When we first started installing the bolt-on performance modifications to our 2016 Ford Focus RS project vehicle last year, the question about adding an oil catch can to the list of performance modifications came up. We already knew that in stock form, the Ford Performance’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine was designed to perform flawlessly both on and off the track, but installing a quality catch can would help protect our hot hatch from oil contamination in the intake manifold and combustion chamber.
So when UPR Products released a plug-and-play oil catch can system for the 2016-2018 Ford Focus RS, we immediately reached out to them for some easy-to-install insurance.
The UPR Performance Plug ’N Play Catch Can come with everything you need to help protect your Focus RS from harmful contaminants entering your intake.
We reached out to UPR for the simple fact that we have used the company’s products on vehicles that have been heavily modded (with much higher power levels than our daily driven Focus RS will ever reach) with fantastic results. Steve Gelles, Marketing and Sales Manager at UPR Products, gave us the scoop on its Plug and Play kit for the Focus RS.
“The channel of the airflow along with the patented, four-chambered filtration system sets our can apart,” Steve said. “This filter will force the air down the center through the main screening where it will stop and hold back more oil and fuel mixture. The airflow must go through the center and around the side.”
Direct-injection engines push a lot of vacuum and are known to push a lot of oil through the system. — Steve Gelles, UPR Products
Whether you plan to keep your RS stock (yeah, right) or you are going to raise the performance with hardware and tuning, keeping the inlet air and fuel free of oil droplets offers numerous benefits outside of reducing the chance of detonation. Keeping things clean can actually improve mileage.
“Direct-injection engines push a lot of vacuum and are known to push a lot of oil through the system,” he explained. “With a factory PCV not sealing tightly under boost, oil can still get past it. If you plan on keeping your vehicle 100-percent stock, the vacuum won’t change or be less with mods. The airflow will still pull oil and fuel through the system. A can on a modified or stock car will keep the motor running as designed without hurting the octane ratings.”
“Oil getting into the runners can hurt the airflow and in the chambers, mixing with fuel can hurt your octane ratings which can be causing pinging and hurt fuel mileage,” Steve added. “So with this system, it can keep your mileage up over time.”
With all that in mind, we ordered the UPR Products Focus RS Plug and Play catch can kit (PN 5028-170). The catch cans are custom built based on the order received, so we were surprised how quickly the part was shipped to our Southern California headquarters. Once we unboxed the equipment, it was clear we had made the right choice. For starters, the black show quality finish was quite impressive. The kit comes with high-quality, 5/8-inch braided hoses which feature quick disconnect fittings allowing easy removal of the catch can.
Focus RS Catch Can Features & Benefits
• Exclusive 4 Stage design traps 0il • Prevents oil from entering intake • Innovative Diffuser Tube and Chamber • CNC-machined, billet aluminum construction • Plug ’n play fittings at connections • 5/8-inch, oil-resistant Continental braided hose included
For installation, we once again enlisted the help of our friends at HG Performance in San Diego, California. At the time, we had already set up an appointment to install an aftermarket exhaust before our road trip to SEMA Ignited, so it made sense to book the additional install time.
We had no issues installing the UPR Catch Can on our Focus RS. The kit came with everything you need for installation. The only time-consuming part of the installation was removing the intake manifold to route the lines for the Plug and Play system correctly. Total install time was a little over an hour.
Because the installation requires removing the intake manifold to route the lines properly, UPR gave us some install tips to make routing the lines quick and easy…
To install the UPR catch can, start by removing the factory engine cover and unsnapping the vacuum line from the intake. The crankcase breather pictured above simply replaces the stock Focus RS oil filler cap and helps reduce some of the crankcase pressure that is commonly found in turbocharged engines.
The installation requires unsnapping and relocating the wiring harness. If you are having problems removing the PCV line, using a lighter to heat the plastic hose just enough to pull the ends out may help.
It’s important to install the catch can on the quick release bracket and be sure to connect the UPR check valve to the clean line on the intake side, not the PCV side. Then you will be able to snap the UPR Plug n Play fittings together behind the RS logo.
Once the lines are properly routed, the UPR catch fits perfectly with the engine bay. The plug and play design also makes removing the can for servicing quick and easy.
Our goal was to put 2,000-miles on the RS with the catch can installed to perform our test. The San Diego, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada, road trip to SEMA Ignited was the perfect distance to put some quality miles on the new catch can. Driving roundtrip to SEMA Show put us at right around 700 miles with the new part installed.
Once we got back from our SEMA Show road trip to Las Vegas, it took about another three weeks of spirited driving to hit our 2,000-mile mark with the UPR catch can installed.
Once we hit the 2,000-mile mark after more driving around SoCal, it was time to check out our catch can. UPR makes removing the catch can from the Focus RS engine compartment extremely easy. The plug and play design of the quick disconnect hoses allows you pull the can in a snap.
We used the closest-size clear plastic cup we could find to give us a good idea of how much oil was trapped inside the UPR catch can.
Even before we opened the catch can we could already tell there was liquid trapped inside. Once we finally opened the can, you can see just how much oil we found.
We used a tape measure and a small stir stick to measure how much oil had collected in the catch can. As you can see, we had about 1 1/2 inches of oil on the stir stick once dipped it into the plastic cup. That would have been gumming up our intake and contaminating our combustion chamber, so the UPR unit definitely does the job.
With the amount of oil the UPR catch can picked up when installed on our 2016 Ford Focus RS, we are convinced that running a catch can on any modern engine is a smart choice. Over time, the blow-by it prevents could reduce engine efficiency and even cause detonation. In forced-induction and intercooled engines, blow-by may even reach the inside of the intercooler, severely affecting the cars ability to transfer heat and cool the intake charge as well.
The Focus RS Plug and Play Catch Can from UPR Products definitely impressed. The amount of oil that this unit captured definitely made it a smart upgrade to our daily driver.