Elsbett engine

Discussion in 'On and off road' started by powerfarmer, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. powerfarmer

    powerfarmer Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone ever had anything to do with an Elsbett engined vehicle ?
    Chatting with a fella at work about alternative fuels and he recalled a modified diesel Merc featured on TV years ago running on plain vegetable oil .
    He mentioned that it was known as an Elsbett engine and was converted or owned by a company in Laois.

    I remember visiting a farm near Tuam 10 years ago where the guy was growing OSR , pressing it and running a few cars and vans on the oil .
     
  2. jf 850

    jf 850 Well-Known Member

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    Charlie McDonald from Ballyroan Co Laois was the man with the Mercedes car. I have a vague recollection that he may have been a county councillor. I saw him somewhere in the last 3 or 5 years . It must be 30 years ago , at least , since he was singing it's praises to anyone who would listen . He must be well on his 80s , if he is still alive . I didn't hear of him dying , but like everything , it's possible.

    I know nothing of the mechanics of the engine . I might Google it later .
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
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  3. stevieg

    stevieg Well-Known Member

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    Charlie Mcdonald, a former Fine Gael MEP had a Mercedes 190 with an Elsbett engine in the late 80s. Don’t know anything about the engine tho.
    Think there were a few chaps over in Rahugh co Westmeath with the same yoke.
     
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  4. powerfarmer

    powerfarmer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks lads, It's something I ve long been interested in .
    A bit of Google ing is in order
     
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  5. Arthur

    Arthur Well-Known Member

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    It's said that if you were following him up the road it smelled like the local chipper.
     
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  6. AYF

    AYF Well-Known Member

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    Local lad runs a Deutz on cooking oil.
    Collects it from chip shops. Just puts it through a filter.
    Not sure what he has done to the tractor but did say it needed a certain type of fuel pump, rotary rather than in line or something. And I think it pree warms the oil to make it viscous, but don't quote me!!

    Don't think it would work with common rail.
     
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  7. jf 850

    jf 850 Well-Known Member

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    A 1990s VW Golf would run on used cooking oil.
     
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  8. TAFKAT

    TAFKAT Well-Known Member

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    I seem to remember an article in the Farmer's Weekly years ago about a farmer in the UK who had a serious allergy to diesel fumes. He had a couple of ways around it, he had a Nuffield (I think) that was converted to run on gas and he also had a Ford 4000 that ran on straight vegetable oil or rapeseed oil. As far as I can remember he made no modifications to the 4000 other than thoroughly clean the fuel system so there was no trace of diesel, and away she went. She was down a bit on power but ran fine.
     
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  9. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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    The Russians Military have a multi fuel truck that will run on any fuel . Guys buy them and run them on fuel that has been sucked from cars where people have put diesel in petrol cars or visa versa . Apparently you just put the mix in and turn a handle till they start running smoothly.

    I remember seeing a Wankel engine in an Audi and I believe Mazda are going to use them again.
     
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  10. powerfarmer

    powerfarmer Well-Known Member

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    Interesting stuff, thanks.
    Bus eireann in Cork ran a city bus on vegetable oil back in the 90's I think with help from the engine manufacturer Cummins.
    The city council ran some Fiat vans on it too for a while , and the county council ran a couple of Ford Cargos on veg oil as well.

    Like I said it's something that has interested me for a long time but with modern common rail fuel systems and vehicles getting ever more sophisticated I guess it's not really a viable proposition.
     
  11. max

    max Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine was driving a hino in a quarry 10 years ago and it was been run on a mixture of kerosene and used oil from the chipper, kerosene kept the oil thin and oil kept enough lubrication to make up for the lack of it in the kerosene. As far as I know there was no modifications done to the truck but the fuel filters needed to be changed a little more regula
     
  12. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

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    A 90s hilux will run on cooking oil too.

    A 90s golf will run on pretty much anything. I know a lad who had a golf engine as part of a sawmill. They ran it on burned engine oil thinned with kereosene. It was double filtered before putting it into the fuel tank in order to remove any particles. It put some amount of black smoke from it.
     
  13. MF30

    MF30 Well-Known Member

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    I think the biggest issue with used cooking oil was to make sure there was no salt in it, salt can and does make its way into the drip tray maybe when chips are salted on the drip tray. The odd time I'd put a few litres of old cooking oil in the workshop waste oil heater and it would leave a lot more ash than just plain waste oil. Nice smell from it though if you got a whiff of fumes outside.
     
  14. ithastopay

    ithastopay Well-Known Member

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    The Mazda Wankel engine was 654cc per rotor, RX7 was 1304cc with twin turbos was lively, some engines were put into rally cars, huge hp from a small cc engine, a standard was about 250hp, road tax was a different story, classed as a 2.4?
    The fuel economy was about 16mpg it made very little difference whether driven with manners or not,
    80mph in second gear, it was quick.
     
  15. bagenal

    bagenal Well-Known Member

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    I remember the man being on the Late Late Show back years ago, I could never remember his name but I had always thought he had been paid off by the oil companies as I never heard of him after that. In the late 70's or early 80's Oak Park had a small MF (35 or 135) running on OSR oil.
    A former employer built a plant to squeeze OSR and run the trucks on the oil, a conversion kit had to be fitted. He was advised not to run some of the trucks on it as the engines weren't up to the high temperatures generated but being the bloke he was he didn't take the advice and insisted that they be converted. I seen the mechanics stripping engines and removing the melted pistons, if you didn't know where the aluminium came from you would have never have known it was a piston. The trucks that worked well were the Renault Premiums and MAN's which were 05 to 07 and I presume were common rail. Another issue was that OSR the build up in the fuel lines which looked like the worst snots you could ever imagine having, I suggested using a product I read about in a truck magazine to solve this problem but this wasn't taken on board either which resulted in a lot of downtime to clear lines.
    The above plant is now idle and is either partially fully stripped of the equipment. The lads fitting the conveyor and grain intake equipment said that at the time that a lot of the coops didn't spec such quality equipment.
     
  16. scoffcruddle

    scoffcruddle Well-Known Member

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    Wife ran out of juice on the way home from the shop,rings me up so I told her to put the 2 litre bottle of rape oil in the tank,the old Land Rover ran well off it but it did smell of chips.
     
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  17. Bot.exe

    Bot.exe Well-Known Member

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    The daddy of the Wankel Mazda's
     
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