Cummins conversion questions for VP44 ISB engines

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Cummins conversion questions for VP44 ISB engines

Postby hotrodf1 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:13 pm

Hello all,

My name is Jeremy Moen, first time post here. Living is Southern Indiana, Evansville to be exact.

I've been reading a lot here and other places about converting to WVO burning in my pickup. I sure appreciate all the info you guys have out here, thanks for sharing and reporting all your experiences. I also read ray Holan's book "sliding home" and it seemed to provide some fairly good general info as well as shine some light on several manufacturers. I saw some products there that I didn't know existed.

I have collected 350 gallons of oil that I believe is decent quality, and then constructed a filtering setup quite a bit like Sunwizards using water heater element and a high volume SBC pump with a PA diesel centrifuge unit. I haven't totally got the hang of all of that, but I think I feel good enough about it that it's on to making sure my truck is a decent convert candidate before I go any further.

Anyhow, I'm trying to figure out how successful I'm going to be at converting this finicky VP44 fueled truck. Seems there are several folks that think it shouldn't be done, some that have tried and had poor results, etc.. I've not been able to figure out where some have went wrong, but I'd like to not go down this path if it's going to create more issues that end up costing me more than diesel.

The goal of the whole deal is to be able to pull my enclosed trailer and racecar to the road course tracks 200-400 miles away, typically would be in spring / summer / fall only. Trying to save money and stick it to the man at the same time, ha ha. :D I live only a few miles from work, so I don't think attempting to switch to WVO on the way to and from work is going to be possible. Hoping to ride my bike, etc. after a major road project currently in progress gets finished.

Truck is a 2001 Dodge dually, two wheel drive, 5 speed manual, I have a slide in camper (avoid hotel rooms when I can) that sits in the bed making the 2 tank deal a little more complicated. Been getting around 11- 12.5 mpg when fully loaded towing the 26' box trailer, which I wasn't real disappointed with, but it's still expensive for a weekend trip. (Ya ya, I picked a pretty silly hobby)

I've seen some applications here for the trucks prior to the 98.5 VP44 trucks, but not much after that so I thought I'd reach out for a little advice.

So what's the better approach here?
1) Try to do a "full hot" approach and get the oil to 170 or so via the "normal" methods - risk is overheating the VP44 which is supposedly cooled by excess fuel flow, fuel which is not supposed to be hotter than 90F according to what I read (I believe Bosch states this, but don't quote me.) Overheating the pump could kill the electronics within, making a $1200 pump swap necessary. Frybrid and Greasecar offer kits that employ this approach I believe. If this was a surefire way to kill the VP44 I wouldn't think they would be able to offer this kit.

2) Try to do a hybrid setup using a blend of 10-30% kerosene and WVO - idea being to lower the viscosity which eases the situation for lower temps (talking 55 and up or so, spring/summer/fall). Makes it easier for fuel pump, filter, IP etc. Couldn't get all the way there viscosity-wise without some heat though. For summer trips I dont think I'd need heated fuel lines, etc., making install less extensive with less areas for failure.

3) Blending - just go for a 1 tank setup and do a mix of 50% kero and 50% WVO. Savings would still be substantial although much less. Not real excited about trying to run this oil without heat, but if it was the only option, I would probably still pull the trigger.

Relating to option 2 - Ray Holan's book shows a study he had done on mixtures of kero and WVO. at 50% kero and 50% WVO at 104F we get 3.75 centistokes viscosity which is right where D2 is at. So I want more WVO which means I'll need more heat to keep that viscosity in the right area. How much I don't know. Guessing 130-140F. That might be low enough to reduce the heat strain on the VP44 thereby allowing a longer lifespan which would be a plus!

So I wouldn't have a problem mixing 20% Kerosene with WVO I guess after the filtering is done, before adding the mix to my second tank (which is looking like a custom built tank where the spare tire was) if that's going to decrease my chances of VP44 failure. Truck has 201,000 with no VP issues as of yet. I do run a half quart of 2 cycle oil in the D2 to help with lube, although it's probably not enough. The savings over D2 would still be large at 80% WVO and 20% Kero, and might be a better option than trying to find a different truck (older Cummins, etc), or risk killing the VP.

Guess this was a long winded way of trying to see if anyone out there has some success with the VP44 pump trucks, any recommendations, etc.. I was hoping I'd find some good evidence of what will work, but it just doesn't seem to be out there for this truck.

Thanks to any of you taking the time to read all this, would really appreciate any experience folks have had out there.

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