Running on veggie oil

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by earthbound, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. earthbound

    earthbound Junior Member

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    At the moment I'm researching the possibility of converting my diesel hilux over to veggie oil. It all seems reasonably straight forward and simple, though the kits that you can buy are a little expensive at around $1000 considering that theres not much in them.

    But then this is a reasonable investment if fuel can then be picked up from fish and chip shops for a grand total of $0... I have two fast food outlets over the road from me and all thats required is a settling period of a couple of weeks to allow the solids and water to seperate from the oil. Then a filtering with double layer tshirt material, with a final filter using a 10 micron filter and away you go.

    If your lucky enough to have the right old diesel Mercedes you can just forget about putting diesel in your tank, and start filling up with veggie oil straight away, with no modifications at all.

    Has anyone else converted a vehicle, or know of someone who has done a conversion?

    Joel
     
  2. dryland dweller

    dryland dweller Junior Member

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    vegir oil as is filtered etc will still need preheating in modern diesels due to the waxes in them which will block your injectors.
    Biodeisel is another way to run it (https://www.tasmanenergy.com) has heaps on it but on some earlier models the rubber o rings deteriated so had to be changed to vitron. 2000 models apparently have these
    Hope this helps
    Pete
     
  3. baldcat

    baldcat Junior Member

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    Ok so lets say I have a 1994 Landcrusier 75 series...

    What do I need to do , to get it on Oil ?
     
  4. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Hi Joel, Baldcat and Pete,

    Just to let you know, a Hilux will run on straight veggie oil (SVO) without preheating if you are in a warm enough place the SVO won't jell.

    Belize had a massive bridge falure a few years back, on the Western Highway, which cut off the south of Belize, where I live, for two weeks. There were no fuel deliveries. For one week there was a decreasing amount of fuel, and for the last week, there was no fuel unless you had a tank in your yard, and most people didn't.

    I needed to run my rusty but trusty '96 hilux for work, both to get to the office and to manage our small extension program at the coop. So I HAD to drive! Distances between villages are too far to cover all of them on bike, less and less trucks were running, so....

    I had read before all of this that the fellow who made the diesel engine (family name of "Diesel") originally intended it to be run on peanut oil, and that the diesel fuel we use now is actually a byproduct of the refining of oil to gasoline, but is/was/has been cheaper than veggie oil.

    I started buying gallons of the cheapest veggie oil I could get, a mixture of soy and canola (rape seed) oils. I added my store bought oil int the diesel tank, which had diesel in it, so the mixture at first was about 1/2 diesel and 1/2 veffie oil. After a week I was running on straight veggie oil.

    Being new food grade oil, they were still double the cost of diesel, if diesel had been available, but diesel WASN"T available, and the last few days of the fuel shortage, I was one of the only people running a truck, up and down the road, back and forth, running on soy and canola, picking up hitchikers.

    I started and stopped the engine, and except that sometimes the engine would take a few turns to get running in the early AM, for example, I really had no problems on unused cooking oil.

    It is true, unless you have a good local source of veggie oil from fryers to feed your diesel engines, veggie oil is more costly, but if you have that good local source of fryer oil, you are in business.

    A word of caution, though, and I realize that this doesn't apply to your situations, but biodiesel and straight veggie oil are not the transportation panaceas that some have made them out to be for the post petroleum world. Using used veggie oil is great, recycling a waste product into useful energy, but there are plans in the US to turn large areas of farm land into fields of biodiesel fields, growing canola and soy, %99 of which will be GMOs modified for resistence to herbicide applications.

    Additionally, using the dominant model fo agriculture will not solve the problem of fuel scartcity as it takes about 9 calories of petroloeum to make one calorie of food in the mechanized model of monocropping annual crops. Soy and canola are actually terribly inefficient ways to make fuel!

    But, again, turnng the local fish and chips places used oil into fuel is wonderful. Used oil is waste, and is a disposal problem, hence the solution, creating fuel from a disposal issue, is wonderful. The only people with fryers here are Chinese, and they use the oil for months before they throw it away, and by then it is seriously nasty stuff, so it has not been an option for us, though I am still looking into it.

    Making biodiesel involves adding lye, and methanol to increae viscocity, and titrating, and it looks like a lot of work, and potentially dangerous, but I hear that if you can make your own soap, which we can, then you can make biodiesel, too.

    Baldcat, you can either start making bio diesel yourself, there are kits and lots of info, or modify your truck to run on straight veggie oil. Biodiesel is some work to make, but it goes traight into your truck, and you can shut off your engine and it doesn't get hard. If you run short of biodiesel, you can buy regular diesel and run it in your engine, no problem.

    Straight veggie oil is a bit harder. You could, perhaps, use straight veggie oil (SVO) in an unmodified truck, but the problem you face is that when your truck cools off, with the SVO in the injectors and fuel lines, it can wax up, or gell, and then you can develop fuel feeding problems, and your engine won't run. This didn't happen to me as the weather was hot when I ran SVO in my truck.

    There are kits to make a dual fel system, with a tank for diesel, and a tank for straight veggie oil.

    You would, in this scenario, start up the engine with your diesel tank, and the coolant in your engine would go over the feed lines of your straight veggie oil, preheating it. After a few minutes, you can switch over to the veggie oil line, and shut off your diesel tank. You are now running on diesel.

    When you get to your destination, you turn the diesel tank back on to fill your lines, letting the engine run so that the fuel lines, injectors and engine are filled with diesel fuel, which has a lower flash point and will start up your engine easier without the fear of gelling, waxes or whatever.

    Some sites that deal with this :
    https://www.greasecar.com/ and
    https://greasel.com/

    I still have my rusty but trusty Hilux, the '96, a beautiful, dependable double cab with the diesel engine, and it runs great. If I could find a good source for the veggie oil, I would switch it. I used it yesterday to drive on some crummy roads down to Jordan RIver with Saul Garcia and Ignacio Ash to collect vanilla orchids for planting out. (This was lots of fun, and we filled our bags, got caught in a rainstorm and nearly got hit by lightning, and have plans for next Sunday to go out to look for nutmeg in Dolores...... I would say more, but I have been accused of Contagious Digressing Disease, and I wouldn't want to put you at risk of catching it :lol: .)

    The project got a 2002 Hilux with a grant, with some bells and whistles (very cold AC, and CD player, for example), and that truck runs well, too. I am going to survey the new Chinese restaurants and see if they have oil that is not a month old now... maybe I can get a hotel in Belize City to ship me down large drums of the stuff....

    If any of you do this, let me know. I feel another fire coming on, a concept to whip me up in a frenzy of enthusiasm, like spirulina and the incredible aquaponics system ( :wav: ), but not quite as strong as the aquaponics system ( :wav: ), which I still incredibly fired up on because it is soooooo-o-o-oooooo cool.

    Good luck!

    Christopher

    "The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today. But such oils may become in the course of time as important as petroleum and coal tar products of the present time."
    Rudolf Diesel, 1912
     
  5. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    WHoa! Christopher! even in a very warm climate you will eventually cause engine problems running unheated straight vege oil! At least mix a little bit of gasoline or at least kero and mix it up to thin it out a little. Better yet, make a heat exchanger and use your waste heat from your engine in the form of the engine cooolant...
    My favourite source of infor on this subject has far and away been;

    https://biodiesel.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=cfrm&s=447609751

    Dana Linscott sells some cheap downloadable files on how to build your own components for an all weather veg oil conversion. Many parts are recycleble or easy to find in the hardware store. He also sells plans for prefiltering/dewatering units.

    I found the process of adequately filtering and dewatering waste vegetable oil the hardest part running on vegoil. And as Christopher points out, waste vegetable oil is the only really sustainable option when it comes to biofuels. Unfortunately it is no global panacea, as he points out.
     
  6. frosty

    frosty Junior Member

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    this is another project on our list :lol: and with paying $1.31 a litre for diesel it may have to be pushed to the top of the list :shock:

    we do use a lot of fuel because it is a 58km round trip to get the mail twice a week ..... a 300km round trip to get food fortnightly plus a weekly trip of arround 50km to get firewood ........

    we have a diesel Navarra dualcab and would love to run it on TVO .......

    Joel where are you getting the kit from ?

    we have 4 fish and chip shops in Lancelin so it is the idea place :lol:

    I dont really want to do biodiesel because methanol is still a petroleum product and is very polluting to the groundwater if spilled ...... we do make soap so the lye is not such a worry ........ also with making biodiesel you are left with a lot of waste glycerin ......... some people use it for compost but it is surely a preroleum product because of the methanol ?

    whereas the stuff filtered when making TVO would be a bonus for composting :D

    and christopher maybe you didnt read where I said I love your little digressions :oops: :oops: please dont change because I made a joke about CDD

    frosty
     
  7. earthbound

    earthbound Junior Member

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    Well done Christopher, that doesn't leave a hell of a lot for me to explain, except that two paragraphs before the links to greasecar.com etc, I think you meant 'you are now running on oil'.

    I like the idea of growing your own fuel, not using the high energy input chemical methods, but organically. One hectare of rape seed should produce about 1 ton or 1086 litres of oil, 2 tons of seed cakes, and almost 4 ton of straw. The seed cakes are left over from pressing out the oil and make a great feed for animals or a useful fuel for burning, and you can never get enough organic straw matter.

    1000l of oil is about 10,000 km of driving in my hilux, so using the average of 20,000km a year I'd need to grow 2 hectares of rapeseed for a years fuel. At todays cost of $1.36 a litre, thats $2,700 a year saved which would well and truly cover costs of planting and harvesting, as well as helping to pay for the most expensive bit, the oil press, they start at around $8000..

    I see this as being quite do-able, and even fairly easy if you can get a few people together to help spread the costs a little. I can't believe farmers aren't already growing their own fuel for their tractors and machinery.

    Richard, The unheated oil thing is still fairly hotly debated at the moment from what I have been reading. Some, like this crazy German man https://www.rerorust.de still don't heat their oil, and he stripped his motor down after 40,000 kms of running on oil, taking photos to prove there was no buildup inside his engine. But for the cost of having work done on a diesel engine why would you run the risk, it's a very expensive experiment..

    In Britain it's cheaper for people to go to their supermarket and buy oil off the shelf rather than fill their car with diesel, except the government is already onto it and you are meant to fill out some forms and pay the government an extra 30 p per litre excise if you put cooking oil into your car. I wonder how long it will take little Johny to jump on that, he is already trying to tax people who make their own biodiesel at home...

    I'm waiting to hear back from someone here in Perth who has converted a number of vehicles to run on oil, hopefully he will have some advice about locally available conversion kits.

    Joel
     
  8. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Joel,

    No, I am not running on oil, yet, but have done some research into it. I DID run the older Hilux on straight oil in an unmodified diesel engine without problems... for a period of two weeks. This is not a conclusive study :lol: , but I didn't have problems. I don't know what the problem would be, other than clogged injectors, but I am not a mechanic, so would like to preheat the oil if I was doing straight veggie oil again.

    Richard, I have been told that regular un heated veggie oil is not a problem, but I have also heard that it could be a problem... so... if/when I get further into veggie oil than my two week trial, I will be looking into preheating it.

    I love the idea of organic diesel fuel, and seed cake from rape as animal feed is a wonderful idea. However, rape seed wouldn't work here, too humid and hot. What would work is oil palm and/or jatropha curcis, which we are considering for other things (there has been a move afoot to introduce oil palm, but the price they are offering per tonne of nuts is so low making fuel would be better!

    I imagine the Government of Belize would want to tax any oil driven on their roads, too, if many people did make their own fuel, but I doubt that would ever happen here.

    A dual fuel system would enable the driver to switch tanks, so if Johnny Law or Bobby the Traffic Enforcer pulled someone over with this type of system on suspcion of illegally being kind to the planet without paying the system taxes, all the driver would have to do is switch the system back to diesel, and instead of getting a nice aromatic smell of chips out the tail pipe, the law enforcement officer would get a snoot full of carbon rich diesel smoke in the face. Yumm, officer, see? I tld you this was a diesel truck....

    I look forward to more news on this front.

    Christopher

    "The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today. But such oils may become in the course of time as important as petroleum and coal tar products of the present time."
    Rudolf Diesel, 1912 (worth posting a few times)
     
  9. Sly712

    Sly712 Junior Member

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    This might be a bit of a hi-jack, but I remember seeing a doco on the BLA (Bougainville Liberation Army). They basically ran their campaign for independence from Papua New Guinea on coconut oil after PNG put a blockade on the island.

    They used it for everything, running their vehicles, cooking oil, making soap, even cleaning and lubricating their weapons!!!
     
  10. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Sly,

    Sly, trust me on this, this is totally inline with the topic, (sort of), not a hijack at all, take it from me, the master of hijacks (just ask Frosty :lol: ).

    My hat goes off to those resourceful Papua New Gunieans. Making coconut oil is hard work! It must take many coconuts to make quantities of oil suitable for diesel engines. I can say, definitively, that coconut oil makes great soap, lots of lather with nice small bubbles.

    I bet it would act as a wonderful lubricant for anything, even weapons. Organic cocount gun lubricant, hmmmmm. I can see it selling like hot cakes at the gun shop.

    BTW, Frosty, no worries! I liked hearin about CDD, and my wife and I laughed about it for sometime! The :ANAL: made me feel a bit hurt, though.... :cry: :( :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Just kidding, all smiles and lots of laughs,

    Christopher
     
  11. baleboy

    baleboy Junior Member

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    beware of chip oil collectors and alternative petrol

    hey guys

    i have seen biodiesel being made in a workshop

    you can use simple equipment small pumps and a drill press with a hand made stirrer going ointo a big drum

    i left the workshop thinking no way would i bother with that

    if you have a bit of chemistry knowledge and some ingenuity you could do it but it does take time

    also be careful about the frre chips shop oil thing

    DONT THINK YOUR THE ONLY ONE WHO WANTS FISH AND CHIPS SHOP OIL , THERE IS A COMPETITIVE MARKET FOR OIL AND MANY COMPANIES ALREADY COLLECT IT AROUND HERE

    i would check with those shops first weather there is a contract for their oil already

    this is on topic but off oil :: most people drive petrol engines, does anyone know about ethanol or somer other substitute for that

    maybe this could form another topic thread if there are lots of people interested in this
    petrol is going through the roof at the moment and the idea of distilling some kind of rough alchohol based fuel for my tiny suzuki carry really rings my bell
     
  12. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    There are companies doing vegoil conversions to diesels in Germany (no doubt crazy folks amongst them), one called Elsbett, who do a small amount of heating, but also use a modified injector nozzle that is specifically desgined for the greater viscosity of the vegoil.
    Some engines are better at running veg than others too. Mercedes are supposed to have really really high compression, and this helps.
    Older style diesels were more of an "indirect" injection type with a precombustion chamber. These also seem to work better for longer with fewer problems on thick fuels. The newer style, with "direct" injection are supposed to be more sensitive. You really want to make sure that your oil is at the right viscosity with them. Of course, they cost more too, so you have more at stake probably.
    If you start up and shut down your engine with cold vegoil, you will severely limit the lifespan of that engine. Fact.

    With biodiesel you gotta remember that 20% of the stuff is methanol or ethanol. Usually this is derived from petroleum, and 20% is a big proportion of the fuel. Still, it is a step in the direction...
     
  13. frosty

    frosty Junior Member

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    there was a story on the local ABC ( ex geraldton ) few weeks ago about a farmer who grows his own canola then converts it to biodiesel for on farm use ........

    but he sends it down south somewhere to get the oil pressed ....... all up including the transport to get the oil pressed then back again ( 600km he said ) he said it costs 65c a litre

    I searched the ABC site for the transcript but cant find it *&&^^% !!!

    but I did find this interesting story

    Now THIS would be just what we need to do with our pond

    it is only 600 sp m but then that should yield 456 l per month which is only a bit more than we use :shock:

    I'll try and find out more 8)

    frosty
     
  14. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Worked for me

    I work & live in 2 different towns and did commute quite a bit. It is 756kms, 600kms of it dirt and really 4wd only and used WVO for a number of trips.

    I obtained the WVO, filtered it [cloth & paper] into a plastic 44gall drum and let it settle, decanted that into another drum leaving the residue behind [which looked clean anyway]. Then used that fuel into the rear tank on a landcruiser ute [1980]. The rear tank also has a filter on it. I kept the original tank full of diesel. I would drive about 15km and switch over to the WVO and then back onto diesel about 40km from home. I probably did about 10 trips like this.

    My reservations were about a gel blockage even though I live in the tropics. The only real problem I would encounter was when stopping at a river crossing at the 300km mark for a face wash and a stretch the car, would smell like fish & chips, and all I had to eat were biscuits etc

    The ute has done over 500,000kms and is old and worn but I could find no ill-effects from using this. It is hard to start and once I did forget to switch back and started the car on WVO. It didnt seem any harder but I didnt want to chance it.

    I originally came by this when a friend bought a diesel motored aeroplane and I looked up diesel engines on the net, it was a discovery for me too that old Rudolph had designed the engine to run on peanut oil.

    At first I tried little bits and 'shandy-ed' the mixture till I gained confidence as I went along. I checked fuel filters, after trips, the car ran as easily & smoothly. The drive used to take me 12 hours overnight, I do not drive fast and left the motor running for the entire journey. I didnt like doing this with Frytol as it seems heavy and was hard to filter. I chose better cooking oils from a friend's takeaway business. I have also used this for 'round town' work too but always mixed it with distillate.

    Caveat Emptor - I am neither mechanic nor chemist

    Good luck.
     
  15. Cornonthecob

    Cornonthecob Junior Member

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  16. bjgnome

    bjgnome Junior Member

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    I've been thinking for a while that my next car will be diesel with the intention of running on WVO. As usual, this forum got me excited... got to thinking that WVO could probably be used in a diesel generator as well. While you're going through the routine of stopping by the fry joint & filtering oil for your vehicle you could also be powering your homestead. Now all I need is the homestead.

    Jonathan
     
  17. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Jonathon,

    Florida is WVO heaven. There is so much fast food there, wow, it is going to be free fuel for you!

    I had a frind who lives near Aspen (he's a hippie ski bum, works his ass off all summer so he can spend all winter hitting the slopes), and he was looking into using it to fire his furnace :shock: which is pretty cool. It is cold there much of the year He said there were potential property tax advantages (get charged less for renewable energy on land, or somthing) to but I forget how it worked.

    Anyway, I have lost track of him, his name is Trig, (TRIG< IF YOU ARE OU THERE, SEND ME A PM!), but it sounded like a wonderful idea. Running a diesel generator of of fry oil sounds wonderful, too. I would love to know how that goes, especially if it is preheated by running it ans hutting int off on diesel.

    Floot, good for you. It is nice to hear from someone who has some hands on experience, who has been able to make it work. I feel braver already... Are you still using it? You mention that you did 10 trips like that. Are you still doing tthem?

    I would love to hear more from you here as your knowledge is valuable and practical. Post more, please!

    I am still waiting to try used oil in a dual fuel system until I can find a good source of used oil, and can afford the kit. But I am leaning in that direction.

    Best,

    Christopher
     
  18. Tona

    Tona Junior Member

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    Here's a resource page I made, including links to veggie oil and biodiesel fuel projects, mostly in the United States.

    https://tona.bigbite.org/links-sustainability.html

    Also, I know a guy locally, in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., who just started a business buying diesel cars and converting them so that they have dual diesel/veggie oil tanks, and then selling them to people. His name is Ryan DeWald. Another local guy I know, named Mike Clark, converted his car too.

    I've been thinking about getting a vehicle like that for my next car. Locally, some small fast food chains have recently announced that they will filter their oil so that individuals can collect it for fuel.

    Also, I saw a lot of veggie oil and biodiesel demonstrations at our annual Midwest Renewable Energy Fair a few months ago. Here is a link to some pictures I took of some of the converted engines, as well as a few other things at the fair:
    https://gallery.bigbite.org/categories.p ... c6ae568516
     
  19. Snake

    Snake Junior Member

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    My Two Pennies Worth

    G'day All,

    Been away from the forum for a bit so this thread was a very pleasant surprise upon my return! My father did a biodiesel seminar at the Uni of Western Australia last year, learning about diesel alternatives and how to make biodiesel. One of the issues with biodiesel is apparently that it needs to be washed and consumes a litre of water per litre of fuel for this purpose, which makes it costly in that respect if you have limited supplies. My father has a Coaster bus with a 4.2 litre diesel engine; it already has two fuel tanks so he has converted the second (smaller) tank to run on used fryer oil rather than make biodiesel; this was pretty involved and included fitting a heating element into the tank, an additional fuel pump and an extra filter specifically for that tank. Total cost I think was around the $800 mark. He collects used oil, filters it through a 5 micron bag filter ($9 each at last purchase) then puts it into the tank. Note that becasue he does not discriminate between animal fats and veggie oils, he generally has to heat the oil to make it viscous enough to filter - this is apparently a major distinction between veggie oils and fats that are used for frying: the oils tend not to solidify but the fats will. It does mean that he doesn't need to limit his suppliers though. Now he runs the diesel on start and to warm the oil in the tank (there is a temperature indication in the tank as well) and when it gets to 60 degrees or so, he switches across to that tank. As previous contributors have pointed out, you need to then switch back a few minutes before you stop to push diesel through the fuel lines for the next start. The system runs pretty well and he has found plenty of suppliers in his travels BUT it has not been without it's problems:
    1. The tank developed algae that clogs the lines and filters (he now adds a fungicide/algicide called F10? that prevents this, and apparently this can also affect regular diesel).
    2. He ended up with a blocked fuel line from a large lump of batter that evaded the filtering process; this caused him to have to clean the system out.
    3. He overfilled the tank until the oil came out the breather hose - the fat subsequently congealed in the breather and as no air could get into the tank as the pump tried to suck out the fuel, the system wouldn't work! He has since used high pressure air through the fuel lines back into the tank and blown the breather clear.

    Now, one of the other things he learned was that if you are using filtered veggie oil, you can run your engine on up to a 50/50 mix with diesel. This removes the need for modifications and heating of the oil etc. I have since constructed a filter and been using a 25%-30% mix of filtered veggie oil and diesel (local diesel now at $1.46/litre) in my tank with no problems (touch wood!) I have just done a 1500km round trip to our block near Perth with an average price of about $1.02 for the fuel consumed. I am a little conservative in the mixture ratios because I had my Landrover's engine rebuilt earlier this year ($6000) so do not wish to push the envelope too far but the reduction in fuel costs is altogether welcome.

    Sorry if this is a bit long-winded, but I hope it is of interest. Cheers,

    Mark :D
     
  20. earthbound

    earthbound Junior Member

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    Nice one Snake, thanks for that info......

    I took the gamble yesterday, I saw oil at the supermarket for 99c a litre, so I bought 10 litres.. My hilux was almost empty so I went to the fuel station and poured in 5 litres of oil and 15 litres of diesel. I then spent most of the afternoon driving around with no discernable difference in performance...... :D

    I'm going to keep this up though I have to find a better supply or I'll end up with thousands of 1 litre bottles.. The crazy thing is they had 1 litre and 2 litre bottles right beside each other on a pallet at the supermarket, same company, same oil, both on sale, 1 litre is 99c, 2 litre is $2.59, crazy....... I rang fataway who collect used oils, they also sell bulk used oil for 75c a litre, but it still requires filtering and possibly contains large amounts of sugar salt and water.

    I'll stick with a mix of new oil for now....
     

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