Bio diesel users...

Discussion in 'The Loafing Shed' started by snaffle, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. snaffle

    snaffle Guest

    Are those of you who are burning bio diesel having problems?

    My husband is running between Illinois and New Jersey..
    says that he has seen HUNDREDS of semi's stranded along the interestate.

    They are all problems connected with the bio-diesel.

    He has not had those problems, neither have the guys in his company..
    they add one whole bottle of whatever the addititive is...
    to EACH diesel tank on the semi's even though the bottle says
    1/2 bottle per tank.
     
  2. Susan

    Susan New Member

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    Yup. The fuel I got at the truck stop wasn't biodeisel, but what I bought at Shell was and that is what gelled up on me. Not impressed.
     

  3. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    hubby is diesel mechanic for UPS-------do not use bio diesel in the winter IT GELS and any truck coming out of warmer temps do not run with winterized fuel. The fuel is gelling, the fuel filters are getting clogged.

    I buy winterized diesel at a Mobil and my truck is running great----as long as it is kept plugged in when sitting at home. It sits outside 24/7
     
  4. horsefreak

    horsefreak New Member

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    Ok how do know if it's bio-diesel does it say on the pump? Mine is running now with the additive and a fill up of whatever the fuck come out of the pump at the gas station. Hunsbands that's another story, at this point we think his batteries are trashed. We got it running yesterday after noon, this am no.
     
  5. Morganfan608

    Morganfan608 New Member

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    They are 'supposed' to post it on the pump if it is bio diesel. BF says, typically, Road Ranger is the only station selling winterized diesel and they only guarantee it to a certain temp below zero. Another big problem w/bio diesel is switching back & forth between bio and 'regular' diesel.......messes up a lot of shit in diesel trucks. I know of a large, locally owned truck stop, that payed out A LOT of money for not marking the pumps and screwing up A LOT of trucks.
     
  6. keechin

    keechin New Member

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    Yes, the crappy bio-diesel has my truck not running but what can you do when that is all that is available in your area?
     
  7. HFSH

    HFSH New Member

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    okay. Hold on her people. I really hate it when people bitch about bio. Biodiesel is the way of the future, but you have to know the facts about bio or you'll run into the problems stated. Biodiesel is gallon to gallon MUCH more efficient than ethanol.

    First, biodiesel is not crap. It's actually very GOOD for a diesel. It's much cleaner burning. It offers increased lubricity for a diesel, which ultra low sulfer diesel does not. ULSD is very hard on a diesel, many people either blend the two, or if they cannot get bio, they add a fuel conditioner that increases lubricity (such as Stanadyne Performance Plus). ULSD causes increased wear on the fuel system and engine, parts wear out quicker than they did with LSD.

    What biodiesel can and often does, is plug fuel filters because it will clear out all the CRUD that ULSD and LSD has left behind in fuel tanks and fuel lines. Biodiesel is a super cleaner! It will eat through lots of stuff, so you don't want to leave a bio fuel spill on the paint of your car/truck, and if you have old fuel lines, they will at some point leak because the bio will eat through them. So if you have an old truck and you start running B20 or greater (20/80 bio/ULSD), you had best have a fuel filter or two with you and know how to change it, and consider upgrading your fuel lines.

    HOWEVER, biodiesel is NOT to be used in extreme cold weather. It has a MUCH higher gel point than ULSD. You can normally get away with about a B20 mix at most up here in winter, but in this extreme cold, I would even hesitate to use B5. Some people will add Kerosene in if they have a high blend of bio, but you have to know what you are doing, and you have to know if the type of diesel engine you have will tolerate it.

    Any fleets that make a switch to bio had best do some research. There are major benefits to running bio, but again, as I said, on older vehicles, you have to plan on frequent fuel filter changes, and upgrading fuel lines, and if they run up here in the northern states, have plan B for winter (ie back to ULSD or a blend).

    If you're interested in learning more about bio, and I encourange everyone to check it out, to go www.biodiesel.org and for cold weather use, they have http://www.biodiesel.org/cold/
     
  8. HFSH

    HFSH New Member

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    oh by the way, biodiesel can be made from a variety of ingredients and not all source ingredients make for super bio. The best bio is made from rapeseed oil IMO, but it can be made from other veggie oils too.
     
  9. Susan

    Susan New Member

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    Thanks for that info. I hadn't really thought about it being that different and needing to change the way I do things in the cold. I have purchased my diesel fuel from Road Ranger for years. A new company bought in and now the private diesel sales have to be prepaid which means (in Springfield) you have to slide across the entire parking lot (because the auto diesel pump is the furthest out), dodging trucks and slipping on the ice to prepay and guess at how much you want to put in. Granted - I am the person who wants to fill the tank until the auto shutoff. If I overpay, I have to go back inside (crossing that damn parking lot again) to adjust the check. That totally pissed me off about three weeks ago and I started buying my fuel at Shell - which has the biodiesel. I usually keep "topping off" the tank - when it gets 1/4 down, I fill up so the sticker shock isn't too bad. Thus, I have blended the diesel and biodiesel (a bad thing I guess?) They changed my fuel filter and blew out the lines Thursday as well as added an antigel designed for biodiesel (the stuff I used was designed for the ULSD), but I guess I should watch for a fuel line leak now and maybe get an idea of what it would cost to replace the lines as my truck is a 99 model and I think I had new fuel lines put in two or three yrs ago. Sooooooo, if I ran the tank down to near empty and filled it at Road Ranger again, I'd be doing a bad thing for my engine - ?right? And if I keep on using the biodiesel, I had better use plenty of additive (the mechanic said I couldn't put "too much" in and that it was better to use more than the recommended amount than not enough). I guess I also need to ask Shell for specifics on the bio diesel I'm putting in the truck - I had no idea the differences in mixes.
     
  10. HFSH

    HFSH New Member

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    NO, not a bad thing at all! By adding more ULSD you're just diluting down the % of bio, which in the extreme cold, is good. Do you know what blend of bio you get? Is it B5 of B20?

    This is a good thing to point out, most OTC antigels only work on ULSD or LSD. Depending on the source for bio (plant or animal), the gel points are a LOT different and not all antigel agents work on bio. Animal sourced biodiesel has a much higher cloud point and therefore a higher gel point.


    Depends on what you mean by bad. You can go back and forth between bio and dino diesel. Having a little bio in the tank is a good thing as noted... it provides the increased lubricity that is removed when refining ULSD. Or if you want to avoid bio :'( then at least add something like Stanadyne which will add back in the lubricity. But don't fear bio. Just find a GOOD source of GOOD bio. (because not all bio is the same!!)

    Yes, ask the SHell what the mix is. I would gues it's either B5 or B20 (5% bio or 20% bio). Also ask what it's made from. My guess is the clerk will give you a deer in the headlights look. :slapfight:

     
  11. snaffle

    snaffle Guest

    Sounds to me like the fuel industry needs to do a bit more work on the bio diesel
    and get all the bugs out.
     
  12. Susan

    Susan New Member

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    I don't want to avoid Bio - if it is better for my truck, I'm all for it! I just need to know the ins and outs of managing the fuel and the weather. You are a wealth of info and I really appreciate it - gonna get that info from shell tomorrow.
     
  13. HFSH

    HFSH New Member

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    No problem. I bought a VW Jetta TDI in the fall of 2005. I LOVED the idea of a diesel, because it gives me such good MPG (best so far is 52 and best tank was 702 miles). So then I started reading more about biofuels, specifically biodiesel. There's a lot of good info out there and I'm now a BIG fan of biodiesel. It's not easy to find here but we do have a dedicated B5 pump at a fueling station not far from my house, and that's where I get my bio. There is also a cooperative in Madison that offers B99, but you either pay $$$ per gallon for it or you have to become a member to get the good rate. I don't use enough diesel per year to make it worth the $$ for the cooperative.

    The nice thing about bio is that compared to ULSD, bio is so much better for the environment (and ULSD is a huge improvement itself, over LSD).

    I'm no expert on biodiesel but I'm always reading reading reading. ;)
     
  14. HFSH

    HFSH New Member

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  15. Susan

    Susan New Member

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    I stopped at Shell today - guy behind the counter had no clue what the biodiesel was made from - plant or animal base or a combo and the pump says the mix is "in the range of 5%-20%". I looked on the Shell website (waste of time) and emailed them - got the general FAQs that basically said nothing in reagard to the questions I asked. So I'm guessing it is a 5% blend. I was curious about going back and forth from the biodiesel to the ULSD when I get fuel from different stations. For the last 9 yrs, I bought my fuel from Road Ranger 99% of the time. Now that they pissed in my cheerios with the prepay pumps, I'm fueling at Shell, Phillip 66 or Marathon depending on the price. I had about 3/4 tank of ULSD when I started shopping at Shell. I usually top the tank off when I'm down 1/4 tank. If for some reason I went back to road ranger and mixed it up some more, I'm guessing I won't harm the engine, but would need to mix the antigels for both types for a while? I don't see that happening though.
     
  16. HFSH

    HFSH New Member

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    I figured the guys at the counter would give you the deer in the headlights look. :slapfight:

    You can float back and forth between bio and dino diesel as long as you're staying below B20. B5 should never gel on you. B20 really shouldn't either, but it depends on what the bio was made out of. If you were running B50 or even B99, I wouldn't recommend flipping between bio and dino.

    If, and I mean IF, the bio mix you're getting is a decent quality (buy a 5 gal can full of it and syphon off a jar full and see how it looks. Should be as 'clean' as normal dino diesel), I'd keep running the B5/B20. There's nothing wrong with bio! What year is your truck? If you have a lot of miles on it, you might want to keep an extra fuel filter in the cab along with the tools required to change out your fuel filter. As I said, bio is a good solvent, and if you're truck's been run many miles on dino diesel, you may have some gunk to clean out of your tank.

    The only thing about the B5 pump near my house that makes me crazy is that it has a truck nozzle, whereas my Jetta uses a passenger nozzle. Filling up, I have to use a funnel, and it takes me about, oh 15 minutes. :slapfight: That makes me CRAAAAAZY.
     
  17. Susan

    Susan New Member

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    My truck is a 99 with 190,000 + miles on it. Its a 4x4 and I am way to short to be able to crawl in there and change a fuel filter, but you are right - I do need to know how - just in case. It can't be that hard to do if I can reach it. I'll probably stick with the bio at the B5- B20 range. There were semis gelled up right along with me that day, so I'm hoping it was just a fluke and gelled because I didn't put in enough/correct antigell additive. I never thought about putting some in a jar to see clearity. Thanks for all the great info!
     
  18. HFSH

    HFSH New Member

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    What can be fun about a jar full is you can set it outside and watch it cloud or even gel (if it's REALLY cold). In theory, you won't see anything happen if it's mixed properly or has a good additive in it. You can even stick it in your freezer.