Will Direct injection Diesels burn Veggie?

In the early 80’s there were some tests done by several universities on older direct injection tractors and generators that indicated that they were not well suited to run on vegetable oil. The reported results were injector coking, ring coking, loss of power, excessive smoke, hard starting and other problems related with improper combustion of the fuel. (Coking is the build up of carbon from incomplete combustion.) In most cases, it was reported that the problems were forthcoming fairly quickly, and because of the progressive nature of the problem, it got worse in a hurry. This may sound like bad news for those who have a direct injection diesel, but wait, there’s more. In reviewing these results I was struck by several things that made me take a closer look.

First of all, most of these tests were with unheated vegetable oil, and since the whole Golden Fuel Systems concept has to do with reducing the viscosity of the oil, via heat, it is easy to see why this aspect of the test does not correlate with what we do here at Golden Fuel Systems. The next thing that got my attention is that in several cases they reported problems with the engine on diesel as well as veggie, suggesting that the overall control conditions of these tests were suspect. When I was approached years ago with the prospect of converting our first direct injection diesel, (a VW TDI) I started to research the issue, talking with diesel injection professionals and injection pump rebuild shops all over the country. The deeper I got into the issue, the more confident I became that direct injection diesels of today would burn veggie oil as well as their indirect injection counterparts, if not better. The customer was informed of his role as a pioneer, and all the ins and outs of the conversion, and he was ready to do it. We took a lot of heat from people who said we were jumping the gun, and that there wasn’t enough test data to chance a conversion of a direct injection.

Fast forward a few thousand successful conversions with millions of real life miles, and those same nay sayers are proponents of a VW TDI conversion. The same thing happened when we converted a Ford Powerstroke, Chevy Duramax, Dodge Cummins, and all the other direct injection diesels available out there. “It wont work, your being irresponsible, you will harm the engine, direct injections won’t burn Veggie, the “tests” prove that!” Again, all these vehicles have since put on considerable miles with NO PROBLEMS! When I say considerable I am talking 60,000 miles on veggie and more. And not just one, many of them are in that mileage range, some pushing 200,000 miles since conversion. All of these early pioneers were willing to give it a shot, so that those who are converting their new direct injections today, know that there have been others that have gone on before, and they are still on the road. Is this just luck? Or is it possible that the infamous studies were a little off track? (You can find studies that say IDI diesels are not suited to burn veggie either.)

So what does this all boil down too?
The DI diesels that we drive today, and are available to us, have substantial veggie miles behind them. These “field tests” have been done in the real world under the same conditions that you can expect to experience, on the same vehicles that you might be considering converting. Not only by Golden Fuel Systems, but by people all over the world. The question is, “What “tests” and what “experts” are you going to believe?” The 20 year old “studies”? Speculation from someone who has never converted a DI, and is just regurgitating hearsay? (When asked where are these failing DI engines, they never can provide one.) Or, a company that has successfully converted hundreds of DI diesels, with hundreds of thousands of veggie miles behind them? I always go with the hard evidence, and in my case, personal experience.

So, having said all that it is up to you the, potential customer, to decide what camp you are in. If the case I have made doesn’t make sense to you then by all means, don’t convert your Direct injection diesel! But if you feel like this experiment is far enough along for you to comfortably join in and make history, welcome home!

On a side note, some people have the opinion that if it was an “official” university study, then it must be Gospel. They also have the opinion that if the it is a business or someone trying to make money, that puts forth their data, then it is suspect. (Greedy capitalists trying to get as much money as they can before the truth gets out.) We have a different take on things. We take great pride in our customer satisfaction, and our reputation. The only reason we are in business and continue to grow is because we have satisfied customers who refer their friends.

The information, tests, and data we provide is provided so we can sell more kits, and convert more vehicles! This may come as a shock to some, but it is one of our biggest motivators! This is what has fueled innovation and discovery throughout history, like it or not. We have found that the best way to go about this is to have a great product, backed with experience and sound data. Call me a cynic, but I will take private sector experience over a government funded study, any day. The private individual will be held accountable by the market place.

And lastly, I have farmed 103 acres for the past 4 summers with a 1999 Polaris Diesel ATV (single cylinder, direct injection) and a 1981 John Deere tractor, ( direct injection 3 cyl. Yanmar Diesel, Not only is it DI, but it has the infamous flat top pistons!) I have used waste vegetable oil in both of these, WITHOUT a conversion, or a diesel start up and shut down, from May to September for 4 years. I have yet to have a problem.

The test continues…

Posted in: Myths Misconceptions Misinformation

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