Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Truck

I thought I should tell you a little about how all this came about. Last August my son Brandon and I had to fly back and forth to Pensacola FL and drive to Omaha NE from here in South Dakota. Brandon new I had been looking for a new vehicle for almost a year with out finding much that I liked either for the fuel efficiency or the ability to load stuff in it for my shows. Brandon said I should by a diesel pickup and run it on vegetable oil.

I am sure you can figure my first reaction but the more he told me the more he convinced me. I started looking things up on the Internet and reading everything I could get my hands on and I became convinced he had a good idea. Well we of course had to convince Jeff my husband because his first reaction was why would we want to do that? But the more research we showed him the easier that was.

Then came the deciding on which system and which truck. Brandon wanted to do it from scratch and I wanted it to be done in less than a year so I choose a kit. I choose the
Dino Fuel Alternatives kit which is specifically designed for the Ford Powerstrokes. The hard part came in finding a truck. I did not want the big crew cab but wanted a long bed. I also wanted a 2 wheel drive which you should hear the salesmen fuss about. (And having Jeff stick it in the mud in the alley makes me think they might have been right but I would never have gone down the alley when it was wet.) I finally found a truck and bought it the beginning of January. Then ordered my kit and a 108 gallon axillary fuel tank.

It took a while for all the parts and pieces to line up and all the while we have been collecting oil from a couple of local restaurants. You have seen the oil filtering set up in the next few days I will try to fill you in on the install of the conversion kit.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Heating Element

The parts of the element are made from electrical conduit and a water heater element. PVC is not rated for heat so my son felt that electrical stuff was better. The flap of rubber is to cover the bung hole to keep out bugs and such. The box part on the top points the same way as the curve of the water heater element so you can know where it is sort of when you can not see it.
Brandon chose the largest element that the tractor supply place had. I do not know if this is really needed because no matter what it is going to take a while to heat your oil. The elbow and everything fits through a 2 inch bung hole.
The complete unit can be moved from drum to drum. We only built one but did not put the heaters in the drums permanently because we knew we would have to have the heat to move oil from every step here in the winter time. And for us here in the middle of March it is still hovering around freezing most days. I want them to build a second unit when they get done with the truck so I can work two barrels in a day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

There is a long and involved story behind all of this which I will have to write about in another post but for now this is the beginning of the:
Filter System Set Up
Brandon actually letting me take his picture and for those that do not know he is actually getting dirty. (He does not do that often.)
The two black tanks on the platform are the de-watering tanks. Where the oil will be heated and let settle to get the water out.
The fittings under the de-watering tanks to get the water out.
Just having to redo the plan because the white hose with the braiding inside will not bend especially in the cold.
First stage filter which is a cleanable screen filter and we have two mesh sizes to filter between the white barrel and the first de-watering barrel.

Still trying to get it together.
No Jeff is not sucking the oil out of the drum he had to chew the end round in the cold weather it was sort of oval and it had to be round to go on the fitting.
Not quite done. The white barrel to the right is the first stage storage barrel. The bucket sitting on top has a bung fitted in the bottom that fits into the bung of the barrel and then there is a screen in the top of the bucket so it is a giant 5 gallon funnel that screens out large pieces from the oil.

Looks done and there is a heater inserted into the white barrel right now so they can heat the oil enough to pump it out. ( I will have to take pictures of the heater another time.)
The last stage filters from the last black de-watering barrel into the truck or a holding tank.
Hmm! not working too good!
Working but not quite right.

They decided it was air leaks so they are redoing some of the places.

Looks done but and it is working but not quite right they have decided to redo a spot or two but need more hose.
Well that is all for today will try to talk more in a day or two about the reasons for all this and what is happening next.