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Can a 1991 Chevy G20 van run on veg oil or biodiesel?

I am thinking of buying a 1991 Chevy G20 van w/ 134K miles. It’s in great condition and has a V8 engine. My only hesitation is the gas-guzzler issue w/ 14 miles to the gallon. Ugg. I am wondering if it’s possible to get this sucker to run on veggie oil or biodiesel? It’s not a diesel engine. How can I green-up this ride?Thoughts??

It wont. You cant. The only way it would be green is to paint it.

If you want to run a vehicle on biodiesel, or any diesel fuel for that matter, you need to start with a vehicle that has a diesel engine. Your V8 is a gasoline engine. It will not run on diesel at all. Please don’t even try unless you feel like paying a very high repair bill.

This is the kind of thinking that gives “green” a bad name. If you really want to be green, get a bicycle, not a huge van spewing black biodiesel diesel exhaust.

21 year old Chevy Vans turn green after you run them through a shredder…

This vehicle is no candidate for a biodiesel project. The best cars for that job are Mercedes and VW diesel cars from the '80 or Ford diesel trucks from the '80s (had to note '80s on both those since we actually had a post recently of someone wanting to buy a brand new Jetta TDI to run on biodiesel, which is a terrible idea). Also, biodiesel isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. That concept takes a lot of time, money, and work to make it possible for an individual. You will have to learn how to make the fuel, have a place to make and store your fuel (this requires a lot of space), find suppliers for the necessary filters and additives, and get the equipment to process the stuff. Then you have to create a network of donors or clientele to take or purchase the used veggie oil from. All told, your biodiesel project will run into the thousands, so if you are looking for a way to save money, this is not the way to do it. It is strictly for fanatics. If you are looking to “go green”, the most “green” thing to do is to keep your current car and keep driving it till it cannot be driven any more. Driving an existing car leaves a much smaller carbon footprint than ordering the manufacture of a brand new Prius.

@Bocephus Moonshine: The kind of thinking that really gives “green” a bad name are those nutcases who would vandalize car dealerships and set fire to SUVs. Fortunately, I have not heard of this happening recently, but it used to happen with astonishing regularity in the late '90s. What better way to protest pollution than to start a huge rubber, paint, oil, gasoline, textile, and plastic fire, right?

I do have a bike and ride when I can, I also have 2 kids under 4 and possibly another baby on the way- hence the practical need for the van. Obviously I can’t get by in that situation as a stay at home mom with just a bike! The Chevy '91 fits my price range and around $2000 in mint cond. and w/ low miles. w/ 134,000. What is a better, more fuel efficient alternative van that doesn’t result in my taking on debt to finance a newer more fuel efficient car?? Which is the lesser of the two evils!? Yikes.

How about a minivan with 3 rows of seats? It will be more comfortable, efficient, and reliable than the ancient van you’re considering. The price may be a little more, but you will actually save $1,000-$2,000/year in gas depending on the amount and type of driving you do.

Fundamentally you cannot run bio-diesel fuel in a gasoline engine. So you’re kinda out of luck there. There’s not much you can do make a 3/4 ton gas powered van more enviromentally friendly. Also I find it funny that somewho who apparently cares for the enviroment would have two, possibly three kids. As having a child is about the worst thing for the enviroment that you can do. But anyway, I think a minivan would be your best option here.

If you can only spend $2k on a vehicle, you can’t afford to convert one into a greaser

Like others have said, a modern minivan with modern emissions equipment would be a lot “greener” than a gas guzzling 21-year-old van. My parents had four kids and got by with a single used station wagon, mass transit, and bicycles until they could afford a reliable new vehicle. Maybe a bicycle isn’t practical, but doesn’t the school district provide busing to get your kids to school?

Sorry, you need to have at least three more kids before you have a “practical” need for such a large vehicle. Most minivans have three rows of seats and a roof rack. That should be large enough for a family of six.

I agree with the others that a minivan should be large enough for you and your family. I have a Toyota Sienna and at one time had 6 passengers, 2 cellos, one French horn, one violin, one trumpet and one flute and we traveled 50 miles each way to play a concert. My first minivan was a Ford Aerostar and I thought I wanted another rear wheel drive minivan. Ford had discontinued the Aerostar and Chevrolet had discontinued its Astro rear wheel drive minivan. I thought about a regular van and tried out a Ford E-150 full size van. It was much too big for everyday use.

To run this van on biodiesel, you’d have to find a parts van with a diesel engine, remove your engine and install the diesel engine and all accessories. This, if you found a good diesel, would cost several thousand dollars if you found someone to take on this job.

If you buy this van, keep it tuned, tires inflated, and as empty as possible. That’s about all you can do to green it up.

Also, there’s a lot more to “green” than fuel economy. Even properly tuned, the tailpipe emissions can be 3 times that of a van 10 years newer. Older vehicles tend to leak oil and other fluids more than new ones, which is a definite enviro concern.

You need to add a flux capacitor and a refuse converter.

article seems a bit biased towards WVO cars, but that’s how I view it.

$1000 to $1500 for a kit plus whatever a mechanic charges to put it in if you can’t do it yourself. Do you have a steady supply of waste oil you can get for free? You’ll need a special containment setup to haul the grease from the restaurant to your house, which you might need to have a separate vehicle to do that as well. Once you get it home, you’ll need chemicals to convert the grease into useable fuel for the vehicle.

The article lists $1000 to $1500 for the kit, $1000 for the mechanic to install the kit(price will vary according to location), and $700 for the strainer kitfor the grease to turn it into useable fuel. They also add that you might want to apply for a fuel license if you go greaser because you aren’t paying fuel taxes, and you might get fined for that.

@bscar2 - OP had a gasser, not a diesel, to start with. No (real) way to get there.

Yeah, I know. I was just putting the info out for the OP to show a guesstimate on how much they’d be spending to run a diesel on WVO. The equipment alone would cost more than the vehicle, and if they only have the $2k to spend on the van, they’reout of their league already