running vegetable oil in diesels



Hi Reno,
I run 100% Biodisel most of the time with no mods.
The car is a little rough on start up, particularly when cold but picks
up after about 30secs, I'm guessing this is how long it takes for the
small heater on the fuel filter to start having an effect.
It runs a lot better (smoother) with the biodiesel, although the fuel
consumption is a little higher due to the lower BTU rating.
Depending on the quality of the Biodiesel you still can get some
gelling when it is really cold and someone was mumbling mixing some
parafin or petrol in with it, but I haven't bothered/dared to to do it.
The one thing to watch out for with Biodiesel is that it is a bit
corrosive and strips out the black sludge (diesel bug sort of thing)
that collects in your fuel lines so you may need to change filters
after the first tank or two as the crap dislodges and ends up in the
Also, if you are using it in older engines there can be issues with the
Julian Voelcker
Mobile: 07971 540362
Skype: julianvoelcker
Cirencester, United Kingdom
1994 HDJ80, 2.5" OME Lift


On 4/11/06, Reno Lamb <[Email address removed]> wrote:
Any advice at all, backed up by extensive lab research, what could be
safely run on french fries crapped out of WVO except, of course,
another McDonalds franchise :)
Roman (London, UK)
'92 HDJ80


I've been running SVO in our two HDJ80's (93&94) for a while now, I've
lost track of when I started but probably 18 months or so now and
getting close to 50k miles between them. Neither LC has been adapted in
any way. Sometimes I just tip it in the tank with the diesel in which
case never more than 50% or so but most of the time I mix it up in a
jerry can 85% SVO & 15% petrol. There's a bit of white smoke from cold
with the petrol mix but otherwise it has been fine.
-----Original Message-----
From: [Email address removed] [mailto:[Email address removed]]
On Behalf Of Reno Lamb
Sent: 11 April 2006 08:31
To: [Email address removed]
Subject: [ELCO] running vegetable oil in diesels
Here's what I think I know about running veg oil in diesels:
SVO (straight veg oil, as in from the supermarket) can be run up to 30%
in any non-extreme-pressure-injection diesel. Some can run up to 100%
(older Benzes). Our Toyota rigs can run 50% safely, but watch out for
fuel gelling up during cold weather. You just mix it in, no need for a
separate tank. Note, if you have a HDFT motor the consensus is no you
cannot run SVO. Also excluded are all motors such as TDI, TDCI, HDI,
D4D, CDI, DiD, common rail, etc. SVO will kill their very expensive
extreme-pressure injection systems.
WVO (waste veg oil, as in recovered from McDonalds french fries
machines) can be run like SVO but you have to filter the crap out of it
first. It takes multiple filtering passes, heating, and a lot of time.
It's a pain in the butt IMHO. I don't think that it's quite as safe to
run WVO as it is to run SVO, due to the sugar in there from the french
fries, burning it endured while frying stuff, etc.
BIODIESEL. Either SVO or WVO (after it's cleaned up) can be used to make
biodiesel. This involves heating and performing a chemical reaction
with caustic lye. Then you mix the results with diesel (dunno the
ratio) and run it all year round, in any diesel including HDFT or D4D.
You can even buy biodiesel in the US and Germany, probably many other
countries. No worries about it gelling up, no need for a second tank,
unless you also want to run SVO.
TANKS. If you want to run SVO all year long, you can install a second
tank and switches/valves to control which fuel is being consumed. You
start off in the morning on diesel (SVO gives lumpy starts). As you
drive a bit, engine coolant is routed back from the motor in lines
installed so as to warm up SVO filter, SVO lines, and even the SVO tank.
This all keeps the SVO from gelling up. After the SVO is warmed up
enough, you switch from diesel to SVO. But remember to switch back to
diesel a few minutes before you shut it off at night. If you ask me,
this is all an expensive pain in the butt. And keep in mind that some
diesel injection pumps can't handle 100% SVO.
INJECTION pumps. Older Benzes have a very robust Bosch rotary injection
pump that can run fine on 100% SVO. I know this from personal
experience. It's not clear to me yet that our Denso pumps are as
robust, but hopefully that will turn out to be true. There's a great
database at
where you can see results from other SVO users. So far I'm playing it
safe and only running 50% SVO during warm weather. I'm waiting to hear
from other guys with HDT motors to see how it goes.
WHAT VEG OIL? I've seen conflicting information on this in the auto
press, but sources I trust say Canola is the thinnest and has the best
lubricity, so that's what I use. Safflower is a close second, but it's
thicker so you'll have more gelling problems in colder weather. But if
you heat the second tank etc you could probably run any oil. Remember,
Doctor Diesel designed his motor to run on peanut oil.
I'm not claiming that everything here is Gospel truth. If I made any
errors I'm happy to find out.
fyi//Reno Lamb
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