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Placement of Flat Plate Heat Exchanger
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I've got an 82 wagon in really good shape. So I've never wanted to cut into it for a 2 tank system the way I did with a couple sedans. While I can run on SVO during most months, around December until March, in Atlanta, the sauce just gets a little too thick and I've had to cut with kerosene, etc.

So I purchased a flat plate heat exchanger which I intended to place right at the fuel pickoff, right where I have a 15 psi thumper pump to help move the oil.

But I'm beginning to have second thoughts about its placement. If it's under the car in front of the undercarriage fuel tank, will the heat exchanger just get too cold in the winter and fail to do the job?

Would it be better placed under the hood?
 
Registered: January 31, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Would it be better placed under the hood?

yes.

The FPHE should be just before the fuel filter and IP, and it should have it's own coolant loop off the block through the FPHE and back to the coolant pump inlet. An insulated jacket around the FPHE is a good addition. Canukland is colder than Atlanta so I've got a 25W pad heater on the bottom of the insulated FPHE for cold-morning warm-up.

The fuel pick-up in the tank and fuel lines only need to be warmed enough for the fuel mix to flow freely to the FPHE. The fuel pick-up and fuel lines are heated by another parallel coolant loop, not connected to the FPHE coolant loop. Three [or 4] tubes are bundled together and covered with foam pipe insulation. One tube carries fuel, one supplies hot coolant to the fuel pick-up and the other returns the coolant to the pump. A fourth tube can be added to the bundle if a fuel return to the tank is part of the design.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another quick question along that same vein:

because I'm doing a single tank system, will a FPHE be dangerous if I happen to ever run straight diesel through it? I'm guessing not, but wanted to check to see if the extra heat will cause diesel to flash.
 
Registered: January 31, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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will a FPHE be dangerous if I happen to ever run straight diesel through it?

The FPHE won't be dangerous, however hot 'straight diesel' might not have enough lubricity for the fuel system. Maintain at least 5% VO or BD in a FPHE heated system.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Makes total sense. For a can of 5 gallons, I could fill the tank 5 times. That'd get me just about anywhere in America. Thanks!
 
Registered: January 31, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have you ever heard of a FPHE breach, fuel and coolant mixing because of faulty materials/workmanship?
 
Registered: January 31, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Wow. I've had this FPHE in for a week, and what a hottie! I'm running with straight WVO in cold morning temperatures like it's 100 degrees out. And I think I'm getting better overall fuel mileage.

Weird, but the FPHE I bought fits perfectly in the windshield washer reservoir holder (don't ever use it in Georgia) like it was made for it.

Anyway, I'm really glad I took the time to put this together, as I'll save a bundle not having to mix in either diesel or Kero in colder weather.
 
Registered: January 31, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dana,
Suggestion: To "shut off" the coolant line to the FPHE while running D2, install a ball valve in the input coolant line. By doing so, the FPHE won't heat up the D2. Try to retain as much heat as possible in the VO by keeping the fuel lines as short as possible. I use Home Depot has ArmoFlex tape (2" wide) to wrap the FPHE to retain as much heat as possible.
 
Registered: October 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is the OP running a single tank setup?
I started hooking mine up today and got the fuel side of things done, but I got a little confused thinking about coolant hookups, best place under hood for FPHE, and optimal routing of hoses etc.


1983 Mercedes Benz 300SD
290,000 miles. 50K on alt fuels.
 
Location: North Shore Vancouver | Registered: October 22, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is the OP running a single tank setup?
It would appear so.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In my case, it's a single tank setup because it's a wagon and i wanted it to remained unmolested for resale purposes.
 
Registered: January 31, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Dragonfly:
Suggestion: To "shut off" the coolant line to the FPHE while running D2, install a ball valve in the input coolant line. By doing so, the FPHE won't heat up the D2. Try to retain as much heat as possible in the VO by keeping the fuel lines as short as possible. I use Home Depot has ArmoFlex tape (2" wide) to wrap the FPHE to retain as much heat as possible.

It seems to me that 2 ball valves are required for this scenario, one at the send and another at the return.
 
Location: North Shore Vancouver | Registered: October 22, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Originally posted by bmor:
It seems to me that 2 ball valves are required for this scenario, one at the send and another at the return.


That's how I connected mine with a pair of ¾ PEX ball valves



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bmor - Depending on how the block water enters the FPHE, only one shut off valve is needed to block the water from entering it.
 
Registered: October 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Two valves allow the FPHE to be isolated for maintenance or service, valves are inexpensive insurance.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a couple of the 3/4" ball valves. I got the 3-way valve, thinking a simple turn of the lever will revert my coolant flow back to OEM spec. With hose barbs attached they're pretty bulky however, so if I use them I have to choose a place that's will still allow access to everything else, oil filter, fuel filters, injectors, GP's etc.
 
Location: North Shore Vancouver | Registered: October 22, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Come to think of it, yours are a better size John. I may just look into these instead. It's probably be more ergonomic to run 4 of those rather than the 2 3 ways I have.


1983 Mercedes Benz 300SD
290,000 miles. 50K on alt fuels.
 
Location: North Shore Vancouver | Registered: October 22, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Those compact ball valves are a common item at most 'home depot' type stores. They're made for ¾ PEX but fit 5/8 heater hose perfectly.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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John,
Dana Shield's concern was about heating D2 in the FPHE. One valve placed before the FPHE would stop the hot water flow.

quote:
because I'm doing a single tank system, will a FPHE be dangerous if I happen to ever run straight diesel through it? I'm guessing not, but wanted to check to see if the extra heat will cause diesel to flash.
 
Registered: October 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Dragonfly:John,Dana Shield's concern was about heating D2 in the FPHE. One valve placed before the FPHE would stop the hot water flow.


What part of
quote:
Two valves allow the FPHE to be isolated for maintenance or service, valves are inexpensive insurance.
couldn't you grasp?



Do you now understand that nothing you stated was challenged or disagreed with? So don't try to lecture me about the obvious.

I'm sure some people can ride a unicycle, a bicycle offers additional advantages.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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