Help me diagnose my misbehaving SVO system?

For discussing the modifications needed for diesel vehicles to run with 2 tank veggie oil conversions.

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Help me diagnose my misbehaving SVO system?

Postby jordanmills » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:18 pm

So I'm running a custom built two tank system in a 2001 F-250 PSD (7.3 L). I'm using the stock fuel bowl, stock fuel pump, and pollack valve, running HOH from my tank through a 24 plate fphe to the valve.

This started when after it got warmer here, I switched over to SVO and my truck started to die.

I thought I had a bad batch of oil at first. When I switched over, the water in fuel light came on and the engine started struggling. I stopped, drained the bowl, switched back, and she recovered and made her way home. Then I drained the tank and reprocessed the oil (settle, filter, dry, settle, and pump off the top - yes some water settled out, maybe 5%).

While that was going on, I put in a different batch of oil that had already filtered/settled/dried and tested good by HPT. After driving a few dozen miles on diesel with no issues, I switched over to SVO and had exactly the same symptoms, minus the water in fuel light. It's like the oil just isn't happy any more - and this is stuff I collected fresh about ten days ago.

Anyone got ideas on what else I can kick?
2001 F-250 (7.3 L PSD)
2-tank custom/self-built SVO system
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Location: Pearland, TX (near Houston)

Postby SunWizard » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:39 pm

5% is a huge amount of water. The filter probably absorbed a lot of water and is clogged and will stay clogged. Have you changed the filter?

Sharing the stock unheated filter, you may be running cold VO for around the 1st 7-10 miles after you switch. Which is going to be hard to get through the filter.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
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Postby jordanmills » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:44 pm

Yes, I replaced it with a new filter fresh from autozone. I kept the old one just in case.

Yeah I know my system is not ideal. I am eventually going to be able to afford a high flow pump and go with two filters. Just don't have the cash right now.

What bothers me now about that is that the WIF light doesn't come on, and it runs fine for a little bit and doesn't choke up for ... about 7-10 miles. And my oil tests dead dry now.
2001 F-250 (7.3 L PSD)
2-tank custom/self-built SVO system
jordanmills
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:14 pm
Location: Pearland, TX (near Houston)

Postby SunWizard » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:18 pm

The next most common thing that causes your symptoms is an air leak. You could put a clear inline filter just before the engine and see if there are any bubbles.

Is your VO clear or cloudy at room temps? When you drained the bowl, was the VO warm to the touch? It should be too warm to touch.
YVORMV - Your veg. oil results may vary.
95 Dodge Cummins 4x4 SVO WVO conversion.
81 Mercedes 300D- stock and happy on V80/D20 blend.
Low fossil net zero house- 100% solar power and heat.
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Postby jordanmills » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:39 pm

Okay, I'll check for an air leak next and get back to you.

The oil is WAY too hot to touch. I burned myself once trying to feel it for viscosity. Not trying that again. With a 26 plate FPHE, the filter bowl, etc, I'm sure it's pushing 200 F.
2001 F-250 (7.3 L PSD)
2-tank custom/self-built SVO system
jordanmills
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:14 pm
Location: Pearland, TX (near Houston)

Postby David » Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:31 pm

I'd change the filter again.
There may have been enough water still in the lines etc that when you changed it last time, it got saturated straight away and absorbed it all but there wasn't enough excess to activate the WIF light. I'd also hot pan test a sample of oil from the tank to check that as well.

Oil can hold a lot of water and I have to be sure to rinse out the measure I am using when I do a hot pan test on oil I am drying otherwise I can get a false reading from the wet stuff.

5% of water may not seem much to you but in a 100L tank, that is a full 5 liters! That is what most cars take in sump oil! If you filled up on dino and someone came along and put that much water in you fuel tank you'd have a fit but this is what you have done.
Hope you haven't damaged anything.
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Postby hheynow » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:49 pm

jordanmills wrote:
The oil is WAY too hot to touch. I burned myself once trying to feel it for viscosity. Not trying that again.


Get an infra-red heat gun. Got mine on Ebay.
FOR SALE: 1997 Ford F-350 7.3L PSD - Plant Drive kit
1984 Mercedes Euro 300D NA - Custom two tank
Running on used plant oil and biodiesel since May 2006
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Location: California

Postby jordanmills » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:31 pm

I'm poor. But yeah, I need to. I need one for my kitchen too.
2001 F-250 (7.3 L PSD)
2-tank custom/self-built SVO system
jordanmills
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:14 pm
Location: Pearland, TX (near Houston)

Postby John Galt » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:01 am

jordanmills wrote:Okay, I'll check for an air leak next and get back to you.

The oil is WAY too hot to touch. I burned myself once trying to feel it for viscosity. Not trying that again. With a 26 plate FPHE, the filter bowl, etc, I'm sure it's pushing 200 F.


Is the valve downstream from the FPHE capable of handling those temperatures without leaking?

Which components of your system are on the suction side of pumps?
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Postby jordanmills » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:44 am

Good question. probably not, though it doesn't leak right now. The fphe and valve are on the suction side.
2001 F-250 (7.3 L PSD)
2-tank custom/self-built SVO system
jordanmills
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:14 pm
Location: Pearland, TX (near Houston)

Postby jordanmills » Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:27 am

Okay, I am officially declaring this experiment a failure.

The root cause was that the stock filter couldn't handle the required flow rate of even hot vegetable oil, and was collapsing. That's bad. I'm not going to try to use the stock filter any more. If you hear of anyone who thinks they'll get by with using it, feel free to refer them to me and I'll explain it in gory detail.

I'm going to dismantle my current two tank system and build a new one, with a pump and filter on each fuel source. Just like everyone told me I'd have to do in the first place.

I appreciate the time everyone has put into coddling me and bearing with my annoying way of learning stuff. I'll report on the new system this weekend. Whee.
2001 F-250 (7.3 L PSD)
2-tank custom/self-built SVO system
jordanmills
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:14 pm
Location: Pearland, TX (near Houston)

Postby hheynow » Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:59 pm

jordanmills wrote:
The root cause was that the stock filter couldn't handle the required flow rate of even hot vegetable oil, and was collapsing. That's bad. I'm not going to try to use the stock filter any more. If you hear of anyone who thinks they'll get by with using it, feel free to refer them to me and I'll explain it in gory detail.



Well at least there is no permanent damage which is a good thing. I ran vegoil through my stock filter but it's a '97 with a different filter than yours. I too deleted it and run both fuels through separate filters now. I was told not to do this but did it anyway. With the continuing learning curve that we all go through it's great when we realize a failure (without damage) and make changes that ultimately work better. I continually tweaked my WVO system to run hotter and better. I expect you'll do the same. Knowledge is power!
FOR SALE: 1997 Ford F-350 7.3L PSD - Plant Drive kit
1984 Mercedes Euro 300D NA - Custom two tank
Running on used plant oil and biodiesel since May 2006
hheynow
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:10 pm
Location: California

Postby SkySkiJason » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:06 pm

Another problem w/VO in a stock PSD fuel bowl is some of the components - especially the FPR parts - do not like VO. I have met a couple PSD 'blenders' who had failures attributed to VO 'corroding' parts.

The BIGGEST problem with sharing THAT filter, is it is nearly impossible to purge. 10 - 15 minutes may not be long enough for a good purge. All you are doing is slowing blending diesel in with the VO inside the filter.

The filter holds at least 12oz or so of VO, so ALL of that ends up in the diesel tank every time ya switch back. Also, my experiments w/blending #2 an VO showed seperation w/VO settling out. So, the first drink your truck takes is cold VO that seperated in the filter and the next several minutes you are sucking the cold, settled VO off the bottom of the diesel tank. Especially after being parked for a few days. Thats COLD VO in a COLD engine - everybody should know that is bad!

There was a guy over at TDS recently who (lucky/smart of him) had a bad used oil analysis shortly after doing a similar 'conversion'.

Bottom line (as you have already decided 8) ): You CAN save money by burning SVO as a fuel - but in order to prevent long-term damage, you may have to spend a little up front. I do beleive some engines are more forgiving for others and some usages (ie. long road trips) are more forgiving... (a PSD engine runs about $10k :shock: )
2001 F-350, DRW, 4x4, XLT Crew Cab, flat bed, 7.3, 6 spd, Dipricol Optix gauges, DP tunes - Single-Shot injectors! Vegistroke-style WVO conversion, 55,000 VO miles so far - 190 deg VO before the heads
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Postby jordanmills » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:08 pm

I'm removing the filter and putting an aluminum block in there to take up most of the space.
2001 F-250 (7.3 L PSD)
2-tank custom/self-built SVO system
jordanmills
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:14 pm
Location: Pearland, TX (near Houston)

Postby hheynow » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:52 pm

jordanmills wrote:I'm removing the filter and putting an aluminum block in there to take up most of the space.


That's exactly what I did.
FOR SALE: 1997 Ford F-350 7.3L PSD - Plant Drive kit
1984 Mercedes Euro 300D NA - Custom two tank
Running on used plant oil and biodiesel since May 2006
hheynow
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:10 pm
Location: California

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