Friday, August 26, 2005
Fill up Dougnut tank
I fill up my doughnut tank with a couple gallons of biodiesel. This is the tank that has the fuel that starts the car and purges the car at the end of day.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
My First Jug of Used Soy Oil
I've burned thru all the new soy from smart and finale and now need to put the used soy into my car. I didn't put it in right away because I wanted to let it settle for a couple days. I should let it settle a week but I'm too excited, and the only thing that will happen if it's not settled enough is that my 5 micron filter on my Vormax will clog much sooner. I do a stupid thing and pour the first 5 gallon jug using a spout. I thought I could keep the sediment on the bottom but of course that's the first thing that shoots into the tank. I can tell because the spout is clear. Oh well. Vormax filter is defiantly not going to last as long now. I only pour 5 gallons in because again I want the other 10 gallons to settle some more.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Smart and Finale Soy Oil
On my way to work, I stop by Smart and Finale and buy a 35 lbs can of new vegetable oil. Cost $14. Comes out to be like $3.11 per gallon when you figure 7.6 pounds per gallon. Costco has it for $2.79 a gallon but I don’t have time to drive there. I get a call from Eddie the he has some good soy but no Canola. After work I go by his place and suck up 15 gallons of used soy in my jugs and put it in my garage to settle for a couple days.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Pick Up Car From Berkeley
I flew up on the first flight. Craig picked me up from airport in my car. I let him drive. On the freeway he proves to me the power of used vegetable oil and takes it 114 MPH for about 40 seconds. I'm impressed and scared for my life all in the same moment. We then go to the co-op to fill up on some more SVO for my drive back to Los Angeles. We talk with Shane and I tell them, "That they did a great job and if I get back to Los Angeles they did an excellent job." We go back to Craig's house. I realize I've lost my glasses on the plane ride here. The same glasses that I'll need to see while I drive at night back down to Los Angeles. This drives me crazy and I spend the next 15 minutes on Craig's phone calling Southwest to try to track down my glasses. No luck. I'll have to wear my prescription sunglass and drive down Jack Nicholson style. Before I take off, Craig and I settle the bill in cash and then he gives me some cool window stickers that say "Powered by Vegetable Oil" and "Plantdrive.com." He also shows me how to use the 12 volt pump and wand kit I bought to get the used oil into my jugs and car. I realize that this is a must if I'm going to really run the car on svo. I take off for Los Angeles at about noon. Before I know it, I'm cruising at 85 mph on the 5 on svo. A couple hours into the trip I get a call from Craig wanted to know how it was going. I tell him it's great and I think I'm getting 31 or 32 mpg. 1 or 2 mpg more than biodiesel. I make it back to Los Angles with no problems. Except one. I still need to actually meet Eddie, the render guy, and get a supply of used vegetable oil to make this car go. I call Eddie the Render, and tell him I'm coming over. I get to his house and we start pumping Canola oil, with my new pump, from a 55 gallon drum that came from this fancy French restaurant, into my 5 gallon jugs. The oil keeps clogging the 70 micron filter in the wand. Somethings not right. I call Craig and I describe to him the oil. It has this creamy swirl in it. He tells me not to use it. He says it's most likely hydrogenated. It turns out the French restaurant dumps all their extra wine and cream sauces in the oil. Not good. I dump the oil back into the drum and Eddie tells me he'll try to find something on Monday for me. I drive off wondering what I'm going to do on Monday.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Craig drives it all day and it’s fine. I book my Southwest ticket for Sunday.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The car fires up and Craig and Shane take it for a spin. Craig says it purrs like a kitten but roars like a lion and tell me they took it up to 112 MPH on the freeway. Nice. I tell Craig to drive it around couple days because I want to make sure it’s all good before I fly up there and drive it down to Los Angeles.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Craig sends me some pictures
Vormax and doughnut tank
The Walbro pumps one for the SVO and one for the BioDiesel
Close Up 6 Port Switch
Monday, August 15, 2005
Hoses are Expensive
I get an email from Craig that things are going well but because I wanted all the hoses to be biodiesel proof it’s going to cost more. Meaning no rubber anywhere. Shane has to do a little more work with wielding connectors and such. Fine with me because I really want to be able to run biodiesel in the main tank if I have to.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Craig calls me and tells me that Shane has found an electrical pump in the gas tank. This was unexpected. Having this pump in the gas tank is not a good thing for the Vormax filtration system. Apparently the pump has to be after the Vormax. We throw around a lot of ideas like installing a huge 40 gallons tank in the trunk and using the main tank as my biodiesel tank for starts and stops. I say no to that option because I want my trunk space and I’ve already bought my bigger wheel for the doughnut tank that has already been made. We decide to take out the pump and they install another Walbro pump after the Vormax.
Friday, August 12, 2005
So My Wife Says…
You gave a guy you met on the Internet, a complete stranger, your new car and a couple thousand dollars in cash? “Yeah” I say. And she’s says, “You’re crazy.”
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Drop the Car off at Berkely
Drove up to Berkeley today, left at 11 am. Arrived at Craig Reece’s house at around 4pm. Btw, I got 30 mpg on Biodiesel. Meet a guy named Shane, he’s doing the physical install, he shows me his awesome truck that he personally converted to run on svo and I realize I’m dealing with a mechanical wizard. Craig shows up and we all talk about my car and what the plans are. Although they have done many conversions, they’ve never done a “pd” (the new 2005 vw engine design) before and they talk lot about Walbro pumps, filters and Viton hoses and other stuff I have no idea about but I pretend. Craig then drives me to the airport, in my car (he wanted to see how it drove before the conversion), to make an 8 pm flight. The airport is about 15 miles away but it takes us an hour because of the traffic. During that time, Craig and I talk, he’s lived at lot of life and is at peace with himself and has no time nor need for being dishonest so I’m completely at easy about leaving him my car for three or four days and completely trust it will all be good. I get home at about 1am. The Supershuttle screwed me so I ended up taking a taxi home from Burbank airport. Not so super Mr. Supershuttle.