What is an Oil Separator?

Modern diesel engines have exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems to improve emissions performance. The EGR returns some of the exhaust gases into the engine to burn them to less harmful chemicals before entering the atmosphere.

An oil separator (also known as a catch can) mounts between the exhaust and the engine. Its purpose is to filter or catch the liquids from those gases passing through to the engine.

Oil separators provide preventative benefits over time. The contaminants they collect otherwise would build up in the air intake manifold, possibly causing a reduction in fuel economy, performance and requiring more major servicing later in engine life.

Fitting

The lack of space often complicates mounting accessories under the engine bay, as does the difficulty sourcing appropriate bracketry.

Safari seems to have taken every step possible as a manufacturer to ensure correct fitment and ship the Safari Armax Oil Separator with quality bracketry, detailed full colour fitting instructions and every required piece down to the cable ties.

The Safari ARMAX Oil Separator mounts in the engine bay near the brake booster. If you plan to fit the full ARMAX range, there is room to fit the ARMAX ECU, ARMAX Fuel Pre-Filter (under the ECU), and the Oil Separator in this relatively small space.

How it Works

The filter catches the airborne fluids as the redirected exhaust gases pass through the Safari Armax Oil Separator. With gravity, these fluids drain to the base of the catch can and then down the drainage hose—the drain mounts inside the chassis on the driver’s side. The hose is stiff enough beyond the last attachment to stay tucked up but still flexible so you can pull down the valve for drainage.

The captured oil can then be periodically disposed of, usually each service. And at service, this filter becomes another to change.

In the unlikely case you forget to service your catch can, and it clogs up, it has an inbuilt bypass that effectively returns the system to the original manufacturer’s configuration. In addition, this internal bypass allows the system to be legal, as at no point in operation can the emissions requirements be defeated.

The Filter

The housing is made from fibre-reinforced plastic and has strengthened stainless steel mount inserts and a lid to access the inner filter.

Each replacement filter comes with a new O ring to ensure these don’t degrade and leak oil over time. I aim to keep a couple in my shed ready for my mechanic each service, and one lives in the spares kit of my LandCruiser in case I need to it during our travels.

Hoses and Fittings

The main hoses are 350psi and heat rated. They are high quality and shouldn’t weep oil or otherwise cause issues.

Likewise, the connectors and fasteners are all high grade, and the red drainage valve is easy to operate by hand, making drainage easier.

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