Friday, June 01, 2007

go (grease) car, go!

well here we go...

so im going to try to answer some of the questions i keep getting about the grease-run car we are doing. please add/ask questions if you have any though. also keep in mind we are total newbs at this so some of my "facts" might actually be "craps"

what kind of car can use wvo?
diesel only. the buzz from the dorks who are really into wvo cars bees is that north america sucks for choices honestly but here are some options: The F-series trucks and vans (pre 1994) with the non "Powerstroke" International 7.3 liter V8, The Mercedes 300 and 190 series with diesel engines (4, 5, and 6 cylinder *IDI engines), possibly VW TDI, and a few *IDI diesel engined Nissan and Toyota pickups. *IDI = Diesel-InDirect Injection type engine- Has a "prechamber" into which fuel is injected which helps vaporize and warm the fuel before it flows to the combustion cylinder. (i copied and pasted this last part. i dont even know what that means!!) if you're crazygonuts you can swap out an engine and put a diesel one in i suppose.

what kind of car do you have?
a 1982 300 turbo diesel (be jealous of my ride...)

what is wvo?
wvo stands for waste vegetable oil, and because the make up of veggie oil is similar to that of diesel fuel, a simple conversion kit makes it possible for a car to run on filtered waste veggie oil or straight up oil that hasnt been used (which is called SVO - straight vegetable oil, or PPO - pure plant oil.)

is it the same as biodiesel?
no. think of wvo as biodiesel's dad. you can make biodiesel from waste vegetable oil, lye, and alcohol (ethanol).

where do you get the grease?
any restaurant that will give it to you! recently i joined fill up 4 free which is a database of people who own wvo run cars, have wvo to share, run a co-op for wvo, or are a restaurant that is willing to give their waste oil to drivers. handy dandy! basically you've got to build a working relationship with local restaurants so they will give it to you. most single location/non-chain places actually have to pay to have their used oil hauled away and disposed of (though oddly enough mcdonalds for example has someone pay them to get their grease. weirrrd). so by and large it's a win/win situation for both the restaurant and the wvo enthusiast for the getting and giving of said grease. you will probably have to do some dancing to get them to believe why you actually want the grease. most places have given david a weird eye i think, though generally most people are interested and happy to unload their greasy goods.

what kind of prep is involved to get this project going?
once you have the car buy or make your own conversion kit. we bought ours - for lack of spare time - instead of purchasing the individual parts needed one by one. our kit cost roughly $1000 but assembling the parts individually would be several hundred dollars less. oh and david installed ours because he is a handy manny. one perk to buying the kit outright is that it comes with instructions whereas the more frugal way does not.

so i've got the car, the conversion kit, and the used oil. im set!
WRONG. silly rabbit has to filter that oil, lest you get onion rings and fry bits stuck up in your engine! from what david has told me you've got to let the oil sit for a few days to a week to let the water (which you also dont want in your engine) and food bits separate. the water will go to the bottom naturally. you've got to assemble a rather simple filter using a mesh screen (or equivalent) and a steel drum. dump in the oil and when you come out in the morning, POOF ready for the tank. well that is unless it is winter, in which case you've got to heat the oil up a little bit since it will likely look like crisco. but a small fish pond heater will do the trick, oh and the conversion kit rigs it up so the water heater works sort of like radiant heat for the oil in the gas tank. just let the car warm up (using the diesel side of the tank) and you're off.

what sort of power & gas mileage does a vegetable oil run car get?
basically whatever the standard power and mileage the car was getting while running on diesel fuel will be how the car performs after the modification.

anything i missed?

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