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