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Things you can do to get maximum engine life from a VO converted diesel.

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June 12, 2008, 08:49 PM
Things you can do to get maximum engine life from a VO converted diesel.
water injection works,plain and simple, it steam cleans the combustion chamber,for long engine life. when i was 18yrs old 1952, i worked at a used car lot, the old guy owner, had a car with a knock in it,gas car, said take it out for ride get it hot,i came back and he took off the air cleaner, and said rev it up to around 2500rpm guess at it,then he poured a coke bottle full of cold water slowly down the carb. motor shook rattled and rolled, then smoothed out and noise was gone, sold the car next day. THX Ron
June 25, 2008, 11:55 AM
Does the question of viability require consideration of each the user, the equipment and the support availability? I think not as even Lucas IP will last a while in some cases a long while. It has the cetane and, if viscous, the truck goes. Worth doing for sure. It's for principle and not getting Dana off the hook that I ask.
"Proper viability" IS feasibility by my interpretation of Welder's qualification. I'm suggesting that the viability of the SVO fueling of CI engines is proven by those willing to do it, but "proper viability" or feasibility depends in part on all these considerations but possibly mostly on the user/operator willingness to handle a modified/revised maintenance schedule. Is it a question of feasibility?

in the journey to forever, the ability to repair and adapt are precepts. Sucks that (from my perspective) autos are less and less user serviceable and more disposable. had the engine continued to develop around the needs of the farmer the SVO technology might be feasible even for those whose support network is principally the industry. What I mean here is that some things are willed into being.

It is entirely possible and worth it as I've confirmed this past week to burn WVO in my 1/4 ton. It's old, I have spares, and have affordable support options. Not only does it look viable but feasible. The money I save on fuel might go to the local garage in the end, but I'm ok with that. The engine will turn 600k km in one hundred without a look at the bottom end. May be it's time? if it runs away on me I'll put it in 4th and apply the brakes.

I will be monitoring my lube oil for jelly, and making some other improvements

'83 Ranger "Yvonne" Mazda 2.2 NA dual tank SVO; my other car is a bicycle
August 03, 2008, 10:07 PM
After coking has started, can it be burned off by using all diesel fuel for a period of time, more or less reversing the coking problem?
August 04, 2008, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by Carolinablue:
After coking has started, can it be burned off by using all diesel fuel for a period of time, more or less reversing the coking problem?

However ring land/groove coking can be minimised by not switching to VO fuel before the engine has reached operating temp, making sure that no VO contaminates the diesel fuel used for start/purge, and making sure that VO fuel is combusting as efficiently and completely as possible. If you want to maximise engine life you will also monitor compression and or/crankcase oil polymerization. If compression drops significantly or VO contaminantion becomes obvious in your lube oil it is probably wise to re-ring the pistons ASAP.
August 04, 2008, 12:41 PM
Paul Drayton
If this is off topic, please feel free to flame me... Big Grin

I've been looking at the HHO systems, and one of the side benefits to improved gas mileage is cleaning the engine, becuase of the water like properties of the gas.

So, the question is, how effective is water injection at cleaning cylinder heads, and does the HH0 offer the same (if any) benefit.

All I have for evidence of water injections efficacy is that my car runs better after I use it for a while. I didn't use it for a few months and then when I did, the car ran smoother.

Anybody know any more about this?


1983 Mercedes 240D Single tank WVO - FPHE, Injector Line heaters, aux fuel pump. Water/Methanol Injection. Frantz bypass oil filter. - North Florida
August 08, 2008, 08:31 AM
Wow!! where to start....I am not a Mechanic by trade, but have run Diesels since my First mercedes 1959 190D. I am in England and have been experimenting with alternative fuelling for diesels for many years. Landrover/Rover/Perkins/Peugeot/VWTDI and VW1600ccIDI engines I am currently running A SEAT Toledo TDI110S (a Spanish styled Bora)and have run it for the last 2 years on cooking oil from fuel heaters (doesn,t get really cold here in the South West of England) No seperate tanks, she,s on 116000miles now, I just had the injectors tested - a bit sooty but spray patterns pronounced perfect. I do change my oil every 3 months (always have) but are you people saying that I have been very lucky not to have damaged my engine?? (it performs as well now as when I got it - passes the yearly smoke test better than ever). I have to say that prior to this I did run a Rover 600SDI (2 ltr 100bhp ECU controlled version of the Perkins Prima Perkins Prima for 3 yrs on straight cooking oil (it had a fuel line heater as standard) I did many miles of fast motorway miles in that car and it never let me down always started on the second swing of the engine. I have previously run Landrovers and Peugeot non ECU controlled Diesels on Parrafin (Kerosene) cooking oil and mixes of these with no ill effect over many miles and years. (if you people in America knew anything about the Socialist (thinly disguised communist) Labour Governments that we sometimes get lumbered with and the (to you) unbelievable taxes that they force us to pay for fuel, along with a huge diminishment of our civil liberties you would realise why many of us have been trying alternatives for many years (The punishment for which has been Draconian - they can take your house, your car, your freedom (without warrant - Customs and Excise are a law unto themselves) may not care to try it my way, but I have found that as Doctor Diesel and Mr Ackroyd-Stewart intended, these engines will run happily on a number of differing combustible oils. (it was common practise in the early days of UK transport for disel trucks to Drive from say London To Scotland and there chenge the engine oil for fresh, the old not being wasted but going back into the fuel tank, Albion Trucks (sadly gone) would not call their engines Diesels preferring to call them Albion Oil Engines. I expect censure from the Purveyors of all this extra Biodiesel processing equipment by the way, but cordially invite questions from ordinary Straight SVO users.
August 08, 2008, 09:14 AM
Dear Notsellingstuff: the greatest difference I've read about between US and UK VO as fuel is the type of oil used. Here in the US the common oil is soy. I've read that the most common oil on your side of the pond is Canola. The price difference between those oils is dramatic over here, with soy costing as little as $6/gallon, and Canola costing near $10 for new. It's a rare SVO driver who buys new oil here, more commonly beginning with used cooking oil to process into fuel. Used cooking oil is obviously more likely to contain substances with less than ideal combustion properties.
Another difference is a complete lack of the equivalent to your MOT. A diesel car here may have never been to a professional mechanic, andis unlikely to have ever been thoroughly checked for proper functioning. Even seemingly simple things like having injectors checked is generally considered prohibitively expensive and avoided (I've seen cars junked rather than checking the injection system).
Finally, and perhaps saddest of all, we have few choices for diesel cars. No Rovers, no SEATs, no Peugeots (except rare old 504 and 505's), etc. Even Mercedes stopped importing diesels for a short time. VW is the only consistant diesel importer, and only offers one diesel engine at a time. They've become the most sought after for fuel experimenters because they are the only one that gets really good mileage. My 1987 Jetta 1.6 turbo IDI engine) gets 45 mpg (about twice the US average), has over 300,000 miles on it, yet is worth more now than when I bought it! The SVO I use in it is derived from used partially hydrogenated soy cooking "creamy shortening" I dry and filter to fuel standards, but it won't run on it at all without heat, and certainly would be damaged by running it without adequate heat.

I'm interested to learn more about our respective vegetable oil driving differences.
87 Jetta (310,000 miles)
64 Land Rover (540,000 miles)
83 Mazda B2200 (260,000 miles)
84 Ford/Mazda (?40,000 miles)
31 gallons diesel since 1999
August 08, 2008, 05:25 PM
Hi Johno, I tried to cover all aspects of my cooking oil driving experiments but will be happy to try to answer any questions you have in detail later on. Firstly we have much in common, I have run Landrovers previously and I am purchasing (next weekend) a 1966 88" SWB which has been fitted with a Perkins Prima Turbodiesel.(Google Prima Converters and see the website) I also ran two Diesel VW Passats one after the other, both fitted with the 1600cc non tubo IDI engine...I still have the fuel pump, injectors and glowplugs for one of the engines (snapped a cambelt and damaged the head - my own fault - was attempting to fit a bigger alternator from an Audi 100 with the cam belt cover off, the v belt snapped and wound itself around the cambelt- result one broken head.) that was a good engine,willing and economical, but struggled to pull that big mk 3 Passat at motorway speeds. The cooking oil I use is straight from Sainsburys and is Rape Seed oil (Brassica Napus) £1.18pence per litre (has recently hiked in price as has everything.) I dont care which oil I use..I just use whatever is cheapest on the shelves, my car does not seem to perform any differently whatever I use (Sainsburys is my closest store and I weekly shop there) In my previous VWs 1600cc IDI I experimented with as I say Kerosene, cooking oil and all manner of mixes of those two and diesel, it just didn,t seem to matter to those engines what the mix was, no difference in performance just in sound, some mixes the engine ran quieter, (Landrover,s own 2286cc Diesel particularly on Kerosene) This TDI of mine a 110TDI usually the most clattery of the Non-PD engines is markedly quieter on cooking oil, with a more subdued buuurrry note, the performance seems unaffected with the usual 110TDI huge surge of torque after 3000rpm. I have not carried out exacting MPG trials and I suspect that I get fractionally less MPG on cooking oil, but it is hardly noticeable. I suppose we are lucky with our wide choice of diesels (the 1.8 and 1.9 litre Peugeot/citroen engines were very good on cooking oil, but the new 2.0ltr HDI is, although, powerful and responsive, a lets say more "delicate" device which does not favour cooking oil, it is a commom rail engine and the high pressure pump does not like the "shear" properties of cooking oil. I am also running a Renault Kangoo Trekka (look on you tube) it is a 1.9ltr commmon rail Turbo diesel powered small 4x4 (viscous coupling a la Landrover Freelander)and I am about to start experimenting with a 50/50 mix cooking oil and diesel, I have been pleased with its performance so far and will certainly notice any change. I am not a professional mechanic, just a self taught guy who as a young soldier in Germany (BAOR) did not earn enough to put his cars into the local garages when they developed faults. I find that even the common rail systems are easy to work on once you have learned the basics, they are not that complex. (probably the usual myths put around by dealers so that you will only bring work to them.) Please ask any more questions and I will get back to you.
August 08, 2008, 05:44 PM
Hmmm..I did look up Canola and it is related to Rapeseed, and I suppose our prices are high, (118 pennnies per liter for oil and 128pennies per liter of Diesel at the pumps)(70% of the price of the diesel being government Tax) But our respective cooking habits are different here. I wonder where you manage to find so much used cooking oil? I know that cooking habits here are very different (sister in Calif.)a typical family here would use a fraction of the oil used over there. Also fast food outlets here have mostly been approached by companies who take away their used oil on a regular basis (over here you need a govt. licence to transport it, as once used it becomes a controlled waste product)(another Govt. Tax con)Those companies have been refining this oil for many years now..we have been forced to waste as little as possible on this small crowded island. So quantities of used oil are not easy to come by. (oh to live in the mediterranean area where olive oil is almost free - and yes they do run their diesels on it- that,s why diesel is cheap in Italy and greece.
September 08, 2008, 07:24 PM
we here in america use a lot of deep fried foods, did you ever see the average american, latest survey, 34% over wieght.
OH well tastes good, and my 2 cars love WVO!

Thx Ron
September 11, 2008, 03:57 PM
Joe @ Circle B
i have an 06 F350 with the 6.0L diesel in it, ive ran 50/50 #2 and WVO several times, probably a total of 30 gallons of wvo in the 52k miles it has on it. i never heated my fuel when i did it and now i am kind of nervous that i "coked" up my ring grooves and combustion chamber. does anyone think that there would be any damage done to my engine from running the small bit of veggie oil i did?
September 11, 2008, 04:10 PM
does anyone think that there would be any damage done to my engine from running the small bit of veggie oil i did?

To be excessively literal, yes I do THINK you did some damage, but I have some caveats:
1) The amount of coking added to the ring lands is trivial, perhaps shortening the engine life by no more than a few thousand miles.
2) There's nothing you can do to undo the damage, it's done, so don't worry about.
3) It's not a failure if you learn from it.

This is all theoretical, and I'd be pleased to be completely wrong about any damage. Your engine may have been in excellant condition, and hot enough to efficiently burn the blend without ANY reaching the ring lands. 30 gallons is equal to perhaps 600 miles of driving. People have commonly reached 25,000 - 50,000 miles on similar blends and claimed no obvious problems, so your engine has only received about 1-2% of that exposure. Whatever damage they might have done to their engines in those miles, you've only done perhaps 2% of the damage.

In other words, don't worry about it. This would be a good time to get a compression check done, and monitor it for a few hundred thousand miles.

Oh, yes, and I collect 25 gallons of used fryer oil each week from a single tavern - they have a very popular fish fry on friday, and locally famous chicken the rest of the week. They like to change their oil frequently, for best flavor.
September 20, 2008, 02:56 PM
I have been thinking about this VO as a diesel fuel.
#1 the EGR,exhaust gas resurculation, has got to go if you are gonna burn VO/WVO.
I have worked on 2 Isuzu NPRs on WVO, and both had a large amount of Soot and carbon in the intake manifold, also catylitic convertor was almost plugged up.
those 2 mods will have to be done so you can run WVO.
the early engines did not have the earth saving emission controls, that is why they work so well on VO,along with IDI chambers.
#2 find the hottest thermostat that will fit your engine, got to get it hotter, 200*F minimum, 275*-300*F prefered.
#3 a small water injection system, i dont mean drown it, a small fine spray, with a button on dash.
this coking/ring gumming on VWs or anything with EGR is related, and the catylitic convertor just dont like VO!
along with some blending, I think we can make this thing work!!!!

Thx Ron
September 20, 2008, 03:02 PM
almost forgot! yes, two tank system seem to be more forgiving, for short term driving, 10-20miles, but single tank will work if you drive long steady distances, and everything gets up to proper temps.
and there is a few other mods to help the situation.

Thx again Ron
October 07, 2008, 06:11 PM
are the one tank systems heated ?
October 07, 2008, 06:39 PM
john galt
Originally posted by comp:
are the one tank systems heated ?

yes, sometimes

October 08, 2008, 06:17 AM
yes, sometimes

Are they ever not heated?

I thought heat was the major operative factor in SVO regardless of how many tanks are used.
October 08, 2008, 01:36 PM
john galt
Many people use unheated single tank systems with blends.

October 09, 2008, 06:42 AM
Many people use unheated single tank systems with blends.

Can you describe how their "unheated single tank systems" are structured?

When you said "single tank", I got the impression that you meant single tank SVO systems.

As soon as anything is blended in veggie oil, it isn't SVO anymore, it's a blend.

Are you talking about people just slapping a FPHE and a heated filter on their otherwise stock diesel vehicle, then running coolant hoses along their fuel lines, or are you talking about all-out single tank SVO conversions, complete with injector line heaters, dished pistons, special injectors and fuel fired engine preheaters etc?
October 21, 2008, 07:18 PM
IM running a 1997 GMC 6.5T suburban,no conversion at all.
mix up my blend,( i know this should be in blends), dump it into factory tank, im off to wherever, thats it.
around 5000 miles all is good. summer was 100* plus no probs. cold now 50* morn. starts 1st time shakes a little smooths out 30sec. im off and runnin for the day.
Thx ronm