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Thread: Alternative fuels in modern engines

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    Default Alternative fuels in modern engines

    Hello,

    I will start out by saying a couple of things. First, I attempted a search for this info, but found nothing. Admittedly, my search skillz are not too great. Secondly, I do not currently own, or plan on buying in the near future, a modern diesel. This question is simply out of curiosity and so that I have more information. Our good friend Joe once said "Knowing is half the battle."

    So, here the question. When looking at alternative fuels (read: JP-8, WMO, Bio, WVO, SVO, Etc.), are there any that are usable in new diesel engines? Meaning, are there any fuels, or combinations of fuels, that will work in cummins, powerstroke, duramax or ecodiesels that use DEF?

    I understand that JP-8 has less lubrication built in than street diesel. But, if one were to add, say, WMO to it, would it work out? I'm particularly interested in understanding if it's possible in 2010 and newer cummins, duramax, and ecodiesels. Like I say, I don't own one now, and wont in the near future, but if I had last year's vehicle purchase to do over, I would buy one of those vehicles. Also, if I were to end up with one, at some point, I would not run it regularly. It would just be good info to have. Then I would know that, should I ever have to resort to it, an FMTV (which I do plan to buy at some point when I can) COULD be run off of similar alternative fuels. But, also, that once I get an FMTV, I would be interested in swapping to a diesel daily driver just for fuel compatibility anyway.

    Thanks for the answers, and if this has been answered before, please kindly point me in the direction.

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    4 Star General Barrman's Avatar
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    Disclaimer to start with. I do not work on the newer electronic common rail diesels. So I have not seen first hand what happens to them with non diesel run.

    I do talk vehicles with just about everyone I actually talk to. The 6.4 and 6.7 Ford engines don't run right and have lasting severe valve and fuel system issues when the old standby of adding a quart of atf to a tank of fuel. The Cummins has injector issues which leads to DPF and regenerative burn problems when anything besides diesel is used. Both of the above came from Ford techs or repair shops that do only diesel work.

    At current prices I don't think it is worth the risk/cost of running anything besides diesel. Then there is the legal side of it. Lots of states have enacted laws to make sure they get every tax dollar they can from on road fuel. If you get your tank dipped and anything besides clean green diesel is found. What will that cost you?

    sorry my reply is low on facts. I have been down the wmo path before and total time plus money involved has convinced me what you get at the pump is a good deal in the long run.
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    If you want a Multifuel engine to run on a variety of fuels, you should look at either the m44 series or m39 series trucks. They will run on a variety of blends (as long as it's clean and will lube the ip). It's better to just run straight diesel in Diesel engines (my opinion). Also, I have a house in Alto, NM so good luck from a part time neighbor.
    Last edited by fsearls92; 02-11-2017 at 22:39.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsearls92 View Post
    If you want a Multifuel engine to run on a variety of fuels, you should look at either the m44 series or m39 series trucks. They will run on a variety of blends (as long as it's clean and will lube the ip). It's better to just run straight diesel in Diesel engines (my opinion). Also, I have a house in Alto, NM so good luck from a part time neighbor.
    You have a home nearby, eh? Would be neat to get to meet someone who knows something about these vehicles in person sometime.

    I'm not really looking for a multi fuel truck. I had thought about it, but I would get the m35 if I ended up there. What I really want is the m1087 for a conversion. But, I know it can also run on several different jet fuels, etc. So, it was mostly out of curiosity that I was wondering if an engine such, what I believe people are talking about when they say "common rail diesel" (forgive me, I know nothing about diesels right now. I've got pretty good experience with Chevy's gas engines though.) would run on some other fuel, or mixtures of fuels if there were ever a need to do so. It certainly wouldn't be something to do on the regular. I understand there were some consumer engines that would do it a while back. But, who wants to drive an 80s Ford for "just in case?" not me.

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    A local biodiesel plant put their first official batch in a Jeep liberty diesel B100. Didn't make it out of the parking lot. While the specs pass as #2 diesel, many of these modern diesel engines have viscosity sensors/fuel burn sensors that can tell when something other than #2 is being used. I think most of the engines within the last 10 years accept up to a B20 blend. Seems like there is some tweeking/computer reprograming that must take place on the engines to run JP8 in extreme cold climate conditions.
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    So, in other words, engine makers are becoming more strict about what you can run. I guess it makes sense. I'm thinking of the Ram 3.0 Ecodiesel. When you look at the Ram 1500 HFE, everything about that truck was designed for one purpose. To be a full-size pickup getting upwards of 25 mpg with a diesel engine. From what I have read, they managed that and then some. But, it's all designed to work in a very specific way. So, it makes sense that they don't want it to run on something other than it's designed for. I think that liberty the plant used has the 3.0. Oddly enough, I literally just found a post on another forum that says that the owner's manual says it can run up to B20. But, they also cite a possible reason higher viscosity of fuel won't work is because of low ring tension. They seem to believe that the fuel seeps past the rings and into the oil. It seems like modern engines of all types have issues with low ring tension.
    Last edited by SimplexCoda; 02-12-2017 at 11:28.

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    Short answer is no.
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    the electronic engines tend to be more forgiving about lubricity. how ever the emissions systems are very unforgiving and expensive. I would recommend ulsd only the other thing you have to consider is stability under pressure, the new systems are seeing up to 44k psi and ulsd will crack at those pressures, and return tar to your tank. I can only imagine what may happen over time with wmo or vegetable oil

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    Cummins allows up to 5% blend of oil for the purposes of improving lubricity. If you can filter your WMO to 2-micron or better and can meet several other factors (for example Cummins Service Bulletin 3379001), then go for it. However, expect a quicker attrition of fuel filters, SCR, and injector nozzles.

    BTW, I'm moving to Alamogordo in a month. Hit me up. I'll be driving my M35A2 from Ohio.

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    Thanks for all the info guys. It's great food for thought.

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