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New to Bio, building '56 pickup

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Old 03-28-2012, 12:26 AM
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New to Bio, building '56 pickup

(Skip ahead for my questions, I'm starting with some background on the build, I've marked them in red as well to just pick them out)

For starters, the truck in question, a custom 1956 F600 pickup:

I'm planning 37" wheels (already has them, but I'm planning wider, hummer wheels). I expect to weigh in around 4,500#s, which considering newer trucks can weigh over 9,000, that's pretty awesome. But all of this custom work makes it very difficult to figure out what I can expect to see in MPG, so I've been debating a whole lot of powertrain options and I think I just got some smarts knocked into me tonight.

For a long time I leaned away from diesel because I live on a busy corner in a town with no noise laws and after several people decided that meant mufflers where optional on their diesels and being able to hear them over a mile away, I started to hate them.

But alas, I'm getting over it. And I've discovered the 7.3 sounds a great deal like the Y-block engine in my truck already. However, it gets about 5mpg, ouch. With poor power and gas mileage, it's cool sound just isn't enough.

I've really been all over, this post is the end of several hours of research once again. Which is probably why I can't seem to get to the point, lol.

Powerstroke vs IDI with waste oil
I've been looking at the 7.3 for my truck. It's a V8 (surprisingly very important to me...I'm not sure why but an inline-6 in it seems wrong) and it seems to be a very reliable motor, weather it's the IDI or the powerstroke we're talking about. At this point I don't know what would be a better option, so I figured I would ask here as I really like the idea of...well, not paying $4 a gallon.

The powerstroke is known to be an imporvement in a lot of ways, but I've heard it's more difficult to convert to bio diesel. I know aftermarket parts are easier to find for it, and it does make more power, but is the IDI a better choice if I'd like to run off of vegetable oil? (Straight or slightly mixed, again new to all of this, no idea what it takes to do, I imagine waste is the cheapest way to go but I'm sure has hurdles, none of which I really know other than needing to be filtered) If the powerstroke can run off waste oil just fine with a few mods, I don't have any problem doing that (after all, everything is already custom), but I had read that the direct fuel injection might be harder on it, no idea how true that is, thus asking questions, lol.

Are there anythings that would be a good idea to add? These old trucks are super simple and I haven't really started my build yet, more of an Alpha phase, which will be followed by really doing everything once I have my ducks in a row.

I'm unsure of what all is involved on a conversion, I've looked at a few videos, read a few posts and sites, then I realized I've been at this for several hours and decided to just post.

Can I switch back to running diesel without having to do anything? (other than like a switch) I'm not sure if to run on waste oil if you need to do anything that would prevent this. From what I've gathered you run a little diesel, flip a switch, run on waste oil, then flip it back for a moment before turning it off so diesel can be used to start it again.

Does running waste oil cause a strong smell? I mean, am I going to smell like I've been making burritos all day, lol? Or is it no worse than say petrol?

Lastly, is the mileage about the same on running waste oil as it is diesel? I imagine it would be, but I still got to ask, ha. (though obviously not nearly as important once it's cheaper like this)

Thoughts? Ideas? Powerstroke or IDI?
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:17 AM
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Welcome to the bio forum!

I love the idea for your 56! After making and using bio for the last 7+years, I'll try and answer your questions......

First thing is a steady source of QUALITY WVO! You need to start checking on places to get your oil. This will be your biggest problem. Everything else is easy.........

WVO, or Biodiesel? WVO is easier to use, but takes much more to convert PROPERLY! Biodiesel requires NO mods to the engine or truck.

With WVO you need twin tanks, and a source of heat for the WVO. WVO needs to be heated to work right. You'll need two tanks, a switching system, a heating system, and the plumbing and valve system.

With Biodiesel there is no system mods at all, but you will need to build a processor, and buy Methanol, and NaOh, or KOH.

The 6.9 or 7.3 IDI's would have more than enough power for the 56, and are very simple and easy to work on.

The smell.............People behind you will be getting hungry! The exhaust on my service truck smells like burnt fried chicken!

We have a ton of great people here in the bio forum, and we'll help you all you want to get you started! Any questions you have, just ask away!

You should start by doing a search in this forum and looking at the different systems we all use. My first processor cost me less than $200 and made me thousands of gallons of biodiesel...........

I have not noticed any drop in milage with bio, but with a cost of around a dollar/gallon, who cares! My trucks and tractors run a LOT quieter and smoother on Bio than dinodiesel!
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:36 PM
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Right now I am thinking if I get set up to run WVO at this point in the build that it will all be easier. From what I've gathered bio-diesel is just like running station bought diesel, and WVO gives you the option of running diesel of some sorts and WVO, so I could also run bio diesel. I get that the oil will need to be heated prior to reaching the engine, does anyone ever need to heat the oil in the tank in the winter? We often see the negatives around here and I've seen vegetable oil congeal to a soft butter like state in it. Course it was exposed. Would maybe having the tank made with a tubed slot that the exhaust can run though maybe heat things up enough? Or would I risk getting things too hot? Also, from what I've gathered the WVO tank should be aluminum correct?

The 7.3 IDI seems like the way to go from what I've been reading, I'm all for a simple engine that works great, and if I ever need more power throwing a turbo charger on there puts it right up with the Powerstroke.

It is something I will need to learn, I'm not really one to pay several thousand dollars if it's something I can figure out how to make it (after all, I'm building a '56 pickup because I love to make things in the first place).

The WVO route does seem simpler in the long run, and I'm not sure on the legal aspects of making bio-diesel. I'm a professional blacksmith, having a whole bunch of fuel around isn't the safest idea. But vegetable oil isn't a "fuel", and it's flash point is high (I've used it to quench in before, has to get pretty hot before it catches fire and even then it doesn't explode). From what I've come across there is no problem of having a whole bunch of vegetable oil at your house, but I could see it with bio-diesel. Just seems like one less thing to worry about or make.

I'll be honest, I'm in it for the MPG, though in my venture to save money it seems I've made one heck of a "green" truck. It's the purest form of recycling to use what's already been made (as a blacksmith I can tell you the energy required to heat, melt and reform steel is tremendous!) Even the tires are to be Hummer take offs from the military (they replace them at 80% tread or better, they're also about $60 a piece for a 37" tire...), every part I'm swapping into it is recycled from another truck, and now even the majority of the fuel will be recycled. Pretty awesome, though unintentional, lol.

Thanks for the help. Now for more research, lol.
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