I'm selling my 97 e320, but only for the sake of household expenses.
The car that I'm checking out tomorrow is a nice '91 300 diesel.
It's at a pretty fair price, and it should be a fiscally sound
My question relates to veggie & diesel:
What is the best method for this vintage engine?
-- Fuel modification or vehicle modificaiton?
(I'm wanting a modest $6000 for the 97, if anyone is interested.)
Maybe I'm missing something, but if you have a 97 E320 that is well
maintained, that you know at least some history of and is in good
shape, I don't see how your're going to come out far enough ahead
selling that and buying a car that is a 91 diesel. For the couple
thousand diff in price, you wind up with a car that is 6 years
older. I guess if you're going to collect used veg oil for free,
then it could work out if you drive a lot. But one major unexpected
repair on a 16 year old car, and you could be in the hole.
Amen. I think you stand a better chance of getting upside down. I bought
a '92 300D recently for $4000 I have a total of $10,000 in now. Now I
*am* kind of picky but the car is gorgeous and runs extremely well. I
think it's worth every dime I put into it. YMMV
I agree. Most older cars I bought do need lots of attention in the
first 6-12 months, regardless if I know the history or not. 15-20 years
is about the time rubber/seals/plastic parts start to fail. They are
not expensive but it sure takes lots of labor. Is it worth to trade
down to a car you are not familiar with? It may save on the purchase
price but the maintenance cost is increased.
I also agree with that, the veg oil conversion does not do much saving
unless you drive a lot and keep the car for many years.
It's true some of those parts are not expensive, but plenty are. As
an example, on my 80 300SD I recently had some minor water leaks into
the trunk. One was the rubber gasket that goes around the tail-light
lens. The gasket was still in pretty good shape, considering it's 27
yrs old now, but it was dried out a bit, but not falling apart, just
leaking somewhere. The only place you can get it is MB: $75
So, I managed to make do with putting some weatherstrip adhesive on
the old one. But, there are many things on these cars that you can't
get away with that easy.
I just went looking for a new exhaust system. The only source now
for the header down pipe is MB. It cost $180 for the 3 ft section of
pipe. Actually, I was very surprised, as I thought that was quite
reasonable and got it from Rusty. That's one of those things they
could easily charge $300 for and you'd have no choice. Maybe they
haven't figured out they are the only source left yet :)
Is it worth to trade
All these posts confirm it would not be wise to trade down like that.
Depreciation on the extsing E 320 would be low now and the insurance cost
difference would be small, too, I expect. There is only the fuel cost
difference, and I bet that's small, too, bearing your mileage in mind.
Yes, why buy 6 years' worth of extra trouble, so to speak (1991 to 1997)?
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1997 is a good candidate for WVO conversion... I would not trade that car in
for older model. It is not worth the trouble.
Those of you said not worth the conversion? Well, that is up to you. Saving
$3 per gallon is worth it for me even though I don't drive much. When is the
last time you can spend 25 cents per gallon fuel cost?
Aside from cost... your health is more important as diesel fume is not good
for you... green to mother earth... kicking those oil guys in the ass...
getting head start into green world... and using your brain and having fun
doing the WVO process.
It seems it would be one hell of a conversion to get a 97 E320, which
has a 6 cylinder gas engine to run on WVO.
I drive my diesel about 7K miles a year, much of it on short trips
around town. So, assuming I got the WVO for free, and I'd save about
$750 a year in fuel costs. That's assuming I used 100% veg oil. Now
factor in that to use WVO without processing it, I'd have to do a
conversion, putting in another fuel tank and all the plumbing, etc.
Then, I'd still hgave to buy some regular diesel and use it until the
WVO warms up, which I think negates using it on short trips of a few
miles, like to the grocery store. I looked into the kits a couple
years ago, and for my car the conversion kit was running around $1500.
Or I could process WVO into biodiesel and avoid the conversion, but I
think that requires setting up a chemical processing lab with vats,
lye, methanol, testing each source of WVO collected to figure out how
much lye needs to be added and the time and effort that goes with
it. I'm not sure local authorities would approve of that activity
in my home garage or if my insurance would pay off if the place
burned down. And what do I do with the waste products? I can't put
them out into the street with the trash. I guess you have to pay some
toxic waste hauler to take them away, unless you dump the crap in the
woods at night.
And with either method, I have to go around town and somehow collect
hundreds of gallons of WVO in an 80 300SD.
Factoring all that into the equation, it just doesn't seem to make
sense to me.
Do you really think what fuel you put in your own car is going to
affect your health? When you drive down the highway, you're
breathing exhaust generated by all the other cars, diesel trucks,
busses, etc. Last time I checked, my own exhaust is flowing behind
me. I'm breathing what's coming out of the dump truck ahead of me.
And burning WVO generates pretty much the same pollutants as burning
diesel, though it does generate maybe 30% less amounts of some of
them. But that assumes that WVO is properly processed and burned as
completely as possible. I've seen reports that cars just running
straight WVO through some old diesel actually produce MORE pollution,
because the fuel is too thick, doesn't atomize completely and hence
doesn't burn as completely as diesel or a commercial biodiesel mix
would. We've all heard the stories of how these cars exhaust smell
like french fries haven't we? That should tell you that the
combustion certainly isn't complete.
I'm not saying WVO doesn't have a role to play as a fuel. But if you
think you're somehow making a big difference in your own health or
environmental impact by taking WVO and just putting it into any
diesel, I think you're kidding yourself and could actually be emitting
. green to mother earth... kicking those oil guys in the ass...
Consider that there is only so much free WVO to be had. The other
part of the biofuels solution is far from perfect. It takes more land,
more fertilizer, more water, and with it more run off, etc to grow the
plants needed to produce the fuel. And the fertilizer comes from?
Natural gas. So, I wouldn't say using VO is a big step into a green
world. And if you had to pay true market prices, without subsidies,
for any of these biofuels, they still cost more than gasoling at $3.
and using your brain and having fun
LOL. I figured that you made that little oversight, and was
surprised you didn't catch it when I said it would be a hell of a job
to do the conversion on the 97 gas car. The OP's thinking was that
by going to the 91 diesel, he'd have a car that could run WVO, which
makes the whole sell/buy thing make some sense. Still, if I had a 97
gas MB that was running swell and I had experience with, I wouldn't
sell it and buy a 6 year older diesel on the theory that it's going to
save a lot of money. If you;re into trying the WVO thing, I can see
doing it, but if the primary motivation is $$, I'm not sure it makes
much sense. If you happen to buy a lemon, you could easily wind up
Yep... if your maintenance expense is low for existing car... keep it... It
doesn't make sense to gamble like you said... unless you really know the
WVO thing is nice to do and can save money but going WVO is not just a
straight shot... you really have to make sure nothing is wrong with the
car... because once you switch over... and find out that the car is not
running right... you are going have to spend more money. WVO need a good
running car... diesel gives you more tolerance.
I have bought the kit but have not installed it. My car need to go into
service for issues I cannot solve. Don't have enough experience in
electronic part of diesel engine...
My friend however who lives in same town as me has converted nearly 2 months
now... same kit as mine, Lovecraft. His car is 87 300SDL with 240,000 miles.
At first, as recommended by Lovecraft, he was running 100% SVO... new vege
oil... and just this week, he ran WVO 100%.
The issue we have with his car now is the mileage has dropped... and we also
have difficulty calculating his fuel mileage. With diesel, he got about 25
MPG... and with SVO, he had average roughly calculating about 18MPG... and
now with WVO, we are not quite sure but I would say the same...
7MPG drop is huge... but like I said, SVO and WVO is very finicky when just
installed and I suspect on this car... his fuel injectors are at fault...
Other than that, he has zero problem starting car... car ran great...
quieter than diesel... everything except fuel mileage.
Tiger, don't do that. We will certainly need your know-how again ;-)
Your advise on how to fix the warm up regulator on my 380SE a while
ago was right on spot. She now starts like a charm, even this cold
(subfreezing) morning. Thanks!
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