Plantoil/diesel conversion basics
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JamesBanks

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Reply with quote  #1 
For my 1984 Mercedes 300 TD, I would like to use a two tank system with a heated pickup, an HOH heated line, a heated VO filter with a clear pre-filter, and the injector line heaters mentioned on Dana's website. 
 
I've been concerned about the need for a clean purge that will not return the VO to the main tank, and have been looking at the schematics.  On Dana's site, I suppose # 10 would be the best schematic for this, but I like the dedicated filters in #11.
 
Here are my questions:
 
1.  If I have a heated fuel pickup and a heated filter, do I need a flat plate heater or an electric line heater as well?  I'd like to keep the system as simple (and thus trouble-free) as possible, and am not sure if I would need either if I had injector line heaters, HOH line and a heated filter. Given the heat output of the injector line heaters, I'm wondering if that's sufficient.
 
2.  Do I need an extra battery for injector line heaters? 
 
3.  Does anyone know of a dual tank schemata with injector line heaters that would be configured to effect a clean purge?
 
Thanks!  I'm afraid the learning curve is still steep....
 
danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #2 

Quote:
I've been concerned about the need for a clean purge that will not return the VO to the main tank, and have been looking at the schematics.  On Dana's site, I suppose # 10 would be the best schematic for this, but I like the dedicated filters in #11.







As a rule dedicated filters (one for diesel and one for VO) are best for several reasons.

Quote:


Here are my questions:
 
1.  If I have a heated fuel pickup and a heated filter, do I need a flat plate heater or an electric line heater as well?  I'd like to keep the system as simple (and thus trouble-free) as possible, and am not sure if I would need either if I had injector line heaters, HOH line and a heated filter. Given the heat output of the injector line heaters, I'm wondering if that's sufficient.
 
You will probably need to add more heat to the VO than any heated  filter will be able to.   What filter specifically are you planning on using for he VO filter?
 
Of the two choices (flat plate heater or an electric in line heater) a FPHE is the best IMO as well as being a more economical choice. Injector line heaters can only add a limited amount of heat to what heat is present in the VO when it reaches the injector line section they are installed on. Generally speaking the maximum temp that VO will be after passing through an IP is around 150-170°F no matter how hot it is before the IP.  This is a relatively easy temp to reach with a FPHE.
 
Quote:
2.  Do I need an extra battery for injector line heaters? 
No..they have a very low draw and if they are the ones produced by LineHeaterSpecialists this is applied very efficiently to the lines. If your battery is within normal charging parameters a second will not be needed. If it is not..just replace it with one that is not worn out.  You will also not have to upgrade your alternator due to this high efficiency as long as it too is within normal operating parameters.
 
Quote:
3.  Does anyone know of a dual tank schemata with injector line heaters that would be configured to effect a clean purge?
 
Adding injector line heaters to a conversion does to effect the ability to purge cleanly in any way.
 
To tell you the truth I think that schematic #15 is closer to what you are looking for.
 
 


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JamesBanks

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks so much, Dana.  That's helpful.

I am interested in using either the Frybid heated filter which uses a stock Bosch filter and a 14 plate heat exchanger (FPHE) and also a water separator, or the Golden Glow heated filter.   I'm wondering if the FPHE in the Frybid filter would be adequate (without adding a second FPHE) if I'm going to use injection line heaters as well. 

We're in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, where temperatures rarely drop below 20 F.  If I'm using strictly VO without any tallow, is a heated fuel pickup always necessary if I have HOH heating?  On a related note, on the Plantdrive website is a paper indicating a correlation between polymerization and VO contact with copper (here's the link: http://www.abqaltenergies.com/documents/Vegetable%20Oil%20as%20Fuel.pdf)  Any cause for concern here?  I'm weighing options and most of the stainless heated fuel pickups I've seen seem rather pricey.
danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
I'm wondering if the FPHE in the Frybid filter would be adequate (without adding a second FPHE) if I'm going to use injection line heaters as well. 


It is hard to say as I have never tested this and would have to extrapolate based on similar experiences. It might be. To be sure though you would have to do it and use an in line temp probe to determine if the small FPHE was sufficient to keep VO at over 130°F prior to entering the IP. I consider 130°F the minimum safe temp for pre IP temps with your engine. This would allow you to determine the pre IP VO temp at road speed and under load..which is the only valid manner to do so.

Quote:
If I'm using strictly VO without any tallow, is a heated fuel pickup always necessary if I have HOH heating? 
Not strictly speaking...but I would bet dollars to donuts that you will wish you had if you don't.

Quote:
On a related note, on the Plantdrive website is a paper indicating a correlation between polymerization and VO contact with copper (here's the link: http://www.abqaltenergies.com/documents/Vegetable%20Oil%20as%20Fuel.pdf)  Any cause for concern here?  I'm weighing options and most of the stainless heated fuel pickups I've seen seem rather pricey. 


They ARE pricey...but certainly an option for those with the budget. Long before that report was commissioned it was known that large amounts of heated copper exposed to both VO AND air were undesirable in VO tanks. If you use copper for heated fuel pickups they should be designed and  installed to stay submerged in VO as much as possible.  And if you plan on allowing VO fuel to sit unused for a very long time (months) in the vehicles tank you should probably use a SS pickup. Otherwise use of a probe type copper heated fuel pickup should not create any problems. Polymerization problems are exaggerated (often on purpose)   but seldom clearly stated. The fact is that the worst problems associated with polymerized VO fuel (in tanks) is accelerated filter clogging.

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JamesBanks

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Reply with quote  #5 
I don't think I've been going at this systematically enough.

I imagine the main concern is what the temperature of the VO should be after it goes through the IP and into the engine.  What is the optimal temperature for thorough combustion, so I won't be troubled with carbon buildup or coking later?  Just because the Mercedes engine can take a beating, I don't want to give it one.  I'd rather have it last.

Next, what are the minimal components I will need to achieve this temperature?  Again, I'd like to keep the system as simple as possible, and if the injector line heaters are not necessary, all the better.

Finally, are there any stainless steel (or perhaps aluminum?) fuel pickups out there besides the Arctic or HotFox?  I know I'd have to drop at least $200 on one of those, and I'm wondering if there's something a little less pricey.

Thanks once again.  I really appreciate your help.
danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
I imagine the main concern is what the temperature of the VO should be after it goes through the IP and into the engine.  


Once the engine is up to operating temperature YES...but as far as ring coking the main concern is partially combusted VO sticking to the not yet hot cylinder walls and being scraped off by the piston rings flowing around and behind them....then "cooking" to carbon by the much hotter piston after the engine comes to operating temp.

There is more info on this HERE.

Quote:
What is the optimal temperature for thorough combustion, so I won't be troubled with carbon buildup or coking later?  
Once the engine is warmed up to operating temp the most efficient (measured by MPG and emissions)  combustion is achieved at temps over 250°F (measured at the injector inlet).

Quote:
Just because the Mercedes engine can take a beating, I don't want to give it one.  I'd rather have it last.
 
  It DOES seem seem like a waste to wear them out faster than needed doesn't it? 

Quote:
Next, what are the minimal components I will need to achieve this temperature?  Again, I'd like to keep the system as simple as possible, and if the injector line heaters are not necessary, all the better.
 


I do not think it is possible to achieve over 150°F (measured at the injector inlet) without Injector line heaters..and temps of over 200°F are only achieved with the most efficient ones.

IMO the minimal components (considering ONLY the VO heating) you will need for this are a FPHE and Injector line heaters. But if you expect to use less than perfect WVO which is getting rapidly less available) you will also need a heated fuel pickup, insulated HOH VO fuel line, and a heated filter or adequate fuel flow may not be possible under anything but the warmest conditions.

Quote:
are there any stainless steel (or perhaps aluminum?) fuel pickups out there besides the Arctic or HotFox?  I know I'd have to drop at least $200 on one of those, and I'm wondering if there's something a little less pricey. 


Not that I know of. Sorry.

Might you be interested in a Beta model of a simple 12v heated fuel pickup. SS and aluminum and about ready for release IMO. I can ask the developer if he will be ready to test market it soon?  Should be under $100.

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JamesBanks

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Reply with quote  #7 

I found the information on ring coking to be extremely helpful.  Thanks again.  It doesn't make much sense to save money on VO when I'm going to be harming the engine and simply having to replace it over time, if I don't do things right to begin with. 

If I don't hit the 250F combustion point, it seems I would be running the risk of ring "land/groove" coking somewhere down the line.  Are there any systems that approach that temperature?

On that note, what do you think of the Elsbett setup with injection nozzle inserts and hotter glowplugs?  Would the problem with cold cylinder walls remain, given that this is a one tank system and there's no delay before switchover to allow the engine to reach temperature?  Or is the initial combustion efficient enough?  (I'm wondering if anyone has seen an Elsbett-equipped engine opened up and observed ring coking). I've noticed that the prices on these kits for a Mercedes 300 are a little less than $1,100 directly from Elsbett, not counting shipping or installation.

I would be interested in the Beta model of the 12v fuel pickup (aluminum or stainless).  Please let me know more info as it comes available.

Thanks again for your consistent help.  I figure that you and the info on this forum have saved my engine many times over.

danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
If I don't hit the 250F combustion point, it seems I would be running the risk of ring "land/groove" coking somewhere down the line.   


Perhaps I did not explain carefully enough. Ring coking primarily occurs when VO is injected into an engine that is not yet up to operating temp. Heating VO to 250°F just increases combustion efficiency.

Quote:
Are there any systems that approach that temperature? 
  No but adding line-heaters to any VO conversion that is capable of raising VO temps to 150°F (measured at the IP)  will do this. On large very low MPG engines I have to add 2 per cylinder to achieve this temp..but on engines that get 15mpg or better only one per cylinder should be enough.

Quote:
On that note, what do you think of the Elsbett setup with injection nozzle inserts and hotter glowplugs?  Would the problem with cold cylinder walls remain, 
  I believe so to some extent..but the tighter injector spray pattern and modified timing seem to help quite a bit from the available info.

Quote:
I would be interested in the Beta model of the 12v fuel pickup (aluminum or stainless).  Please let me know more info as it comes available.
 


Please contact me when you need it and I will see if the maker is ready to market a beta unit. he has them on hand...but is hesitant to market them. May need just a tiny push to make the discision.

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Dana danalinscott@yahoo.com
mcarman

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Reply with quote  #9 

exactly how to cut into radiator, heater hose for meced 190d conversion?

Peter

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Reply with quote  #10 
Just want to give another option for brazed plate heat exchangers - comes with free shipping:
http://www.brazetek.com/products

ytk

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi Dana,
Thanks for still answering the question I and we have from time to time. Info about how hot VO should be and where it should be heated the most before it enters the IP is very very confusing if you look at the main two tank kit vendors explanations and theories. For example the golden fuel systems theories:
"...It is generally accepted that if the oil is over 160 Deg. F. it is safe to inject into and engine, in other words, it will atomize properly.

OK, we have established veggie oil is thicker than diesel, the veggie oil must be thinned in order to spray the oil properly. No arguments up to this point.  But here is where people start to get off track when it comes to designing an SVO system. The myth has been perpetuated by individuals and other upstart, Johnny come lately conversion companies, that the oil has to reach some magic arbitrary temp. in the conversion system before it gets to the engine, or the whole world will come to an end and your diesel will turn up its toes and die instantly. They design systems with solutions to problems that do not exist. No matter how hard you tried it would be impossible to inject cold oil into an engine that is up to Normal operating temperature.

The part they are missing, is that every component in the fuel injection system IS A HEAT EXCHANGER. Every engine has an ambient core temperature of between about 160 and 200 degrees. This is determined by several factors, the thermostat being one of them. And although the ambient temp. is between 160 and 200 degrees, there are components and parts of the engine that get hotter. The function of the coolant is to take the heat away from the engine and disperse it into the atmosphere through the radiator, and although the coolant is circulating around the head of the engine where combustion is taking place the metal in the head, where the injectors are embedded is hotter than the coolant. Think of a cast iron skillet boiling water, the water will be 212 deg.F but the metal on the underside of the skillet will be much hotter...." 
Original link: 
http://www.goldenfuelsystems.com/resources/faqs/fuel-systems-faqs/


 How true is it in Your pinion?

Thanks
danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #12 
I addressed this when Charles first made this statement.
It is based on wishful thinking rather than science.
The science simply does not support it.

Adequate atomization of any fuel is dependant on fuel viscosity at the point of injection. 
If using stock injectors this means that the closer the viscosity of VO is to diesel fuel the better the combustion efficiency. 

This temperature has been calculated mathematically AND determined through formal experimentation with less than a 5% difference between the two values.
This optimum temperature is neither arbitrary or "Magic" and it is much hotter than 160 degrees F.

Fuel viscosity is slightly less important with IDI engines than it is with DI engines.
Charles discovered this when he ruined his own Jeep Liberty engine using a GFS kit which failed to adequately heat the VO fuel.

Several others have also reported "discovering" how important adequately heated Vo fuel is when they too ruined engines when the piston rings coked.

I suspect most who  inadvertently "discover"  this simply attribute their ruined engines to use of VO fuel when in fact simply their conversion was not adequately heating their VO fuel prior to injection.  






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Dana danalinscott@yahoo.com
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