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Thread: Automating the changeover to vege (and back) in a two tank system.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    134

    Automating the changeover to vege (and back) in a two tank system.

    If you had to buy a turbo timer it will cost $40 otherwise under $10 - not including labour .

    My switching system is automated so my wife can't get stuck and doesn't forget to change to vege once the engine has warmed up. It means my in-laws, friends etc. can drive it and they don't need lessons if I want them to use the vege oil.

    The system uses small thermo switch that closes once warm. These can be purchased from Jaycar for under $5 and I use a cable tie to hold it onto the thermostat housing. There are a range of temperature options available.
    Jaycar Electronics

    I also use a 100deg one of these to activate a warning light on the dash as a safegaurd to loosing all the water in the cooling system and seizing the engine. With the extra coolant piping around and under the car this is cheap insurance.

    Another option to turn on the vege is the variable temp switch as used for aftermarket thermofans.

    To turn the engine off I have a turbo timer built into my alarm system since the vehicle is turbo diesel anyway. Power comes from the turbo timer circuit through the thermo switch and then to a relay for the vege valve. I can turn off the turbo timer via the remote if required. As has been mentioned elsewhere turbo timers are availble from Jaycar for $30 in kit form. There is an intelligent version, but is more suited to systems with EFI. The one listed here is the simple one.
    Jaycar Electronics

    If you are using 3 port valves then the setup is easy and may not even require a relay, but if you are using the Pollack six port which requires a reversed polarity you will need a DPDT relay like this one from Jaycar costing $4.80.
    Jaycar Electronics

    I use the factory sub tank switch on the dash and with the addition of a diode I managed to get the light to come on when pollack itself has switched onto the vege. With the switch depressed it is on auto for vege and otherwise it will run on bio/diesel.

    **each of the links above take you to the described item.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Moranbah QLD
    Posts
    59

    Re: Automating the changeover to vege (and back) in a two tank system.

    good info mate making the system all auto would be good for the other halves, so they dont get confused

  3. #3
    David Guest

    Re: Automating the changeover to vege (and back) in a two tank system.

    Good info Brian.

    Of course for those that aren't handy with electronic kits or have too much money to spend ( that would come from the money they save running WVO) and like
    to really complicate things, there are the multi-function WVO fuel management computers!


    You can find this controller here for -only- $350 US





    Here is another one, only $499 for this example.





    Something a little more Basic, Bargain Basement price of only $249 US.
    (Have to follow the above link for a pic of this one as this forum does not support PHP linked images)

    I did see something about a guy that was programing a Picaxe micro computer on a forum somewhere but I don't think he was publishing the code for it.
    Might also be possible to adapt an old laptop computer with a automation - sensor kit to do the job as well.

    These Fuel controlers seem like a lot of overkill when most people run veg very successfully with no more control than a DPDT Switch !

    If one did forget to switch over, a capful or 2 of Methanol thrown down the intake manifold gives me instant starts no matter what is in the IP and would
    probably work well for getting other people started as well.

    If I decide to lash out with something automated, I'll go with Brians suggestion here.
    Last edited by David; 21st June 2007 at 11:48 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    134

    Re: Automating the changeover to vege (and back) in a two tank system.

    If you're capable of soldering electronics kits then for $30 you can get the Jaycar Economy Temp. Switch, which has the DPDT relay inbuilt and a temperature probe all for the one price.

    It is also adjustable for the switch on and off temperatures. If my previous setup wasn't already installed I would probably go this way.

    See
    Jaycar Electronics This link will take you straight to the item


    regards
    Brian

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Edens Landing, QLD
    Posts
    35

    Re: Automating the changeover to vege (and back) in a two tank system.

    Brian,

    I'd be careful with these Jaycar thermo switches, tested one before and found the setpoint to be less than ideal and the differential was very wide ( around 25 oC from memory ), the electronic temp. switches will give much better control and reliability. I have used Picaxe microcontrollers for several projects including a SVO valve controller, if anyone wants it I can post the program. These little Picaxe chips are great, designed for school kids but there are plenty of hobbyists and professionals using them, very cheap, programmed in basic language and there isn't much you can't do with them (including solenoid valve sequencing on SVO powered cars!!!).

    Regards,

    Cheeky

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    134

    Re: Automating the changeover to vege (and back) in a two tank system.

    When you say the differential was quite wide, do you mean every time it switches it is +/- 25degC (ie does it change at a different temperature every time)?

    I think the Economy Temp Switch would be a more reliable solution.

    The Picaxe chips sound interesting - I will look into them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Maitland, NSW Australia
    Posts
    180

    Re: Automating the changeover to vege (and back) in a two tank system.

    Great work Brian and something I want to get around to doing at some stage to my 300D.

    Our 300Ds (Tony's excluded!) are non turbo and shut down is by vacuum, not by electronic means so I'm not sure how I should do this.

    Has anyone done this to a 300D?
    Cheers
    Bruce
    http://oztayls.blogspot.com/

    1976 W123 300D (3 litre 5-cyl NA diesel running on SVO since June 2006)
    1982 W126 280SE (Sadly is For Sale)
    1993 W124 300D (3 litre 6-cyl NA diesel - being converted to SVO)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    134

    Re: Automating the changeover to vege (and back) in a two tank system.

    You will find a 12V activated solenoid designed for vacuum on a lot of cars, especially those prior to full computer control. They are designed to allow increased (or constant) idle speed for when the car is put in "D" (drive) or the airconditioner is turned on. Basically just look around the engine bay for something with two wires and two vacuum lines going to it and then set it up the same way on your car. I know the carby version Ford Laser (KC, KE) and Mazda have three of these fitted to the firewall.


    all the best
    Brian

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Maitland, NSW Australia
    Posts
    180

    Re: Automating the changeover to vege (and back) in a two tank system.

    Thanks for the tip Brian.

    I'll google this as there's bound to be someone who had done this on a 300D
    Cheers
    Bruce
    http://oztayls.blogspot.com/

    1976 W123 300D (3 litre 5-cyl NA diesel running on SVO since June 2006)
    1982 W126 280SE (Sadly is For Sale)
    1993 W124 300D (3 litre 6-cyl NA diesel - being converted to SVO)

  10. #10
    David Guest

    Re: Automating the changeover to vege (and back) in a two tank system.

    Jaycar sell a 1/4" solenoid valve for 13 Bux.

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