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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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:

 

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Discussion Starter #2
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!
 

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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:):)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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
 

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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...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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
 

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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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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!!!

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:D
 

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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
 

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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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Discussion Starter #11
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.
Thats good to know. thanks for the info! did you talk to Ray and find out what happened?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
The conversion is nearly finished! Time for some more photos

Wiring the Beast
For the wiring, I used the VOController, available at vocontroller.com. Ray has done a pretty good job of documenting the installation. You can download the install module here: http://www.vocontrol.com/VegECU_Manual_2.pdf

What I will be covering here is the specific installation of the VOController on the Duramax. I have the 'premium' version of the controller (not the starter edition). Relevant pages:
  1. 13: Fuel Sender wiring diagram
  2. 14: Temperature sender diagrams
  3. 18: Valve diagram with FASS Pump. Note, the diagram doesn't cover the loop valve, which is on page 15. You can add the wiring for 15 where the supply valve is on page 18
  4. 20: Sorta.. in theory. Eventually I'll be using a heater blanket for the Racor if I can't get the temp up enough
  5. 21: Auto purge and ignition wiring
  6. 25: Fuel pressure transducer sender diagram

The other pages talk about the configuration of the controller. I haven't fully configured it yet, so thats for another post.

Tapping into the ignition circuit
Taking apart the steering wheel in the GM is quite easy. This is a great writeup which explains howto access the ignition harness. Once its all apart, the harness is in plain view. Route the 'Accessory' and 'Power 1' wires to the ignition switch:


The accessory wire goes into the brown wire in the harness, and the Power 1 wire goes into the orange wire in the harness. The brown gets voltage when you turn the key to ACC, orange gets voltage when you turn to ON.


I put the ignition relay underneath the dash, near the air bag wire. There is a nice screw that you can attach the relay to.


Here is the end result, after some tape to make it look good.


You can put back together the steering wheel. It might be good to double check your work with a volt meter if you're unsure you did everything right.

Pressure Transducer
I've mounted this sensor to one of the auxiliary feeds on the Stanadyne filter head. The wires are shielded and need to run up front. important! Don't run the transducer wires along side the FASS pump!
Since the wires are 22AWG shielded, it'd be good to find a 4-6 wire shielded cable to splice to:


You can see in the picture below that the battery and FASS cables run alongside the insulated fuel lines (to the right). On the left, I looped out the grey cable to show where I ran the transducer. This will keep the two from interfering. Make sure that when the cables come into the engine compartment to still keep the FASS and transducer wires as far apart as possible.


The grey wire comes out, and crimps to the associated wires specified in the VOcontroller manual.


Valves and FASS wiring
In page 18 (and 15) you'll see the 2 relays that control the pumps and valves. I don't have a Diesel fuel pump, so you can just tape off the Red lead that is supposed to run to the diesel fuel pump.


Also make sure the FASS wires go far away from the temp and pressure wires. I suggest routing the ground and +12v in the front. The FASS needs to be wired directly to the battery feed and ground (not the chassis)

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wiring the +12v for controller
The controller itself does not need that much power. The ignition relay is low amperage, so is the illumination. I wired the ignition relay to the AUX power fuse (the right cigarette port) and the illumination is wired into one of the low-beam headlights. I'd rather put it in the running lights, but the 'add-a-circuit' is too big for this fuse spot, which is wedged between two relays.


Rear filter system
This is the complete filter setup in the back of the truck. You can see the pressure transducer on the left of the stanadyne filter head.


Fuel Sender
I wish the fuel tank had a cover for the wires and fuel lines. I'll probably get that fabbed up when I get case built around the filters.


VOController ECU
I placed the VOController in a nice little compartment under the driverside dash, to the upper left of the brake. It fits in well there. I then ran some shielded CAT5e wire up the A pillar into the roof for the LCD.


I put some packing foam behind the LCD to keep it pushed to the front, and then attached it with some velcro on the top and left side. It works pretty well, you can press on it and it doesn't move.


Whats left now?
1st, I gotta program the VOController for auto purge. Also need to bleed the VO lines. (I put 10 gallons of diesel in there so far. I'll gradually put in more VO)
The second thing I noticed is that the placement of the fuel temp sensor is not right. Since the temp sensor is currently AFTER the supply valve, it will display the temperature of diesel fuel and never raise in temperature to trigger the VO switch. I can manually purge now.
Lastly, do some wire cleanup in the engine bay.
 

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defer, I converted my LMM last summer with GFS system. Biggest mistake I've made in 20 years. :booboo I used to idle the engine for an hour or two at a time. I think that may have led to my problem, but I'm not the expert. I had about 1k on the engine oil when the engine oil life monitor told me to replace it. Missed opportunity. Perhaps if I DID change the oil, it may have saved me. I was convinced it was an error due to the WVO conversion. After 2k on the engine oil, I went to pull out of my drive one morning and the DIC told me there was no oil pressure. I checked the dipstick...nothin' but a sticky mess on the end of the stick. I pulled the drain plug..NUTHIN'! I dropped the lower oil pan and found it was full of a black thick jello-o-like substance. Long story longer...somehow the WVO leaked past the piston rings, contaminated the engine oil and polymerized it. After pulling the engine out, we discovered a spun main bearing. The engine had less than 20k total miles. Ever try to find a used or even a NEW replacement LMM? The first used I got was from a crap yard in Cincinatti. I pulled the glow plugs, spun the crank and was treated to a nice rusty water fountain from the cylinders. The engine had LOTS of water in it. I returned that $6,500 piece of scrap metal, but ate the $330 shipping cost. Anyway, I' ve received a few e-mails asking for my opinion on VO and DMax. Her it is again, take Chris' advise..DON'T DO IT! If you decide to try it anyway, I've got all the hardware for the dual 60gal trekker w/ IOS and a centrifuge/pump setup for sale!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't trust anything from GFS.. they didn't know what they were doing with Mercedes diesels when I worked with them when they were Greasel, and I'm not convinced they know much more now. They make guesses and assumptions that lead to the failures you ran into.

That said, I've been running a mix of WVO/diesel for the past few months now, no problems. But my mix is around 60/40 wvo/diesel. Sometimes a little higher for longer trips.

I need to contact Ray about an issue with the VOController.. the screen gets all funky when going back to diesel, its somewhat annoying.
 

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Very nice conversion!
I've been running WVO in my PSD for about 80k miles...the truck loves it. This is the first chevy i have seen converted...very rare.
 

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Hey japerry, do you have any experience running a mix of super filtered waste motor oil and either diesel or kerosene?
 

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As a former engineer with GM, I can tell you that the Duramax fuel system, with emphasis on the injectors are not designed for SVO (WVO), especially the LMM. The viscosity of the SVO is too much for the system.
Older Mercedes, Ford 7.3 and Cummins may work but those have not gone without their own set of problems. You kids hear that so-and-so has run this, or somebody else has run that or doing this. You need to stop and think and also consider the source of your information before you do something foolish such as SVO in a Duramax..
As someone else on a similar thread put it, IF YOU RUN SVO, YOU ARE PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULET with a very expen$ive fuel system. LB7 motor can run on processed bio fuel because the viscosity is similar, but not SVO and that is not an endorsement of processed bio fuel.
The moderators would be doing a big disservice to all if they made this thread a sticky.
 

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One of the Cummins guys at the Sun Coast Dyno Day did his run on hydraulic fluid. He says that he has run old oil, vegetable oil, and a few other things. He said that his year model had not had the optical sensor yet (1998). All he did was filter it to 2 microns.
 

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As a former engineer with GM, I can tell you that the Duramax fuel system, with emphasis on the injectors are not designed for SVO (WVO), especially the LMM. The viscosity of the SVO is too much for the system.
Older Mercedes, Ford 7.3 and Cummins may work but those have not gone without their own set of problems. You kids hear that so-and-so has run this, or somebody else has run that or doing this. You need to stop and think and also consider the source of your information before you do something foolish such as SVO in a Duramax..
As someone else on a similar thread put it, IF YOU RUN SVO, YOU ARE PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULET with a very expen$ive fuel system. LB7 motor can run on processed bio fuel because the viscosity is similar, but not SVO and that is not an endorsement of processed bio fuel.
The moderators would be doing a big disservice to all if they made this thread a sticky.
I agree 110%.

I use Biodiesel, but it is high quality and I mix it with diesel. We had a guy in our bio group loose an LMM to SVO and it was not covered under warranty.
 
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