May 11 2010

Grease Car …part 1

I started on a project I wanted to do for 2 years.  Converting my car to run on used cooling oil (a grease car).   I have a friend who can give me all the waste vegetable oil (WVO) I want.  I had the equipment and supplies for almost 2 years, designed a dedicated electronic control system, but for some reason I never got started.  I guess Pats plane threw off my time line…  Building a veggie car is the only reason I bought the diesel Mercedes (Sherman the German).

The conversion plan will happen in stages. 

1.   Get the basic system operational for testing.  No electronics (a simple switch system), no automation, use the 8 gal tank for WVO, the main 20 gal tank will remain diesel.
2.  If everything works well, and I have have a steady supply of WVO, I’ll build the electronics for system automation.
3.  Switch the tanks so the main car tank is used for cooking oil and the smaller 8 gal tank is used for diesel.
4.  Improve the filtration system of WVO, and set up a dedicated area for processing it.   I want to build a centrifuge to get it as particle free as possible before putting it into the car
5.  Improve cold weather operation of the system by adding pre-heaters in the fuel tank, insulating fuel lines, etc. 

My main focus is just getting it going for testing.   Most of the stages will have to wait until after I get the plane done.

I am using a fairly simple system.  It takes WVO, heats, filters it, then using electric solenoid valves turns switch from diesel fuel to WVO.  You must get the WVO up to at least 150 deg F so it flows easily for filtering and burning.   The trick with this system is to start and shut down the engine with pure diesel fuel (to clean the injectors and pump) and have a way to switch over to WVO after the system heats up, hence the solenoid valves.

I am using a diagram I found on the web and some of my own ideas from my research.

..Click on the diagram to view..

See full size image

This is the space I have to work with.

The aluminum fuel tubing (I used 3/8″), heater core, filter and valves.

Installing the fuel lines was the worst part of the project and the dirtiest.

I was just filthy after this part of the project.

The liquid to liquid heater core is installed.  It takes hot water from the coolant system which flows through a 15 plate core which heats up the WVO.

I machined my own oil filter housing.  I didnt like the off the shelf type.

The system as installed.   My first focus is getting the car running again.  The diesel fuel/coolant system are operational  again, but I wont be able to start using WVO until I build the fuel tank. 

Here it is… my cardboard fuel tank.  I figure it will hold about 8 gal of WVO which well be good for about 160 miles.    This weekend, I’ll start on the fabrication of a real tank.

I need to get back to work on Pat’s plane….

May 06 2010

Sanding again

Once again I am sanding on the plane… and I HATE it.  Boring, dusty, my fingers don’t like it but it needs to be done.  

Today, I finished the fuselage and by COB tomorrow the canard will be done which completes all the epoxy rough sanding.  The parts will be primed, block sanded, then re-primer for the trip to CA where the plane will receive the final paint job. 

The interior paint has been ordered and should arrive next Tuesday from Calif.   The interior should be painted by the end of next week.  Pat should have the instrument  panel completed  next week.    Things are starting to move along much more quickly now. 

I am getting excited about wiring because it is the wiring that gives a plane a real personality and is when it comes alive.   As important as the structure and engine are, if the wiring is well done then the plane relatively trouble free.   Over the years, most of my maintenance issues have been mechanical (engine, brakes, etc) and very little to do with wiring.  I was lucky, because at the time I knew nothing about plane wiring.    I am planing to installmy Grand Rapids HX in my plane which means I’ll have to re-wire Tweety.  I”ll be able to install a nose lift, blending winglets and correct my mediocre wiring  job, and make a bunch of improvements similar to the ones installed in Pats plane.

May 03 2010

Epoxy coating

Today was spent on epoxy coating the canard, elevators and micro repairs on the fuselage.  I put 5 coat of west on the uppers surfaces.  It is amazing how well it fills pinholes and scratches.  Tomorrow the bottom surfaces will be coated.    After the epoxy hardens, I’ll be able to sand the surfaces and prime them. 

Fuselage repairs have been coated too.

Between the epoxy applications the mounting of the electrics has begun.  Before the plane is wired, locations most of the equipment  needs to be found.   Clearances checked so you can get the components out if it needs to be serviced (when the plane is fully assembled).    The problem with a LongEZis  how tight everything is.   Without the instrument panel (with the radios installed), it is becoming hard for me to imagine where all the stuff is going to go.   This plane is PACKED with goodies and space is really tight.    One has to imagine electrical interferences (high power lines, transmitter cables, magnetic interferences, ground planes, etc) so everything will work without “cross talk” or noise in the audio system.  What a PITA.