How to make my truck run on vegetable oil
Hi I'm kind of new to the site still had other questions a few months ago and everyone on here is very help full and I'm thankful for that. On that note I have a new interest bio fuel. i have a 1997 obs five speed 7.3l and i would like to know some methods of how to convert my truck to run vegetable oil. Well canola oil to be exact. Can i buy a kit to install on my truck or can i make fuel and leave the truck alone if so any help on where to get product or kits would be great.
There are a few forum members here who run SVO successfully, and hopefully they'll chime in. I make biodiesel so I am no expert on running SVO but know that properly done, you need to have a heated system and two tanks. (And a consistent source of vegetable oil)
Here's a link to where quite a few people have success with SVO:
(Be prepared to do a lot of reading and searching)
Before you convert, make sure that you can get veggie oil and can dewater and filter it. And that your family can deal with the mess. I would recommend collecting and filtering several hundred gallons first.
buy a kit to install on your truck or make your own as i did.
You can do either.
Google wvo conversion and you will get a dozen sites selling you conversion kits or the supplies to make bio
As I understand it, you can run a diesel on SVO with no more effort than just pouring it into a tank. The way it works, is that your truck still runs on regular diesel, but only during startup and shutdown. The reason is because the SVO needs time to heat up to whatever temperature (I think its +180/degrees) so that its viscous enough to flow through the fuel lines and into the engine. If you tried to run 100% on SVO, the veggie oil would solidify in your fuel system and engine and you'd be SOL in trying to heat it back up.
So its diesel on startup for a few minutes while the SVO heats up. Then you flip a
switch and the fuel from the diesel tank is shut off and the SVO starts flowing from its tank. Then when you go to shut down, you do it in reverse. You switch back to diesel and wait a few minutes until the lines are cleared of SVO and full of diesel.
The one kicker, is that you'll likely need new fuel filters much more often than the standard 10,000/mile interval. Maybe more like every 2-3,000 miles.
And there are tons of kits to do this conversion because its just a matter of using an SVO fuel tank that heats up and splicing it into the existing fuel lines. One thing I would warn you about, is that SVO is much more expensive per gallon than diesel fuel, even at these levels. So if this is a cost saving measure, you might need to start getting "free" Waste VO and filtering it into clean SVO.
Here is the Conversion kit: Greasecar Truck Kits | Greasecar Vegetable Fuel Systems
Mine is an opinion that lacks some experience but...
I have been running a combination of several fuels in my front tank (1990 F-250 7.3L IDI 2WD) including:
Waste Veggie Oil
New(found) and used ATF
Waste Motor Oil
My truck actually runs better and smoother on the above mix than on straight diesel, don't know why/how but it does.
I don't have any "kit", nor do I heat the fluid in any way.
I start on diesel in the second tank, switch to first tank once the engine warms up, and switch back to diesel before i shutdown for the night.
During the day, whenever I have to shut off the truck, it still starts fine on the first tank when I restart it.
I didn't run this way during the winter because I didnt have the truck then, but in winter I'm sure you'd need something to preheat the lines/tank maybe.
Very simple I would think to make your own "kit", how hard could it be? $1,700 for a kit and I only paid $1,100 for my truck so that's not happening. I'll make my own if need be.
I have been filtering all my stuff through stages of black landscaping cloth and t-shirts...probably not the best but the end result for the WVO is a light honey colored fluid that flows like 5W-30. I plan to incorporate some kind of magnet to catch any metal particles in the WMO/WATF and add a 20micron pre-filter into the fuel lines.
and it seems I get as good or better fuel mileage on the front tank than on reg diesel.
so you dont even have a modified fuel delivery system? just straight into the factory tank and you havent had any problems? the more posts like this i read... the more i wanna try it. still a bit nervous about putting it directly in the factory tank tho.
Wait..let me back that up a little...
I can't be sure whether it is hurting the injectors but it seems to run fine off of it...
However...after reading more and more I understand that I am probably gunking up my injectors by not properly heating the oil...and I also read that WVO reacts with steel tanks...
So, yes, it will run on straight WVO, it will even start on straight WVO when it's warm...but in terms of long-term effects on certain parts I have zero experience.
And I also just found out that using bluejeans is a pretty good filter if you're desperate/poor:)
I bought a $10 pair of big men's jeans, strapped them over a pole so each leg hung on either side, used zip-ties to close off the legs....and filled up each leg with like 10 gallons of WVO and it comes out like dark honey...and I can just wash the pants and reuse them, for awhile maybe.
Of course I plan to make my own kit ASAP as I can't destroy my injectors by not pre-heating the oil...
So- if you're crazy like me then try it, but as many others have said here...it's best to use a separate tank, etc with the WVO and a pre-heater.
I have put at least 5,000 miles on truck using WVO probably 80% of the time and besides the unknown shudder it has zero issues and runs well, no smoke of any kind really.
I do KNOW that it runs much better on WVO on a warm day than on diesel...it's just quieter and smoother:)
here's my album- you can see my truck is beat-down and a good candidate for being an experimental vehicle:)
Hi buddy do have an email please contact me on email@example.com would like to know about that mix of yours eugene
I assume that the I in your 7.3i means its a idi injection.
Dewatering is not that important in these older engines. I and the people I know with 7.3idi do not dewater there oil at all beyond heating and letting water and food particles to settle out for several days. Then I filter. These older engines are much more tolerant and do not react at all to the water suspended in the oil. It can cause corrosion leaving water in the injection pump and injectors but that is why you start on diesel and end on diesel. BEWARE of the water that settles out and is on the bottom of your barrels.
Setting it up and filtering is a messy and time consuming thing. I consider this to be the biggest drawback. I go through 30-50 gal a week and sometimes get tired of spending my Sunday's filtering oil.
Bio has to be filtered and processed with no modifications to the truck.
Straight wvo only has to be filtered once the truck is set up but you have to remember to start and stop on diesel.
It is a good idea to test your 'clean' WVO for water content. This can be accomplished very easily using the Hot Pan Test. All ya need to do is heat a pan/pot to about 350* and splash a quarter-sized dollop of oil into the pan. Any audible 'crackle' is a NO GO, but we are looking for no bubbles in the oil.
Fwiw, ALL WVO that has been used to cook frozen food will have some water content coming out of the fryers. This emulsified oil does not 'boil off' at the same 212*F that pure water boils at - however, the water is heavier than the oil and as long as the oil is not too viscous it will fall out fairly rapidly (24-48hrs much of the time). This is why heating (110-120* is plenty) expedites the separation process.
As far as a conversion goes, ultimately you're building a heated 2nd fuel system for the WVO and using 3-way switching valves to select the fuel tank you are drawing from and returning to. We use (2) 3-way valves instead of the stock-type 6-way dual tank valve so we can stagger the return fuel when switching back to diesel at the end of the day. If ya switch supply and return at the same time, all of the WVO in the lines and the engine is returned to the diesel tank. This contamination often leads to problems - especially in cold weather. We use coolant to heat the WVO via a heated fuel pick-up (don't heat the whole tank :-roll), heated fuel lines (TIH - tube-in-hose), a heated fuel filter and either a FPHE or a long 'loop' of TIH utilizing a 3rd 3-way valve.
Good luck and keep us posted! :-X22
so when we say "emulsified" I am assuming the oil is kind of whitish/frothy, etc and is NOT see-thru??
Most of the oil I m getting has no white cloudy stuff and is see-thru even unfiltered.
I have seen barrels where the oil is whitish, not see-thru and is very thick....but I don't touch that stuff!
PHO (partially hydrogenated oil) is also 'cloudy' at room temp and any oil that has been used to cook meat will have a tendency to have animal fats in it. Either of these will be 'white' or cloudy at room temp. This kind of oil can still be dewatered and filtered - and actually has a higher energy content than non-PHO or oil w/o fats in it - but since ya gotta heat it to mess with it its usually not worth the trouble if you've got better sources. Also, the animal fats have quite an affection for water - making it harder to dewater.
Fwiw, I have burned 'animal/vegetable shortening' in my junk. This stuff is SOLID enough to break a window at room temp. Its basically VO mixed with lard. It smelled delicious coming from the tailpipe!!! :p But, I have ALOT of heat in my VO system - don't try this with most 'veggie kits'... :-X15
i run my second tank wvo fuel through a heat exchanger made from 1" heater hose with brass fittings on each end with 1/2" fitting on the side of each end for the heater hose to clamp onto. so from the engine it goes to and from my heat exchanger prior to the heater core..
in cold climates you may want to run the system in parallel. so the heater will work better. as for the 3/8" copper tube that runs through the heater hose, with wvo in it. the ends of the copper tube and brass fittings are a type of fitting that uses a copper ring and threaded cap that squeezes the ring to seal it. don't know the proper name for the fitting... i use a plastic fuel line from the tank to the heat exchanger.... from the heat exchanger to the fuel filter, then to a tank switching valve... which has extra fitting for the return fuel line. so the return fuel returns to the proper tank... some fuel will return to the wrong tank during line purging when switching. not enough to worry about..
i have the tank switching valve wired in with a engine block temp sender. that grounds when the block gets to 160'f. so when i turn on the wvo, the tank won't switch until the engine is up to 160'f...
i just have to remember to turn the switch off, so i use diesel a while before shut down..
having the filter with warm fuel passing through it, cleans minor accumulation of thicker fats. which burn very well when warm and thinned out...
i usually pick up a couple mpg on wvo. and i loose 80-90% of my exhaust smoke.. non-turbo as it was built, by ford.. (mazda sourced and built perkins diesel)
my friends call my ranger the chicken fried truck, or the french fry machine..
it will make you get the munchies, until you get used to the smell..
i strain my used deep fry oil through old clothing, into a old water tank with a drain valve in the bottom and the top cut off. i pump from this first stage of oil cleaning through two 10 micron house h2o filters. hooked up in parallel so i have less pressure buildup as they collect particles... on the bottom of the fuel oil storage tank i have a water heater element hooked up with a timer and temp limit switch... in the winter i heat the tank to 100'f. as i run the oil from the bottom of the tank through the filters and back to the tank for a hour or two. or whenever i think of it while working in the shop... keeps things mixed up... the system is set up for filling my truck as well. using the 1" water pump mounted below the fuel oil tank.through the two filters then to the nozzle. which is what you can buy at the farm store. looks just like the nozzle at a gas station...
i buy my 10 micron house h2o filters at china-mart (wall-mart) or ace hardware.
the factory filter on the truck is 12 micron, so it stays clean quit a while...i have two separate filters on my truck one for each fuel.. so i don't have to wait for fuel to change in the filter, while changing tanks... i put the changeover valve just before the fuel pump/injection pump. after the two separate fuel filters.. as my system is a draw type of system. no boost pumps..
while in the northwest during the winter, i do have to blend the wvo with #2 diesel to keep flow and burn proper. during summer in the south i can run 50% wvo in the diesel tank with no noted ill effects on the engine. only time will tell...
i have noted that i need to have my injectors cleaned. the truck has over 250,000 miles on it. with 75,000 of those miles using wvo, a bit of wmo and some atf.. the little engine does not like wmo or any synthetic oils, as the engine doesn't burn the oil hot enough for a clean burn... you would think 21:1 compression would be enough...
the injectors were needing cleaned b4 i bought the truck. but the problem with cold starts is becoming noticeable, on real cold days... so i imagine the pattern has changed some...as has the amount of smoke increased when during pure diesel...
any comments or questions, give me a note or post here.
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