With the price of gas and diesel fuels lately, Biodiesel conversion kits are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, it really makes me wish I had a diesel engine in my 1997 F-350 crew cab 4x4 so I could make the switch to see what it’s all about. Instead I’m stuck with the 460 gas V8. It has the power I need but boy does it hurt stopping for gas every 150 miles on road trips.
Biodiesel conversion allows a typical diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. Yes, vegetable oil. A place called Lovecraft Biofuels in Los Angeles and also Portland, Oregon, makes kits for 94 to 03 Ford 7.3L Powerstroke diesels, 79-96 diesel Toyota Land Cruisers, Dodge/Mercedes Sprinter vans, and a handful of other models.
Conversion kits use a high flow heat exchanger, a heated filter, and a booster pump along with a bunch of other parts to allow your diesel engine to run on vegetable oil, diesel fuel, or a mix of both. That means you can buy a jug of oil at Costco or maybe even get free used oil from a restaurant, although waste oil must be filtered/refined before use.
Just like it is bad for people, Hydrogenated oil and partially hydrogenated oil is also bad for the fuel system of a biodiesel converted engine because it clogs fuel lines like it clogs arteries.
MPG isn’t necessarily improved with a biodiesel converted engine but in most cases you can acquire and process fuel very inexpensively so the savings is obvious. Many biofuel dealers are also popping up and you can usually find fueling locations along most paved routes in the U.S. provided that you plan ahead.