Friday 18 July 2008

Vegmobile mkII finally arrives.

Kenny here,
Since arriving back from the Croatia trip I have been on the lookout for an estate merc to run off veg oil and take back out to Europe. Finally after seeing many go way above of my price range or have problems with the expensive to fix self-leveling-suspension I have now bought a lovely 300td, which is sitting outside. Its running off vegetable oil as it is but I will be fitting the mothercare mod and bypassing the fuel thermostat. I also have a plate heat exchanger so will do some heat tests with and without to see how much difference it makes. The w124 is very similar mechanically to the 190d so I already know the car pretty well.
The car has done an amazing 380k miles and to listen to the engine you simple wouldn't believe it. The steering components are showing their age,I have replaced the steering pump and will need to do the box at some point in the future. It needs a good clean up and some niggles fixing but the all important sls is working fine and there is very little rust. The next trip is now being planned. London to Montenegro (biodiesel for the france portion due to the law). I plan to convert the back to contain a bed but for this trip I will be camping again.

The trip is due to start around the 14th August and there will be 2 passengers plus myself.

Monday 7 July 2008

Carbon neutral dragster racing

I took the car to the Retro Car show this weekend at Santa Pod and raced it down the strip.
It is a quarter mile, from a standing start.

My car is the white one and was running on 100% recycled cooking oil (from the Bayleaf take-away). I'm racing against a similar car which is running on a mixture of straight vegetable oil and mineral diesel. The commentator also runs his van on vegetable oil.

Although I managed to snatch second place, I think this probably has more to do with the way I drove it, rather than the capabilities of the car or fuel. I covered the quarter mile in 22.3827 seconds. I may make a couple of modifications to the car, and to my technique, before bringing the car back to Santa Pod next year. One of the other 190D owners at the event explained how to get more power by modifying the air intake and exhaust. It won't break any records, but the performance is already perfectly adequate for everyday driving, and I might just beat the black one next year!