'94 FZJ80 Conversion to Biodiesel / Vege-oil burner....

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by SeaCruiser, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. SeaCruiser


    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    So what all do I have to do to convert my engine to a biodiesel / vegetable oil burning engine? Kits? Know anyone in the Southern California area who does these conversions? Anyone using water combustion engines or compressed air engines? Any other green alternatives that will work with my FZJ80, so I'm not paying $70 for a tank of gas every 2 days??
  2. beno

    beno 33030-60450 Moderator Supporting Vendor

    Covington, GA
    You would need a diesel engine first before you could go to biodiesel.

    Or, you can park the cruiser and get a more economical car to use as your DD.

    Or, you can not drive as much--telecommute, work from home, etc.

    You have options. You do not have to drive the cruiser.
  3. AMMO


    Lincoln, CA
    There is a world of options out there but no conversions that will take your gasser to a green level that I know of. It's engine swap time if you want to go this route. Try a search, diesel swaps have become a popular topic on the board, if you want to run veggie.

    The swap is not for the faint of heart or wallet… look to spend around 20G for turn key.

  4. CodyRx7


    Prescott Valley, AZ
    Step 1. Move out of SoCal.

    Step 2. ????

    Step 3. Profit!
  5. RavenTai


    Dixie co. Florida
    How do you turn wrenches through a telephone?

    Oh thats right, telecommuting is for people who do not work for a living.
  6. bc81


    if you're really interested talk with sheldon at G & S cruiser parts. they are located outside of vancouver,b.c. he has done a few of these conversions including his own truck. as said before not cheap but well worth it in the long run.
  7. BooKilla


    Portland, OR
    Call john at proffit cruisers in colorado...he'll shed some light. Diesel conversions are complex and they take a lot of effort and/or money. This is a great forum to get some info on basic diesel swaps...pirate has some good info as well. Let me know if you want some additional information...
  8. Grolar


    Bethesda, MD
    I feel your pain, being a 94 driver in socal. Anyway, I met a guy named Tom Holm at Vegas' SEMA last November and he says he can pretty much convert any car into a green machine. He's based in Thousand Oaks and his website is www.ecotrek.com. He's nonprofit. But it will cost you a leg, anyways. Good luck.:cheers:
  9. IdahoDoug


    No way is converting a gasser to a diesel, then bio going to pay off. No way - that is simply bad advice. If paying to drive a gas 80 isn't in the cards, sell it and drive a Camry, but don't go through the brain damage to reduce your fuel expenses by converting an 80. Dropping $15k to save $500 a year? 'Silk purse out of a sow's ear' comes to mind...

    I think we're going to see more of this as fuel prices go up. I strongly encourage people who ask me about this stuff to put together a rudimentary spreadsheet or simply pencil it out by hand. There's no way an engine swap to a diesel is going to pay off unless you drive huge miles per year. Converting even a diesel to bio is getting borderline as the price of cooking oil goes up due to - wait for it - increasing demand from people who converted to bio before you did in your community.

  10. firetruck41


    Camas, WA USA
    Save up $20k+ and get in line at Profitts Cruisers... :) Or you can do your own diesel swap, there are a few threads about different conversions, not cheap, especially if you can't do it yourself.
  11. IdahoDoug


    PS - in your spread sheet add 50 cents/gallon to whatever the diesel price is in your community. Yes, I know that will make it some 20% more than you currently pay for 87 octane to fill up but that's where it's going and soon. And increase the price you'll pay for used french fry oil in your town by 100% from whatever you'd pay today. Yes, I know that will make it near worthless to mess with but that's where it's going now that each community has roving bands of people showing up at every restaurant looking for the oil, and it will go up further as these restaurants in each community sign contracts with enterprising startups who will buy it all, clean it and then offer it for sale themselves. How long do you think restaurant owners will want to mess with people showing up at their back doors, and how long do you think the government will let unregulated transport of this oil by random hemp-wearing bio fuel seekers go on? Um, probably until around 100 spills of 10 gallon drums occur. Remember you don't live in a vacuum - there are market forces at work out here and you're not the only one to want to go this route which means supplies will soon be limited and then controlled by someone who will want to profit from it.

    Anyhow, don't count on this as a long term strategy. Or even a medium term.


  12. alaskacruiser


    LA, CA
    Doug- my back of a napkin calculation for diesel (not veggie/bio) conversion shows:

    DIY 4BT swap w/ rebuilt 4BT and A440F tranny = $12k

    Gas price ave = $3.59 (assume same for diesel and 87 octane since diesel's price is more cyclical due to winter heating demand- more expensive in winter and cheaper in summer vs. 87- at least it has been here for the past 2 years I've been watching. Gas prices will only go up in the coming years and so the potential savings will increase)

    Gas Mileage before conversion = 13MPG

    Gas Mileage after conversion = 22MPG (this seems on the conservative side after following several conversion threads)

    Annual Mileage = 15k mi. (admittedly higher than average, but not uncommon in SoCal)

    Using these numbers, it will take 7.07 years to pay off the conversion. Gas price average at $4/gal brings the pay off down to 6.35 years. I think this sounds like a reasonable amount of time, and you'd probably have a very solid truck considering the rebuilt engine/tranny. I am considering such a conversion at some point, and would appreciate any major holes you can poke in the above.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2008
  13. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

    Marshall, VA
    I've been researching this topic for awhile now and getting many opinions on the whole diesel swap. In every thread I've read here on mud, someone posts up and rightfully so explains how the 15-20k dollar expense on the diesel in the long run will not be a wise choice.

    This is how i look at it. I would like to think that those who are considering such an alteration are nearing the end of their 1FZ lifespan. In my case, i'm at over 300k miles and plan to keep the 80 as long as possible. Therefore, i already am budgeting about 7k or more to either rebuild or replace my current driveline(only to still achieve 13mpg again). Having said that, paying off the the ADDED expense of the diesel become much more feasable. Lastly, since i was already running 4" inches of lift, and was able to source my own 4bt, the price of the swap is now going to come in closer to 13-15k, leaving me to pay off about 6-8k, again because i was already factoring to spend rougly 7k on my tired 1FZ/A442F

    Perhaps that's a wrong way of thinking, but it's a decent point i think many look over.
  14. locrwln1


    Reno, NV
    How do you get past the smog police? You have a gas motored vehicle and you convert it to diesel, how are you going to get that through CARB/referee?

    Probably makes more sense in non-smog checking areas, but not so sure in smog check areas.

  15. Sc0-


    About Biodiesel, sometime back Bosche released a report advising against the use of biodiesel due to wear of the components due to contaminants and moisture. True that you can have a home setup that filters these out but add that cost into your conversion and make sure you have space for it all as they can get complex.

    Might want to check into LPG, about zero contaminants compared to diesel/gas and if the engine is built to run it the mileage should improve. (do shop around on LPG prices as well as it's not much cheaper than gas at the moment)
  16. 84runner


    Arroyo Grande, CA
    I don't know what happened to the smog laws this last year for diesels but up until last year you would have still had to do the diesel engine swap with all smog components that came stock on whatever year/make/model diesel engine you choose to put in. Bring it to the referee and have it meet smog for that particular vehicle. Then in theory you never have to smog it again... i.e. rip all the smog crap off. It aint gonna be cheap or quick...
  17. 84runner


    Arroyo Grande, CA
    Biodiesel is what you can buy from a pump at a fuel station, very safe and controlled. The home set ups I believe your talking about are for WVO, (waste vegetable oil), set ups that you do on your own from McD's old oil. To use WVO, it will become your new hobby and take up a good chunk of time and garage space!

    Remember, biodiesel is different than WVO, or SVO. Biodiesel is still derived initially from vegetable oil, but it is a very processed and controlled fuel that can be run in any diesel vehicle with no modifications but is around the same price as diesel. WVO or SVO is basically too 'thick' to run in most vehicles, except for instance early 80's mercedes diesels. So it must typically be heated then pumped through bigger injectors. Plus you can't just pour in WVO from your local McD's, you have to get 99% of contaminants and H2O out of it first! But that's another story...

    $$$Good Luck!$$$
  18. That's bitter. ;)
  19. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

    from 13 to 22? is that for sure?
    I seem to recall some threads from our Canuckian brethren that suggested something more like 20% improvement in mpgs comparing 2 similar trucks. Close to doubling mpg seems optimistic. Where would that be coming from? A typical Otto engine has a thermal effiiciency of about 30%. A Diesel one maybe 40%, say. Surely not the 60% that would suggest a doubling in efficiency. [That would be perilously close to beating the second law of thermo, and if you can do that you can also make a perpetual motion machine and that would be way cooler in a cruiser... :D]
    OK, fine, there is more to it than thermal efficiency :), but still...
    Enlighten me, please. :)
  20. cruiser-poor


    Huntsville, AL
    I agree; that struck me as overstating the mileage gain. It's still going to be a tall, heavy vehicle with full-time 4WD and big tires.

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