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Substitute for Ether

Old 09-13-2006, 11:10 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Andy, I just reread your post No 234 and noticed something in your table of oils that maybe of interest to us.
the Vitamin E level !!! as I read that Castor oil is stabilised by the addition of vit E , ie the oil when stabilised is less likely to form laquers and is also less combustable, so from this . it would seem logical that oils with LOW Vit E would/should make better fuels as they are less stable.
Stewart
Old 09-14-2006, 12:33 AM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Reg,

Wonderful to see some additional experimenting with alternate fuels. Am going to try to make some of that bio-oil. But what's a guy with the pseudonym, slope-soarer, doing playing with noisy, stinky, cantankerous engines?

Are your silent flying buddies aware that you've gone over to the "dark side"??

Anyway, I finally found some coconut "oil". Not at the supermarket but at the "health" food store. I asked for oil and they sold me this stuff in a wide mouthed, tub. When I got home, I realized that the label said "coconut butter". But then, the label said that the oil is so saturated that it becomes a solid at below 70F, something like lard, I guess. OK, that's why they kept it in the freezer section. Well, once thawed out, it looked and felt like any other oil. Subjectively, it has a nice, slippery feel that's oddly different from more familiar oils. I'm going to run it straight.

Also,

Quote
The other thing I was very pleased with.. In the UK the model diesel fuel and its exhaust gases have a pleasant smell, apparently this is not the case in America where something other than isopropyl nitrate is used. I expected my homebrew fuel to smell like a burger bar due to the veggie oil. Not so, the exhaust fumes were exactly the same as with the commercial brew and there was no hint of burgers or anything... brilliant, might be worth keeping a bit of ether in the mix
Quote

Some of my mixes have nothing but kero and oil and when burned, they still stink. I have been assuming that paraffin is what we call kerosene. Over here, kerosene stinks. What of paraffin?


Stewart,

Good on you to catch that aspect of vitamin E content. And look, the coconut oil has very low E. Well now, we have something very interesting to try. However, the tropical oil is quite expensive at 10 Canuck bucks for 16 ounces. I'm hoping that maybe it can lubricate AND burn for a no mess exhaust. And if it runs well at 10% and 90 kero and no ether, it just may be affordable. I'm anticipating that diluted in lots of kero will make it less susceptible to turning into butter. Fall approaches, we'll see if it can handle cooler temps.

But somewhere in all of this fooling with fuels and oils, I did some serious damage to the piston end of the rod. Lots of slop. A look inside also revealed galling of the wrist pin. when did that happen? On one of the all combustible mixes? On the one mix with only 10% castor? Have some parts on order, will need to wait to do further testing.

Maybe time to mount the PAW.
Old 09-14-2006, 07:32 AM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Andy, how do you plan to pump solid coconut butter through the carb? There are a lot of substances that seemingly make good fuels. I think the coconut oil is one.

The flash point of coconut oil is 420 deg F. Biodiesel is 270F or so. When will it ever reach this temperature in the engine? It does dissolve in ether so it might not settle out or solidify at lower temperatures when mixed with ether. I still don't think it will burn.
Old 09-14-2006, 10:09 AM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether


ORIGINAL: gkamysz

Andy, how do you plan to pump solid coconut butter through the carb? There are a lot of substances that seemingly make good fuels. I think the coconut oil is one.

The flash point of coconut oil is 420 deg F. Biodiesel is 270F or so. When will it ever reach this temperature in the engine? It does dissolve in ether so it might not settle out or solidify at lower temperatures when mixed with ether. I still don't think it will burn.

Hi Greg,

The trouble with knowing that something won't work is that sometimes it does. As in castor will not keep in suspension with kero alone. Or that an all kero fuel won't run. [&o] And note that I've run not only biodiesel as fuel AND oil combined, but also an unrefined, food grade, soybean oil. So with the coconut oil being highly saturated with hydrogen atoms and also having a very high cetane number, well,,,, who knows. None of this may be a good idea for engine longevity, but all of this IS experimental, after all.

And last night, a local, newly converted diesel dabbler has reported that his OS .40 conversion runs very well on kero and just plain corn oil as the sole lubricant. And at only 10% lube too. ?????? Dunno, that's what he said. Idled nicely too but he doesn't have a tach. I'm inclined to think that Luke will have major rod problems right soon but you never know.

There's a book out called "Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill" that describes the enormous steps that edible oils go through in the refinement process before it gets to the supermarket. I forget the details but a lot of what's in oil originally is taken out and the oil is altered to such a degree that it's actually quite unhealthy for man or beast. Dunno about that either but the author's arguments were quite compelling. And contrary to popular opinion, coconut oil is supposed to be good for you.

The coconut oil has sat in the cool basement and is still in a liquid state. It's definitely below 70 so I suppose once the butter is liquid, you really have to coax it back to solid. Maybe 70 is what you need to melt it but then you have to go colder to solidify it. I definetely won't be running it in the winter.

But all of this is moot. Will try to make those runs as soon as I can get the .15 rebuilt.
Old 09-14-2006, 11:19 AM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

As in castor will not keep in suspension with kero alone.
But we know this to be true. My Sig castor, why I'm sure is not very refined(based ont he price) won't blend at all with kerosene. Benol or Castor 927 are very refined and will blend above a certain temperature. It's not that it won't blend. It's modified for this applicaiton.

My MVVS .15D has the same problem currently. The small end of the rod is worn. I only ever ran it on Davis fuel so I'm not sure what happened. The last time I ran it was years ago and had some problems starting it.

I just got a PAW .35 to use for testing fuels with. I picked it up on fleabay. I don't know if it's broken in or not.

The real difference between model engines and chainsaw or string trimmer types is the bearings. All of these gas engines use roller bearings in the rod. This allows miniscule amounts of oil. We could run 6% oil and less if we had rollors in the rod. Castor is recommended because it helps protect the engines from the stupid things modelers do to them. Namley run them without filters, crash them, run them lean, etc. Also note that nobody recommedns castor oil for large gasoline engines. It's not absolutley needed. Synthetics are not inferior lubes for model engines.
Old 09-14-2006, 11:35 AM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Greg,

Semantics has a nasty habit of biting us in the posterior, don't it? As in the expression all crows are black. If you find just ONE white crow, in the billions that have ever lived, you can't say that any more, strictly speaking. But we all know what it means to say that all crows are black.

So when we're told that castor doesn't blend with kero and needs some ether, we look at Benol, Klotz's version of castor and think, why bother, castor doesn't blend with kero. So we don't try and never make any progress.

Recall that science, at one time, had not yet been invented, but still, things like Damascus Steel were developed. All through trial and error. We have a solution to an all kero fuel, it's there, we just have to find it. It may be engine design, it may be the fuel or a combination of both, but it's there.

About your MVVS. Is the top end brass bushed? I'm always amazed that, typically, if they give you a brass bushing, it's only at the bottom end where you get lots of lube splashing around and the bearing surface sees complete rotation of the shaft/pin. The top end is shrouded by the piston and it only rocks back and forth. A VERY demanding environment and yet this end often has NO bushing while the bottom end does. Am I missing something here?

I've got a rod on the way for an unknown car engine that is brass bushed both ends. It's for a .15 so the pin ends should be the same or close. Always can bore them out a bit and the length can be adjusted for by adding cylinder base gaskets, if the rod is too long. Too short, well, at least I tried. Don't want to start shaving down crankcases, yet.

Your last paragraph is spot on. Castor is till the best as evidenced by the fact that only castor will allow the ball socket of a Cox rod survive for very long. I had a TD punch a hole in the top of the piston by the ball when I ran Cool Power 25% for a couple of tank fulls. Yet the Norvels thrive on CP just fine. Depends.
Old 09-14-2006, 01:46 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

If someone says that because Benol has castor in it, it won't work this isn't science. Right on the bottle it says it will mix with gasoline and to me this should mean that it would mix with kerosene. They do warn you about the temperature problem.

There are reasons why things work and don't work. You can experiment to see if something works for an application. I guess this is how somebody found out that milk makes a decent cutting lubricant for certain metals. Science proves which chemicals do the job, and products are made for that purpose, so that your machine shop doesn't smell like sour milk.

It's similar to the mention of gasoline as a good additive to diesel fuel. Yes, it's flash point is low(-40C), but it's autoignition temperature is high(>260C). Could we use gasoline? Yes. Really, if we had engines built to handle the required compression ratios.

I'll wait for your results on coconut oils. How much of the peanut oil burned? It has a flash point higher than the coconut oil. I've eaten my words before, and will again if proven wrong.

The MVVS rod has no bushings at all. I'll be making a new one sometime soon. My CNC mill project is almost complete. I may bush it, probably not though. I'm not sure why some engines have problems with the top end. I'm going to inspect the rod in my FS-48 conversion, though it feels fine.
Old 09-14-2006, 02:59 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

First.....
I must apologise to George for causing some confusion. It is indeed glycerine that you need and it is indeed found in the home baking area of supermarkets. In the UK it comes in a small bottle, which will allow for a number of oil mixes to be made up, and is colourless. I have this knack of having a word in my head and sometimes writing a different one.... confuses even me []

Andy,
The slope soaring fraternity don't know that I lapse into smelly and noisy activities because I nearly always fly alone. I am blessed with some superb scenery just 20 minutes away from home and my greatest pleasure is derived from slope lift and thermals. However there are times when the wind doesn't blow, is too light or is not in a favourable direction for any of my favourite slopes... that's when I go all noisy and smelly ! I do like playing with model engines and find model diesels more fascinating than glow. The thing that was preventing me from using diesel more than glow was the
cost of diesel fuel here in the UK.... frightening !

I am very pleased that this thread got started and also extremely pleased that info about the original Aeromodeller article was put up. This has allowed me to have a play and find that I can make a fuel that is a fraction of the price I was paying. It still contains ether but this will almost certainly serve my purpose. I haven't any machining facilities so can't get involved in altering, or producing engine parts.

It was raining nearly all day so I had a run to the nearest supplier and bought the cetane booster I wanted to try, it will be a couple of days before I get chance to give it a go. The ingredient of interest is 2-Ethylhexyl Nitrate and it seems that only a very small amount should be needed... more is not better with cetane boosters, after a certain percentage they cause problems. I am hoping that a couple of % will allow me to back off the compression setting a bit, thus reducing stress on the engine a bit, although I doubt it is that big a deal.

For anyone intending to make the modified veggie oil for lubrication....

I used the cheapest own brand oil from a supermarket, seems slightly thicker than more expensive brands.

I also used a good quality washing up liquid (Fairy brand here in the UK) I used an unscented version... your tastes may vary.

Use a pan bigger than you think you need because the oil does produce foam for a short while.

Be very carefull... hot/boiling oil is not something you want on or in any part of your anatomy !

Mix the water, glycerine and washing up liquid together. Then add the oil.

Use a medium heat and KEEP STIRRING, but don't go mad !

After a while the oil will start developing foam, keep the heat at that level if it shows no sign of climbing out of the pan, otherwise turn the heat down a bit. Very quickly the level of foam will stabilise, it shouldn't be increasing. Now is the time to put the pan on a very low heat and just gently simmer it until all the foam has completely dissapeared.
You will see stuff starting to settle on the bottom of the pan. Keep gently stirring and when all the foam has gone then take the pan off the heat and allow the oil to cool right down. Don't sweat this too much, I doubt the process is THAT critical.

Once the oil is cooled then pour it into a container (preferably glass so you can see if it has settled out) and leave until the next day. You will probably see quite a few bits of gunge on the bottom of the container.

Filter the oil into a clean container and you will see that it is not clear, you can't see through it, but it should be clean and free of any bits. Mine had a slight yellow tinge.

Dissolve the oil with kerosene, I used 2 parts of kerosene to 1 part of oil, its easy to measure it on a clear container e.g. 2 inches of oil and 4 inches of kerosene making 6 inches total. Give it a good shaking to disperse the oil into the kerosene and leave it for a few minutes. You will now find that the oil/kerosene mix is clear, you can easily see through it and any colour will be from the kerosene. Here in the UK I used paraffin and that is very slightly pink/red colour.

I next measured out some commercial 30% ether mix. I added my veggie oil/paraffin mix to this to give me a final fuel mix with 10% ether in it. The fuel mix was now completely colourless and looked just like water... the colour (reddish) of the paraffin was now gone.

The oil when cooking/cooked has a smell that is not very pleasant, it is not a strong or overpowering smell, its just that you wouldn't use it as aftershave ! The smell is killed by the paraffin/kerosene anyway

If you use a normal cooking pan for making the oil then you can present the information... it's not harmful, it's only washing up liquid, glcyerine and cooking oil, in answer to the question... what the hell are you doing in my kitchen ?

The pan will clean up easily in hot water and detergent, although I would recommend a stainless pan as they are usually easier to wash out.

This has produced a fuel that will save me lots of money. I will probably go on and try some completely etherless mix. If I decide to stick with this 10% ether mix then I have the consolation that it will give some benefit with easy starting, lower compression setting and a % of castor as a safeguard compared to the completely etherless version.

Last year a guy came over to fly off my slopes after I enthused about them. He had a PAW 1.49 that he started on commercial 30% ether mix. He told me that he had used his own homemade etherless fuel, this didn't register with me at the time. Since this thread started I have mentioned it to him and.... the fuel he used to make up was as described in the Aeromodeller article with the veggie oil. He had used this fuel for a long time... the PAW was still running OK... that seems pretty convincing to me

Some good info on fuel
www3.telus.net/dieselcombat/diesel_fuel.htm


He explains why English diesels smell better

With 10% ether and a greatly diluted from original 2% isopropyl nitrate my engine smells just great ! Just the same as with the normal commercial mix. I don't know if paraffin/kerosene smell different, as he says if you ever get over to England and smell the diesel fumes here you will get a pleasant surprise.

Reg
Old 09-14-2006, 07:16 PM
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I received a PAW .35 RC recently. It's old and lightly used. There was a note from 1989 with some tach readings in the box. Instead of fighting the simple PAW carb I substituted an airbleed carb from an OS 10 FP. That allows me to adjust idle mixture. I ran a few ounces of regular fuel through it to see if it had any issues. It still seems a bit tight. I let it cool down and started it on the old fuel mix that I said wouldn't run. This was on the bench so I gave it a try. I did add some cheap starting fluid to it at one point last week to get it to burn in the engine and was unsuccessful. I don't know what the mix was but it did start cold by hand. After running the 4 oz of fuel through it I decided to give the synthetic/kerosene mix another try. This stuff wouldn't run in an engine a few days after mixing. To my surprise it started and ran just fine. This mix has too much cetane booster in it so it doesn't run quite right. I don't think that the synthetic does anything to the fuel mix. I'm going to compare some old and fresh mix some time.

The engine would quit hard and feel very tight when leaned out on Clutton's standard mix. This makes me think it needs more break in time, but it didn't get all that hot. It was hard to start after this also. On etherless synthetic mix, I didn't have that problem. It could be that it wasn't running lean enough to cause problems. I couldn't run it very lean, but it wasn't rich. It was running much hotter on etherless mix. As seems typical with etherless I had a bit more power. I had 8000 RPM on std mix and 8500 on etherless. This was with a Super Nylon 11x7. This seems low for an engine this size. Is it typical of this engine?
Old 09-14-2006, 07:18 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Just to clarify about your mate with the PAW 149, he would start with 30% ether fuel then run with etherless homebrew fuel made with the glycerine trick?

That process for modifying an el-cheapo generic brand oil sounds like the way to go, given the cost of castor oil here in Australia.

Has anyone tried running these modified vegetable oils in glow engines? Will they mix with methanol & nitro? I run a mix of diesel and glow, but only castor based fuels. The difference in condition of some of my 20 year old my engines which have only ever seen castor, and equivalent aged engines which have copped any old hobby store fuel, is remarkable.
Old 09-14-2006, 07:27 PM
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ORIGINAL: gkamysz

As seems typical with etherless I had a bit more power. I had 8000 RPM on std mix and 8500 on etherless. This was with a Super Nylon 11x7. This seems low for an engine this size. Is it typical of this engine?
That sounds low for a PAW 35 on what is basically the minimum size prop.
http://www.eifflaender.com/techdets.htm
Have you tried a larger prop. PAW's recommended range for the .35 is 11x6 to 14x6.

I haven't ever run a large PAW (my two are a .049 and a .19), but my experience with them is that on small props they tend to reach an RPM limit lower than you would expect for a glow of that size, but they handle bigger props very well. Eg. my .19 seems happiest on a 9.5x6 or 10x5, and if I put an 8x6 or 9x4 on it it doesn't rev that much higher and power is way down.
Old 09-14-2006, 08:57 PM
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At 8000 RPM that works out to about .34HP which does seem a bit low. If torque didn't drop off at all it would reach only .45HP at 10,500. It sounds like it should be closer to 9000-9500.
Old 09-15-2006, 03:58 PM
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Hi colingw,
Clarification.... That is correct, my friend made the etherless fuel mix up using the method outlined in the Aeromodeller article. He used vegetable oil and for cetane booster he used a couple of % of isopropyl nitrate, which is the common cetane booster used in model diesel fuels here in the UK..

Isopropyl nitrate is available here from one supplier but is expensive and is somewhat hazardous in its neat form... supposedly OK when mixed into the fuel. I decided to use a different cetane booster which is supplied for diesel road vehicles. The ingredient which should do the boosting is 2-ethylhexyl nitrate.

I have used it in a car diesel engine and it gives either a power boost or with a, light right foot, increased mpg. The stuff must be fairly concentrated as 20ml treats 20 litres of fuel. If I make up a litre of fuel (a pint and 3/4 of fuel) then 2ml should do the trick, a teaspoon is about 5ml so we are looking at very small amounts to be added. The stuff I am using is sold as a diesel fuel additive which cleans injectors, lubricates the fuel pump and gives better performance, or mpg. It is made by a company who specialise in diesel oils and additives and their products are mainly aimed at trucking companies. There must be similar products in other countries.

Returning to my friend....
He came over to fly with me and because I had just bought my first (secondhand) diesel he brought some engines to show me. We flew off the slope for a while and returning to our cars he started up a few, different diesel engines for me. He mentioned that he used to run his own, homemade, etherless fuel. Because I was just getting my head round diesel operation this fact didn't really sink home then.

Since then we have been in regular email contact and I bought some more PAW's. When this thread caught my attention I asked him about the fuel he used to use. Woooeee, it only turned out to be the stuff from the Aeromodeller article

One of the engines he demonstrated for me had been run on the stuff for a long time and was still running well. I don't think he does as much flying as he once did so he only had a small container of commercial fuel with him as I had suggested bringing a power pod in case there was a lack of wind on the slopes.

An email from him a few days ago gave the following information. The original article was written by a guy who was an organic chemist. My friend was in regular contact with him for a number of years. The guy who devised the fuel sent my friend a bigger cooling sleeve to try on the PAW as he reckoned it might be beneficial.... my friend never got around to using it, he just used the standard engine. He used to fill the tank with the etherless mix, based on the modified vegetable oil and prime with 30% ether mix down the venturi. He also said (and I can't quite see how he did this, nor can I see a reason for doing it and I can't ask him as he is currently offline in hospital) that he used to squirt a bit more 30% ether mix into the fuel feed line. Once the engine started on the prime and used the 30% bit in the feed line it would be hot enough to run with no problem. I wonder if he did this because he was hand starting ? I still can't quite see the point though as a few small primes down the venturi before drawing fuel from the tank would have done the same job by heating with a few short burts.

The engine ran with more power and longer duration as the fuel contained more energy than the ether mixes. The only negative was the exhaust was very black.

I know he used the veggie oil mix in PAW diesels but, until he comes out of hospital, I can't ask him if he ran it in any of his other types of diesel. PAW's are fairly rugged and I have no experience of any other makes so don't know how they compare.

My mix of veggie oil and 10% ether, 8% castor ran very convincingly in a non-RC PAW. Over the next couple of days I should get chance to try it in a couple of RC PAW's so I can see how well they throttle. I can also add a bit of the cetane booster now I have it.

If that goes well then I will try a completely etherless mix and that will have no castor in it either and see how it goes. I will post the results of my next tests.

I find it somewhat reassuring that I know a guy who used this stuff for quite some time and his adverse comment is.... the exhaust deposits were very black.....

Reg
Old 09-15-2006, 04:21 PM
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A further point I need to make.

The guy who used the etherless mix, based on veggie oil, was running control line combat models for a number of years and so can't comment on how well or otherwise the fuel will throttle, because he wasn't using RC carb engines.

That's why I need to go try this side of things myself. I reckon the stuff I made with 10% ether will do the business with PAW's somewhat basic carbs. From the way it ran and the ease of starting the other day I don't anticipate a big problem with it. It seems to run just as well as a normal 30% ether mix with just a 1/4 turn increase in compression.... if it's OK then I have a cheap fuel.

I will make up some etherless fuel and if that throttles OK then I have a very cheap fuel

Worst case scenario..... The etherless won't throttle well. No big problem 'cos I know from the other guy's experience that it will run OK with a simple venturi. That gives me a very cheap fuel for my glider power pods, which are simple venturi, flat out jobbies. I then use 10% ether mix for the PAW's that have RC throttle control.

Reg
Old 09-15-2006, 08:25 PM
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Thanks Reg. Interesting.

Throttling is a non-issue for me, as I'm a control line flyer, although I do have one R/C PAW (a .049).
Old 09-15-2006, 11:49 PM
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ORIGINAL: gkamysz

If someone says that because Benol has castor in it, it won't work this isn't science. Right on the bottle it says it will mix with gasoline and to me this should mean that it would mix with kerosene. They do warn you about the temperature problem.

There are reasons why things work and don't work. You can experiment to see if something works for an application. I guess this is how somebody found out that milk makes a decent cutting lubricant for certain metals. Science proves which chemicals do the job, and products are made for that purpose, so that your machine shop doesn't smell like sour milk.

It's similar to the mention of gasoline as a good additive to diesel fuel. Yes, it's flash point is low(-40C), but it's autoignition temperature is high(>260C). Could we use gasoline? Yes. Really, if we had engines built to handle the required compression ratios.

I'll wait for your results on coconut oils. How much of the peanut oil burned? It has a flash point higher than the coconut oil. I've eaten my words before, and will again if proven wrong.

The MVVS rod has no bushings at all. I'll be making a new one sometime soon. My CNC mill project is almost complete. I may bush it, probably not though. I'm not sure why some engines have problems with the top end. I'm going to inspect the rod in my FS-48 conversion, though it feels fine.

Greg,

Benol doesn't HAVE castor in it, it IS castor. Therefore, being castor, it's not supposed to blend with kerosene alone. Yes, it says on the label that it'll blend with gasoline as well as methanol but it does not say it'll blend with kerosene. Someone as knowledgeable as you might be confident to infer that it does but most of us wouldn't be capable of making the leap. So most of us didn't try it. Till now.

And if I hadn't tried it in my ignorance, I might never have started this thread. [] But I'm not aware that they've ever determined as to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin so maybe it's all moot. The important thing is that we've got a few, including yourself, advancing the search for an etherless fuel. Hopefully one that will throttle well.

Am I not correct that flash point and autoignition are two different animals?

On your .35. I approve mightily that you replaced the stock carb. But you installed the throttle from a .10? Maybe that's why power is down. It may be that a throttle from a .25 might be a better choice. I don't make any changes when converting to diesel from glow and usually have no problems.


Reg,

Many, many thanks for your detailed instructions on producing a lubricating oil for our mixes. Have printed out for my files.

But I've run straight vegetable oil as the principle fuel as posted earlier. This had ether and cetane booster. My understanding is that the process you describe is not for making a biodiesel FUEL but a lubricating oil to replace castor. Does the article tell us what the process does to the oil and why or how that's beneficial to its use as a lube oil, or fuel?

Also, washing up liquid. That's for doing the dishes?

On your no ether, no castor mix, will you be adding cetane booster/ignition improver?
Old 09-16-2006, 02:03 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Hi Andy,
Go back and have a read of the message which contained the original excerpt from the Aeromodeller article. It is on page 4 of this thread and a short way down from the top of the page.

The modified vegetable oil is indeed used as a lubricant and the purpose is to replace castor oil in the fuel mix. Castor will not mix with kerosene without ether being present... or so it is normally reckoned. You have found a blend of castor which will mix in kerosene without the presence of ether BUT looks as though it will only work above certain temperatures. OK so you have a fuel for warm weather but what about the rest of the time ? The guy who devised the veggie oil mix was an organic chemist and presumably had some idea of what he was doing and what was needed to modify the oil.

Why else would he use the unlikely combination of some water, a small amount of glycerine and washing up liquid in the process ? No... I guess the guy had an inkling of what he needed to do to modify ordinary vegetable oil.

Here is a quote from the message on page 4, it goes some way to explain why he set about modifying vegetable oil so that it could be used.

QUOTE
The special case mentioned earlier is that of castor which has little
unsaturation and does not dry but is hydroxylated which makes it thicker
than the other oils, unsoluble in paraffin and important for glowmotors -
soluble in lower alcohols. The other oils dissolve readily in paraffin but
not in alcohols.

In diesel fuel, castor is undoubtedly superior to other vegetable oils,
but needs ether to keep it in solution. Without ether, one is left with a
choice of mineral oil, some synthetic oils, or ordinary vegetable oil. The
mineral and synthetic oils are not at their best in high paraffin fuels
where dilution effects come into play and here they have little, if
anything to offer over the cheapest vegetable oil.
END QUOTE

As he states later the question is not so much ... why vegetable oil, as... why not vegetable oil.

His knowledge probably encompassed what I can only guess, and my guess is...
Oils are developed with much research and testing to operate in specific ways with specific types of engines and their fuels.The oil that is supplied exclusively for use in diesel engines would be totally unsuitable in a 2 stroke motor bike. The oil for my diesel car is strongly alkaline to cope with the acidic conditions produced by a diesel engine, this is not going to be an ideal oil for a 2 stroke engine as the complex chemical package which makes up the oil is completely wrong unless used the way it is intended... so an oil is quite often a very complex substance designed for a particular set of running conditions.

No doubt whatsoever that castor provides the best protection in model engines, it will protect long after other oils break down due to overly high temperatures. However if castor won't mix satisfactorily without ether what choice do we have ?

We can buy model engine specific oils including synthetic BUT, which if any are designed to work with high levels of kerosene. We could buy commercial 2 stroke oils but again, what were they designed to run in and which ones would be satisfactory with a kerosene fuel ?

If we can't use castor then we lose it's special protection properties whic give some insurance against lean mixture settings. Ordinary mineral and synthetic oils will not give us a replacement as they will break down if the engine overheats. Mineral and synthetic oils are expensive and are also an unknown chemical package so why not use cheap, modified vegetable oil. It will do the job at a fraction of the cost and although it won't provide the high level of protection that castor gave us.... neither will the expensive mineral and synthetic oils !

That's my reasoning anyway

In a later message someone said that the washing up liquid acts a catalyst for the kerosene and glyerine... what the modification process actually does I don't have a clue. My chemistry knowledge would be lost on the head of a pin !

Soooooo, the modified veggie oil was to be used purely as the lubricant in the fuel and the kerosene was tickled up with a small amount of cetane booster.... and this was used and proved satisfactory.
The fuel has been well tested over time and does the business... however I don't know if it will throttle or if it was used in control line with basic venturies.... I will test it myself, but it looks like monday will be my first chance.

Sooooo, we have a lubricant in the modified veggie oil that we KNOW works. We have an etherless fuel (as described on page 4) tha we KNOW works.... what we don't yet know is if it will be OK in an RC carb. Even if it doesn't then 2/3 of the problem is solved towards an etherless fuel. We have the base ingredient (kerosene) we have the lubricant (modified veggie oil) and we can tickle it with a cetane booster... we are then just looking for the ingredient that will give us better throttling.

Easy !

Reg
Old 09-16-2006, 02:41 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Andy,
I have just read through the article by Robert Dulake (on page 4) and realised the guy has indeed used the etherless fuel mix with RC carbs and found the throttling to be satisfactory.

QUOTE
I ran some RPM checks comparing fuel to the following formulation with
MODEL TECHNICS D2000 [a commercial UK diesel fuel]:

I.P.N.... 1%, Paraffin.... 66%, Modified cooking oil.... 33%

I tested three engines, a very down at the heels ME 'Snipe', a well
run-in but still excellent PAW 19 R/C and a newish E.D. 'Viking'. They
gave similar figures, prop for prop, on both fuels, and similar throttle
performance too- where appropriate. Handling was different, of course.
The ether free fuel needed a very rich needle to pick up from cold and a
little compression chasing to nurse it through the first few seconds of
running. [Ahh, diesels...] It was also more sensitive to adjustment when
hot and needed a little more compression advancement. Accepting this, once
fuel was at the spraybar, a prime of ether containing fuel was all that
was needed for a cold start. Hot restarting only needed a heav[y]ish prime
or choke.

As a basis of experimentation the fuel formulation given earlier was as
good as any. Nitrate level might be varied to suit individual motor/prop
combinations and can be increased to improve cold pick up
END QUOTE

Also

QUOTE
Ether free fuels seem well worth considering for sports C/L and R/C
work where long engine runs are called for [vs. FF] and they offer a
challenge to anyone who just enjoys experimenting with diesels.
END QUOTE

The Model Technics D2000 he mentions is a very good quality commercial fuel with a composition of ether 30% kerosene 43.75% castor 24% and isopropyl nitrate (cetane booster) 2.25%

I can well believe that the etherless fuel easily competed with the D2000 mix for power. If it throttles as well as the D2000 mix we are home and dry and I will be one VERY happy little bunny.

My mate ran this etherless mix with no problems but he was flying control line combat and thus not using a throttled engine. He had exactly the same experience... prime for cold start with an ether mix. Choke prime for hot restarts - no ether prime needed.

Reg
Old 09-16-2006, 10:09 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Why not just use regular gasoline type 2 stroke oil? It should mix just fine with Kero. It is pretty cheap too. What is the advantage of cooking up home made lube oil? Is it for $ saving or does it work better than reg 2 stroke oil?

I still think a little gasoline would help. It doesn't need to autoignite- that is the job of the kero. and cetane booster. The cetane boster will work like a spark plug for the gas. What it will do is vaporize very well and help with the idle-at least this is my theorey that I'm going to try. It may not work at all.

The vegatable oil car people are mixing gasoline in with their vegatable oil mix. They run a little diesel a little gasoling and strait vegatable oil heated to about 180 deg f. This seem to work best for the straight vegatable oil car crowd.
Old 09-17-2006, 12:02 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

WE DO NOT NEED ETHER TO RUN MODEL DIESEL ENGINES

We DO, however need it to get them STARTED.

This is what I proved today !

I went off to my usual engine testing spot and intended trying my non-RC carb PAW 2.49 first. The idea was to run it with my 10% ether and veggie oil mix. I wanted to see if it would just start up with the same settings as I ran in on successfully a couple of days ago.

I forgot to take the fuel tank !!!

OK, I will now move straight onto the 2.49 RC PAW that I had also brought, this had the tank attached so I couldn't forget it !

---------------------------------------------------

First.... I started the RC PAW on 30% commercial fuel mix, it is Model Technics D2000. I set it up for optimum running and ran it for several minutes. I took the opportuninty to check how well the engine throttled and idled. This was an engine bought off E*ay and apart from initial testing hasn't yet been used.

Second... I waited for it to cool down and then put in some fuel with 10% ether, mixed with veggie oil and paraffin and a drop of cetane booster. I know from my testing the other day that the compression needs to be increased a 1/4 turn with this fuel. I therefore increased the compression , choke primed and applied the starter..... it burst into life straight away

The throttling, and idle were OK. with this 10% ether mix. I could take it down to a low idle, leave it there for a minute or so and then increase the throttle to wide open with just a small lag in revs increasing.... so far, so good. The 10% ether and veggie oil mix will not only start OK but also works with the RC carb.

I HAVE A CHEAP FUEL

------------------------------------------------------------

Now for the BIGGIE, will the no-ether fuel work ?
The mix is 2% cetane booster and two parts of paraffin to one part of modified vegetable oil.

Fuel in tank, choke prime and starter applied.... nothing..... however this was expected.

A drop of 30% normal ether mix into the carb, starter applied and engine kicked into life but stopped. Primed with 2 drops of 30% ether mix, starter applied and it ran a bit longer.

I primed with 3 -4 drops of 30% ether, applied starter and .......... it was away and running very convincingly

I let it heat up and carefully set the compression and needle. Now comes the BIG test will it throttle?

Yes,yes,YES. it would throttle down to a low idle and run back up again. At first the idle was a little variable but another very slight tweak in on the compression and a touch out on the needle and it was performing nicely. The engine was left at low idle speed for a good minute and then the throttle was opened, apart from a slight initial lag the power came full up smoothly.

I ran the fuel out, which took about 6 minutes and let the engine cool right down.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Was the first attempt a fluke ? Well lets find out by doing another run. The tank can't have any vestiges of ether in it now as it has been completely run out and re-filled yet again. Choke primed to fetch the fuel up to the spraybar. Put 3-4 drops of 30% ether mix in the carb and applied the electric starter..... we have a running engine again

I ran the fuel out, which took about 8 minutes and while it was running tried a series of throttle positions. The engine ran without any fuss. If this is etherless fuel then it will do me very nicely.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

The PAW 2.49 seemed more powerful on the reduced ether and etherless fuels as compared to the 30% ether commercial mix. There was plenty of oil coming from the exhaust so the lubrication is adequate. The exhaust had a slight blue tinge, just a haze really, when running on the etherless fuel. The exhaust deposits didn't seem any dirtier than with normal fuel.... perhaps if you get the mix too rich there might be black deposits.

There is NO smell of cooking. The exhaust is somewhat similar to a 2 stroke motorbike, though not as strong smelling... in fact it is not too different from my normal commercial 30% ether mix. The compression only needs increasing by a 1/4 turn and the needle needs screwing IN about 1/2 turn.
Settings are virtually the same for the 10% ether mix and the completely etherless mix. You will have to find the optimum for both good running and idling, it only seems to require very slight alterations to get the best setting.

I am one very, very happy bunny. When I spotted the post containing the modified veggie oil recipe I had a feeling that would work. I proved it would work by using the modified oil while keeping a safety net of 10% ether in the mix. I HOPED that the etherless mix would work, but I hardly dared believe it.... it does

Reg
Old 09-17-2006, 12:34 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Chevy43 asks.....

Why not just use regular gasoline type 2 stroke oil? It should mix just fine with Kero. It is pretty cheap too. What is the advantage of cooking up home made lube oil? Is it for $ saving or does it work better than reg 2 stroke oil?

------------------------------------------

The answer to your question is higher up this page and also on page 4. Robert Dulake, who wrote the Aeromodeller article in 1986, stated that he had tried mineral oils, and some car oil and the engine would not run properly. The mineral oils are too heavily diluted by the base paraffin mix. They are not designed to be used with high paraffin content.

Gasoline may or may not work, I must admit I am disinclined to try it as I wonder if it will cause detonation which would quickly wreck an engine..... braver men than I may venture forth in that direction.

I may be wrong.... it frequently happens, but.... isn't there quite a big difference in the way model car engines and model plane engines are run ? Are the car's geared up substantially so that the engines are running slower. I have no experience of model car's but I seem to remember comments on other newsgroups to the effect that you can't directly compare them.

From what little I have seen of the cars the runs seem to be very short (upended cars !) or the throttle is varied constantly. Model plane engines run at high revs for (hopefully) several minutes
and therefore the conditions are harsher for the plane engine.... especially if it too is upended !

Reg
Old 09-17-2006, 12:49 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Andy,
I am hoping you are going to get the cooking pot out and make some modified veggie oil.

It would be nice if you could do a run with this etherless mix and put the video online. I haven't got the means to do it myself.

It would also be interesting to see how the fuel works with your more sophisticated carbs, the PAW is pretty agricultural in this respect.

Next test will be with a glider power pod, but looking at the weather forecast that is not going to happen this week coming..

I will try a PAW 1.49 non-RC power pod with the completely etherless mix.... just to gain confidence.

My next trick will then be with a PAW 1.49 RC carb and completely etherless used as a power pod.

By using the etherless mix in power pods I have every chance of getting the glider down without any worries about dead-stick landings with a normal high wing loading power model

From the way the etherless mix ran and throttled today I don't anticipate any problems, although I will have to find the settings for the smaller PAW 1.49's

The etherless mix is definitely a goer, although it is made much easier with an electric starter. It may be possible to hand start.... thinking about it, it should be possible with the 30% ether prime.... but electric starters make the job a lot easier anyway

Reg
Old 09-17-2006, 02:08 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Reg,

Congratulations on an excellent post re no ether fuels. Much has been learned since I started this thread and finally, someone has confirmed and replicated the experiment. I did it the hard way by mixing kerosene and castor. You did it the smart way by using an oil that easily blends with kero. Who would have thought?

And, as I found out, you don't even need kerosene. But in that case, you need ether. One or the other, it seems.

What if that coconut oil burned with no other visible ingredients in sight?

Now, about gasoline.

Two things come to mind. Why comment that it can or can't be done? Why not try it? But as you say, breaking machinery is not fun. I won't risk my .25 or .40, but the .15 came in two versions, one to keep and one to sacrifice to the gods of tinker so off to the shop to make a few rods.

And then again, I recall a great many years ago, adding a bit of white gas to glow fuel was recommended for a while, forget why and forget what happened when I tried it. Way back then too, I remember much ado was made by some that we should be soooo very careful to keep our glow fuel capped and stored carefully so as to not let any water condense into it. Shortly after, a prominenet modeler comes up with an article describing how adding water can improve power and cooling in an engine. I got a big chuckle out of that and tried it and it seemed to work. So I have never worried about the obvious water droplets condensing in my glow fuel jug on a hot day.

Oh yes, and throttling, the bane of my existence. Yes, veggie oil seems to enhance throttling performance as you've demonstrated. Wonderful.

And about other two stroke oils. I've tried mineral AND synthetic two stroke oils intended for gasoline engines and the additives do interfere with what we do. Only the 50 weight, non-detergent oil was a close second to castor.

It occurs to me that there might be a type of veggie oil, treated in the manner you describe, that might just make the absolute perfect, bestest oil we ever had for our stinky little machines. And they may not stink much after that, figuratively as well as literally. Neat.

Re cooking up veggie oil, I'm afraid I have indoor environmental constraints. Must be done outside, trying to find a used hotplate.
Old 09-17-2006, 03:26 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

Andy,

" Re cooking up veggie oil, I'm afraid I have indoor environmental constraints. Must be done outside, trying to find a used hotplate. "

Cooking up the vegi oil is cleaner and less smelly than regular cooking, its not heated hot enough to make smoke or bad odors

" Oh yes, and throttling, the bane of my existence. Yes, veggie oil seems to enhance throttling performance as you've demonstrated. Wonderful. "

The throttling with modded vegi oil lube is not surpriseing to me, it follows my coment with my "old english " mix being easier to start than fuel with regular castor.
Oh and the oil residue is also easier to clean off than castor
Stewart

Old 09-17-2006, 11:46 PM
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Default RE: Substitute for Ether

I will test the gasloline soon. I don't think it will detonate because it will be way under stochemetric. Actually kerosene tends to detonate more than gasoline. Kerosene was used alot by farmers in the early part of the last century to run farm tractors after they warmed up on gasoline. You will see two tanks on '30s John Deeres and other tractors. The small tank is the gasoline tank and the big one is the Kerosene tank. You warmed up the tractor on expensive gasoline then switched to the cheap kerosene to run for the day. My understanding is that this only worked on low compression engines due to the low octane and detonation of kerosene.

My goal is to improve idle with a little bit of gasoline in the mix.

Why would 2 stroke oil have any more dilution probems with kerosene than when it is run with gasoline? How does regular two stroke oil hurt idle performance? I ask because I want to make this as simple as possible and cooking up my own oil sounds like a bit of a pain. Soon I will be trying regular 2 stoke oil with my mixes.

I may also try heating the head to get a good hand start with a plumbers propane torch.

Great work so far guys!!!!!!!!!

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