Tuesday 13 November 2007

Fitted injector line heaters

Its getting cold so it was time to get the heating solution sorted out.
I have fitted a heated wire injector line system. It is basically just has wire wrapped around the metal fuel lines that run from the injector pump to the injectors themselves. We feel this is the best option as that way the fuel doesn't get a chance to cool down again by travelling through cold metal before getting to the injectors.

The system runs through a relay and is turned on and off via a dash mounted switch. Its working fine and the car is having no trouble in the cold weather. Total cost came in at about £40. We feel it runs a bit hot though so we plan to fit a thermostat on it to regulate it and make it a bit safer.

You will notice we haven't placed the heaters at the same distance away from the injectors. This is partly because we are working on a better thermostat controlled method and this can be used to test how quickly the fuel cools down again. Its not a permanent solution for us but will give us some good data. Its also partly because it made it far easier, no cutting and linking was required between pipes, one continuous heater line was used.

We are addressing the issue of the possibility of the fuel waxing in the fuel filter when below -3 degrees C. The startlingly simple and cheap solution will be posted in a few days.

Thursday 18 October 2007

I went to the Biodiesel Expo in Newark today. It covers vegetable oil as well as biodiesel, although the majority of exhibitors were focused on biodiesel. There were many suppliers of equipment for pumping, filtering, washing, transesterifying and testing biofuels. Amongst the many equipment suppliers, there was a company that makes engine oil from plant oils. They only sell it in bulk, but if I can get hold of a sensible quantity, I will use it for the next oil change.

Friday 12 October 2007

Autocar magazine

A picture of the car was featured in Autocar a couple of weeks ago. On page 25 of the September 26 issue, there is a picture of Kenny filling up the car with vegetable oil.

Monday 24 September 2007

We would like to thank you all for following our progress and also for your patience in waiting for the return pics.

We are now back safely and settling back in to real life. So as not to flood this blog I have created a seperate page to contain all the images and videos. I will be editing and adding more videos as and when they are ready. Anyone interested in higher resolution copies of these images please email me. If you wish to use any of these images for any reason please contact me first.


Monday 10 September 2007


Filling up from a pump at a normal petrol station in cologne, germany. We are on the way home here with lots of driving to do. We put in 50 litres and a further 10 in a container in the boot. It should get up home. 90c a litre and quick and painless. Well almost, the nozzle was massive and heavy. I felt like a fireman.

Posted by ShoZu

Rhine on fire

Rhine on fire was great. Tons of people, coachloads of them. Fireworks were good, and seeing all the boats lit up and so close to each other was cool. Got to campsite to find the owner locked the gate 15 minutes early so we cant get in. We will be having words. We have a lot of miles to cover tomorrow so time to go.

Posted by ShoZu

Saturday 8 September 2007


Last night we went to a big club called won, or world of nightlife. Interesting although i am not sure i would go back. Hit the road early today and have just arrived at our stop for tonight which is close to oberwesel, they have a massive celebration tonight called 'the rhine on fire' all the rhine steamers float down it letting off fireworks while broues line the edges. It was a planned stop off so the trip went out with a bang. Check out the view from our pitch ! Early start tomorrow got lots of miles to cover to get back to calais and then home from dover. Then back to work on monday.

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Friday 7 September 2007


We took our cues from the many helpfull sign posts showing how to walk in nuremberg. Hmm, i must buy a hat.

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When feeling like a stranger in a foreign land its important to blend in.

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Nuremberg is lovely i wish i had more time here. We made up a whole day running from the weather so we will most likely stay here for friday night. A good mix of people, amazing old gothic buildings and lots of watering holes. Plus trams all over the place and all the cabs are mercs.

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Its incredible the cultural differences we have found on this trip. For example in nuremberg they call an xl big king an xxl big king :) think of the confusion. Plus they do the elusive triple whopper. notice the beer too.

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Thursday 6 September 2007


Filling up on 24, 3 litre bottles of lidls finest in slovenia. We also stuck 5 litres in from a small expensive supermarket on route to keep us going. Weather was appaling so we motored on to nuremberg and beat the weather here. Lidl was 66p a litre.

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Staying in graz, austria tonight. Its freezing and drizzling but i have my beer jumper on so my tent should do fine. Pic is a bit rubbish never mind. Very clean and friendly place, a bit of a student town. Most people speak better english than me!

Posted by ShoZu


Here i am filling up from 2 litre bottles in slovenia, 14 litres in total. I must say i love the slovenian people we have met. Unlike most other countries we have been to very few speak english and they are happy to spend a little time to try to help us explain what we want using hand gestures. You will notice we have a box for the bottles. This is because we tried to say we emptied the shelf, do they have any more.. It simply got us an empty box to carry it in. But with a big smile and a wave as we drove off. Oil is more expensive in croatia than most of the other places we have visited, about 90p rather than 60p or so. Now we are out of croatia we will be stocking up.

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The weather

The weather turned nasty again as we headed back to plitvice to do the lakes we skipped earlier.the wind and rain was so bad we abandoned camping and checked into a hotel with the most moody staff i have ever come across. Almost surreal, none of the guests could quite understand why they seemed to hate us all. I wont bother with examples but 90 percent of the people in the tourist industry in croatia really hate it. Its very odd. Why do the job ? The national parks are amazing though and in the morning we luckily had a break in the weather and did a 3 hour walk round plitvice. Oh my god! i will post links to big pics when i get back but if you visit the country you simply must do the walk around the upper lakes. It tops anything we have seen by a mile! time to start to head towards home now :( the temp yesterday hit 6.7 ! car not having any problems.

Posted by ShoZu

Croatian stuff

Time for some general stuff about croatia me thinks. As with a few other countries we have passed though the law is you must leave your lights on all the time. It gets really annoying when popping from campsite to campsite all next to each other but it definately makes it easier to see oncoming traffic. Another oddity is starters. Twice now we have ordered a dish from the starter section and a main course and ended up with 2 full size dishes! Last night they even all arrived together. 2 tuna steaks a large lasagna a pizza and spaghetti for just 2 people, surely they should have thought something was wrong. Also they often dont give you change, or just give partial change. Its happened in bars, restaurants and even at a toll booth. It seems the custom here. Very few campsites have any grass and most have very rocky ground. The morning sun can heat a tent up like a sauna but if you camp under a tree you will get sticky pine sap on it. And the same goes for any washing.

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We didnt head far down the coast as we found another national park called krka. Very glad we did. This time we took a 2 hour boat trip up the valley. We hardly spoke the scenery was so breathtaking, i am really going to miss this place. Still its only 4 tanks of veg oil away.

Posted by ShoZu

Sunday 2 September 2007

Away from tourists

Finally got away from tourists. This is the view 30 metres from the tent taken at 8.30 this morning. It is similar but different to the left. If you like mountains and water mixed up with trees and baron scenery this place comes highly recommended. There are lots of amazing walks and hikes into the national parks but at the moment its too hot to even walk to the info place. We are planning one for later today when it gets cooler. Last night was incredibly windy changeable is not the word. In the last 3 days we have had fog that you can hardly see in, massive flood causing rain, hail and ice storms, shocking wind that lifts the car up on its suspension, amazing lightening, thunder although normally not with the lightening and of coarse searing heat. I wont be using changeable to describe uk weather again. Its great though, nice to have variation. Car doing well. One of the front lower ball joints is just starting to creak occasionally, i will check it out but it shouldnt be a problem. Its giving me a buzzing warning sometimes when i open the door. Its like the headlight warning but slighly lower pitch. I suspect its the headlight switch failing but it could be an intentional merc warning i dont know about. Any of you 190 guys got any ideas? I can read but not post in the forum.

Posted by ShoZu

Saturday 1 September 2007


Here is a shot taken from the ground, which is where i am laying because it is so hot. We are camped by paklenica national park its about 35 degrees. View pics will follow. Had a strange night last night. We were just about to give up and go in after failing to find anything in the touristy resort when we heard the sound of distant bass. The kenny is a bass loving creature so we hunted it down ray mears style until we found a croatian discoteque. Spent the night dancing to c & c music factory with tiny croatians and wondering if it would turn out like the film hostel.

Posted by ShoZu

Friday 31 August 2007

Nin . Zatan

Spent last night in a samba bar drinking the strongest long island ice tea i have seen. Almost no coke. This morning we got soaked in the storms we had run away from the night before. We headed north a little up the coast to nin . We heard the weather was better. Oops! Got stuck in a huge scary storm. Massive hail stones. We literally were expecting the glass to shatter. We had our faces covered, and marc protected himself by placing a magazine on his head. Sounds funny but it was proper scary. We arrived at the campsite to find the fire brigade dealing with the water logged site, lots of terrified wet campers and all the beach furniture being fished out of the sea. We are now camped up and waiting for the sun to put his hat on. Car doing great running well. We will check it over properly tomorrow for hail dents. I would be amazed he there is none. The merc emblem was knocked flat. We have the whole thing on video will post it once i an back and bleep out all the swearing! All this on the first day i decide to wear shorts. Planning on a lazy day tomorrow. Chillin and catching up on washing. In a 4 star site so its a bit of a luxury.. If a little damp :)

Posted by ShoZu

Thursday 30 August 2007


Marc feeling proud that for once we found a campsite and got the tents up before dark. We are now cooking pasta and using some oil out of the spare fuel container to fry up the sauce ingredients ! We forgot to save some when we filled the tank.

Posted by ShoZu

Filling up near zadar

The weather at plitvice lakes was awful so we decided to head to the coast away from the rain and clouds. We will most certainly visit on the way back. We had a couple of people interested in the car and definately noticed people pointing as we went by. Although that could have been my hair of course. Anyway we picked up 26 two litre bottles in a supermarket after about an hour of cross referencing labels to find out the croatian for rapeseed. Here i am filling up in the midday heat of 34. We were just outside zadar on the croatian coast.

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Dark again

The problem with all this driving is its often dark when we put our tents up. People dont mind me leaving the engine running once they smell its not fossil fuel. This is us setting up near the plitvice lakes in croatia. Its currently raining with visibility of very little. . Ho hum. One of my earlier blogs didnt come out so i will mention that after namur in belgium we filled up with 30 litres of filtered waste oil from a registered seller. We were not allowed to take a pic, for tax reasons. Seemed odd to me ? Nice couple though. Oil was 80c and was waste from a viagra factory.

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Camp oil

I do like it when the bottle holds itself in the filler so i can stand back and say 'yes it really is vegetable oil' to those who ask. 14 litres put in from camp shop. 90c per litre. In this campsite we met up with a german couple who power thier more modern merc from used oil. Apparently as there is a high demand for used oil for use in the cosmetics industry many restaurants charge for you to take the oil. Up to 20c per litre.

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This is where we are staying tonight. Lake bled in slovenia. The scenery just gets better and better. A few toll charges to pay but the sting is taken away when you drive through a 2 mile tunnel or over an amazing express way perched out on the side of a mountain. We also bought an austrian vignet pass.

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Wednesday 29 August 2007


Here is me attempting to smile for the camera. Argh! Filling up with shop bought oil in austria. If you like driving and you like mountains i can highly recommend driving round austria. We put 8 litres in the tank and left a spare 2 in the boot

Posted by ShoZu


Nope, another stash of which there are 2. Without which i would have no room for clothes. In case your wondering, after catching a druggy using a brick to negotiate his way into my car in amsterdam i never like to leave anything on show in the car that suggests my boot is full of treasure.

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Oh look, a harmless cushion to aid comfort for rear passengers on the long journey.

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No, just one of the ways i had to stash my stuff to make enough room for all our stuff. Its my wash and shaving stuff. So far no interest from customs.

Posted by ShoZu