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Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/04/2012 4:07 PM

Just to share something funny: a friend I visited in Germany some weeks ago, recently bought a 20 + years old Mercedes Benz (series 200 D or so) to run it on used cooking oil. He picked me up at my hotel and drove me around Berlin to show me how his "experiment" worked. The car´s engine sounded and did great. He told me he picks the oil up at some restaurants and filters it at home before pouring it into the tank. It´s a bit messy, but running for free is the award!

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#1

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/04/2012 5:39 PM

I have a small diesel engine that I run on a mix of 80% used oils and 20% E85 if that says anything.

Contrary to what the enviro nutters EPA and petroleum industy want us to think any mechanically injected diesel will run on almost any form of thin oils be it used, veggie or other.

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/04/2012 6:18 PM

well, his car runs 100% on used veggie oil. Germans love to trick the establishment!

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#8
In reply to #1

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/04/2012 11:54 PM

"Contrary to what the enviro nutters EPA..."

I know you hate them, but I've never heard "enviro nutters " or the (presumably USA's) EPA saying that a diesel engine can't be run on used oil.

There may be problems with the exhaust quality but that's a different thing altogether.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 12:53 AM

I find the aroma emanating from the exhaust of a diesel engine running on used vegetable oil much more pleasant than that when running on diesel. Sort of smells like cooking french fries...

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#43
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/09/2012 10:25 AM

As I understand it, it's illegal in the UK, because the used oil isn't taxed for road use. Tax evasion is worse than global warming, it seems.

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#46
In reply to #1

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

08/24/2012 10:56 AM

Thin is one of the keywords. Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) has the problems of higher viscosity to begin with, plus the fact that hydrogenation & breakdown from heating contributes more free fatty acids & other wonderful things (that are waxy) that can help gum up injectors. Diesel injectors are designed to work at with a certain viscosity of fluid;if it gets too thick the atomization & power & efficiency) suck & you get carbonization. SVO usually works well heated to about 160 F, biodiesel is about right to begin with but can damage rubber hoses on older cars.

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#2

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/04/2012 6:10 PM

Maybe 10 years ago I'd heard of people using home heating oil. Supposedly cheaper per gallon due to lower taxes.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/04/2012 6:16 PM

Well, that may be illegal in some states / countries, cause heating fuels are subsidized by the state...

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#12
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 5:08 AM

Well if you're using it be sure to include your home address so the TAX man knows where to come, In England it is an offence to avoid TAX and VAT and you can be put in prison for using it,and whilst you're in there you can get free health care,free dentistry,three square meals a day,heating,fitness equipment----Where can I buy red diesel?

Bazzer.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 5:28 AM

Would electricity used to charge EVs be subject to the road tax as well?

What if the energy was derived from a home wind or solar setup (let's not talk about the practicalities of volume here) would folk using this still be taxed on a deeming basis and be required to meter their own energy and declare it?

Tax is just a protection racket....pay up and you won't be harmed.

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#26
In reply to #13

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 3:16 PM

I heard on the news a few weeks ago that the USA is looking into taxing on miles driven. It seem the higher MPG ratings of hybrids, small diesels and alternative fuels are reducing the tax revenues at the gas pump.

2 sure things in this world

Death and Taxes

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#29
In reply to #26

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/06/2012 6:59 AM

NZ has a regime like this for diesel fueled road vehicles.

I can't figure what sort of behavior the tax is supposed to encourage.

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#35
In reply to #26

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/08/2012 9:37 AM

Yes and before long, Electric/gas cars will be just as expensive to run than any other. Remember when Diesel was 25 cents and Gas was 50 cents, Now Gas is $3.30 and Diesel is $3.65. the Government will always find a way to get there hands deeper in your pocket.

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#40
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/08/2012 6:13 PM

Now, I'm not pro government. In fact I'm vehemently anti government.

However it's not all their fault.

Commercial pressures have risen the price of petroleum to where it is.

Remember when the "oil crisis" happened and the price per barrel went to $1.50, and the government legislated that damned 55mph national speed limit/

Well, what was the pump price then?

And now when crude is back to $$mid 80's, what is the pump price?

And, hasn't the per gallon price of refining come down? Like, our current dollar isn't worth as much as a 1980's dollar -- won't buy as much?

So, with the fixed percentage of tax revenue per gal finished petro product, whos really getting up whom?

Just saying!

So now you know how an oil company can find billions of dollars so as to payout claims, and to award their top execs 10-25 $million p/a salary packages.

We're being right royally screwed, by everyone.

Stu.

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#41
In reply to #35

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/09/2012 7:50 AM

And soon there will be a wave of electric gizmos to lie about the miles traveled. Sort of like the cable TV boxes for pay channels.

Blank is beautiful man!

Gotta be someone out there that remembers what movie that is from.

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/09/2012 8:25 AM

Blank is beautiful man!

Gotta be someone out there that remembers what movie that is from.

Hard to tell from that statement if you don't know or have forgotten, or it is meant as a challenge.

It was a show too smart, too true, to last very long.

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#28
In reply to #13

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/06/2012 3:40 AM

You've got it, legalised highway robbery, Many years ago when I was an apprentice engineer we used to mess about trying to save money on fuel costs,at the time petrol was 3shillings & 9pence, thats about 17pence today and that's for a gallon not a Litre, In those days there were 4 Dollars to the pound £. to overcome the high price of fuel we put in a separate tank that held 2 gallons of petrol & used the main tank for paraffin,at 1 shilling a gallon it made sense, so you start on petrol & when you got to operating temp switch to paraffin, this worked really well, then we found that fuel on the river was 9 pennies a gallon so we had a boat and would take it up to Battersea pier,fill up with 100 gallons of petrol which was 4 x what the boat needed, come down to Blackwall slip & off load into drums, this worked well until one of the vehciles we used to back down the slip went off the side & into the Thames, this was more costly than buying fuel at the right price.

Bazzer.

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/06/2012 7:01 AM

I don't suppose that a few drinks were involved in this scheme?

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#14
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 5:32 AM

.....and really really illegal......costs a fortune here if you are caught!

There is a "marker" in heating oil that can be found even years later of running on diesel......

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#25
In reply to #14

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 2:57 PM

That's why you buy a used diesel and blame the Previous Owner.......LMAO!

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#27
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 4:44 PM

EXACTLY!!!!

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#23
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 1:04 PM

10 years ago the EPA had not set the standards on heating oil they have today. Most heating oil today is closer to diesel then they use to be to increase air quality. The processing has increased the cost pretty close to what diesel is.

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#31
In reply to #23

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/07/2012 5:28 AM

Did I mention that we, My work mates and I,Found a way of taking the red colour out of agricultural diesel? No well you run it through a glass tube surrounded by UV lamps, it comes out clear.

Bazzer

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/07/2012 9:16 AM

How can anyone tell what colour it is inside the tank anyway?

The only way someone would see it is if they were milking your vehicle. Last time Ii checked fuel thieves weren't dobbing.

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#37
In reply to #32

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/08/2012 9:49 AM

If the Cops here in the U.S. think you are running off road Diesel in your truck or car, They WILL pull you in and siphon some out and test it.

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#38
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/08/2012 11:33 AM

Testing on mere suspicion?

What would make them think you were using it? Profiling perhaps?

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#39
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/08/2012 5:09 PM

Here in the Good old U.S.A. they don't need Probable cause. They will always have some BS excuse as to why they stopped you. It's all about Quotas and the Money

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#33
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/08/2012 4:04 AM

Here, they don't look for the colour, they test for the chemical with a special test kit, that reacts to very tiny concentrations, that only a tank change will fix.

The best method is to have a second (hidden/disguised) tank for heating oil only and run the injector return back into the line, not back to the (main) tank as many are done....a non return valve is also a requirement to make sure that no red fuel gets back into the normal tank....

I have never done it, but I have researched it......you do need accurate drawings of how your fuel lines run before doing anything.....

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#34
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/08/2012 4:23 AM

In the early days they didn't check with chemicals they took a sample then held it against a colour chart so they could see if the fuel was red or a diluted red that showed that at some time it had had red in it. Another thing was a false filler tube which was made to take the filler cap but was a capped off tube the length of the width of the tank this held maybe a gallon of diesel so if the men from the excise office dipped the tank they would get genuine fuel.

Bazzer

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#36
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/08/2012 9:46 AM

It shows that there are many ways to skin a Del cat!!!

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#5

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/04/2012 8:45 PM

i wonder if it is legal, not because of the fuel but because of what is coming from the exhaust, but a 20 year old car maybe it is exempted.

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#6

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/04/2012 10:56 PM

I've certainly heard of that. Must be filtered well to avoid clogging the injectors. Joke about the exhaust smells like French Fries!

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#15
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 5:35 AM

Its no joke, it really does smell like that.....Many do it here....

Some drive to the supermarket and buy 20 liters of new cooking oil at about half the price of diesel......doesn't need filtering!

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#17
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 5:47 AM

Diesel is about USD1.20/litre here. I'm pretty sure cooking oil is more expensive. otherwise everybody would be doing it.

You find lots of cheap adulterated diesel in the bush..mixed with palm oil (if you are lucky) and water.

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#20
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 6:48 AM

In Germany Diesel (not on the Autobahns, there it is usually even more expensive) around €1.45 (US 1.81) and in Austria, up to €1.66 (US 2.00) per liter. Salad oil from a cheap supermarket is far far less, €0.80 a liter or so, cheaper in volume.....its well worth the effort.

Stupidly, VW some years ago made all their engines to run on Bio diesel, but those with extra diesel burning heating units, were not, so if you had the "Stand-Heizung", you still could not use oil from plant material!!!!

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#7

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/04/2012 11:40 PM

My understanding is that in California, restaurants no longer offer free used cooking oil to anyone who wants to cart it off...seems the idea has enough momentum in some circles to create value in that used cooking oil...

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#44
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/09/2012 10:36 AM

I believe the CA nanny state decided only licensed waste handling companies could collect used cooking oil, using some sort of protection of the environment excuse for doing it. So, the restaurant cannot legally give you the used oil, and you cannot evade the fuel taxes with it.

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#10

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 1:36 AM

DCO (direct cooking oil) setups need to have some form of heating in the fuel lines to keep it thin enough to work in some climates.

Filtering is easily taken care of with the existing arrangement.

DCO is better than biodiesel IMHO as it requires no processing prior to use. Although biodiesel use requires no tinkering of the engine it needs caustic soda to make it and results in a a byproduct which has to be dealt with. Not really practical as a broadly adopted alternative. Better to just buy biodiesel than make it if you don't have the wherewithall to mod the engine.

Used to be a time when food establishments had to pay to have their spent oils removed. Now they can sell it. Sweet.

Do you think your friend in Germany might be inclined to share some first hand experience with us here?

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#18
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 5:48 AM
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#11

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 4:20 AM

What most people don't understand is the engine was never designed to run on "Diesel"

Fredric Diesel designed the engine to run on peanut oil, a vegetable oil.

The engine was then taken by the oil producers as it could run on there waste oil which we now know as diesel, because its Mr Diesels engine ! .

In Europe there are a number of companies set up that will supply you with the kits to modify a diesel car,
its simply a extra fuel tank, piping, a switch over valve, maybe a few other connection parts.

High pressure diesel / direct injection, the system doesn't see to work with this, the injectors may clog up.

Vegetable oil is thicker than Diesel so you start the engine on Diesel the switch to Vegetable oil.
This is not that different to how diesel use to work before they additives were used to stop it freezing in cold weather.
my granddad said they some times lit a fire under the tank in the winter to get the fuel flowing.
(wasn't life so much easier back then, no health and safety and the jobs just got done)

There are problems with some fuel pumps, the Diesel has additives to lubricate the pump that the Vegetable oil doesn't, so some cars are not compatible because of the fuel pump, but not the engine.

One of the main issues is the road tax, you have to pay tax on all fuel used to run a vehicle on the road, getting free oil and not paying the tax is illegal,
you could opt to inform the tax man and pay if you want to stay in the law but this seems to go against the idea of running the car for free.

Did you know you can also run a petrol car on wood?
in WW2, people in Europe didn't have fuel, so, burnt wood in a tank, piped the gas produced and fed it into a reservoir, then to the engine.
It was done recently for a TV program and worked, not as good as petrol but it got the car moving well enough.

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#16
In reply to #11

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 5:46 AM

My folks had these during "the depression".

The real value of 'running boards'.

Check this: www.angelfire.com/ak5/energy21/woodfire.htm

Cheers,

Stu.

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#19
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Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 6:33 AM

I take to task a few of your statements, they are either wrong or need extra text to be fully correct:-

High pressure diesel / direct injection, the system doesn't see to work with this, the injectors may clog up.

Basically all diesels are direct inject, a few some years ago had a small combustion chamber that was directly "vented" from the main cylinder....where the fuel started burning, but basically no different in what happens to the injectors. Not like petrol engines for example...if you meant that a specific diesel technology can be a problem, then state that correctly....

I looked around and on a good website I found this:-

Welche pkw lassen sich umruesten?

"Grundsätzlich sind fast alle Diesel-PKW umrüstbar, unabhängig vom jeweiligen Einspritzsystem. Dies umfasst Fahrzeuge mit Kammerdieselmotoren, mit traditioneller Direkteinspritzung (TDI), mit Pumpe/Düse-Direkteinspritzung (PDI) und mit Common Rail-Direkteinspritzung (CDI, HDI etc.)."

Translation:-

What vehicles can be upgraded ?

"Basically, almost all diesel passenger cars are convertable, regardless of the injection system. This vehicle includes with chamber diesel engines, with traditional direct injection ( TDI ) with pump/nozzle injection ( PDI ) and with common rail direct injection ( CDI, HDI , etc. ) ."

Which is basically saying that any diesel technology can be used. I know that some seals in some engine ancillaries do not react well to non diesel fuels....but that is all....there are seals around nowadays that are not soluble with such fuels...

I found that here:-

http://jetzt.sueddeutsche.de/texte/anzeigen/376910

Common rail is a high pressure system, but as most people doing this are trying to save money, they don't do it often on new cars with guarantee.....so mostly older cars.

There are problems with some fuel pumps, the Diesel has additives to lubricate the pump that the Vegetable oil doesn't, so some cars are not compatible because of the fuel pump, but not the engine.

Some oil companies make a lot of Blah Blah about additives, they are only needed in winter to get "winter" diesel, not for lubrication......Don't believe everything the oil companies tell you!! Diesel is a lubricant, some people fill a petrol engine with diesel oil to clean all the oilways, works fine on most engines.....so it lubricates quite well....

One of the main issues is the road tax, you have to pay tax on all fuel used to run a vehicle on the road, getting free oil and not paying the tax is illegal, you could opt to inform the tax man and pay if you want to stay in the law but this seems to go against the idea of running the car for free.

Maybe in some countries......not here....

....people in Europe didn't have fuel, so, burnt wood in a tank, piped the gas produced and fed it into a reservoir, then to the engine. It was done recently for a TV program and worked, not as good as petrol but it got the car moving well enough.

It works best on larger petrol engines as the power output per CC is limited, so big engines, above 3 liters, do better....many do this in Germany still, but most use a trailer behind the car nowadays to haul the boiler and wood, with a flexible tube running to the air intake.....it probably gives only about a third of the BHP, maybe even less, I am guessing.....older engines with mechanical fuel injection seem to work best I am told.....no expensive electronics to fool....makes sense.

I saw a big old Mercedes from around 1976 running on wood gas a few years ago with a 4 liter (odd) petrol motor....max speed was 120km/hour I was told.....as 80 KMH is the max allowed only with trailer, it didn't bother the owner one bit!!!!

It may even have been one of these:-

I hope this is of interest to all concerned.

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#21

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 7:13 AM

Sticker seen on the side of a diesel in Southwold 4 years ago:

"This car is a vegetarian."

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 10:30 AM

Interestingly,

ALL diesel fuelled engines are "vegetarian"

Petroleum fuel is organic.

Cheers.

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/05/2012 1:12 PM

OMG!!! you are right!!!!!

::::AND WE SAY MINERAL OIL::::::::

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#45

Re: Car Running on Used Cooking Oil

07/09/2012 11:05 AM

Back during the Carter oil crisis, my brother and his companion built a van (Ford Econoline) with dual controls and a (then new) Continental "liter engine" diesel that made the "Mobius trip", coast to coast (Carmel, CA to NY) and return (10,000 kilometers, via LA), non-stop, non-refueled, on non-petroleum fuel. Yes, with the interstates, it's possible to never have the wheels stop turning, though a cop almost shot them when they rolled through the CA agricultural inspection point (with a pre-arranged permit). With the dual controls, they switched off the driving, had a bed in the back. The fuel, given them on the condition they not reveal the source, was raw cottonseed oil. Going over the mountains (cold) they had to heat the fuel line to prevent a waxy substance from clogging the fuel filters (two in parallel, to allow changing one while driving). Otherwise, no problems. The injectors did not coke up. Yes, the exhaust smelled like french fries. Interestingly, they visited the Continental plant, after the run, on the day Continental ceased production of the engine. A TV station, which televised their departure, didn't bother covering their return, as returning without a crash and burn was not newsworthy. The automotive press did not want to know. The RV magazines said it wasn't a diesel motor home, only a van, and would not cover the successful use of non-petroleum fuel. They finally got into the Guinness Book of Records for one year (distance unrefueled) but were then deleted, supposedly because the van was not a stock production model.

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