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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > Alternative Diesel Fuels (Biodiesel, WVO, SVO, BTL, GTL etc)

Alternative Diesel Fuels (Biodiesel, WVO, SVO, BTL, GTL etc) Discussions about alternative fuels for use in our TDI's. This includes biodiesel WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil), SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil), BTL (Biomass to Liquid), GTL (Gas to Liquids) etc. Please note the Fuel Disclaimer.

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Old March 29th, 2020, 02:40   #16
bogno
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Ok so lockdown is getting to me - here's a video with animated diagrams and everything(!), of the initial two tank diesel to veg oil install. Its 22 mins, so might help with the Lockdown playlist




And a few pics of the engine coming in and out for anyone who doesn't get geeky car related watch time:



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Old March 29th, 2020, 06:56   #17
philngrayce
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Wow, beautiful, the mechanical work and the video. It’s clear, funny, interesting, humble, well lit, and great simulations. I love the homemade hose clamps.

I’ve got a few questions: Why no heated tank and hose in hose line? Will your fuel always be liquid, even in the winter? Are you sure you want that diesel tank inside the vehicle? It’s never going to leak, and you won’t spill when you’re filling it?

Just what I needed to watch as we remain in lockdown here, thanks again. And it looks like you are in a lovely place to ride out the coronavirus. How are things in Wales?
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Old March 31st, 2020, 03:19   #18
bogno
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Good morning Philngrayce. Damn, stop it Thank you so much for you kind and encouraging words about the conversion video, it really means a lot to me

To address you questions:
Quote:
Why no heated tank and hose in hose line? Will your fuel always be liquid, even in the winter?
Good question. My reasoning was that in the coldest months of winter (which this year, here in Wales, has been very mild barely going below freezing) I could just add 20% or so diesel to keep things liquid. That would save on complexity and a long run of coolant hose. I also read tales of tank heaters (especially copper ones) tending to cause polymerisation, so thought I'd at least start without, and see how it goes, with the thought that I could always add later...

Quote:
Are you sure you want that diesel tank inside the vehicle? It’s never going to leak, and you won’t spill when you’re filling it?
I actually ummed and arred about this for a good while and am still a little unsure. I didn't really want to loose my spare wheel, and without making a custom tank, it seemed like it was going to be tricky to fit one anywhere outside the van.
I ended up getting that tank because it fit in well in the cubby, was a little bigger than a lot of people get (33l), and was reasonably cheap (~ £50). It's reasonably thick walled, so I'm not too worried about leaks (except from the hose connections, which is a concern). I plan to continue the line of the wheel arch and cover over it in plywood, probably leaving a slit for fuel level to be easily seen. I didn't fancy messing with fuel sender gauges and pulling the dashboard to add a dial (at least not to begin with).

In terms of filling it up - it feels a little weird taking the pump nozzle inside the van at the filling station, and has redefined my notion of ‘mindful re-fueling’. I have only done it twice so far, and not a drop was spilled inside. I'm sure it's only a matter of time, but the ply lining is far from pristine

In this part of Wales, I have countryside around and can't complain about being in lockdown really. I'm quite worried for my parents (my dad's asthmatic), but they are quite isolated on the farm here. I can't imagine sitting it out in a big city and really feel for my friends who are there now

How are things there in Connecticut?
Peace, Bongo
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Old March 31st, 2020, 07:14   #19
philngrayce
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Thanks for the response Bogno. I still think your interior is going to wind up smelling like diesel; please prove me wrong.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been here, but there are really two Connecticuts. Suburban CT is pretty much part of the New York City metropolitan area. That section is not doing well, with very high rates of coronavirus, overloaded hospitals and stressed services. The other CT, where we live, is quite rural. Logging and farming are still pretty big industries here, and there is a lot of open space. So we are fortunate to be in a good spot to ride this thing out, (so far). There are very few cases, stores and farm-stands remain well stocked and the mood is not bad. My daughter’s college term was switched to remote learning; it’s nice to have her home, but not for this reason, obviously. My Mom is healthy, but lonely as we are hesitant to visit and risk getting her sick.

That said, I grew up in and worked in New York City for 30 years, so I have many friends and connections to the city. Though I moved out to the country, I still love that city and it is very distressing to watch.Several friends are sick, and more will no doubt be. Most have or are recovering, but a few have passed. You can’t even have a funeral. This is a very strange time.

Thanks for asking. Be healthy and take care of yourself and especially your parents. Come visit Connecticut when it’s all over.
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Old April 1st, 2020, 02:02   #20
bogno
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Philngrayce, it's sobering to hear your account of it. NY sound bad from the news. Glad you get to at least enjoy the countryside where you are.

I think you may well be right in terms of the tank inside... We shall see, I will do my best

Atm, I'm trying to get a reading on the fuel temperature, through the android app "torque". Any tips anyone? It just doesn't seem an option...

I know I want to be sending veg oil to the injectors about 120C, where veg oil viscosity is very close to regular diesel. It is (best case) leaving the heat exchanger about 80C... I know the tandem pump heats the fuel a lot, but without reading the fuel tep sensor, which is right by the tandem pump, on the fuel return line, its hard to know how much... It would be very interesting to see.

If it the temp reads lower than I like, I might consider some kind of heat exchanger between the fuel return and veg oil coming in...
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Old April 1st, 2020, 05:40   #21
philngrayce
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Back in the day, we used digital oil/water temp gauges like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/HOTSYSTEM-Ele...0&sr=8-1-fkmr0

It works well, and we thought it made the car look pretty cool, though I suspect you don’t want to clutter up your dash. The nice thing is you had a constant, easy to read display.


If you do decide you need a supplemental heater, I always liked the “Vegtherm” heaters. It’s electrical, so very easy to install. Also easy to turn off when you don’t need it.

https://plantdrive.com/collections/v...er-12v-heaters


As far as the android app goes, you’re way beyond my pay grade. But I’m sure the car knows the temperature, and I’m sure someone on here knows how to get it to tell you. If you don’t get a response soon, try posting the same question elsewhere on the forum. There are a lot of folks on here who know an awful lot about these cars, but they may not be monitoring the alternative fuels section.
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Old April 2nd, 2020, 05:32   #22
bogno
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Philngrayce, thank you for the links. The vegtherm heaters look good and I will have a good close look at them if I find the fuel is not reaching ~120C. First step is to monitor that.
I did look at those sensors, and they would probably do the job, but as you say, I'd rather not mess up the dash if I can afford not to, and I was thinking that brass (I think that's what they are) is not so good in contact with heated veg oil? There is a sensor there on the return line... I just need to work out how to access it through the data bus... Will have to get a post going elsewhere when I get time
Thanks again,
Bongo.
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Old April 2nd, 2020, 16:52   #23
philngrayce
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My conversions always had a lot of brass. I used the Greasecar kits, which have copper tubing for the fuel lines and a copper heat exchanger in the tank. I know many folks said that the copper led to polymerization. It never bothered my systems, but the inside of the tank was pretty ugly. Would it have been just as ugly without the copper? I don’t know.

I have the fuel temperature sending unit sitting on my bench and it is fairly clean. Of course, it gets flushed every time you purge, then sits in a diesel bath so it should be okay.
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Old April 20th, 2020, 10:03   #24
WooK
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My Greasecar Kit didnt have any copper tubing at all and had PEX Pipe. I guess it was cheaper but I havent seen any poly on the PEX Pipe after 4 years. The inside of my tank as well as the copper heat exchanger has a honey coat but the PEX does not.

Bongo, i really enjoyed that video. Very and informative and entertaining. I hope everything gets worked out for you.
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Old April 22nd, 2020, 07:19   #25
bogno
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Wook. Thanks for your kind words on the video
That's really interesting to hear about the pex pipe condition vs the heat exchanger and tank... what was the tank made from?

I have been driving (but not much as on lockdown) with the new engine and the veg oil system (with some tweeks) so far so good.
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Old April 22nd, 2020, 09:10   #26
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Wook is right about the pex tubing. My mistake; my kits did not have copper fuel lines. Only the heat exchanger inside the tank was copper. At one point, I changed the pex to aluminum tubing, figuring that it would heat the fuel better. It probably did, but not a noticeable difference. The pex works fine, is cheap and easy to work with.

Not to answer for him, but I believe all Greasecar tanks were aluminum.
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Old May 8th, 2020, 03:39   #27
bogno
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Thanks for that Philngrayce - interesting to know. Not much to report here (still lockdown), but I did put together a video about diagnosing the engine fail, after initial tandem pump cuffuffal. You can watch the post-veg oil engine dismantling / analysis here


Last edited by bogno; May 8th, 2020 at 04:18.
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Old May 8th, 2020, 17:50   #28
philngrayce
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Another delightful, charming and informative video, even though I don’t really care that much about tandem pumps. Thanks. Or maybe I’m just a bit on the bored side and suffering from the lockdown, but I don’t think so.

Perhaps I’m showing my age, but since when do engines have a plastic cover over the main bearings? And isn’t that sweater you’re wearing a bit too nice for this kind of work?

But what I really want to know about is that cute young lady in the back seat of the tow truck? My wife never smiles like that when the car breaks down in some inconvenient location and has to be towed home.
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Old May 26th, 2020, 15:57   #29
bogno
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Hey all,
A bit slow in updating here, but I had only been on a few short trips with the new engine on veg oil. Sadly I had the cause to travel across the country a few days ago, as my father-in-law was taken to hospital (not with covid, but equally deadly). I must admit, driving my wife to see her dying father was about as far from an ideal first proper test of the engine I can imagine - and yes I was terrified it would breakdown on the way and she would never forgive me.

As it was we got the call about an hour away from the hospital that he had passed, and we should turn back to avoid unnecessary potential virus contamination.

Anyway, to speak more to the point of this thread; before we set off I hooked up my laptop running vcds and took a log of the fluid temps - it was quite interesting...



The green is the speed in Km/h, and the others Oil, fuel and Coolant temps are in degrees C.
If you click on it you can see that fuel temp basically follows coolant temps, staying a few degrees below it. I guess this is what you'd expect considering the fuel is heated by the coolant in the heat exchanges, but I thought it might have been substantially further heated by the tandem pump - it seems not!

On this trip I switched to veg-oil almost straight away, as the van was already a bit warmed up, as soon as coolant is reading over 80C I switch... The coolant stays between 80 and 90C as the thermostat opens and closes...
At the end you can see the fuel temp decrease rapidly, and that's the switch back to diesel...

The loged trip was about 160 miles - mostly motorway. The way back was very similar.

@Philngrayce, thank you once again for your kind words. LOL The "cute young lady in the back seat of the tow truck" is indeed my wife, I can't explain it - seems it's her favourite way to travel? I am very lucky.

I want to test it further to determine if the high fuel temps result in any changes in injection timings. I have heard that it does and that it might reduce the time the veg oil has to combust - resulting in potentially un-burned fuel = polymerisation of the veg oil = bad... More testing needed. For now it runs.
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