Posts Tagged ‘Bio-Fuel’

Second Coming of the Land Rover

The 1957 Land rover had a lot of pulling potential.

The 1957 Land Rover had a lot of pulling potential.

With the invention of the wheel, human-kind was put on a path of greater mobility, distance and an indirect quest for the power to get us there quicker. The biggest obstacle for the wheel to overcome was the terrain it could operate on – but man then created a Land Rover ‘and it was good.’

Okay perhaps not a biblical event, but one that certainly was inspired and built on the success of the American Willis Jeep as an all terrain vehicle. Today you can still buy a Series II or III Land Rover reasonably inexpensively – and if the original petrol motor has been replaced with a diesel engine there’s greater reason to resurrect this classic icon of British engineering.  Like any good second coming the features of the original have the potential to be something better, and this is exactly what I intend to do.

first ever land rover adEarly Land Rovers (1948 – 1980) have a reputation as being vehicles with good construction, solid engineering and can be easily worked on. Land Rover claims that 70 per cent of Series I, II and III Land Rovers produced are still in use. And the appeal of a Land Rover with a diesel engine is that it’s perfect for a bio-diesel or a complete vegetable-oil conversion.

The diesel engine was partially developed and designed to replace petrol engines in mines for obvious reasons. Ironically it was developed to run off a variety of vege-oils* (not fossil fuels) that gave off non-lethal fumes, making mining a safer occupation – especially for canaries.

I’ve recently seen two examples of bio-diesel conversions on the BBC series ‘It’s not easy being Green’ and the Discovery Channels ‘London Garage’. Both demonstrated the benefits of running a green four-wheel drive / SUV vehicle. For example a using vege-oil / diesel mix reduces fuel costs by 50 per cent and toxic emissions are minimal, importantly the power-out put of the engine was not affected.

The vegetable oil was obtained, often at no cost, from the fast-food industry and after refinement involving filtering of fried food particles, it can be mixed (or used straight) with regular diesel. But, one notable emission from combusting recycled vege-oil was the smell of fried foods – which is potentially disastrous if you’re on a diet.

The vege-oil then goes through a converter, which raises the temperature of the oil to a level it flows at. Converters are available off eBay.co.uk and some mechanics are now specialising in fitting Bio-diesel conversions. So that sells it to me, I can get a classic and practical vehicle that meets my modern day green credentials, plus I finally have a good reason for going to get fast-food.

See Also

Diesel Engine Fuel History

*‘Diesel fuel is a form of light fuel oil, very similar to Kerosene, but diesel engines, especially older or simple designs that lack precision electronic injection systems, can run on a wide variety of other fuels. Some of the most common alternatives are Jet A-1 or vegetable oil from a very wide variety of plants. Some engines can be run on vegetable oil without modification, and most others require fairly basic alterations. Biodiesel is a pure diesel-like fuel refined from vegetable oil and can be used in nearly all diesel engines. The only limits on the fuels used in diesel engines are the ability of the fuel to flow along the fuel lines and the ability of the fuel to lubricate the injector pump and injectors adequately. In general terms, inline mechanical injector pumps tolerate poor-quality or bio-fuels better than distributor-type pumps. Also, indirect injection engines generally run more satisfactorily on bio-fuels than direct injection engines. This is partly because an indirect injection engine has a much greater ‘swirl’ effect, improving vaporisation and combustion of fuel, and also because (in the case of vegetable oil-type fuels) lipid depositions can condense on the cylinder walls of a direct-injection engine if combustion temperatures are too low (such as starting the engine from cold). Dr Rudolf Diesel himself later tested extensively the use of plant oils in his engine and began to actively promote the use of these fuels.‘- Source Wikipedia.

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