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The CDR cannister, affectionately known as the "tuna can", is a Positive Crankcase Ventilation system for Diesels.


It provides regulated low-vacuum, about 1" at idle to 4 to 6 inches WC at full load, from the engine air intake path to remove blow-by gases from the crankcase, and prevent oil leaks.


The PCV valve is designed for engines with a throttle plate across the air inlet path, which causes high vacuum in the intake manifold. High at idle, vacuum will decrease under load, as the throttle is opened, but will greatly increase during vehicle deceleration, when the throttle plate is closed.


The PCV device is a small two-level valve, for both normal and deceleration vacuum levels, and is part of a fresh-air ventilation system. It usually contains a spring tailored to engine size to ensure shuttle valve closure, which works in conjunction with shuttle weight against gravity.


The system must be ported to fresh air because valve guide and piston ring blow-by are not (hopefully) higher than vacuum demand, typically 20" at idle, which would draw air, dirt, water,oil, etc, thru the various engine seals without the filtered fresh air source in the air filter housing.


The Diesel engine, on the other hand, generates vacuum under opposite conditions - almost none at idle, more as engine speed increases. Diesels have no throttle plate to restrict intake air flow.


Diesel vacuum is caused by the slight restrictions presented by the air filter and intake path ducting.


A turbocharger increases available vacuum even more, as the compressor draws more air to the inlet under engine load, to produce Boost.


Dirty air filter restriction will increase inlet vacuum in turbo and intake vacuum in non-turbo engines.


The CDR is specifically calibrated for turbo or non-turbo engines, with normal filter deterioration from dirt and dust factored in.


With no great levels of vacuum to draw-thru the crankcase, no fresh air source is needed - it is a closed-crankcase system.


Normal blow-by is low, so vacuum must be regulated such that air is not drawn into the engine thru various seals - crankshaft, valve-stem, oil filler and dipstick tubes. The crankshaft seals assume greatest importance because of location down low in road draft area.


The CDR, Crankcase Depression Regulator, is designed to function with low-level vacuum. The tuna-can size is to accomodate the large silicone rubber\synthetic diaphragm. Vacuum on the diaphragm actuates the valve against a low-pressure spring, calibrated for turbo or non-turbo applications, which also functions to ensure that the valve opens as vacuum decreases.


Fully open at idle, it will begin to close as power demand and vacuum increases, regulating the 'depression' in the crankcase such that excessive oil is not drawn out of the engine, and blow-by pressure in the crankcase does not increase.


It is not a one-way valve, but closure is toward the vacuum source. It opens under crancase 'back-fire' conditions, and would become a 'no-way' valve if the diaphragm ruptured, allowing excessive vacuum to develop in the crankcase.


Because blow-by vapor is drawn into the turbo inlet, oil will accumulate in the inlet area, but is not cause for concern unless the quantity approaches a quart a month. Excess vapor from worn piston rings can cause engine surging, as vapor is drawn into cylinder and ignited along with injected fuel, which is a light oil.


Non-Diesel oils vaporize more easily due to higher pressures and temperatures encountered in Diesel service, particularly those in the turbocharger housing.

<><><><><><><><><>CDR TESTING<><><><><><><><><>

CDR testing can be accomplished with 4' section of clear plastic tubing, sized to fit the dipstick tube, ~3/8".


Form a 3" U-bend , with 12" vertical columns. This could be attached to a piece of 1 x 6 with large u-staples, parallel-spaced at one inch intervals for indication of measurement.


Important - do not crush or deform the plastic tubing.

Place the free end over the dipstick tube, ensuring tight fit, with no leak-by. Position the manometer vertically, where the upper end of the U is lower than the end over the dipstick tube.

Note: this is to prevent water siphoning into the oil pan thru the dipstick tube.

Pour colored water into the U section such that about 6 " of water is in each leg, about 4 - 6" below the top of the open end.
Have someone start the engine, bring the rpm up to about 2000, keeping close watch on the water level in the U-tube. If the water in the dipstick leg rises an inch, the water in the open leg will drop an equal amount. Adding the drop level to the rise level, this would indicate vacuum at two inches on the Water Column.

Vacuum at idle should be around 1", depending on air filter restriction; at 2000 rpm, the CDR should limit vacuum to 4 - 6" WC on a calibrated Manometer. The shade-tree version should indicate close to those figures, depending on accuracy of staple intervals.

If the level in the dipstick leg drops, and the open leg level rises, this indicates the crankcase is slightly pressurized.

27" WC is equal to 1 PSI (Pound per Square Inch) 1psi is equal to 2" mercury
Atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi, or 29" mercury, or 396" WC, rounding off

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The CDR should never be solvent-cleaned, as various solvents can dissolve the diaphragm, again resulting in a 'no-way' valve.

Some truck manuals indicate replacment at 30,000 miles. This refers to the early style CDR and oil-cap breather system, used up through mid-'80s. By '88 - '89, the CDR system had been revised to its present configuration, where the CDR cannister is on the passenger-side valve cover, with one external connecting hose to the intake system.

Early failure-prone systems can be easily upgraded to the late setup - 1 valve cover with grommet seal, 1 CDR, 1 hose.

Replace the CDR in the late systems when it fails the Manometer water column test.
 
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GMCTD where do you stand on the CDR elimination for a breather?
 

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JD


4-6 inches WC is equivalent to how much in hg?


~.5?


I'd be happy with 4-6 in hg in my crankcase? Wouldn't I?


Sounds like a breather will allow this where a CDR will limit me far below what I am trying to achieve.
 

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Roughly how many miles between replacement (on average)?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No, Billman, because 4-6"hg would enable raw oil from valve splash to blow thru the valve cover opening - it's not baffled. Maybe thru the oil filler tube, who knows.


Not trying to be antagonistic here, but what you're proposing - hi vac on the crankcase - works for what? 500-600hp, 7000-8000 rpm?


How will it help my engine at the 2180rpm I use for cruising, towing, hauling.


Oem 4-6"wc limitation would tend to indicate that not quite as much blowby exists as some folks are imagining - perhaps a lot of what is seen as blowby is simply hot oil vapors from the turbo and the indirect injection head configuration.


What do you think?
 

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I THINK vacuum in the crankcase, no matter what the rpm, will help/create power.


Yes. What I propose comes from experience in Gas Race Engines making 6-800 Horesepower turning 7-8000 RPM. We pull vacuum from one valve cover, with no baffle, and measure vacuum at the other valve cover, to include the complete crankcase. Oil consumption through the vacuum pump is not a concern. After 7-8 passes, 1 ounce is visible in the puke tank. This would be a concern in a Turbo Diesel traveling across the country though.


High vacuum is 15-18 inhg. What I would like to see here is roughly 5 inhg. I THINK that would be beneficial.





And for God's Sake, Please nobody try this at home. This in UNPROVEN in our vehicles and I probably don't know what I'm talking about...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
See, folks - this post is the difference between proposed R&D and wild speculation.


Proposed R&D should not cause any damage to any interested viewer's vehicle.


Proposed R&D should not discount previous R&D, nor established fact, nor repudiate the various physical laws we live with.


Love 'em, or hate 'em, we got 'em - don't break 'em.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My apologies, Carey - I completely overlooked your posted question.


The CDR system is in place and fully functional on my truck, with an extra hose clamp on the compressor duct to prevent raw coolant fan draft from entering the intake system.


To those running the dual-breather flow-thru system, or the down-tube road draft system, I strongly suggest having a certified oil analysis done each oil change.


Specifically noting any increase in silicates.
 

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JD


I'm assuming that my single breather/hose/check-valve/hose nipple Evac system was not included in your oil analysis schedule in the previous post. Your not saying that this could be better already with no testing behind it, could you?


With Road Draft & Dual Breathers, there is the possibility of increasing silicates in the oil. Pulling vacuum on the crankcase, pretty much eliminates this possibility, right?


Speaking of vacuum, while getting ready to test my Evac system, I began to think about checking vacuum at the compressor inlet. Has anyone done this? Zero would be best. I know, pressure is even better. Once I finally test my Evac, I'm also going to put on vacuum gauge in rubber elbow. I'll try Hi-flow, stock air filters along with removing top of filter box.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The CDR system is a closed system, with not much more than a baby's breath of vacuum.


If what you are trying remains a closed system, then the only difference is where the vapors wind up - in the cylinders, or in the exhaust pipe.


Silicates, by the way, are prevalent in dust and dirt.


A glance at most engine bays should be enough indication that a closed crankcase system is mo' betta.........
 

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Bump to top to keep alive
 

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Checking CDR

In checking the CDR, does your engine have to be at full operating temp to get a true reading on if your CDR is working properly or not? In my feeble mind, warm engine = less blow by.

Or does this not matter in checking CDR operation?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good question -

Warm engine = more blowby - hot oil vaporizes easily.

But, again, purpose is not to block blowby, but to prevent pulling raw oil outta the valve cover when inlet vacuum is high, at higher rpm and\or Boost levels.

My engine easily makes 20psi at 1700rpm, loaded, which is very low inlet pressure - high vacuum - at low rpm.

High turbo temps really 'smokes' the oil, making for a lot of vapor.

However, the specific answer is - you should do the functional test at normal operating temps, but the CDR should also function at cold.
 

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What can make the oil pressure drop when engine's been running awhile? Can the turbo make the oil frothy and lighter? or is this a more ominus sign...
 

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That sounds like radiator fluid leaking into the engine. Seen it before. What a mess.-:t
 

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No milky fluids at last oil change, I would've noticed. I was thinking a new oil filter would help, it didn't. I put on a new OPS, same reading. Now I'm wondering if the oil pump should be upgraged to a HO unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just re-read the original post, to find a large portion missing, and some questions unanswered.

So - and these figures are rounded off -

Pressure - 1psi = 2"hg = 27"H2O

Vacuum - Baro = 15psia so 2"hg = 27"H2O would be 14psia

CDR regulated crankcase vacuum is 4 to 6"H2O

Cleaning is not recommended -
Some solvents can 'melt' the silicone diaphragm
Some solvents can 'harden' the diaphragm, making it inflexible.

The steel spring and inner can will rust, causing sticking\binding

Replacement is required if Manometer indicates greater than 4-6"H2O at 2000 engine rpm
 

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A picture is worth a thousand words

Here's my pic's with my helpers on how to do test.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Then, in a word - good job!

Great pics, and even greater helper(s?).

Add the rise in the left tube to the drop in the right tube for crankcase 'depression' in inches of water.

Dirty air filtration will increase vacuum level at compressor inlet.

BTW - a sprinkle of food coloring in the H2O makes the observations a bit easier.

Just enough to color the water, without significantly increasing the specific gravity..........:cool:
 

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CDR check out numbers

Opening thread back up with some info to compare against.

CDR checkout again. This time using a Dwyer Magnahelic Model 2002. Indicates vac or pressure in inches of water column. Try these numbers:

(None of these numbers are at full operating temperature)

At idle: 0.15" WC
at 1075 RPM idle 0.65"WC
at 1360 RPM idle 1.10"WC

Sound sufficient for CDR?
CDR failure tends to go full open at make the highest level of vacuum possible correct? Just wondering how this stacks up to blowby vs. CDR.
 

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