Plantoil/diesel conversion basics
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danalinscott

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In the early days of VO conversion it was quickly learned that some form of heating is required in the VO/PO fuel tank to ensure that the VO/PO is sufficiently liquid to flow easily  from the tank and through the fuel lines.

 

Some early attempts involved using coolant heated coils of soft copper line, cab heater cores, and automatic transmission coolers to heat the entire contents of the tank. These primitive tank heaters were inefficient and so required long periods of time after the engine was creating hot coolant before the VO/PO was sufficiently liquid (except in very warm climates) to flow easily from the tank.  They also presented some problems with coolant leakage into the VO and water damage to the IPs of early conversions.

 

More efficient methods soon developed including coolant jackets covering the entire base of the VO tank and coolant heated probe type fuel pickups...the latter proving most efficient at quickly producing ready to flow, fully liquid VO/PO. In conversions designed for WVO an efficient tank heater/fuel pickup is even more critical.

 

Some research and development has been done on 12vDC electrically heated  fuel pickups but initial indications have been that these have the same drawback that electrically heated filters have. They draw too heavily upon the limited extra onboard electrical production which may be more useful for heating purposes elsewhere.

 


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danalinscott

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All I want to know is can I use soft copper tube as a heat exchanger in the VO tank?
Thanks -


Yes...soft copper can be used..and IS used by the largest VO conversion kit producer in North America..GreaseCar.

There are several possible problems with just placing some loops of copper tube in the VO tank. These include:

1. If the copper is exposed to the air above oil in the tank a possibility of polymerization exists. While not a serious problem it can cause filters to become clogged more often.

2. If the copper coil is not concentrated around the tanks fuel outlet it can take quite a bit of time before enough is si liquified to allow VO fuel to flow and "switchover" to VO to be possible.

3. Coolant conection must be outside the tank so if a leak develops at these points it does not contaminate the VO fuel and cause seious IP damage.

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Swany

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Dana,

Can I just clamp a 3/8 fuel (or coolant) hose onto the soft copper leads coming out of your HotRod fuel pickup, or do I need to go with compression fittings to barbs?

Thanks,

dave


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Swany

99 Jetta TDI, Linscott hotrod, hoh, fphe, jacketed filter, inline heaters. Coolant plumbed in series with parallel loops for fphe and rest of rig.
danalinscott

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Can I just clamp a 3/8 fuel (or coolant) hose onto the soft copper leads coming out of your HotRod fuel pickup, or do I need to go with compression fittings to barbs?


You can use a hose clamp. But I would use high quality hose clamps through out the conversion rather than the garden variety one available from most hardware stores.

There is a discussion (with pics) HERE on the differences.

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