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Friday, May 27, 2011

A meeting of Greasers

I went down to my local garage today. My wife had her car inspected and it was my job to pay the mechanic. He was closing up for a long holiday weekend. We were shooting the breeze when a guy came in with a metal coil in his hand. He was really disappointed to see the garage was going to be closed until Tuesday.

The guy had problem. He was trying to figure out how to install a heater coil in a waste vegetable tank of his old diesel Mercedes Benz. Since we are all guys, we went over to check it out. My mechanic introduced me. The guy recognized my name as I'm the first guy in the area to convert vehicles to run on waste vegetable oil.

He was driving a nice old Mercedes 300 turbo diesel wagon, a classic. The car was in good shape. The conversion was kinda sketchy. He'd bought it already installed. The poor guy wasn't mechanically minded, but wanted to upgrade the veggie conversion. It really needed help. The fuel and coolant lines leaked, and the veggie fuel tank looked like a 10 gallon stock pot with the lid held in place with carpenter's clamps. The best thing that could be said about it was that it worked -after a fashion.

The guy was in the process of replacing the tank with a nice aluminum marine tank. I was able to give him some pointers on how to install the coil to minimize the chance of leaks. He asked me a lot of questions. Apparently, there's a lot of goofy ideas about waste vegetable oil conversions. I've been running veggie for over a decade, have close to 600,000 veggie powered miles in 3 different vehicles I converted. Also helped in a half dozen or so other conversions. At the very least, I'm a talented amateur.

We had a good talk. While he's not personally mechanical in nature, he's willing to do loads of research and ask lots of questions. Also, he's not afraid to hire good help to do the actual work. This car is his retirement car. He'll be done work in a year. By then, he wants the car in tip top shape. Right now, he can afford mechanics. Once retirement kicks in, he'll have a lot less money to play with. His car should have all the bugs worked out of it and he'll be able to drive around for pennies on the dollar.

I think he'll do Okay.



  1. I got an idea. Why don't you make a post someday of all the craziest questions you ever got about veggie oil? Or is this one of those crazy questions?

  2. That's a good idea, Dizzy Dick.