Crankcase breather

The crankcase breather, ACDelco #CV870, on my '83 Surburban/6.2L diesel, is starting to spit up small quanties of engine oil irregularly, and my mechanic says its time for a new one. Before I accept this, I want to
educate myself a little:
1. What is a crankcase breather and what does it do? 2. Is it adjustable? I see no obvious means of adjustment or opening. 3. This online parts catalog seems to suggest that aside from the breather there are also breather elements that can be replaced separately:
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1299348,parttype,4932
Yet again I see no obvious way to open the breather.
I've googled for answers, but what I come up with are parts dealers, not information about the part.
Thanks as always, guys,
--
Warren
Santa Rosa de Copn, Honduras
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I'm not real familiar with diesels, so if someone more knowledgable can dispute this, then take their advice over mine.
However, on my engine (as well as every engine I've ever owned) the breather was a fairly cheap device. I used an aftermarket one from Pep Boys on my Blazer recently when I was replacing so much stuff under the hood. Mine was like $10. It was chrome, so I used hi-temp black spray paint for BBQ grills to "de-bling" it.
Concerning the blow-back through the thing... Breathers as supposed to relieve crankcase pressure. If you're getting enough pressure to blow oil through the thing it would seem to me that too much pressure is in there in the first place. That's usually indicitive of a bad ring isn't it?
Either that, or the thing has soaked up so much oil after years of use that it truly is clogged and now that stuff is seeping out.
But to answer your question, no, it's not adjustable. At least not that I've ever seen.
Regardless, it's a cheap part. Replace it.
Just my $.02...deferring as always to someone more knowledgable.
~jp
Warren Post wrote:

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