1995 Dodge Cummins 4x4 WVO conversion, FPHE, 3 valves

A description and pics of your SVO WVO Vegetable Oil conversion, help the next person who gets that model.

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1995 Dodge Cummins 4x4 WVO conversion, FPHE, 3 valves

Postby SunWizard » Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:26 pm

This page documents how I run waste vegetable oil (WVO) collected for free from restaurants dumpsters. They are glad to get it collected for free since they usually have to pay for removal in this area. WVO is different, simpler and better than making Biodiesel, because you don't need to do all the processing, which includes adding 25% Methanol (a poisonous, expensive fossil fuel) and lye, a hazardous strong base. The trick to run 100% WVO successfully without shortening your engine life is to run a 2 tank heated conversion, and filter and dewater the WVO very well. Its possible without 2 tanks to run a blend of between 50-80% WVO, but its risky and could clog your filter, ruin your injection pump (IP) (or worse) in the winter depending on the WVO. And this is still an experiment where I won't know if the life was shortened for many years yet since these trucks are rated to last 350k miles before overhaul and this one has 140k after 12 years. Many people have driven >100k miles on WVO already. I am an engineer, so I spent lots of time studying the conversion kits sold by many companies, and many online forums, and came up with my own design which I think is more reliable, simpler, and cost far less. This truck from 94-98.5 is one of the best diesel engines to convert to WVO since its got a strong mechanical fuel injection pump and piston lift pump. It burns cleaner than diesel and the exhaust smells like a BBQ grill.

Here is a diagram of my setup:
Image
Here is a new, improved diagram which adds the coolant flow:
Image

The valves are through the floor by my foot so they are easy to reach. This model of valve iboats.com manual 3 way valve
works good this way since they have a long shaft to go through the carpet, insulation, etc. in the floor. No need for a remote cable or complex electric valves on a truck with lots of room under there. (and no fuel line in the cab) And its only 6" away from where the lines from the tank ran. Keep it simple and reliable is what I always try for. And I read dozens of posts on the forums by people having trouble with their electric solenoid valves failing and overflowing their WVO or diesel tanks making big messes. Which could be be a problem with this setup if you switch your valves into the wrong position.

I start the truck on diesel, or a biodiesel blend. Then once the engine is up to full operating temp on the dash guage, which depends on how cold it is, in the winter it usually takes about 5 miles, I switch both the tank and filter valves to Veg., and the return valve to looped. Most of the heat to get the WVO up to the recommended temp of >160 F comes from the 26 plate FPHE (Flat plate heat exchanger) right before the injection pump (IP). Thats why I placed the FPHE just before the IP. This is much more effective and gives quicker switchovers to WVO than many kit systems where they put a heat exhanger in the WVO tank and attempt to heat the entire tank. The WVO fuel line is heated from inside the Fuel tank all the way to the engine, by tapping into the coolant lines going to the heater core. This is because below around 30 F the WVO becomes like jello and won't flow. This is one reason why you don't want to dump WVO into your stock fuel tank. (And even at warm temps its bad to start an engine on WVO, it will cause coking (gumming up) of the rings.) My system has worked great at the coldest temps we got of -10F even with thick partially hydrogenated WVO that looks like non-pourable gravy which I use about half the time. Non-hydrogenated WVO is better if you can find enough of it because its easier to filter and dewater since it stays liquid down to about 35F.

This truck has a strong mechanical lift pump which is why I chose doing the valves this way to share it, to avoid the cost and reliability problems of adding another electric pump and electric solenoid valves for the WVO.

Note in the diagram, you have to cut the existing injector drain manifold (small line) going into the top of the stock fuel filter and cap that line, and tee the injector drain line into the IP return line, so the small amount of WVO in there gets sent back to the proper tank. The stock fuel filter is in a hard to get at spot, so an advantage of this conversion is that I don't run much diesel anymore so that filter won't need to be changed for many years. I put the WVO filter where its easy to change, and get around 10k miles before it needs changing.

To purge the WVO from the lines before shutdown, I turn the tank valve to diesel, wait about 20 seconds which clears the lift pump and lines to the filter valve. Then I turn the filter valve to diesel, wait another 20 seconds for the IP and lines to clear, then turn the return valve to diesel. Then wait another minute or 2 before shutdown. This clears any WVO out of the system.

Here are the 2 valves where I tapped into the coolant lines for heat, with 2 valves so I can control how much goes to the WVO system versus how much to the cab heater. I have found this helps give quicker switchovers since I can have much more flow into the WVO side. Even in the coldest of winter, the heater core valve only needs to be slightly open, showing the effectiveness of this way to force more flow into the long set of lines going back to the WVO tank.

Image
Here is the filter and the FPHE next to the battery, and you can see the WVO pressure and temp guage senders: (that all got covered with insulation after this pic) I have found the pressure guage is useful to get a warning that the WVO filter is starting to get clogged (when the pressure drops <10psi when you floor it) hundreds of miles before it starts to affect performance. The Cummins strong lift pump puts out large pulses. I used a brass needle valve in the line to the guage. http://www.mcmaster.com 7833K73 Medium-pressure Needle Valve W/metal Seats, Brass, 1/8" Npt Male X Female. No more pulses.

Image

The valves on the floor:
Image <br>
<br>
<strong>Solar preheat on Veg.oil tank</strong>
I use the sun to preheat my black veg.oil tank bought here , its working great. This size of tank (17 gallons) is nice since it fits to the side of the bed in front of tire wells and still allows the full bed length for my slide in camper as well as all the other 4x8 loads I need to carry.

It was 22F last night, and snowed 4". Today after the sun had been shining on my tank for ~1 hour only partly hitting it and 2 hours fully on it except for the bottom few inches blocked by snow, it was up to 72F WVO inside, 59 F measured at the North side of the tank, 95F South side. The tank is 17 gallons of WVO and was 7/8 full. Another tank which I left in the shade was 30F which is about what I would expect starting at 22 F and ambient is 36F now. And I haven't driven it in 2 days so no heat from that, and no sun yesterday it snowed all day.

So if you are in a cool, sunny place like CO, a black tank and solar can help alot.
Here is a pic:
Image

Here is the fittings and coolant loop inside the tank, those are standard plumbing compression fittings on the aluminum tubes. An aluminum coolant line is looped through 2 of the existing bulkhead fittings, with a coil around the existing pickup tube. This has proven to be enough heat to allow it to work fine in extreme cold around 0F. This is far better than heating your entire tank, which can cause the veg.oil to oxidize and create particles to clog things up. Very easy to make, and the pickup tube is strong and welded to the bulkhead. And the big opening for the filler with bolts and gasket makes it easy to work on putting your heating coil into the tank. And then I drilled a hole and added a tire valve stem with the core out (on the left), and a tube connected to a fuel filter as a vent (not shown.)
Image

<strong>Heated fuel filter</strong>

I am using a $7 Cim-tek 200 series filter which is 7" tall x 3.5" dia. with a 3/8 coolant hose wrap, tight and full height. I get over 10k miles between filter changes. Its $19 for head and filter. The fuel filter is heated by coolant running through 3/8" fuel hose wrapped full height around the filter and zip tied in groups of 3 hoses to hold it together when I remove the filter.

<strong>Tube in Hose fittings</strong>

Here is a link to a Tube in Hose diagram similar to how I did my heated fuel line from the tank to the front. Tubing is http://www.mcmaster.com 5177K46, inside 5/8 heater hose, same as stock.

Parts List
I did another conversion for my Mercedes, using this same design. Here is a list of parts from http://www.mcmaster.com that I am using (includes extras - always buy extras since you never know what you may change during install.)

black veg.oil tank (on the 300TD I used a plastic boat tank from ebay $50.)

Cim-tek head and filter-$19

26 plate FPHE - ebay $75

iboats.com manual 3 way valve 3 @ $22.51 each

7833K73 Medium-pressure Needle Valve W/metal Seats, Brass, 1/8" Npt Male X Female.

5346K66
Brass Barbed Hose Fitting Barb X Male Pipe for 5/8" Hose ID, 1/2" Pipe, Packs of 5 -$10.20 Pack

5346K16
Brass Barbed Hose Fitting Barb X Male Pipe for 5/16" Hose ID, 1/4" Pipe, Packs of 10 -$9.85 Pack

50915K325
Standard Brass Compression Tube Fitting Adapter for 3/8" Tube OD X 1/2" NPTF Male Pipe 3@ $2.84 Each

5177K46
Easy-Bend Aluminum Tubing 3/8" OD, .305" ID, .035" Wall Thk, 25' Coil
$25.10 Each

8682T23
Miniature Brass Through-Wall Fitting Female NPT X Female NPT, 3/8" Pipe Size -3@ $8.78 Each (only used if you don't buy a tank like I did which has fittings.)

50915K324
Standard Brass Compression Tube Fitting Adapter for 3/8" Tube OD X 3/8" NPTF Male Pipe -3@ $1.57 Each

5346K18
Brass Barbed Hose Fitting Barb X Male Pipe for 3/8" Hose ID, 1/4" Pipe, Packs of 10 -$9.45 Pack

5304K31
All-Flow EPDM Rubber Multipurpose Hose 5/8" ID, 1" OD, 300 PSI, Black 25'@ $1.27 Ft. -$31.75

4638K114
Low-Pressure Galv Iron Threaded Pipe Fitting 1/2" Pipe, Coupling, 1-5/16" Length, 150 PSI -2@ $2.33 Each

4638K455
Low-Pressure Galv Iron Threaded Pipe Fitting 3/4" X 1/2", Reduce Cplg, Fem X Fem, 1-7/16" L, 150PSI -2@ $3.01 Each

44605K276
Low-Pressure Blk Malleable Iron Thrd Fitting 3/4" X 1/4" Pipe, Reducing Cplg, 1-7/16" L, 150 PSI -$2.26

44605K274
Low-Pressure Blk Malleable Iron Thrd Fitting 3/4" X 1/2" Pipe, Reducing Cplg, 1-7/16" L, 150 PSI -$1.89

5346K65
Brass Barbed Hose Fitting Barb X Male Pipe for 5/8" Hose ID, 3/8" Pipe, Packs of 5 -$7.72 Pack

5346K21
Brass Barbed Hose Fitting Barb X Male Pipe for 3/8" Hose ID, 1/2" Pipe, Packs of 5 -$10.65 Pack

50785K152
Med-Pressure Extruded Brass Thrd Pipe Fitting 1/4" Pipe Size, Fully Threaded Nipple, 7/8" Length -2@ $1.11 Each

44605K449
Low-Pressure Blk Malleable Iron Thrd Fitting 3/4" X 1/2" X 1/2" Pipe Size, Reducing Tee, 150 PSI -$3.17 Each
Last edited by SunWizard on Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:20 pm, edited 14 times in total.
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.
SunWizard
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Postby Freeman » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:43 am

Sunwizard

I am waiting for the last of my parts to arrive to start my first conversion. I have a few "how to" questions. Did you use a hacksaw or some other tool to cut the steel fuel and coolant lines? What is the proper way to block the fuel filter as shown in your diagram?

Thanks

Free[/quote]
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Postby SunWizard » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:00 pm

A small tubing cutter works best, and fits into tight spots.

The only thing blocked is the injector drain, from above:
"Note in the diagram, you have to cut the existing injector drain manifold (small line) coming out of the top of the stock fuel filter and cap that line, and tee that line into the IP return line, so the small amount of WVO in there gets sent back to the proper tank. "
You can use any kind of cap you like, flare fittings to a pipe thread cap, or rubber hose with clamps and fittings going to a pipe plug or cap.
Last edited by SunWizard on Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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.
SunWizard
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1723
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:53 pm
Location: N. Colorado

Postby Freeman » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:07 pm

Thank you for you help, its a great thing your doing. I'm sure I will have more questions in the days to come when I start the conversion.

Free
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Postby Burbarian » Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:22 pm

SunWizard wrote:I am using a $8 Cim-tek 200 series filter which is 7" tall x 3.5" dia. with a 3/8
coolant hose wrap, tight and full height. I get over 10k miles between filter changes.


Considering you use a centrifuge to get the equivalent of ~1 micron filtered and dewatered fuel, what's plugging up the filter?
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Postby SunWizard » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:00 pm

Nothing, I have never plugged one, but I change the filter after a long time anyway to be careful.
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.
SunWizard
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1723
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:53 pm
Location: N. Colorado

Postby Burbarian » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:23 pm

Outstanding. I was wondering what could possibly have been contaminating the fuel system between tank and filter that would account for a required replacement within 10k.
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Postby canolafunola » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:54 pm

Hi Sunwizard, please take a look at the way Frybrid plumbs the Mercedes inline pump in this diagram where the mech lift pump routing was changed to suck from the VO and diesel filters. This co3 cnfig requires only 2 (instead of 3) 3 way valves. Do you see any problems using this config for the 2nd gen Cummins 5.9? I am not certain how the returns from the IP and injectors are routed in the Cummins so there may need to be some changes.

Image
93 Gulfstream RV w Cummins 5.9 diesel pusher
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Postby SunWizard » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:34 pm

That diagram works. I don't like it as well since with filters and many more connections under vacuum, more trouble with air leaks someday down the road, which is a very common problem. I have read dozens of threads of trying to find air leaks on the vacuum side of the lift pump. Pumps are not as good at pumping under vacuum so the filter elements will need replaced sooner. And there are less choices of filters that will work properly under vacuum.

The returns are different on Cummins, but its easy to figure out.
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.
SunWizard
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1723
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:53 pm
Location: N. Colorado

Postby canolafunola » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:20 am

I don't really understand why pushing rather than sucking is better. If you have a leak in the filter (which you shouldn't have anyway), you may be better off with a push system, where you may not suck air., but you may leak fuel

My daily driver has a Bosch VE pump where the lift pump is a transfer pump built into the IP and it is the only pump in the system where both diesel and VO filters are under suction. I have a clear line on the return where I can see any air bubbles immediately. The only time I have seen bubbles is when the filter clogs, and that rarely happens since I have very well filtered VO. With a push system, when the filter clogs and you have a strong lift pump and you don't have a pressure relief, you blow something. Which is better? There are pros and cons of each I suppose.

SunWizard wrote:That diagram works. I don't like it as well since with filters and many more connections under vacuum, more trouble with air leaks someday down the road, which is a very common problem. I have read dozens of threads of trying to find air leaks on the vacuum side of the lift pump. Pumps are not as good at pumping under vacuum so the filter elements will need replaced sooner. And there are less choices of filters that will work properly under vacuum.

The returns are different on Cummins, but its easy to figure out.
93 Gulfstream RV w Cummins 5.9 diesel pusher
canolafunola
 
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Postby SunWizard » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:54 am

Push vs. pull is basic pumping dynamics and engineering. Leaks occur mostly in fittings, and hose connections, but also in filter gaskets. A little drip is obvious to find and fix, an air leak is not.

I have the strongest lift pump made, a piston driven off the cam, and if a filter even begins to clog it becomes obvious by lack of power, and on my fuel pressure guage. I haven't had any elements or hoses blow.
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.
SunWizard
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1723
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:53 pm
Location: N. Colorado

Postby canolafunola » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:17 am

If you assemble the fittings correctly the first time, they should not leak. I never had any leaks due to fittings/ hoses/ hose clamps. I often read of people having problems with air and they had to tighten their hose clamps. I have never experienced such problems. When a hose is under suction (as opposed to pressure), the hose connection is self sealing and I've found that a hose clamp is not even needed. I put one on anyway (usually a spring clamp) so the hose does not get pulled off easily, not for a better seal.
93 Gulfstream RV w Cummins 5.9 diesel pusher
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Need very detailed explanation

Postby gandjwhite » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:15 am

Sunwizard:

Now that you've convinced me to go with the Dodge Ram, I've started looking for a 95-98. Once I get one, I need to be ready to convert it as I'm heading down to Belize in about 1 1/2 months. I really need to start ordering parts for the conversion.

So, I'm not very mechanically inclined as far a Auto repair is concerned, but I know I could do this if I had a very detailed description. Step by step with pictures would help immensely. I mean VERY complete step by step. Because, if you just assume I understand how to do something, you'd most likely be wrong. Also, need a complete parts list with sources for where to order them. I have looked at the link for all the parts sources, but have no idea what to order.

I know this would be a huge job for you to undertake to put all of this together, but I'd be willing to bet that I'm not the first who has needed it and there will be a lot more to come. Is this a possibility?

If so, how quickly could it be done?

If this couldn't be done in time (including ordering and receiving parts) what kit would you recommend (if any) for the Dodge Ram 2500?

Thank you!
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Postby SunWizard » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:37 am

If you can't figure it out from my description, diagrams, and pics above, then you should not be trying to install your own. You should find an installer. I think Frybrid makes the best kit, but they are hard to get, and may take a long time. If you check with installlers, they may be able to put together a kit with the advantages of my rig, although they likely will try to sell you whatever kits they usually do.
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.
SunWizard
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1723
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:53 pm
Location: N. Colorado

Postby Freeman » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:25 pm

SunWizard

I am in the middle of my conversion, and having a blast. Its been a year of slowly gathering parts.
I'm about to install the temp and pressure gage. Could you give me some advice on the best general area to drill a hole to pass the gage lines through?

Free
Freeman
 
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Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:55 pm

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