Plantoil/diesel conversion basics
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danalinscott

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lmmzr

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I guess my main question is; can someone with heavy family, church, and job responsibilities, not much money, good mechanical abilities, and average time-management skills handle a WVO conversion?  It sounds like there are so many variables - so many ways to go wrong and really mess up your engine and encur major repair costs.  I am a good tinkerer, but far from a professional mechanic.  If get the used Greasecar system I am looking at, would you recommend "biting the bullet" taking it to a professional installer, or trying to save $1000 by tightening the hose clamps myself?  I wish I could just put in some sweat equity on the installation and let the professional review my job and make any necessary corrections.

Thanks for your support!
danalinscott

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmmzr
I guess my main question is; can someone with heavy family, church, and job responsibilities, not much money, good mechanical abilities, and average time-management skills handle a WVO conversion?  It sounds like there are so many variables - so many ways to go wrong and really mess up your engine and encur major repair costs.  I am a good tinkerer, but far from a professional mechanic.  If get the used Greasecar system I am looking at, would you recommend "biting the bullet" taking it to a professional installer, or trying to save $1000 by tightening the hose clamps myself?  I wish I could just put in some sweat equity on the installation and let the professional review my job and make any necessary corrections.

Thanks for your support!


That is a GREAT question!!!
It's actually several.

1. How do you know if you have the mechanical ability to install a GC conversion kit?

2. How do you know if you have enough "spare time" to install a GC conversion kit?

and

3. Is it worth the $1000 it costs to have installed by someone else?


Quote:
It sounds like there are so many variables - so many ways to go wrong and really mess up your engine

This is also a related but separate question.
Let's start there. And apply it as widely as possible.

Since there is currently no certification system for VO conversion and so many folks (some who may be less capable than yourself) have decided to open a VO conversion shop you may be better off installing your conversion kit yourself. If you DO decide to have a conversion kit installed I advise using a conversion shop that is at least listed as "associates" by the company that made your kit.  You should at lest be able to avoid the least capable "professional installations" by doing that.

If you are totally mehcan-icapped (can't change your own crankcase oil and filter) perhaps this is your only real option. But if you believe you could flush your vehicles coolant system and brakes lines successfully you can probably install any professionally built conversion kit that offers free tech help and has decent vehicle specific  instructions. Those with even fairly minor mechanical skill and experience have successfully done this over and over.  My rule is if you can't change your cars lube oil and filter..you should not probably own a VO converted car.

Folks that install their own conversions know how to change their VO filter. You have to do that yourself eventually!

They also have a clue how to trouble shoot "bugs" that may show up later. Trying to do this even with good tech help when you have not installed your own conversion might make you consider suicide...it certainly will make the "tech" on the other end of the phone consider it.

Of course a used kit probably doesn't come with much (if any) tech support.  Make sure the instructions that came with the kit originally come with the used kit. You can probably make a few calls for tech support without them even asking if the kit you have is used.

If you install your own conversion kit you might also decide to install a gauge or two that won't come with most kits. These are not only handy to help troubleshoot (and avoid) problems later...they may indicate that due to your climate or WVO source your conversion might need more VO heating components than come standard with the kit.

Question 2 and 3 are really intertwined.
Maybe you can answer it by asking yourself "Do I have more spare time than spare money?"  If your answer is yes the answer is nearly obvious. If you have a spare GRAND gathering dust and NO spare time the answer is even more obvious.  

Quote:
I wish I could just put in some sweat equity on the installation and let the professional review my job and make any necessary corrections.


Maybe you can!
You won't know until you ask.
If you can find a nearby installer or even another person with a GC conversion in a similar vehicle they may be willing to provide help if needed for an hourly rate.
 


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