Cost-effectiveness of Vegetable Oil

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Jun 9, 2005
Didn't even know there was a company in my backyard that produces conversion kits for diesels, was on the local news tonight. They sell a conversion kit for about $600 ($1200 installed if desired).

I can get my hands on an old M-B diesel sedan for cheap if I want it, all I know is that it runs, drives, and has passed inspection. Now I am actually considering it for an around-town car.

With all factors considered, would a 20-year-old diesel converted to vegetable oil be a great deal cheaper than continuing to use my V6 Explorer for local trips? I have no idea of the reality of owning a vegetable oil-powered vehicle so I don't even know what costs and considerations to factor in.
I'd love such a set-up, but I don't think it appropriate for my drive to work car.

Most kits have you starting (from cold), and stopping (before leaving for a few hours) on regular diesel/biodiesel.

My trip is 10 miles to work, then 8 hours at work, so I'd use half a litre before turning on the WVO, burn a litre, then switch back to diesel.

So it would be 50:50 regular and vege.

If it was a delivery vehicle, or I had a commute, then it would work.
Plug in some numbers. How far do you drive, how bad is the gas mileage in the Ex, how long would it take to overcome the cost of the MB and the conversion
Don't forget insurance in your cost estimates.

If I were you and could get that benz for cheap, I'd make the conversion, drive it around a couple months, mildly restore it, and resell it at a tidy profit. There are lots of eggheaded professor types up here in New England with money to blow on such things but fear of turning wrenches.

I agree with Shannow that it would make a better road trip car... Probably nicer than the explorer on the open road.
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