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  1. #1

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    Default Used motor oil in a diesel generator

    A little while ago I posted about a shop I'm building without any power. I'm also building a generator using a 6.2L chevy diesel engine. I plan to run the engine mostly on heating oil, but as you know that's quite expensive right now.

    I know lots of people run veggie oil just fine in diesels, but that doesn't seem to be very available around here. I can get more waste engine oil, transmission fluid, and maybe hydraulic fluid than I could ever want.

    How bad would it be to run that oil in this generator if I filtered it down to about 1 micron? Someone told me anything under 5 microns is fine, is that true? I don't know very much about diesels.

    I wouldn't want to run it straight, but what about 25-50% used oil? Would that work ok? Which of those types of oil would be best to use?

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used motor oil in a diesel generator

    The problem i see running on waste oil is the contaminants that may not be filtered out.. heavy metals.. acidic compounds.. moisture.. etc..

    I have heard that large ships burn their waste oil.. but then.. that's like hundreds of gallons mixed in to thousands of gallons.. very diluted...

    I wouldn't want to do it with my engine.. but if you do.. take good notes and let us know how it works [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    Soundguy

  3. #3
    Elite Member SkyPup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used motor oil in a diesel generator

    Ships burn Bunker C that is so viscous and thick that it must be heated to 180* to even liquify it....

    If you are thinking that you can just filter and pour all sorts of liquid petrochemical waste into your GMC diesel engine, think again.

    Doesn't it have the Stanadyne Rotary Distributor injection pump? They are about the most fragile diesel injection pumps ever made.

    Pouring used engine oil, used hydraulic fluid, used brake fluid, used transmission oil, etc. into your GMC diesel should be exciting if you really enjoy spending all your time searching for parts for a rebuild.....

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Used motor oil in a diesel generator

    if...IF... if I were going to do it, I would try to incorporate some kind of filtration system (lube-finer from an old semi maybe?) for the used oil, and I would only run it in a mixture, not straight. Also, I would try to make the engine mount where I could do an "in frame" w/o removing the engine from the generator frame. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Used motor oil in a diesel generator

    OK.. kinda a tangent off topic here...

    i've got to thinking (oh no here's trouble...), can I use my old hydraulic and tractor oil as home heating oil? I just changed my truck and have 12 qts of 15w-40, after saturday I'll have another 15 qts of 5w-30 (tractor hydraulic oil) after I change out some fluids on one of my tractors...
    I know the nozzle in my home oil burner is not a fine peice of gear so it should have no problems with this other oil, right? Should I be worried about tar build up which might be more flammable than regular heating oil?

    I'm trying to get creative here since home heating oil season is starting !!! Thanks guys. -art

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Used motor oil in a diesel generator

    As long as the oil is filtered, what would the problem be? It wouldn't be hard to run it through a 1 micron water seperating filter. Would something smaller than 1 micron cause a problem in the engine?

    The oil woild be clean enough before filtering to be inside the engine and not cause harm. I know some commercial trucks automatically burn crankcase oil for fuel as they drive. Even if I mixed it only 10% with heating oil that would be like changing it from $2.68 (what I pay now) to $2.41/gallon. That's a big difference!

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used motor oil in a diesel generator

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( can I use my old hydraulic and tractor oil as home heating oil )</font>

    Ever looked into a used oil furnace?

    Soundguy

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Used motor oil in a diesel generator

    I thought about that, but I don't have access to enough used oil. So, maybe I'll filter my used oil and toss it into the mix. Of course I'll make sure I've got plenty of dried wood to continue heating my house incase of a problem with the oil !!! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Used motor oil in a diesel generator

    I hope that anyone burning the used oil is on the east coast, downwind of most of our population. From what I hear the Atlantic fisheries are almost dead anyhow, a little(?) more lead, mercury, sulfhur ,CO2 can't do much more damage..... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Used motor oil in a diesel generator

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( I hope that anyone burning the used oil is on the east coast, downwind of most of our population. From what I hear the Atlantic fisheries are almost dead anyhow, a little(?) more lead, mercury, sulfhur ,CO2 can't do much more damage..... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img] )</font>

    What do you think all the "recycling" companies do with used oil? They burn it in one way or another. Often in EPA EXEMPT pollution pumpers. Someone trying to burn it in a generator is doing the environment a favor.

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