Good idea to run Mercedes on BVO? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Good idea to run Mercedes on BVO?

Was seriously considering running my W123 on Veggie Oil. Others have told me to stay away from BVO, that it would clog my engine, degrade parts. What if your filtering BVO before it's used as fuel. I was going to filter the oil with a very fine filter 1 micron. I've seen successful examples of Mercedes running on BVO. Already have a very nice supplier. I've purchased a ton of book on the matter. Do you think it's a great idea, or a horrible one?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 04:07 PM
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It depends largely on the value of the engine to you.

Engines are designed to run on specific fuels, everything from the metallurgy to chambering design, setup and tuning necessarily changes when a different fuel is used.
What people achieve with alternative fuels is a preference at compromise.
A popular example is dual fuel LPG conversions, a widely accepted alternative fuel change. In fact the engine must be regularly operated on conventional petrol frequently to prevent damage from long term LPG use. A better alternative is one of the dedicated LPG-only conversion kits, which involves an engine rebuild using different piston rings and ideally much higher compression than a petrol engine, with different setup and tuning, so that the net result is similar performance and longevity to the petrol version using the alternative fuel. In fact the LPG-dedicated conversion would have greater torque and less upper range, it's a bit like going halfway to a diesel performance but still retains greater flexibility than a naturally aspirated diesel and uses a conventional spark ignition.

My point is: specific engineering for specific fuel type and grade.

Like the way a petrol engine can run a dual-fuel LPG conversion you can just take a diesel engine and use an alternative fuel like hydraulic fluid or vegetable oil. Initial problems are mainly related to a much thicker fuel requiring thicker lines and stronger pumps, plus a heat exchanger for warming prior to intake. Other problems however are related to the metallurgy, setup and tuning of the base engine designed for a completely different fuel type, which may not lend well to operating on alternatives for any length.

A British friend of mine did actually convert several diesels to run on vegetable oil, including an old Rodeo ute, a Prado turbodiesel and even a Jaguar 2.0 turbodiesel sedan. He made extensive modifications, upgrading fuel lines, pumps, filters and installing various heat exchangers, he distilled his vegetable oil properly, was quite an expert on it. Each worked well for a few months then destroyed the engine. The Rodeo he blamed on being on the way out anyway, the constant problems running the Prado this way on being an over-engineered engine, but the Jaguar was the last straw as that turned out to be rather expensive damage and it was basically in very good condition to start with, he tried to remedy that by switching to hydraulic fluid for this one and the Prado but the damage was done. Each car after several months of running alternative fuels blew such terrific clouds of smoke that driving behind it was like driving through a thick fog, you literally couldn't see the car through all the smoke it poured out the exhaust. I'm guessing it killed the rings and seals.

He bought the Jaguar for his girlfriend but that's ruined and hardly drives so he bought her a Citroen turbodiesel. She managed to convince him not to convert that to any alternative fuel, but just leave it to run on the fuel the engineers designed the car to run on.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 07:52 PM
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I research the subject few years ago and gave up.
Using straight veggie seems to be very climate-depended and even in CA that would be my last worry, dealing with storage, stink, fire hazard is a lot.
Last straw was when local McD wanted about $1 for old oil.
I valued the most posts of W210 owner handle Olivier ( I hope I remember it right)
In short, all W123, W124, W210 sold in America will run on straight oil with no problem, once you get it to proper temperatures.
The joy ends with cdi engines.
I think making bio is the best way as several owners made it successfully.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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I've been reading some books lately on the matter. A Mercedes expert Kent Bergsma talked about it in his book "Collecting and Filtering WVO" "SVO Advanced Theory and Operation Guide" and " SVO/WVO Fuel Tank and Tank Heat Options for Mercedes Diesels".

"Don't worry about contaminates. People often ask What about salt, sugar, or other particles of food? Won't that mix with oil and cause corrosion inside the injection pump? Will it ruin my injectors or injection pump? He basically says once you learn about the characteristics of vegetable oil you will see why it would not cause harm." He goes on to explain that neither salt or sugar will readily dissolve in vegetable oil. That both these compounds stay suspended and will not mix with VO even when heated. That is why it is ideal you let your WVO sit for a couple of days letting the contaminants sink to the bottom. Then he goes on to say "Don't worry, because of it's characteristics, it is almost as if vegetable oil was "created" as an ideal fuel source if you exercise care and common sense when handling WVO"

Basically Don't store in open containers, Don't let water get into your fuel tank, do not put WVO in your tank without filtering, and Do not run WVO in your vehicle without installing a better filter and some type of final boost heater

I was thinking about doing a single tank conversion and the Mercedes produced from the 60's-80's with their pre-chamber combustion are perfect candidates for this.

Not trying to sales pitch Kent but I've learned a lot from him over the past year and I believe he knows what he's talking about. Not saying I believe this 100% works. Haven't attempted doing this before so I have no idea. What I am saying is it's an interesting subject that has a lot of gray area. Not everyone will be able to do this as you do have to do everything right for it to work.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-18-2015, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kajtek1 View Post
I think making bio is the best way as several owners made it successfully.
Seems way more simple. Collect WVO, make it into Bio. No engine modification required. I'm assuming you can use ethanol made from corn/hemp instead of methanol if you want to be more environmentally friendly. Only question would be on how to make it on the large scale and how much would it cost. Running straight WVO seems a lot cheaper.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2015, 08:42 AM
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To me, this whole thing seems like way too much work to do something that's a really bad idea from the start. JMHO

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