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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i just installed a plantdrive system on my 97 PSD, heated front tank for veggie, rear for dino/bio diesel. i'm using the stock two stage mechanical lift pump, no electric boost pump or anything. looking for feedback from others that run a vacuum gage between their heated veg filter and the lift pump. what kind of vacuum readings are typical? i'm running between 5-8 inches of vacuum with a new filter and good clean oil. i was wondering how much vacuum people are running at before changing a filter.

no noob here, ive been running my 83 benz 240D on veg oil for over 2 years, and this truck was running bio-d for the last 18 months, so i have enough knowledge to be dangerous. i'm just looking for some tribal knowledge from the powerstroke gurus.

thanks
 

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i can't answer your question, i have a different setup, no vacuum on my filter.
 

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I have a '97 PSD with the PlantDrive kit installed two years ago. On my Vormax is a vacuum gauge. It's color coded green-yellow-red on the dial with no corresponding numbers. After a vegoil filter change and for the next few thousand miles the vacuum gauge is at the bottom of the green meaning <1" of vacuum. At about 7" of vacuum noticeable power loss will be felt at the go pedal so that when it's time to change filters. On my rear tank Racor filter head I installed another vacuum gauge. This one with numbers. At most I see 2" running B99 cold and when it's warmer out and the B99 is warmer it's <1".

If you're seeing 5-8" of vacuum with a new filter and clean oil there must be a kink in your fuel line. You say clean oil. Does that mean dry enough to pass a hot pan test? Wet oil will cause filter restriction (high vacuum readings) faster than sediment laden dry oil will. The filter media swells faster than it fills up with sediment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
well, i will have to do a pan test to find out how dry is dry. i normally settle my oil continuously in a 275 gal tote, take 50 gallon batches of oil off the top, heat in a hw heater, settle, take the crud off the bottom, then heat again and filter to 5 microns without testing. (same pre-treatment as my BD process). i'm used to running wvo this way in the benz, but she will usually tolerate anything you throw at her.

i'll have to check for a kink/other restriction in my hoses, its possible since i dropped the mid-ship tank to install the system. however, i didn't notice any loss of power at that level of vacuum. i've been road testing for about 100 miles now. i do know that one time when my old stock filter clogged on cold gelling bd, i got an idiot light on the diesel dash telling me the filter was full. i'm wondering if the beast has some sort of self test that would help me identify a full filter.

she's our family cruiser, so i want to make sure the system is running right before we take off for our summer road trips. wifey doesnt like it when i have to wrench the ride on the interstate!!!!!

thanks for the insight.
 

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I had a golden fuel systems setup on my 95 that had a Racor 1000FH filter. I would be running about 1-2" on a new filter, full acceleration, it would go upwards of 5-8". When the filter would plug it would rise to 15" and the mechanical fuel pump would start to cavitate and loose noticable power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well i drained the veg filter over the weekend, it has a drain valve built in. a quick comparative analysis of 100ml of the drained oil showed 2% water by weight. no violent spattering, just a few fine champagne bubbles and some steam before the oil started heating up past 250F. now that's 2% in the filter trap which i would expect to be a little higher in water content than the tank, but i decided not to check the oil in the tank, because i only have 2-3 gals left in there anyway.

i'm running another batch of veg oil through my home filter system, so i will check the water content before i drop it in this time. dry oil to me for the benz and biodiesel making has always been less than 2%, so time to change my standards.

anybody have a number they shoot for with their WVO?
 

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anybody have a number they shoot for with their WVO?
I shoot for zero bubbles in a hot pan test. If I see bubbles I re-heat the whole 55 gallon drum again to 160*F and S-L-O-W cool and check again. My standards have gotten stricter since in hind sight I was sloppy in the beginning. I've always wanted to measure the water content of the drained oil on my Vormax but never did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i just ran another 50 gal batch of oil through my appleseed biodiesel rig. ran it up to 250F agitated, steam and condensation drips coming out of the vent for a few minutes. let it cool for a few days, drained off the bottom 5 gal and put that back in my 275 gal holding tank. heated the oil to 120F and filtered to 5 microns. tested an eyedropper full with a hot pan NO BUBBLES. had to spit in the pan just to be sure i wasnt fooling myself. so now that dry oil is in the truck. i'm still reading high filter vacuum, but no loss of power at the GO pedal. so i'm thinking, maybe the gage is not calibrated well and i'm worrying about nothing.
we'll see. i can always hit the tank switch if she starts to stumble, but i am worried that i'm taking miles off my fuel pump. i had to replace it when i first got the truck two years ago, and i think it was $400 at the navistar shop. (i dont go to the ford stealership unless i have to)
 
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