I’ve been running the landy on 50/50 veggie to diesel with no problem, but now the colder mornings are creaping in she is starting to get a little grumpy. Once warmed up the landy performs as usual without any clear difference (although people do feel compelled to tell me that it smells like a chip shop). I’ve added a heater element around the fuel filter which just cut’s off by thermistor when it reaches 90 degrees and kicks back in at 70; but this is just not enough for the colder mornings and days.
So, I’ve invested in something to make the veggie oil a little bit warmer (and therefore runnier) – it’s from Vow2. I’ve bought the VOW2DW+ unit which heats the oil from a couple of glow plugs and plumbs into the heating system of the engine. It pre-heats fuel on the way to the filter and warms it nicely on route to the pump and injectors.
Picture of the kit purchased.
First off was the put the unit roughly in place and measure out the fuel pipes. It’s a bit messy cutting into the fuel pipes and removing the old connectors so don’t forget to put something under the fuel filter to catch the muck. Start with the pre-heater pipes as they are quite easy: take the fuel feed pipe from the fuel filter (i.e. the one that runs from the fuel lift pump to the fuel filter) – don’t forget to remove and keep the connector and the banjo bolt as you’ll need to re-use them on your new pipe. Measure and connect the heat exchanger inline (fuel lift pump->heat exchanger and heat exchanger to fuel filter in).
Next work on the fuel line from the fuel filter to the injector pump. Again the heat exchanger needs to be in-line so work on the fuel filter->heat exchanger and then heat exchanger->fuel pump. Don’t forget to put the small see through fuel filter inline before the pump – this will give you an idea of the level of waxing and will show you if you have any air ingress into the fuel system.
Picture below is the basic unit with fuel pipes cut to size and connectors added.
As the location I’ve chosen for my heat exchanger is easy to get to for the fuel lines, it figures that the location is also difficult to get to for the heater water. But with a few 15mm household copper pipes, bends and a blow torch I’ve put together something that neatly allows me to cut through the inbound heater matrix water pipe (that has give or take a 15mm internal diameter). So, heater matrix inbound hot water is cut about 10cm short and plumbed directly into my 15mm copper pipe work which runs directly into the heat exchangers water input. I’ve used rubber hose connections between the copper and heat exchanger to reduce vibration. Next a short run from the heat exchanger water out to the original water heater matrix input in the bulk head. I’ve used copper to give me a good neat angle and to avoid pipes rubbing or kinking.
Now in situ with water pipes connected (in-line via the heater matrix feed). It’s a little difficult to see, so I’ll do some better photo’s later.
At the moment it’s all just water heated, but boy does it get hot! With 80/20 (diesel/veggie oil) and outdoor temperatures of 2-5 degree’s C in the morning it all works just fine*. Next up are the electrics – with those in place I should be able to run higher levels of veggie oil without any of the ‘cold start’ problems.
*the definition of fine in this case is a few (well a lot) of glow plug action before starting the engine and perhaps even a few attempts to start. You need a good and working battery!