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Old 02-11-2019, 11:17 PM   #1
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Question Best/Worst Engines for Veg?

Hello!

I apologize if this has already been covered. I have tried searching the forums many times and different ways and it just doesn't work. I also can't read all the posts because I need to make a decision. I'm looking at a bus and I'm wondering if it will be a good candidate for converting to veg. I've barely looked into the process so I'm not sure how it varies from engine to engine. What do I need to look out for? Will the engine I'm looking at be difficult for some reason?

I am going to convert a diesel bus to veggie, no doubt about that. I'm actually going to start a non-profit to help educate the public about the benefits of such, plus solar, ect.

Anyway, I wasn't planning to buy my bus until next year, but was given a pretty sweet opportunity with owner financing. Mechanically the bus has been totally overhauled plus new tires. All the really annoying and expensive stuff is already done, I just have to do the conversions, living space and veggie. Here is the info from the ad:
"Fantastic 1993 international, dog nosed, 35' gutted school bus ready to be converted. PRICE 6000 USD. The engine is detroit diesel 360. The Allison transmission has recently been rebuilt. It has brand new tires, brand new brake system, has been completely checked and overhauled by qualified mechanic last fall. For personal reasons we have to sell. Price negotiable. Quick sale preferred. The bus has had 5000 USD worth of parts and labor done to it. We have receipts to prove. With the purchase price and works we are taking a loss, but we prefer the bus to go to someone with the same intentions as us."

WTF is a Detroit 360? Why can't I even find general info on it? I think he's mixing up some details? I know not everyone is familiar with what they have. He hired a mechanic so I know he's not an engine expert.

I'm totally welcome to all opinions here. On any part of this, not just the veg conversion aspect. It's a few states away so I need as much information as possible before considering looking at it or purchasing. If its going to be a b*tch to convert the engine or if there's some known issues with it, I'm not going to bother because that's one of the most important aspects for me.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:01 AM   #2
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generally.....

I do not have direct experience with vegetable/cooking oil used as a fuel source in a road going application. All information is second hand.

Not as much lubricity as diesel. Not as fluid as diesel in cooler temperatures. Not as clean as diesels. more equipment is needed to process. more equipment is need to run.

I keep seeing over and over, reports of problematic running on waste cooking oils. I do not see reports of successful long term running. I am perhaps seeing what I am looking for.

You have to do more research on good out comes, and bad out comes of running on waste oils.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:31 AM   #3
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The only advice I can offer is: use it in an engine that you can afford to replace.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:40 AM   #4
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Maybe you should try to get experience with veggie in a a $500 Vw or Mercedes. Experience comes with bad decisions. Exposing an expensive vehicle that is financed by someone else seems to be a sure shot to disaster.

Good luck. J
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:33 AM   #5
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That's the international dt360 your referring to, not a Detroit diesel. The "dt" is confusing for some I guess. I have the same engine and am working on my conversation aswell. This is an engine that will run on wvo. All the above comments are relevant as wvo is definitely a labor of love. Also, you or someone on the bus in gonna need to know the system inside and out as this is not a trouble free "plug and play" way to travel. That being said, international Dt360/466 and the Cummins(12valve) 5.9/8.3 mechanically injected engines are gonna be what your looking for. There are others too, but these are your best bet and fairly common in skoolies. Worst, other than just crappy/underpowered engines like the early GM's and the idi, would probly be 24v Cummins engines and pretty much any newer diesel due to completely of design and added emissions equipment. those mid80's-mid90's mechanically injected inline6 turbodiesels were really a sweet spot in the diesel world. Best of luck.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:57 AM   #6
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The 5.9 does do well on veggie, and have done many miles on it on multiple vehicles. Clean, hot oil is the key. I filtered to one micron.

I stopped doing because I was tired of the mess to filter and process it, and the time it took. However nearly ten years and over a 100,000 miles in one of the vehicles, it did work well. My Dodge truck now has almost 400,000 miles on it and about 100,000 was on veggie. Still runs good. body is rusted out though...
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:05 PM   #7
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In reading about the cat 3126's alternate fuel use, I found that anything with a Heui system(DT360/466/530) would probably work. The Cummins 8.3(pre ISC) has an inline fuel pump which also works well with the higher viscosity fuel. Like the others have said, it is a gamble and a mechanical engine is your best bet. I am not sure if I would go through with it if I ever get something to convert, but I like that it's a possibility. Another worry is incomplete combustion at the injector which could lead to coking and cause major problems. I am not sure if timing changes, 2 tanks, and heating the fuel before injection would resolve these issues completely.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:12 PM   #8
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I've seen a good bit of advice that sources for used oil have dried up due to companies leasing the oil. Some of this advice is years old so the situation might have changed. I wanted to secure a few possible sources before looking into it more and I suggest it to others.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:03 PM   #9
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The best engines for straight wvo/wmo are the mechanical engines with inline injection pumps. Rotary injection pumps will work, but the thicker fuel wears them out faster. I think you about have to have a 2 tank system to run straight with it, otherwise things get gummy when you turn it off.

I would think your heui engines and your common rail engines wouldn't be good because they're high pressure and sensitive to fuel viscosity.

As said before, filter it better then you think it needs to be filtered, and keep it hot and you'll be trouble free.

A lot of people will cut the wvo with diesel and have had success doing that.

As far as your non-profit funding goes, good luck. If that worked out easily we all would do it that way to fund our projects.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
I would think your heui engines and your common rail engines wouldn't be good because they're high pressure and sensitive to fuel viscosity.
Common rails definitely hate alternate fuels from what I've seen. Is the viscosity issue only important during fuel pressurization? The common rails use rotary pumps and are prone to failure because the pump is doing all the work. Wouldn't the heui system handle this issue better? It uses low pressure oil to actuate a steel piston which then pressurizes the fuel to much higher levels. That is only one problem that people run into though. At the injector, if the fuel is not heated, people experience coking problems. I believe heating the fuel lowers the risk at that stage. Advancing the engine timing through an ECU tune may help or eliminate the problem, but I am not sure. I'd only ever think about using wvo with a two tank system, as was suggested. Thoughts?
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:36 PM   #11
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Your descriptions are correct, but I've seen both hate it. HEUI is not as bad but it still isn't good. Alot of guys with the 7.3 and the 6.0 have run it succesfully.

The benefit heui has is the lower rail pressure, and the high pressure part of the process being located in the cylinder head(heat). The problem is that they both have injector clearances in the microns.

They also use multi-squirt injection and pilot injection cycles, similar to a multi-spark discharge in a gas engine. Those small injections require thin fluids to do it and most wvo is just too heavy.

I'm not certain if it's the timing advance you can get with a tune, or the fact that a lot of tunes will eliminate the multiple injecitons.

At the end of the day those injection systems cost thousands and thousands to replace, vs a few hundred in an old diesel, and you see why wvo isn't popular in modern engines.

If you're doing wvo/wmo, I'd stick with an older, more simple engine.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:07 PM   #12
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This is my only experience will veg. I was a CAT field service tech. A local farmer called because his Challenger farm tractor with a HEUI engine had just quit running for no apparent reason. A coworker diagnosed it as all injectors had failed and installed a new set at approx $1500.00 each for a total of six injectors plus labor and mileage. It ran about 2 weeks and i got sent out. After testing I too diagnosed it as all injectors had failed and stuck another $9000.00 worth of injectors in plus labor and mileage. It ran another 2 weeks and it had the same issue. That's when he admitted he had switched to veg. I wouldn't run veg in anything I wanted to keep.
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:14 PM   #13
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I was into this veggie thing when it first got popular in the 70's. All the negatives I saw at the time swayed me away from it. Here it is 5 decades later and I still can't see any benefit. Especially since the used vegetable oil owners now realize they have an viable asset.
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachtomountains View Post
Hello!

I apologize if this has already been covered. I have tried searching the forums many times and different ways and it just doesn't work. I also can't read all the posts because I need to make a decision. I'm looking at a bus and I'm wondering if it will be a good candidate for converting to veg. I've barely looked into the process so I'm not sure how it varies from engine to engine. What do I need to look out for? Will the engine I'm looking at be difficult for some reason?

I am going to convert a diesel bus to veggie, no doubt about that. I'm actually going to start a non-profit to help educate the public about the benefits of such, plus solar, ect.

Anyway, I wasn't planning to buy my bus until next year, but was given a pretty sweet opportunity with owner financing. Mechanically the bus has been totally overhauled plus new tires. All the really annoying and expensive stuff is already done, I just have to do the conversions, living space and veggie. Here is the info from the ad:
"Fantastic 1993 international, dog nosed, 35' gutted school bus ready to be converted. PRICE 6000 USD. The engine is detroit diesel 360. The Allison transmission has recently been rebuilt. It has brand new tires, brand new brake system, has been completely checked and overhauled by qualified mechanic last fall. For personal reasons we have to sell. Price negotiable. Quick sale preferred. The bus has had 5000 USD worth of parts and labor done to it. We have receipts to prove. With the purchase price and works we are taking a loss, but we prefer the bus to go to someone with the same intentions as us."

WTF is a Detroit 360? Why can't I even find general info on it? I think he's mixing up some details? I know not everyone is familiar with what they have. He hired a mechanic so I know he's not an engine expert.

I'm totally welcome to all opinions here. On any part of this, not just the veg conversion aspect. It's a few states away so I need as much information as possible before considering looking at it or purchasing. If its going to be a b*tch to convert the engine or if there's some known issues with it, I'm not going to bother because that's one of the most important aspects for me.

Thank you in advance!

If you want to ruin a good engine,run it on veggie.
Your going to do it anyway,but remember i said this.
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kinson View Post
In reading about the cat 3126's alternate fuel use, I found that anything with a Heui system(DT360/466/530) would probably work.
I've been unsuccessful finding any info on alt fuel use in the 3126. Can you provide some links to what you've found? Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:58 PM   #16
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i ran a wvo system in my 56 chevy bus with a gm 6.2 diesel i had modified with a turbo back in the early 80's.. after a lot of work building the wvo filtration system in my garage. then adding a wvo storage tank, including running plumbing for the engine coolant to run thru the tank to warm up the wvo that ran thru a heated fuel line then entered the injector pump.. it worked ok i guess you could say.. but i had to start the engine and run it up to temperature, after everything got nice and warm i would switch over to the WVO and run on it until stopping. then i had to switch back to diesel long enough to be sure the fuel system was clear of the wvo before shutting down the engine to keep it from clogging the fuel lines when cold..
i sounded like a good idea at the time and may have been if i could of found the used veggie oil at a fair price whenever i needed it. but that did not happen most of the time and after a year or so i sold my complete system to someone else who wanted to "save money and the world" using something people were throwing away..

but if you are determined to do it a older idi engine will work ok
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:13 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by gclarkv View Post
I've been unsuccessful finding any info on alt fuel use in the 3126. Can you provide some links to what you've found? Thanks.
I'm not sure if there is alternate fuel information on the 3126 specifically, it has just been heui systems in general. Some have success if done properly in new engines, but long-term use seems to be a crap-shoot. The best chance of success seems to be a 2 tank system, heated, and possibly an ECM tune. Go to google and just search a certain engine or injection system and "wvo" or "biodiesel". There are only a handful of forums that discuss it since it isn't too popular.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:30 AM   #18
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Just remember- You're not saving the planet if you grenade engines.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:16 AM   #19
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Have fun getting the water and other contaminants out. Inconsistent supply and contaminated veggie oil can hamper the project. I would do SVO if I had a spare injection pumps and engines and a tall shop thatís heated from SVO lol. I decided itís only worth it to me if ran an entire homestead on SVO; heaters, tractors, cars, trucks, generators. But then it would be worth building a nice biodiesel reactor if everything runs on it. And Iíd need a contract with the resteraunts. Or a trade. Iíd grow some food for them in exchange for the oil.
Iíve got a new centrifuge and other stuff in boxes around here somewhere.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:11 AM   #20
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We know the guy that started this company when it was in Springfield, MA, but he's out in Oregon now - https://www.greasecar.com/truck-kits. Not sure if he has done any big trucks, but he has dealt with the MB engines in the Sprinter vans.
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