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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 January 12th, 2010, 12:22   #16
T'sTDI
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Default Fallacy #2

FALLACY #2
It is worthy to note that the quieter engine while running on WVO is NOT due to vegetable oil being a more lubricating fuel. It is due to retarded timing or combustion not being as volatile. In the case of the TDI engine, both of these factors go hand-in-hand. Advanced timing makes combustion noises louder, retarded timing make them quieter. The noises you hear from a diesel engine are combustion noises. Quieter engine on WVO is not a good thing.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:22   #17
T'sTDI
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Default EGT Gauge

EGT Gauge-
I wanted to take the time to explain a further importance of having an EGT gauge on any diesel. Other than finding a critical component of the puzzle that is burning WVO in a TDI, an EGT gauge is a wonderful tool to have on a car because it lets you know what is going on with combustion at all times. I told you before in this guide, when you start off with a car that is in good shape, maintained well and up on all scheduled regular engine maintenance, comparisons can be made when burning WVO. Anything out the ordinary will raise eye brows and therefore, will alert you to a problem long before catastrophe ever occurs.
I have heard of a lot of horror stories regarding WVO. I have heard of piston wall scarring, piston ring coking, burning holes in the tops of pistons and injector streaming. Because all of these horrible scenarios have to do with combustion, an EGT gauge will reflect this problem with registering hotter EGT’s. Think about it, if you’re injecting fuel and its not combusting, your engine is producing a lot of heat and pressure and no energy for combustion.
I love having this gauge on my car and observe it on a frequent basis. I always know what is going on with my car and therefore, will always be able to catch a problem before an even bigger one develops. These are preventive ideas that save a lot of heartache. Anal yes, necessary maybe, but what are we trying to achieve and how many people have failed miserably at it?

http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/a...t=100_4276.jpg (Boost and EGT Gauge)
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:23   #18
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Default Lift Pump

Lift Pump-
A lift pump is a required piece on a PD engine conversion because the fuel system has no means of drawing fuel from the tank. Unlike the PD engine, the VE rotary injection pump has the capability of drawing/priming itself fuel from the main diesel tank. However, because the injection pump is drawing a thicker fuel, this places undue stress of the pump that is not needed.
Other than providing a performance boost, a lift pump ensures the injection pump always has an adequate amount of fuel supply. With a lift pump installed, no longer does the injection pump have to “work” to get its supply. A lift pump or pusher pump does the work for the injection pump. This prevents the injection pump of ever being starved for fuel and therefore means more power always on tap.
In talking with Greasecar and other people who burn WVO, all of them recommend a lift pump for the benefit stated above. When you switchover to oil, chances are the injection pump will suck a small amount of air before it primes itself fully with fuel. A lift pump helps this process along. The only way to put a lift pump on a Greasecar setup is on the supply line leading straight to the pump. You can’t place the lift pump on the WVO fuel lines because you have to purge that line with diesel and lift pumps will only flow one way. Placing the lift pump on the supply line also has the benefit of always having a lift pump no matter what fuel you are on. Its cheap insurance and an idea that is worth noting, I highly recommend it. I noticed a big bump in on tap power while on WVO with this modification.
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread...lbro+Lift+Pump
Here is the lift pump that I use described in a great thread by another forum member. I also opted for the “on-demand” lift pump in which the pump only cycles and pumps to keep the preset pressure within range (anywhere from 4-7 PSI). In other words, the pump doesn’t continually run at 7 PSI of pressure. This could actually work against the injection pump and force feed it fuel that it doesn’t need. An on-demand version of a lift pump means the injection pump gets the supplied fuel when it needs it.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:23   #19
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Default Injection Line Heaters

Injection Line Heaters-
The benefits of injection line heaters are numerous. The biggest advantage to using injection line heaters is it’s another source of supplemental heat. On my setup, the oil travels to a FPHE, to a heated filter, to my injection pump and then on its way to combustion. The oil sitting in the injection lines is heated through use of line heaters. The art of injection line heaters is that the WVO has already been pressurized by the pump. Therefore, post IP heating is safer and puts less heat stress on the pump.
Injection pumps are a simple design but do not like excessive amounts of heat. Currently, my WVO temperature from read the fuel temp sender prior to my resistor mod was 180-185 deg in the summertime. I do not know if that is too hot or not. In my time of burning WVO, it has shown to not be excessive and my pump has handled it fine, the car produces a lot of power and still has the same pep that it does on diesel fuel.
This is why electric heating I think is saved best for post IP. Electric heating has no regulation; it just heats until you turn it off. My FPHE not only heats the oil to near coolant temperatures, it regulates it at that temperature. Using post IP heating, you can heat the oil to no end and it no longer matters. There is nothing beyond the pump that could cause potential problems from too much heating; however, there are things beyond the pump that can cause potential problems from too much viscosity (aka not enough heating). The only thing beyond the pump is injection lines that feed four injectors. Take advantage of this by using safe supplemental electric heating.
My observations using injection line heaters have resulted in hotter fuel return line temperatures. Return line is basically the fuel that was not used in the event of injection. I can’t really give you any specific numbers because the sender isn’t all that accurate; however, it has read higher temperatures. In conclusion, injection line heaters are a safe method of heating the oil that much closer to the needed temperature of achieving similar viscosity of diesel fuel.

http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/a...00_4280_00.jpg (Lift Pump and Injection Line Heaters)
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:24   #20
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Default

T's that is an awesome write-up. I'll leave this open as is for some discussion for some time, and then, if you would like, I can merge it into the other thread to avoid having too many sticky/locked threads in this forum section.
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and before that ... 1996 Passat TDI, Silk Blue
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:24   #21
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Default Water Injection

Water Injection-
This has been an interesting topic that has come up on the occasion in discussing WVO and preventive maintenance. Water injection has been known for a long time to be a performance enhancer by mixing water and methanol (another fuel source) together. Straight water injection is known to “steam clean” the combustion chamber because you can’t compress a liquid. Basically the tiny water particles absorb the heat from combustion and “steam clean” anything the water particles come into contact with. This could result in cleaning any residual coking that could occur on injector nozzles. There has been discussion that water injection could possibly steam cleaning piston rings which is the primary culprit of piston wall scarring (piston rings separate the combustion event from the engine oil that lubricates the internal rotating engine parts). I have a water injection system on my car but I really don’t know if it has benefited me or not. The steam clean theory itself makes logical sense to me however. Let us delve into this further.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:25   #22
T'sTDI
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Default The Combustion Event

Where the rubber meets the road: The Combustion Event

There are two compression rings and one oil ring. Obviously the compression rings are on top and the oil ring is below. The oil ring is composed of three parts (2 scrapers and an expander). One scraper is better for when the piston goes down and the other scraper is better for when the piston goes up. The expander is basically a collection point that allows any oil left over to collect and fall through the bottom of the piston. The theory behind piston wall scarring is due to incomplete combustion of WVO in the startup event (signaled by smoking of the exhaust). If there is any residual WVO being attempted to combust at startup, (not enough purge times, not driving long enough on diesel after purging) droplets of WVO may come in contact with cylinder walls. Since the two compression rings have not fully expanded (not at operating temperature), residual WVO seeps below the top compression ring and will coke in a hard carbon form between them. When this happens, the hard carbon form has no where to go except up and down the piston wall and in the process scraping it and damaging the wall severely.

A great example of this is sDeck’s TDI who experienced problems with burning oil in his car.
http://www.greasecar.com/forum_topic...mtopicID=19978

In pictures 2 and 3 you can see the WVO residue that seeped past the top compression ring (the ring is not there but you see the groove in the piston where it would be) and formed a hard carbon deposit between the first and second compression ring grooves. In the top of his thread he discuses where he may have gone wrong. I quote, “I am firmly convinced this is all due to 42K on WVO. Principle causes (aside from just running WVO) were failure to reduce OCI, too short of purges, and short shut downs on WVO.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:26   #23
GoFaster
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Default

Discussion in the other thread ...

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=269972
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formerly ... 2006 Jetta TDI 5-sp, Spice Red, Unitronics stage 1, 0.681 5th gear.
and before that ... 1996 Passat TDI, Silk Blue
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:29   #24
T'sTDI
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Default Polymerization of Engine Oil and Preventive Methods

Polymerization of Engine Oil and Preventive Methods:

Polymerization of engine oil will occur more frequently if you start your engine on trace amounts of WVO in a two tank setup. In a two-tank setup, you must always start on diesel fuel. You can see how I do not understand how the one tank system works. I don’t understand how one can change an injector nozzle so drastically to the point where adequate combustion is achieved and piston ring coking/ scaring does not occur. This is why I say, the art of the two tank setup is to start on 100% diesel fuel and to stop on 100% diesel fuel. This is what you prevent by doing this, accelerated polymerization.
Since blow-by gases is an inevitability and occurs on any combustion engine ever made due to weakening combustion piston rings over time, there will be accumulation of WVO gases in engine oil that will eventually accumulate into a possible problem. Obviously, running a kit in the correct way will slow this process down, but understand it is inevitable. THIS WILL OCCUR NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO!!!!


Problem Solution

The only way to combat this issue is to increase the frequency in which you change your engines oil. The recommended change interval is half of what you were doing before. Since the TDI engine is recommended at 10,000 miles, I would change the engine oil every 5k. I still believe that is way too long to let engine oil accumulate WVO. Obviously, how much you drive on oil would affect this. I change my oil every 3500 miles with Shell Rotella Synthetic oil 5w 40. Some may say this is overkill and unnecessary. I say no it’s completely necessary. Look at what I am preventing by doing this. I don’t have to worry about internal engine damage from occurring because I do not let WVO vapor accumulate to a problem.

Note: This oil does not meet specification requirements on a PD engine. So don’t use it…

Understand, there is no such thing as overkill maintenance when working with WVO. Would you rather change your oil a little more often or replace piston rings and bore out your engine to correct the piston wall scarring? I like simple oil changes.
Remember, go above the call of duty, you got nothing to worry about.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:29   #25
T'sTDI
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Default Operation of the Kit

Operation of the Kit

Since the only kit that I believe in is the two tank setup, I will only talk about it. Operating ones kit is singly the most IMPORTANT aspect of long term success. If you thought what I have said so far is important, this discussion topic is so overlooked but ever so important to long term success. This is the “idiot factor” at its greatest. “I’ll just go one more mile before I purge…..” “If I sit in WVO in traffic I won’t burn any diesel fuel….” “I’m not quite up to operating temperature but it won’t matter…..” “I could burn WVO in the city, I’m at operating temperature….” “If I purge at my destination that should be an adequate purge….”

I poke fun at this but all of these will cross your mind at one point or the other. Having the opportunity to burn WVO at the flip of a switch is a powerful idea, one that should be respected and used in appropriate situations. My experience so far with WVO in our two GC converted cars has strictly kept WVO use to only on the highway. The reason for this, we are typically on cruise control and we are running our car at a consistent RPM. Although load changes (hills) and therefore timing will change, keeping our RPM consistent means the injection pump RPM is also consistent. Injection pump RPM is roughly twice that of engine RPM. So out of curiosity, I made close observations of highway driving on diesel fuel as compared to WVO. At the same RPM and similar load (same trip) my EGT gauge has showed similar EGT readings. Since this is the best indicator of combustion efficiency, I can assume that both fuels are burning similarly and therefore combustion efficiency is similar. This is a great thing. When you burn fuels on the highway, since your operating under a consistent RPM and load only changes due to terrain, your fuel efficiency is at its best. Meaning combustion efficiency is at its highest and therefore burning the least amount of fuel per mile. Why try and burn more WVO then what you have to? Burn it on the highway and enjoy the drive…
When on the highway, typically you are using the cruise control. This puts the throttle position in control of the ECU and therefore means, the ECU is only going to apply as much throttle (fuel) it needs to overcome higher loads. When you use your foot to control this, especially with my car because it is chipped and fast, it is very tempting to drop the hammer on a free fuel and waste some unsuspecting gasoline engine. Ever since my conversion, I have only done this one time. The reason why I do not do this is because remember, inherently thicker fuels involve more stress on components. There is more stress on the timing belt and more stress on the injection pump to pressurize the fuel to combust. Although my car makes the same amount of power on both fuels, I do not flirt with the fact that the stresses are higher on WVO than on diesel. I look forward to the purge 3-5 miles prior to my destination and then let her rip… There is a benefit to driving hard in this case. Purging off of oil (flipping the switch) causes two things to happen. With the flip of that switch, your injection pump is drawing its fuel source from the diesel side. The second thing is your WVO line is purged with diesel fuel. This is not necessarily the important thing…. Remember, that entire line is heated and therefore is irrelevant if WVO or diesel in this line. The purge of 30 seconds allows the return line of the injection pump ample time to send the WVO that it was not using back the return line on the WVO side, not the diesel side. This is where cross contamination can occur. 30 seconds seems to be enough time for allowing enough time for WVO to purge itself from the injection pump, to the return line and then back to the WVO tank (it took 12 seconds for diesel fuel to be seen at the WVO tank at idle when we installed the system). However, I still believe a small, irrelevant amount of WVO may still be sent back to the main tank. In this case, it is such a small amount; it will not make a difference.
After I have purged, I like to drive my car hard for 3-5 miles after purging. This allows enough time for the injection pump, the injector lines, the combustion chamber and everything that came in contact with WVO to either be purged by diesel fuel or burned off by high boost pressures, load, high engine RPM, high pump RPM and in a WOT (wide open throttle) scenario. This has ensured sure starts and smoke free starts. I have never smelled WVO out my exhaust before I shut it off. The art of a two tank is to start on 100% diesel and to stop on 100% diesel. Getting the idea???


Note: This is also when I flip the switch for my water injection for its steam cleaning capability.
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2001 Jetta TDI- 190K
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:30   #26
T'sTDI
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Default Why not burn it in the city, traffic, etc… etc…

Why not burn it in the city, traffic, etc… etc…

Well for one, fuel efficiency is not its best in this situation. Therefore, you are burning more WVO per mile than what you would on the highway. In the city, your engine is fluctuating RPM on a consistent basis. Not only that, load is changing on a consistent basis. I think that driving in the city on WVO could be a problem. I do not burn WVO in the city nor would I recommend in doing so. In traffic situations, I purge the second that I see them. Unless traffic is moving at a decent pace and I can keep my RPMs above 2k, I will purge off oil. The reason for this is when I have been in bumper to bumper traffic situations; I have witnessed my RPM tach fluttering at idle (50-75 RPM). This is an ever so slight increase in RPM that the average person would probably not notice but understand what is occurring in this situation. The engine is fighting to maintain a consistent RPM, meaning the ECU is adjusting fueling and timing to achieve consistency. This is not a good thing. Also, at idle, this is the most inefficient point because you’re not moving. Combustion temperatures have dropped and may have possibly dropped to a point where WVO is not obtaining enough heat to properly atomize and combust.

So when you operate the kit there are rules in which you must abide by to prevent all the problems I have discussed above.
__________________
2001 Jetta TDI- 190K
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:30   #27
T'sTDI
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Default Adhere To These Rules For Long Term Success!!!

ADHERE TO THESE RULES FOR LONG TERM SUCCESS!!!

Operating your kit should be strictly used on the highway only.
You must wait till your engine has achieved operating temperature (190 degrees)
You must wait till your WVO has achieved operating temperature (with the FPHE and HIH you don’t have to worry about this as much because it achieves adequate fuel temperature when the engine reaches operating temperature).
You must purge 3-5 miles before your destination.
You must run the crap out of your car, through the RPM band in a high load, high boost, high engine RPM and high injection pump RPM scenario. The TDI engine is powerful, enjoy the power.

If you smell WVO out your exhaust after all of these steps, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM. You are not doing something right and there is either WVO in your main diesel tank or your supply valve is stuck in the WVO position. This happened to us on our Powerstroke. Stuck valves can occur and are easily fixed; however, if left unfixed, can cause severe problems.

Such easy directions yet very little people are able to follow them. Have some respect for the entire operation and in what you’re trying to achieve. It is critical that you follow these steps to ensure a clean, sure start up the next time you start your car. It is also critical that you follow these steps to ensure all the problems I mentioned above to not occur.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:32   #28
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Default Filtering/De-watering

Filtering/De-watering
Filtering is very important when dealing with waste vegetable oil (WVO). They call it waste oil for a reason. Waste vegetable oil is laden with free fatty acids, bacteria, dirt, debris you name it, its probably there. To get this fuel to acceptable means of burning it without damage to your injection pump, it must be filtered thoroughly. The other aspect that is important is that the WVO can not have water in it. In my experience, we have not had the need to dewater our oil because we know where the oil comes from and our suppliers are good about keeping the lid tight on the barrel that covers the WVO. To ensure that we have filtered our oil well enough, we do a number of things.

Method 1: Gravity Filtration
Gravity filtration is the cheapest and most effective method available. I mentioned above that we have the capability of stockpiling 700 gallons of WVO at a time. The WVO sits in a shed, protected from sunlight and sits in sealed containers. At any time, the WVO can sit from 1 month to an entire year. We draw the oil from the top 2/3 and let the bottom 1/3 stand indefinitely. The reason for this is the bottom third would be the dirtiest oil of the entire barrel. Allowing the oil to stand in the barrels for a long time results in great filtration of the WVO.

http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/a...00_4289_00.jpg (Gravity Filtration)

http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/a...0.jpg&newest=1 (Gravity Filtration)

Method 2: Centrifugal Filtering
After our oil has had plenty of time to settle out any of the larger debris in the oil, we use our centrifuge to filter the finer dirt particles out of the oil. We bought our centrifuge from diesel craft and it works quite well in filtering the oil. The basic idea is you heat the oil up to roughly 150-160 deg and pressurize it to 80 PSI into the centrifuge where the pressure of the oil going in spins the centrifuge and the forces of gravity do the work. The centrifuge is supposed to filter down to less than a half micron. Our output (filtered oil) is piped to a funnel where it is final filtered in a 5-1 micron filter bag and then collected into a 5 gallon cubie. The bypass of the oil is sent to a 5 micron bag and will later be centrifuged with time.
This is a painless way of filtering our oil. Including the time it takes to wait for the oil to heat up, 5 gallons of oil can be filtered relatively quickly to a tune of 20 minutes. We bulk filter roughly 50 gallons of oil at a time so it takes roughly an hour and a half to 2 hours total time. Keep in mind, the only time we are present during this operation is to switch cubbies out that have already been filled up and to fill the barrel to be heated. The filtering setup itself does all the work that we don’t have to do.

The finer you filter the oil, the better for your car. 5 micron is not enough filtration in my opinion. You should at the minimum filter to 1 micron. Filter bags are made to 1 micron; however, once they plug with debris you either have to wash the dirt out or replace them with new ones. Chances are you will have to replace the bag itself which can be quite costly. This is the benefit to using a centrifuge. The rotor itself that collects the debris from the oil is simply wiped clean and ready for use again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnEYyAnlck8

The above is a great video explaining the entire process. This is exactly what we do with ours.

http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/a...0.jpg&newest=1 (Filtering Station)

http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/a...00_4283_00.jpg (Top View of Filtering Station)

http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/a...t=100_4285.jpg (Final Filtered Oil)

http://s979.photobucket.com/albums/a...00_4286_00.jpg (What makes it all work)
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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:33   #29
T'sTDI
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Default Performance Modifications and WVO

Performance Modifications and WVO

This is an interesting topic and to be quite frank, I don’t recommend in doing so.

This is contrary to what I have done to my car because I have a lot of performance modifications on my car. The list includes a 17/22 turbo, pp520 injectors, a chip tune, Eurojet SMIC, 2.5 inch turbo back exhaust and upgraded intercooler piping.

I don’t recommend doing so because so far, I have yet to meet ANYONE with enough self-control to not use the power while on WVO. In all my driving on WVO, I have gone past half throttle maybe once in the car’s life with that kind of power on tap. You must understand that to make that much more power over stock, it required more fuel. If you have learned anything from this guide thus far, you will realize that more fuel is a problem on WVO.

However, look at it from this approach. Driving normally on a mildly tuned diesel engine results in better fuel economy because timing parameters and fueling are adjusted to a fine degree. Many people do not report increases in economy because their right foot is too heavy and they enjoy the boost in performance more so. Put a diligent driver with self-control behind the wheel and you reap the benefits of better fuel economy which means increases in combustion efficiency. This is my reasoning behind it being ok, but only if you can respect that the extra power.

From the start of my conversion, I have ran the PP520 nozzle (bigger nozzle orifices which in turn means more available power). Although these nozzles are capable of more fuel you do not have to use it. Also, bigger nozzle orifices result in less stress on the injection pump as opposed to smaller nozzle orifices. Since we are running a thicker fuel, this is an added benefit.

With all this said, I would recommend against it. This is treading down dangerous waters and most people are barely able to convert their stock cars with success on WVO.
__________________
2001 Jetta TDI- 190K
17/22, T4 764's, KermaTUNE, Euroject SMIC, Southbend Stg2 Endurance Clutch, LSD, .681 5th

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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:33   #30
T'sTDI
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Default Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

I hope your head is spinning with all sorts of information you have not known before. The goal of this guide was not to confuse you; however, I wanted to make it blatantly obvious that there is much more to burning WVO than what people think. Although I consider it a hobby, there is a science behind it that allows combustion of vegetable oil to be possible. Understand this guide in its entirety. Every topic, whether confusing or too sophisticated, was written for a reason. I would be happy to answer any of your questions in the future. I want to thank all of those who I included in this thread, especially those who have failed while burning WVO. It is you who allow progress to be made in the world of burning vegetable oils. Thanks for reading and Happy Greasing!
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