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Old 02-01-2007, 08:03 PM   #1
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I'm interested in this too. I've done a lot of reading on the WVO and it looks like the two tank system with on board filtering is the way to go! Jason (Jacuzzi bus guy), has or had this on his bus. I'm thinking that you'd need to filter all of the sizeable chunks out of the stuff you're sucking from the restaurant. Nothing big enough to damage your pump. You'd want that tank to be heated for sure! Then, you'd have a pump to pump through some filters and then into your primary tank which should also be heated. Then, you'd need a pump to pump to your engine through one last heated filter. I'm planning on doing something like this. You'd want to have control over your pump on your dirty tank I'd think. You wouldn't need it to run all the time. From what I understand, it's better to have a pump "Push" than it is to have it pull the oil. I'm going to try to have three or four filters between my dirty tank and my clean tank. It's all kind of mind boggling!
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:17 AM   #2
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First and foremost you need to calculate out your consumption rate per hour.
In my bus it worked out to 8 gallons per hour running at full tilt boogie. That's a lot of filtering to do on the go. Sure....it doesn't sound like much, but by the time you figure in waiting on it to heat, changing filters, etc, it gets to be tough. Needless to say....my first attempt at onboard filtering failed pretty amazingly.
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:44 PM   #3
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What fluid are they rating the pumps with? Water or gasoline is going to pump a lot easier than the oil. Heating it will help it flow through the filter. I don't think you need to worry about the pump blowing out the filters. My little Wayne 12 volt transfer pump just sits and spins...I don't think it generates that much pressure because of how viscous the stuff is. I'd venture to say that it just heats up and eventually cavitates within a relatively small envelope of the oil that the impeller heats up. I guess I really don't know...but I do know that it doesn't blow out filters.
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Old 02-04-2007, 10:51 PM   #4
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pumps

The neighbor has a homemade pump setup for changing the oil in his boat, that is an engine oil pump, chrysler i think, hooked to a small 110v motor and adapted with hoses and fittings, this might be a cost effective way to get into a positive displacement gear type pump to feed wvo thru a series of filters. I think that I would start with a wire mesh type suction strainer for hydraulic oil in the dirty tank to protect the pump and then thru a series of finer filters and then into the clean tank. Northern hydraulics have the suction screens and Summit auto have a "Moroso" or "Parker Hanafin" oil filter setup that can be disassembled to clean or replace the filter screen, their are several different mesh size screens available, I would also use some type of water seperator, last but not least I would use the stock filter before the injection pump.
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Old 02-05-2007, 01:18 AM   #5
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I think a couple gallons per minute through the filters is an AWFULLY ambitious goal. If you do get it to work, let us all know cause that would be my dream. Heck...8 gallons per HOUR would be great for me.

I think the heat will be less damaging to the pump than trying to pump really viscous oil will be. On top of that, warm oil will draw far fewer amps to pump than cold oil, an important consideration when running a 12v pump.
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by the_experience03
Needless to say....my first attempt at onboard filtering failed pretty amazingly.

so did my first attempt...and the 2nd, and 3rd....ect. I kept working at it until i got something that was very fast and efficient yet still practicle.

You can build your own high speed on board filtering system, and a far superior wvo conversion kit far cheaper than you can buy a kit from greascar or one of the other manufacturers.

I don't really run veggie anymore...but back a few years ago when i had no money and wanted to drive the bus all the time, i burned about 1,000 gallons in one summer.

Here's what i did....

I used a 110 volt low amp draw submersable sump pump from home depot to transfer oil from restaurant grease dumpster to my "dirty" veggie tank. IT ran just fine off of my 750 watt inverter. It moved unbelievable amounts of oil....i would estimate more than 10 gallons per minute.



(I don't see the exact model i have on the hd website, but this one is similiar)

This pump came with a heavy duty screen built in that would keep out the big chunks. I would use bunjee cords to keep the intake about 4" or so below the surface of the oil. The pump makes almost no pressure and was pretty much usless when it came to filtering cold (about 50 degree) oil. After at least 1,000 gallons of oil i never had pump failure. As a matter of fact, i still use this pump.

Once the oil was moved from grease dumpster to my dirty oil tank via the sump pump heating would begin. The bus doesn't make much heat sitting still, so i'd usually drive back home, or go run errands. I use an alluminum heater core from some random vehicle at the scrap yard submersed in the oil. I would estimate this small alluminum radiator transfers heat 100 times better than a 10 foot coil of 1/2" copper tubing, and the heater core costs less. The disadvantage being that rubber coolant lines are required to connect to the plastic nipples of the heater core.

once the oil is heated to around 100 degrees or so i would pump the oil through a series of filters using a 12 volt pump from tractor supply.



it's self priming, can be run dry, and rated for liquid up to 160 degrees. Pump costs about $80 and needed to be replaced occasionally so i carry a spare. It's ok, becuase the cost of one pump is less than a single fillup on diesel fuel. The pump will force cold oil through a 20 micron filter at a rate of at least 1 gallon per minute. Hot oil flows at 2-3 gallons per minute. Cold oil requires a filter change about every 5-10 gallons due to flow being severely restricted. With hot oil i change filters at about 100 gallons even though oil is still flowing quickly.

as far as filters, i use whole house water filters.



I find the pleated 20 micron filters work best. There are many different micron ratings and materials available. They are available from home depot, any hardware, wal-mart ect.... I use the same filters for filtering water in the jacuzzi. I figure that if 20 micron filters will take burningman water that looks like it came from the mississippi and transform it into crystal clear looks good enough you could almost drink it water it's good enough for my engine. I think that filtering through 3 filters is a good idea. The next 2 filters catch particles that might escape the first one.

After the hot oil passes through the filters, it is transfered into the "clean" heated wvo tank. This tank in turn feeds the engine. Before going to the engine, i filter my wvo through an aux fuel filter...i spent the $$$ on the heated filter, but found that a non-heated filter works just fine. After the aux filter, i route my oil to the stock lifter pump where it is then passed through the stock fuel filter and off to the engine.

Here is another point at which my wvo system is different than most that you buy.....I route a return line back to the veggie tank using the fancy electric 6 port valve. First of all....the engine manufacturer designed the engine to run with a return line. 2nd, the return line eliminates air in the system all on it's own. If you run wvo, you will eventually run out of fuel or accidentally get air in the system one way or the other...especially during the install and R&D period. You will hate life if you have no return line and have any air in the fuel system. Two more excellent features of the return line is that the fuel returning to the tank is hotter than the fuel moving toward the engine. This helps keep the wvo hot. I don't know how speed affects fuel in the return line, but at idle i would estimate the engine returns 10 gallon of fuel for every gallon it burns. This means that the wvo is constantly being cycled through the fuel filters and return to the tank making for nicer cleaner particle free wvo. One down side it that it also plugs your stock fuel filters faster. I had a noticable drop in power about every 1,500 miles if i remember correctly.

I add an electric fuel pump to the diesel fuel line, and one for the veggie fuel line. This makes priming the system after a fuel shortage simple and is well worth the $30 it costs for each pump. If you run wvo, you will have fuel shortages. Priming the fuel system with only the stock primer on the side of the IP will make you think unpleasant thoughts.

make sure to use large ID fuel lines. I think that 1/2" ID is a good size. It makes the fuel flow easier and puts less stress on the lifter pump when returning fuel to the tank. Rubber fuel line is easy to run, but ultimately copper tubing is better i think. I have rubber in my current bus, but had copper in the first project. The HUGE advantage of copper is that when you get some veggie that coagulates at low temps and the fuel becomes solid in the line, you can quickly and easily heat up portions of the copper using a propane torch.

One more thing....I have my fuel lines touching the coolant lines most of the way from the tank to the engine.




here are some things i learned: perhaps i'll add to this list and move it to it's own thread....

owning and driving a bus is expensive, even with wvo

burning 100% veggie all the time is not practicle

a lot of work, effort, energy and desire is required to burn wvo even 75% of the time

a bus makes more power, drives faster, and climbs hills much better on diesel

veggie oil on a large scale is not practicle for winter use without a ton of hassle

Not all oil is created equal

finding oil on a long road trip is miserable!

wvo is messy, buy latex gloves

always keep oil dry/kitty litter and a shovel/broom handy
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:01 PM   #7
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After literally spending hours priming my diesel, I feel as though I am somewhat qualified to answer that part of things.

As I'm sure you know, air compresses and liquid does not. Also...while necessary for combustion, the purpose of the injector pump it to pump fuel, not air. Ok...basics covered.

The injector pump actually consists of two parts, one being a lift pump which gets the fuel from the tank to the injector pump and then the actual pressure side of the injector pump which controls the timing, fuel quantity, etc delivered to each cylinder. A fuel line will go from the tank through the factory filter/water separater, down to the lift pump, and into the injection side of things. Excess fuel from the injector side will be returned back to the tank.

Air can be in the return side without ill consequence, but the feed side must be free of air. The reasons are multifold. First of all, the lift pump is not self priming. It cannot suck fuel from the tank without first having fuel in it to create the vacuum. A whole lot of pumps in the world are like this (like well pumps). Second, you need to have fuel in the injector pump itself. Like we established before, you need something more than air and heat to make a boom. Since air compresses, it is difficult for the pump to get it all out through the injectors, even if the lift pump has fuel. It will eventually, but how much cranking do you want to do? Fuel also cools and lubricates the injector pump.

For this reason there is a small hand pump (and I do mean small) on the excess fuel return side of the injector pump. By pumping it, the fuel lines, lift pump, and injector pump are all primed such that it will start. Sounds easy enough, right? Well...no...it's not. I don't have a picture handy, but on my Ford, the pump is not in a comfortable place. The manual gives instructions for its use. In a best case scenario, the manual says you will have to pump it 90 times or so, crank the engine over with your foot on the floor, run it until it dies, and then pump it another 25-50 times to fully prime the system.

Now for my personal experience. After changing the fuel filters and prefilling them (you always should), I had a best case scenario. It took 90+40 or so pumps to get it running. It was dirty work and easily took 10 minutes and left my hand raw from rubbing on stuff.

When I ran my WVO lines and simply wanted to start the bus on diesel, I pumped probably over 1000 times. Without a check valve anywhere in the system, it would not take a prime. I'm sure it eventually would have, but I had been pumping for two hours straight. In a moment of brilliance we disconnected the WVO line and used the booster pump from it to prime the system from a 5 gallon can full of diesel. After it started, I slowly cracked the regular diesel line while leaving the valve from the 5 gallon can open as well. If it started to stall, I would quickly close the diesel feed line. After about 5 minutes of a grumpy diesel, it had fully primed itself from the tank and I was able to remove the gas can. This was a worst case scenario where the entire diesel fuel line had drained back. Two hours of manual pumping did nothing while 10-15 minutes with the electric pump fixed it right up.

With a WVO system, running out of fuel and air bubbles are inevitable. Heck...I think a lot of people just running the diesel systems have had had an experience or two running with air in the lines. While it's good to know how to resolve the problem manually, it's a whole lot easier doing it mechanically. Never before have I appreciated advice so much as when it occured to me that Jason had recommended using an electric pump for priming.
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:43 PM   #8
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The_Expierence....what an excellent post!



Quote:
While I am very impressed with the system that you've set up for yourself, I don't think that I'd be able to duplicate it in my situation. I'm goin with a shorter bus, main reason being the CDL, so anything with hydraulic brakes. .
the answer is not veggie related, but in most states having air brakes does not require a cdl. lots of big motorhomes have air brakes and require no special endorsement

as far as 2 tanks, you could always have 1 big tank for the dirty stuff, and a small tank for the clean stuff. The 2 wvo tank design is not the only way to do a veggie system, that's for sure. For on board filtering however, i was unable to find a better solution.


Quote:
In contradiction to this statement, if a 110 volt sump pump is a much more efficient and heavy duty pump to use, would I be able to use this same pump to run the oil through the filter series?
that thought has crossed my brain, but i've never tested it. I have tried and failed to filter cold oil using the sump pump, but never HOT oil. I would be willing to bet that it would pretty easily force hot oil through a series of filters and at a pretty high rate of speed.

i also think that 110 volt appliances like pumps tend to be much cheaper and perform better than 12 volt appliances.



Quote:
I was also looking at that line-in-line heat transfer system that you've rigged up. Do coolant leaks into the oil and vise-versa ever pose a threat?
i don't think that veggie can really get into the coolant as the coolant system is under pressure....the bigger question is can coolant get into the veggie oil? If there was a leak in the system it could certianly mix with the veggie oil which is bad....how bad? I don't really know. A little water mixed in will prob be either removed by the fuel filter/water separator, or go through the engine and out the exhaust unnoticed. Will water in fuel destroy an engine? I'm not a big diesel mechanic, but i would think that water in fuel would tend to cause a motor to stop running due to lack of fuel but i don't think that serious engine damage would occurr. Diesel fuel somehow attracts water, which is why diesels have water separators and gassers do not. If you had a leak that caused you to loose 1 or 2 gallons of coolant into a 55 gallon tank of wvo would it damage the eninge? Someone else more qualified will have to answer that. If you loose 1 or 2 gallons of coolant from the system you will almost certianly notice a change in the temperature guage on the dash in a hurry prompting you that something is not right.....One more thing...Since the veggie oil is going to be well over 100 degrees, would small amounts of water tend to evaporate at an accelerated pace and escape out the vent hole in the tank??
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:52 PM   #9
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I want to add that you can find full size buses with hydraulic brakes also you are really concerned about not having air brakes.
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:05 PM   #10
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Water in the fuel can cause the injector tips to explode, H2O liquid to vapor is something like a thousand to one expansion ratio, the first problem is that the injector is destroyed, the rest of the problem is what damage can the injector parts do to the rest of the engine? piston, liner, valves,head, turbo. A good water seperator is a must, the factory filter/seperator should fill with water and clog/stop contaminated fuel from getting to the IP and injectors, however, the cost of a good aftermarket filter/seperator compared to major engine parts and work plus the ease of servicing the filters it is pretty much a no brainer, to install an extra seperator assembly.
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