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Old 03-03-2015, 06:04 AM   #11
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I worked at a mom and pop burger joint when I was in high school. Even back then a company was buying ALL the wvo in the area. I'd imagine its even harder to get now.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:24 AM   #12
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Yea-its gotten next to impossible to find free oil anymore. Same deal here in Ct. A big bio-d company came in + aggresivly scooped up every drop by promising the world. Now that diesel and fuel oil has come down, I'm sure they aren't making the same money. So they may not be so into picking up and paying what they promised.
But then again, with diesel being cheaper, it also makes tipping point of the cost of conversion farther from worth it.
It works for me-I have a steady locked in source and a 2 years supply stashed-and all my trips are a tankfull out + back-but the days of traveling the country and expecting everyone happy to give you free oil are 10 years past.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:30 AM   #13
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At LEAST ten years.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:00 PM   #14
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Wow.
I'm really surprised at the negative outlook on running WVO with a school bus.
My wife and I are full time touring musicians. We have been running WVO in our DT360 for almost 5 years now. We drive roughly 1000 miles/week, running over 95% veggie oil. We've had really no problems with the WVO and saved over $30,000... Call me a fool, but I rekon I would be foolish to not be running on veggie oil.

Almost converting a bus to run on veggie oil is not quite running on veggie oil. I couldn't find anyone on this thread who actually did it and could give an honest opinion about it.

First off, It's a real simple process. We have two 55 gallon barrels in the back of our bus. One has three 10 micron filter bags on top. We pump out WVO using a 12volt pump. (Which has a screen on the end of the hose preventing french fries and chicken mcnuggets from even entering the collection). Then we dump the grease through our filter bags and pump it into our other 55 gallon tank.

This other tank is the tank that sends the veggie oil to the engine. It is a steel drum with a hotfox heater. This is more or less a steel tube that goes down into the tank that not only sucks the fuel out, but also has engine coolant going through it to heat up the tank.

The basic concept is this, you start your bus on diesel and then once it gets to normal operating temperature you know the WVO in your tank is hot, you simply hit a switch you install yourself (while you're driving) and then you immediately start running on WVO. You can drive around on veggie all day but before you stop for the night, say 4 or 5 miles before you reach your destination (sometimes longer depending on the temp outside) you switch it back to diesel so that the veggie gets flushed out of your lines and injectors so when you do a cold start the next day, diesel is all in the lines, and boom you start right up and start the process all over again. Simple as that.

I've only been doing it for 5 years and I have yet to have any problems with injectors, clogging or slow performance...

Regarding the cost of filters. The filters I use on the 55 gallon tank are less that $10. If you get crap crease than these filters will go quickly. If you're snobby about it and only collect the good grease (from the top of the barrel) then they can last for months. I think we filter somewhere between 500-1000 gallons of veggie oil per filter. The next cost is the filters that (look like diesel filters) again depending on the grease you get, you should be able to easily get 1000 miles out of one of these filters. They cost about $8. Not too bad..

I think the whole bus conversion cost me about $3000. Half of which was labor, which I was able to be part of. So, I know how to do this myself. I am converting a DT466 the first week of April, so I will gladly post on here how it's going.

Just in case you are wondering, we always ask for the veggie oil. I don't bother going to McDonalds or any other fast food joint (except Dairy Queen) they, for some reason have amazing grease! Before we go and ask, we go behind the building and look in it and see if it's good grease (no point asking if it's going to clog your filters). Once we feel it's good we go around and ask.

We simply say, "Hello, my name is Brian, my wife Katie and I are full time touring artists and we have a bus that runs on waste veggie oil. Do you ind if we collect some grease from your waste container in the back? "We also say "We have our own pumps and buckets and don't make a mess."Most of the time we're told sure. Sometimes we're told no, but we've been running over 95% veggie oil for 5 years, so we get told yes a lot more times than no.

Once we collect, we have a log book of all the places we collected. We put the date, restaurant, city/state, who we asked, how much we collected and what the cost of diesel is. (Therefor we know how much we're saving). If diesel if $4/gallon and we just collected 100 gallons we just saved $400. Simple.

I've heard many people say that running on veggie oil is a terrible idea and it doesn't work... blah blah blah. These are usually people who haven't done it. Sure, it doesn't make sense for some people. Sure, if you are in a place like NYC, Portland, Denver, or any other big city (or the northeast in general) it might be more difficult to get. But we have our best luck in smaller towns. Florida, Georgia, and the Carolina's are huge for us. We collect heaps of grease down there. Places like the Oregon coast, we were there just last year and had no trouble. Don't waste your time with big restaurant chains. (Except Dairy Queen). Small mom and pop places are super cool and indian, thai and mexican places are super keen too.

The most difficult places we've found to collect would be (the big cities) and Arizona. For some reason AZ has WVO on lockdown. Boise, ID is tough too.

I hope this encourages those of you who are wanting to run WVO. The time is now to convert. Because we won't be able to do it forever (all mechanical engines are becoming more and more obsolete).

Here is a short video I made about collecting WVO in our bus.


I have other info and videos on my website: Brian Ernst Music - Home

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Brian
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Old 03-13-2015, 05:14 AM   #15
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Brian,

Nice to hear, and I'm glad you're doing so good on WVO. It make me want to give it another shot. After the travesty I dealt with 10 years ago trying to get it I pretty much gave up on even pursuing the endeavor at all. And as I live in the area you said was the best for getting WVO maybe the big collection/conversion businesses have stopped using the small mom and pop shops. Thanks for posting, I'm looking forward to putting this back on my to-do list!I have one of the last DT466 engines that were made all mechanical, just in case I ever decided to go back this route.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:18 AM   #16
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Thx for posting brianernstmusic.

More folks with REAL experience need to post here. It's great to read real life experiences.

Here in and around Edmonton Alberta Canada there is still plenty of waste oil to be collected. Veggie, engine, trans, and hydraulic oils.

I'm stock piling fuel and energy of every source I can. I have two 1000 gal tanks of propane, twenty five 45 gallon drums of oil, a few tons of coal, ect.

All sources of energy will only increase in cost over time.

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Old 03-13-2015, 02:52 PM   #17
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Thanks guys. My experience is just one of thousands. It's been a great experience for me, but I can also understand how it could also be negative for others. For people like us, who travel a lot it works out pretty good. We're not in the same city, asking the same people over and over again. If that was the case then I would have to compete with these big bio-fuel companies. (Which honestly, I don't think it would be that hard) given they only pay these restaurants no more than 50 cents/gallon (but it's a lot closer to 10 or 15 cents/gallon).

We get back into the country in a few weeks and I start my conversion of a DT466. I'll probably make a new thread with pictures and videos and all that on how to do it. Keep a heads up, I would love everybody feedback (good and bad).

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Old 03-13-2015, 09:09 PM   #18
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I am so glad that someone out there is still doing the traveling thing sucessfully. I used to know a bunch. There used to be website-fillupforfree--it was sort of the underground railway of grease. I was a known stop-near a couple of major hiways 1/2 way between NY + Boston. I sold or gave away plenty. (Including a traveling musician with a Ford van with a 150 (!) gallon tank built in. He'd call in advance when he was touring the east coast+ I'd make him up a big batch.)
So I'm in my 10th year of greasing-the counter on the pump in my settling tank just turned 8000 gallons-I 've put 200k on veg in my VW Jetta+ 20k on my bus (which was bought SO I could grease it). The Jetta has a Greasecar kit (I'm buds with the owner) and the bus conversion I did from scratch. I hope I can be considered "experienced".
If you got 5 years on your set up, it obviously well works for you. Thats the most experience I've heard of on a DT motor. Do you have your tanks mounted in the front or back? How much room does your whole set up take? With a wild guess of 10? mpg--and a 1000 miles a week, means you have to collect 100 gallons a week-every week. How many resturants you have to go to a month to keep up? Do you eat at these places or just ask for oil? A tip ( that was true years ago-I hope so now)since it sounds like you a based down south--Chick-fil-a were known to be greaser friendly.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:29 PM   #19
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@sdwarf36: That is awesome brother. That is a ton of grease. Thanks for contributing and helping others make it happen. I ran my DT360 for three years and before that I had a Ford e350 (7.3 litre) cargo van that ran on WVO for two years. We still did the same amount of miles. (Sorry if that was confusing).

On the DT360 we got about 10mpg. Unless we were completely filled up with grease. We could hold up to 200 gallons (which is 1400lbs). We noticed our gas mileage went down closer to 7mpg when we were carrying that kind of weight.
We had two 55 gallon barrels, two 15 gallon containers (we used for collection) and another 10-20 cubies (which held about 3 gallons each). In total the back of our bus was eight feet by eight feet.

I made the stupid mistake of building my two 55 gallon tanks on the starboard side of the bus, as opposed to evenly distributing the weight between the the two sides.

When we convert our new DT466 next month I won't make the same mistake twice. At least that mistake.

We didn't usually eat at the places. Unless we were eyeballing a 100 or 200 gallon pickup. Or if it was an indian food restaurant (we can't resist indian food). We tried to go for the big pick ups. I don't have my veggie log in front of me so I can't tell you right now how many places a month we would go too, but we tried to only collect from a place if we could get at least 30 gallons.

We always tried to go for ones where we would collect 100 gallons or so, then we would be good for a week or so.

That fillupforfree website sounds sweet. It is tougher now-a-days with the competition getting so fierce. But, I believe running on WVO is a great thing and the time to do it is now, before all the mechanical engines become obsolete.

Take care. Talk to you soon,
Brian
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:06 AM   #20
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Let me know how your DT466 conversion goes.. i did mine a couple years ago and it ran flawlessly! Fully mechanical setup with manual 3 port valves and an aluminum 150 gallon tank off a semi under the bus. Got my oil to 180 easily, even in the dead of winter without using electric supplemental heat. Toured in it with my band and it was great. Pretty much.... Im curious what your diagram looks like. Mine was super flexible, and I could opt to purge my veg filters with diesel if I wanted or also run veg through my diesel filters in a pinch. Looped return. All the valves were mounted on my doghouse, right by my right leg. Simple, mechanical, and effective! My 466 was much quieter and smoother on veg.
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