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  #1  
Old 07-30-2007, 11:29 AM
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Biodiesel, Fuel Lines and Filters

Hello All... am thinking about trying biodiesel (B20 or B5). Read some articles that it may affect (eat through) the fuel lines plus clean out the tank - and what I'm really hoping for - clean out the inside of the engine.

Can the biodiesel users please share info like how it really affects the fuel lines. And if they really have to be changed which lines specifically are we talking about....

Also on the filters, how many times do you have to change the fuel filters b4 things stabilize? Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2007, 11:58 AM
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It all depends on the car. Some cars will clog filters with one tank of biodiesel and others it will take a few tank full. Some kind of deal with the fuel lines. You may not see any breakdown of the lines for a year, or it make take a couple weeks. My 240 clogged filters with one tank of B50, while the wagon never really clogged up, altough I did change it's filters a few times.
With B5 or B20 you most likely aren't going to see a whole lot of fuel line breakdown. You may got through 2 or three filters though. I would have on hand 2 or 3 of each filter and have them in the car with out for a quick change on the road. Keep an eye on the fuel lines. Your fuel injector lines will probably go first.
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2007, 12:00 PM
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Geritol?

There seems to be a wide range of experiences. I'm not sure if you will see anything at all on B5 or B20. I noticed no changes in either of my Benz's constitutions on two "preparatory" tanks of B20 so I went on to B100, which was my goal.

Being as how my vehicles were already 20+ years old, most of the rubber lines had already been changed. My mechanic found one soft and weepy rubber line connecting a fuel return line to the tank but it was probably and old one that had never been changed. On my 123 car the lines have now had mostly B100 in them for over a year and appear unchanged.

I think that the reason people have trouble with rubber lines is that their car has not previously had the appropriate preventive maintenance. That is, the lines are 20 years old. No wonder they fail!

The lines to check are:
1. Supply and return lines (short rubber jumpers) from the tank to the steel lines that run under the car (the metal lines are not attacked by biodiesel)
2. Rubber lines in the engine compartment to the fuel filters and to the IP and the return lines, including the little jumper lines that go from injector to injector and terminate in the main return line.

Also keep an eye on the rubber gasket that surrounds the fuel filler pipe. Consider replacing the rubber gasket in the filler cap.

On both my cars, the fuel filters were changed as part of "post-purchase" maintenance. I noticed a little black crud in the primary filter of the '85 and changed it after a few months. Its tank and lines were apparently already pretty clean. The '87 has been on B100 for less time and still uses the filters put on at purchase.

Some people do experience massive amounts of black crud, melting hoses, etc. I did not. YMMV.

Jeremy
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  #4  
Old 07-30-2007, 12:06 PM
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As PM for starting to use B100 I am going to remove my tank and get it cleaned by a radiator shop. I also am replacing all of my fuel lines with OE ones from the dealer.

I have black crud in my prefilter just from running dino. Id rather do it right with a $50 outlay right at the get-go than have to keep replacing filters or worse, remove the tank anyway.

This is the shotgun approach for sure :-)
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  #5  
Old 07-30-2007, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieseldan44 View Post
As PM for starting to use B100 I am going to remove my tank and get it cleaned by a radiator shop.....
Let us know what it looks like inside! Pictures, if you can get them.
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Our all-biodiesel family
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1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
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Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
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  #6  
Old 07-30-2007, 12:55 PM
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Start out by running Startron Tank cleaner for a few tanks. If it has time to sit and work for those two tanks it would be better. (In other words, don't use it in two tanks on a long one day trip and expect the tank to be clean. )

It is available from www.westmarine.com among other places.

Search on this forum for Startron and tank and see what you find. I love the stuff.

After that watch your injector return lines. The MB rubber does not seem to do well with biodiesel. Maybe their new lines handle it, maybe they don't. I sell viton lines the absolutely do handle biodiesel and they are cheaper then the overpriced MB lines, IMHO.

I also sell o-rings for the rest of the fuel system. I figure them out as people ask. If your engine is not one that I have figured out, let me know and I can work on finding the right ones for your system.

The larger fuel lines (5/16 and 3/8 inch) can be replaced with standard auto zone fuel line. It seems to do very well with biodiesel.

-Jim
(PS Buy from Fastlane when you can. Support the site. I only sell what I have needed and they did not offer.)
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  #7  
Old 07-30-2007, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadavis View Post
It is available from www.westmarine.com among other places.

After that watch your injector return lines. The MB rubber does not seem to do well with biodiesel. Maybe their new lines handle it, maybe they don't. I sell viton lines the absolutely do handle biodiesel and they are cheaper then the overpriced MB lines, IMHO.

I also sell o-rings for the rest of the fuel system. I figure them out as people ask. If your engine is not one that I have figured out, let me know and I can work on finding the right ones for your system.
PM sent.........
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2007, 01:20 PM
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Sorry about that guys:

http://www.fryerpower.com/store/page11.html

-Jim
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2007, 01:33 PM
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So far, other than a few little black blobs in teh prefilter, the use of bio has done nothing strange, except make the engine run much better!
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2007, 03:09 PM
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My new computer has slots right in the front to put in the memory card from my camera! I love it!

Anyway, this is what over a year of biodiesel and some WVO has done to the rubber seal around my filler neck.

-Jim
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Biodiesel, Fuel Lines and Filters-dscf2461.jpg  
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  #11  
Old 07-30-2007, 03:21 PM
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b5 increases lubricity 70%, and b20 makes them clatter sweet..wish we would see b20summer/b5winter everywhere.
other than a prefilter or two (which should be done annually anyway);
the fuel hose deterioration is mostly simply due to age, more so than b20 really eating rubber.
its the b100 that will tend to chew a lot more up, when the filler neck seal becomes nearly seasonal.
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  #12  
Old 07-30-2007, 04:13 PM
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We ran about 3-4 tanks of B20 through our two 300SD's two summers ago....all I noticed was worse MPG (by 3 or so), less power (not cool) and a smoother idle....which was the only positive. The exhaust also smells kinda icky/weird...like burned raw soybeans. The smell of pure veg oil being burned in them is better. It was hard to find too (still is around here) so I have been back on dino diesel ever since.
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  #13  
Old 07-30-2007, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
We ran about 3-4 tanks of B20 through our two 300SD's two summers ago....all I noticed was worse MPG (by 3 or so), less power (not cool) and a smoother idle....which was the only positive. The exhaust also smells kinda icky/weird...like burned raw soybeans. The smell of pure veg oil being burned in them is better. It was hard to find too (still is around here) so I have been back on dino diesel ever since.
P, I filled today at Crystal Flash on Alpine just south of the tracks south of Meijers. They are really big on bio fuel apparently. They are not too far out of the way so I think I'll give it try a few times. B20 was $3.0199/gal. They also have B5. B99 is available only in bulk.

ps you don't happen to have a spare 3/2 lever do you?
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2007, 05:48 PM
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What is a 3/2 lever?

I noticed a bit of power loss on B100 also. I run about B90 now around town.

-Jim
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2007, 10:22 PM
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the worst side effect

I noticed was I went through two primer pumps in about a year and a half. The first being the newer style (black button), the second an old school type (white screw down). I also had to replace all the rubber fuel lines under the hood. They were not leaking but air was getting in there some where. As a matter of course I replaced the rubber lines under the car, and the last thing I ended up replacing was the tank strainer. I did not use viton anywhere. The pumps where the only real "failure". The rest of the stuff was more like maintence. I'm running approx. B50 from a retail source. I buy it as B99 and splash mix with dino. Just because it gives me a little better performance. With a NA I need all the help I can get.

Of course, fuel filters twice, neck filler seal once and it needs another one. Darn, I was being so careful too.
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