Tested: Mishimoto Carbon Fiber Baffled Oil Catch Can


Story and Photos by Tom Suddard

Would anybody really buy a $399 catch can? Mishimoto is obviously betting the answer is “yes,” since they have released just that. Their new Carbon Fiber Baffled Oil Catch Can has a hefty MSRP of $399, and that’s before you pay an extra $25 for a right-angle fitting if your installation requires it. (Unlike many of their catch cans and hoses, which are designed for a specific application, this product is universal, designed to be used where a normal kit doesn’t exist.)

Our LS1-swapped Nissan 350Z was just such an outside-the-box fitment, so Mishimoto sent us one of their new universal catch cans to review. We went into the experience thinking this product would have few takers, but after installing one on our 350Z, we actually think this has a place in today’s market. Nobody needs it, but lots of people are going to want it.

Unboxing

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Remember your first iPhone? Remember holding the box for the first time, realizing that the packaging probably cost more than the Nokia you were leaving behind, and thinking “It would be a crime to throw this away in the normal trash, among all those lesser items”?

Remember opening that box and finding your new smart phone delicately cradled, the instructions stowed in their own little compartment? Yeah, that’s what opening this catch can felt like. We’re pretty sure the box was built sturdily enough to act as its own catch can for at least a track day or two, and the instructions were actually written in English and copyedited.

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We popped the can itself out of the box and stared, since the thing had a nicer finish than the car we were installing it on.

What’s Different?

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So, what sets this apart from other catch cans, like Mishimoto’s own “Carbon Fiber Oil Catch Can,” which is $284 cheaper? We figured it must be the weight, since the pricier option is actually carbon-fiber, rather than just sporting a carbon-fiber wrap for aesthetics. So we weighed it… and weren’t blown away like we thought we’d be.

The $399 catch can clocked in at 1 lb. 3.3 oz. That’s light, yes, but we saw published weights for traditional aluminum catch cans of right around 1.5 lbs., which is only a 5 oz. difference. Aside from having a really, really nice fit and finish (and a seemingly well-designed built-in baffle), it wasn’t apparent what the extra money got us. Well, we figured out where it went: The design, packaging, machining and composites work can’t have been cheap. But if you spend an extra $10,000 on nicer leather for your Porsche, does it make it a better Porsche?

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Did It Work?

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So… define “work.” This catch can isn’t about solving a problem as cheaply as possible. It’s about solving a problem as efficiently and stylishly as possible. And to be fair, it totally solved our problem: Our 350Z had been blowing oil through the PCV system in hard corners, and that completely stopped once we installed Mishimoto’s catch can. It’s easy to empty, too, unlike the eBay specials we’ve used before. And it’s hard to deny that it looks sweet under the hood.

We’re not going to say that a $100 catch can wouldn’t have solved our problem. But we are going to say that in a world where you can pick the color of your carburetor and no two Subarus have the same shade of intake plumbing, there’s a place for automotive bling like this. It’s pricey, but at least it works well–better than anything else we’ve used–and looks cool as heck while doing it. In other words, that nice interior on your Porsche doesn’t make it any faster, but it does make it a cooler car.

Want one of your own? You can find it on Mishimoto's website.

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Comments
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edizzle89
edizzle89 SuperDork
11/9/18 12:26 p.m.

I would like to see a comparison of this catch can to the $35 Hardware Store Special air-water separator. It has super fine copper filter (something like 5 microns) and did a good job on my turbo z31, good enough that i plan on probably putting one on my Genesis. Only things it needs is a way to mount (I drilled and tapped a hole in the top for the bracket) and to seal off the valve at the bottom (which is usually closed by the compressed air that normally runs through them).

 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/9/18 1:22 p.m.

Nothing screams "HUMANITY DIES BY CONSUMERISM POISONING!" like a really fancy box. Whenever I see one, I think "it's wrong for so much expense and effort to go into packaging that's just going to be thrown away" and then I feel guilty for throwing it away even though the only thing that would make me feel worse would be to keep a box only because it's fancy. That "share your unboxing" stuff on the Mishimoto box takes this problem a step further and surely would've made me physically ill. I actually prefer to see stuff come in notably cheap boxes now, bonus if they're made of recycled materials.

On the positive side, this makes me feel better about paying nearly $200 for a Moroso billet aluminum baffled catch can with all the brackets/fittings/tubing etc. It came in a plain cardboard box.

Robbie
Robbie UltimaDork
11/9/18 2:11 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:

Nothing screams "HUMANITY DIES BY CONSUMERISM POISONING!" like a really fancy box. Whenever I see one, I think "it's wrong for so much expense and effort to go into packaging that's just going to be thrown away" and then I feel guilty for throwing it away even though the only thing that would make me feel worse would be to keep a box only because it's fancy. That "share your unboxing" stuff on the Mishimoto box takes this problem a step further and surely would've made me physically ill. I actually prefer to see stuff come in notably cheap boxes now, bonus if they're made of recycled materials.

On the positive side, this makes me feel better about paying nearly $200 for a Moroso billet aluminum baffled catch can with all the brackets/fittings/tubing etc. It came in a plain cardboard box.

I agree - as we buy more and more stuff from amazon and less and less from physical stores, I am inundated in cardboard. I'm not a huge fan of that part of amazon.

Also, I know 'unboxing' is just a fad but it's an annoying one.

That said, you don't sell louis vitton purses in brown paper bags (unless, of course, they aren't really louis vitton). Luxury items need to have matching luxury packaging to work as a business model, and I understand that. Good on Mishimoto for being an industry leader in recognizing that most 'tuner' parts are really just luxury goods.

deaconblue
deaconblue New Reader
11/9/18 2:22 p.m.

Pretty fancy, but I think I will stick with my $160 Elite Engineering catch can, thank you.

BTW, you should have started with the update '04-05 LS6 valley cover #12577927 and its much improved PVC system - that would have helped to reduce the amount of oil you were seeing in intake manifold.

airwilf
airwilf New Reader
11/9/18 2:30 p.m.

I have to agree with edizzle89 on this one. I made a very similar set up for my ex LS3 Corvette & it worked like a charm. It wasn't tracked , but was driven in a spirited manner when  & where conditions allowed.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
11/9/18 5:56 p.m.

I always cobble something together from HomeDepot or Lowes.  Unless you are competing in F1 or some other series where you absolutely have to get that last couple onces off the car I can see absolutely no need for that part.  I bet if I hydro dipped an aluminum one from 3 feet you could not tell the difference.  

iceracer
iceracer UltimaDork
11/9/18 6:34 p.m.

The name alone made me smile.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
11/9/18 6:59 p.m.

As long as it does its job, who am I to say you're wrong. 

te72
te72 Reader
11/9/18 10:16 p.m.

I needed a solution for the Supra, so I stuck a cheap, non-baffled generic aluminum (hey, it's at least anodized a purty blue color!) can in the engine bay. I kept noticing that after hard runs, when parked overnight, I'd have a nice oil spot on the floor. Turns out, the lack of baffling was basically just blowing oil out of the can onto the underside of my intake manifold, oops.

 

Couple bucks worth of steel wool should fix that. ;-)

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
11/10/18 4:45 a.m.

No “free” sticker = fail

DjGreggieP
DjGreggieP Reader
11/10/18 8:11 a.m.
poopshovel again said:

No “free” sticker = fail

Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.

I have noticed that the higher the expense of the part, the less likely you are to get a sticker with it. In all the Holley stuff I purchased for the stand alone EFI for my car, not 1 single sticker, although my APR mirrors DID come with 2...

I have been thinking I need to look more into catch can technology for my car, just trying to figure out how to deal with there being 2 lines to run to a single can, then venting to atmosphere or back to the intake plenum...

Thanks for the reminder!!

te72
te72 Reader
11/10/18 11:43 a.m.

In reply to DjGreggieP :

On your two-into-one dilemma, you can either buy a can that has two inlets, or put a Y-fitting in the line to the can.

 

Baffling is the more important aspect though, if you don't knock it (the oil vapor) down, it will still remain a vapor, and likely just pass through the can, along with the oil you intend to contain.

Donatello
Donatello
11/10/18 2:14 p.m.

$10 for home made (plastic oil bottle with steel wool baffle) or $399 for Mishimoto? Well, that's $389 less track time for you. Doh. Hope you learned from this.

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
11/10/18 3:25 p.m.

Well, it was $Free.99 to GRM so no hard feelings there.    Agree with the sentiment of not needing a CF catch can, my last one I used was a really nice Allstar Performance one that I got at a swap meet for $10

 

Similar to this.

https://allstarperformance.com/breather-tank-w-2-bungs-all36109/

StuntmanMike
StuntmanMike New Reader
11/13/18 10:09 a.m.

For my street cars I just get the ebay special, stuff stainless pot scrubber inside and RTV the fittings and call it a day. For my track car (LS6 with later style valley cover) I use a little higher quality Mike Norris can also stuffed with stainless pot scrubber and a remote valve for easy drain.

Those hardware store separators leak too easy and fill up in 5 minutes. The filters that usually come in them also are destroyed by engine oil.

FuzzWuzzy
FuzzWuzzy Reader
11/13/18 10:27 a.m.

And here I thought I overpaid for my Elite Engineering beautiful billet catch can.

I will say though, for as much as I hate the CF look, this Mishimoto looks pretty decent.

iceracer
iceracer UltimaDork
11/13/18 1:34 p.m.

I personally have never had an engine that needed a catch can.   I just let all that bad water and oil return to the engine to be burned.   Sort of like top lube.

 

 

 

Now let everyone tell me how I am wrong.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/13/18 1:52 p.m.
iceracer said:

I personally have never had an engine that needed a catch can.   I just let all that bad water and oil return to the engine to be burned.   Sort of like top lube.

 

 

 

Now let everyone tell me how I am wrong.

No engine really needs a catch can. The advantages of running one are greater resistance to detonation/preignition (since oil fumes don't resist ignition well), a cleaner intake tract, longer engine oil life (if it's the dump type rather than the return type) and slower wear on exhaust sensors & catalysts. Probably slightly reduced emissions since that stuff is dumped with the used engine oil instead of being burned off. The disadvantages are up-front cost and maintenance work.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
11/13/18 3:10 p.m.
edizzle89 said:

I would like to see a comparison of this catch can to the $35 Hardware Store Special air-water separator. It has super fine copper filter (something like 5 microns) and did a good job on my turbo z31, good enough that i plan on probably putting one on my Genesis. Only things it needs is a way to mount (I drilled and tapped a hole in the top for the bracket) and to seal off the valve at the bottom (which is usually closed by the compressed air that normally runs through them).

I may need to try this on my Dart... although I've also sometimes thought about trying to make a catch can out of something else like a soup can.

Now I just realized I've had a shortbread cookie can sitting on my desk. It might go well with the cake pan that is serving as a fuel tank sump.

te72
te72 Reader
11/13/18 9:16 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:
iceracer said:

I personally have never had an engine that needed a catch can.   I just let all that bad water and oil return to the engine to be burned.   Sort of like top lube.

 

 

 

Now let everyone tell me how I am wrong.

No engine really needs a catch can. The advantages of running one are greater resistance to detonation/preignition (since oil fumes don't resist ignition well), a cleaner intake tract, longer engine oil life (if it's the dump type rather than the return type) and slower wear on exhaust sensors & catalysts. Probably slightly reduced emissions since that stuff is dumped with the used engine oil instead of being burned off. The disadvantages are up-front cost and maintenance work.

This is number one for me. My engine is fairly high strung though, I'd rather not take the chance of blowing a piston at 20+ psi. Second for me, ever take apart a turbo engine? The piping is absolutely disgusting and caked up with crud from the oil that doesn't work its way back into the engine to be burned off. Intercoolers are a nice place to collect said crud... yuck.

 

So, for a few bucks and a couple lines, a tiny bit of maintenance down the road when you need to drain the can, you get to avoid a rather nasty amount of cleanup if / when you decide to refresh the engine or change something up. =)

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