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Big Red Van: Conversion project diary

Thursday, September 29, 2005

High-veg fuel blend experiment

It works! First I ran a half-tank of pump diesel through to flush out any of my previous concoctions. Then, with the engine warm, I added the following brew:

8l veg oil (Somerfield cheap and cheerful, probably a rapeseed/sunflower blend)
2l unleaded petrol
100ml acetone

All mixed up in a big jerry can and shaken thoroughly. In the can, it sounded about as thick as diesel - not as gloopy as veg, not as thin and splishy as petrol.

I will admit that as the fuel needle crept up I got a really nervy, tense feeling and was dreading some ghastly (expensive) noises... but no. So I took it for a drive, revved it, lugged it, and it was fine. The engine was a little more muted - it purred rather than tractor-clattered, which may or may not be a good thing. Exhaust smell is similar to a veg/diesel blend, a little more burned-smelling.

Stopping for 20 minutes, it was fine to restart. Just the cold-start test left, for the next time I drive in to work.



Neil P said...

Hey dude-this project has me intregued (scuse the spelling-its before 10am so brain not on!)

Very impressed with it so far-esp the info on the interior.

Do you find the Mazda to be a better van than say a Ford transit for the coversion?


9:14 AM  
Andy said...

Never tried a Transit, but I did have an ambulance before this. I deliberately chose a skinnier van so it would be easier to "stealth camp" - not looking so much like a camper means you're less likely to get moved on! Plus a smaller vehicle is much lighter and cheaper to run.

10:44 AM  
neil p said...

ahh! "stealth camp" now there's a plan!

if i was doing it will probably get a swb transit diesel and run it on your idea of veg oils.seems like a plan:-)

probably will do it this year if I can afford it,need a cheap europecruiser!

thanks for the info-i'll watch with interest!


4:40 PM  
Edd said...

Why the acetone in the diesel blend. Will the petrol eat fuel pump seals.How did cold start go. Thanks

5:56 PM  
Justin said...

Fascinating page - what a great project

How has your blend gone during the recent cold weather?

3:03 PM  
Carbon said...

Hi Andy, I'm curious about your veg/unleaded petrol/acetone mix. What was the purpose of the addition of petrol and acetone?

12:50 AM  

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