3 year update.
Iím three years into this veg life and thought I would post a bit of an update. In 2008, I purchased a í96 F-250 and installed a goldenfuels kit. Their customer service was great and their tanks are awesome. Turned out the kit didnít really deliver, so that led to the overhaul of my system, posted here:
SVO Conversion: 1 Year update
Electric fuel system upgrade on veg conversion.
Thanks to a lot of help from guys here on the .org, I got a bomber system running. Since that time, my only hang-up has been with my purge valve. The first one I installed broke almost immediately. Leon (WVO designs) was awesome and replaced it for me under warranty. The second one lasted about 9 months before it seized and stuck open. I had purchased a spare, so I installed that one. However, Iíll probably buy a different valve the next time around.
The system is now at 65k SVO miles and I love it. Here are a few of my thoughts based on my experience. Not everyone will agree, that is fine.
1. The check valve based conversion is simple, elegant, and relatively bombproof. I think this is the way to go on a PSD and minimizes the number of parts prone to failure.
2. Get the burliest fuel pump you can. Anything less will get fried.
3. I love the Racor 1000 filters. Yes, the FASS can handle it on the vacuum side. Filters are cheap, the water block works (no it doesnít filter water, just blocks it), and with my 3 tank system I can dumpster dive and use these filters when I need to.
4. Time is your friend with filtering oil. Centrifuges are sexy, but ultimately unnecessary. After a couple of weeks (in a decently warm garage) oil will settle out to 5 microns or so. Water is heavier than oil and sinks. I store my oil in a 330 gallon tote in my garage and pump off the top. Every once in a while I drain the manky funk off the bottom. Doesnít get much more simple than that.
5. Coolant heat is better than electric heat. Every electric heating element I have used has failed. As long as the truck has coolant in it, my coolant heating works. I do a heated pickup, HOH for the fuel line, wrap my filter in coolant line (ouch, thatís 15 ft of line!), and use a big FPHE in the engine valley. I did add an aux coolant pump (not sure itís needed on the 7.3 and would probably skip it next time to keep things simple), and it does take a few extra minutes to warm up in the winter. One thing I would add is a warm coolant circulator to run in the AM instead of a block heater.
6. Running veg will never be as easy as going to the pump. For me, it is absolutely worth it, but if you are thinking of getting into this, recognize that it does take some time, you will inevitably make a few messes, and none of us will design and install a system that will run without any hitches. There is some inevitable maintenance and repair that needs to be done at home because itís not worth the time to explain the whole thing to a mechanic. That being said, I have avoided burning thousands of gallons of diesel and Iím proud of that. Iíve also saved myself over $15k in fuel costs (and thatís after recouping the expense of the veg parts) and thatís pretty awesome.
All in all, a great move and I deeply appreciate all the help Iíve had from folks here on the org!