DrBoost SuperDork
7/13/11 7:27 a.m.

It’s been a while since my last update and I’ve actually had a few people mention that they’d like to see another one. Imagine that!
There’s really not much to report on the car so I figured I’d detail the time I spend in the garage filtering stuff. But first, the update on the car. The car is going to tick over to 280,000 miles next week, it was converted at 217,000 and the car is just fine. No issues to report and only maintenance needed as far as the Powertrain is concerned. I’m averaging over 220 miles per diesel gallon, but that is dependent on your regular drive. When I drive anywhere I drive on diesel until the engine is warm and that depends on the weather. In the summer I’m switching over from dino to oil in about 4.5 miles. In the winter that can be 7 miles. Then I switch back over to diesel about 1 mile before I get to where I’m going, unless in the summer I’ll be going somewhere again soon. So, if I drive 30 miles (that’s my commute to work) I drive less than 6 miles on diesel, 24 on oil. Now, my wife went to New York a few weeks ago. She was going to drive the Benz. She would have driven 5 miles on diesel, then 600+ on oil, then 1 mile on diesel. That would have been a couple thousand miles per diesel gallon!
So on to the filtering. There are more than one way to skin a cat. I chose a centrifuge as opposed to multiple filters. Lots of folks use house water filters, typically 2 or 3 in series. The problem is ones that will block water and have a micron rating of 5 or so are expensive. The problem happens when you get a very dirty or wet oil sample you can ruin these filters in just a few gallons. If you have 20 gallons of nasty oil and can’t get more than 5 gallons through three filters it gets expensive fast. And it’s messy. And you need a pump. And nobody seems to know if these filters are really dewatering.
So, I got a centrifuge that filters to 0.5 microns AND dewaters in one pass. No filters to clean, no mess and cheap to run. I’ve covered my whole setup in past updates so you can search and find them if you want. Lots of people ask me how much time I spend in the garage filtering oil. Well, to filter 10 gallons (about what I burn in a week or so) I spend about 4 minutes in the garage. Filling my tank takes another4 minutes. Cleaning the centrifuge takes, maybe 10 minutes and I do that once a month or so. No post should be this long and not have pics, so here you are.
Here’s the centrifuge. Basically, oil is drizzled in side where a open bowl spins fast. The oil is forced against the side where it’s at 1200 g’s. This forces the nasties against the sides. The clean oil eventually goes up over the top of the bowl and is collected in my “clean” barrel. Here’s a picture of the bowl before it’s cleaned. This is after about 50 gallons of oil passing through. I simply take a plastic putty knife and scrape the sides out.
One pass is usually enough

And here’s some of the stuff I scrape out. I can sell this to bear hunters going up north cuz the bears LOVE it. I just give it away though. Want some?

RossD SuperDork
7/13/11 7:52 a.m.

Neat. Thanks for the update...with pictures!

chuckles Reader
7/13/11 8:09 a.m.

Is it getting harder to find used oil? Do you have competition for it?

DrBoost SuperDork
7/13/11 9:03 a.m.

Oh, I forgot to post a before and after shot of the oil. The sample on the left is a pretty nasty sample. I usually get some pretty clean stuff. On the right is after one pass at a pretty slow rate, maybe 2 gallons per hour.

Currently I run 4-5 gallons per hour but could go much faster. The creater of the 'fuge I have said he runs 15 gallons per hour, knowing that it's not filtering down to 0.5 microns. He allows the on-car filter to catch the rest. I dont' mind filtering slower and getting it cleaner and getting all the water out.
Chuckles, there is definately competition out there. I live in a rural area where there are more farmers that tend to run bio-diesel. But I still have enough that I'm goin to sell some shortly just to get my garage cleaned out a bit.

SubieDude New Reader
7/13/11 3:51 p.m.

I've heard of this. NICE. How do I find the other parts, 1-5? Do you have a blog or something?

alex SuperDork
7/13/11 6:34 p.m.

^ What he said. I'm thinking of going diesel for my DD soon, and since my business has me selling to restaurants anyway, this seems like a bit of a no-brainer.

I'd love a from-the-top step by step So You Wanna Make Yer Own Bio-Diesel for Dummies sort of resource.

DrBoost SuperDork
7/13/11 6:45 p.m.

Alex, are you thinking about bio-diesel or running straight veggie oil?

alex SuperDork
7/13/11 7:05 p.m.

See, I don't even know the difference. I guess straight WVO is the easiest to homebrew, right?

donalson GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/13/11 9:42 p.m.

for bio you have to do some additional work to keep the oil from gooping up in cooler weather...

SVO and WVO can be the same thing (straight/waste veggie oil)

WVO needs filtered to remove water and the other non oil bits (which is what OP is showing... he uses a super awesome centerfuge... some just filter it by pouring it though a filter and the higher end filter people use a filter built into a pump...

to do SVO/WVO you need a 2nd tank so you can start and stop the engine on standard diesel fuel (SVO will/can go solid and clog up the lines)... most systems that i've seen use the coolant system to run coolant around the SVO line, filter, and into the fuel tank (to heat it up and keep it thin so it'll flow.

I want an old diesel to convert...

93gsxturbo HalfDork
7/13/11 9:49 p.m.

The CUCV my friend's dad owns has proven to be awesome for veggie oil.

We run it on the following: Straight used vegetable oil allowed to sit in totes for 6 months-1 year to settle. We don't pump off the bottom 6". Otherwise the only filter is the stock GM fuel filter.

Straight used vegetable oil cut with gasoline or kerosene in winter months.

Straight #1 Kerosene we get from "Oil Dick" a guy named Dick who goes around and changes out fuel in tanks on hospital generators and other "must not fail" generators as preventative maintenance. We get it for $1/gallon delivered.

Used drain oil, usually from diesel farm tractors. She smokes a bit but runs fine otherwise.

Pretty much anything oily.

I wired up the glows to run on a separate switch instead of automatically. That way you can glow longer on a cold morning or fire it on ether without risk of a kaboom.

Its been a great truck.

DrBoost SuperDork
7/14/11 6:46 a.m.
alex wrote: See, I don't even know the difference. I guess straight WVO is the easiest to homebrew, right?

donalson is right, I'll expand on it a bit though.
Bio-diesel requires no work to be done to the car, but more work to be done with each batch. Basically, for bio you need to filter and de-water the oil the same as I do. But after that, the science begins. You have to test for ph, titrites and water. Then you chemically strip some components of the oil out, then add some of those back in. There are chemicals that you have to use and store like lye and others. I didn't want to go that rout for two reasons. I don't want to do a science experement for every batch of oil (each batch is different, so each batch is a little experement), I didn't want to have to do that, my time is limited. The other reason is bio-diesel costs about $.75 a gallon and is dependent on the price of the chemicals.
With WVO, or WVO (Waste Veggie Oil or Straight Veggi Oil) you have to filter and de-water it. After that you just put it in your car. Now, the bio folks don't have to do anything at all to the car they are running but I did. Running wvo you have to add a second fuel system upstream or the pump. So, just a tank, lines and the two valves to switch the supply and returns over. So, I have two tanks, 32 gallons total fuel capacity, bio folks still have the one tank.
The biggest reason I didn't go bio is because I was helping a co-worker in the past as he was running bio. In the beginning he kept having issues with the PH being off or something else. He would find out when the car stalled on him and he'd call a tow truck. After the third time that happened I decided I wasn't goin to play with bio.

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