J&L OSC (Oil Separator Co.) Catch Can – 5k Mile Review For 5th Gen 4Runner

J&L Oil Separator Catch Can 4Runner Long Term 5k Mile Review

J&L OSC (Oil Separator Co.) Catch Can – Install & Review – Long Term Results After 5,000+ Mile Round-Trip From Pennsylvania To Utah!

Back in November of 2022, my wife and I decided to embark on a trip we had been pining over for a few years now. The goal was to hit “The Big 5” in Utah from our home in Pennsylvania. With such a lengthy round trip, we wanted to make sure our 4Runner was as prepared as possible for the trek.

What Are “The Big 5”?

  • Arches National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Zion National Park

Suffice it to say, with gas prices being what they are at the time of this post, it wasn’t the best time to make such a long journey (in a 4Runner, no less). However, we recently upgraded from a soft shell rooftop tent to a hard shell and wanted to do it justice in some of the most beautiful National Parks in the continental U.S.

Road Trip f\From Pennsylvania to Utah's Big 5 National Parks

After many days of traveling, we got the chance to see the first three parks on our itinerary (in the order above). Unfortunately, a decent snowstorm ripped through the area, and both Bryce and Zion National Parks were closed for safety reasons. Nevertheless, we saw some amazing parks, stargazed, overlanded to some fairly remote places, and had a great trip.

One thing we didn’t have to worry about was how the 4Runner would handle roughly 5,000 miles in such a short period of time, carrying as much weight as we did.

In preparation for such a long trip, I did all of the preventative maintenance one would do before a trip, including:

  • Checking the condition of the tires and the alignment
  • Swapping out the air and cabin filters
  • Checked the brakes to ensure they were in good condition
  • A fresh oil change

One additional step I took was adding the J&L OSC catch can. After reading an overview of the J&L OSC oil catch can for the 5th Gen 4Runner, it was the perfect upgrade for our trip. The peace of mind was worth the incredibly reasonable cost.

Find It Online:

What Does An Oil Separator Do?

What Does A Oil Catch Can Do?

Oil flows through your engine and is designed to lubricate and protect all of the moving components. During the process of combustion, excess oil mixes with fuel and air which creates a vapor. Over time, engines lose efficiency when that contaminated vapor called “blow by” gets routed from your crankcase back into your engine.

This vapor coats important components, such as your intake, blower rotors, intake valves, and intercooler fins. That in turn, causes carbon buildup and detonation, which dilutes your fuel. The reduced octane and fuel efficiency can cause long-term problems for your engine.

The J&L Oil Separator protects your engine from this process. As blow-by is pushed through the engine, the oil separator catches and filters the vapor before it circulates through your intake causing costly damage.

It separates the oil and air, then it deposits the oil into a small reservoir while allowing the clean air to move through your engine. That small tank is constructed of certified 6061 billet aluminum and utilizes a mesh screen for filtration and collection.


J&L Oil Separator Can 4Runner Installation Kit

The good thing about adding this preventative upgrade is from start to finish, installation can take less than 30 minutes. And if you’re doing it on a hot day, J&L includes a beer koozie to make the installation look like a sponsored event.

Tools Needed:

  • 10mm deep socket wrench
  • Grease
  • Painters tape, or any tape (other than black electrical tape)
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pliers

Step 1. Remove Engine Cover

Removing 4Runner Engine Cover For Catch Can Install

In order to gain access to the area needed to swap out the hose and install the oil catch can, you’ll need to remove the engine cover.

4Runner Engine Cover Removal

The front of the engine cover is held into place by one ball stud, while the back is connected by two feet clipped into a metal rod. Simply pull up on the front of the engine cover releasing it from the ball stud and pull the engine cover towards you removing it from the back rod.

Step 2. Disconnect PCV/Intake Hose

Disconnecting 4Runner PCV/Intake Valve Hose

Next, you’ll need to remove the PCV intake hose. The hose is held down by two (2) retention clips that should be easily depressed by hand. If necessary, use a set of pliers to depress the clips and remove the hose.

Step 3. Tape PCV Hose & Swap Out Clips

J&L Oil Separator Can PCV Valve Hose New

Since the kit comes with two hoses, it’s important to differentiate the two during installation. As others have suggested, the use of some bright-colored tape, like blue painter’s tape, is helpful.

The longer of the two hoses will be the hose that connects to the PCV valve while the shorter one connects to the intake valve. So, we taped the longer of the two accordingly.

J&L OSC 4Runner Install

While J&L includes everything you’ll need to make this upgrade, they don’t include new retention clips. You’ll be reusing your existing PCV/intake hose clips, which is perfectly fine. Connect both retention clips to the new J&L hoses on the uppermost spot just above the elbows as pictured above.

Step 4. Install New Hoses

How To Install Oil Catch Can For 4Runner

Next, it’s time to install the two new hoses. Using the retention clips, press the PCV valve hose (the longer of the two) into the PCV port just behind the engine.

Then, install the intake valve hoses (the shorter of the two) into the engine intake.

Note: It may feel like the intake valve hose is not seating into the intake port completely even with the retention clip. This is a known concern for most performing this install, but the retention clip will keep the hose in place.

You’ll eventually want to run both hoses alongside each other and out of the way of other components, but that step isn’t necessary just yet.

Step 5. Remove Stud & Install Bracket

Engine Cover Ball Stud

Locate the stud as seen above.

Engine Cover Stud Removed

Using your 10mm socket wrench, remove the engine cover ball stud completely and set it aside.

J&L Oil Separator Can Bracket

Next, grab the J&L OSC bracket and reinstall the ball stud by hand. Do not tighten it down completely just yet.

Step 6. Install Separator, Route & Connect Hoses

Installing J&L Oil Separator Co. Oil Catch Can

Now, it’s time to install the oil separator can. As you can see, I routed both hoses behind the oil filler.

First, connect both hoses to the can ensuring the taped PCV valve hose is connected to the left and the intake valve hose is connected to the right.

Using the two provided Phillips head screws, screw the loosely installed bracket into the catch can.

Oil Catch Can For 5th Gen (2010-2013) 5th Gen 4Runner

Once you’ve found the appropriate final location for your catch can tighten down the ball stud snugly.

Step 7. Replace Engine Cover

Reinstalling 4Runner Engine Cover

Reinstall the engine cover popping the front back into the ball stud. Install complete!

What Was Collected After 5k Miles?

How To Maintain Oil Catch Can - 5,000 Miles Can Collection Review

After the long haul to and from Utah, my first bit of after-trip maintenance/clean-up was to see what was caught in the J&L catch can. Removing the can is pretty simple with a few counterclockwise turns made easy by the textured knurl on the bottom of the can.

Fluid Collected In Oil Catch Can After 5,000 Miles

While not the best picture, you can clearly see built-up contaminants that resemble a fine Italian espresso. As you can see, the J&L Oil Separator prevented the gunk that settled on the bottom of the can from being recirculated through the intake.

J&L suggests that everyone check their oil separator 500-1,000 miles after installation to get an idea of how often it needs to be serviced. The can holds three ounces without the optional XL reservoir. I simply drained all of this gunk into a recycled plastic jug. Once it gets close to full, I’ll dispose of it through my local township like you would with a normal oil change.

Make sure to properly dispose of the excess and contaminated oil. Most auto-part stores will take your old oil, and often free of charge.

Final Thoughts

J&L Oil Separator Can 4Runner Long Term Review & Overview

Is it worth the price, cost, and extra maintenance step? Absolutely. If your body had a filtration system you could install for under $200 offering life longevity, would you do it? Of course. So, why not do the same for your vehicle?

So far, I’ve disposed of contaminated oil twice now; it’s catching things that I’m glad aren’t being recirculated through my 4Runner’s engine. Unless any future vehicles I purchase come standard with an oil separator catch can, this is an immediate upgrade I’ll make for years to come. And, so should you.

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11 months ago

I have heard about these freezing up In cold weather or possibly short trips in cold weather, and over pressuring the crank case and blowing the rear main seal. I do Not have any experience of this, but I have heard of it. Does anyone have any experience with this potential problem? Would it be safer to remove it in colder weather? Is this even a real problem at all? I just installed mine at the beginning of May ’23 and ran the hoses right up along the cylinder head (nice and warm). I was considering disconnecting the hoses off the engine at the beginning of winter and putting the factory hose back on.. I live in northern Ohio and we can have rough winters. Would that be a good idea?

1 year ago

I have had this installed on my 4Runner for almost 2 years now – almost 18,000 miles on it with no issues thus far (mine is a JLT; it was bought and installed before JLT was bought out by S&B and renamed to J&L). It has collected about 12-14 ounces of oil/water/gas that would have otherwise been routed back through the engine during the 2yrs/18k miles. I live in Northern IL and in the warmer months the liquid looks like regular oil, and in the colder months it looks like coffee with milk.

To answer some of these comments on this mod –

A catch can is indeed much more beneficial for a direct injection engine. The 1GR-FE in the 4R is port injection. In port-injected engines, the fuel is sprayed into the intake manifold, and it somewhat works as a cleanser. It washes off the oil and reduces debris build-up. However, direct injection engines shoot fuel directly into the cylinder, and there is no buffer or filter to prevent the debris from getting in and creating a build-up.

This does not mean, however, that the catch can doesn’t help port injected engines, it is still filtering out oil and other liquids from going back through the intake. It may not be making a big enough difference to warrant purchasing and installing for most people, but you can bet your butt that after 100k, 200k, 300k miles an engine with a catch can installed (the sooner the better) will have less build-up overall.

Now our 4Runners have extremely reliable and robust engines to begin with so a catch-can is probably not going to make a big (or even small) difference in overall reliability and longevity. I believe it is worth it, in reality it is cheaper than adding ditch lights or a light bar or a number of other purely cosmetic upgrades.

As to why one doesn’t come with it from the factory, here’s a few reasons…It’d cost Toyota more money in parts and labor. The 1gr-fe doesn’t really “need” it; it is reliable enough as is and can pass emissions without it. It would increase warranty liability as most owners would never even think to check/empty the can every 3-5k miles.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nigil
1 year ago

i can understand the need for a catch can in forced induction applications, but in a healthy NA factory motor, the only thing you’ll find in a catch can that has been added to the PCV system is minute amounts of motor oil and possibly trace amounts of fuel. anything other than that means you’re already in trouble. the sample captured after 5K miles would have easily been burned away with the PCV system left alone with no harm to the engine.

1 year ago

Great Article and loved the Big 5 analogy . . . I do enjoy these tips on how to extend the engine life and how to stretch the miles on my 4Runner. Bravo Ryan . . . Thank you kindly!

1 year ago

Awesome article, nice install. The reason Manufacturers don’t install this type of item because additional maintenance is required and neglecting it can cause more issues than good. That is the reason why many good mods are enthusiast driven. Why wouldn’t Toyota install lift, bigger tires and say FOX shocks or full underbody armor? Onboard Air compressor? Secondary battery? 15 volt alternator? Like I said – specific needs and enthusiast driven. Keep on Improving. Let them be Mods!

1 year ago

I’m still skeptical and not buying it. If it’s so simple and useful, why would not Toyota add it from the factory? Most probably, because all these “contaminants” will simply be burnt without any negative effect.
If there were any obvious evidence that it’s useful, I’d buy it first. Are there any?

4 months ago
Reply to  Viktor

Cleaning the PVC valve is perfectly acceptable maintenance on the Toyota 1GR-FE. This is because the engine is equipped with port type fuel injection. While direct injected engines can greatly benefit from an oil catch can, in this case it’s overkill. That said, a catch can will not hurt this engine as long as installed correctly and the can is emptied as necessary then reinstalled properly.

4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

That makes much more sense to me! Thank you for clarifying.

1 year ago
Reply to  Ryan Gibbons

Ryan, a his was a great write up and a good step by step. I agree with many other posters that most automotive engines do not feature this system and it seems to have no real ill effects. Likewise as other posters mention, with port-injected engines the gasoline dissolves any oil anyway.

it would be great to see some more data showing the benefit of this system to a well functioning engine and if it indeed does increase engine life and/or performance.

where this may be helpful is as a diagnostic tool if your engine is burning too much oil.

overall great write up on the product, but big question to the manufacturer to support that is really that helpful.

1 year ago
Reply to  Ryan Gibbons

My understanding of these catch can systems is that they do indeed catch contaminants that can be deposited, but are only really helpful on engines that are direct injected (where the fuel injectors fire directly into the cylinder) and aren’t needed in port injected systems (fuel is injected before the intake valves). This is because gasoline is a really good solvent and dissolves the contaminants before deposits are made on the valves and other components. Contaminants are easily burned up in the engine all the time, so that’s not an issue I’ve heard of, but I’d love to hear of any other issue this might cause down stream.

This isn’t a bad thing to add by any means. I haven’t seen a justification yet for the 1GR-FE engine which I understand is port injected. These catch cans aren’t super expensive, but they aren’t cheap either. I’d like to know my engine needs it before dropping a couple Benjamins and adding extra maintenance.

1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

Chris, that is correct – they are much more beneficial on direct injection engines

1 year ago
Reply to  Ryan Gibbons

This is the second article on the topic and they both contain pictures showing that the “separator” collects “something”. OK, and what? Both articles are great but look to me pretty subjective.

Personally, I want more technical details. The previous article contains a comment explaining that our engine type does not need this thing (useless). It would be cool to have an answer to that comment.

As for your joke, we already have one of those unbreakable vehicles. If not Toyota, then who? 
>>> You mean, automotive manufacturers are aware of things that can break down components over time and take every proactive measure to ensure that never happens

I mean that it might be the last thing that will affect the overall engine life. Or might not. Would be cool to have more details on why we need it instead of only where to buy it and how to install it. I mean no offense.

Scott Swartzbaugh
Scott Swartzbaugh
1 year ago

Great write up, thanks!

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