View Poll Results: What kind of fuel are you using?
Gasoline 56 19.05%
Diesel 199 67.69%
Propane 18 6.12%
Veggie Oil 17 5.78%
Other 4 1.36%
Voters: 294. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-28-2003, 07:30 PM   #1
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What kind of fuel are you using?

Well, there are lot of options. If you have an opinion about one over the other feel free to tell us why.
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Old 11-29-2003, 04:06 PM   #2
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i use diesel. I love the idea of straight vegetable oil....but there are a couple factors hindering me. First of all....a gallon of diesel is cheaper than a gallon of svo. Secondly, I don't know anything about diesel engines, and lack the knowhow to fix any problems that are created by using the svo.



Waste vegetable oil is just too much work for me. The process of creating fuel from wvo would be much more feasable if you had a car that got 50 mpg....but at 8.5 miles per gallon in a bus, it's just not practicl.e
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Old 11-29-2003, 08:23 PM   #3
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Greetings,

Gas right now in the present skoolie I am converting.

It came that way and I can work on it!

Maybe a diesel pusher in the future?
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Old 12-31-2003, 12:40 AM   #4
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My choice is simple.....

I like gasoline rigs. I can work on them all day long....maybe not fix 'em, but I can work on 'em!



The difference in economy for as little as I operate my motor home makes a diesel impractical for me, given the much higher maintenance costs of the diesel. I have one diesle bus and two gas buses, and will be parting with the diesel rig pretty soon.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:05 AM   #5
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I wonder if anyone has tried using biodiesel. In my skoolie dreams, I dream of using a clean fuel without too much conversion hassle; biodiesel might be the solution.



I was involved in alternative fuels with my employer - natural gas and ethanol. And the first skoolie I knew - my dad's bus - was a propane/gasoline switchable rig.



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Old 03-12-2004, 12:43 PM   #6
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Diesel

I use diesel,

In our 1st skoolie (a deisel) my wife was driving back from Washington state to Minnesota and filled it up by mistake with gas. We were blessed that she only got a mile or so down the road when the bus started to sound "Funny" she pulled over and figured out that she had put gas and not diesel. Had to tow the bus, drain the tank, but it started right up and she finished the trip.

Now in our new skollie when we drive into a gas station everybody yells "REMEMBER IT'S A DIESEL"
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Old 03-12-2004, 04:41 PM   #7
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using bio-diesel would work out a lot better in my opinion if you had a vehicle that was more fuel efficient. A diesel Volkswagon perhaps. VW has been making a small diesel enigne for years that gets around 50 mpg. If you only needed 20 gallons of biodiesel a month, that would be a lot easier and realistic than the amount of fuel a skoolie uses.



I can burn 20 gallons of diesel in just one nite of taking me and my friends out on the town.
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Old 04-05-2004, 07:39 PM   #8
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I'd luv to get into veggie oil for my diesel pusher...I've looked into it enough to know that its viable. While true that a bus takes a lot of fuel, most of my (anticipated) travels are fairly local, at least in the short term. The more folks that get into this market the more veggie fuel will be readily available (and cheaper). And besides, the whole point of veggie oil as alternative fuel is to reduce the consumption of petroleum fuels, so environmentally its more of an advantage to burn waste oil in a bus than in a small truck that's already fuel efficient. According to CNN, the price of a gallon of gas could reach $3 by the end of summer...

I'm a believer in the impact one little tiny bus has on the entire planet, I guess. My mileage may be minimal, but the symbolic impact is hard to measure. Plus I've heard that veggie fueled engines smell like french fries, which beats diesel exhaust any day. Mainly I like the challenge...

The theory sounds good. You start the engine using regular diesel and at some point open a fuel valve to a veggie drum, which acts as a secondary fuel tank.

I've heard a couple of 'buts': Newer diesel engines tend to be built with soft seals and hoses that are chemically compatible with bio-fuel. Not likely with my rig (the bus is a 1980 Gillig; the engine is a rebuilt Cat 3208 that was installed in 1998). So before any fuel system change I'd want a knowledgeable mechanic to look over and make the needed changes and/or assure me my engine is compatible. That's a lot to ask on a second-hand bus. According to Caterpiller literature a "B20" grade of biofuel (20% veggie/80% diesel) is compatible with all stock engines. "B100" (100% veggie fuel) isn't.

The other issue is the waste oil temp--the stuff gets quite viscous at low temps (<40F ?)...I've seen conversions that use the hot engine cooling water, but I'd need somebody to plumb that (or at least help me out).

Then of course you need to find some suitable fast-food grease outlets, which is the easy part...plus good P.R. for them if you do it right.

How to qualify, pump, and filter the stuff is minor, particularly in winter...also granted that pumping 20 gallons at a time could get to be a challenge...

Anybody with more info I'd love to hear it.
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Old 04-18-2004, 01:24 PM   #9
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it appears the vegetable oil conversion kit talked about on this site uses filtered wvo. Since Waste vegetable oil is free, and is not very labor intensive to filter, i'm seriously considering converting my bus.

There are conflicting reports on the net about engine damage due to the use of vegatable oil in a diesel engine.

I only paid 775 dollars for my bus, I think it's a pretty good engine to play with. If she suffers total thermo nuclear meltdown, I'll just buy another bus and start over. Wont take long to do the skoolie conversion since i have all the materials and tools. I could transfer all the "stuff" from my bus to a new one in a week.

I better think about the wvo for a couple days before i attempt the changeover. The idea is very attractive ! I don't need to buy a "kit", it seems simple enough to just do it myself.
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Old 04-24-2004, 01:12 AM   #10
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Well nuclear meltdown in my case wouldn't be a scenario I could live with. This is a sweet Cat V8 engine, very clean transit (school) bus; sort of a once in a lifetime find. Besides I'm aging every second it seems.

The kits out there do look pretty good, lots of potential. I'd get one in a heartbeat if I had a Rabbit diesel. But with the Gillig a little caution seems in order...

A lot to ask, but any info out there on the specific material compatibilities with WVO (Buna-M, Viton, etc) would be great, along with a list of suspect engine components i.e. seals, hoses, ??? I'm working on convincing my mechanic guru.
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Old 04-24-2004, 09:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
Since Waste vegetable oil is free, and is not very labor intensive to filter,
WHAT WAS I THINKING !! This is by far the worse part of the project.

I'll keep working on innovative ways to make the process less miserable.
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Old 04-25-2004, 12:36 AM   #12
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The other day I chucked an old swimming pool filter in the garbage. It was from one of those above ground pools. It was a paper cartrige type filter. I bet one of those puppies would work great. Best part is they usually have the pump included. I don't know if the pump would be able to handle the thick oil though. The filter should still work ok. Maybe you could find a hot tub/pool repair shop that has some old filters they would give you. Just a thought
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Old 11-02-2004, 04:48 PM   #13
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The major concerns with engine damage are the acidity of the oil and in direct injection engines the compression I haven't heard any solutions for DI but for acidityyou could add a light base, home brewing of biodiesel uses lye if you have diesel to start and 50% biodiesel 50% Deacidified WVO to run on in your heated tank (for less viscosity) I've heard that that sort of thing might mitigate the acid damage, http://www.journeytoforever.com has some great info on diesel conversion and SVO\WVO in addition Biodiesel.
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Old 11-07-2004, 12:37 AM   #14
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i've since found a very good method for on the fly filtering of oil. IT's still a bit of an icky project, but the price is right. IF i fill the twin 30 gallon tanks on teh bus i'm usually set for at least a week of partying. In the summer, i can filter oil to 20 microns @ 5 gpm or faster. I use whole house water filters and two different 110 volt pumps. I should connect a few filters together in paralell so i dont' have to stop filtering to change filters quite so often. I get between 5 and 35 gallons of oil from one filter depnding on the oil and other unknown factors. Filters are about 2 bucks each.

With this method, i don't have to bring home dirty oil and spend a great deal of time trying to get it filtered. I don't have the patients to filter oil through a bag filter using only gravity.

The mercedes i'm currently working on needs to have better filtration. The plan is to have two heated tanks. One for 20 micron pre-filtered oil, the other for oil that is filtered to 5 microns. I plan to push the hot pre-filtered oil through a series of three filters. 20 micron, 10 micron, and 5 micron. I have a small 12 volt eletric pump that will work quite well for this project. I can even filter while driving.

At the restaurant, i should be able to pre-filter oil to 20 microns and put it into the "dirty tank" With the engine running at a fast idle, the 20 micron oil should be heated sufficiently to be pumped through the other filters to the clean tank immediately. This way i'll have 10 gallons of clean oil, and 10 gallons of dirty (20 micron) oil with the ability to transfer the 20 micron oil in to the clean tank while driving.

Hopefully i'l lbe finished with the conversion next week...i'll take lots of photo's
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Old 03-05-2005, 01:58 PM   #15
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question. Do you heat the oil before filtering raw WVO and do you pump from the top of the barrel down to reduce the amount of junk that gets into your filters. Also please do show us how you set everything up from begining to end.
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Old 04-06-2005, 12:23 PM   #16
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I went with a Gas Bus so I wouldn't have to hunt down a diesel station in the middle of nowhere
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Old 04-19-2005, 02:07 AM   #17
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Diesel

I would have gone either way... I like the mileage of the diesel, and the (assumedly) lower cost of the gas engine.

It really all came down to noise. And the diesel is such a sweet sound that I had to get that.



It just came that way, and seems to be in great shape.

I've been told that it can be worked on by any International dealer--it's a Bluebird with a Cummins 555 ci and Allison tranny. Any truth to that rumor? I like the idea that almost any truck stop could help me out in a pinch.

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Old 02-25-2006, 01:52 PM   #18
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My bus was setup to run on Propane - 83 gallon tank, and either a factory setup (or a really good aftermarket). Oregon schools started running propane in 1983 - my bus is from there, and is also an '83. I like the smell - like a big forklift. And the water vapor from the tail pipe is not nearly as annoying as the black cloud that used to come from my Detroit 6-71T in my other truck. Of course, finding a filling station is sometimes a bugger..... and Washington state says "thank you for using a clean burning, more expensive fuel. Now, bend over so we can stick you for extra licensing fees for using propane". I know - they don't get the "road tax" on propane, but it would be cheaper to pay the 23 cents a gallon for the amount of driving I would do, than the honkin' big tariff they charge annually. Oh well....
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Old 04-08-2006, 06:15 PM   #19
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Hey kevin i dont know if youve found this out yet but here in washington all you have to tell the license dept. is that its gas and thell change it in there records (they dont do inspections anymore to see if its actually been converted to gas from propane) i just told them when i went in to license my bus that it was gonna be gas and really propane is a type of gas LOL i didnt actually say it was gas so technically i didnt lie LOL because i have been wanting to convert it to at least part time gas and then you wont have to pay that extra for it being propane
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Old 04-08-2006, 06:26 PM   #20
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I did think of that. "Is this a diesel?" "No, <mumble>propane</mumble> gas". I still have the sticker on it that says Propane on the back (supposedly you can't get fuel in a motor vehicle without it.... but the fuel station folk don't know that).

It would have worked, but I would need an emissions test for an '83 vehicle. I even tried to get one.... (I LIKE to mess with people's heads, I guess).

"I need to test the fuel cap - where do you put in the gasoline?"
"I don't"
"What do you do when you run out of fuel?"
"I put in propane"
"Oh.... well, can I test the cap to the propane?"
"Sure... you can try. See - right here, will your tester fit this?"

"I'll get the supervisor....."

So.... he told me that they don't TEST propane only vehicles - and I did not want to do the inspection thing - so I figured screw it - just pay the money and do it right and move on. Hey, I figure that in the big scheme of things, a few hundred bucks is my share of road damage.... I don't pay anything extra in road taxes for the electric car (yet). It all evens out.
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