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Old 06-03-2011, 11:44 PM
Clay Clay is offline
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Default BFT heated tank redesign.

I had an idea earlier and the more I think about it the more I like it.
Currently the tanks have an aluminum tube that goes down, all the way across, over and back across and up. That's about 15' of heat exchange pipe. It's overkill in any climate (no offense Jason). Also currently RDS has discontinued use of the long flexible pickup tube that would extend almost to the middle of the tank and it would move around in the same direction as the oil when you take off or stop. The new tube is on the end of the tank and goes straight down to within 1/2" of the bottom. So when you only have 15 gal in the tank, every right turn results in no fuel at the pick up tube.

My idea: a baffle (sort of) but it goes all the way top to bottom and front to back, welded about 2-3 inches from the tank end forming a cavity with the pick in the middle. The bottom of the baffle would have a single 3/8" hole placed at the front bottom of the panel.
The theory is when your cornering (taking a loop ramp) your generally accelerating some as you loop around for several seconds. Fuel would be contained in this 3"x12"x19" cavity plenty of time to make a corner even if you only had 1/4 tank of fuel. The baffle would ultimately need to be placed as close to the pickup as possible.
The heat exchange tube would be up for debate but it would be easy to get about 3-4' of tube in this area.
The return would also feed into this cavity. Now, on a 6.4, this is key because this common rail system returns a lot of fuel and it's hot - even though it's been cooled. This alone means there is really no need for a heat exchanger on a 6.4 conversion except for the initial switchover. But I'm working this idea to serve the 6.0 and 7.3 as well and those don't return hot fuel like the 6.4.
Let me know your thoughts but I have mulled this over a long time and it's simple and would be effective without heating the entire tank as it does now. Of couse on a longer trip, heat is eventually going to make it to all of the tank but that simply can't be overcome.
Jay this is a simple change and I will draw it up if you like and we (you) could talk to RDS.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:08 AM
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Clay
Is there an advantage to returning the already hot fuel to the tank? How about a check valve near the end of the run, the tee it into the fuel line, pre pump.



I have less than zero knowledge of the 6.4 engine, however, returning the hot fuel pre-pump seems logical to me.
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:37 AM
Clay Clay is offline
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Originally Posted by vegginpsd View Post
Clay
Is there an advantage to returning the already hot fuel to the tank? How about a check valve near the end of the run, the tee it into the fuel line, pre pump.



I have less than zero knowledge of the 6.4 engine, however, returning the hot fuel pre-pump seems logical to me.
There's no way around returning this volume to the tank. The common rail flow rate is such that it will move the entire 60 gal. (minus what is burned) from the tank to the heads and back to the tank in about an hour or probably less. I haven't done the exact math on it but that's not far off. The fuel seems to be cooled to an approximate F temp of 120-140* so it is it's own tank heater. If it was fed mainly to this chamber that would help with the fact that it spends very little time in the manifold being heated since it flows so fast.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:03 PM
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This is actually pretty funny... not like "ha ha" funny, but more like "amazing coincidences" funny.

For those that don't know (or don't remember... or don't care)... I have a 175 gallon water-tote in the back of my Excursion that I use for a fuel tank. It gives me about a 1500 mile range when towing my camping trailer... and has worked WONDERFULLY for the past 5 years.

I put this tank in just after I originally installed the "V0" Vegistroke kit. Back in the days prior to V3, the "purge line" was just that... a line that purged diesel only when you manually hit the purge switch, or were doing a system shut-down.

Basically, that purge line only had anything going through it when the Vegistroke "purge solenoid" was opened.

Fast forward to the V3 (and to a much greater degree, the CR Manifold). Now that purge line (or return line on the VegiRam/6.4/CR Manifold) has got fuel running through it all the time.

On the CR manifold, it's a necessity... It's Common Rail, so therefor looped return.

On the Vegistroke, it's a "nice to have" (and frankly,one that I wouldn't want to give up). Why? Because having a trickle of fuel running back through the purge line means that we have an auto-air bleed in our system. For anyone else that has suffered with the pain... holding down your purge solenoid to bleed the air out of your filter after a change.... sucks. It just sucks.

SO... to bring this topic around... keep in mind that BOTH the Vegistroke AND the VegiRam (CR) have a return line that has fuel going back to the tank. The VS/DH has a far less quantity of fuel being returned than the VR/CR, but they both return fuel. ANd they both return HOT fuel. And they both wind up heating up the tank over time.

Enter in my water tote. I go on MARATHON road trips. (Ask my wife's bladder). And after a MARATHON trip, I noticed that the temperature of my water tote is VERY WARM to the touch. (How warm? Never took a temp gun to it... but easily 100*... bath tub or hot tub temperature).

In addition, I was always frustrated in the winter time with having to keep my fuel somewhat heated (using a waterbed heater under the tote)... often I was at the mercy of an extension cord and an outlet. There were times that my fuel pressure would suffer when trying to pick up cold fuel in the morning. (We've all been there, no need to describe, I'm sure).

So... I had an idea over the winter, and put it in this last Feb/March.

Why not put the purge line and the fuel pickup line very close to each other, so that the HOT fuel being returned by the purge return was almost immediately picked up by the fuel pickup?

I was envisioning something like a stainless steel cage that both lines could plug into... allowing air to bleed and new grease to still enter.

Then... it came to me... use a wiffle ball (picture attached).

The volume of fuel being sucked up will always be (ever so slightly) greater than the volume of fuel being returned... so there will always be (theoretically) a slight "vacuum" in the wiffle ball to pull new grease in... and the hot grease being returned is pulled into the fuel pickup. (Obviously effect is minimized as the vehicle is in motion). In addition, air can escape the system as before.

(Note, the wiffle ball is shown upside down... the ball hangs DOWN with the hoses on the TOP... I'm holding it UP just before I dropped that entire thing in the tank).

I put this in a few months ago, and the results have been DRAMATIC. My fuel pressure drops have disappeared entirely early in the mornings (I get 75psi within 30 seconds after turning on my system... and this is after leaving my grease in nice cold weather overnight (30* or so)... a time when typically I have to suffer with low pressure (and therefor "light gas pedal" behavior" for 30 minutes or more (if I forget to plug in my vehicle and keep the tank warm with the water bed heater).

I haven't done any "temperature tests" after a marathon drive, but I would guess that the temperature of the tank heats up more slowly over time... (probably only a slight difference, but still a small one).

I'm not sure if this "hill billy" injuneering helps your design brainstorms or not... but I'm 100% convinced that a lot of the "heated tank" uphill battles can be solved by employing a tank design that takes advantage of what the DH/CR manifolds already do...

Jay
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Last edited by WingNut; 06-04-2011 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegginpsd View Post
Clay
Is there an advantage to returning the already hot fuel to the tank? How about a check valve near the end of the run, the tee it into the fuel line, pre pump.
You have to have some mechanism to let the air out... if you tee into the return line pre-pump (and post-tank), then air would never escape.

Jay
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:46 AM
Clay Clay is offline
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It's not at a matter of air release with the common rail, it's a matter of huge volumes of fuel returning. On the 6.4, it's not a trickle, it's a steam.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:21 AM
Clay Clay is offline
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Bump TTT
I would like to see more discussion on this.

Last edited by Clay; 06-06-2011 at 03:27 AM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:06 AM
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simple reuse of manufactured part. On any boiler you have a air/water seperator Ie a simple valve at highest point of system. Mine is a 35 psi unit (psi at which air is released) but these are available for industrail use (up to 150 psi). Water in my system is heated to 20oF so 160 WVO should not be an issue. If you are concerned with wvo coming out (drop here or there) , loop it back along chassis to lower point.l................greasy
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:29 PM
Clay Clay is offline
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Another thought, the redesign I described above would lower tank cost. The reduced aluminum tubing length would be a little savings and the bulkhead could simply be one of the baffles repositioned closer to the end of the tank. It would be an inch taller to reach the bottom though. Aluminum tubing cost a lot more than sheet aluminum too. Maybe $30-$40 dollars cheaper per tank. Thats not worth getting too excited about but its worth mentioning.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:57 PM
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Hmmm,
I posted to this thread this morning but I don't see it now.
It was pretty much along the lines of what Clay posted so the info still was submitted.
Now if I can just figure out what happened to my post...
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