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Old 10-03-2010, 02:32 AM
connor_warren59 connor_warren59 is offline
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Considering Running WVO

I've got an '89 F-350 diesel and im considering running a dual tank WVO setup. I've got a couple questions. First, does the actual tank need a heat source or would i be ok just heating the fuel line? Also, I've been playing with heat ideas in my head for a little while now and i've come up with an idea to plumb the veggie oil lines along the exhaust for heat purposes. I was thinking if i used some header wrap and just wrapped the veg. oil line in with it that i should generate sufficient heat. I'm assuming if i use stainless steel fuel line it should be more than enough to withstand the heat. Or is this a bad idea considering how much heat is given off by the exhaust? I know there are a lot of knowledgeable people on here so i'd like some opinions, it just seems too easy to do so i know I've got to be missing something haha.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:04 PM
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SkySkiJason SkySkiJason is offline
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Dual tank is the only way to burn WVO without risking long term damage. The 2nd tank needs to be alum - don't try to use a stock tank. As for heating the tank, well you DON'T want to heat the whole tank anyway - just the fuel you are sucking out (google Artic Fox/Hot Fox). Depending on the oil you have access to and the climate you live in - tank/pick-up heat may be optional.

Heated fuel lines required IMHO. No, you cannot use the exhaust to heat them. The temps there vary from under 200* to over 1000* in just a few seconds. Overheating WVO is very, very bad! Besides, your engine runs so hot they put a RADIATOR on it to keep it cool!! The neat thing about using coolant to heat VO is it is EXACTLY the right temperature! We need to see 160* PLUS VO at the injectors in order to atomize the fuel properly (its simply a viscosity thing). The best heated fuel lines are TIH (tube-in-hose). This is easily done using 3/8" alum tubing inside a 3/4" heater hose. (tubing about $1/ft and heater hose about $1.25/ft - the ends are 1/2" tee's, nipples and modified compression fittings).

TIH is still nowhere near enough heat, you still need a final heat exchanger. The easiest/cheapest solution here is a FPHE (flat plate heat exchanger). These are only about $125 and consist of a series of 'plates' the fuel and coolant must flow thru. The fuel and coolant flow the the FPHE in opposite directions and a properly sized unit will yield fuel temps near coolant temp.

Now you were probably thinking of using your stock Pollak 6way valve to 'switch' tanks on your dual tank set-up. These are not reliable in HOT VO service and they also guarantee contamination of your diesel tank. With this style of valve, every time you switch back to diesel, you'll send ALL of the VO in the fuel lines, IP and injectors back to the diesel tank. Trust me, LOTS and LOTS of people have discovered 'blending' VO and diesel is BAAAAAD for your engine. A much more reliable and better solution is to use (2) 3-way valves (about $75 ea) - one to select 'supply' fuel for the IP/injectors and one to select which tank 'return' goes to. This way, you can stagger the return - allowing the VO to be returned to the VO tank and ONLY diesel to the diesel tank!! The hottest set-up (literally ) is to add a 3rd 3-way valve and add to the VO return line. Use this valve to 'loop' the return back to the inlet of the IP while running on veg, and only return to VO tank when 'purging' the VO (switch back to diesel). This way, all the HEAT you've added to the VO is not sent back to the tank, this HOT oil is circulated until it is consumed - MUCH hotter VO.

I know this sounds more expensive than what you may have been imagining, but the truth is if ya spend a little $$$ wisely up front, you can put as many miles on it as you want without fooling with it again!! I travel all over the country for work and have met dozens and dozens of VO'ers over the years. ALL of them who decided to 'save $$' ended up spending more in the long run, because 'doing it right' is what it takes to retain a RELIABLE vehicle! Listen, I'll be the first to say I don't know what I'm doing - but my PSD's have been 200k miles on a high cholesterol diet and I've never had any VO-related problems with my trucks...

The good news is your engine makes a great conversion when done right. The fuel pump will pump gravel and almost everything about those old engines is pretty cheap to fix/rebuild/replace!

Read all the 'blue tabs' like VO Theory, FAQ, Resources in the link in my sig. Good luck and let us know what ya come up with!
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2000 Excursion, Limited, 4x4, BTS trans, 120k on veggie! - wrecked spring 2013 - RIP
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:20 PM
connor_warren59 connor_warren59 is offline
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wow so much information! i love it! Alright, i was not sure about overheating of the oil so thanks for covering that, i know exhaust is HOT but ive heard for oil to reach the viscosity of diesel fuel it needs to be closer to 300*F. I was not planning on using my second stock tank because i have heard of polymerization issues when VO contacts steel and other different metals. would HDPE be ok to use or is aluminum the only way to go with the tank? I really want to go the VO route and it looks like a have a lot more research to do. I was looking at the frybird site in your sig and looks like theres lots of information on there i just wish those systems werent so expensive and the size of the tanks that come with the kits are much smaller than what I was thinking of using. then again a prebuilt system would take a lot of guess work out of the equation and it would pay for itself in no time. I've heard good things about vegistroke kits as well. How is your DIY setup working for you? any places you would recommend for parts if i wanted to piece this together myself? Thanks again for that detailed explanation, it really is appreciated, this stuff is all new to me.
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:50 PM
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Frybrid will sell you parts if you don't want to buy a complete 'system'. Unlike the other companies, they will tell you 100% how to DIY successfully, the forums there are 90% DIY'ers - people who buy systems have little need to visit the forums, etc - their junk always works right the first time and for a loooooooong time!!

If you live in the deep south and have access to low-fat content, non-hydrogenated canola oil (has the lowest cloud/gel point) - you may be able to get away with HDPE tank and no heat. Personally, I wouldn't want those limitations! In fact, I can burn pure bacon grease in Alaska winters - seriously. One advantage to an aluminum tank and heated pick-up is hotter VO before the VO filter the longer those filters will last in cold weather. (I forgot to mention you DO NOT want to 'share' a fuel filter - you need separate filters for VO and diesel). There are different types of HDPE, some don't do well with heat & VO.

For the most part, the viscosity of VO is similar to diesel starting about 160*F. The key here is to get the fuel to ATOMIZE thru the injectors. You can put cold honey in a windex bottle - but that don't mean it will spray right! If the fuel 'squirts' out instead of spraying out in a fine mist - it does not burn all the way. This leaves carbon/coking in the combustion chamber and often leads to engine demise when the coking in ringland scores the cylinder walls and prevents exhaust valves from seating...

Polymerization is a subject literally worthy of a PhD, but here's some brief stuff every 'greaser' needs to know (in laymans terms from a dum redneck ). It is the natural mechanism of decay for VO. This chemical reaction begins the moment the oil is extracted. The free radicals naturally present in the oil cruise around knocking chunks off the VO molecules. These 'chunks' are attracted to each other and eventually begin to stick together, forming long chains (polymers). There are a few things that expedite this reaction, but they are not ALL needed, any one can do it and the more 'ingredients' the faster the reaction happens. These ingredients include TIME, HEAT, exposure to UV LIGHT, exposure to OXYGEN and exposure to OXIDANTS (for us this means copper and carbon steel). In a nutshell, we want to avoid these things every chance we get. VO producers add BHT and citric acid (anti-chelating and anti-oxidant) to the oil in quantities that provide an acceptable lifespan for the fryer - after that, all bets are off!! This is also where ALOT of variables begin - what kind of oil (PHO 'lasts longer'), what was cooked in it, how long it was used, what temperature, how it was transferred out of fryer to 'dumpster', what materials the dumpster is made out of, how long it stayed there, etc, etc ,etc.....

The Vegistroke design is for PSD's. The HEUI injection system is unique and Jason Crawford aka. FN74 came up with a VO conversion design that monopolized on this unique system. I built my DIY system based on some of his early designs just as he began marketing 'Vegistroke'. Then, when gas hit nearly $5/gal - I convinced (now X) wife she needed an Excursion instead of the minivan I was putting $500/month worth of gasoline into. This was right after Vegistroke introduced the latest design - the V3 or version 3. Actually, I was so enamored with the V3 - I bought an Excursion to have an excuse to buy one!! (I couldn't justify ripping out the system I put in my truck that had worked FLAWLESSLY for about 70k miles at that time...) I installed a heavily modified V3 system (MORE HEAT) into the Excursion and she drove it almost 50k miles over the next 18 months commuting 100 mi/day to college. The F350 has been almost 130k greasy miles now and the Excursion has been about 70k greasy miles. I seriously cannot imagine what its like to pay diesel-prices for fuel!!!!! My poor kids have never known anything else... I always joke 'theres always therapy for them later in life'. You know, kid tells kindergarten teacher 'My Dads truck runs on french-fry grease' - 'Sure it does kid, Dad must be pulling your leg'.

BTW, I'm not addicted, I can stop anytime I want.

PS: I always tell people not to send money, just set aside a little oil for me for when I get to your neck of the woods! (I travel all over the country for work)
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2000 Excursion, Limited, 4x4, BTS trans, 120k on veggie! - wrecked spring 2013 - RIP
veggiegarage.com authorized installer
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Old 10-04-2010, 05:50 PM
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