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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 May 9th, 2018, 09:29   #1
Mr_Imaginative
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Join Date: May 2018
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Smile 2001 Jetta TDI conversion help needed

Hello all
Hoping someone would be so kind to answer this noobs dumb questions.
Anybody have experience in veggie oil conversion on a TDI?
I am looking to convert my 2001 Jetta TDI to a veggie oil single tank system based on the design I found from the videos in this playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...RmL3faeHpUMlmP
The first 4 videos are on the single tank system for a Mercedes car and the last 3 videos are 2 tank systems working on 3 different VW TDI vehicles.
I have the Bentley Service Manuals for my car (2 volume hard cover, brand new with no grease stains yet) to help and I am a DIY type of guy although I don't have deep experience in engine repair. I have manged to fix my driver side window regulator and will replace the AC heater resistance and/or blower shortly.
BTW if anyone needs a few pages scanned from my service manual I would be happy to help.
This is a practice run for my eventual Skoolie conversion to veggie oil.

Last edited by Mr_Imaginative; May 9th, 2018 at 09:34. Reason: Adjusted the title to make more sense
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Old May 9th, 2018, 09:36   #2
oilhammer
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Yes, I do.

Don't. That is the distillation of my experience.

You are much better off building a reactor at home and converting WVO into biofuel, and putting that into an unmodified car. That has its own hurdles, but is FAR less problematic and you won't have to worry about finding someone to repair your car when it breaks.
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Old May 9th, 2018, 11:00   #3
Nevada_TDI
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I'm with oilhammer, I would build or purchase a biodiesel reactor and use bio blend in your fuel when the weather is cool. Keep us posted, will you?
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Old May 10th, 2018, 05:11   #4
Mr_Imaginative
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From my research so far. The problem comes from low quality (not filtered properly) oil and bad maintenance. In the playlist I found 3 examples of long term success with a TDI engine using straight WVO.

I respect your experience and what you have lived through, as I am researching I am looking for success stories to see what they did or do to make it work. Or even what they don't do....

Here is what wikipedia says about TDI
"Single tank conversions have been developed, largely in Germany, which have been used throughout Europe. These conversions are designed to provide reliable operation with rapeseed oil that meets the German rapeseed oil fuel standard DIN 51605. Modifications to the engines cold start regime assist combustion on start up and during the engine warm up phase. Suitably modified indirect injection (IDI) engines have proven to be operable with 100% PPO down to temperatures of −10 C (14 F). Direct injection (DI) engines generally have to be preheated with a block heater or diesel fired heater. The exception is the VW Tdi (Turbocharged Direct Injection) engine for which a number of German companies offer single tank conversions. For long term durability it has been found necessary to increase the oil change frequency and to pay increased attention to engine maintenance."
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Old May 10th, 2018, 10:58   #5
Nevada_TDI
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1.) I used to run a Greasecar kit in my TDI, and when the timing belt broke (unrelated) i sent the head to Frank to get rebuilt. He told how difficult it was to get the fatty acid residue burned off of the head, and if i wanted to continue running WVO I need to start a savings account--presumably to rebuild the motor--so I stopped using it.
2.) Never believe Wikipedia, but using virgin Rapeseed oil and not WVO is a completely different thing.
3.) The fact that you need to preheat the oil before it is injected causes the IP to retard the timing, leaving the potential for buildup in the cylinders on the rings and on the surface of the head.
4.) You are not likely to get 500k miles using WVO without having to do major work on the engine, where using clean properly made Bio can get you to 500k miles without having to do major engine work or major maintenance.
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Old May 11th, 2018, 07:01   #6
philngrayce
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One tank systems are not very popular here because of the cold winters. I’ve heard of one, and it worked okay, but did not work well when it was very cold. I believe they generally recommend new oil, as Nevada TDI pointed out, which may eliminate any real cost savings.

I have a lot of experience with two tank systems, and they can work quite well for a long time. I would highly recommend that, if you are going to convert your car to WVO. You lose some trunk space, but you get a massive range extension and a partly redundant fuel system. I have had no fuel related problems with my two tank cars; I know many others with similar success. In fact, I don’t know anybody who had fuel problems in a proper two tank WVO system, though I have heard of them.

Biodiesel is an option, though one I chose not to do. It takes more space in the garage, is more expensive and involves hazardous chemicals and potentially dangerous processes. I am not convinced it is any more reliable than straight WVO. It does allow you to fuel many different vehicles with no modification. For some, it can be a better choice.

All that said, you have to realize you are taking some risks with your car and will be doing some extra work to make your fuel. If you consider that fun, interesting and rewarding, as I did, go for it. But be aware there are no guarantees. Also - are you sure you have a good reliable source of decent WVO? And you will make a few messes.
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Old May 11th, 2018, 07:06   #7
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Technically, BTW, your ‘01 Jetta, like my ‘02, is a relatively easy conversion. I bought a Greasecar kit. If they are still in business, and you decide to do a two tank setup, I would recommend them. If you don’t mind losing your spare tire, you can put the tank in the tire well and not lose any luggage space.

You may also be able to find one of their kits used.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 13:37   #8
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There are exceptions of course but for me..........if I wanted to go with SVO I'd rather buy a Mercedes.
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Old May 20th, 2018, 14:00   #9
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^
Yep,anything with a mechanical pump.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 04:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1.9ZOOK View Post
^
Yep,anything with a mechanical pump.

Huh? How does that have anything to do with anything? MB has used both inline mechanical pumps that are purely mechanical or electronic controlled, just like VAG's VE diesels, and they skipped past the PD style EDC and went straight to CR engines.... all of which are electronic controlled.

Crappy fuel will trash any diesel engine from any manufacturer. Maybe a 1975 240D will be slightly less finicky about it than a 2000 Jetta, but it can still damage them, and they both have mechanical pumps.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 06:53   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilhammer View Post
Huh? How does that have anything to do with anything? .
I think we're referring to the inline mechanical pumps which are far more robust than the VE type rotary pumps which need special care when used for VO.
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Old May 21st, 2018, 17:10   #12
Riker
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Maybe this is the wrong forum, I'm new to this as well, but for a 2002 Golf I have been told it needs a new fuel pump to run the (more viscous) processed waste vegetable oil? Does anyone know which fuel pump I need?
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Old May 21st, 2018, 17:16   #13
philngrayce
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If you choose to run WVO in an ‘02 (which I think is a good idea, but others obviously disagree) you do not need to change the pump. I have never heard of someone doing that; I’m not sure it is even realistically possible. Perhaps they were talking about adding a lift pump? That also is not necessary.
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 03:58   #14
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You'll only need to change the pump after it dies, not before. It is the moisture that kills them. I've taken the tops off of a lot of them, full of crud and all the exposed metal bits inside are layered in rust.

How long they go until that happens is variable... the trick is, if they can go long enough so that when the repair bill comes, you've saved enough on fuel that you can pay for it without a whimper.

Since #2 diesel is still relatively cheap, and these cars go a really long ways on a gallon of it, usually the WVO cars end up broken long before the fuel costs would have been recouped.

I used to service quite a few of these, but one by one they died off, and their owners (left with a broken car and empty pockets, despite all the "saving" they'd supposedly done), moved on to something else.... or gave up.

Like I said in my first post, you are far better off to build a reactor and make biofuel from WVO, and at least be able to remove all the crud and paraffin, and boil out any moisture, to make a reasonably decent motor fuel and run it in an unmodified car, blended with #2 diesel as necessary for temperature related concerns. Then, when you actually SEE the thick, black, waxy tar that is removed from the raw WVO, you'll understand why you do not want your engine running off of that. And again, it is less that the engine itself won't run (a diesel engine will run off of coffee grounds and eggshells if you could figure out how to get it reliably into the combustion bowl), but that the fuel system suffers so much, and the fuel system can cause engine damage (like holes burned through pistons level of damage) if not kept in good order.

Seriously, throw some basic numbers together for your fuel costs, and come up with an annual savings, and ask yourself will you actually be "saving" that money and holding it in escrow of sorts to cover repair costs? That is always the question that the folks here never had an answer for, until the poop hit the fan, and then the answer was usually not in their favor.
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Old May 22nd, 2018, 04:32   #15
philngrayce
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There are those who don’t do the conversion right, or just have bad luck, I suppose. If you run a rapair shop, of course you will see the cars that have problems. Conversely, you probably won’t see the ones that run just fine.

I have done the numbers on mine, and I saved enough not just to fix the car (which I never had to do) but to buy a whole brand new car. And I don’t know anybody running WVO who had a problem with their injection pump. That said, you should go into this realizing that you may have problems and be prepared to accept that.

I don’t know what 2002 VWs are going for these days, but they are probably cheap enough and close enough to worn out that you may feel you have little to lose.

It is true that you are making your own fuel, so you are responsible for making it well. At the least, it has to be clean and dry. You may want to consider the quality of whatever sources you have for used cooking oil.
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