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French fry fuel

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Eric Johnson, Jul 22, 2006.

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  1. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Yesterday I found myself in a traffic jam on Route 290 near Worchester, MA, behind a guy in an old Mercedes who was apparently burning used french fry oil for fuel. Two things I noticed: 1.) the car seemed to smoke excessively, especially at low engine rpms, and 2.) that stuff really stinks!

    If I ate at fast food restaurants maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but I got pretty nauseated before I was able to get around him.

    It was an old Merc so maybe the engine was shot or out of adjustment, but I wasn't particularly impressed with the whole arrangement.

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    How old was the Mercedes? From what I understand, the diesel ones run just about forever. What color was the smoke?
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Probably late '70s to early '80s. The smoke was blue.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    99 times out of a 100 blue smoke is crankcase oil either blowing by the piston rings or leaking through a valve seal.

    I don't see how McDonald's cast off grease could make blue smoke. Not saying he wasn't burning Mazola Oil, but it wasn't the blue smoke maker.
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Maybe the combination of burning crankcase oil and burning deep fry grease adds up to a nauseating combo.

    French fried dinosaur, anyone?
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Cream gravy and mashed potatoes on the side please. Southern boy here.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We have a lot of bio-diesel and french fry diesels locally. They don't smoke anymore than any other diesel. If the engine is in good shape it's usually a pleasant surprise to be stuck behind one and find that one doesn't have to roll up the windows due to diesel smell.
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    The old mercedes are smokier no matter what.
    I've been burning b20 for the last couple of tanks in my Beetle.
    I followed it today to work with my wife driving it. It didn't smoke.
    It does have a different aroma from the pipe than straight diesel.
    Perhaps the fuel companies should just put a little perfume in diesel.
  9. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Usually veg oil and bio burners have less smoke. I'll bet that engine has seen better days. I run bio and the smell is not nearly as strong as #2 diesel.

    Not being there, I'd take a guess that this guy has a whipped engine and has the new ultra low sulpher diesel that is being mandated. The ULSD is a requirement by October (I think it's oct). It has a less sulpher contet and is more envoronmentally friendly. The oil companies are producing it now and it is being added to existing diesel supplies. Some areas have it, some don't and some have anything in between.

    I know I had a tank of it as I could smell the difference, and my mileage was down a little. Slightly different color of the fuel and thinner viscosity as well.

    Another negative is the lubrication qualities. It is less than the old #2 diesel. The process of removing the sulpher also removes some of the lubrication qualities. A bummer for those who are not aware of this, as many injection pump/fuel systems only recieve lubrication of the components from the fuel. It seems that the producers have empowered the distrubutors of the fuel to add lubrication additives. We all know what the potential problem with that is.

    Anybody running a diesel should be putting a lubrication additive in their tank on their own-ALWAYS, unless of course you trust an oil company/distributor.

    Then again, this guy could have been running one of those "secret" fuel formulas going around that include xylene, unleaded gas, veg oil, and a couple other nasty goodies. Sound like snake oil? KD
  10. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Will the low sulpher diesel allow for VW TDI sales again in NY?
  11. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    You guys talking about the smell...reminded me of the early biodegradeable hydraulic oils...we were doing some testing for Sundstrand with it....basically canola oil going in...after it ran a couple hours whooo boy.....If you got about a teaspoon full on your hand when taking off a fitting you would stink for about 36 hrs...Rotten like eggs or load in the pants...
  12. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Hopefully, but I can't answer that. A good source for that info is here: www.tdiclub.com KD
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I had the dubious pleasure of following behind a Dodge diesel pickup truck yesterday on the way to the dump. Windows wide open in this heat. Not a fun trip. I'll take biodiesel any day.
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Last I heard VW is coming out with a new engine for the 2008 model year. It will be common rail and 50-state certifiable. I assume a new catalytic converter at the least to take care of the NOx.
    I'm nursing my Beetle 'til then!
  15. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Nurse it hell. We're driving our 2000 Golf TDI everywhere, by 2008 ought to be about 150K.

    The trick is the 'family car' - if the explorer holds out that long, it's a passat TDI wagon. Otherwise we're going to have to make some ugly compromises.

    Does strike me that if I went to ebay, I could trade my TDI even up for a half as old, half a driven, twice-as-expensive-when-new used explorer. People are panicking over paying $50 (instead of 25 or 30) to fill up, and tossing thousands of dollars in 'equity' value on the vehicles.

    Steve
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Umm... I just turned 180k on my 2000 Beetle.
    We drive it everywhere too, but I do have a spare turbo and fuel injection pump (good deals) just in case.
    Of course they won't break since I have the spares, knock on wood.
    The car has been very reliable.
    I'm hoping the common rail gets good mpgs.
  17. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    30K/yr, very impressive.

    When they went to the PD system(2002?), they juiced the HP and the torque (to a lesser extent) but reduced the mileage. We may well have the most efficient non-electric cars ever sold in the US - since the new emissions requirements are almost certain to take another bite out of the mileage.

    Steve
  18. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I understand that VW will not import TDI's for the 2007 model year because they won't meet the new air quality standard.

    They are supposed to return in 2008, I guess with the common rail.

    I hear the "Dr Z" commercial saying the Chrysler/Benz will be coming next year with a "very efficient" diesel. Him being from Germany, I think he believes there is bright future for diesels in the US market.

    Diesels are the future. Look at the energy content of 1 gallon of alky to 1 gallon of diesel. And compare the mileage of a Jetta/Golf TDI versus a Camry hybrid.
  19. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    And the range of things you can burn inthem - veggie oil, biodiesel, and various blends of the less desireable stuff from crude oil. And the ebergy return is considerably better than most ethanol technologies.

    But we gotta increase the supply of used veggie oil.

    Probably go a long way towards helping the social security problem (shorter lifespans due to more grease).

    Gentlemen, start your fryers. Fish and chips for everyone.

    Steve
  20. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    The older diesels are actually more forgiving in the type of fuel you can use. My wife drives a 2005 Passat TDI, and I drive a 97 Dodge Cummins. I can just about run snake pee in the Cummins, I am careful about what goes in the Passat (warranty). We had a 2002 jetta that was really good car as well. Sold it for the larger space that the Passat provides. So far, I have no complaints about VW products, but, service after the sale has allot to be desired. You really need to be an informed owner with this car.

    I heard that Diamler-Chrysler will be buying and using the tdi engine in some of their vehicles (like they do with the Cummins). They will also start incorporating the Mercedes engines in some as well.

    I also believe diesels will be a big factor in the next few years. I personally do not see myself owning a gasser. I have no reason to when you compare them both. KD
  21. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Would like to see one of these companies put a smaller diesel in a 1/2 ton...
  22. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Their already being manufactured but not for the USA market Iszu diesels are some of the best 4cyl made today. That's why GM bought them out
  23. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Seems hard to believe that a vehicle like an Explorer, Durango, or Suburban that'll handle a 5+ Liter V8 wouldn;t be able to deal with 3.5L i4 or i5 diesel. Fuel tank could be the same, maybe some of the soft lines on the fuel system would have to be upgraded, but you'd even think they could come up with one with a common backplate that would fit the stock truck trans. I bet there'd be a market for a 'underpowered' PU that got 25mpg.

    Got a 'Dodge' Sprinter van at work, and there under the hood is a nice little Mercedes diesel. Even says Mercedes on the top.

    Steve
  24. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Actually, some really good things with diesels will be happening soon. I have heard rumor that both GM and Diamler-Chrysler will be coming out with diesels for the the 1/2 tons, the smaller pick ups, at least one mini-van from Diamler-Chrysler, as well as a few smaller "economy" sized vehicles.

    As far as common diesels in America, the only options we had were the full size pick-ups, the VW's, and the Jeep Liberty. Unfortunatley, the liberty diesel is dropped due to emissions requirements. To bad, it was a nice engine. I think they will be using something different in the near future. Same reason for the change over on the VW's (as mentioned earlier).

    Honda is realy pushing a green diesel over in europe, hopefully it will make it's way here. It seems the fuel here in America was a big stumbling block. Now that we are changing over to ULSD (like europe has for some time now), we will see more and more diesels. In Europe, 50% of the vehicles on the road are diesels. I think it is like 1% or 2% in the states.

    As far as diesel engines, they have more torque, less maintenence, longer service life, better economy, and more fuel versatility. All winners in my book. KD
  25. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I have been waiting for a freakin diesel half ton for at least 5 years and will jump on it when it comes out. I don't need 600 ft pounds worth of torque and a suspension that rattles your kidneys.

    Give me an I5 diesel 1/2 ton that gets 30 mpg with 350 ft/pound of torque.
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