Friday 4 December 2009

Treatment for cold weather

Its getting pretty chilly now so I have been looking into ways to ensure the fuel doesn't wax up and clog the filters.

I stumbled across an additive called coldflow350 which claims to lower the point at which the fuel waxes by stopping the crystals from forming. My fridge test was pretty conclusive as you can see in this video, the first pour is treated and the second isnt :-

It works out pretty cheap as you only need a very small amount. The batch used in the video was mixed for a few minutes at room temperature.

Since this video was made I have been on a trip over to Bruges for the Bruges beer festival using treated veg. We stopped off in Poperinge to visit our favourite beer shop and dropped in on the monks at the Abbey of Saint Sixtus in Westvleteren. They brew some mighty fine beer which can only be obtained by visiting them in person. Well worth the trip though.

Details of the monks and the beer can be found here :-

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Winter running

I was recently asked about the obstacles to running on vegetable oil in winter, so even though it is still nice an warm (here in the U.K.), I though I'd post an explanation.

All fuels suffer problems at extremely low temperatures, including Petrol,
Diesel and Vegetable Oil. Petrol works to lower temperatures than Diesel
and Diesel works to lower temperatures than vegetable oil. Different
types of vegetable oils work to different temperatures. I have found it
difficult to use neat Soyabean oil below about 0 celcius. Rapeseed oil
seems to work a few degrees colder. The problem with all fuels is that
they first go cloudy, which clogs the fuel filters, and then at lower
temperatures, they go completely solid.

There are a number of ways to work around the cold problem. The easiest
way is to mix in a small amount of Diesel with the fuel. Other things we
have done include putting electrical heating tape on the fuel injection
lines and a heated wrap around the fuel filter. You can read about both
of these elsewhere on this website. Another solution which we haven't
tried personally is to get a twin tank conversion, where the car runs on
diesel until it is warmed up, and then it runs on vegetable oil that has been
passed through a heat exchanger.

Monday 13 July 2009

The retro car show and Kenny's trip to Criatia

Kenny has just got back from his latest trip to Croatia.
He drove nearly all the way there and back using vegetable oil but they did have to put a little Diesel in the tank at one point.
There were a few problems with leaks in the fuel system, but I'll let him explain those once he's had a chance to catch up on some rest.

Yesterday was the Retro Car Show at Santa Pod. This is the third year I've taken my vegetable oil powered 190 to the show. We showed it off on the stand, amid other, shinier cars. This year, two of the 190s on the stand were running off vegetable oil - fewer than in previous years. For anyone reading who owns a 190, I'd recommend, which is a free owners club and Internet forum. There's lots of good information exchanged on the website and they use the annual Retro Car Show as a good excuse to meet face to face and try out the cars on the quarter mile strip, and on the handling circuit.

Wednesday 17 June 2009

The modifications continue

The 300td has been running very well for quite a while now and another Europe trip is planned for the end of June 2009. A few modifications have been made to make it more comfortable as a Euro cruiser.

A second tank has been added in the cubby hole where the rear facing 6th and 7th seats would retract to, giving a total of 110 litres, or about 800 miles range. It has a large inspection lid which can accept a sock filter so I can filter on the move if needed.

I have also managed to squeeze in 2 batteries in with a cutoff switch on each earth. This enables me to run on one, the other, or both. I can remove both the knobs and make it impossible for anyone to steal. The idea behind this is that I can happily run the battery flat using the fridge, music, or lights, knowing that in the morning I have a fresh battery to start the engine. I can then charge up the first while on the move.

And finally, I changed the 4 rear interior lights for LED festoon bulbs. I chose the Large 2W ones which work out about twice as bright as the standard 10W that came with the car. More importantly they wont get hot and they wont run the battery down. The left in this pic is 1 new 2w LED, the right is 1 old 10w standard. I left the front interior light as standard because I prefer the warm glow from the old bulb. The front light is controlled separately to the rear bulbs.

Sunday 8 March 2009

Veggy thief

I now collect regularly from three restaurants/take-aways and occasionally from others. Recently, I went to collect from one place and discovered there was less oil than expected. Apparently, someone has been taking it without permission, and they got there before me.

The restaurant used to pay to have the oil taken away, so they aren't too concerned about the value of the oil, but it does mean that they don't have the paperwork to prove to the environment agency that their waste has been disposed of responsibly.

Tuesday 13 January 2009


During the cold snap last week, when temperatures were around -5C, we had a few problems with the fuel waxing. We temporarily solved it by blending it with thinner fuels. Both Kenny and I ran our cars last week on roughly 70% waste soybean oil and 30% fossil fuel. It runs very well on this and I suspect it only needed about 10% dino juice. This is the first time I've had to resort to this since I bought the car in 2007.

I was caught out by the difference between the waste soybean oil and clean rapeseed oil, which we had tested previously in cold weather. I am making a few improvements to my fuel lines and thinking about switching to rapeseed oil during cold weather.