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Thread: Going for it

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Going for it

    Well after much though and a good hard look at my fuel bills I have decided to get a benz diesel and convert it to a two tank system. I do have a few questions. I did a lot of cursing around the net but didn't find exactly the answer to my questions.

    First off where I live it can get very cold in the winter, 25 below zero F is not uncommon. From what I understand this turns wvo/wco into shortening. And when all parts of the car are at that temp I'm sure that even if I heat the wvo tank as soon as it hits the lines and the pump it will thicken right up. Do others solver this problem by heating the entire fuling system? It would seem to be the best way to me. Right from the tank to the injectors. What are your thoughts? I do have access to a small machine shop with a lathe and mill at my disposal so making small parts like heat excgangers are not out of the question but doing something for no benifit is.

    The next question is what about adding a solvent to the wvo? I have seen many people suggest everything from paint thinner to unleaded gasoline. What seems to be the consenses on this forum? I suspect when it get very cold here having fuel that is treated with a solven and heated would be the best way to go. But fortunately it's only that cold for about three or four months out of the year.

    The vehicle I am looking at getting is either an 1981 Benz 300CD or an 1987 300 TD. I am not sure but I think both of these use direct injection. Is that correct?

    I know I can buy tanks already made up but I would like to make then fit as tight as possible under the car. I was thinking of cutting the priginal tank in half, weld it back up of course and make another tank that fills on the opposite side for the WVO. I can make my own heater coils for the WVO tank but would like some feed back on this option. Has it been done before? I'm a pretty good tig welder so makinging the tank isn't really a problem but making one the first time it's very easy to forget something that one would really need. I suspect some way to measure the temp of the wvo would be nice as well as some way to stir the tank. And of course some way to check the level. Using a marked stick will work but it's not the best option.

    Also and all opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you Slip

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Re: Going for it

    Welcome to the forum.
    I see that you are from the USA, and in some places it does get particularly cold. Have you considered moving to a warmer climate? Just joking

    The main contributors to this forum are in Australia and while there are some places which get cold, what I consider cold is anything lower than 0C.

    If you go to the Infopop Biodiesel forum (which you would have found if you have been looking for WVO conversions) and search for posts by Dana Linscott. He has a lot of expertise with 2 tank conversions in sub zero (F) climates.

    In short, the answer is Yes, you do need to heat EVERY part of the WVO fuel system and insulate every other part of the fuel system, to minimise issues with fuel solidification.
    25 below zero F is not uncommon. From what I understand this turns wvo/wco into shortening
    Even diesel fuel has difficulties at those tempoeratures and the Petroleum companies blend it with kerosine to maintain a liquid product. There is no problem adding a thinning agent to the WVO to assist your fuel to remain liquid, or at least mobile until it heats up. Regular Gasoline is probable the cheapest and most effective thinning agent and could be used at up to 20% (1part Gas : 4 parts WVO.

    You will find many different types of WVO around, varying from animal fats to Canola oil and many different types in between. Choose your winter WVO carefully to ensure that only the lowest melting point oil is used, to provide you with the best chance of being successful in this, in your climate.

    The Mercedes Diesels from that era are Indirect Injection and are reputably the best for use with WVO.

    Consider making a tank to fit behind the existing fuel tank, tapered from narrow at the bottom, to wide at the top, to maximise boot space, access to the spare tyre and maximise tank capacity. Remember to insulate between the 2 tanks also.
    Regardless of the fuel gauge type you fit to the tank, it will only work properly once ALL of the WVO has melted. A dipstick will be very useful if the WVO is solid in the tank, or if it has all melted. Just make the tank big wenough to cater for a reasonable amount of travel (I have one the about same capacity as the stock fuel tank, but is fitted to the LHS of the boot ("trunk" in USA speak).

    Ensure that you have a coolant pump to maximise coolant flow to the veggie tank and all other heated parts of the WVO system.



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