BIODIESEL & SVO DISCUSSION FORUMS






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Hi vegoil friends,

I'm feeling discouraged. I've been running my 2004 Jetta TDI on SVO for a few years now and I've had more problems with the car than I expected. I've spent about $7,000 in repairs, with at least $2,000 of that directly related to SVO issues. Maybe more. It's difficult to know as I'm not a mechanic. I've had air leaks and fuel pump failure repaired in the SVO system, and it appears that the fuel pump has failed again. Have I contributed to these problems by inadequate vegoil filtration and water removal? Should I call it quits?

Thanks,
Gina


2004 Jetta TDI SVO (converted by PlantDrive)
Formerly 1987 Mercedes Benz 300D - B100
 
Location: California | Registered: July 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow that's a lot of money. fact is these cars are expensive to keep on the road even if you burn dinodiesel! The 05 we had wanted a new fuel pump about every year and a half. the manifolds gum up with carbon and the belt and water pump need to be replaced at specific intervals.
If you think the wet poorly filtered oil was your problem, fix that and carry on.


" I don't know what I don't know until I know"
1994 GMC 6.5 Tubo 2005 Dodge ram 3500, 3 VW's 2000, 2002, 2005.
 
Location: Manitoba Canada | Registered: March 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, You should definitely call it quits.

Get rid of that POS and get yourself a decent vehicle.

A very good friend of mine was the service manager at a VW dealership and went to another brand because he could not stand feeling genuinely sorry for the people that had the things that there was no way to make reliable cars that didn't send the owners broke. He would fix the tins at great expense doing everything he knew to check and test them and they would fail again quickly leaving the owners stranded, frustrated and often missing important events.

Of course, before asking the question it might help if you told us what your oil preparation actually was.
 
Registered: July 30, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That is a lot of money...I didn't PAY that much for either of the 2000 or 2003 TDI Jettas I have in my family.

quote:
the manifolds gum up with carbon and the belt and water pump need to be replaced at specific intervals.


Those are 2 of the recurring "maintenance" issues that have to be addressed. But the belt change is only every 100,000 miles with the most current replacement belt, so its not like its a FREQUENT issue. And there are things you can do to prevent the carbon...an oil catch can being the biggest one. No oil vapor in the intake and the EGR carbon just travels right to the cylinders and burns like it should.
 
Location: Southern WI, USA | Registered: May 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Gina
What were the "repairs directly related to VO"? We have a few TDI's on VO in our So. CA Greaser club and they have been running for several yrs. with no problems. It would help knowing what the indy said that could be address to avoid future repairs. How do you clean the WVO, what system do you use to check for water in the VO, etc.
 
Registered: October 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't recommend Greasin' to ANYONE that cannot do their own mechanic work (or at least has a buddy who can give them a discount!)
 
Registered: September 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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Thank you everyone for your input. It's very much appreciated! Here's a summary of the repairs performed and their cost:
Oct'11 Diesel fuel pump wiring repair $166
Nov'11 Vegoil fuel pump wiring repair $126
Mar'12 Cooler pipe replaced $246
May'12 engine hose replaced $230
Jun'12 Walbro and R&R fuel pumps replaced, several air leaks repaired $650
Oct'13 Crank sensor and EGR cooler replaced $1,100
Jan'14 Vegoil fuel lift pump replaced $520
May'14 Engine bolts replaced $215
Jul'14 Turbo replaced $2,000
Mar'15 Slipper clutch and belt replaced $400
May'15 Cleaned mass air flow (MAF) sensor $113
Jul'15 Replaced MAF $420
Jul'15 Intake throttle almost completely plugged from carbon buildup. Cleaned throttle and installed new intake manifold $600
Today Engine light is on again. Throwing error from mass air flow sensor. Ugh!

How I prep the vegoil:
I settle for weeks in carboys then filter through cloth. I've built a cool upflow settling system but unable to prevent leaks from drum lid. Need to redo with sealed lids. Ugh!


2004 Jetta TDI SVO (converted by PlantDrive)
Formerly 1987 Mercedes Benz 300D - B100
 
Location: California | Registered: July 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Gina;
If you have the room, I use a 60 gal cone barrel (Peabody Engineering, Corona, CA old price $66). Advantages: Junk settles to the bottom of the cone; install a 2" gate valve to the bottom to drain the junk into a bucket; install a 1" bulkhead fitting just above the start of the slope to siphon off the settled oil; the siphoned oil is quite "clean" to start with.

I clean the oil COLD with a Open Bowl CF to get as much of the fats out of the oil - much longer VO filer life.
 
Registered: October 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
How I prep the vegoil:
I settle for weeks in carboys then filter through cloth.


That explains a lot. Many of the repairs are directly related to what one would expect from wet, inadequately filtered UVO. "Stuff" grows in wet UVO, and that 'stuff' causes problems. This is especially true with the vehicle chosen. That vehicle is sensitive to biodiesel quality and a maintenance hog on UVO.
Very few computerized vehicles with EGR work well on UVO.

That processing would be good for preparing UVO for biodiesel. It would be further ahead to make biodiesel, and scrap the UVO idea with that vehicle and processing set-up.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I never ran WVO in a TDI engine. I owned a Touareg V10TDI to over 105,000 miles with no problems at all, and really minimal routine maintenance -- just a fuel filter here and there, and the usual oil changes (with proper oil, of course). The majority of my miles were on pure homebrew biodiesel or some high-biodiesel/D2 blend. It was a fine machine; good enough, in fact, that I eventually sold my very similar Cayenne S gasser and kept the oil-burning vee-dub. I only sold it because I needed larger towing/hauling capacity and moved into a proper truck.

Look into making high-quality biodiesel and pouring it in your main tank.

I've got a pretty decent 2001 Jetta TDI that has been sitting in the barn waiting on a project for a few years. I really should find something to do with that thing or sell it, but I just couldn't pass it up for the price back at the time.

Cheers, John
 
Registered: June 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi - We have converted a number of these and they are operating successfully over a period of several years and well over 100,000 km with no issues.

The first thing I will mention is that we have found that a fuel pump for the veg is simply not needed. We had put them on two cars since there is one in the fuel tank originally. They failed. In general we avoid using electric lift pumps for veg whenever we can, as good ones are expensive and cheaper ones fail.

So we tried removing them and not running them at all, and found they are NOT needed. These cars that I am personally familiar with run in winter, and in the mountains of BC. So if your veg lift pump fails again, just remove it and try running without it. This assumes you have at least 3/8" fuel lines, a heated tank, a well heated veg filter and clean filter element, clean oil, etc.

One car has I think now about 160,000 km on it, it was converted brand new, a 2004. The only failure it has had was a turbo failure. That was annoying and expensive, but not related to veg oil use and of course the car is now going on 12 years old, so if that was the only repair so far, that's not terrible.

Another one, local, runs up to 20,000 km between filter changes, and has had no issues other than the early failure of that cheaper fuel pump, since removed, as mentioned. The oil is just settled and filtered through a 1 micron bag filter with our Pump and Filter System. The oil is good quality used Canola WVO.

Air leaks on WVO systems unfortunately do happen from time to time. They happen most often shortly after a kit is installed. The owners are advised to go over all clamps and fittings and snug them up a bit after the first few weeks of use. If carefully done at that point, then usually there is no need to do much air troubleshooting after that.


Edward Beggs
PlantDrive(tm) International
plantdrive.ca@gmail.com
http://www.PlantDrive.ca
SVO Consultations; Component/Kit Supplier; SVO Conversions; since 1999.
 
Location: Salmon Arm, BC, Canada | Registered: November 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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PlantDrive makes excellent conversion kits, so it's not surprising that they can make UVO work on that vehicle.
I still maintain the OP's primary problem is wet dirty oil from inadequate processing.



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



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Sorry to hear of all your troubles.

Half the item on your list are common TDI issues such as intake plugging and MAF failures.
The BEW 2004-2006 engine also has an electric pump in the fuel tank that was a common failure item.

To know if your fuel was the problem would require doing an autopsy on the failed parts, looking for gunk or rust. You can test for water in your UVO using the hot pan method detailed somewhere here.

Problems running UVO are not uncommon. It is experimental. Not being able to diagnose and repair even simple problems puts you at an extreme disadvantage. I can do these things now, but started with some skills and have spent thousands of hours online here and at tdiclub.com. So while you may have paid a lot out of pocket, you haven't wasted a small fraction of your lifetime learning how to avoid the bills. ;-)

You can clean the MAF yourself with electronic parts cleaner spray in 5 minutes.
Go to tdiclub.com, the BEW forum and look for the MAF replacement procedure. It's pretty simple.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPYolHb1bOs
If two have gone in a short time it might be a short in the wiring. That should be eliminated before replacing it again.


Ed's idea of eliminating may not work on your 2004 ( if it's a BEW engine code ). 1996-2003 had internal vane pumps, but the 2004 used an electric pump in the tank. The high pressure pump in the engine probably expects positive fuel pressure.

Also I hope your are using the correct motor oil specified in the user manual for BEW engined TDI's.
Their unit injectors are driven off the camshaft and there have been many reports of cam failures for owners who used non-spec oil.

And if it's an automatic, and you haven't rebuilt it already ... they go by 140K.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: jburke,


1-tank Elsbett VW TDI , 220,000 WVO miles.
http://ctbiodzl.freeshell.org/votdi.html
and a '92 F-250 with only a FPHE
 
Location: Ct,USA | Registered: November 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just a further note: I have done 2004 and 2005 BEW engines without electric lift pumps for the SVO system and they have worked fine without, both are in BC in winter and mountain driving, highway, and have operated now over a period of years.


Edward Beggs
PlantDrive(tm) International
plantdrive.ca@gmail.com
http://www.PlantDrive.ca
SVO Consultations; Component/Kit Supplier; SVO Conversions; since 1999.
 
Location: Salmon Arm, BC, Canada | Registered: November 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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