Electric (vegtherm or other) versus coolant heat FPHE

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

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Postby canolafunola » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:46 pm

After finding poly in my brass glow plug heater I made it out of teflon. no more poly BUT: The tissue on the right was used to wipe the inside of the teflon block and it was black with carbon residue. All that carbon that is constantly emitted (when the glow plug is on) goes right to the IP and injectors.

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gp heater

Postby sacveggieguy » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:51 am

Why did u remove the gp heater?

Thanks Paul aka Sacveggieguy
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oops

Postby sacveggieguy » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:55 am

sorry saw why on the next page? what about a filter after the gp heater? and that carbon looks to be pretty fine stuff to me.

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Postby Welder » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:11 am

The watt density on the electric heaters can be pretty high. I don't think carbon has ever been found inside a FPHE, which has much higher BTU output at lesser intenity (no scorched oil).
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Postby BMW Fan » Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:48 am

I try to convince people since years to stay clear from glow plug heaters.
It’s like talking into the wind.
Used them myself a lot ( till app. 2000 ?) when I was running into problems with carbon particles.
If a IP gives up people usually complain about the pump but not about the pre conditions.
A FPHE does never reach such dangerous temperatures which allows the oil to crack.

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Postby canolafunola » Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:58 pm

BMW Fan wrote:I try to convince people since years to stay clear from glow plug heaters.
It’s like talking into the wind.
Used them myself a lot ( till app. 2000 ?) when I was running into problems with carbon particles.
If a IP gives up people usually complain about the pump but not about the pre conditions.
A FPHE does never reach such dangerous temperatures which allows the oil to crack.

BMW Fan


Yeah, a lot of these people have been brainwashed. :D
I think carbon particles are quite abrasive and they can't be good for the IP. Yet, some people swear by electric heat lol. Never owned a Vegtherm, but I have read reports of it all gunked up also. It has lower heat density than a glow plug heater but probably not low enough to not emit carbon particles especially under conditions with low fuel flow like at an idle. I'll say it again: Electric heat does more harm than good.
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Postby hheynow » Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:38 pm

I wait for my coolant to reach 190*F and rear fuel (B99) to reach 140*F before switching. Yes my rear fuel flows through my FPHE. I turn on the 12v 70 watt vegoil filter pad heater a few minutes before switching.
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Postby Burbarian » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:06 pm

Indirect electric heating where the glow plug is first inserted into a tight fitting grooved aluminum sleeve of say 1 inch in diameter would lower the localized heat intensity. This will spread the same heat energy over a larger surface area and prevent the direct localized charring. Compared to an FPHE, electric heating is highly inefficient, but I wouldn't write it off completely. There are doubtless niche applications where it may be of use.
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Postby Welder » Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:15 pm

hheynow wrote:I wait for my coolant to reach 190*F and rear fuel (B99) to reach 140*F before switching. Yes my rear fuel flows through my FPHE. I turn on the 12v 70 watt vegoil filter pad heater a few minutes before switching.


I think electric filter wraps are a good idea. Since no 12V practical electric heater will be able to match the total heat output of a FPHE, they are relatively weak by comparisson, but can be used in places where coolant heat is a PITA to use.

I'm trying to figure out a way to safely control an electric heater wrap, but can't seem to come up with anything good. Sure an adjustable timer would be simple, but it wouldn't offer any way to monitor temps and cut the power when things got too hot. Yes, I know a snap disc thermostat might work, but it would only measure surface temps and might get tricked by it's close proximity to the wrap while the veggie inside was still only warmish. There are filter heads with temp guage ports allowing the probe to penetrate down into the heart of the element, but then I would be measureing the core temp while the veggie touching the inside of the filter shell could be scorching. Maybe I'm being too picky.
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Postby John Galt » Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:50 pm

Preheating the engine coolant, fuel filter and the injector lines with 115v significantly reduces switch-over intervals. A 85W silicone pad heater wrapped around the filter is easy to install. Another 85W silicone pad heater on the back of the FPHE and the fuel system can be prewarmed. The thermal mass of the filter and FPHE holds the heat until the coolant heat takes over. If the return can be looped back to the lift pump then some of this preheat is recirculated. Block heaters in freeze plugs or lower rad hose warm the coolant and engine.
A simple timer or thermostat can be used for temperature control.
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Postby BMW Fan » Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:53 pm

Hi Burbarian,

a different type of glow plug heater guarantees no contact with the fuel
and prevents from overheating and cracking the oil.
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Last edited by BMW Fan on Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby David » Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:01 pm

BMW Fan wrote:I try to convince people since years to stay clear from glow plug heaters.
It’s like talking into the wind.
BMW Fan


canolafunola wrote: Yeah, a lot of these people have been brainwashed. I'll say it again: Electric heat does more harm than good.


Geez, Surely you guys can't be refering to anything in the veg oil world can you?? :roll:

I have never tried electric heating for the simple fact the Physics don't add up. The amount of heat available from a 12V source is incredibly weak when one does a load calculation of the amount of wattage needed to raise the amount of fluid being used. Of course then you have the massive losses that mean even if you do manage to get any heat into the oil, before it has had a chance to do any good, it meets a great hunk of stone cold metal that leaches all the heat out instantly.
Of course most people that use 12v heating are then always paranoid about the drain on their electrical system!

If one does the calculations from tables widely used in various industries that show the relationship between heat rise, volume heat losses and power required to raise a liquid to a certain temp in a certain time, one would see that 12V heating hasn't got a hope in hell of achieving the numbers required. It's that simple. one should also bear in mind that oil ( for some reason I now forget) doesn't take on heat as well as water does ( Density?) so there is a built in resistance to heating it right there as well.

If one wanted a fast heat up of their oil ( and no one will convince me that is a good idea except in rare and specialized circumstances, I think exhaust heat has magnitudes more potential. Whenever I have suggested this on forums before, people alway say its too complicated. Looking through discussions like this and the ideas and suggestions people have, I can't see how it would be possible to make anything more complicated than what some people already do or have conceived! I Think no one is doing exhaust heat so no one wants to have to experiment and nut it out themselves, much better to go with the traditional veg method of just copy what the last guy did, good , bad or indifferent! When someone does make exhaust heat work, watch all the followers start championing the method like it is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

If one was truly hell bent on the notion of glow plug heaters, one could get a piece of copper rod or bar and Braze weld it to the plug to increase the surface area and disperse the heat generated over a much larger area. this would lower the effective temperature the plug developed and allow it to disperse the full heat at a temp under the charring temp of the oil.

Again, having heated the oil it is almost instantly going to come in contact with some very large and cold thermal mass and the whole exercise will be a moot point, but if it makes some people feel good, let them enjoy their sense of security no matter how misplaced! :?

Block heaters which warm the entire engine have a lot of merit, no doubt. !2V heating on a cold engine? C'mon, think about it! :roll:
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Postby SunWizard » Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:36 pm

David wrote:If one does the calculations from tables widely used in various industries that show the relationship between heat rise, volume heat losses and power required to raise a liquid to a certain temp in a certain time, one would see that 12V heating hasn't got a hope in hell of achieving the numbers required.

I agree, and thats why I started this thread, I did the calculations that prove 12v electric is very weak, and not worth it, see the 1st post for all the numbers.
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Postby Welder » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:02 am

Does this include groovy 12volt filter wraps like this one?:


http://www.dinofuelalternatives.com/pro ... ket&cat=84

I mean, I know 12 volts of power can't compete with the higher BTU output of engine coolant, but for stuff like thawing filters it's okay isn't it?
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Postby SunWizard » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:09 am

Its OK if a max. gain of 15-20F is enough for you. Or if you are willing to wait a long time before switchover to let heat build.
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