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Old 04-18-2004, 11:50 AM   #1
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A Biodiesel kit that works

http://ww2.green-trust.org:8383/2000/bi ... efault.htm

These guys are using a skoolie to run with vegetable oil..and it's a working, practical model.
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Old 04-18-2004, 11:49 PM   #2
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Let me preface this by saying I know almost nothing about injector pumps and diesel engines !

I've thought it through, and this week if all goes well, i plan to have the bus running on vegetable oil. I plan to first use a crude system to prove to myself that it's feasable before i do a complete install.

In looking at the diagram for the system sold above i have one major concern. The return line from the pump to the tank makes a "T" and is connected back to the supply line. If this works so well, how come the manufacturer created the return line? There has to be a good reason or when the bus was built, they would not have installed the 10 feet of tubing that makes up the return line. I'm concerned this could damage the injector pump.

The rest of the system looks simple enough. I'll do my research and development using SVO initially. IF all goes well, i'll begin the process of finding waste vegetable oil and leaving behind the smell of french fries everywhere i go.

I've found conflicting reports on the net as to how damaging vegetable oil can be. I've talked to a few mechanics, and they all seem to think that vegetable oil should be better for a diesel engine than diesel fuel.
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Old 04-19-2004, 12:19 AM   #3
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What ever happened to Ron Morrsion? He was running his but on veggy oil. He used to be a member of the yahoo group until arky kicked him off for saying a diesel bus is better. He has been running all over the country on veggy oli. I would talk to him about his experiences if anybody can find him.
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Old 04-19-2004, 01:08 AM   #4
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I have his email, I'll send him a message inviting him to share his knowledge
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Old 04-20-2004, 05:47 PM   #5
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photos soon to come!

Today i got my bus running on straight vegetable oil. I'm in the research and development state right now, but it was incredible to hear her run on something other than diesel fuel.

I'll keep plugging away at it till a get a system that works well.

My intent is to use filtered waste vegetable oil.
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:29 PM   #6
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Today i heard something for the first time ever. One of those sounds that breaks the cardinal law of diesel ownership. I heard my diesel engine run out of fuel. UGGGGGGGGG. The positive thing is that I learned how to bleed injectors!!

I worked a solid 12 hours on the project today. I don't have a complete system yet. Here is what i have so far: I have 2 separate fuel circuits, each can be turned on/off with its respective 1/4 turn valve. One circuit is the original diesel fuel tank, the second is the line i'm using for the vegetable oil.

I haven't connected the oil reservoir system into the coolant system yet. To heat the oil I've very appropriately been using a handy kitchen appliance "The Fry Daddy" deep fat fryer to heat my oil. Obviously this is just temporary. I've just been running the engine while the bus is stationary. It's a very crude setup so far.

After using all of my available SVO, i decided rather than buying more, i'd venture off to one of the local restaurants to see about getting some WVO. They were just getting ready to empty the fryers when i walked in, perfect timing! They offered me 100 gallons or so they had out back, but i just took 5 gallons for the time being. I filtered it with a 12volt pump and a hydrolic oil filter. It still looked pretty dark after i filtered it several times, but it seemed to run great in the Ford 6.6 Liter diesel.

How exciting. Free fuel !

Tomorrow i'd like to mount the wvo tank and run all the coolant lines ect. I can't wait to take it for a drive utilizing my WVO.
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Old 04-20-2004, 07:57 PM   #7
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Your making the conversion process sound easy
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:36 PM   #8
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it is easy ! How come more people don't do this?? In the past three days i quadroupled the knowlege i have about a diesel engine. I still know nothing!

The majority of the project is done using flexible copper tubing and small 1/4" pipe fittings/valves. So far i've spent approx $40.00
Nearly every part I used for the conversion is readily availabe at home depot. I plan to use a plastic 35 gallon drum for the wvo tank. The junk yard should be able to provide the inexpensive heater core i need to heat the oil. Wal-mart sells the engine temp gage that will tell me when it's time to switch over from diesel to vegie oil.

When filtering the oil prior to putting it in the tank, I first tried to poor the liquid through a large heavy duty coffee filter. Do you have any idea how long it takes veggie oil to flow through a cofee filter?? I decided i was far to imatient for that! Next I tried to use a cheap 12 volt bilge pump to move the oil through a hydrolic oil filter, but it didn't have the pressure. Luckily i have a 12 volt 40 psi pump laying around. I simply connected the pump to a garden hose then found a pipe to screw into the center of a hydrolic oil filter. The garden hose was then attached to the filter with a hose clamp. The pump is made for water, but since it was free, i'll see how long it lasts pumping oil. Lots of lubrication !

I only went to one restaurant to find the waste oil. It's amazing how easy it is to find WVO.

How exciting ! A huge smile has been on my face all day.
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Old 04-20-2004, 11:31 PM   #9
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I am really glad to hear how well it worked, that is great news. When I get a bus I want to try to run it on WVO. A lot of people say it is better than diesel fuel, of course the price is the best part. I really want an old diesel car or truck to run on veggy oil. The price of fuel is killing me as it is with a little pickup. I hate to think what it would cost with a bus. Keep us posted on how it goes. I wish I lived near by I would love to help out and learn something.
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:44 AM   #10
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Has anybody tried using the commercially available biodiesel - usually soy oil that has been worked over to run as diesel?

Here's a map of the US showing the locations of commercially available biodiesel.

http://www.biodiesel.org/buyingbiodiese ... fault.shtm

When I get my bus (or bookmobile) I hope to run on biodiesel - although WVO sounds awfully good - you can't beat free!

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Old 04-22-2004, 08:57 AM   #11
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Update: 4-22-04

Back at my real job today. I work two 24 hour shifts per week.

Yesterday i spent another full day working on the conversion. I got the tank mounted, coolant lines run to the tank, wvo line ran from tank to filter to pump. Spent big money and purchased a $100 diesel fuel filter/heater. I also filtered another 5 gallons of WVO.

Not everything went well however. I spent a very frustrating half-day trying to find an air leak in the main fuel system line. I installed several valves, "t"'s elbows ect and one of the connections were obviously leaking air. I was just about ready to go insane when i finally found and fixed the problem.

It was midnite when i fianlly finished for the day. I had to leave for work at 5 am. uggggg!

What's left? Tomorrows agenda includes driving around to heat up the veggie oil, then prime the wvo line. After that, She should be ready to run on wvo. I still have to run a return line from the pump to the wvo tank.

Total price so far?? Approximately $200. half of that was just for the heated diesel fuel filter. I hate to spend money, but i think it's well worth the investiment.

I have several photo's on my camera i need to upload. I'll do that when i finish the project.

I'd like to come up with a better plan to transfer the used wvo from the container at the restaurant to the bus. Preferably filtering it first, and transfering it directly into the WVO tank.
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:27 PM   #12
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Maybe you can get a self priming 12V pump that will suck the oil out of the restraunt tanks. Then before it goes into your fuel tank it could run through an automotive oil filter. Even if you have to use 1 filter per filling it is still much cheaper than diesel. You will have to be careful though because if there is any water in the oil tank you could mess up your injectors.
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Old 04-23-2004, 08:30 PM   #13
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my fancy 100 dollar fuel filter is also a water seperator. How efficient are these at removing water? I"m not sure. Before going to the injector pump, the veggie juice also runs through the stock water seperator fuel filter.
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Old 04-23-2004, 08:46 PM   #14
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Update Friday April 23:

After a significant amount of trouble and several failed attempts trying to prime the veggie line, i decided to install a 12v pump to feed wvo to the injector pump.

I drove around to heat everything up, primed the veggie line, switched over to wvo, and let her run in the driveway for a few minutes to make certian she wasn't going to die immediately. Then i took her for a test drive. Everything seemed to be normal on wvo. She ran just fine for a couple miles. Even powered up a steep hill with 3 thousand pounds of water on board. After a couple miles, the engine coughed, then died. I pulled off the roadway, switched over to diesel, and she fired right up.

Diagnosis: My 12v pump stopped pumping. I think the problem is the vaccuum line feeding the pump. All the fuel lines are copper, except the fuel pickup tube, which is made of rubber. My theory is that as the veggie oil got above 150 degrees or so, the rubber pickup tube got so pliable that it pinched itself off not allowing wvo to flow.

Tomorrow I'll install a copper pickup tube and hopefully this will fix the problem.

When i find more money to spend, i'd like to remove the manual quarter turn valves, and install electric solenoid valves instead.

I altered the original design of the system. I had bad luck getting her to run with the return line plumbed directly into the inlet. Instead I added 2 more valves, and ran a return line to my wvo tank. The return fuel is either returned to the wvo tank, or the diesel tank, depending which valve is turned on. this allows the system to work like the manufacturer intended when the engine was built.
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Old 04-24-2004, 08:27 PM   #15
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update sat april 24:

I upgraded the fuel pickup tube first thing this morning.

After filtering about 5 gallons of goo and pooring it into the tank, i took off for a test run. I drove about 10 miles or so then switched from diesel to wvo. The engine never missed a beat ! There is no noticable difference between driving with veggie oil and diesel, except the smell. I drove for about 40 miles total on wvo today. Stopping, starting, running full out, and idling were all part of the testing i did today. I even shut the engine off and restarted. The engine performed wonderfully.

Cleaning used veggie oil is miserable ! The filtering method is getting better though. I can heat, strain, and filter about 10 gallons an hour. That's about $17.00 worth of diesel fuel. If i keep working at improving the filtering design, i'm sure i can significantly improve the amount of time it takes to filter.

I talked to a couple more mechanics today, they couldn't think of any reason the bus wouldn't be happy running on veggie oil.
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Old 04-25-2004, 04:54 PM   #16
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Drove another 50 miles or so on veggie oil today. No problems to report.

Great news about filtering. I spent the afternoon driving from place to place scoping out waste veggie oil dumpsters. Sounds like a lovely thing to do on a sunday, don't you think? I found several dumpsters with very clean, very liquidy wvo. This stuff is so easy to filter! When i'm finished, it looks almost as good as SVO. Now i think i'll start picking up my new fuel in 55 gallon drums.
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Old 04-25-2004, 09:51 PM   #17
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SHHHHHH!!!!!

SHHHHHHH!!!! Everybody will be going after that WVO before I even get a chance to buy a bus!

Seriously. though, go back and read through some more of the literature on bio-diesel. There is a potential problem associated with WVO of which you may not be aware. Or you may be. I say "potential", in that I'm not really sure that it is necessarily as bad a problem as it sounds in some of the literature. Perhaps it's just bio-diesel vs. WVO advocate snobbery.

One thing that I have read is that the iodine content of the vegetable oil is directly related to the "gumminess" of the oil. You might want to check out the kind of oil that these places are using. All vegetable oils are not created equal with regard to their chemical make-up. Look at the bio-diesel sites and at the byproducts of the "cracking" process. Glycerine and FFAs (Free Fatty Acids). If the WVO is not cracked, it retains these compounds and they are burned in your engine, where they gum up the crankcase and the cylinders when they are burned and blown under pressure into the block. Glycerine has a temperature of vaporization of something like 500 degrees F, so if it were to blow-by the rings and into the block I can see how it could, over time, condense in the block. Maybe running a can or two of engine-solvent through the engine at oil change time would prevent that from becoming a problem. I wanted to make sure you had heard about that issue, but I'm not trying to be a WVO naysayer, 'cause I'm planning to use it myself one day. Right now I'm trying to figure out what kind of small diesel auto engine I could retrofit into an old Jeepster Commando. If WVO will run a skoolie, there's no reason it wouldn't run something to be used as daily transportation!

As far as filtering the oil, I noticed that on the schoolbusconversionnuts site there is a diagram of a "motor oil recycler", that heats and pumps (?) or percolates (?) used motor oil through toilet paper tubes housed inside upright concentric PVC tubes. It's not clear to me how, exactly, it works. Maybe that would work for filtering WVO? I copied the bitmap for it and will either e-mail it to you or try to post it here if I can figure that out. I'm trying to figure out a way to do it with solar power.

Shoot, if you could fill a 20 gallon drum with nasty WVO and set the filter running to cycle a few times while you were at work, you might be able to come home to nice clean WVO at the end of the day without having to spend any time on it beyond filling the drum and putting the final product into your tank.

Keep us posted, and good luck!
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Old 04-25-2004, 10:26 PM   #18
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To me it seems that running a system like this is more practical in a large truck, like a bus. You need two gas tanks, pumps, heater, etc. That's a lot to fit into some cars without losing space that you wish you had.

Anyways, it would make a lot of sense now to buy a bus that is extra long for what you were looking for so that you could put a small room in the back or side with a self contained WVO refinery

BTW, is there a lot of waste that gets filtered out, what do you do with it?
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Old 04-26-2004, 10:48 AM   #19
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Since i've been working on a small scale, i've been pooring the veggie oil by hand from the dumpster to my 5 gallon buckets. The last couple trips i made, i brought a screen with me that fit's over the bucket. I toss the waste back into the grease dumpster.

The first couple batches i made, i did the coarse filtering at home, leaving me with some waste. I just sealed it in a container, and put it in a garbage dumpster.

If a person had a fireplace i think it could probably be burned as fuel.

I plan to start using a pump to move 55 gallons of veggie oil at a time. I plan to have a strainer to keep the big stuff out of the pump.

I would like to then pump the oil through a heat exchanger i created for my hot tub. I can heat water from the garden hose 50 degrees as fast as it can flow through a 1/4" orifice at 60 psi. That should heat the oil sufficiently enough to be filtered.

Then the oil will be forced through a 20 micron filter followed by a 5 micron water filter. These filters are about 3 dollars each (but $30 for the filter housing)

The end product should be ready for the tank. The tank can't really be much bigger than 30 gallons. The amt of time it takes to heat the oil enough to switch from diesel to veggie will be extended as the tank gets bigger. I think i will mount one or two more 30 (or 35 ?) gallon drums under the bus to hold clean oil. A fuel pump could be used to refill the main svo tank. This would allow quick switching of fuel, but also allow long range between fill-ups.

How does one go about paying road tax on bio fuel??
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:03 AM   #20
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as far as bio fuel being better in a big truck.....I still think it would work out very well in a VW passat diesel. These vehicles get 50 mpg.
A 5 gallon tank could be put in the trunk, which would yield 250 miles. Space is a disadvantage. I'd have to carry less "stuff" in the trunk. Another disadvantage is that you would have to drive a lot of miles just to make up for the money one spent on the svo kit.

5 gallons is literally just a drop in the bucket in the bus at 8.5 miles per gallon. There are lots of advantages of having the bus use bio fuel however. The bus can handle transporting several hundred gallons at one time. Plus there are many fewer space restraints in the skoolie. All the equipment for refining could be mounted to the bus. If the bus stopps running, the bill from a tow truck driver would be huge compared to a vw car. The overall cost savings is much much higher over the life of a skoolie than a 50 mpg car.

$300 worth of diesel (at 1.50 a gallon) = 10,000 miles in a vw
$1764 worth of diesel = 10,000 miles in a skoolie @ 8.5 mpg

As you can see, the savings is considerably higher with the skoolie.
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