Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Veggie van field repair
My waste veggie powered started to sputter at the start of a 300 mile trip. It ran fine on diesel, but diesel costs money.
One advantage of having engineered the diesel to veggie conversion myself is that I know the system inside out. It behaved like a fuel supply problem. The veggie filter was brand new, so that wasn’t the issue.
My fear was that it might be the diesel filter going. Here’s what happens when those start to go bad. The filter is not quite completely plugged so straight diesel flows through it. Switching to veggie is an added strain as the veggie is more viscous and has a filter of its own. The added resistance overwhelms a bad diesel filter.
Due to extremely poor filter design, it would take 2 - 3 hours to change it. I know, I’ve done it before. All the necessary tools and a spare filter were on board, but I didn’t have to time to do the job. My lovely wife and I had an appointment to make and only had a half hour’s leeway.
The easier thing to check was the fuel line in the veggie tank. That can be unscrewed and removed by hand. Sure enough, there was a big ugly fibrous plug of something blocking most of the fuel. Removing that restored fuel flow and it ran great the rest of the trip.
Where did that junk come from? It could have been anything. After all, I am using a waste product for fuel -essentially garbage. Most of the time I’d notice something that big and not pour it in the tank. It might of happened one night when I was fueling up in the dark. Rarely is there anything big enough to plug the line. Normally, the veggie filter catches the grit and grime. (Fleetguard FS1000 filters or NAPA 3406, for those who want to know)
Considering my fuel sources and a home made veggie fuel system, it’s a wonder it works well most of the time.