Alternative diesel

I have a '95 Ram 2500 with a Cummins engine. I’m tired of the price of diesel going up constantly (who isn’t?) and was wondering what the current “wisdom” is regarding converting this truck to running partially on vegetable oil instead of petrodiesel. I’ve “heard things” about this oil causing problems with gaskets and seals, but I would think the lubricity would be better. Any thoughts on this new diesel?


I don’t know about that engine, but there certainly are many engines running without problems on bio-diesel without any problems. Note: most are modified somewhat.

Of course I doubt if it will mean much in our life time. Once the authorities decide they still need money to fix roads and the cost of the cheap bio-mass sources run out the cost will be right up there. However I suspect for the life of your truck, those factors may not come fully into play.

BTW lubricity is better and I know of few problems.

Just to be clear, are you talking about bio-diesel or SVO/WVO?

They are two very different things. Bio-diesel is processed and can normally used without any modifications, although there are gelling concerns and it has not been endorsed by some engine manufacturers. Commercial bio-diesel costs about the same as petro-diesel. SVO/WVO is a different issue and may require modifications. There is a lot of info (and lots of scams) on the net.

You shouldn’t run your truck on straight vegetable oil (SVO) or waste vegetable oil (WVO). SVO and WVO, among other stocks, can be processed to create biodiesel. Biodiesel is available commercially in various mixtures, such as B5, B20 or B100, where B20 is 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel. Most all diesels can run on mixtures as high as B20 in most climates.

Biodiesel is also a solvent and can dissolve rubber seals over time that are used in the fuel delivery system. Most modern diesels are using synthetic seals, so this is not so much of a problem. Biodiesel also has less energy per unit volume, and also has a higher density, but at only a 20% mixture most people don?t notice a decrease in performance.

In warmer climates you can run B100, but B100 can start to gel at temps as high as 30-40deg F. Another consideration with B100 is that it?s such a strong solvent it will break up all the deposits in the fuel tank and can plug the fuel filter very quickly. For this reason many people clean the tank prior to running B100 or change the fuel filter every tank for the first few tanks. You will notice a drop in performance with B100 over petroleum.

As already mentioned biodiesel has excellent lubricity compared to the LSD and ULSD fuels used today, so even a 5% mixture can be beneficial.