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Old 10-13-2006, 05:45 AM   #1
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Yet another one!

Greetings,
I didn't call myself a newbie in the title, although I am freshly arrived here at this site. I've been, well, not literally saving gas, but trying to use less to get a task accomplished for years. Now I'm in the position of reducing my consumption of other fuels as well.

I changed my automotive motive power of choice to diesel engines about 10 years ago, not so much for fuel consumption reduction, but for the longer driving range between fuel stops. At that time my 1984 Volvo 760 with an 11 gallon tank would barely go 200 miles between fuel stops. I replaced it with a 1996 VW Passat TDI sedan with a 19 gallon tank that regularly went 800 to 900 miles per tank.

In October of 2001 I found a supplier of biodiesel, vegetable oil converted into a near diesel equivalent by catalytic removal of the glycerin from the combustible ester, not far from my home. I've been using biodiesel since, mostly in pure B100 form, but blending it down for use during cold New England winters. My annual blend ratio works out to about a B90. In effect I've reduced my Volvo fuel use rate from 20 miles per gallon of gasoline to 500 miles per gallon of petroleum diesel fuel (50 mpg on an annual average mix of 90% biodiesel, 10% petroleum diesel).

I've now had four diesel VW. Two were sold with more than 280,000 miles on each, the other two were insurance writeoffs (neither my fault). My amazement with the fuel economy potential of these, and with the superior performance compared to the gasoline powered models, enticed me to enter the three day Tour de Sol in 2003 and to enter the Tour's one day "Monte Carlo Rally" in 2005. My fuel economy in 2003 (with a sedan) was 82.3 mpg over 250+ miles, and in 2005, with a substitute team doing the driving in my wagon, a mark of 77.2 mpg over a 500+ mile course. I also set a new record in 2003 for the lowest net emissions per mile ever seen at a TdS event. The record of 33 grams per mile (which includes net CO2 emissions) wasn't broken until 2005 by a single place, stand-up battery electric scooter re-charged from the power grid.

My present project is to take the engine from the most recently wrecked 96 Passat wagon (the fuel tank is nearly 10 gallons larger than the sedan model) and transplant it into a wagon recipient which presently has a 2.7 liter gasoline V6. (28.3 mpg on the drive home from the seller's place according to the dash readout).

My diesel affliction has gone so far as to prompt me to buy a diesel garden tractor/mower/snowthrower to supplement my battery electric mower. That old technology diesel beast runs on a 50/50 mix of veg oil and biodiesel in the summer and a 50/50 mix of petrodiesel and biodiesel in the winter. I get about 2 mpg while mowing, undoubtedly less when snowthrowing.

I'm also accustomed to spark ignition engines. My 1969 Saab Sonett 1.5 liter V4 was originally estimated (pre-EPA standardized test) at about 20 mpg, yet I regularly average 450 miles on each 12 gallon filling, or 35 to 40 mpg. The engine in that one is hardly stock with a race cam, oversized valves, hardened seats, bored .040 over, dual barrel carb, electronic ignition, electric fuel pump, and a boost in power from the original 65 to the present 85. It pulls hard up to 6400 rpm versus the original 5200 rpm red line. It has never been driven for economy, purely for the grin factor.

My home's heat is from an oil fired burner. That one is next for the alternative fuel diet. I had a new burner installed a year ago with an outside make-up air supply. (Why take warmed air from inside the house and send it up the chimney?) I also had some glycol added to the baseboard water loop to allow lower night time thermostat setback settings without the problem of freezing in the pipes.

Enough already. Get to know the next newcomer by reading their intro post.
Lug_Nut
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Old 10-13-2006, 07:20 AM   #2
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Sweet, good to have you here. SVO/BD is the stuff, I'll tell you what.

What kind of mileage will you be looking for out of the diesel wagon?
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Old 10-13-2006, 07:29 AM   #3
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Welcome, Lug Nut.

I'm looking forward to the diesel flavour of future discussions around here. Pardon me - wvo is more about aroma than taste, right

Is your vegetable fuel recycled?

Also, congrats on the TdS accomplishments.
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Old 10-14-2006, 04:13 AM   #4
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Diesel Power!

Welcome to Gas (or Diesel) Savers!

It's good to see more TDi folks join.

We look forward to your expertise.

RH77
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:46 AM   #5
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Invite your friends! We need more diesel guys here.

I'm still toying with the idea of putting a small diesel tractor engine in a small car and running BioDiesel or SVO.

Anyway, welcome aboard and I hope to read more of your posts in the future.
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:42 PM   #6
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Welcome

Nice to see a TDI guy here. Keep up the good work.

I work daily with boilers, pumps and there controls.

You did yourself right on your boiler mod. Its always best to have fresh air make up on your boiler combustion air and to know its not restricted. But it would be great if you could use a small amount of heat to prewarm you combustion air.

In this part of the USA oil is not king for boiler fuel. Its natural gas. Oil or deisel is a back up fuel and only found in large commerical, hospital or prossces applictions. If I had to guess you more than likely have a cast iron sec. boiler. Maybe a fire tube.

I rep. B&G, Hoffman, M&M, Spence, PK, Raypak, Babcock, Camus, RAE, Vulcon, Goulds, and many others. If you need any help in your HVAC endevors let me know. Any white papers or product info you might need I would be glad to try and point you in the right direction.

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Old 10-14-2006, 04:54 PM   #7
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Veg oil, whether waste or virgin, is not something I'd put in a high pressure direct injection diesel. I run a WVO/BD blend in the Mitsubishi powered Bolens tractor (700 c.c. 17 hp triple), but won't ever run VO, not even with a dual fuel kit, in my TDI. The odor of the exhaust is identical with VO or BD so I get hunger pangs either way.

A problem with diesel engine swaps is the relative narrow rpm range. A Geo Metro is geared to operate with a 1000 to 6000 redline engine. Drop in a 3600 rpm redline diesel engine and you have have made an enclosed shopping cart, not a practical commuter.
The TDI have a relatively wide operating range of 900 to 4500 rpm. Even so, they need a wide ratio transmission gear set to compensate for the lack of a wider operating rpm range.
Big class 8 diesel trucks get away with a 900 to 3000 rpm operating range by having 15 gears.
A small low speed diesel might be made practical by adding a selectable 1:1 or 2:1 overdrive effectively doubling the gears available.
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Old 10-14-2006, 08:09 PM   #8
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Because

Quote:
Originally Posted by theclencher
If we drive the Metro in such a way that it never sees over 3600 rpm, what's the difference?
Because it doesn't have a cool Diesel, duh

I'm wondering how a beefed-up CVT would handle such a conversion. Since torque is made at a very low RPMs, the CVT could keep the revs low, reducing emissions and increasing FE (potentially).

RH77
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Old 12-31-2006, 05:43 PM   #9
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Back to the top.
I've completed (or nearly so) the conversion. The car "Kyoto Camel too" is now listed in the 'garage' with a few photos and has two fueling entries.
The name is in deference to the late lamented "Kyoto Camel" red TDI wagon, and "Kyoto Codex", the black TDI sedan I sold to get the red one. "Kyoto" for the global climate change gas reductions possible by running on biofuels, and "camel" for its long range between drinks at methyl-ester oases.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lug_Nut View Post
Back to the top.
I've completed (or nearly so) the conversion. The car "Kyoto Camel too" is now listed in the 'garage' with a few photos and has two fueling entries.
The name is in deference to the late lamented "Kyoto Camel" red TDI wagon, and "Kyoto Codex", the black TDI sedan I sold to get the red one. "Kyoto" for the global climate change gas reductions possible by running on biofuels, and "camel" for its long range between drinks at methyl-ester oases.
I missed this thread. Lug nut this is outsanding how about posting a thread on how the Camel drives and what you expect out it now that you have some seat time. Last tank over 74 MPG that over 3x EPA. If you have already done a thread could you link me to it?
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