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Old 02-11-2019, 11:17 PM   #1
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Posts: 6
Question Best/Worst Engines for Veg?


I apologize if this has already been covered. I have tried searching the forums many times and different ways and it just doesn't work. I also can't read all the posts because I need to make a decision. I'm looking at a bus and I'm wondering if it will be a good candidate for converting to veg. I've barely looked into the process so I'm not sure how it varies from engine to engine. What do I need to look out for? Will the engine I'm looking at be difficult for some reason?

I am going to convert a diesel bus to veggie, no doubt about that. I'm actually going to start a non-profit to help educate the public about the benefits of such, plus solar, ect.

Anyway, I wasn't planning to buy my bus until next year, but was given a pretty sweet opportunity with owner financing. Mechanically the bus has been totally overhauled plus new tires. All the really annoying and expensive stuff is already done, I just have to do the conversions, living space and veggie. Here is the info from the ad:
"Fantastic 1993 international, dog nosed, 35' gutted school bus ready to be converted. PRICE 6000 USD. The engine is detroit diesel 360. The Allison transmission has recently been rebuilt. It has brand new tires, brand new brake system, has been completely checked and overhauled by qualified mechanic last fall. For personal reasons we have to sell. Price negotiable. Quick sale preferred. The bus has had 5000 USD worth of parts and labor done to it. We have receipts to prove. With the purchase price and works we are taking a loss, but we prefer the bus to go to someone with the same intentions as us."

WTF is a Detroit 360? Why can't I even find general info on it? I think he's mixing up some details? I know not everyone is familiar with what they have. He hired a mechanic so I know he's not an engine expert.

I'm totally welcome to all opinions here. On any part of this, not just the veg conversion aspect. It's a few states away so I need as much information as possible before considering looking at it or purchasing. If its going to be a b*tch to convert the engine or if there's some known issues with it, I'm not going to bother because that's one of the most important aspects for me.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:01 AM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 554
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?

I do not have direct experience with vegetable/cooking oil used as a fuel source in a road going application. All information is second hand.

Not as much lubricity as diesel. Not as fluid as diesel in cooler temperatures. Not as clean as diesels. more equipment is needed to process. more equipment is need to run.

I keep seeing over and over, reports of problematic running on waste cooking oils. I do not see reports of successful long term running. I am perhaps seeing what I am looking for.

You have to do more research on good out comes, and bad out comes of running on waste oils.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:31 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,589
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
The only advice I can offer is: use it in an engine that you can afford to replace.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:40 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 1,410
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Maybe you should try to get experience with veggie in a a $500 Vw or Mercedes. Experience comes with bad decisions. Exposing an expensive vehicle that is financed by someone else seems to be a sure shot to disaster.

Good luck. J
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:33 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Foot of the siskiyou mountains Oregon.
Posts: 83
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas / international
Chassis: International
Engine: Dt 360/ spicer 5 speed
Rated Cap: 42
That's the international dt360 your referring to, not a Detroit diesel. The "dt" is confusing for some I guess. I have the same engine and am working on my conversation aswell. This is an engine that will run on wvo. All the above comments are relevant as wvo is definitely a labor of love. Also, you or someone on the bus in gonna need to know the system inside and out as this is not a trouble free "plug and play" way to travel. That being said, international Dt360/466 and the Cummins(12valve) 5.9/8.3 mechanically injected engines are gonna be what your looking for. There are others too, but these are your best bet and fairly common in skoolies. Worst, other than just crappy/underpowered engines like the early GM's and the idi, would probly be 24v Cummins engines and pretty much any newer diesel due to completely of design and added emissions equipment. those mid80's-mid90's mechanically injected inline6 turbodiesels were really a sweet spot in the diesel world. Best of luck.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:57 AM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 864
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
The 5.9 does do well on veggie, and have done many miles on it on multiple vehicles. Clean, hot oil is the key. I filtered to one micron.

I stopped doing because I was tired of the mess to filter and process it, and the time it took. However nearly ten years and over a 100,000 miles in one of the vehicles, it did work well. My Dodge truck now has almost 400,000 miles on it and about 100,000 was on veggie. Still runs good. body is rusted out though...
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:05 PM   #7
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 140
In reading about the cat 3126's alternate fuel use, I found that anything with a Heui system(DT360/466/530) would probably work. The Cummins 8.3(pre ISC) has an inline fuel pump which also works well with the higher viscosity fuel. Like the others have said, it is a gamble and a mechanical engine is your best bet. I am not sure if I would go through with it if I ever get something to convert, but I like that it's a possibility. Another worry is incomplete combustion at the injector which could lead to coking and cause major problems. I am not sure if timing changes, 2 tanks, and heating the fuel before injection would resolve these issues completely.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:12 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 140
I've seen a good bit of advice that sources for used oil have dried up due to companies leasing the oil. Some of this advice is years old so the situation might have changed. I wanted to secure a few possible sources before looking into it more and I suggest it to others.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:03 PM   #9
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Location: West Ohio
Posts: 1,102
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
The best engines for straight wvo/wmo are the mechanical engines with inline injection pumps. Rotary injection pumps will work, but the thicker fuel wears them out faster. I think you about have to have a 2 tank system to run straight with it, otherwise things get gummy when you turn it off.

I would think your heui engines and your common rail engines wouldn't be good because they're high pressure and sensitive to fuel viscosity.

As said before, filter it better then you think it needs to be filtered, and keep it hot and you'll be trouble free.

A lot of people will cut the wvo with diesel and have had success doing that.

As far as your non-profit funding goes, good luck. If that worked out easily we all would do it that way to fund our projects.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:38 PM   #10
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 140
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
I would think your heui engines and your common rail engines wouldn't be good because they're high pressure and sensitive to fuel viscosity.
Common rails definitely hate alternate fuels from what I've seen. Is the viscosity issue only important during fuel pressurization? The common rails use rotary pumps and are prone to failure because the pump is doing all the work. Wouldn't the heui system handle this issue better? It uses low pressure oil to actuate a steel piston which then pressurizes the fuel to much higher levels. That is only one problem that people run into though. At the injector, if the fuel is not heated, people experience coking problems. I believe heating the fuel lowers the risk at that stage. Advancing the engine timing through an ECU tune may help or eliminate the problem, but I am not sure. I'd only ever think about using wvo with a two tank system, as was suggested. Thoughts?
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