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Biodiesel Jeep Commando

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  • Biodiesel Jeep Commando

    We're embarking on our first R2.8 conversion. We've done several 3.9 and 5.9 conversions. When we learned that a common rail Cummins was available in a crate, we knew we wanted one of these engines, so we found this '72 AMC Jeep Commando as our first R2.8 project.

    Our plan is to use a Jeep TJ NV3550 five speed and a Dana 300 transfercase. Initially, we wanted a six speed, but learned that the NV3550 has a slightly higher overdrive ratio.

    We'll be chucking a functional 304 AMC V8, TH400 auto and Dana 20 transfercase. We want to run biodiesel and enjoy all the torque, reliability, and fuel economy of a diesel.

    Our stock chassis is a 104" wheel base. We have a Dana 44 rear, Dana 30 front with 3.73 gears and power drum (for now) brakes.

    We're planning to use a later CJ 4 cyl. clutch pedal and bracket to covert from auto to a hydraulic clutch linkage.

    We're looking to the aftermarket companies who are designing motor mounts, transmission adapters, and other accessories to complete this Jeep conversion.
    The Green Machine

  • #2
    Cool, keep us updated.

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    • #3
      I bought this parts Jeepster for the chrome roof rack and optional sliding rear windows. Gonna see about transplanting that classic Jeepster front clip onto our ugly duckling.

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      • #4
        Looks like a great project! What size drop is the front axle on those? The ax15 might be easier to source than the nv3550.

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        • #5
          Front axle is passenger drop. We are using a Dana300 behind a used TJ NV3550.

          Our engine arrived this week. We've been working all summer on the chassis. The frame and axles are all completely rebuilt and painted. We added disc brakes up front, a Detroit True Trac in the rear, and re-arched springs for approximately 2" of lift. Otherwise, it is stock so far.

          I posted a question in the tech section on our AC compressor. Next step is to get that mounted and confirm that our Farmstrong Inc. motor mounts will clear the compressor. Then, it's time to get our mounts welded to the frame.

          The body has been sand blasted. So body work and paint are also in the works.

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          • #6
            Have you ran much biodiesel in common rails? I've been interested, but I've never seen it around. I saw a video where a guy was using WVO 50/50 with pump diesel, no idea how long his injection system lasted. I know that's different, but I love the idea of variable fuels.

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            • #7
              I second the above!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DieselJeep View Post
                Have you ran much biodiesel in common rails? I've been interested, but I've never seen it around. I saw a video where a guy was using WVO 50/50 with pump diesel, no idea how long his injection system lasted. I know that's different, but I love the idea of variable fuels.
                Yes. Biodiesel is good for common rails. I would not run WVO in a common rail. The injector tolerances are just too tight for unrefined oil.

                Cummins and all the US engine manufactures approve 20% biodiesel blends in all there common rail engines. Most retail stations are selling 20% or less in their pumps. The Germans are wavering between 5-10% biodiesel approvals. I think that has more to do with politics than technical reasons. Biodiesel has great lubricity, which is good for the moving parts in your fuel system including those piezo injectors. Common rail injectors need very clean fuel.

                The biodiesel industry has done a lot of work on fuel quality standards and enforcement. As the new product in the market, extreme high quality is required to satisfy skeptics. As a result, biodiesel is some of the cleanest fuel in market. Now, that common rail tolerances are testing the cleanliness of real world fuels, the petroleum industry is looking to make their fuel as clean as biodiesel. Oxidative stability is also a topic of interest as some common rail fuel systems dump hot fuel back into the tank. Extreme heat testing has shown biodiesel can withstand this without problem.

                I run B20 in a European spec Grand Cherokee with a 2.7L MB 5 cylinder (Sprinter engine). It had 100,000 miles on it when I got it. I had to put new injectors in it then. They were leaking internally. I have 50,000 miles on it since with no problems.

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                • #9
                  I think I saw online there's a place in the next county to me that sells B20. The issue is getting enough at a time for me. Any MPG variance? What about low temp performance?

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                  • #10
                    It is getting easier to find all the time. If it contains more than 5% biodiesel, it will have a sticker on the pump.

                    You can find retail locations on our website at https://biodiesel.org/using-biodiese...tail-locations or by usign the app http://app.biodiesel.org/

                    Availability is growing so fast, its hard to keep the data up-to-date in those apps. Major chains like Loves, Pilot, Flying J, TA, Casey's, Marathon, Speedway, and others are carrying biodiesel quite often.

                    In general, there is no difference in mpg, hp or torque. Biodiesel has higher cetane, more lubricity, and slightly less energy density than typical diesel fuel. Biodiesel also burns cleaner, producing less soot and less un-burned hydrocarbons. If you are limited by the amount of black smoke you can make, then you can tune a diesel to produce more power and torque using biodiesel. Some might expenerience increased fuel consumption due to the energy density, but that can also be offset by producing less pollutants in the form of unburnt fuel. Some people report MPG gains, but most people can't tell the difference.

                    The fuel distirbutor should be providing blends appropriate for the local climate or expected weather. They can switch blends for the winter just like regular diesel fuel. I use B20 year round. My supplier cuts it with a good dose of #1 kerosene in the winter. The state of Minnesota uses B20 in the summer and B5 in the winter. I change my fuel filter every October or November, so I have a clean filter going into the winter months. I have family in North Dakota. I've seen 15 below a few times and driven thousands of miles in single-digit temperatures. In 15-years, I ve never had a problem with biodiesel.
                    Last edited by Biodiesel Don; 11-16-2018, 04:12 PM. Reason: typos

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Biodiesel Don View Post
                      It is getting easier to find all the time. If it contains more than 5% biodiesel, it will have a sticker on the pump.

                      You can find retail locations on our website at https://biodiesel.org/using-biodiese...tail-locations or by usign the app http://app.biodiesel.org/

                      Availability is growing so fast, its hard to keep the data up-to-date in those apps. Major chains like Loves, Pilot, Flying J, TA, Casey's, Marathon, Speedway, and others are carrying biodiesel quite often.

                      In general, there is no ant difference in mpg, hp or torque. Biodiesel has higher cetane, more lubricity, and slightly less energy density than typical diesel fuel. Biodiesel also burns cleaner producing less soot and less un-burned hydrocarbons. If you are limited by the amount of black smoke you can make, then you can tune a diesel to produce more power and torque using biodiesel. Some might expenerience increased fuel consumption due to the energy density, but that can also be offset by producing less pollutant in the form of unburnt fuel. Some people report MPG gains, but most people can't tell the difference.

                      The fuel distirbutor should be providing blends appropriate for the local climate or expected weather. They can switch blends for the winter just like regular diesel fuel. I use B20 year round. My supplier cuts it with a good dose of #1 kerosene in the winter. The state of Minnesota uses B20 in the summer and B5 in the winter. I change my fuel filter every October or November, so I have a clean filter going into the winter months. I have family in North Dakota. I've seen 15 below a few times and driven thousand of miles in single-digit temperatures. In 15-years, I ve never had a problem with biodiesel.
                      Great info here!

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