View Full Version : Running of atf

1st July 2010, 12:49 AM
Had a wild thought!:D

If you could get hold of a source of used atf, say from an auto place, would it be possible to run a diesel on it?

Anyone had success doing this?

At least the fuel system would stay clean.;)

1st July 2010, 10:50 PM
I have been running various blends of used ATF in my 1HZ for well over 30k k's now. But it is not without its pitfalls.

I have killed as set of injectors, after I ran a 50/50 blend, turned out the ATF was synthetic. Also the shop that I get it off sometimes puts some sump oil in the mix. This seems to coke the injectors.

But runs and it runs well, I have run mixes up to 90 - 95%. The standard 2 tank system in the Landcruiser is great, I have the small tank full of straight diesel and the main tank full of the slop. No modifications are done, although I have fitted a vacuum guage to see if I am plugging up the fuel filter.

But filter filter filter, that is the key, I never put anything in the tank that has not been through a 1 micron filter.

Stay away from the Exhaust though... man it is pretty vile. I have stopped running it around town, only for long trips now.

But search the net, there is plenty of info out there on running it.

Just have to get a good reliable supply.

I am looking into using hydraulic fluid now, same consistency as ATF, but should not have the contaminates that ATF has.

Hope this helps.

2nd July 2010, 05:41 PM
Thanks Edelbrock.
The synthetic stuff seems definitely not the way to go.

I was going to ask the local auto shop but how would you know if there is synthetic in it or not?

Please keep me posted how the hydraulic fluid goes.

2nd July 2010, 08:09 PM
Exactly, you have no idea what is in it when you get it from the shop.

the synthetic I ran was from my old mans tractor. It runs 200 litres in the transmission, and it gets changed every few hundred hours. I thought I hit the mother load, it was crystal clear like brand new fluid. Slopped it in the tank at 50/50 with diesel and set off for home. Made it home, (400k's) but only just, the injectors were coked really badly. I drained all the tanks and drove it to a Diesel shop for a new set of injectors. They asked if I ran Bio. nope.. nothing like that in my tank. they wanted to blame the bio. They said the fuel smelt a bit funny and must have been a bad batch.

But since then I have done probably 25,000k's with no issues what so ever.

The next issue is finding a good source of Hydraulic fluid, seems everyone I speak to is 'contracted' to give there oil to a certain company.

Can anyone help with a source of waste hydraulic fluid in Adelaide??


2nd July 2010, 09:31 PM
Edelbroc1 I know I'm not reading it right. You coked up your injectors on 'syn' atf but have since run it on mineral or an unknown mix of 'syn'/'min' from a shop for the last 25000 k's without trouble???

Some time ago I thought using atf or waste engine oil was a great idea when I read about a bloke using waste engine oil sucessfully. From then on I have been mixing my waste engine oil into my WVO without problems. But it is only a small amount in the scheme of things.


3rd July 2010, 03:59 PM
Yes quite correct.

Only now is the old girl starting to blow a little smoke, (not enough to be a concern yet, but enough to leave black soot on the bumper) but I put this down to the amount of sump oil that my guys put in with the trans fluid. They tell me that it is all trans fluid, but I know that there is a certain percentage of sump oil. So I want to pull the injectors and give them a clean to decoke them.

Which is why I want to give the hydraulic fluid a go. Just have to find a source.

I am looking at a water injection set up too, maybe this will allow me to run the dirtier fuel without coking the injectors. Still looking into that.

It certainly starts better on this slop. But I was concerned that with the cold engine, this could be contributing to the coking, So I always start up and shut down on diesel. But it runs smoother and harder on the trans fluid, there is a definate improvement in power, the old 1HZ has not a lot to start with, so any improvement is worth grabbing.

I am kinda hoping that it will increase the life of the IP too, with the added lubricity running through it, you would hope that it would last a lot longer. But who knows, it has already done 300k so it could go at any time, and no doubt when it does, the knockers will be like, see I told you not to run that slop.

But do the sums... I rekon I have saved enough to replace the whole motor, not just the IP. So either way.. I am happy.

4th July 2010, 10:44 AM
Do you worry about having synthetic in the mix you are using, going off your previous coking experience?

In your current mix I would have thought leftover cleaners in the atf would have kept the injectors clean rather than coking them up.

Alga, have you any thoughts here?


4th July 2010, 11:48 AM
Guy trans fluid supplier says that in normal servicing of normal cars, it is pretty rare to get synthetic trans fluid, too expensive for the average punter, so he is doubtful that there would ever be any in there. He says he has had requests to put synthetic in some performance cars, which he does. But you are correct, there is absolutely no way of knowing if there is any in the mix. But I guess that is the risk you have to take to run free fuel. I am planning on pulling the injectors again in the near future and having a look and maybe giving them a clean up. Will be interesting to see what they are like after running that long on trans fluid.

No one out there knows anyone in the Hydraulics game in Adelaide??

5th July 2010, 08:20 AM
Thanks edelbrock1

This has been very informative for me. Please post back your results of the injection inspection whenever you pull them out, I am very interested. Hope all goes well!


5th July 2010, 09:49 AM
Do you worry about having synthetic in the mix you are using, going off your previous coking experience?

In your current mix I would have thought leftover cleaners in the atf would have kept the injectors clean rather than coking them up.

Alga, have you any thoughts here?


I had a chat to my mate about this the other day and we reckon running on used ATF and sump oil has big problems. My mate has two engines which he uses at shows to demonstrate running on oil, other substances and VO. One's an old single petter and the other is a 3 cylinder kubota. Both coke up even when using ATF, the petter takes a long time but the kubota only take a few hrs before it's performance deteriorates.

There's been a lot of discussion about it in engine and steam groups down here and we believe we have the answer, although it may not be supported technically, like super heating VO to thin and really clean it.

Fossil oils contain many additives to allow them to function on the metals, pressure and heat within engines. Under these conditions the additives get changed and used so you end up with a raw singed product filled with chemicals, metal and heat waste all broken down and converted to other chemical substances.

Once the oil is reheated the chemicals react together and cause coking, when burnt, they are released into the cylinders creating different burn rates and extra waste.

Now when you use new ATF and push it through the system, the heat and pressure facilitate the conditions the chemicals are there for, cleaning and lubrication so the burn has no effect and chemical changes are forced out the exhaust before they can react along with the cleaned out gunk.

They change oils because the additives have been used up or displaced and the oil is no longer doing it's job through contamination and chemical imbalance. Naturally, if you put this chemically schizophrenic contaminated oil into your engine, it will clog and stuff it up.

From our experience, if you continue to use this stuff, be prepared to rebuild to your engine every 100000 or less, it can tend to tear injectors, pumps and valves apart.

5th July 2010, 09:00 PM
Earlier tonight I was reading about a bloke who distills his sump oil, he is a member of this forum 'Cladwack'. Is this what you are referring to. It was assumed to be the same process that a seller on the net advertises for his product to produce diesel 'I think called "free diesel" ' from sump oil.


7th July 2010, 06:45 PM
I certainly did not make the decision to run waste trans fluid lightly. I read every single piece of information I could find. 3 or 4 hundred hours reading on the net, I read everything I could find on the matter. Which is how I came to buy the 100 series 1HZ. It was the newest vehicle I could buy that still used the old IDI injection system. Could have gone with a TD 4.2 patrol, but gee they are pricey suckers. So the Landcruiser was taken into the stable.

As yet, I can see no reason to stop running this stuff, I filter through a 1 micron filter and then settle, never sucking from the bottle of the tank. I fully expect the IP to blow at some point, but it is really dude now anyway, the old girl has done over 300,000k's on the original IP. If I get another 100 thou out of the motor before it needs a rebuild I will have saved well over the cost of a new donk.

So while the system is not perfect, what system is? but for now I am happy not to be paying 80 - 90% of the fuel bill on a long trip.

Believe me, if it all turns to crap and it can be proven that it was because I ran the ATF, I will be first to post here and let everyone know why it went wrong.

8th July 2010, 11:54 AM
I agree edelbrock the 1HZ is the way to go. I'll be selling my 1HDFTE to chase up one of yours in the near future to at least run on veg. Everything I have found on the net was mainly about blending WMO with some references to straight Waste Motor Oil (WMO). I'd like to read more have you got any links.

You are right at 300000k's you are well in front. There is so much of the stuff around it is a shame not to use it if it can be.

Tony From West Oz
8th July 2010, 11:00 PM
Thread moved to "off-topic" area as it does not relate to using SVO, or any biofuel even.


9th July 2010, 06:44 PM
OK.. put into google

ATF as fuel

and see what comes up... you will be reading for hours..

Automatic Transmission Fluid Fuel - Alternative Diesel Fuel - Diesel Power Magazine (http://www.dieselpowermag.com/tech/ford/0901dp_automatic_transmission_fluid_fuel/index.html)

This is a link to a magazine article on running the stuff.

I am a member of a lot of the diesel truck forums in the US where they discuss this a lot.


11th July 2010, 02:25 PM
Thanks edelbrock1 I like a good info search. I'll be in touch