The Beersocks Beer Blog

This Blog is dedicated to my many thoughts and feelings about beer. I will describe different beers and my experiences with them

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tecate and BioDiesel, or maybe just Diesel Engines...

Wow what an intense weekend, well it was the weekend so how intense could it really have been. My beautiful girlfriend recently acquired a 1982 VW Rabbit Pickup, with a 1.6l mechanically injected diesel engine. It is a completely hilarious and awesome vehicle. She picked this particular vehicle because she wanted a truck and she really wanted to run biodiesel, and I think she thought it was "cute", which I must admit it is. Hell it's so cute I constantly break things on it, like pulling the tailgate off...hehehe.
Anyway, back to our story. Hmmm where was I-Biodiesel. Now I'm neither an expert o biodiesel or diesel engines, but I like to tinker, and I really like working on cars. Up to know I have done a bunch of maintenance, chased and fixed some leaks, and have been getting familiar with the inter workings of the diesel engine.
Biodiesel can do some interesting things to a vehicle made in 1982(any vehicle for that matter), and well, it did. In the last 2 weeks there have been some gremlins surfacing with the vehicle. These gremlins relate to the use of biodiesel in the vehicle and get us to the weekend adventure. Ohhh and don't worry we'll get to some beer, I promise.
First gremlin-Car starts runs about 30 seconds and sputters out. No big deal, sounds like a fuel problem, replaced the fuel filter, and boom were up and running. This is very common when running BD because it tends to clean out gunk in the fuel system. By the way at this time I advised my beautiful lady to switch to regular diesel-this would prove to be a bad idea.

Second Gremlin-2days later the car won't start, luckily it was at my house. I had been thinking that when I put the fuel filter in I didn't fill it with diesel fuel, which is something you should do. So I filled up the filter, and went through the process of priming the engine, which essentially involves pulling fuel through the system and removing any air, and boom up and running and the lady is off. Man she looks great in that little truck.

Third Gremlin-This is where things get really cute. Call from the lady on Thursday car won't start, and is leaking something which is assumed to be diesel fuel. Hmmm this doesn't sound good. I go down to check it out on Thursday night, and sure enough the fuel lines are leaking profusely, and a leak also appearing from around the timing chain cover.
Nothing to be done, but we need to find fuel lines that are BD compatible and get them installed. Went to a local watering hole and they had Anderson Valley Boont Amber on draft. See previous posts to find out how much I love this brewery.

This brings us to the weekend. Found a local source for Viton lines and ordered some and the GF was able to go get them. Friday night I began figuring out how to get the lines off and in so doing realize the sending line has 2 different size fittings, 1/2" from the tank and 1/4" to the hard lines that run to the engine bay. Another order to the old source and we call it a night, well I was certainly covered in wonderful diesel fuel at this point. We drank Modello Negra's with Pizza.

Saturday, a new day, and we pick up our new line and get to installing. Install goes pretty good and both of our bodies have really picked up that wonderful odor of diesel. By the way, my wonderful girlfriend was with me the for every part of this process and she kicks ass. Once the lines were installed we pulled the truck out and tried to start. I knew it wasn't going to start, but with some coaxing and priming we got it to fire up. But it idled rough and when we tried to throttle the engine it would cough sputter and die. Kept priming kept finding air, kept banging my head against the wall.
Enter the Viajos(local old men that have lived in the neighborhood for ever). Awesome bunch of guys who don't know cars, but love my GF and brought wonderful cold Tecate's to cool our heads and give us wonderful happy thoughts. One of the best ice cold Tecate's I've ever had. Those guys kick ass, but the truck was still sad. Made a call to my, brother, the best mechanic I know, and one of the best trouble shooters you'll ever meet. Explained the situation, and he had a great suggestion to use fuel line clamps instead of hose clamps. Went the auto parts store and scored some fittings, put them on, realized I needed a smaller size for 2 of the fittings. Another trip and well, done for the night. Ohhh by the way trying to start the car over and over with out really running caused the battery to die. One thing you don't want to do is shoot fuel at a battery while you try and jump it....this was an adventure, but hey we got it jumped.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!!!!! Slept in, and made a nice breakfast. Went out put the final fittings on the truck(this thing needs a name). Jumped it and vroooommmmmmm she started and ran great. Except for the small remember the small print...a leak also appearing from around the timing chain cover

Well it wasn't the cover obviously, when we took it off I could see fuel shooting out of the Injection Pump. Ahhhh Fudge.......!!!!!!!! This a huge problem, not only is this a bitch to install, but they are not cheap, and certainly not easily found locally. We take a break and start doing some research. I start to learn that BD causes fittings and seals to swell, and well if you switch back to regular diesel your seals are likely to shrink and start to leak. I decide to put some Transmission stop leak and run with the through the injection pump with the idea that this might condition the seals and actually seal them up. By the way it is know that it is ok to run ATF (automatic transmission fluid) in a diesel engine...pretty cool huh.
I put the ATF in the fuel filter and we took a ride and then let it sit over night. Still leaking this morning but as of this afternoon the leak had stopped. Wooooohhoooooooo. Obviously this may just be a temporary fix and the IP with probably need to be replaced but a good finish to a long adventure. And all with the help of a couple old guys and some ice cold Tecate. Ohhh and a kick ass brother.


At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Meow!Mix said...

That looks like a pretty sweet ride.

Nice to see you posting again. I look forward to reading about more adventures in beer.

You can see what I've been upto on my blog:

At 6:01 PM, Blogger Dr. Beer Socks said...

That is some interesting rebel talk. I can honestly say I started to skip down a bit, and realized it was more of the same. Can you point me to the beer on the page? HEhehe
Good to hear from you John, hope things are things, and stuff is stuff.



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