AK Biodiesel Arctic Vegwerks - Alaska VegOil Systems

Supporting and encouraging the use of waste vegetable oil, fish oil
and local sustainably grown oil crops as fuel.

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VegOil Conversions

We offer straight vegetable oil (SVO) conversion services for Southcentral Alaska.

The No-Frills Alaska Special conversion on a 1995 VW Passat, with a 1985 1.6TD diesel engine.

Passat Tank FillThe extra long hose-on-hose allows filling the 12 gallon Tempo PBW tank outside the vehicle, avoiding those inevitable spills. The custom hose-on-hose design plans can be purchased from Vegoil Conversions.


Passat Tank FittingsWe use the Minnesota made Arctic-Fox brand HOTFOX heated pickup to heat the oil in the tank. We source our HOTFOX through PlantDrive.com. The special fittings are from Parker. The HOTFOX works like the flame on a candle. Just as a candle heats and melts wax which pools around the flame, the hotfox only heats the oil around the pickup, and lets the thicker stuff slowly slump to the middle. We believe this system is more efficient than trying to heat the whole tank.


Passat Tank TrunkThe hose is routed partially inside the vehicle for extra protection from Alaska winters.


Passat HOH over seatHere is one possibility for interior hose routing. We made as few modifications to the vehicle as possible.


Passat HOH through floorThe hose passes through an existing floor drain, which has been slightly enlarged, and the carpet cut out over it. We used 1/4" fuel line, sliced down the middle, and secured with zipties to protect the hose from the sharp metal. This was all sealed with Permatex Ultra-Black Hi-Temp RTV Silicone.


Passat HOH under carWe use plumber's tape and 5/8" #10 self tapping screws to secure the hose under the vehicle and keep it away from the exhaust.


Passat HOH mounting bar overviewWe use a piece of angle iron to attach the hose, heat exchangers and wiring within the engine compartment.


Passat coolant connectiosThe coolant lines in the HOH tap into the heater core lines. Hot coolant comes from the head, and loops in 3 parallel circuits. One, through the heater core, Two, Through 5/8" line into the Flat Plate Heat Exchanger (FPHE), and Three, through the HOH lines. We use brass PEX 3/4" fittings to tap into the heater lines. The flow is limited through the FPHE by a 3/4" PEX ball valve to keep enough coolant flowing back to the tank. 16 plate FPHEs (larger for trucks) can be obtained through Vegoil Conversions.


Passat HOH mounting bar drivers sideThe fuel line from the HOH enters the FPHE on the bottom, and exits the top, allowing air to purge from the slow moving fuel. The hot coolant enters the top and exits the bottom, giving a counter-current flow. The pre-heated vegoil then flows to the filter. The heated filter plans can be purchased from Vegoil Conversions Larger trucks would need a larger filter, such as the VORMAX from PlantDrive.com or the DAVCO filter from Frybrid.com.


Passat HOH middleFrom the heated filter the vegoil passes to a 6-port Pollak valve. This switches between the vegetable oil and diesel tanks and also switches the fuel return line so extra diesel fuel and any air bubbles in the system go back to the diesel tank, while the vegoil side is looped back into the vegoil feed, recycling the heat back into the system.

We source our valves, with a handy forgot-to-purge buzzer from PlantDrive.com These plastic bodied 6-port Pollak valve can be upgraded with two 3-port valves such as the Hydraforce valves from Frybrid.com or the new high-flow 1/2" valves from PlantDrive.com.

Next, the fuel then passes through the 12V VEGTHERM (also from PlantDrive.com) self-regulating electric vegoil heater, which is controlled separately from the valve.


Passat HOH passengerFrom the VEGTHERM the fuel passes through a sight glass and into the injection pump. between the VEGTHERM and the sight glass is a brass T fitting to connect the vacuum gauge.


Passat GaugesThe VEGTHERM and the valves are on two separate toggle switches. The amber light is controlled by a thermoswitch on the VEGTHERM that tells if there is power to the veghterm and if it's at temperature. The green light reminds you that you're running SVO. If the SVO switch is left on when the vehicle is off, an alarm will sound. The vacuum gauge tests for restrictions in the lines. If a line is blocked with cold, solid fuel, or if the filter is plugged, the gauge reading will increase.


Passat HOH passengerThanks to the Alaska Biodiesel and SVO network for free advice and for connecting straight veg and biodiesel folks in Southcentral Alaska. Alaska VegOil Services is available to convert your diesel today!




We appreciate the research and development that Vegoil Conversions, PlantDrive.com and Frybrid.com have done for SVO conversions. You may be able to save a few dollars (though not much more) buying similar valves, filters and fuel pickups at other places, but please, support these companies and appreciate all the time and effort they have contributed to the SVO community.