Why run cars on plant oil? Choosing the right vehicle for transportation What do I need to convert my car or truck? Diesel Technology Bulletin Board News

“The right vehicle”

Using environmentally-sensible fuel doesn’t solve all environmental issues regarding transportation, but it’s a practical step along the way. Being an environmentally-conscious traveller requires evaluation of your lifestyle, your needs, the conditions of the area where you live and the length of travel.

Of course, the most environmentally-friendly transportation is when you supply energy to move forward—walking or using a bicycle! Secondarily, public transport, carpooling or car-share programs, are all better alternatives than each person driving single-occupancy vehicles. However, there are few options for individual transportation for longer distances and vehicles with internal combustion engines are still the most convenient option.

That’s where we come in; we are open to working on any vehicle with a Diesel engine and have experience working on models from the following manufacturers:

  Audi is just beginning to introduce its Diesel engines to North America. We import A4 and A6 Quattro (all wheel drive) TDIs (Turbodiesel Direct Injection) Audis from Germany to Canada. They are well-made, fully-inspected and mechanically-updated cars with excellent handling. We import models where parts are available in North America as well.

  Volkswagen has long introduced Diesel passenger cars. From the Rabbit to the Golf and Jettas they have sometimes legendary status—especially the older ones. We have considerable experience with all models, especially the vans, even more especially Vanagons and their legendary Syncros. Unfortunately, the Vanagon was only sold in 1982 with a non-turbo Diesel engine and was in performance almost on par with some of the very early microbuses. The ups and downs of the landscape will be felt. We can convert all Vanagons with turbodiesel engines including modern TDI engines. We are also importing Eurovan style campers and utility vehicles with all wheel drive.

  The 1980s Mercedes Diesel are probably the most durable passenger cars ever built. Their five-cylinder Diesel engines have unsurpassed longevity. They are heavy vehicles and fuel consumption is mediocre for a Diesel vehicle, but they last. We usually have parts, engines and vehicles available. They can tolerate single tank conversion in coastal climates. Mercedes also has very nice utility vehicles that we can get as special order items. If you really need to go into terrain than get an Unimog.

  Toyota pick up trucks and 4x4s have great reputation around the world. On some models rust is an issue and unfortunately they have not imported many Diesel vehicles into the North American market. You can get imported Japanese Diesel vehicles with right-hand steering. This is not ideal for many traffic situations for right-hand drive countries.

  Many Japanese Mitsubishi import vehicles, mostly Delicas (vans) and Pajeros (SUVs) have turned up in Canada. They all have right-hand steering which, again, is not ideal for all traffic situations in North America. Parts are sometimes difficult to obtain as Mitsubishi has never sold them in North America. Japanese version also have some other subtle differences. They are good vehicles, not terribly fuel efficient though. Delicas are not the easiest to work on as they have very little space in the engine compartment under the passenger seat.

  Nissan also has some nice Diesel engines. Their small pickup trucks often have rust issues (frame). The right-hand steering imports have the same parts supply issues that other Japanese imports have.

  Cummins produced some very reliable Diesel engines for Dodge. Like all North American pickup trucks the engines are often too large compared with actual usage. Some Cummins Diesels had issues with the fuel lift pump which affected the injection pump. In some years oil conversions require an extra lift pump and appropriate relays.

  The older Ford Diesel engines have a very large volume (7.3 L) but are fairly reliable and best for conversions. The 6L Powerstroke is quite complex and has its own issues. The Ford vans have very difficult access to some engine components and can be difficult to work on.

  GM has some good years and not-so-good years. The older Diesel engines have a mechanical lift pump which require an extra valve for the SVO conversion. Some later Duramaxs have their electronic engine module cooled by fuel which requires an extra Diesel cooling circuit with valve and lift pump while using heated plant oil.

  There are many nice Diesel vehicles in the world. Europe has a multitude of small to large Diesel-powered vehicles. These can be obtained by special order from Dr. Björn’s Auto.