1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (Sunwizard) - Update 8/28

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

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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby White99z » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:17 pm

SunWizard wrote:
White99z wrote:We actually get pressure while cranking now… Up to about 20-25 PSI..

Good news, with more cranking with the injector nuts loose it will probably start getting enough flow now to get the air out of the IP and injector lines finally. Once you see some smoke out the exhaust you know you are close since that is unburned fuel. One idea is that you got some debris or your bad pipe compound in the overflow valve that made it stop working quickly, although I have never heard of that. You could try to take apart the old overflow valve to see if that is the case, and if so there is probably something in the IP which could cause trouble too.


We spent a couple hours trying to crack injectors and bleed, etc. We still aren't getting fuel at the injectors, or even at the lines at the top of the pump when we crack open the nuts there. I'm really worried that our pump is toast, fuel rack is stuck, etc.

Not sure what to do. We are supposed to leave Sunday for a trip and I am thinking of leaving it and towing it to a diesel shop when we get back.

On thing... I read on another forum that it's possible for the lift pump to produce pressure, but not enough volume when it is failing. Would it be worth it to just try and swap out the lift pump? I know it's not too expensive of a part (much, much, much cheaper than injection pump) and a relatively quick fix.

Once again, I want to thank you for all your time answering these questions.
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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby White99z » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:21 pm

Just a little update on the bus. We were gone for 10 days for a music festival and some gigs. We returned home today and had a mobile mechanic come out. He basically said everything I went through is what he would have done and that he would start to look internally at the pump. Said he didn't want to waste our money. Since he had already made the service call, we spent the hour doing a few things together to no avail. I think it might be about time to tow it into our nearest shop that works on injection pumps :(
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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby White99z » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:20 pm

We didn't end up towing the bus to the shop because I wanted to check the fuel rack. I pulled the AFC off today. The rack is stuck :shock: I recorded this little video. We are happy to know what is causing our no-start, but bummed at the outcome. It's likely a rebuild is in order. I would be happy to have any advice at this point though for a last ditch effort to see if we can save the pump before pulling it.

Is it possible to pull the delivery valves off the pump easily to see if there's some physical debris that is stuck? Is it safe to do so? If I were to do this, is there anything I need to be cautious of (ex: flying springs that can be lost)?

If the pump needs to be pulled, is it a job that someone (myself) with a moderate mechanical ability can do? It would be great to save on the labor if it's something I can do. I would likely pull the front of the bus off (it's a flat nose), including the front grill and radiator so I could do the KDP fix and change the serpentine belt at the same time. This would make it easier to access the front of the pump (I believe). Are there any specialty tools that are needed to do this?

Here's a video. Let us know your thoughts. Thanks for all the advice.
http://youtu.be/YGbAKk9NuKE
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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby SunWizard » Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:41 pm

Sorry I don't have any experience pulling the IP. At least you now have an idea what is wrong. Probably best to have a shop test and rebuild it since an IP is very tricky to work on.
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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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby White99z » Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:41 pm

We are happy to have figured it out. Calling the shop on Monday and then we can be back to our VO conversion! Thanks for your huge amount of help to this point!!!
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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby White99z » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:30 pm

News on the injection pump:

The bus is currently in the shop and the pump is being rebuilt tomorrow. On Friday, the local Bosch shop discovered the cause of the locked up fuel rack. At some point when we were running the bus, a small metal shard worked its way loose from the metal tubing that was cut improperly (yes... it was our fault :shock: ). The bad cut was on the clean side of the fuel filter (after the filter) and it went into the injection pump and scored one of the plungers in the Injection pump very badly. This caused the plunger to get stuck and subsequently, the fuel rack too. With the fuel rack hung up, the delivery valves were not opening and no fuel was getting through the lines to the injectors. Total cost... just over $2000 :shock: :shock: :shock: It really sucks... especially because it was, in essence, a mistake in the conversion process. A hard lesson learned but if I want to look at it optimistically, I now have a VERY intimate knowledge of the entire fuel system and feel that I could diagnose and repair any fuel related issue short of rebuilding the injection pump. This is good knowledge to have for a touring bus running on veggie oil. The pump will be in the bus by the end of the week (it has to go back to a different shop that pulled the pump) and then, after it is running good, it will go to yet another shop to repair the rear hub seal leak and replace the bearings. We will pick it up next week when we get home from a music festival that I am playing at. We are happy to be moving forward, but have our heads hanging a little low this week :(
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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby SunWizard » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:56 pm

Sorry to hear it but its what I expected after you tried everything else. At least your IP should be good for a long time after the rebuild.
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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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby White99z » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:26 pm

SunWizard wrote:Sorry to hear it but its what I expected after you tried everything else. At least your IP should be good for a long time after the rebuild.


Agreed. Thanks for all your support SunWizard! You have taught me a lot through this whole ordeal.
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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby White99z » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:42 pm

We took our first drives on Veggie Oil last week. It was a lovely feeling 8) On our first drive, we stalled after about ten minutes while we were moving and I had a bit of a panic. Reached down and switched over to diesel and it fired right up, only to die again another 1/4 mile down the street. I looked down and I had accidentally closed off both tanks in my panic instead of switching to diesel, lol :lol: A few minutes of priming and no problems since! Thanks for all of your help getting to this point!
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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby White99z » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:06 pm

Yesterday, we took our first "Shakedown Trip" in the bus. We loaded up the tank with about 80 gallons of vegetable oil and took off for a 500 mile round trip in the bus. The bus ran great and took us there and back, but we found a few minor issues with the system that need the kinks worked out.

First off, the bus runs great in the city now on Veggie Oil. It will drive all day. But... on the highway (near WOT) at about 60-70 mph, the bus will run for 5-15 minutes and then begin cutting out slowly until it will get to the point that it will not accelerate. It will do this consistently, almost without failure. The remedy for this is to reach down, switch the tank to diesel for 10 seconds or so (leave veg filter on and looped return on) and it roars back to life. It's almost as if someone hits the engine with a bit of nitrous :lol: Granted, it's a big, slow 15,000 pound bus. You can switch it back to veggie oil almost immediately and it resumes functioning as it should, for another 5-15 minutes. I would say it averages about 10 minutes.

I racked my brain the whole trip trying to figure out what was going on. My guess is that it is starving for fuel at highway speeds. The tank is all the way at the back of the bus and has to travel through a bunch of fuel line, a 12 ft. section of TIH, more fuel line, veggie filter, more fuel line, FPHE, a bit more fuel line, and the injection pump. I'm not sure the amount, but I bet it is approaching 50 feet of line. My feeling is that the mechanical lift pump is having problems pulling the fuel all that way under constant load.

I have not verified what our fuel gauge is saying because we accidentally crushed the hose that came with it and I put a plug in the port until I can come up with a sturdier, more long term solution for mounting the gauge. I didn't have it with me on the drive.

I am wondering if we perhaps need an electrical pump to assist pushing the fuel all that way. Any thoughts?

Here's a pic of the WVO powered bus in front of a Nuclear reactor in Michigan City, IN. Quite the contrast :shock:
Image
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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby White99z » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:46 pm

I was just talking with Leon Griffin of WVO Designs today and he suggested a simple fix that I never considered... Our tank is still completely sealed up from when I pressurized it. Need to put a vent in there and see if it changes anything :lol: I'll post the results!
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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (5.9 Cummins - Sunwiz

Postby White99z » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:31 am

We teamed up with local (Michigan) filmmaker Atomic Independent Pictures to make a documentary about our Waste Vegetable Oil System. The system was designed using WVO Designs components and SunWizard's 5.9 cummins conversion design. Check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4yZRKJre7E
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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (Sunwizard) - Update

Postby vegnomad » Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:52 am

great info guys, I'm in the final planning stages of my first conversion, 1998 Dodge 2500 w/ 12v engine. Very excited to see your systems!

I wanted to ask what safety precautions I can take to make sure I don't ruin my injection pump with a metal shaving...that was a bummer to see. My IP will be freshly rebuilt in about two weeks, just before I do the conversion, so I want to be very careful. Any insight you can give would be appreciated.

Thanks!
'98 Dodge 2500 12v cummins - in process of WVO conversion
2003 Jetta TDI - future conversion planned
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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (Sunwizard) - Update

Postby SunWizard » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:53 am

vegnomad wrote:I wanted to ask what safety precautions I can take to make sure I don't ruin my injection pump with a metal shaving...that was a bummer to see.

Don't use a saw to cut any pipes. Also don't let chunks of dirt get into any pipes or hoses. Pressure wash everything in the area where you are working.
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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Re: 1992 - Bluebird Bus WVO Conversion (Sunwizard) - Update

Postby vegnomad » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:42 am

SunWizard wrote:
vegnomad wrote:Pressure wash everything in the area where you are working.


speaking of...the top of my stock fuel tank is very dirty, especially where all the takeoff are...I've been wanting to pressure wash that, use a little simple green...but am nervous about getting anything mixed in the tank. Any suggestions?
'98 Dodge 2500 12v cummins - in process of WVO conversion
2003 Jetta TDI - future conversion planned
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