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Old 03-23-2012, 02:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Diesel substitute?

I know you can cook up bio diesel and veggie oil, all good stuff, but what else will diesel engines run on? Tractor hydraulic oil, engine oil, transmission fluid, powersteering fluid; I think these will work but the engine may no be happy in the long term

Ideas?

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Old 03-23-2012, 04:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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All sorts of toxic soup.

Best one I've heard is transformer oil from old power transformers, mineral oil with PCBs. And used engine oil, all sorts of particulate matter and metals will spew from the exhaust.

Most modern diesels will have trouble with anything other than diesel fuel, but my '82 Mercedes would run on anything, including oil-based paint. Perfect for the zombie apocalypse after the EMP destroys all the computers and digital infrastructure.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandit86 View Post
....but what else will diesel engines run on?
Define "run".
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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define "run".
lol!
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I dump used motor oil from a car change directly into the fuel tank. I figure it's been filtered thousands of times, and then once more through a 10 micron fuel filter before it gets to my injectors. Of course, this is just 1 gallon of oil in a 35 gallon tank, and it's twice per year.

I've heard not to use power steering fluid, but I don't know why. I've also heard transmission fluid works, but will loosen up any crud in your fuel system and plug your fuel filter in a hurry.

I'd probably run any of these mixed with diesel in my truck. Anyone know how tiny I should be filtering to?
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Its very dependent on the engine.
Use a 5 micron filter, 10 at worst.
I back burn my motor oil at 10:1 in the 6.5 but would never in a VW TDI
The old mercs would run on nearly anything.
Somebody (here?) Worked at a shop and would mix barrels of used oil with tranny fluid to get a decent viscosity and burned that for years.
What engine are you contemplating ?
Does it use single hole or multi hole injectors ?
Biggest question is what pump is on it ?
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If the junkyard is full of dirt-cheap ultra low mile engines . . and a top mechanic owed me a lifetime of low-cost, highest quality work . . then maybe.

I recommend pricing a new factory replacement engine. And a factory re-manufactured engine. And FSM hours for replacement. Add 10% to all.

Then figure how much you'll "save" by running dirt and metal through the motor you currently have.

Break even on my truck should be close to $20k. I might need to drive 300k to recoup my potential loss.

So long as one is comfortable with that kind of equation then have at it.

.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandit86 View Post
I know you can cook up bio diesel and veggie oil, all good stuff, but what else will diesel engines run on? Tractor hydraulic oil, engine oil, transmission fluid, powersteering fluid; I think these will work but the engine may no be happy in the long term

Ideas?
certain Ford diesels will run for a very long time on M85 if it is
1. Filtered
2. Cetrifuged
3. Engine is tuned for M85

Generally speaking, non-TDI diesels can physically run on WMO or WVO blends but it is only economically feasible if you
1. Have lots of free time
2. have unlimited free injectors and injector pumps.
I have noted a couple folks who would tear out injectors every few weeks on their old 6.2s, replace with a clean pair and clean out the engine and button up in about 4 hours.

The parts they had to use were free or reusable and it was only their time and tools.

A better approach in my oppinion is
How to turn plastic waste into diesel fuel cheaply - Page 5

which works on motor oil as well.

Why break your engine when you can make fuel that is closer to what belongs in the diesel to begin with?

Another alternative is to run CNG into the intake under specific load conditions, you can save about 50% of the diesel and use 50% CNG which is much less expensive than diesel.

Good Luck
Ryan
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you run anything other than diesel you should always run clean diesel for the last min or so to clean the injectors some and prevent them from clogging as easily.
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Heated vegetable oil in a VAG diesel

I've read reports of good results using a two tank system, and a heated fuel filter with clean vegetable oil... (Warm up the engine using diesel and switch back to diesel to purge the pump of the thicker oil before stopping)

Here in the UK you can use up to 2500 litres of veg oil annually without paying, or even registering for payment of duty. So I could potentially make a 30% saving each time I fill up - at the price I would pay for veg oil in a local supermarket!! Buying it wholesale could increase the savings a lot more!

I'm seriously thinking of trying it out...

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