Plantoil/diesel conversion basics
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danalinscott

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(under construction)

I recently got this email..and since I get about one a month it may be worth creating a tutorial on this specific subject.

Quote:
My name is Jonathan. Ive been scouring several forums while researching diesel to VO conversion. I am in a band and its becoming financially very difficult for us to tour with gas prices the way they are. It's been extremely frustrating for us as this is what we want to do with our lives.. and is actually all we are doing. I never thought that vegetable oil could potentially change our lives, haha. I know that probably sounds kind of corny / melodramatic, but we're really excited at the prospect of cheaper fuel. Of course there are some obstacles for a band touring for up to a month on end.

First, we are looking at getting a shuttle bus and turning it into something similar to an RV (no need for hotels). If we can cut down on $$$ spent on fuel, we'll be able to share our music so much better!! All we'd have left as a major expense is food.

Back on topic...  you seem to be an expert in this field and I was thinking of getting a kit from frybrid.com. Do you think they are the best group to go with? They seemed convinced of  it (after looking at their chart comparison to other companies). I also saw your page on creating a filter / dewatering system. If we can convert 100 gallons a day, we could EASILY tour and just filter it on the road. I don't know if dewatering takes longer though or what. Also, I've seen that a lot of people have one restaurant they collect from in their area that they then store at their house (and filter there). For us, the source would be constantly changing, and thus the "quality" of WVO would change. I am unsure if this will affect engine life. We would like to get.. at least 100,000 miles out of it.

Anyway, I would really like to know what your thoughts are on our situation. We currently are using a 2005 Silverado Crew Cab for our band. It tows great but we reaaally rack up $$ on gas. If we tour heavily, its about $8,000 a year in gas.
Jonathan 




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Dana danalinscott@yahoo.com
danalinscott

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Reply with quote  #2 
Tutorial outline.
1. Determine Return On Investment.
2. Set budget based on above.
3. Determine size/type of bus needed.
4. Find prospective buses that are large enough.
5. Test engines of prospective buses and make offers.
6. Convert bus.

Answers to questions so far.

Quote:
  I was thinking of getting a kit from frybrid.com. Do you think they are the best group to go with?  They seemed convinced of  it (after looking at their chart comparison to other companies). I
  Frybrid a not a group. It is a one man VO conversion shop in Seattle. If you want a high quality/high cost custom conversion and are not in any hurry this is an option. Whether it is the BEST option for you depends on your budget and patience. The charts on the Frybrid website are extremely biased. I would not rely on them to accurately compare Frybrid kits with any others.

Quote:
I also saw your page on creating a filter / dewatering system. If we can convert 100 gallons a day, we could EASILY tour and just filter it on the road. I don't know if dewatering takes longer though or what.


Typically dewatering does take longer than prefiltering. But there are several options for faster prefiltering/dewatering during times your bus is parked...and at least one prefilter/dewatering unit that is in final testing which can do so on the move.

Quote:
Also, I've seen that a lot of people have one restaurant they collect from in their area that they then store at their house (and filter there). For us, the source would be constantly changing, and thus the "quality" of WVO would change.  


Collecting wvo may be your biggest challenge since it is not free for the taking. I all belongs to someone and so you will have to make long term arrangements to get it legitimately. You cannot just a bus up to a "grease dumpster" and take what you want. No matter what you will want a conversion designed to use even very high fat/hydrogenated wvo since you will never be sure of the quality you will be getting until you get it.

Quote:
I am unsure if this will affect engine life. We would like to get.. at least 100,000 miles out of it. 
This will depend a LOT on how well maintained the engine was by the previous owners and how well you maintain it yourself once you own it. This is also a very good reason to have the engine compression tested (as a minimum) prior to buying the bus. Doing so will give you a good idea of how much life is left in the engine.

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Dana danalinscott@yahoo.com
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