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Old 11-19-2007, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Anywhere but here!
2,800 posts, read 9,646,148 times
Reputation: 1705

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This seems like it may be the big upcoming trend!

We have a diesel mechanic friend that was telling us about this, then, tonight, we saw a special on it on tv. I decided to research it a bit on the web and it seems appealing, but do we know enough about this as far as long term effects on the engine?

Has anyone here personally known anyone to do this? Any tips on how to set it up? I know you need a heat exchanger and a toggle...You use the diesel to start the engine and heat it up to performance temperature then switch over to the oil.

Here's a link for anyone interested in it!
How to Convert a Diesel to Run on Vegetable Oil - Diesel Power Magazine
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
14,220 posts, read 27,812,521 times
Reputation: 27554
Check out americanbiodiesel.org too. It's not that hard to do. I took my diesel to a gathering over the 27th of October and they were selling biodiesel for .80 per gallon. I know you need to have a reliable supplier or make your own. In the winter or below 60 or so, you need antigel additives too. There's a lot to learn before you take the plunge.
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Old 11-20-2007, 03:51 AM
 
11,454 posts, read 48,794,173 times
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The "used vege oil" users that I know have had the best success with diesel motors that use mechanical injection pump systems, not the latest electronically controlled injection systems.

The "change over" valving is so that you have complete change over of the two fuel tanks supplying the motor ... one with diesel fuel, and one with the oil. The motor is started on the diesel fuel tank, run up to temperature, and then you change over to the oil. Before shut-down, you change back over to the diesel fuel so that the fuel system lines are all purged of the oil and the motor is able to start and run again on that.

There are limits to cold weather operation with the oil as it will congeal at temps where diesel fuel will still continue to flow unless you have a tank heater to keep the oil liquid. Return flow from the injection pump will warm the oil, too, once it's running on that.

My friends tell me that they get about 15-20% less fuel economy than running on diesel fuel, but the cost of the vege oil is substantially less. They're happier running "bio-diesel", which more closely resembles petro diesel in it's running characteristics and can be run without all the mods to the trucks/cars ... although it still has lower fuel economy than petro diesel.

There are benefits to running the vege oil, but there's a lot more diesel motors out there than there is supply of vege oil. We've got a local company that was making bio-diesel from soybean oil on a fairly large scale, and they've had to shut down production because the recent run-up in corn oil/corn prices has brought soybeans up to a higher price point than the fuel market can support.

I wouldn't be making the mods to my diesel cars unless I had a steady supply of the vege oil for fuel.
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:55 AM
 
Location: European Union
281 posts, read 1,276,431 times
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I've seen some people over here driving their diesel car with vegetable oil or at least at a mixture with 50:50 to diesel.

Of what I've heard you can do this with older diesel engines (so not the modern TDI, Common-Rail, etc. as this causes problems with the fuel injection). But still you will have to convert some parts of your engine which will not go along very well with veg oil.

However, as my level of technical knowledge is, um well... not the highest I can't give you indepth informations but this one: They stink as hell, every time I saw one driving in front of me , thick dark soot came out of the exhaust.
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:32 PM
 
11,454 posts, read 48,794,173 times
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ZZ ... the ones with "thick dark soot" coming out of the exhaust are mis-adjusted at the injection pump.

From what I've seen in my shop, the folks have done this because the motor is making less power than they are used to, so the cars are slower than normal. They dial up the fuel rate to put more fuel into the combustion chambers to try to restore the lost power (which can be as much as 15-20%), but all they seem to accomplish it an "overfueling" situation, where there's more fuel than can be burned in the combustion process. So the excess gets burned in the exhaust gas stream ....

Properly adjusted, the car's exhaust should still be clean with this fuel, but it will smell of "french fries".
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Anywhere but here!
2,800 posts, read 9,646,148 times
Reputation: 1705
I appreciate the input. I can just imagine the look on the faces of drivers behind us! "Dear, do you smell french fries?" LOL

We live in the desert so cold weather isn't much of an issue for us...at least not until we move somewhere else. lol Even in the winter here, it's usually 60's in the afternoon...sounds like this might be a good thing for us. Even if we did the 50/50 idea...

Last edited by kawgpz550; 11-20-2007 at 08:28 PM.. Reason: added
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:52 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 12,928,861 times
Reputation: 3535
On the show "Myth Busters" The boys took used cooking oil and super filtered it. They then fueled up a standard diesel vehicle with the cleaned oil. The car ran good with a 10% reduction in fuel econamy. No modifications whatsoever ! Wasn't the first diesel was designed to run on peanut oil ? I think if someone actually tried to fuel a rig this way in a cold cliamate it wouldn't work very well without some modifications.
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:35 AM
 
1,572 posts, read 3,864,327 times
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I wouldn't do it with any diesel made after 1992. The problem is that with cooking oil and very high pressure pumps, the oil tends to polymerize and gum up the fuel injectors and fuel pump.

Biodiesel is much better, and even then it has to be made properly or you get the same exact problems- fuel pump failure.
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Old 11-21-2007, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
349 posts, read 1,356,321 times
Reputation: 217
Definitely agree about the fuel pump problem. You can't put that in a tank without a strainer running through a separate fuel line. Also if too many people do it, the supplies will dwindle quickly and you'll have just spent a couple grand for a useless mod.
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Seward, Alaska
2,740 posts, read 8,370,852 times
Reputation: 1998
Quote:
Originally Posted by kawgpz550 View Post
This seems like it may be the big upcoming trend!

We have a diesel mechanic friend that was telling us about this, then, tonight, we saw a special on it on tv. I decided to research it a bit on the web and it seems appealing, but do we know enough about this as far as long term effects on the engine?

Has anyone here personally known anyone to do this? Any tips on how to set it up? I know you need a heat exchanger and a toggle...You use the diesel to start the engine and heat it up to performance temperature then switch over to the oil.

Here's a link for anyone interested in it!
How to Convert a Diesel to Run on Vegetable Oil - Diesel Power Magazine
We have a diesel-powered John Deere backhoe for plowing snow in our driveway here in Ak, so have kicked the idea around, especially now that diesel is $3.75/gal here. One of the problems though (that I don't have an answer for) is that cooking oil congeals in cold weather, which we have plenty of each winter. I would guess the toggle should be installed as close to the injector pump as practical, so that there is less time involved in switching to the other fuel. (time delay due to residual fuel in the pump and lines that must be burned out first, before it finally gets to the other fuel). I would also guess you could run the cooking oil fuel line near to the exhaust manifold to heat it up a little before it goes to the injector pump; but if not done right then this might be a potential fire hazard. (?) Also, I would install a seperate fuel filter for the cooking oil, before it gets to the toggle. In the meantime, I've been using home heating oil (#1) in the backhoe, (pretty much the same as diesel) and so far it's happy with that...
I did talk to one of the local guys in town that said he burns used restaurant cooking oil in his Dodge Ram/Cummins diesel truck, with NO conversion kit installed. He says he just burns straight cooking oil all summer long. He said all he does is filter it out real good before he pours it in the tank.
Let us know if you have success with the conversion!

Bud
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