It’s official, Project veggie is up and running!
That’s right, my late 90’s Mondeo has now run 6 litres of straight vegetable oil (SVO) through it’s system with no adverse effects noted. Admittedly I ran it as a very low ratio mix with standard diesel, but thats not the point.
In the meantime, read on for my progress with the rest of the system!
Oil Tank Progress
The Oil tank for the boot, based on a modified jerry can is ready for installation. Basically this is a standard can with the addition of an oil feed and return line. My present plan is to use this for vegetable oil during the testing phase and eventually to switch this to the diesel tank for normal usage.
My can also has a heater matrix as I was originally intending to use a heated tank system. In the end though I have dumped this and gone for a heat exchanger under the bonnet.
Presently I don’t plan on using the return line. Instead, the return line will flow into the main tank regardless of which source is selected. My task list includes the measurement of the return flow so I can see how important this really is.
The next tank task is the actually fit the thing into the car and to work out how to provide the breather.
Fuel System Progress
Fuel system progress has continued. I purchased a large diesel filter from ebay and have measured the flow to be completely acceptable, even using cold oil. This is now installed under the bonnet over to the left near the windscreen washer bottle.
The fuel solenoid is now fitted to the car and is placed under the bonnet very close to the injector pump.
I’ve run the car for a few days without the lift pump running and performance seems identical, so I’ll not be installing a lift pump in the new part of the system.
In fact, testing the lift pump that I bought from ebay showed that it’s not too keen running with thick vegetable oil, so When the systems get swapped over I may disconnect the existing lift pump too.
The heat exhanger is connected and ready to run and the system is basically ready to connect up.
The residual problem is the lack of feed to the rear of the car. Despite best efforts, I’ve not been able to get enough fuel hose to make the second system.
Next task is to get the existing system so that it is fed through the solenoid. This requires neat diesel to prime the pipes and exhanger and will be a good opportunity to measure the amount of oil between the pump and the solenoid.
It has also been a complete pain to find a useable cable run between the dashboard and the engine bay. I know you would not thing that a tough challenge, but I can assure you it has been! This work is ongoing.
Heater System Progress
The heat exchanger was completed in December and fitted to the car over the Chrismas break. I removed and cut the top radiator hose and inserted the exchanger in line. I’ve done about 500 miles since and no coolant leakage has been noted.
My exchanger comprises a 28mm copper pipe core which is inserted into the coolant flow. Around this core is a 35mm copper jacket fed by 6mm copper pipes. The jacket contains a thin layer of oil contacting the inner exchanger surface. Within just a few moments of entering the exchanger, the oil is heated considerably.
Copper is an excellent heat conductor and this system is many times more efficient than wrapping copper tube around a rubber hose.
In terms of the temperature, the exchanger is too hot to touch within seconds of the thermostat opening. This is a good sign that the oil temperature will be high enough. I have spare heat exchangers made to sell and will set up a test bed to show that the oil temperature is accepatble for an example (high) oil flow rate.
Other that the bech test, the heater system is complete.
Check out the Project Veggie gallery here