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Old 12-03-2011, 09:47 AM
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Low WVO temps

I'm having trouble getting my WVO up to temp, let me describe my system and maybe someone will have some insight into the best way to increase my heat.

'01 7.3L Powerstroke (Excursion) with 203 deg thermostat replacement
Heated 40 gal Excursion tank from BiofuelsTechnologies
From tank, Hose in Hose (approx 3') aluminum fuel line inside 3/4" diameter coolant hose to fuel pump
unheated line from fuel pump to coolant heated filter
unheated line from coolant heated filter to FPHE (30 plate)
unheated line FPHE to test ports (deadhead system)

I tapped into the 5/8" dia coolant line just above the vertical inlet on the fuel pump right under the plastic "Powerstroke" cover. My coolant goes fuel pump -> FPHE -> filter -> HIH ->WVO tank -> return.

When my truck is up to temp all of the coolant fittings and heat exchangers are very hot to the touch, but the brass fittings through which the WVO flows are relatively cool. My temp sensor is after my FPHE, when I've run the WVO on it a bit, the engine performance seems equivalent to stock D2, but the temp of the WVO barely passes 100 degrees. When I purge, the WVO that has been residing in the fuel rails is pushed backwards through my system, and past my temp sensor, which only goes up to about 130 degrees, so I think that my injection temp is only about 130 degrees.

My filter head also has a electic heater element built in (which is just a glow plug), but I haven't wired it up yet, because I haven't decided the best way to wire and control it. I'm nervous that a glow plug which is heating a small volume of oil for the 10 minutes it takes to warm up the truck (before the WVO is actually flowing) will have some adverse effect on the oil, is this a valid concern?

I should also say that I'm in WA state, and it gets below freezing at night at this time of year.

Any help would be appreciated!


Any ideas?
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:57 AM
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big picture

I guess before I modify my system, I should ask:

Is 130 degrees in the fuel rails acceptable?
What are the implications of leaving it as is?
Have I done any damage to my engine by burning WVO at this temp? (I've only burned about 6-8 gallons through it so far)
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Old 12-03-2011, 04:36 PM
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You have no done any damage to your engine. Not yet anyway. I would not be ok with running 130 degree VO temp. You should have at least 160 degree temp IMHO but a good working system should be able to reach 180 at any outisde temp. Of course the colder it is outside the longer it will take to get there.

If you leave it as is you run a high risk of coking your injectors, cylinder walls, piston heads, rings, valves, push rods etc. This won't happen over night but most likely will eventually happen.

Do you have the FPHE plumbed correctly? They are directional. It should show somewhere on the FPHE which are the inlets & outlets for the coolant & VO. If you don't have it plumbed correctly then it will not heat the VO as well.

This probably is not your problem but do you have a heated pickup in your tank?

What VO pump are you using? Fass? Raw Power?

If your concerned about your electric heated filter then wire it up so it doesn't come on until you switch over. You still have coolant flowing through the heat right? Not a big fan of heating the filter with electric anyway. I prefer a heater hose wrap.

You did tap into the hoses going to the heater core right? And the feed line that goes to the heater core is the one you tapped into to feed your system? Did you install shut off valves on the heater hose & VO coolant lines? This aloows you to restrict the flow to the heater core & send more coolant to you VO system.

I would also suggest that you do a TIH on the fuel line going from the filter to the FPHE. An auillary coolant pump would be a good addition as well.

Wrapping all your VO lines with insulation would help but is most likely not your problem. Also a winter grill cover is a good idea.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:47 AM
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I have the FPHE plumbed correctly (opposite flow). I do not have a heated fuel pickup, but there is a coolant loop within the tank. At this point, any modifications that require the tank to come down will be a real pain - the custom excursion tank fits up into the underside of the chasis, so none of the fittings are accessible without removing the tank.

I'm using the Raw Power pump.

I wired up the glow plug heater, but did not notice a significant change (I was driving this thing around in 35 degrees last night). I still need to verify this component is functioning properly.

I believe I tapped into the correct location on the coolant hose - between the heater core and the water pump. I did not install any valves, I just plumbed the WVO coolant lines "in-line" with the rest of the coolant system, so right now all the coolant is going to the WVO system. I checked again last night - all of the coolant fittings are very hot to the touch - probably close to the 203 degrees that the engine is supposedly running at. For some reason, the WVO coming out of the FPHE is still luke-warm.

The line between the pump and filter and then filter and FPHE are only about 12" long each, so I did not TIH them, because I needed the flexibility (literally) in order to get the lines to route the way they needed to go.

One thing I noticed: When the truck had been running on low-temp WVO for quite a while (110 @ the temp sender - probably 130 in the fuel rail), I stopped at a long light, and the temp was slowly creeping up (maybe to 120). Once I got back up to 40 or 50 MPH, the temp started dropping again down to 110 or 105. Outside air temp was about 36 degrees. I'm thinking that the cold air flowing around my lines and fittings and fuel filter is keeping the temp down. The next thing I'm going to try is insulating the system.

I only have about 5 gal of WVO in my tank now, it's going to take forever to heat up when I have 35 or 40 gal in the tank.
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Old 12-10-2011, 07:51 AM
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Update: I insulated all my lines, and added a coolant-line wrap around my filter. I was driving it at highway speeds last night when the outside temps were 20 degrees +/-. My pre-engine oil temp was only registering about 110, so I guess my heat exchange system is only capable of delivering 90 degrees into the oil - that will be great in the spring and summer, but it's a little frustrating now.

I still haven't decided how I'm going to try to get another 20-30 degrees into my oil.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:09 AM
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I have a 2nd Gen PSD 7.3. I have a DFA style conversion done myself.

I have no problem reaching 180f at highway speeds when my coolant is at 200f or so.

The only differences between our setups as you described:

1. I have a 36 plate FPHE that feeds a HoH to the heads.
2. My filter is coolant wrapped with 3/4" coolant lines from top to bottom.
3. My WVO temp sensor is right at the heads so I see head temp wvo on purges like you.

Get a winter front.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:59 PM
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Ultimate frustration!

Thanks for all of your input guys. Here are my latest thoughts.

I replumbed the coolant lines with ball valves so that I could cut out the heater core, for the moment - also so that if I ever spring a leak in my WVO system I can easily isolate the system and run stock without spilling coolant all over the roadway. I tapped into the 5/8" line that comes directly out of the engine block on the passenger side V (sort of behind the belt tensioner pulley) to feed my WVO - is this the hottest point that I can get coolant? This is where Vegistroke kit recommends to access the coolant. After it goes through my system, it returns to the top of the water pump.

Again, all of my heater hose fittings under my rig are very hot, it just doesn't seem to transfer to my oil. One thought I had - since I'm running an Excursion, not a truck, all of my components are exposed under the chasis, and cold air is flowing over everything as I drive - also my tank has a lot of surface area and it's not insulated (even though it's heated). The other day I was in stop and go traffic and my oil eventually got up to 150. Once I got back up to highway speed, it dropped down again. This makes me think that I just need to insulate everything very well. I guess I will try to get some rigid board insulation to cover the bottom and sides of my tank, and cover everything else with tubing insulation or styrofoam.

Anyone have suggestions for a winter grill?

Any tried and true ways to inject 30 to 40 degrees into the WVO over a short length?
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:54 AM
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Bad temp sender?

Have you checked your temps with an infrared gun close to where your temp sender is? Just a thought to rule out one variable. I bought a $30 one and keep it in the truck as a good way to trouble shoot.

Can you isolate the loop to your in tank exchanger? My truck will hardly come up to running temp when I have the loop for my tank heat exchanger open. when the wvo in tank is frozen, coolant temp in will be 150 and out will be 60 or lower back to the water pump. Your tank is acting like a huge radiator by heating the mass uninsulated. Hotfox might be an option and only use the in tank exchanger when it is super cold? I only open my tank exchanger loop to unfreeze and transfer oil between sides in my 100gal tank (GFS split tank). As you said, it will take FOREVER to heat your 40 gallons full tank when it is frozen solid. Let alone get heat to the cabin.

An alaska bra made a 30-40deg (150s-->180s) difference at highway speeds for my system in 5-10deg outside temps. Some folks are just running a piece of cardboard between the a/c and radiator, i think the bra looks and functions pretty well so far. Maybe even too well on mtn pass pulls.

Maybe try insulating your FPHE, mine looses a ton of heat it seems. 2" blue polystyrene is what I will be using, nobody sees it under there anyway.

Sorry to bombard you with thoughts, this is my first winter with my homebrew system and I am learning as well.

Rubberside down,

02 F350, 227k, cclb, 203 deg, coolant filter, stancor GPR, max a/c

FN74/SkySki inspired system, 100gal split tank GFS (repurposed) tank, hot fox, 20 plate FPHE, check valved, purge, HOH, heated Racor 1000FH and 23amp FASS pump.
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