My duramax WVO conversion - Chevy and GMC Duramax Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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My duramax WVO conversion

I've been doing conversions for a bit, mainly on mercedes diesels. I was planning to convert a Jeep CRD, but lets just say it had enough problems when on Diesel, that I ditched it and got a Duramax instead.

Now this ain't no mercedes. I believe that Charlie and Golden Fuel systems are smoking 'lucky crack' that they don't destroy their engines. Below is my theories of how you can get WVO right in a duramax and not risk the engine any more than that of regular diesel fuel. I'll be happy to eat crow when my IP/Injectors/etc go out. With that out of the way. Time to do some explaining.

Background
I've been running a 1983 Mercedes 300SD for 2 1/2 years on 100% WVO. I purchased the kit from Kent Bergsma at mercedessource up in Bellingham. He has a good grip of what is good and not good for mercedes engines, so I trusted him when he said that 'if done properly, wvo shouldn't do anything bad to a mercedes engine'. That said, I have 40,000 miles on WVO, and besides other engine problems (the car wasn't in great shape when I bought it), its been running great. If you look at the average price of fuel over 2.5 years, its about $3.50. It gets about 20mpg. I spent $1100 on the Mercedes kit. I've saved $6100.

Why Duramax?

Many swear by Cummins as the engine of choice for WVO. I'll be honest, I'm not a dodge guy. Grew up with GM, swear by GM. That said, I gotta have some science behind me. Many people talk about the '02-'04 Dmax's and WVO/engine problems. They are right. These engines Suck for conversion. The LB7 and early LLYs are plagued with injector problems regardless of fuel, and I would never run one.

However, the late model LLY, or even better, LBZ engines are awesome. The LBZ engine has a much improved injector system, and gets rid of the FICM. The other nice thing about this engine is the ability to tune it perfectly. With all the sensors around it, you can pretty much tune it to run WVO in a safe matter. No more guessing. Add a VOcontroller on the fuel side, and you have pre-timed switchovers, automatic diesel purging, etc.
That said, at $3500 for injector replacement, I can afford to replace my injectors every 3 years on the dmax and STILL come out on top. Plus, after looking at what it'd take to pull the injectors, on the LBZ it really doesn't look that hard.

The conversion
First, start with some diagrams. I whipped these up in Omnigraffle.
Fuel Diagram:



The Parts
Most parts were purchased from Plant Drive. They sell a duramax 'kit'. But be warned, these are more like groupings of components, and not a true 'DIY kit'. The instructions are rough, generic, have no pictures, nor diagrams. You receive 10 different boxes, all drop shipped at different times, and you're on the hook for your own hoses, hose clamps, brackets, painting, etc.


Basically, whatever you paid for the kit, add another $500 in extra parts. When the conversion is finished, I'll make a line item checklist. The cost will come to about $4000. Considerably more than the mercedes. But I plan on having this truck a LONG time. Being a wheeler, I'll save $500 on road trips to Moab and back =D

Relocation
Today, we took a look at where things would go. Because the vormax is so huge, it really only fit in the bed of the truck.



We needed more space in the engine compartment, so I decided to move the Aux battery to the bed of the truck. That opened up a 7"x11" working space. More than enough for the valves and hotplate. I suggest using 2AWG cable, even though the stock cable is 4AWG. You loose considerable amperage when moving the battery to the back, but with good insulation, and solider crimping the connectors, it'll be good enough.


Started plumbing in the filters. The inner lip of the bed works really well to bolt things to. Made a few brackets to help keep things stable:


2007 GMC Sierra Classic LBZ -- SOLD
See my WVO conversion

2008 Chev 3500 DRW LMM - 140k miles going strong!

Last edited by japerry; 01-13-2009 at 11:33 PM.
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post #2 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Day 2 update!

I started working on getting the fittings ready. Plantdrive shipped some crappy plastic fittings. These would all need to be replaced with Brass+Epoxy


After we finished with the brackets, we started on the main fuel hose. Pictured below are 4 lines wrapped in insulation:
* WVO source (from FASS Pump after the filters)
* WVO return
* Coolant loop out
* Coolant loop in


All wrapped up! I HIGHLY suggest doing the hose-on-hose (HOH) instead of the hose-in-hose that some sell. I don't trust a copper hose to be put inside a rubber hose, then twisted to fit into a truck. Having one wall fail will end up causing Coolant and diesel/wvo to mix.. BAD!

Left some room on the backend for one coolant line, and the source WVO line to split away from the tank.


The battery cable was DAMN expensive. About $178 bucks at hardware sales. It was routed next to the hose bundle:


Epoxy'd the fittings on the tank:


This is how the filters will work. We'll see how the vormax holds up, I may switch it to another Stanadyne.



The picture below shows two valves ontop of the hot plate. The hotplate interweaves coolant and wvo together to get it upto temp. The dmax has an added advantage as its coolant gets warmed by the exhaust.
The top valve is for looping (as shown in the diagram) and the bottom valve is for the source feed (also in the diagram):


I put the return valve just above the engine return/diesel return, since the return line for diesel was pretty short. It also helps that two screws already existed that we could bolt a bracket into:


Because my VOcontroller got delayed, I'll have to finish up conversion next weekend. Until then, questions, comments? enjoy!

2007 GMC Sierra Classic LBZ -- SOLD
See my WVO conversion

2008 Chev 3500 DRW LMM - 140k miles going strong!
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post #3 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 09:09 PM
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I wanna run vegi oil in my LB7. I live in so cal so it doesn't get that cold. I really wanna have the whole refinery and make my own but with the fuel prices dropping i might have to spend the money on some porformance mods

2002 Chevy LB7 Crew Cab
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post #4 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-13-2009, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHoov View Post
I wanna run vegi oil in my LB7. I live in so cal so it doesn't get that cold. I really wanna have the whole refinery and make my own but with the fuel prices dropping i might have to spend the money on some porformance mods
I know some guys do that, but the conversion is only worth it if the worse case scenario costs less than the conversion.

The LB7 has mediocre injectors, which are hard to fix, and a FICM which requires some extra valving. It can be done, but its not as simple as a late model LLY or LBZ

2007 GMC Sierra Classic LBZ -- SOLD
See my WVO conversion

2008 Chev 3500 DRW LMM - 140k miles going strong!
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post #5 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 06:47 AM
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Awesome visuals, the real mods should make this a sticky!! What filtering system are you using and what exactly are using in terms of oil? Veggie? Canola? Soybean? etc...

*Self proclaimed and appointed moderator of the Alternative Fuels - Diesel - Additives - Lubricants Section*
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post #6 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biofuelsdude View Post
Awesome visuals, the real mods should make this a sticky!! What filtering system are you using and what exactly are using in terms of oil? Veggie? Canola? Soybean? etc...
I'll be using a Racor 10 (or 30) Micron 'pre-filter' plugged into the vormax, and a Stanadyne 2 Micron final filter before the switch. I'm also thinking about putting a 60 micron screen filter up front since the fuel filters have so far to travel.. just in case other particulates get caught.

My oil is Canola, from a Mexican restaurant. I'll have to post pictures of my pumping process. =D

2007 GMC Sierra Classic LBZ -- SOLD
See my WVO conversion

2008 Chev 3500 DRW LMM - 140k miles going strong!
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post #7 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 08:00 AM
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Sweet! Great job!
You couldnt pay me enough money to put that stuff in my truck, though. Maybe a old MB or VW. But not my Dmax.
My cousin has a 79 rabbit we were thinkin of doin. But he likes the diesel fumes.

Keep up the great work.

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Built Motor/Trans Bullseye s475/87/.9 45% Injectors Stock CP3 Built and Tuned by Blackout Performance 11.76 @ 115
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post #8 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biofuelsdude View Post
Awesome visuals, the real mods should make this a sticky!! What filtering system are you using and what exactly are using in terms of oil? Veggie? Canola? Soybean? etc...
Done!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by japerry View Post
I'll be using a Racor 10 (or 30) Micron 'pre-filter' plugged into the vormax, and a Stanadyne 2 Micron final filter before the switch. I'm also thinking about putting a 60 micron screen filter up front since the fuel filters have so far to travel.. just in case other particulates get caught.

My oil is Canola, from a Mexican restaurant. I'll have to post pictures of my pumping process. =D
Thanks for sharing and taking the time to post all that info,I know it cleared up some questions I had.....PLEASE,keep us posted buddy!!!My uncle has 2 trucks on WVO only,but one is a 96Dodge[Cummins],and the other is a 97Ford[Powersmoke]..Yes he's blown up some IP's and injectors,but in the last two years has not bought one drop of diesel[except for the shutdown,etc..]he leaves Louisiana,goes to Florida and comes home all without ever shutting it off...lol
Kevin

2006 GMC 4x4 CC/SB/sle1/LBZ**312,000 miles!!** PPE HOT+2 225 TUNE beeeyotch:-)AutoMeter egt/boost Suncoast 5 trans w/1056TC!tsktsk,billet in/out shafts/MagHytec pan!!,M/A built T-Case,4 in.str8piped,5%tint all around......
2007 Chevrolet 4x4 cc\sb,lbz.......SOLD to blunova
Also, I speed and don't come to complete stops at stop signs.


''don't sweat the petty things,pet the sweaty things''
Click below/pictures of my junk!!
http://www.duramaxforum.com/forum/vb...do=hall&u=8415
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post #9 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by japerry View Post
I'll be using a Racor 10 (or 30) Micron 'pre-filter' plugged into the vormax, and a Stanadyne 2 Micron final filter before the switch. I'm also thinking about putting a 60 micron screen filter up front since the fuel filters have so far to travel.. just in case other particulates get caught.

My oil is Canola, from a Mexican restaurant. I'll have to post pictures of my pumping process. =D
So basically you are going to have an on board filtering system?! Do I understand this correctly?! Will you pre-filter the oil by dewatering it and using a centrifuge?

Erik

*Self proclaimed and appointed moderator of the Alternative Fuels - Diesel - Additives - Lubricants Section*
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post #10 of 88 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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Your install looks great. I have a 08 that was running on a Golden fuel systems kit. The truck run great on SVO but my VOcontroller failed and did not shutdown the truck after I left it. This computer failure caused the the truck to run over night on svo. To make a long story short, it ended up that the engine oil had congealed stopping the lubrication of the engine and eventually killed the engine.

This happened to me with the current version of the VOcontroller so just be careful.
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