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Old 12-04-2020, 11:23 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Oil in Fuel Tank

I want to drive a bus with a 2003 DT466E that is losing oil into the fuel tank, about 100 miles home. Iím fairly sure that itís due to a bad injector O-ring. The amount of oil loss seems substantial, and I estimate I could lose 5 gallons or more of oil to the fuel tank during the trip requiring several stops to add oil. The fuel is black, so I was thinking about using a temporary tank to supply fresh fuel and allow the current fuel tank to catch the return oil. I am not sure if this would be possible or necessary if the engine can run with the oil/fuel mix. I have started and idled the engine but not driven it yet. Towing cost would be many times greater than what the oil loss would be. How bad of an idea is this?
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:51 AM   #2
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So you'll have one tank for supply fuel, and another for return? I'm not sure how feasible that is. You'll be surprised by the amount of fuel that is bypassed and returned to the tank with the engine running.

The engine will run fine with the fuel/oil mix. Have an extra set of fuel filters just incase, but I doubt you'll have an issue burning it.

Biggest thing is not running the engine out of oil.

Truthfully, if you're going to be doing the repair job yourself, why not do it where it sits?
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
You'll be surprised by the amount of fuel that is bypassed and returned to the tank with the engine running.
Was not aware that would be an issue. Glad I asked.

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Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Truthfully, if you're going to be doing the repair job yourself, why not do it where it sits?
Needs to be removed from school property. This will be a first time doing this and wanted to take my time if possible. May scout out the area for a friendly repair location.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:35 PM   #4
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As Booyah mentioned a diesel engine can burn oil as fuel. That's not a big deal, aside from maybe being stinky.


In the end it would be similar to burning veggie oil. As such, my concern with the mixing oil would be difficulty starting in cold weather with a tank full of thick fuel. I see you're in Alabama, so that may not be an issue.


Otherwise keep a close eye on the amount of oil left in that engine! A DT466e will lose pressure to the injectors when the oil pickup starts to draw air and shut itself down. It's sort of a fail-safe, but still not something you want to encounter while cruising down the highway.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:51 PM   #5
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The DT466E AFAIK is a HEUI engine similar to the T444E's setup, if oil is getting into the fuel tank, I'm guessing it could only be from the HPOP pushing oil into the return lines to the tank. Not sure of the likelihood but I wonder about the possibility of it eventually pushing more oil than fuel, possibly causing a runaway condition similar to the way blown turbo seals will, once that oil makes it through the fuel system. Perhaps the HPOP internal oil pressure loss would cause enough of a fuel system pressure drop to shut it down anyway, but just a thought.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:38 PM   #6
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In the end it would be similar to burning veggie oil. As such, my concern with the mixing oil would be difficulty starting in cold weather with a tank full of thick fuel. I see you're in Alabama, so that may not be an issue.
A DT466e will lose pressure to the injectors when the oil pickup starts to draw air and shut itself down.
That shut down is what took it out of service. Oil was added and it idles fine with no smoke. I wonder what oil/fuel ratio would be excessive and cause engine to quit running.

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I'm guessing it could only be from the HPOP pushing oil into the return lines to the tank.
Exactly as I understand it. Oil going past injector seals.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:48 PM   #7
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That shut down is what took it out of service. Oil was added and it idles fine with no smoke. I wonder what oil/fuel ratio would be excessive and cause engine to quit running.
I wouldn't begin to worry about it not burning. You can run that engine off straight motor oil as long as it's warm enough. Numerous people burn used oil in diesel engines, that's the whole wmo/wvo free fuel craze. It's fallen off in recent years because of the cheaper price of fuel made it less attractive.

The big thing those guys do that you're not, is they filter it pretty extensively, which is why I mentioned spare fuel filters for the trip. Those wvo/wmo guys also go through injectors and fuel pumps pretty quickly too, due to the contaminants present in their fuel.

If you're estimating 5 gallons of oil being used for the trip, buy/use the cheapest 15w40 oil you can find, and get after it. As long as you have half a tank or so of diesel, those in the alt fuels crowd run their blends at way higher ratios then what you're going to have.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:49 PM   #8
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Make sure this bus is a good one though. You could be opening a can of worms here and I'd hate to see you end up upside down in the deal.
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