Plantoil/diesel conversion basics
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glenn1179

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 
This is my second conversion.  My first is an 81 MB 300TD.  I am looking to create a setup with better heating abilities than my MB, so I will not simply be copying my MB install.

I am trying to avoid the use of copper for this install.  I don't want to wait for the outcome of the debate over the Beatty Report and don't consider it a huge inconvenience to avoid it. 

My thoughts:

Trunk mounted tank with hot fox heated fuel pickup>

3-4psi electric pump>

20 plate FPHE>

Trunk mounted filter with rubber coolant hose wrap and possibly electric pad heat.  The filter head would be either plantdrives vegmax, or a similar coolant based heated filter head.>

Insulated HOH with 3/8" line to front of car (interior or under-car route TBD) >

20 plate FPHE>

Hydraforce based fuel selector valve>

Generic miniature fuel filter (like fram g3)>

IP>

Injector line heaters via Linscotts source on this website (I already ordered.)>

IP and injector returns combined into another hydraforce based return valve.>

WVO looped return which t's to just in before the front FPHE inlet.>

limited return with 1/32" (guessing on right size) orifice at the highest point in the fuel system or wherever it works.  I may try and omit this with the hopes that the electric pump will pressurize the system slightly to prevent the air bubbles I have experienced in fuel supplies that rely on vacuum as the force for transport.

The engine coolant will be routed in a series with the heater core circuit.  I am planning on tapping in on the heater core return line to the engine block.  The lines to the front FPHE will be 5/8" and T's will be used to change the line size to 3/8" for the HOH to the trunk.  Of course the coolant routing will go to items closest to the IP and work its way back to the tank.

My Concerns:

Trunk mounting the filter puts it a long way from the engine coolant heat source which allows for temperature loss during transport.  Also, I am concerned about how detrimental the 3/8" line will be the filter head temp due to less flow.

Pressurizing the system may damage the lift pump built into the IP.  There is not a chance for crankcase oil contamination because there is no diaphragm in this pump if I understand correctly.  Also the limited return would relieve some pressure, if installed.  Most of the people at Fred's TDI forums think slightly pressurizing the system is ok.  In fact some look at it as a performance enhancer.  I am fairly certain this is safe too, but I am not totally sold on the idea. 

What I am looking for:

Comments about my general design.
Comments about my concerns.
Tank suggestions that will provide a tank that is inexpensive and tucked away or movable in the trunk.
Thoughts on the use of plastic sheets heated to be form molded into a tank.
Thoughts on HOH routing.
Anything I missed.
Tips, tricks, and general thoughts.

Thanks,
Glenn






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Glenn
danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Glenn,

Re: Tips, tricks, and general thoughts.

A 20 plate FPHE will be way overkill with this engine. A 10 or 12 plate will be plenty even in very cold climates as long as it is insulated with 1/2" of foam.

If you use a HotFox mount it horizontally as near the bottom of the tank as possible. Mounting it vertically is not as effective and any heated surface exposed to VO and air will accelerate polymerization even more than the presence of copper might. Use the smallest HotFox you can find. Overheating the VO in the tank will promote polymerization more than the presence of copper might.

There is a small aluminum heated fuel pickup available that is easily adaptable to this application. I will see if I can source one for you if you want to give it a try.

If you mount the heated filter in the trunk use insulated HIH to tie it to the engine bay. In this particular configuration HIH is more appropriate than HOH.

If you use a small disposable filter it is easy to make a coolant jacket for it.

You can probably substitute a less expensive and smaller filter for the Vormax/Vegmax. I would mount it so it can be removed from the trunk easily without disconnecting it (long umbilical) to make changing the filter element simpler and less messy. If you use a Vormax make sure you remount the vacuum guage from the filter to the dash. It is not of mush use if you cannot see it while driving.

Add a VO temp dash guage.

Using a pressurized system should eliminate the need for an air trap. It is easy to add later if needed.

Use a plastic tank with long umbilical so it can be trunk mounted and removed for filling. This eliminates the inevitable VO spill in the trunk and rancid VO smells in the car. I will try to help you source one that fits your needs if you wish. I still need to add tank vendors to the component vendors section.

Make absolutely certain that no crankcase contamination is possible if you plan to use an electric pump as a booster. Consider using two electric pumps instead. It simplifies the conversion a lot to do so and really costs no more.

I reccomend useing a parrallel coolant circuit.

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Dana danalinscott@yahoo.com
glenn1179

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Dana,

I would love to have some more information on the aluminum heated fuel pickup.  I am would like to run this system in -20F if possible, so I may have overshot some estimates on heat requirements.

Why is HIH more appropriate for trunk mounted filter setups?  Is it because the 3/8" hose would not flow enough to keep the filter hot?

Will a smaller heat intensive filter still meet my -20F goal?  Do you have any filters you would suggest?  I already made one of your Golden Glow heated filters, for my MB, but I would like to try something new with this one.

If I add an air trap later.  What size orifice would you recommend and would I be able to just use vacuum hose to run a line to return to the tank?

I am open to any type of tank supplier you can help me out with, either metal or plastic.  I like the umbilical cord idea.


My lift pump is integrated with my IP and therefore it cannot be bypassed.  I don't think a two pump setup will work in that scenario will it?

Jeff posted under the name JeffNLisa on a few other forums that using a series setup was the best way to get the most heat from TDI's.  I haven't identified why this would be true.  I have a parallel circuit in my MB and I like that setup, and would like to do that with this car also.  Can you explain why you think parallel is superior, even in a TDI?

Thanks,
Glenn+

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Glenn
danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
would love to have some more information on the aluminum heated fuel pickup. 
There are two different models that vendors are developing currently. The electric model is undergoing final testing now. I will provide a link in the components vendors section when it is released. If you are in a hurry I may be able to get you a "Beta" unit to test.

Quote:
Why is HIH more appropriate for trunk mounted filter setups?  Is it because the 3/8" hose would not flow enough to keep the filter hot?
 


HOH is only designed to liquefy VO to the point it flows easily. HIH adds more heat..and in this application would tend to keep the VO at the high temp it is being heated to in the trunk.

Quote:
Will a smaller heat intensive filter still meet my -20F goal?  Do you have any filters you would suggest?  I already made one of your Golden Glow heated filters, for my MB, but I would like to try something new with this one.


The GoldenGlow II (for lack of a better name) is similar to the GoldenGlow except that the entire head is heated and no glow plugs are exposed to VO. The temp control is also a bit more sophisticated and the filter head is made of steel rather than zinc alloy.

The unit has been ready for release IMO for well over a month...but the developer is even more conservative than I am. I am urging him to at least release it as a "Beta" unit. It is a better unit than the GG at about the same cost.

Quote:
If I add an air trap later.  What size orifice would you recommend and would I be able to just use vacuum hose to run a line to return to the tank?
The orifice should be 1/64 or smaller. You will have to test the vacuum hose you plan to use with VO to see if it is stable or not.  Some is. Some quickly softens.

Quote:
I am open to any type of tank supplier you can help me out with, either metal or plastic. I like the umbilical cord idea.
 

If you are going to use a long umbilical you should use a tank you can lift when full. Marine "outboard" motor fuel tanks are commonly available and what many have successfully used for trunk mounted VO tanks.

Quote:
My lift pump is integrated with my IP and therefore it cannot be bypassed.  I don't think a two pump setup will work in that scenario will it?


It actually will if you use low psi pumps. Apologies for forgetting the lift pump is the IP in VWS. I get confused about which conversion I am advising on sometimes...and go into "generic mode".

Quote:
Can you explain why you think parallel is superior, even in a TDI?


Generally it is better because series coolant circuits usually requires the cabin heat to be "on" in order for coolant to flow. This may not be so in a Passat. I have not used a series coolant circuit in a Passat and so cannot say if it works better or not.

If you can provide a link to Jeffs post on VW series coolant circuit posts I would appreciate it.


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Dana danalinscott@yahoo.com
glenn1179

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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #5 
Hello Dana,

I am in a slight hurry.  I would like to get this car converted by the end of June at the absolute latest, but the sooner the better.  I am interested in a "beta" unit of both the heated fuel pickup and the Golden Glow II.  Please send me pricing and specification information either through the forum or email.

I agree with your logic that HIH will retain more of the heat during transport to the front of the car.  I am still leaning towards HOH for ease of installation.  I had hopes that the second heat exchanger I had in my plans which would be located as close to the IP as I can get it would bring the fuel back up to temp.  Any other factor I should be concerned with when making this decision?

I will look at marine tanks as a possibility.  I had concerns about plastic marine tanks not withstanding the temperatures so my friend (also converting a TDI) contacted the manufacturer (West Marine).  Their response was that it was an improper use of the tank and recommended an aluminum one.  I think that the mentioning that it may reach 200F on occasion (excessively high estimate probably) around the exchanger scared the manufacturer.  Did you have any sources for fairly priced tanks other than what I will find searching the internet?

Here is a link to JeffnLisa's installation thread regarding his installation where he recommends running the coolant circuit in a series :  http://www.frybrid.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3154


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Glenn
danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #6 

Thanks for the link. In it Jeff states:

Quote:
In TDI VWs (mine at least) coolant flows thru the heater core at all times, and heat is diverted into the cabin or not, simply by controlling whether the fan blows air thru it or not.


So a parallel circuit for VO heating seems to be the best option for this particular vehicle...possibly for most modern VWs.

Quote:
I agree with your logic that HIH will retain more of the heat during transport to the front of the car.  I am still leaning towards HOH for ease of installation.  I had hopes that the second heat exchanger I had in my plans which would be located as close to the IP as I can get it would bring the fuel back up to temp.  Any other factor I should be concerned with when making this decision?
 


Sorry ..two FPHEs is an unusual option. I did not catch that in earlier discussion. If you have a second FPHE under the hood I see no reason that HIH would be necessary.  But make certain that your coolant flows through it before flowing back to the trunk.  You may want to consider eliminating the FPHE in the rear. It may not be required and can be added easily later if it proves to be necessary.

Quote:
  will look at marine tanks as a possibility.  I had concerns about plastic marine tanks not withstanding the temperatures so my friend (also converting a TDI) contacted the manufacturer (West Marine).  Their response was that it was an improper use of the tank and recommended an aluminum one. I think that the mentioning that it may reach 200F on occasion (excessively high estimate probably) around the exchanger scared the manufacturer. 


Legally they HAVE to say that. Marine tanks are not approved for on road use. But the heat concern is not a major problem. Here is why:
Although the early and crude heated VO tanks used a large heat exchanger to heat the entire contents of the VO tank this was soon discovered to be undesirable since heating VO speeds VO fuel polymerization more than any other factor and wastes available coolant heat. The more efficient method of using a heated fuel pickup was developed though many VO fuel conversions still use a large coil type heater.  To safely use a plastic tank simply avoid using a coil type heater and use a horizontally mounted probe type heated fuel pickup. The most advanced versions are temp limited to under 120°F...well within the tolerances of most plastic fuel tanks.  Any VO tank that creates VO temps of over 130°F is insufficiently engineered IMO.

Quote:
Did you have any sources for fairly priced tanks other than what I will find searching the internet?
  The best bargains I have found are on the internet and at local marine supply or farm/fleet supply stores.  Unfortunately the internet bargains seem to be transient and so links are not possible...and local stores price savings disappear when shipping is added.


I am adding a few links to the component vendors section that may have consistently lower tank prices. But remember that shipping bulky items can be very expensive.






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Dana danalinscott@yahoo.com
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