Robert has purchased a 1982 Mercedes with a diesel engine. He then purchased a modification kit from Greasecar.com. The kit takes warmed radiator fluid and uses it to warm up the vegetable oil in a tank that comes with the kit. All that's necessary to burn vegetable oil in a diesel engine is to heat it first so that the fuel injectors can properly inject the oil into the cylinders. Vegetable oil is a much cleaner fuel than diesel or gasoline.
First the engine's coolant system has to be tapped into so that the hot radiator fluid can be used to heat the vegetable oil that will be stored in a separate fuel tank added in the trunk. The upper red radiator hose in the photo above is carrying coolant from the hose that supplies the car's heater core to the top of the copper coil surrounding the veggie oil's fuel filer. The lower red radiator hose has the fuel line inside it, so that the veggie oil is heated on its way from the tank to the front of the car. The veggie oil then emerges from a separator and goes into the fuel filter.
This image shows the sender unit for the vegetable
oil tank's fuel gauge before being attached to the top of the
The vegetable oil travels through the white plastic fuel line which is surrounded by the radiator hose in order to warm the veggie oil during its travel to the engine.
The tank also has a copper coil running through it to carry warmed radiator fluid around the inside of the vegetable oil tank to start the warming process.
The radiator fluid and vegetable oil must be
kept separated so the two fluids don't mix. The upper left part
of the image shows the separator that accomplishes this. There's
another separator in the engine compartment where the vegetable
oil enters the filter and the radiator fluid circles the filter
in a copper coil.
In 2005, Bob got a 1984 Chevy Suburban 6.2 L turbodiesel 2WD SUV and had it converted by John Lucas at his business called Fatty Wagons (fattywagons.com) in downtown Sacramento. So, now he has two vehicles running on veggie oil. John's system works on the same principle of using heated coolant to supply heat to the veggie oil, but he also adds electrical heaters to the injector lines just before the fuel reaches the injectors. And instead of adding a veggie oil tank, he added a heater fuel intake in the Suburban's main tank for the veggie oil to go into and then bolted on a smaller tank to act as the starter tank. Bob fills the starter tank with his home-made biodiesel.
to other mechanical problems, Bob had to let that vehicle go to the
scrap yard, but he's already replaced it with another diesel Suburban,
from 1986. This one is 4WD, which is really what he wanted in the first
Bob makes biodiesel from vegetable oil in a biodiesel processor that he had built by a retired engineer.