Converting a diesel engine to vegitable oil? (1 Viewer)

mike

Lurker
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
30
Does anybody know of any good resources that have information on converting a diesel to run vegitable oil? Ive found some on biodiesel but im not really interested in that to much.
Thanks
 
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!
S

Snail

I deleted myself
some of my friends down here who live at the local anarchist house have a vegitable oil van. I dont know how they did it, i missed that work shop. Damn.
 
P

possum

I deleted myself
of course when you factor in how much you will save on gas and pollution it seems worth it to me.
 

Cardboard

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Banned
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
520
It is really easy. I used to run a warehouse that did a lot of grease conversions. If you need an actual run through, drop me a message, but basically-
any diesel engine+
an extra fuel tank
replace the fuel lines with copper or something other than the plastic lines most vehicles have
a heater and thermometer in the grease tank
a switch to change between diesel and grease.
that's basically it.
you start the vehicle on diesel, then once the grease hits 140, you can switch over (generally 10-15 miles, depending on the temperature outside)
it costs roughly 600$ on a car, slightly more for a bus...
it is well worth the time and money, but it is a hell of a commitment.
 
O

ogre

I deleted myself
if you can figure out how to do that definantly do it
 

spoorprint

Pilgrim
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
182
Location
Steubenville, United States
Found a bunch of good vegetable oil threads here but I have one question. If I plan to travel long distances , how much time will I spend filtering waste vegetable oil to get enough to drive for a day. Also, how much space will this take? I'm looking at converting a ford 350 diesel van .ok, that's 2 questions.
 

Matt Derrick

Semi-retired traveler
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
10,088
Location
Austin, TX
Website
youtube.com
Has anyone found a cheaper (reliable) source for kits than greasecar.com ?
They want $2200 for a kit for my 7.3 e-350 engine.

I haven't looked at veg oil kits in several years, but $2200 sounds about right.

It is really easy. I used to run a warehouse that did a lot of grease conversions. If you need an actual run through, drop me a message, but basically-
any diesel engine+
an extra fuel tank
replace the fuel lines with copper or something other than the plastic lines most vehicles have
a heater and thermometer in the grease tank
a switch to change between diesel and grease.
that's basically it.
you start the vehicle on diesel, then once the grease hits 140, you can switch over (generally 10-15 miles, depending on the temperature outside)
it costs roughly 600$ on a car, slightly more for a bus...
it is well worth the time and money, but it is a hell of a commitment.

$600 bucks is too cheap. sure, you could do it for that much, but you'll ruin your engine within 6-12 months (I'm talking total engine replacement). you forgot the racor oil filters, which are an essential component of not messing your engine up.

unfortunately, the reality of this kind of setup is a cost of between $2000-3000 to do it right.

why? cause you'll need a tank to hold the grease that's made of a polycarbonate plastic if you don't want the oil to break down in a chemical reaction as it would with a 55 gallon steel oil drum (cost, estimated about $400).

insulated coolant lines that go from the engine to the gas tank: $100+/-

copper tubing to put in the tank to heat the oil: $100+/-

racor brand oil filters (keep the french fries from clogging your engine): $100 with mounts x2, = $200-/+

injection line heaters: $100

temp gauges, gas line valve, other misc: $200

and finally the crux of the entire system, cleaning the oil:

Found a bunch of good vegetable oil threads here but I have one question. If I plan to travel long distances , how much time will I spend filtering waste vegetable oil to get enough to drive for a day. Also, how much space will this take? I'm looking at converting a ford 350 diesel van .ok, that's 2 questions.

90% of people that fuck up their veg oil car do it not because of the installation, but because they didn't clean the oil properly. even the cleanest used vegetable oil has billions of tiny particulates that need to be filtered out before the oil reaches the engine. that's what the racor filters are for. they filter out all the crap before it clogs up your engine.

unfortunately, the second mistake that 99% of people make is NOT GETTING THE WATER OUT. depending on where you're getting the oil from, it could have a lot of water in the oil. racor filters do nothing to prevent this water getting into your engine. water will ruin it faster than anything else.

the best solution i've found for this is to use a motor oil centrifuge. the centrifuge spins the oil so fast that the particulates get pulled to the side of the case, and the clean oil comes out stupid clean, like 1 micron (10 micron is the minimum you need to run an engine off veggie oil if you don't care about your engine).

the best part is that no only does it eliminate the need for racor filters (although you should probably still have at least one) the heat of the process also does flash water evaporation. meaning the water molecules trapped in the oil come out as steam.

but, that of course means you need to have a 'clean' tank and a 'dirty' tank, which takes up a lot of room if you're living on the road, so you'd really need a bus or something like that. if you have a house to store that stuff in, you're good.

@curbscore , to answer your question, you'd need space for at least a 20 gallon tank to fit inside your van somewhere. 20 gallons doesn't take up much space, especially if you get a custom tank installed (they have ones that could fit in a van like a bench).

if you're going the cheapo route and filtering your oil with 'sock' filters, expect to spend about 2-3 hours filtering 20 gallons of oil. that's a guess, it depends on how bad the oil is.

one of the things i forgot to mention about the centrifuge method is that it's really fast. approximately 55 gallons per hour. you'll need to do 2-3 runs of the same oil, but it'll be really clean, free of water, and 55 gallons will get you pretty far.

i got sidetracked... the rest of the costs are about $300 for the centrifuge and $600 for the pump motor. you can't just use a water pump, oil is heavy. you'll need a big ass motor pump to get that oil up through the centrifuge.

i think that puts the total at around $2000 bucks or so, but i know there's a bunch of misc crap i'm forgetting (a lot of small parts that add up to a lot of money). but yeah, that's the basics. if you're really interested in this, you need to read the svo book in the downloads area. just do it.
 

spoorprint

Pilgrim
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
182
Location
Steubenville, United States
I haven't looked at veg oil kits in several years, but $2200 sounds about right.



$600 bucks is too cheap. sure, you could do it for that much, but you'll ruin your engine within 6-12 months (I'm talking total engine replacement). you forgot the racor oil filters, which are an essential component of not messing your engine up.

unfortunately, the reality of this kind of setup is a cost of between $2000-3000 to do it right.

why? cause you'll need a tank to hold the grease that's made of a polycarbonate plastic if you don't want the oil to break down in a chemical reaction as it would with a 55 gallon steel oil drum (cost, estimated about $400).

insulated coolant lines that go from the engine to the gas tank: $100+/-

copper tubing to put in the tank to heat the oil: $100+/-

racor brand oil filters (keep the french fries from clogging your engine): $100 with mounts x2, = $200-/+

injection line heaters: $100

temp gauges, gas line valve, other misc: $200

and finally the crux of the entire system, cleaning the oil:



90% of people that fuck up their veg oil car do it not because of the installation, but because they didn't clean the oil properly. even the cleanest used vegetable oil has billions of tiny particulates that need to be filtered out before the oil reaches the engine. that's what the racor filters are for. they filter out all the crap before it clogs up your engine.

unfortunately, the second mistake that 99% of people make is NOT GETTING THE WATER OUT. depending on where you're getting the oil from, it could have a lot of water in the oil. racor filters do nothing to prevent this water getting into your engine. water will ruin it faster than anything else.

the best solution i've found for this is to use a motor oil centrifuge. the centrifuge spins the oil so fast that the particulates get pulled to the side of the case, and the clean oil comes out stupid clean, like 1 micron (10 micron is the minimum you need to run an engine off veggie oil if you don't care about your engine).

the best part is that no only does it eliminate the need for racor filters (although you should probably still have at least one) the heat of the process also does flash water evaporation. meaning the water molecules trapped in the oil come out as steam.

but, that of course means you need to have a 'clean' tank and a 'dirty' tank, which takes up a lot of room if you're living on the road, so you'd really need a bus or something like that. if you have a house to store that stuff in, you're good.

@curbscore , to answer your question, you'd need space for at least a 20 gallon tank to fit inside your van somewhere. 20 gallons doesn't take up much space, especially if you get a custom tank installed (they have ones that could fit in a van like a bench).

if you're going the cheapo route and filtering your oil with 'sock' filters, expect to spend about 2-3 hours filtering 20 gallons of oil. that's a guess, it depends on how bad the oil is.

one of the things i forgot to mention about the centrifuge method is that it's really fast. approximately 55 gallons per hour. you'll need to do 2-3 runs of the same oil, but it'll be really clean, free of water, and 55 gallons will get you pretty far.

i got sidetracked... the rest of the costs are about $300 for the centrifuge and $600 for the pump motor. you can't just use a water pump, oil is heavy. you'll need a big ass motor pump to get that oil up through the centrifuge.

i think that puts the total at around $2000 bucks or so, but i know there's a bunch of misc crap i'm forgetting (a lot of small parts that add up to a lot of money). but yeah, that's the basics. if you're really interested in this, you need to read the svo book in the downloads area. just do it.
 
L

LeftCoast

I deleted myself
I haven't looked at veg oil kits in several years, but $2200 sounds about right.



$600 bucks is too cheap. sure, you could do it for that much, but you'll ruin your engine within 6-12 months (I'm talking total engine replacement). you forgot the racor oil filters, which are an essential component of not messing your engine up.

unfortunately, the reality of this kind of setup is a cost of between $2000-3000 to do it right.

why? cause you'll need a tank to hold the grease that's made of a polycarbonate plastic if you don't want the oil to break down in a chemical reaction as it would with a 55 gallon steel oil drum (cost, estimated about $400).

insulated coolant lines that go from the engine to the gas tank: $100+/-

copper tubing to put in the tank to heat the oil: $100+/-

racor brand oil filters (keep the french fries from clogging your engine): $100 with mounts x2, = $200-/+

injection line heaters: $100

temp gauges, gas line valve, other misc: $200

and finally the crux of the entire system, cleaning the oil:



90% of people that fuck up their veg oil car do it not because of the installation, but because they didn't clean the oil properly. even the cleanest used vegetable oil has billions of tiny particulates that need to be filtered out before the oil reaches the engine. that's what the racor filters are for. they filter out all the crap before it clogs up your engine.

unfortunately, the second mistake that 99% of people make is NOT GETTING THE WATER OUT. depending on where you're getting the oil from, it could have a lot of water in the oil. racor filters do nothing to prevent this water getting into your engine. water will ruin it faster than anything else.

the best solution i've found for this is to use a motor oil centrifuge. the centrifuge spins the oil so fast that the particulates get pulled to the side of the case, and the clean oil comes out stupid clean, like 1 micron (10 micron is the minimum you need to run an engine off veggie oil if you don't care about your engine).

the best part is that no only does it eliminate the need for racor filters (although you should probably still have at least one) the heat of the process also does flash water evaporation. meaning the water molecules trapped in the oil come out as steam.

but, that of course means you need to have a 'clean' tank and a 'dirty' tank, which takes up a lot of room if you're living on the road, so you'd really need a bus or something like that. if you have a house to store that stuff in, you're good.

@curbscore , to answer your question, you'd need space for at least a 20 gallon tank to fit inside your van somewhere. 20 gallons doesn't take up much space, especially if you get a custom tank installed (they have ones that could fit in a van like a bench).

if you're going the cheapo route and filtering your oil with 'sock' filters, expect to spend about 2-3 hours filtering 20 gallons of oil. that's a guess, it depends on how bad the oil is.

one of the things i forgot to mention about the centrifuge method is that it's really fast. approximately 55 gallons per hour. you'll need to do 2-3 runs of the same oil, but it'll be really clean, free of water, and 55 gallons will get you pretty far.

i got sidetracked... the rest of the costs are about $300 for the centrifuge and $600 for the pump motor. you can't just use a water pump, oil is heavy. you'll need a big ass motor pump to get that oil up through the centrifuge.

i think that puts the total at around $2000 bucks or so, but i know there's a bunch of misc crap i'm forgetting (a lot of small parts that add up to a lot of money). but yeah, that's the basics. if you're really interested in this, you need to read the svo book in the downloads area. just do it.


Oh man I can't wait to get this conversion done on The Peat Moss Bus :)
 

Users who are viewing this thread

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$90.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $50.00 of $50.00 - reached!
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $75.00 of $75.00 - reached!
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $90.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $90.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.