Saturday, November 05, 2005

Beginning Conversion

With WVO conversions there are basically two methods of running your "plumbing" from the second tank to the engine. One method is Hose-On-Hose (HOH), which utilizes individual hoses for each the feed and return of both engine coolant and veggie oil. This method utilizes the heat transfer by bundling the 4 hoses together and surrounding the hoses with pipe insulation.

Another method is Hose-In-Hose (HIH). This method you run a smaller diameter hose/pipe through a larger diameter hose/pipe. The smaller diameter hose is surrounded by the engine coolant and uses heat transfer to heat the veggio oil as well.

Both have their pros and cons. The HOH method you don't have the possibility of cross contamination due to a leaks as you would with a HIH. If your on a budget HOH system may be more expensive due to the amount of hose/pipe you would need. Also with the HOH may be less efficient in the heat transfer as HIH.

After much research and a first attempt I've decided to go with a Hose-In-Hose conversion. I think that the HIH system will provide me with a more effient heat transfer method and with veggie oil conversion that's important.

With that said here is a design of the basic "plumbing" using standard PEX tubing and copper fittings. More details to follow but I think the diagram is self explainatory.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Blown Transmission

Well, VeggieVolvo is out of commission for awhile. My transmission went out and I'm in the process of switching out the transmission from another 740. Just need to make some time to do the switch. But I'll keep posting on the conversion process in the meantime.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bio Diesel

At this point I may have foregotten to mention that using the same WVO you can make your Bio Diesel. Why would you want to do this? Rather than having to add plumbing to your car you could pour your home brewed bio diesel directly into the diesel tank. No waiting for temps, no worries about clogged filters, broken hoses, etc.

That's not to say that making your own bio diesel doesn't have it's own hazards. When making bio diesel your going to be using methanol as the main ingredient. Needless to say proper ventilation and storage is very important!

For more information on this I put a link on the right for more information.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Got the oil, now what?!

So, you've collected your oil and your wondering what to do next. What ever you do DON'T PUT IN YOUR TANK YET!

I, as well as others, recommend that you purchase 2 55 metal gallon drums. One drum you are going to use as settling and collection tank. If you want to limit the amount of large chunks that settle to the bottom of the tank and limit your cleaning I would recommend filtering the oil with a t-shirt. The t-shirt will do just fine for collecting the big chunks. For those of us that live in cold climates it is highly recommended that you install some type of pre-heating device to keep the oil temperature in the 70 to 90 degree range. Cold oil will coagulate and thicken up making it difficult for the particles to settle and pump. Make sure to wrap this drum with proper insullation to prevent as much heat loss as possible.

Another alternative to a 55 gallon drum is to use a salvaged electric water heater. Some have been able to contact plumbing shops and taken the water heaters that were removed from homes. My only question about this is most water heaters that are removed are due large quantities of buildup that caused the failure. Doesn't seem logical to put oil in an already gunk filled container and cleaning seems way to much effort. One alternative is to remove or buy the heating element and thermostat and install in on the 55 gallon drum.

The second drum can be used to for your final or usable oil that goes into the car. Transferring the oil from the first drum can be achieved by using various transfer pumps. Whe pumping this oil make sure to not put the siphoning tube to close to the settled sediment at the bottom of the drum. As your transfering the oil into the second tank you should pass the oil through a filter to remove the smallest particles. Here you want to use a filter rated 10 microns or less. You can use a diesel filter like the golden rod filter. Now another option is to create a poor man's bag filter from a pair of denim jeans. Take the leg of a pair of jeans and close the bottom, be sure to leave no gaps for sediment can escape. At the top fashion some type wire hoop to support the bag filter and to attach some type of handle. Now it is said that the micron rating is guessed to be around .5 microns. Whether this is or not I don't know. I do know it worked damn good for me!

Here are some pictures of my first attempts at filtering using the denim bag filter. Pictures are out of sequence so bare with me. Frist image picture shows the clean filtered oil dripping out of the denim bag filter . Second shows the fat and crud that was filtered out of half a jug of unsettled oil. BIG MISTAKE! This took 45 minutes to clean outside. Third shows the unfiltered oil in the filter, notice how cloudy it is compared to image number one. Forth picture just shows my setuppicture . The last image shows how I used the second leg as a final filter as a precaution. The filter is supported by two juice bottles tapped together. You get an idea how time consuming this set up is and how the method above can save you time.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

There's Gold In Them Dumpsters

People always ask me where I plan on getting my oil or think that I will go into a grocery store and buy new oil. They look stunned and surprised when I tell them that I will get my oil from local resturants. What do think their dougnuts, fries, elephant ears are cooked in?! Oh, yea!

Now it's not a simple, or nice, thing to just pull up to a restaurants dumpster and just take the oil. Once the oil is placed in the dumpster it is the property of the recycling company. Getting access to this oil is a simple process of common courtesy, ask for permission! Most restaurants will be glad to give you their oil, especially small ones, since they have to pay, in most cases, to have the oil removed. In my case my parents own a restaurant and they would have to pay $65 a month to have the oil they use removed.

Now there are several ways you can approach collecting your oil, the first is to find a restaurant that puts their oil back into the 5 gallon cubes the oil comes in. The advantage to this is that the oil is easy to handle, especially if you don't have a truck, and no special equipment is needed. During the winter this is a very good thing since WVO will thicken up and require special pumps and heaters to get the oil into a container. With this method I found it neccessary to use a pump of some kind or pour the WVO into a larger container. Pouring straight from the jug disturbed the crud at the bottom of the jug and I could only filter half of the jug.

The second method is to siphon the WVO from a dumpster into a container. During the summer this has advantages in that the WVO, combined with heat, will have time to settle the crud and you can pump off of the top. If your planning on modifying a truck collecting oil from the dumpster would allow you to get larger quantities of oil. Say a couple of 55gal drums.

Regardless of your method of collecting WVO remember to filter the oil before using it your vechicle!

Next up, how to filter.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Which auto to choose

Pretty much any diesel equipped auto would work but from what I have read the most popular passengers cars to choose are either a VW or Mercedes. These two companies are famous for their offerings of diesel equipped cars. VW offers nearly all their models in a diesel.

The main reason to consider one of these makes is due to the readily available parts should you run into mechanical problems and there's a lot of people you can ask for help with the conversion process. The main reason I choose my VeggieVolvo was due to budget and experimentation. I couldn't afford spending more than a grand and I didn't want to destroy a car and throw my money out the window. Not that I don't have faith in the conversion but more in my mechanical skills. Keep in mind any conversion WILL void manufactures warranty.

Check on the bio-diesel discussion forums for advice on what vechicle to consider. Oh and whatever you do seriously consider having the car checked out by a diesel mechanic to make sure the engine is in good shape. My VeggieVolvo has blown her transmission and I'm in the process of swapping out the transmission.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

So why vegetable oil

Here's a little history as to how I arrived at my decision to modify my Volvo to run on vegetable oil.

I drive about 650 miles to work at Indiana University and with the cost of gas constantly rising it became crucial that I find a way of saving money. While I drive a Dodge Neon and get 30+mpg it still takes $45 dollars a week to fuel my Neon. I tried carpooling but my job requires me to be available after hours and this doesn't work sometimes. So I began searching the internet.

I remembered that diesels get really good mileage and a friend of mine had a Jetta. In my research on diesels I stumbled on the greasecar website that explained how to modify a diesel car to run on waste vegetable oil (WVO). They also sold kits to make your modification as easy as possible. They also had customer profiles on their site and the type of cars that were being modified. The thought of free fuel was my dream come true!

A little more searching on the internet and I stumbled on a discussion forum that was all about WVO and bio-diesel. Here people discussed the simple aspects of construction of components to best ways to collect and filter WVO. I started noticing one person in particular, Dana Linscott, and that he seemed to be the resident guru. Dana also sold plans for common components needed for the modification process. Now I need to say that once I saw the plans it was a no brainer but being new to the whole process the plans were priceless and worth the $50.

The key to using WVO in your diesel is to get the viscosity of the oil to match that of diesel fuel for proper combustion. In order to do this you have to heat the oil prior to it be injected into the cylinders. The most common method of doing this is to use the heat from your engine coolant. By using a heat exchange method you can pre-heat the oil sufficently to achieve ideal viscosity. If you go to they have an excellent explaination on this.

Well that's all for now.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ooops! I owe Blogger an apology

I owe the folks at Blogger a big apology! I recently ranted that Blogger didn't support photo uploading except with MS, well I was wrong! The next time before I open my big fat mouth I'll read a little more.

Again, sorry Blogger!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Journey Begins

Well, after visiting another Volvo diesel owner's blog I was motiviated to finally create and begin my own blog to document my efforts to convert my Volvo to run on waste vegetable oil (WVO). You may think I'm absolutely insane but as you will read I'm not off my rocker after all, especially with the price of gas rising ever higher.

So, comeback read and share your comments with me and others.