Mitsubishi 2.8 diesel engines can be run on straight vegetable oil (SVO), if the oil is heated to a similar viscosity as diesel fuel. This oil can be any vegetable blend, such as corn or canola, even used fryer grease. The average backyard mechanic can convert a Mitsubishi vehicle in about three hours.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- SVO vegetable oil conversion kit
Locate a suitable place for the vegetable oil tank. Typically, the 2.8 Mitsubishi motor is installed into trucks and SUV's, and the tank (usually less than 25 gallons) can be situated in the bed area or in the rear of the vehicle. Vegetable oil is not as flammable as gasoline or diesel fuel in it's room temperature state and requires minimal ventilation, but most states have laws regarding on-board vehicle fuel storage. Check local requirements for tank placement.
Install the fuel lines to the engine. Most kits have thick tubing that can run the oil from the rear of the truck to the front. The line needs to be coupled to the existing fuel delivery system or have it's own switched pump.
Install the fuel heater element. This is a critical part of SVO vehicles and is the reason that they work. The Mitsubishi 2.8 will most likely have a fuel injection system and the fuel line will couple to the system with a threaded steel tube in the rear of the intake manifold. The SVO kit should come with a long heater element, which is about 10 inches long, that will take the vegetable oil and raise it's temperature as it enters the manifold. This will make it the relative viscosity of diesel fuel and have an octane level around 50. The threaded coupler will attach to the manifold and there will be a power lead that can run to the ignition system through the fuse box. Linking it to a switched power source will ensure it is turned off when the car is not running. The heater element is a high-wattage device and will drain a car battery quickly.
Start the truck or SUV and let it warm to operating temperature on diesel fuel. Switch over to SVO and check for differences in the sound and RPM's of the engine. Smaller diesel motors, such as the Mistubishi 2.8 litre, have design characteristics that make SVO conversion problematic. Smaller injectors and a smaller intake system overall could be issues with the Mitsubishi that may be difficult to overcome.
Tips and warnings
- Use a manual switch for the fuel lines, as automatic switches could malfunction.
- Run regular diesel fuel when stopping or starting the engine, to avoid fuel injector "coking."
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