Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2006 15:27:05 -0800
Reply-To: Anthony Egeln <regnsuzanne@YAHOO.COM>
Sender: Vanagon Mailing List <email@example.com>
From: Anthony Egeln <regnsuzanne@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Diesel Conversions
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OK....I'm converting my wasserboxer to flex fuel, and building a still in my back yard! As soon as the cellulose eating enzymes are available, I'll be able to run my syncro on alcohol distilled from the lawn clippings from the neighborhood! I'll heat my still with solar power and be green and independent. It may sound silly but the technology is already here. Just takes work and imagination.
"Compassionate" conservative AND green........Anthony
'89 Syncro GL (Hidalgo)
mark drillock <drillock@EARTHLINK.NET> wrote: You are missing the point of diesel conversions and fuel cost savings.
The greater share of the interest in Vanagon diesel conversions is
geared toward the goal of burning something other than petro diesel.
Bio-diesel and waste veggie oil are the siren songs for these engines
and have lead to the at least doubling of prices for Vanagon diesel
models over the last couple years. The actual likelihood of achieving
Vanagon petro-fuel independence is generally just a dream IMHO, but lots
of us are dreamers. Some people do achieve it in some measure but most
never do.With the costs of both gasoline and diesel jumping around so
much just over a few months, projecting relative fuel cost comparisons
many years into the future is a pretty shaky proposition. Recovering any
real part of your conversion costs through fuel savings with only gas
station purchased fuels is a big stretch unless you do a lot more
driving than most. The diesel engine dream is one where you get
alternative fuel for next to nothing and then extrapolate that cost
structure across the entire vehicle and perhaps your life in general.
In the end, engine conversions of all types are best left for those
committed to sustaining their Vanagon ownership for a long time after
the conversion.Whether you do it yourself or pay someone else, the
upfront costs are pretty high. The best way to recover those costs is by
long term use of the vehicle after the conversion. This implies a
sustained commitment to overall vehicle maintenance. Even an engine
conversion that gives perfect results still leaves you with a 15-25 year
old vehicle that likely has many other needs besides engine work. Many
excessively frugal VW dieselheads don't seem to grasp this. The results
are a proliferation of alternative fueled VW diesel vehicle projects for
sale after the dream dies.
>If fuel costs over time are the principal reason for going to diesel (not
>fuel availability, or the desire to side with Willie on the BioDiesel
>concert) then it makes sense to look at the fuel savings one would enjoy
>over that 10000 miles per year. Diesel currently costs about %10 more than
>87 Octane and is likely to stay that way. For $2.50/gallon 87 octane let's
>say and vanagon average fuel efficiency of 17 miles per gallon. The gallons
>per year is easily found to be ~588 gallons times $2.50 gives $1470 per year
>fuel cost before conversion. If you go with diesel the fuel consumption
>will probably be on the order of 25 miles per gallon. For the same 10000
>miles per year you'll pay $1100 in fuel costs including the %10 higher price
>for diesel. You will get additional range between fuel stops but you'll
>need it as not all fuel services feature diesel.
>In summary you'll save $370 per year in fuel costs for 10000 miles per year.
>How many years to break even on the installation is left as an excercise for
>Seems to be over ten years if your previously owned motor lasts that long.
>FTSOE let's say it does. You will have saved $3700 towards the motor
>The above example is to be considered a conservative estimate process, your
>mileage, tolerance, costs, will no doubt be different.
>"If a man professes knowledge but cannot express that knowledge in numbers,
>then that knowledge is of a meagre and insufficient kind" -- Lord Kelvin
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