October 9th, 2006
I moved the Vegtherm back onto the injectors and installed a new SunPro electric temperature gauge this weekend. So I don't repeat myself too much please see my Sept 25th entry for my reasons
I've come to the conclusion (based on the temperature gauge readings) that the Vegtherm & heated loop does not heat the oil as quickly as initially thought. Placing the the Vegtherm on the injectors closer to the IP and having the shortest possible length of hose from the Vegtherm to the IP can only help. Having the temp gauge and Vegtherm on/off switch is the key, as I can monitor the oil's temp and turn off the Vegtherm once the oil is up to temp if it is extremely hot outside. I would without a doubt recommend both mods on any Plantdrive installation.
I also felt there is some heat loss when the Vegtherm is placed along the front section (as pictured on the right) of the engine bay. Part of the reason is the mounting area, which is metal gets hot and acts like a heat sink as some of the Vegtherm's heat is absorbed by the metal chasis. When placed on the injectors that heat is transfered to the injector lines - perhaps it is only a small amount but at least it's not losing heat. Plus it is under the plastic cowling & not near an air flow.
I replaced the original gauge because I noticed that the connector on the sender was loose. It was also only $15, granted the Sunpro is only $19 but seems to be of better construction. One thing I did notice imediately about the Sunpro was that the sender was longer then the Equus unit I had installed. This let me place the sender in the tee in the middle hole allowing the oil to flow past the sensor/sender.
As mentioned previously when I switched from a 3/8" tee to the 1/2" tee I noticed a substantial lag time for the gauge to react. Both in heating up and cooling off. Perhaps this is due to more metal to heat and cool. At Home Depot I found a 3/8" brass tee. I used this for the sender because it is 3/8's and much thinner walled then the black iron pipe and I figured less metal to be heated & cooled, plus easier to insulate.
Because the run from Vegtherm to the IP was so short I decided to install the temp gauge on the return line I thought that this would be OK because in the end the temp gauge is only a reference as to whether the system is working or not - at least in my situation, since I drive such short distances.If I get a reading of 160º after the engine I know it must be at least 160º going in (unless the engine is heater the oil to ahigher temperature)
Pictured right is the brass tee with the sender installed. The insulation was removed for the photo. Also note the second wire attached to the tee - it's a ground wire (I ran out of black) because the tee needs to be grounded as it is mounted in rubber.
The next major mod will be adding the FPHE to the engine compartment. This will have to wait until Thanksgiving. I'm debating on whether to move the 2 micron Racor to the engine comaprtment and place it in a coolant jacket. This will take substantially more time then a weekend - with the runs to the local NAPA store and test drives. During the last 2 mods I had air leak issues that make a rather tense Monday morning when I need to go to work. I try and make as few connections as possible in the fuel lines and test drive after completion with gaps in the on / off periods. (See my September 16th entry). In my limited experience I can tell if there is a an air leak if the car doesn't start on the first try. Letting it sit after running allows air to accumulate and make it difficult for it to start the next time.Anyhow the point is I need to access the Pollak for this mod (to replace the hoses with splice free lengths) and that is going to take time. I also want to replace all the fuel lines that I installed with SAE R309 (Viton) hose since the veggie oil will eventually degrade the standard fuel hoses.