WVO no more-My Tragic Greaser Story

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DuluthRooster

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2001
Location
Duluth, GA,USA
TDI
2004 Passat GLS TDI
Many people disappear when they screw up. I wish to "man up" before this community with my story.

To give you some background, I purchased my Jetta Wagon from the original owner three years ago with 22,000 miles on it dead stock. I was interested in alternative fuels from the beginning and researched using WVO or building a reactor for B100 production. At 33,000 miles, I decided on the WVO route. I installed the kit that I felt gave me the best chance of success, secured a reliable source of oil, and filtered it reasonably well (10 microns). Fast forward to three months ago and I have enjoyed 50,000 miles of relatively trouble free .10 a gallon fuel. I have saved thousands of dollars as I drive over 20,000 miles a year. All of last year spent $208 on diesel. Many on this board have seen my system and felt my attention to detail was the reason for my success.

I will not mention the brand of the WVO conversion that I had as they have treated me well and have top notch customer service. I was one of their early adopters. I do not think this is their fault.

The first incident happened at 79,000 miles right before I had Paramedick do my timing belt. I had a oil leak that turned out being a rear (crankshaft)seal. That cost me $600 to have replaced.

At 83,000 miles my car started consuming oil to the tune of 1/2 quart every 100 miles. It also ran rough as if on three cylinders and there was occasional unintended acceleration. I determined it was the turbo seals going bad. I thought it might be a good time for a turbo and intercooler upgrade. Kerma recommended his VNT-17 with 52 mm compressor. Landon (TurbineWhine) offered for me to come up to Asheville to change it out but before I could drive up there my turbo started screeching. Afraid to drive it, I flatbedded it the 150 miles. When we pulled the stock turbo off, this is what we found:

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The shaft was wobbly and the impeller obviously gone. Good I didn't try to drive up!

Here the new Eurojet SMIC. Thanks Kerma.


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And a comparison between the Eurojet and stock. TurbineWhine on the left with yours truly:

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Thanks to Landon, Karen (Mrs. Turbinewhine), and son Daniel for the help and great hospitality. Fine people and a good source for TDI repairs in Western NC.

The test drive after new turbo, intercooler, and PP764's was less than fullfilling. My car was just not as fast as it should be. Landon's stock turbo Jetta also with RC3 would just walk away from it. What was wrong?

When I got back home I purchased a compression tester and got the following readings:
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Cylinder 1 - 540
Cylinder 2 - 540
Cylinder 3 - 480 After adding ATF - 535
Cylinder 4 - 240 After adding ATF - 280:eek:

Looks like stuck rings or worse. :mad:

At this point, I knew this probably wasnt coincidence. On a car that had 83,000 miles, I so far had to do a rear seal, turbo, and now possible rings.
I decided to take the WVO conversion off the car. My new VNT-17 Hybrid was too nice (and expensive) to risk. I put the fuel system back to stock, bought a tank of B100, changed the oil, and hoped the compression would start to come back.

After a short time I consulted with Bruce (Paramedick) and his friend in Missouri, Frank (Franko6). They both felt the additives and flushes wouldn't hurt but that based on their experience with WVO cars, I was ultimately looking at a teardown and cleaning of the the head and pistons. Since I was starting a new job in a couple of weeks, I wanted to get this resolved now. I asked Frank if I could come out to Missouri the next week since he had experince with cars like mine. I secretly thought that Frank might be being dramatic about what could be in my engine because after all, I had a good WVO set-up! What we would find in my engine was much worse.

The car drove good to Missouri and actually seemed to run better. When I got to Frank's he and his friend Randy checked compression and it was a little better. Perhaps I should just flush it some more?:confused:

We pulled the valve cover and the cam was scarred. The cam followers were scarred. We pulled the head and found this:

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[/FONT] The above was somewhat expected. What we found next was not. See part two for the rest of the story.[FONT=Verdana, arial, sans-serif]
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DuluthRooster

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2001
Location
Duluth, GA,USA
TDI
2004 Passat GLS TDI
WVO no more-My Tragic Greaser Story Part 2

We pulled the head and look what happened to my week old $1000 turbo:[FONT=Verdana, arial, sans-serif]

Look at the pitting on the inlet to the compressor. Foreign object damage probably caused the pitting:

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I was very fortunate to make it 700 miles from Atlanta to Missouri.

Any ideas about a simple ring job went out when we found this. Note the scoring on the front of the cylinder reflected in the mirror.

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[FONT=Verdana, arial, sans-serif]Note chunk of piston missing in two spots:

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The story just kept getting worse all the way to the crankcase. I was facing a tough situation 700 miles from home. Do I fly home and leave my car for a week or 10 days for honing (if it could even be done with that damage), head work, etc. or search for another engine.

Finally breaks started going my way. We found an engine with 93K in Little Rock, AR with an asking price of $2400 but it was hours away. Frank used the fact that it had a broken IP mount to get them down to $2050 delivered the next day to us!. So we pulled old engine
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Right on time the next AM the new old engine arrived

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We examined the engine we bought and discovered it had been recently rebuilt perhaps less than 5000 miles ago. The camshaft was new. The cylinders spotless. It was either a VW rebuild or a top notch professional job. We got me a good engine.

Kudos to Kerma for a replacement turbo. Whatever caused the turbo failure was not Charlie's fault but he worked out a replacement for me at a good price and overnighted to me so that it arrived in Missouri two hours after the engine.

The new engine on the stand with the new VNT-17.

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Duluthrooster rolling the new engine into place

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[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, arial, sans-serif]The new used engine in place ready for the front end to be reassembled:

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My car now runs better than it has since I bought it.

I can't say enough about Franko6, Mrs. Franko6, and Randy:

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Frank and his wife got a house guest for 4 days and treated me like family. The food and fellowship was great. "Good Andy" has some new friends in SW Missouri. Frank and Randy are experts on TDI engines and would be well worth a trip for your repair needs. I thought enough to drive 12 hours each way and I was not dissapointed. Frank is a perfectionist that regards his engines as his babies :)and his prices are fair.

I will conclude my tale with a comment about WVO. I thought I was doing everything right but I damaged my car. Some mistakes I know I made were I didn't increase my oil change intervals until it was too late. WVO permeates your crankcase oil and does not burn off so you can have loss of lubricity. Also water may have still been in oil evidenced by the blown off piston parts.

I think it was Drivbiwire that said that any money you save by running WVO will eventually be given back. At the time I thought he was a scrooge (well he is :p). Well check this out.

Over two years I have saved about $5000 running WVO. In the last three months I have replaced a rear seal ($600), a turbo twice ($1400 VNT-15 times 2), new used engine ($2000), $1800 labor total to three different people, plus me chasing my tail for three months changing filters, fuel line, pulling injectors, etc.

Please dont hurl criticisms my way. I tried WVO. it didn't work for me in the end, and i gave it all back. For you WVO folks out there, I will only say I hope you have better luck.

To end I will quote Peter at TDI Parts. He was impressed with my WVO system at a GTG. When he heard my problems he said "If anyone would be sucessful with WVO, I thought it would be you."

My next project is a biodiesel reactor. From now on it is B100 or D2 for me.

Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill?


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visionlogic

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Location
Daphne, AL, USA
TDI
2002 Jetta TDI
All I can say is WOW! Thanks for posting and best of luck in the future.. The quote in my sig line means even more to me now.
 

ukaviator

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Location
Nashville, TN
TDI
03 Jetta
Great post

Sorry to hear of the trouble you have had with WVO - I have considered this for the future and your post despite being a tragic story is a helpful one.

Good luck with the new motor!
 

Franko6

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
May 7, 2005
Location
Sw Missouri
TDI
Jetta, 99, Silver`
Andy,

All I can conclude is that it was a grueling week. I was hoping to be in and out in a couple of days. Unfortunately, I beleve this engine swap was a bit more tragic then most, because I know you put a lot of effort into trying to 'do things right".

When I heated the head, one of the most telling signs was the 'water in the deep frier' sound. I think either an extended oil/ water separation time or a cooking and cracking reactor is only the start. The heaviness of the fuel is the other consideration.

Andy, you were an impeccable house guest. I know that the shock left you stunned for the first day or two. Wednesday night's teardown of the new engine not only gave us great hope, but also a needed boost of conficence.

I expect to see you again. Although, I hope not too soon

It's been my pleasure to work with you.

Frank
 

Chasee

Self-Exiled SPV, Deactivated Account
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Thank you for posting this. There has always been that excuse which the naysayers like to hide behind: "people who have a bad WVO experience won't talk about it and disappear into the shadows." Nice that you proved them wrong, once again.

So fill me in on how you processed your WVO. Basically take me from picking it up, all the way to your tank, if you don't mind.

Also, how anal were you about warming up on diesel before switching, then purging at shutdown? What indicators did you use, purge times, etc?
 

burpod

teh stallionz!!1
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Location
cape cod, ma
TDI
82 rabbit vnt ahu, 98 jetta vnt ahu, 05 parts car, 88 scirocco.. :/
although it sucks, thanks for the update & good pics & sound commentary. sounds like in the end everything worked out well :)
 

VeeDubTDI

Wanderluster, Traveler, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Thanks for your post. It's interesting to see pictures of what's possible when experimenting with alternative fuel sources.

You're absolutely right about the water filtration and oil change intervals.

I hope you and your new engine treat each other well. :)
 

latitude500

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Austin Tx, USA
TDI
Jetta 1998 Green
Sorry to learn about your problems with WVO, What temp's where you running your WVO, and did you purge enough, and for how long?

How did you collect, filter and dewater, and store your WVO fuel?

It's strange that one person can run WVO and others have problems.

Wish you the best.
 

wgargan

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
TDI
4 door golf, 2000, black
that is a great story ( tragically great), But it would be VERY useful to have the conversion company name..... I realize it is not there fault but....... If that happened to your VW why would it not happen to mine.
 

paramedick

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Location
Versailles, Kentucky
TDI
2015 Audi Q5 TDI, 2000 New Beetle
Andy, thank you for posting this. I know it was painful, but this is extremely helpful. I just wish it hadn't happened to you.

Guys, Andy was absolutely cognizant about his WVO temps before switching to that tank. No fault there.

This is a very nice wagon that is meticulously kept.
 

LurkerMike

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Location
Atlanta Jawja
TDI
-Whitey: 2000 Jetta GLS, Red: 2000 Jetta GLS 5-speed
A Used Oil Analysis program, at least at first is VITAL when switching fuels!

The CCV was a major contributor too IMHO... reingesting poisoned oil
blowby is what cause most of the caking on the backside of the valves.

Besides a UOA program, I'm working on an idea for CCV mod that separates
most of the oil from the intake air just before the air enters the turbo and then
drips it into a collection container... ooops, did I forget to reinstall the container again?
 

dieseldorf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 11, 2000
Location
MA
TDI
ex- 1996 wagon, ex-2000 Jetta
Duluth, thanks for sharing. What ever prompted you to use these experimental fuels in a HSDI diesel :confused:
 

Chasee

Self-Exiled SPV, Deactivated Account
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Maybe, if you don't mind, we could create a chart comparing WVO kits/practices. Feel free to add categories I may have forgotten:


Warm-up time: I never switch before temp gauge hits 190, no matter how long that takes

Purge time: 30 seconds on purge, then at least another mile on straight diesel before destination

Allowable stop times: if I am certain that my stop time during a trip will not result in engine temp falling below 160, I leave it on WVO. Otherwise I run a full 30 second purge, then another 30 seconds at high revs in diesel if I did not get the chance for the 1+ mile diesel time

Oil preparation:

Heat to 150+ for at least 2 days

Pump through industrial grade filter housing with 1 micron bag filter with another 15 micron cheapo water filter in series just in case, not taking from bottom third of drum. Oil goes into conical tank where 5 cups of baking soda is mixed in with paint mixer while oil is still at 120-150.

Conical tank oil cools and settles for at least 3 days, usually much more.

Oil is then pumped from above baking soda goop settle line, through filter mechanism again, into another storage drum.

When oil is needed, storage drum is heated to 100 for at least a day, then run through filter mechanism again, not touching bottom third, into finished drum with gas filler hose.

Finished drum filler hose does not take from bottom third.

As I have several step one drums and 6 storage drums after the conical tank, each batch of oil gets to settle at two stages, each time for at least a month, usually 2 months.

Diesel mileage: due to my practices and usual driving habits, the worst mileage per diesel tank I get in mid winter is 70-80mpg. Mid summer, like now, I generally get 200-225mpg. Of course a couple of long trips or a couple of very short trips can skew my MPG, but I've had 2 full years at this point to get a good average.

Stock diesel tank contamination: almost none due to 30 second purge. Of course there will always be a little, but since I do go through a tank of diesel every once in a while, the contamination never builds up to a level that could cause damage when starting a cold engine.

Oil change: I still stick to 10K, and until last change did a Blackstone every time. All tests were fine. Each oil change I change WVO filter and fill new one with DieselPurge. Since my WVO return T's in after the filter, I mainline the DP for a good long time before it starts to get diluted with WVO.

Oil consumption: until last change, I had the typical 1 liter consumption per 5K miles. Since last change, my consumption has dropped to .25 liter per 5K miles. All I can figure is my engine finally broke in after 60K. Maybe increased lubricity of WVO made for longer break-in time.

Performance: feels as good as the first day I got it.
 
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DuluthRooster

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2001
Location
Duluth, GA,USA
TDI
2004 Passat GLS TDI
dieseldorf said:
Duluth, thanks for sharing. What ever prompted you to use these experimental fuels in a HSDI diesel :confused:
I knew I was risking the IP pumping the thicker viscosity but I budgeted to one day replace that. With what I was saving I could buy several IP's and be ahead.

I did not anticipate the severe coking you saw above and never dreamed I would gum up the whole engine and put 250,000 miles of wear in 50,000 miles.

My motivation was to save money since I pay my own expenses as a self-employed person. Oh, well:eek:.

I considered making biodiesel once and may pursue that route again even though I know you can mess up your car with that too. It does seem less controversial though.

-Andy
 

DuluthRooster

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2001
Location
Duluth, GA,USA
TDI
2004 Passat GLS TDI
jobob307 said:
Thanks Andy, great post. I guess I won't be going the grease route. I had thought about it.
I am not bashing that route. It just didn't work out for me. Others such as Chasee are successful. I thought I was rolling too until three months ago and would have defended my set-up to anyone. Make your own judgements and draw your own conclusions. My experience is just food for thought.

-Andy
 

dieseldorf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 11, 2000
Location
MA
TDI
ex- 1996 wagon, ex-2000 Jetta
Mr. Rooster, while your motivations are no different from anyone else here (trying to save $$$), common sense must prevail. These make-believe fuels have no place in a specialized machine like a TDi. I can see you dumping this gook into a 1979 VW diesel or perhaps a 1980 240D (preferably with the manaul gearbox), but even in those machines, the coking will destroy the injection system sooner or later.

Thanks for being honest. I hope we can preserve your fotos for future generations.

Thanks.
 

Chasee

Self-Exiled SPV, Deactivated Account
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
dieseldorf said:
Mr. Rooster, while your motivations are no different from anyone else here (trying to save $$$), common sense must prevail. These make-believe fuels have no place in a specialized machine like a TDi. I can see you dumping this gook into a 1979 VW diesel or perhaps a 1980 240D (preferably with the manaul gearbox), but even in those machines, the coking will destroy the injection system sooner or later.

Thanks for being honest. I hope we can preserve your fotos for future generations.

Thanks.
I must digress and call LAME on this one. :cool:
 

LurkerMike

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Location
Atlanta Jawja
TDI
-Whitey: 2000 Jetta GLS, Red: 2000 Jetta GLS 5-speed
Why doesn't anyone dilute their WVO with say 50% petroleum D?

I know the cost savings is reduced by 1/2 or so, but it looks like a cheap
insurance policy for fighting off viscosity issues when the purge or warm up cycle might be a little short?
 

LurkerMike

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Location
Atlanta Jawja
TDI
-Whitey: 2000 Jetta GLS, Red: 2000 Jetta GLS 5-speed
Chasee said:
Oil preparation:

Heat to 150+ for at least 2 days

Pump through industrial grade filter housing with 1 micron bag filter with
another 15 micron cheapo water filter in series just in case, not taking
from bottom third of drum. Oil goes into conical tank where 5 cups of
baking soda is mixed in with paint mixer while oil is still at 120-150.

Conical tank oil cools and settles for at least 3 days, usually much more.

Oil is then pumped from above baking soda goop settle line, through filter
mechanism again, into another storage drum.

When oil is needed, storage drum is heated to 100 for at least a day, then
run through filter mechanism again, not touching bottom third, into
finished drum with gas filler hose.

Finished drum filler hose does not take from bottom third.

As I have several step one drums and 6 storage drums after the conical
tank, each batch of oil gets to settle at two stages, each time for at
least a month, usually 2 months.

Diesel mileage: due to my practices and usual driving habits, the worst
mileage per diesel tank I get in mid winter is 70-80mpg. Mid summer, like
now, I generally get 200-225mpg.
How do you heat the oil to 150+ and later to 100? Is that degrees Fahrenheit?

Where do you get all of these cone bottom settling tanks?

Surely your mileages must have been a typo?
 

AnthonyTDI

Active member
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Location
TX
TDI
Jetta,1998,Blue
If WVO messed up your first turbo, then what messed up your second turbo? What damaged the blades on the new turbo so quick that needed replacing again? Just bad luck pebble?
 
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Chasee

Self-Exiled SPV, Deactivated Account
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
LurkerMike said:
How do you heat the oil to 150+ and later to 100? Is that degrees Fahrenheit?

Where do you get all of these cone bottom settling tanks?

Surely your mileages must have been a typo?
I have a band heater which is adjustable. Yes, those are degrees F.

No, that is my diesel mileage. Since I have to burn some diesel to warm up, then use some for purge, I ultimately go through a full tank of diesel. I then calculate the mileage. So, for instance, right now I have 2300+ miles since my last diesel fill-up.

I only have one conical tank. The first stage drums and second stage drums are simple 55 gallon drums.

Here are some pics: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=135961&page=13
 
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TurbineWhine

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Location
Asheville, NC
TDI
Jetta, 2003, Platinum Grey
AnthonyTDI said:
If WVO messed up your first turbo, then what messed up your second turbo? What damaged the blades on the new turbo so quick that needed replacing again? Pust bad luck pebble?
It is suspected that oil ingested through the CCV is what damaged the new turbo. That excessive oil injestion was due to the extremely high crankcase pressures caused by the piston blowby. Oil droplets striking the turbine blades at full speed can wear away metal. I'm sure Andy can expand on the issue.

TW
 
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