Saturday, November 10, 2007

Building Biodiesel reactor platform

Well we are well on our way! got together with my friend to build the mobile platform to support our AppleSeed Biodiesel Reactor.

Basic dimensions are 30" wide by 70" long. The completed height will be 16" from ground to top. There's enough space to hold the 40 gallon water heater and the washing/drying plastic drum, with extra space for the the pump and such.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Making progress

Well since I last posted I've set up my oil collection and filtering station, pictures to come later. A co-worker, and friend, have begun the process of building our own "Appleseed" processor. I was able to to purchase a used electric water heater for $40 off of craigslist.

I was purchased a couple of 25/10 micron double bag filters from McMaster Carr to filter my collected waste veggie oil. This will be my prefilteration before introducing it into the Appleseed processor. Here are some pics of my filtering and preparation to produce a small 3 gallon batch. More to come later.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

First bach of home brew biodiesel

Well with a little bit of patience and help from the net I was able to successfully make two 1 liter batches of biodiesel from clean new peanut oil and used waste vegetable oil. It was rather exciting to see the process happening before my eyes and to pour it into my tank and use it. Only had one little miss hap in that one of my modified caps broke and my biodiesel ended up on the garage floor.

I took pictures of the stages that the oil went through as it turned into biodiesel. When I poured it into the tank I had about 3 gallons left so that turned into about to be a 10% blend. Beginning to make a 5 gallon batch.

Friday, August 17, 2007

BioDiesel Home Brew

So, this weekend I'm going to give making a small 1 liter batch of pure 100% Biodiesel. In order to make it as simple as possible I'm going to be using a very method referred to Dr. Pepper. This linke provides the details and instructions to make a successful batch using clean unused oil.

I'll be photographically documenting this process for you viewing pleasure.

For the record today I was able to do my first true mileage assessment. After a full week of driving since my last fill up I logged 588 miles when my fuel warning came on. I filled up with 12 gallons of diesel and it averaged out to 49 MPG. This was mostly highway driving but there was some in town driving as well. Knowing that the light comes on with 2 gallons to spare I figure I can safely get nearly 700 miles per tank!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

To Veggie Oil or Biodiesel?

So no that I have my diesel dream I've been presented with a new dilema, WVO (waste veggie oil) or make my own biodiesel? Each has it pro's and con's and make for a tough decision. So let me try to break it down for ya (myself).

-Free oil
-Little or no processing required
-Very Green

WVO Cons--
-Costly car conversion
-If not careful can damage engine
-Winter viscosity issues still have to use diesel

BioDiesel-- Pros
-Straight into tank no winter concerns, for those of you in warm states above 50 degrees.
-No costly car conversion
-Less chance of damaging engine

BioDiesel-- Cons
-Winter have to blend in order to not gell fuel. Most recommend no higher than 20%.
-Dealing with hazardous chemicals
-Not as cheap as WVO
-Longer processing period of time

So you see my choices are tough! Each has it's merits. As for the hazardous chemicals part a co-worker has offered to host the processor for the biodiesel. This is great and I won't have to worry about my toddlers being near the stuff in the garage or blowing up my house.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Oooh, the milage

It's only been a day but I've already been given a preview of just how fantastic the mileage will be with the Beetle. I filled up this morning so as to have a full tank to do my mileage logging. We drove up to Muncie to visit my parents on our daughters 2nd birthday. Muncie is about an hour north of Indianapolis, about 60 miles. Based on the fuel guage I can at this point say that I'm getting nearly 55MPG! HOLY CRAP! This driving was done with 2 adults and 2 toddlers in car seats and traveling at 70mph!

Man I am going to love this car!

Friday, August 03, 2007

I finally got it

Well, it's been a week but it was worth the wait. SHE'S MINE!!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Uh....I did buy a car, didn't I?

Called the dealership to check on the status of the AC compressor on my Beetle. Uh...I swear I signed some paperwork for a car?! But they said they are expecting the compressor to arrive today. AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGH!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hell is filled with used car salesmen

Well, I hate to say it but I now know how used car salesmen got their sh*%%#* reputation! Why can't they just be up front and straight forward?! Oh yeah THEIR USED CAR SALESMEN!

During my test drive I tested the AC out and found that during and after that it never got cold or cool in any way. I asked the salesman if he knew what was the issue with this. "I'll check in to that" was his reply. During several phone calls when trying to iron out the financing I would repeatedly ask about the status of the AC and each time "I'll check into that not to worry".

Come the day of signing the paperwork there was still no word on the AC and it's cause of failure. Before signing anything I told the financing guy about the non-functional AC and that I wasn't signing anything or purchasing the car until I knew if the dealership was going to fix it or I was going to be responsible for the repair. I asked this question due to the "AS IS" sign and before I signed anything I just wanted to know up front.

Later that afternoon I get a call from the used car sales manager to inform, whine, about how the salesman had sold me the Beetle for to little and that they gave me to much for my trade. He said he was told that after purchasing the car I was upset about the AC, as if I found out afterwards. I told him I hadn't done anything with the car and that in fact it was still on the lot, good thing I hadn't given them my car yet. He basically wanted me to come in and re-negotiate the deal with the cost of the repair figured in. The funny thing is that during the conversation I found out that he hadn't even put the car in the shop to determine the cause of the AC failure. Why the hell am I going to re-negotiate anything without knowing the cause and cost of the AC failure?! Come to find out the sales manager knew about the AC issue and was aware what was wrong but failed to tell anyone or instruct the salesmen that the car was to be sold at the listing price without fixing it. Or at least buy at what they listed it for then they would fix the AC.

As I told the manager I was pissed that I kept asking about the AC and if they knew what was wrong with it and if they were going to fix or would the buyer be holding that bag. ALL anyone had to do was say "Mr. Case, this car is being sold AS IS and that any non-functioning or faulty item will be the responsibility of the buyer". Had anyone said this I would have walked away. How F*&%#!@# tough is that?!

Secondly, when financing I was told that my only choice was for 24 months. After coming back in I was given the option of going to 36 months. I asked where they pulled that out of since I had asked and been told that 36 months was out of the question. Yes I know I'm paying more in interest but at 36 months it fits better in my budget.

So, basically I got the car at the price I wanted and they are replacing the AC compressor. What a pain in the ass! Don't want to go to hell?! Don't be a used car salesman!

Oh, by the way the dealership was Butler Kia, Suzki, Hyunda, Toyata Warehouse. So, be very careful when dealing with the bastards.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Yeah!! (I think)

Well, I am now the proud owner of a '98 VW New Beetle TDI, with just a small amount of drama. More on that later, I'm just not in the mood to explain.

May the TDI Fairies Smile on me

Well after taking some time off and coming back down to earth I started searching for a TDI again. My luck must be improving I found a '98 New Beetle TDI here at a local dealership. With my trade in and a little bickering I think I'll be getting this sweet baby by this weekend! Here's a picture.

The Beetle is blue and has 150,000 miles on it. The interior is fairly clean and the body is as well, except for some minor dings for a 10 year old car. Took it for a test drive and it runs really well no smoke during startup or acceleration. It's a 5 speed manual, SWEET! More manly that way.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thank You

I know the photo I've choosen what will be controversial but we need to remember the sacrifices that are being made. That the freedoms we enjoy come at a great price. To just wrap myself in the flag and think I've done my part would be wrong.

Tomorrow our nation pays homage to those who paid the ulitmate sacrifice in order that we, and others, can live in freedom. I don't wan to get to deep into politics but there is a connection between the use of bio and alternative fuels that will enable us to save the lives of our brave military personnel.

To all the men and women in military service, thank you for your selfless sacrifice.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

While I'm searching

While I haven't found a diesel car yet that shouldn't delay me from designing and creating the components needed for my system conversion. That way I'll be ready to install the parts once I find a car. I'll share the fruits of my labor and take any suggestions for improvements as they come in.

I figure the parts I will be making are:

-Fuel Pickup heater for WVO trunk tank
-Filter Heater
-Gather my fuel relays and switches
-In line WVO temperature monitor
-In line fuel filter for last filtration on WVO
-Settling and Filteration station for gathered WVO
-Hose-In-Hose fuel delivery ( this I may save for last as to enure I make the correct length)

This should keep me pretty busy with what spare time I have between work and family.

New kit provider

I just found this new kit from Golden Fuel Systems What I like most about thise group are their informative videos on collecting WVO, water testing WVO, engine as the pre-heater, and more!. There's a lot of free informative videos that go a long way of answering a newbies or doubters questions.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Time to wake up

Well I got so wrapped in my excitement of getting a new car that I lost sight of the fact that the cars I was contemplating were out of my budget goals. So, this means I'm back to my original goal and dream of finding an 85-87 Mercedes Benz diesel.

While these cars are heavier and don't get the mileage that the TDI's do they still are a better than a gas car. With gas going for $3.59 here in Indianapolis and diesel still at $2.89 the savings and choice are pretty clear.

Man to only win the lottery and then any diesel I could dream of would be mine! So much for dreams.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Economics

So if you visited my sight or others, dealing with WVO conversion or just diesel, your probably wondering what are the actual economic savings. So, today I will attempt to provide and overview of just the savings one can gain by just driving a diesel Beetle. Let me start by saying I'm no Harvard economist but I think the numbers and math are pretty simple here. So, lets get started.

I will do my comparison based on 10 gallon fill up that I usually do and based today's current gas and diesel prices.

Dodge Neon- 10gal x $3.19= $31.90 average distance on 10 gallons 310 miles
Beetle TDI -10gal x $2.89= $28.90 average distance on 10 gallons 500 miles

On first glance there wouldn't appear that much of a savings on the same 10 gallons, only $3. But take a look at the distance that each vehicle can go on the same 10 gallons. There's a 190 mile difference and when you break that down that's roughly over 6 additional gallons at a cost of $19.55 for the Neon. So, when you add this additional cost to the it would take $51.45 to get the same mileage as the Beetle.

This would be $51.45 x 4 weeks = $205.80 a month x 12 months = $2,469.60 a year for the Neon!
For the Beetle $28.90 x 4 weeks = $115.6 a month x 12 months = $1,387.20 a year for the Beetle

An overall savings for the Beetle of $1082.40 a year or $90 month. This just strictly based on diesel, next time the savings when WVO is factored in.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

TDI Club

Found a great new discussion forum Had some questions about the clutch and check engine light on the Beetle and members were great in answering my questions. There's a great live chat feature where you can chat with members and get your questions answered fast. To the TDI folks thanks!

Got a phone call from the dealer with the flamed out Beetle and they told me they were considering repainting the car to remove the flames. At first I thought this was great until I heard the $1200 extra it would add to car! I told the guy I would rather keep the flames than pay the extra cost.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Still searching

Well Bug I went and looked at was not worth it. The rear head rests were missing, brakes vibrated indicating they needed replaced, check engine light was on and seller didn't know why, and seats were a mess. So the search goes on.

But I think I may have found another Bug for consideration. Check this out! One way to make the car less girly I suppose. But as long as the car is in good shape that's what is most important.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The next candidate

Well here's the next project vehicle I'm going to be purchasing and converting to run on WVO, except the mine is silver. Under consideration is a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle GLS TDI. This vehicle has 70k miles and seems to be in pretty good shape. Going to take a look at it tomorrow and take for a test drive.

I'm back!

Well it's been a while since I last posted but with the death of the VeggieVolvo there just wasn't much to write. But I have never gotten veggie oil out of my mind, especially with the crazy gas prices.

But now I am about to purchase another diesel vehicle but this time I'm going with a Volkswagen Beetle. Going with VW will give me the piece of mind and trust that I just never got with the Volvo 740. So, with that I am planning on continuing the documenting of my process and results of converting to run on veggie oil.

So, the new name for the blog will change from VeggieVolvo to Veggie Bug! Stay tuned.