New WVO Convert, EDC Warning Light and power loss - Road Trip London2Vietnam

Andy at Focallocal

Social Adventurer
Hi, i just finished a 2 tank WVO (Waste Veg Oil) convertion on my '02 Mercedes Sprinter 311 CDI LWB and am attempting to drive it from London to Vietnam spreading awareness of my project (Focallocal) to create connection in local communities and spread a wave of happiness everywhere.

The van ran beautifully for around 150km, then it lost power for around 1 sec and the EDC and lights both came on. I switched back immediately, but tried again later this time getting around 50km before the same happened again.

I'm wondering what you guys make of this issue? the van (Connie) was most definitely not looked after well before i bought it and i've done a lot of work already tidying it up, but so far it has seemed to be in excellent mechanical condition - but i havent changed the filter, and i doubt its been changed for many years.

The oil i collect i filter once to 20microns, then again to 5microns. In the engine it runs through another 5 micron filter and then through the mercedes original filter. the oil runs through 2 heat exchangers and is very hot when it reaches the injectors. The line to the WVO tank is very long and i worry the engines stock pump might be struggling with it - but it didnt seem to be an issue while i was driving.

i'm not terrible at mechanical stuff but not great either and i'd love your thoughts.

Kind wishes,
Andy :0)

.....

Focallocal.org: an idea to spread a wave of local connection and happinesss around the World. please join in!
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Andy
Read your post--Spreading waves of happiness eh!.
Usually from my interpretation of that it mean victuals with a few bottles of booze mixed in there somewhere. Then find a football and make instant friends, its universal mate!

That's one thing (of the many) I like very much about the USA & Canada and that is the institution of Thanksgiving,:thumbup: its like Christmas with no presents to buy! :thumbup::thumbup:More nations should adopt the idea its great way to make friends.
Then I am biased I am lucky to live in beautiful Colorado!

Anyway hard to comment on your conversion expedience but from what I usually see on the these conversions where the common rail injection system is converted to WVO, is fat congealed in the fuel pressure regulator. The 2002/2003 Nafta spec Sprinters are most affected on this side by the regulator getting stuck and loosing fuel pressure control.
Due to its design it can be sometimes hard to clean it out once removed from the back of the rail, and in several instances of stalling and poor starting I have been forced to simply replace it with a new one. Not cheap at about $450 pop!
The other is the black check valve/hose jointer on top of the MB fuel filter, when it gets stuck with fat & junk you can get the same issues
Might want to start looking at these two most overlooked areas.
Best of luck & hope I could be of some help.
Cheers Dennis
 

Andy at Focallocal

Social Adventurer
Thanks, i'm testing drivinng it with low revs and checking to see if the issue only happens when the engine is under strain - which i believe would suggest a lift pump would be a good idea (i couldnt find the valve i want and ended up sucking gasoline fumes for an hour to get it running - so i know the pump is working really hard to suck it through).

if that doesnt fix it i will definitely look at your suggestion, thanks for making them. the van struggled to start this morning. hopefully it was just because the battery was flat, as a good charge and it started up again - but your post does open up other possibilities.



I started the project in London, people are afraid of interacting with folk they dont know and society is very divided based on social group. i think a lot of it comes from the mainstream news telling us all the time of the few terrible things that happen and making them seem fairly normal; or perhaps marketing firms telling us our whole lives that we should identify with one group because they are like us and we should buy their product to show it.

Anyway, London has it a lot, same with Scandinavia and a lot of other countries - and most countries have an apathy to people taking action themselves to fix the societal issues that surround them and prefer to moan that the govt, council or police should fix it.

My project is aiming to change that, and its heaps of fun. why not grab a few friends and a pile of pillows, or some bottles of bubbles and give it a go - its rediculously silly, but great fun and lots of people will go home with a smile because you did ;)

warm wishes,
Andy.
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Thanks, i'm testing drivinng it with low revs and checking to see if the issue only happens when the engine is under strain - which i believe would suggest a lift pump would be a good idea (i couldnt find the valve i want and ended up sucking gasoline fumes for an hour to get it running - so i know the pump is working really hard to suck it through).

if that doesnt fix it i will definitely look at your suggestion, thanks for making them. the van struggled to start this morning. hopefully it was just because the battery was flat, as a good charge and it started up again - but your post does open up other possibilities.



I started the project in London, people are afraid of interacting with folk they dont know and society is very divided based on social group. i think a lot of it comes from the mainstream news telling us all the time of the few terrible things that happen and making them seem fairly normal; or perhaps marketing firms telling us our whole lives that we should identify with one group because they are like us and we should buy their product to show it.

Anyway, London has it a lot, same with Scandinavia and a lot of other countries - and most countries have an apathy to people taking action themselves to fix the societal issues that surround them and prefer to moan that the govt, council or police should fix it.

My project is aiming to change that, and its heaps of fun. why not grab a few friends and a pile of pillows, or some bottles of bubbles and give it a go - its rediculously silly, but great fun and lots of people will go home with a smile because you did ;)

warm wishes,
Andy.
Andy
It is essential that the engine can crank at an adequate speed around 850r/m with the correct voltage since threshold voltages withing the operating system control so much of engine functions.
The same requirement is for fuel to be void free either from restriction or air ingress. As with any diesel engine the pump must not run dry or be starved. The MB common rail engine of the era you have has a matchbox size LP pump on the front of the head, if it gets a void or air in it it won't pump but on the other hand if it has an unrestricted fuel flow its very reliable.

Interesting your society comments!
Having been a world traveler people are much the same but simply divided between culture and religion. Brits are very reserved and don't warm up to strangers very easily being just polite, overly reserved and the same can be true of those on the Euro continent. Its essentially comes from our combined history as Old Europe.
Now all of the Americas are different, both Latin and Anglo!
Break out a few "soccer " foot balls and doting boy friends will abandon hot girlfriends on the beach for few rounds of footie and a cold beer!
Even in ME its much the same as the women folk gather together in a group as a clump of Guinness bottles as onlookers.
Best of luck
Dennis
 

Colorado_Al

Well-known member
I have about 40,000 miles on WVO in my converted 2003 T1N. Dennis is my mechanic of choice, so I would listen to what he says.

I found that I need a lift pump on the WVO side or I will have the same low fuel related stalling that you are having. I installed a Raptor 100, set very low so as not to kill the on engine lift pump by over-pressuring it, and have had few problems since. 1 thing I have noticed on WVO is that when the AC is on and I come to a stop, the idle speed will drop and I can get a stall. Not always, but when temps are very high. I suspect that the timing is somehow adjusted by the computer for the super hot fuel and the extra load of the AC is just too much for the lower BTUs of WVO. Also possible that I have the problem that Dennis suggested of a bunged up pressure regulator. It runs fine when on diesel however, so not sure if that is the case. Easy enough to remedy with manually turning the AC off momentarily while coasting to a stop. Once stopped and idling, I can turn the AC back on without a stall. I was considering getting a high idle kit installed, but not sure that would do the trick. What I really would like is to get a tune of the ECU by Green Diesel to raise the idle a bit, and shut off the EGR valve, but it is $600 that I don't have right now.

Anyhow, I suggest removing the stock fuel filter from your WVO loop. I assume it is not heated and you will get a lot of cross contamination from using it on both fuel systems. Also a high probability of waxing when cold from residual WVO in the filter medium. Sounds like you are already filtering your oil well enough and have an onboard 5 micron filter as well. So I would bring your WVO line into the stock fuel line after the stock fuel filter. I just cut the clear line between the stock fuel filter outlet and the engine and attached my valve outlet on the engine side using 5/16" ID tubing pushed directly onto the hard clear line. The stock fuel filter outlet goes straight to the switching valve.

Another thing you might investigate is a fuel leak off test to make sure your injectors are not passing too much fuel. I had one that was and it caused my T1N to run like crap especially when on WVO. Also caused hard to start issues. Search the site for the leak off test. very easy to do and will let you know if you need to replace an injector (or possibly more than one).

Anyhow, Here's a link to my WVO conversion write-up.
http://frybrid.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17303
I'd print it out or save it as a PDF, since I hear that the frybrid site is due to go away sometime soon.

Keep us informed with what you find and make sure to share some posts from the road!

Best,
Al
 
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Andy at Focallocal

Social Adventurer
Andy
It is essential that the engine can crank at an adequate speed around 850r/m with the correct voltage since threshold voltages withing the operating system control so much of engine functions.
The same requirement is for fuel to be void free either from restriction or air ingress. As with any diesel engine the pump must not run dry or be starved. The MB common rail engine of the era you have has a matchbox size LP pump on the front of the head, if it gets a void or air in it it won't pump but on the other hand if it has an unrestricted fuel flow its very reliable.

Interesting your society comments!
Having been a world traveler people are much the same but simply divided between culture and religion. Brits are very reserved and don't warm up to strangers very easily being just polite, overly reserved and the same can be true of those on the Euro continent. Its essentially comes from our combined history as Old Europe.
Now all of the Americas are different, both Latin and Anglo!
Break out a few "soccer " foot balls and doting boy friends will abandon hot girlfriends on the beach for few rounds of footie and a cold beer!
Even in ME its much the same as the women folk gather together in a group as a clump of Guinness bottles as onlookers.
Best of luck
Dennis

thanks for your reply. i didnt get notifications and so i missed it. the issues have developed and i dont belive its the pump now - i think the injectors may be dying, but i'm not sure. i started a new thread and would love your opinions: https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?p=330951#post330951

also thanks for your lovely comments about the community i've started. i find the same, there are stronger social pressures not to join in (and step out) in some countries, but in all are the same folk who just want to share a positive, happy experience with each other. you would be welcome to join in :0)
 

Andy at Focallocal

Social Adventurer
the issues hhave progressed since my last post.

it was driving beautifully, no probs at all for around 2k. Now i have the EDC and pump dashboard lights come on as soon as i switch to WVO and the engine generally go above 2k revs (on diesel too). has cut out completely 4 times while driving (on WVO) and sounds sick when starting.

1st i thought it was going into limp home mode as it cut off exactly at 2k revs and went back to normal after a while driving on diesel. Now its permanent and the engine occasionally goes over 2k revs on deisel so i worry its something far worse.


i changed the air filter, oil, oil filter and fuel filter. no change. i have bought a lift pump, but it hasnt arrived yet. i'm thinking perhaps the injectors are clogged ..or the engine is damaged. trying to go over 2k revs i get around 3 secs of power then 0.5 secs of nothing - where i can feel the engine breaking kicking in.

its a 2002 311 CDI

can anyone recognise the issue and suggest a solution? if i replace the injectors will it just happen again in 2k miles?

all advice much appreciated,
Thanx, Andy
 

Colorado_Al

Well-known member
You need to pull the codes from the computer in your Sprinter. Instead of guessing, either buy, borrow or find someone with a code reader that can scan all Sprinter codes. Not a generic OBDII reader but one that is specifically for Sprinter/MB.
It is possible that you have damaged the on engine fuel pump or that you are having injector problems, but better to find what codes your Sprinter is reporting and fixing them and clearing them (all while on diesel) before throwing more parts a the issue.
Please let us know what codes it reports.
Best of luck!
Al

PS- my bet is still low fuel pressure. Those sound very similar to the problems that my 03 had before adding a lift pump to the WVO side. Still, need to clear the codes, but find out what codes are stored first.
 

Andy at Focallocal

Social Adventurer
thanks, i'll try to find one and report back
 

Andy at Focallocal

Social Adventurer
Posting to update: i had a partial success. i installed a lift pump and the van drives much smoother on WVO now (although i still think i may have damaged the stock pump), but the van is still limited to 2k revs (on WVO and for a few days on diesel after driving on WVO).

So now i'm assuming its mainly an electronic issue. i will look for someone with a Sprinter code reader, but my project has hit a big bump and i'm completely out of money, and expect to be so for the next month or 2, until our Kindess Auction builds steam.

Can anyone suggest a fix, to stop the engine going into what i presume is limp home mode? or to change the timing, which i think related to, or the cause of the issue?

Thanks very much for youradvice and support! i'm in Germany and heading into Poland ..just very slowly :P

Andy
http://focallocal.org/go/focallocal
 

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