May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you and the pure light within you, guide your way on "~Incredible String Band

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Great Veggie oil Conversion......

After almost a week of hard work we have finally completed our engine conversion. We actually completed it days ago but it would not run,due to air in the lines, which we have recently fixed.

To those of you not familar with the idea of using veggie oil as a fuel source, I will explain here. I then pass the torch to the much written of and never yet heard from ,...Moss, my best friend and husband of 11 years.

The idea of running diesel engines on vegetable oil is not new. In fact the inventor of the diesel engine, Rudolph Diesel, had originally designed the engine to run off a variety of fuels, most notably peanut oil. In 1898 at the world fair in Paris, Rudolph showed his peanut-oil fueled engine for the first time, much to the astonishment of the public. Rudolph was repotedly very excited about this and very much wanted to provide farmers and small industry a way to make their own fuel .

Veggie fuels were used for many years after ,until the 1920s when it was eventually replaced with what was to become known as "diesel" fuel, which is simply a by product of gasoilne. There were also,over the years a few slight modifications made to the original engine that allowed it to run more efiecntly off "diesel" fuel.

Despite those changes, today it is still possible to run any diesl engine off of veggie oil.Why would one wish to, you might ask ?

The answers are many.

First off, it is completely reknewable , produces very little carbon and no sulphur.Secoundly, it is usually free and can be obtained from local restauraunts, who often must pay to dispose of it.

So, what modifications are needed and why ?

The most important thing to remember is to filter the oil with a 10 micron filter,at least once (especially waste oil) heat the oil first , start the engine on diesel fuel,and end it on diesel fuel.To do this requires two tanks,one for veggie and one for diesel.Although it is possible to simply pour veggie oil into a diesel tank and go,but ONLY on a warm day.

In fact,on a warm day you could walk into any grocery store ,purchase a bottle of Wesson and off you go.This is due to the fact that the warm temps causes the oil to thin and therfore flow more smoothly through the engine.

For cold weather and long term use however it is neccesary to modify the engine by first heating the oil to a temp of 170 degrees. Moss will be explaining this momentarily.

I just want to say that there are many excellent kits available that allow one to convert there engines quickly and easily,and our original intentions were to purchase one of them.

However,after thinking it over and talking to a few people,we decided to go it alone,to create,with the help of a friend our "own" system. Our reasons for this were two fold.On one hand we wanted to save money and on the other hand there are some inherent flaws with some of these premade kits,and we felt we could possibly improve on some aspects.

. Our friend Greg, who is experienced with diesel engines and veggie oil conversions,helped us tremendously. Together we have designed a system that we think will work very well, but only time will tell. We would never have tried this without his help,as neither myself nor Moss are very mechanically inclined.

This system is by no means complete,we consider it more a work in progress.Although,at present it is fully functional,we do anticipate a period of adjustment where we may need to make some changes as neccesary and as funds become available.

I will now pass the torch to Moss, who will supply you with the many details of the conversion process, but first I would like to leave you with a timely quote from the late great Rudolph Diesel,

" The Use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignifigant today.But such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time " ~ Rudolph Diesel 1912


Anonymous said...

Hello, oh wow, can you say de'javu. My wife and i have been talking about converting a bus to veggie oil since our first bus (1998) cost us about $ 500.00 in gas to push to FL from AZ. I had a diesel bus in Az last year that was bound for oil till the motor siezed in a bad way( not due to oil). I have been researching alot of commercial sites re; conversions in the past 6 mo's. I would love to know about your conversion and all the ins and outs of your adventures.
We have allways been known as
" Landedfreedom" ( but you can call me Ryder.

Saving Simply said...

Does it smell like McDonalds, or KFC when you drive?