Saturday, June 26, 2010

Recall and leaving the car at the dealer

95,548 miles

Took the car in for one recall - moonroof drains modification, don't get me started I have firsthand experience with flooding of the interior of the car on my Passat. Ended up have a total of 4 recalls out on the car - moonroof drains, brakelight switch, seat heaters - left and right.

This was the first time the car has gone in for service since the kit was installed. One thing one always has to keep in mind is how are the mechanics that need to service the car going to deal with the kit mods. I hadn't given the situation much thought because it didn't seem that the kit would interfere with the drain modifications.What I hadn't thought about was that the car would get hot enough to switch over to oil - or at least want to automatically once the car was restarted. This would be a problem at the dealership when they needed to move it after check in - and cause an auto purge cycle that would make the car idle for 2 minutes after it was turned off. That would be a problem.

On my old manual system this wasn't a problem but by default my new kit is an automatic system unless set otherwise.

One might suggest to simply pull the controller but my experience is that the brains that are separate and installed up in the dash continue to work without the display installed. What I decided to do was set the switchover temp higher on the VO Controller. Normally I have it set to 150º. I raised it to 200º before switchover. That would require the engine to be running for quite sometime before it would switchover.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's summer time

95,471 miles

Wish I had more to write about but I just don't drive that much. When I drive local I wil use my electric golf cart and since the kids are out for the summer I will use my wife's Ford Hybrid Escape and try and stay on electric for most of the ride. Other then adding a pint of oil everything is fine.

I do feel that this car is not as robust as my sedan that I originally converted. This car burns oil (even before the conversion) and doesn't get that great of gas mileage. I think the car is more of a lemon so I don't know how well it will take the conversion in the long run.

I believe I've said this before but one could look at the conversion as more of a season thing. The doughnut tank doesn't lend itself to this kind of driving because it is so small and not practical.Only switch to oil in the summer months because I don't know how it is possible to get the oil hot enough for the switch over in the winter months - and I have mild winters. I find the best practice for getting the engine/oil hot enough in the least amount of driving is to drive a short distance on diesel and stop the car and let the heat radiate throughout the engine/oil - such as doing a short errand.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

93, 657 miles - emergency tank added

I added a 1 gallon gas container to my trunk area because the container happen to fit. Someone at work picked it up for me one day because I was concerned that I was low on diesel in the doughnut tank (remember I don't have a gauge on the diesel tank). I didn't needed it but since I have the room it's a nice thing to have. Seems like I have room for another one.

Checked the system today with the exception of the Vegtherm. The VOcontrol won't turn the Vegtherm on unless it is closer to the switchover temp. The other thing I noticed with it is that if the car does a smart start - starting on veggie from a quick stop the Vegtherm doesn't turn back on.

The injection line heaters came on and the appropriate switches lit up so all seems to be good. I'll just have to pull over while driving at temp to test the Vegtherm.

I added about 1/2 a quart of oil to the engine. I've added oil in the past before the conversion so I'm not worried. I did change the oil during the conversion so I'm not sure exactly where the oil level was. Interestingly I never added oil to the original KPJ

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Small tank = warm diesel

Since I drive short distances and don't always switch over to SVO on these short trips I've noticed that the diesel fuel tends to get warm. I think this is because of the small 4.5 gallon doughnut tank and the fact that the fueled is warmed by the engine (via the return loop). Since my trips are short I tend to drive on the smaller tank for longer than what it was meant for - the idea of the tank is you switch over as soon as you can for the longer drive on VO. As stated my drives are short.

The other issue that complicates this is that as I drive over the course of the week the quantity of fuel is reduced (obviously) but that makes it run hotter as there is less fuel to be heated and recirculated.

I generally refill the doughnut tank once a week and it usually takes about 2.5 - 3 galllons irregardless of how many miles I drive - because on the longer trips I switch to veggie.

On most drives it seems to balance out in the the sense that if it is a longer drive I will switch over before the diesel gets too hot. It's the shorter trips that become longer - more or less local errands- that aren't practical to switch over for because of the loss of fuel through purging.

I don't know offhand what the diesel temperature gets to but on the VegControl I can see it rising because I placed the fuel temp sender in the return line so it reads the temperature for both diesel & VO.

UPDATE: I noticed today that for my 7.5 mile drive home that is about 20% freeway and 80% surface streets that the coolant made it to 170ish degrees and the diesel made it to 104ish with an outside temperature at night of approx 64 degrees