First n foremost, please realize I am no Waist Vegetable Oil Guru by any stretch of the facts. Perhaps I have gone thru some additional trouble n expense to monitor the vital temperatures on my Diesle/WVO conversion project that has taught me a few things and that are both interesting and useful to others.
Always consider that perhaps much of the info on the web has never been edited by anyone other than the author and or has never been professional fact checked. The below ramblings of my findings are no exception.
Soon to be custom bumper sticker on my vJet's butt.
Above shows our (George Wakefield n I) instalation/plumbing of the GreaseCar Kit.
Please take special note:
IMHO, the addition of extra heat to the VO is imperative on the standard GreasCar kit I purchased in April of 2oo5.
With out ample heat to your VO, I have read you may be in line for serious n expensive damage to your power plant.
Ironically your car will most likely seem to perform normally as the serious damage slowly takes it's toll.
Again, as stated above, I could be wrong. However, I have read you need
VO at 170 degrees or so in order to come close to the viscosity that your
car's fuel injection system was designed to operate with (dino diesel).
Then kit I received from GC did not come close to this even after I added
a hotter radiator thermostat (talked about below).
Above n below are photos of the digital
VO n coolant temp. monitoring gage George n I rigged up as part of
our original install of my GreaseCar kit.
After reading and
digesting many form postings B 4 installing my kit. I came to get the impression
that both the GreasCar kit and the VW OEM coolant temp gage could not be
trusted to provide enough heat in order to adequately protect my Injector
Pump from thick VO. This being the case I added the gages U C above n below
to my kit.
Sure glad I did. When my in dash VW gage read first reaches 190, my
coolant was only 146 degrees f. After running 10 or so miles the VW dash
gage still read 190 but between 165 - 175 tops. Learning this I replaced
the stock VW rad. thermostat with a 197 degree stat (TStat box seen at
the left). Than running a stock Grease Car kit my VO temps were ONLY
barely adequate (130 to 140) when the out side air temperatures were above
75 and only after running my car for about 12 miles. In the evenings
when the temps. dipped into the mid sixties, I would not switch to VO because
the VO temps. were low n the oil viscosity was dangerously thick.....
Having installed one of four temp. sensor in my VO tank prior to installation
I learned I needed to have a min of 150 degrees in my VO tank B 4 130 temps.
for the VO were reached just B 4 the VO entered the IP on my 2ooo
From this angle (looking forward) with out the sound n heat cover on, U can clearly see the Flat Plate Heat Exchanger George n I installed. As I said above, IMHO, the standard GreasCar kit with out additional heat added to the VO will end up overtaxing your IP and or cause fouling of your rings n injectors. All of which are thousands of dollars to repair.
I strongly suggest you at least monitor your VO temp. just prior to entering your IP.
In the upper right hand corner of the above foto U can C a wire coming out of black pipe insulation (Armour Flex from a HVAC supplier). This is the VO temp sensor just prior to the fuel entering the IP. As a un planed bonus, when shutting down for the day and switching back to diesel. The shows the temp. dropping rapidly on the IP setting which is a confirmation that cool diesel fuel is now entering your IP.
Above n below are access n cover George n I came up with for the VO tank in the trunk. The 8 inch square luan ply wood plug/lid is, as is the the entire Grease Car aluminium tank insulated n foil lined for added heat conservation. I just may end up adding one additional layer of insulation B 4 winter.
Sad to say I contacted Grease Car wanting to buy an additional solenoid valve. I also have a defective fuel level sending unit and inquired about having it replaced under warrantee or if needed just purchase a new one. Quite disappointed, no dam reply to either my phone call or eM to Lee at GC. Perhaps this means service after the sale is close to non existent. I truly hope I am wrong with this one but only time will tell. However, I sure think I should have received some definitive response by now.
Suggest that the
Buyer Be Cautious.
One last caution to mention.
I had seen VO tank temps. over 180 degrees in the trunk VO tank, for safety reasons this concerns me too much to ignore.
In my understanding of the WVO system, temperatures high enough to allow the VO to flow freely thru the fuel lines are all that should be needed in the VO storage tank. However, since the GreaseCar kit as delivered from the factory seems to rely on the high VO tank temps to compensate for the low efficiency of the heat exchange system in engine compartment, it seems high temps. in the tank are mandatory on a standard GC kit instillation.
Since adding the flat plate heat exchanger just down stream of the IP, just prior to where it is needed, these high tank temps. in IMHO are now not necessary or desired.
Knowing the above, I did not feel comfortable with the below list of items:
a. Not being overly comfortable with 10 + - gallons
of a 180 degree hot flammable liquid basically in the cabin with me just
behind the rear seats.
b. The location of the VO fuel tank being mounted on the un protected out side of the rear axle just behind the flimsy VW bumper, thus the tank is quite exposed to a rear end collision crushing the tank, than leaking hot fuel, possibly causing a fire and or scalding the occupant of the car and or the bystanders with a 180 degree flammable fluid...
c. All this temperature now not needed after installing the FPHE.
Knowing all this, I chose to attempt to lower the VO tank temps. in our installation.
My idea was to install a 3/8 inch by pass valve mounted between the 1/2" supply and return line from the VO tank. Opening this valve allows only a portion of the hot coolant to enter the VO tank when in by pass mode. The remainder of the hot coolant is returned directly to it's normal path back to the engine.
I suspect in the winters I may need to close off the by pass due to increase heat losses. This will allow the full 1/2" ID hose to flow directly to the VO tank under the trunk floor of my vJet...........
In hind site after still seeing high tanks temps on long drive even with the 3/8" ball valve open, I now think I should have installed a 1/2" by pass valve, not the 3/8" we installed under and down stream the heated fuel filter (C below foto).... This way I could have cooled down the VO tank temps. even more on long drives.......
More info/page 2 here
Fall 2oo6 up date
In the fall of 2oo6 I added the smaller of the two "Veggie Therms" 12v electric fuel heaters that are available that is NOT seen in the above photo. I would strongly recomend that you consider adding the VT to your Grease Car kit since it provides a few important advantages I hope to find the time to get into at a later date under this paragraph.
Second Year Findings/Up date