If you install an aftermarket air intake in your Seadoo, it’s best to also install a catch can at the same time. What exactly does a catch can… catch? It’s designed to catch oil, gas, and other sludgy fluid that might otherwise end up inside your supercharger and your engine. You can buy one from Riva Racing for “only” $139.95, which includes a stainless bracket that mounts nicely inside your engine compartment. But if you can live with mounting with zip ties (or if you can hack together your own mounting bracket), you can make your own catch can in a few minutes with the following very easy-to-find parts from any local auto parts and hardware stores — and it will cost you only $39. That’s more than $100 cheaper than buying one.
- Spectre 3995 Stainless Breather Filter – $11.99 @ O’Reilly Auto Parts
- 2″ x 3/4″ threaded PVC T connector – $4.45 @ Home Depot (#049081148485)
- Two 2″ x 1/2″ threaded PVC bushings – 2 x $1.82 each = $3.64 @ Home Depot (#049081134846)
- 5/8″ ID x 3/4″ MIP brass adapter barb – $5.11 @ Home Depot (#042805446188)
- 1/2″ ID x 1/2″ MIP brass adapter barb – $4.17 @ Home Depot (#042805446140)
- 1/2″ NPT (male) to 1/4″ NPT (female) brass reducer – $3.98 @ Home Depot (#045564605698)
- 1/4″ soft seat air compressor drain valve – $3.39 @ Home Depot (#045564606824)
- 3 pack of Scotch Brite Stainless Steel Pad – $2.38 @ Home Depot (#051141253541)
Tools and other supplies you’ll need:
- Cresent wrench
- Flat head screwdriver
- Teflon tape or pipe dope
- PVC primer and glue
Here’s what all the supplies look like before getting started. Total assembly time is (seriously) about 5 minutes.
Making the Main Body of the Catch Can
The 2″ T connector is the main part of the can. Start by priming and gluing one of the 2″ bushings (with the 1/2″ female threaded hole in the middle) into one of the ends of the T connector. It doesn’t matter which end you choose, but whichever one you do first is going to be the bottom.
Make sure you press the bushing in all the way so it’s flush and air tight.
Flip the can over and place one of the Scotch Brite stainless pads down inside the bottom of the can. This will provide a rust-proof surface for the vaporized oil and gas that enters the can to help it condense and collect on the bottom. You might want to stuff it down in the bottom (which is what I did), or you may want to fluff it up so it fills more volume. Either way won’t make much difference. The pad is porous enough so that it won’t negatively affect air flow into the can. You can give the two left over Scotch Brite pads to your wife as a present. “Here, babe. I got these for you because the pots in the kitchen have been looking a bit dirty, and I know how you love scrubbing pots.” That should go over real well. 🙂
Make the top of your catch can by repeating the same priming and gluing you did to make the bottom. Again, make sure it’s pressed down flush and seals air tight.
Inserting the Brass Fittings
Now that the body of your can is complete, it’s time to add the brass fittings. When installing them, make sure to always use teflon tape or teflon tfe plumber’s paste to ensure a tight seal.
Install the 5/8″ x 3/4″ MIP brass adapter barb in the 3/4″ threaded hole in the side of the can. Spread a generous amount of the plumber’s paste completely around he bottom half of the brass threads with your finger, screw it into the side hole, then tighten with a crescent wrench. If your cresent wrench isn’t big enough, you can use 1 1/16″ wrench to tighten this fitting. A small amount of the teflon putty should ooze out as you tighten. Just wipe off any excess when done.
Follow the same procedure to install and tighten the 1/2″ brass adapter barb on top.
Follow the same procedure to install and tighten the 1/2″ male to 1/4″ female brass reducer on the bottom. I used teflon paste on the bottom reducer, but not for the air compressor drain plug, since it already had a rubberized “soft seat” coating on the threads to help it seal. If yours doesn’t, be sure to use teflon tape or paste when installing.
At this point, test the air-tightness of your work by screwing the bottom drain closed, placing your hand over the smaller top fitting, and blowing as hard as you can into the larger side fitting. You should be able to blow until you’re blue in the face, and no air should leak out. Unscrew the bottom drain and try again, to verify that the drain works, and that the Scotch Brite isn’t affecting your air flow. If you do encounter any leaks, remove the fitting and re-apply your teflon tape or paste, tighten, and re-test.
Installing the Breather Filter
Now all that’s left is installing your breather on top. You can go with pretty much any clamp-down style breather in the “performance” aisle at your local auto parts store (make sure it’s not the push on style). For $18 on Amazon, K&N makes a pretty nice one (K&N Part #62-1330), but I was impatient and grabbed one of the Spectre ones at my local auto parts store. Spectre makes vent filters in a number of colors for around $11, but for the extra dollar I opted to go for their stainless steel mesh version, since stainless material is generally preferable in marine applications. I also thought the chrome top looked cool. 🙂
Loosen the stainless hose clamp (which was included with the Spectre) using a flat head screwdriver, and gently press the breather down onto the smaller top barb until it sits flush. Tighten the clamp and test to make sure it’s secure.
And, you’re done!
Dressing it Up
If you like, you can paint the PVC black to match other components in the engine bay, pink to show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness (although seriously… it’s a disease that attacks boobs — you think there’s anyone who isn’t aware of it??? Let’s find a cure, people!) or any other color that strikes your fancy. I’m happy leaving it as-is, since there’s no shame in a home made catch can!
Installing your Home Made Catch Can
For installation tips, you can refer to the instructions for Riva’s more expensive catch can. Make sure the side inlet on the can is slightly lower than the outlet on the oil separator housing, to make sure that any fluid in the can doesn’t flow back down the hose.
On my Seadoo RXP, I found a good location where I could securely install the catch can using four zip ties. I attached the body of the can to the oil filler tube with two zip ties, and then used two more zip ties to “pull” the neck of the can (under the clap location on the breather filter) in opposite directions to keep it upright. Here’s what it looks like installed.
And here’s what it looks like with the hose connected from the oil separator. I needed to trim about a foot off the OEM hose to make it fit. You should install the can in your desired location first, and then trim the hose last. The hose also helps keep the can in a secure and upright position.
Big thanks to “TheBandit” on the GreenHulk PWC Performance Forum who deserves full credit for his initial howto post on the parts he used to build his home made catch can. My approach is near identical to his, except I use a PVC T connector that already has the threaded opening on the side (meaning I don’t need an additional bushing), and he doesn’t use any condensing material on the inside.
Comments, suggestions, and other feedback are welcome below! And I invite you to check out my other Sea Doo related posts while you’re here!