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Old 02-03-2011, 05:00 PM
John Schroader's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 404
finally checked out the centrifuge pump

Quite a while back I was boasting on line about making a hillbilly centrifuge pump for my bio processor. It worked beautifully --- for a short while. To refresh memories, I used a clothes dryer motor (120 v 1/3 hp) to drive a Chrysler power steering pump to drive a store bought centrifuge. Worked like a charm for maybe 10 hours and then started leaking pretty badly. Having many irons in the fire, I simply swapped out the motor and pump to the trusty Harbor Freight electric pump and settled for the 30 psi that it produced (as compared to the 80+ psi that my home made rig had been providing). Last week I finally got around to doing an autopsy on the power steering pump. Seems that the 2 O-rings in the pump were stretched way too big (hence the leak). I recall having read a while back that bio might cause certain materials to lose their elasticity. The O-rings were not soft or eaten up --- simply about 20% too big to do the job they were designed to do. Haven't had any luck finding the proper size bio resistant O-rings locally. At any rate, the Harbor Freight pump does an adequate job and the power steering pump was a freebie. I would ultimately like to upgrade to a more powerful pump, but I have doubts that pumps design to move power steering fluid are going to be the ticket for bio. Just thought I'd share these findings.

John Schroader
bio burnin' 83 300D, '83 300 SD, '79 240D
"I've never met a man who was good at making excuses who was good at anything else" Ben Franklin
"You cannot permanently help a man by doing for him what he could and should do for himself" Abraham Lincoln
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:43 PM
Renntag's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kona, Hi
Posts: 1,396
Power steering pumps are fine for this application, dare I say you chose incorrectly.
There are many more pumps on the market (ie: chrysler wasnt the only autp with p/s).

Check out the work of 'sunwzard' at

He used a p/s pump with great success.

83 300TD (need rear wiper assembly dead or alive)
84 300SD Daily driver
85 300TD almost 400k miles and driven daily.
98 E300D *sold
86 300SDL *sold and made flawless 10 hour journey to new home.
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