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Old 11-26-2005, 11:48 PM   #21
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When the time comes I will try a water cooled condenser coil and see how hot it will heat the oil. If that all fails I will have to have a smaller tank that is heated. The idea of 300 gallons of hot oil being splashed on somebody in an accident scares poop out of me. I just don't want to have to pump oil from the large tank to a smaller tank to be heated. I want to go wiht the KISS method.
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:14 PM   #22
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Slow Progress

I haven't been able to devote much time to working on this project lately, mostly because of school and work. I have one last exam tomorrow, and then I will have a month off to work on the bus before next semester starts. (Except, I'm going to Buffalo, NY, this weekend for a Mock Trial tournament with my school's Mock Trial team.)

Anyway...what I have been able to do...

Bought diesel tank, pulled it from old truck, painted it and mounts. $50 for tank and $8 for paint.

Bought Pollak 6-port electronic fuel selector valve. $72 (including shipping).

Bought electronic fuel pump from NAPA. 32 GPH. 1.5 - 4.0 PSI. $32.

Bought new left turn signal from NAPA $42.00 (not WVO related, but I needed one since a pecan limb fell on the bus back in May and knocked the old one off, crushing it).

Bought water heater element for tank. 1500W 120VAC. $8.

Bought thermostat for heater element. $20.

Bought mounting kit for heater element. This is a steel plate that is threaded for the element. It is designed to be a universal mount for water heaters, but I am going to have it welded onto the diesel tank as a permanent mount for the heater element.

I think I still have some Romex wire that I can use to hook up the water heater, but on second thought, I might just buy some of that black extension cord wire, the heavy stuff that people recommend for wiring busses.

What I need to do now with what I have:

Get tank welded.

Install heater element in tank.

Install thermostat on tank.

Mount tank.

Run wires for heater element/thermostat.

Mount pump.

Mount fuel selector. (Location TBD)

Wire fuel selector and mount switch(es) on dash. I may not use the stock switch (DPDT toggle) and use separate switches that will give me greater control over the timing of the switching of the return line.


What I still need to get:

On/Off switch for 120VAC heater. I'm going to mount this on the dash. I'll be using a 120VAC toggle switch for this so it will "fit in" with the rest of the switches on the dash. Estimate: $5.

Stuff to build a heat exchanger for under the hood. May use SS tubing and have one custom welded. Estimate: $5,000,000,000

Stuff to build a heat exchanger for inside the diesel tank. Plan to use 3/8" SS brake line instead of copper. Just too concerned about corrosion of the copper by the WVO. Estimate: $35 for 10' of brake line. $35 for fittings.

Heater hose for various heat exchangers. Will use some synthetic that is resistant to WVO corrosion, not rubber heater hose. Estimate: $50.

Fuel filters for WVO. Going to use 2 household water filters in line: 15 micron and 5 micron. Estimate: $50 for filter housings, filters, and fittings.

12V marine bilge pump with SS pump head for collecting WVO. Estimate: $40 (from Harbor Freight...)

Scavenge tanks of some kind for collecting WVO.

Make a heating tank to heat the WVO and run it through a 30 micron filter prior to putting it into the bus's tank.

Gotta go study espanol for my exam tomorrow!
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Old 12-14-2005, 05:32 PM   #23
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Well, not much progress to date.

Okay, I've made my mind up what I'm going to try. Initially, I was going to run a copper line into the fuel tank as a heat exchanger. Instead, I'm going to use a 4' flexible stainless steel hot water heater hook-up line. With my tank, that will be long enough (when doubled back on itself) to reach down from the top of the tank and run out in an L shape along the bottom of the tank near the fuel pickup line for about 9 inches. That should liquify things enough to get it pumped to the forward heat exchanger, which I have yet to design... For a forward heat exchanger, I'm thinking of wrapping copper tubing around another length of flexible SS hook-up line. I don't forsee any corrosion problems pushing coolant through a copper line, and I don't forsee corrosion problems pushing WVO through an SS line. I just don't like the idea of having the two lines capable of contaminating one another if corrosion occurs. By wrapping the tubing around the steel, and soldering it in place, I hope to avoid problems.

Great...now I'm worried about bi-metallic corrosion. Sheesh... Oh, well, at least the lines won't leak into each other.

Home Depot has high pressure hose that is highly oil/chemical resistant, so that's what I'm going to use for WVO fuel supply/return lines.

Found some SPST toggle switches at Radioshack that will control the 120V hot water heater element.

Stopped and ate dinner at a Chinese restaurant last night just so that I could have a chance to inquire about their used oil. Apparently they use something that is solid at room temp. No thanks!

Trying to figure out where I'm going to put switches on the dash/control panel. I'm going to separately control the fuel selector with 2 switches instead of using the DPDT switch that it came with. Beside each switch I'm going to mount indicator lights -- green for WVO and amber (or blue) for diesel.

Then I'm going to label the switches "Phasers", "Photon Torpedos", "Tractor Beam" and "Anti-Matter Dump"
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Old 12-14-2005, 07:12 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric von Kleist
I'm going to separately control the fuel selector with 2 switches instead of using the DPDT switch that it came with.
i think you mentioned you have the 6 port pollock valve and want to control the fuel and return line circuits independant of each other. Even with two separate switches, you cannot control the fuel line and return line indepently. Both fuel and return are either open or closed depending on the positon of the valve. The reason for the crazy switch that comes with the valve is that the two wires that control the valve require the polarity to be reversed for the valve to open or close.

the other item of concern is the bilge pump to move oil....I tried this with a 700 gph bilge pump and it would not pump the oil. It moves water as fast as a garden hose, but refused to pump oil. My bilge pump was plastic, perhaps the stainless one you have will work better.

I use a 110 volt submersable sump pump. It easily runs off of a 700 watt inverter. I bought the pump from home depot for under $100
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:54 AM   #25
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That stuff at the Chinese restraunt is probably partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Not any good for fuel or any good to eat.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:39 PM   #26
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I figured that the restaurant was using a part. hyd. shortening. Years ago we used one called Fry-max at Wendy's. I haven't bought the stop yet. I wanted a 12VDC pump, and may settle for the inverter. That's added expense immediately, but less $ than buying a stop that won't work! I'm going to fool with the valve and see if I can make it work my way. I see what you are saying, but the pump appears to have two separate valves. Via cell - sorry if it sounds terse. Thanks a bunch for the suggestions!
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Old 12-22-2005, 09:22 PM   #27
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Limited computer access compounded by local ice storm power outages....

Lapeer, right after I posted that about the Pollak valve, I got it out and looked at it for the first time since I received it. Of course, it was instantly obvious that you were right about the switching.. It has two valves, but one solenoid. So, I guess I'm stuck with having some WVO in my diesel tank -- unless I put a loopback system on the engine, but I don't want to do that. Oh well, I can just buy a bunch of switches and put them in the control panel with silly labels without hooking them up to anything but indicator lights.

I got the tank cut and welded for $100. Ouch. I'll post pictures soon.

There is a 4.25" x 1.25" slot for the heat exchanger to enter, and a plate with fittings to which the heat exchanger will attach. I drilled holes around the slot and tapped them for machine screws that will hold the plate and fittings to the tank.

(Still trying to get all the metal shavings out of the tank with a magnet on a coathanger.)

The adapter plate is welded in the end of the tank near the bottom, and the water heater element fits in it nicely.

Next I have to assemble the heat exchanger/plate and pressure test it. Then I have to mount it in the tank and then put the tank in its mounts. THEN I have to hold it in position on the frame and see where the mounts need to be located. THEN I have to bolt the tank to the frame while in the mounts, because there is no room to put the mounts on and then add the tank.

I need to get an electronic automotive temperature gauge for the tank. I was going to use a hot water heater thermostat, but that's too much wiring to be hanging on the underside of a bus. I will just use a temp gauge, and turn the water heater element on/off with a switch.

Then my bus will have a tank that is not hooked up to anything. But I will know how hot it is.

I got two home water filter units for filtration, and will mount them in series. One will have a 30-15 micron filter, and the other a 15-5 micron filter. Somewhere I'll add a water filter, too.

Still have to come up with a final (180 degree) heat exchanger. Thinking about running a copper coil above the exhaust header somehow. Not sure about that one, yet.

Then I have to run fuel supply/return lines.

Then I have to run water heater lines for the in-tank heat exchanger.

Hmmm.... what have I left out.

I was supposed to move to the park this weekend, but that's not going to happen until I get this conversion done. Maybe a week????

I made an Xcell spread sheet of how many miles of free fuel I would have to burn before this conversion would pay for itself with diesel at different prices. The spread sheet updates itself each time I add another expense. I'm going to have to drive a lot more miles than I thought....
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:33 PM   #28
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Here are some pics of the tank modifications: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/album52?page=1
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:52 PM   #29
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Woot! The tank is D-O-N-E!!

Here's the heat exchanger assembly that is mounted to it:



Here's the finished mounting:



Ain't it purty?!?!

Of course, once it's under the bus, no one will ever see it again....but we'll know it's pretty...

It took me 3 hours yesterday to drill 8 1/2" holes in the frame for the mounting bolts for the tank mounts. Jeez, Louise! That frame is 1/2" thick!

Tomorrow I have to measure for the fuel lines and radiator hose lines. I'm reckoning on just about 40' of each. It's 12 feet from the firewall to the middle of the tank, and I have a return and supply line for both the coolant and the fuel.

Lessee....40' x 2 x $1.++/foot....there goes ANOTHER hundred dollars... I'll have to drive another 240 miles on WVO to reach that elusive breakeven point....
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Old 12-30-2005, 03:03 PM   #30
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Okay. I'm going to mount the tank today. My day off, and I oversleep by 3 hours...sheesh! It looks like I'll need 21 feet of hose for each line, so I'm going to buy 25 feet (x 4 lines). I don't forsee any problem tying in to the radiator lines that go to the driver's heater. They have some standard fittings and gate valves that will be easy to deal with. The fuel line has me a little more concerned. I think I'm going to tie it in to the line that comes from the (diesel) fuel filters to the injection rail. My concern is that the pressure in this line will be too great for my WVO line and the electric valve that I got to control the tank selection. The valve is rated for 65 PSI, but I have no idea what kind of pressure is in the diesel line going to the injector rail.

Any suggestions?

Gotta go drop another chunk of change...
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