the screws on top, and 2 are for underneath the doghouse.
7. Choose your spot for the canister. This is where you will have to look at the area and visualize how you want yours set up. Do not make it too low, but don't let the hose dip and then rise again. Remember? The oil will get trapped there and will clog it up, causing back pressure!
8. Fabricate your canister mount. I used some 1"x12"x.2" metal as a mount, and used tube brackets from the hardware store to hold the canister. I installed rubber on the inside of the brackets and held the rubber in place with zip ties to keep the canister from vibrating too much. Be careful! If you drill any part of the frame, be aware that there are electrical wires and fuel lines on the inner side.
9. Fabricate your canister. The canister should be air tight, have a method for draining, and an inlet and outlet. Inside the canister can be either be empty, with steel wool, or with steel wool and a free flowing filter element, such as the one I mentioned earlier. The filter should be mounted to the outlet port. The steel wool should be elevated in the canister so it will be close to the inlet. I used a long bolt and sandwiched the steel wool pads between 2 nuts and washers. This way, oil can collect on the steel wool and drip down to the bottom of the canister, and the filter element can further keep nasty crap from entering back into the intake. The important thing is not to cause back pressure. Don't use air filters or coffee filters or some crap like that. It needs to be free flowing.
10. Mount canister mount to frame, then mount canister to the mount. Cut hose where necessary and attach to inlet with a hose clamp.
11. Connect the rest of the hose to the outlet with a hose clamp, and route it back up the same place as the inlet hose. Bring it up and connect to the intake. Cut any excess hose.
12. Attach hose to the intake tube connection with a hose clamp. The intake tube should be positioned so the CCV inlet is pointing towards the right side, not straight down as it is stock. Do not screw the intake tube back into the mount. Leave it loose. It won't be any trouble.
13. Make sure there are no dips, kinks, or collapses in the hose. Use zip ties where necessary.
14. Start engine. You can make sure there is some suction by taking off the inlet hose at the canister. The hose will spew nasty fumes. Disregard that. Put your finger up to the inlet port and feel for suction. That will prove my point. Re-install the hose and tighten clamp. You are good to go!
Here are some pictures of this setup.
Go head and criticize me or praise me I know it isn't pretty, but it works.