Episode 14. Chevrolet LUV WA54 HYP. (part 3).

To continue...


I have been continuing to think about how well my Petrol/Diesel mix is blending as the fuel level in my tanks continues to drop, and here are some of my thoughts. I would think diesel and petrol mix rather well.
In some countries where it gets really cold, and the houses have an outside and above ground tank for heating oil they tend to mix a little petrol with the heating oil. This is done to lower the freezing point, as heating oil becomes more viscose as  the temperatures drop which makes it hard for the fuel pump to get it to the burner. A little petrol helps prevent it from thickening. If the petrol would just float on top this would have no effect! Also, because this is done specifically to prevent cold weather problems this is probably why I haven't had any problem cold starting. Mixtures commonly used for heating oil are approx 2000l heating oil and 500l petrol so, about three to one. However heating oil, and diesel are a little bit different. Heating oil is thinnner in viscosity than diesel, let me go on... Ok who is up for a bit of learnin? as I know a little bit about this from an earlier life where I was working with heating oil as an installer on a daily basis...

Right then, for those of you who are still interested, and haven't wandered off, this is the way I remember it, from waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when I used to do it. Heating oil, is also known as “28 second oil”, and Diesel is also known as “35 second oil”. The “28 seconds” term refers to the fantastically archaic test that was historically used to measure the viscosity of fuel products. Viscosity is essentially the pouring characteristics of a liquid - “pourability” if that is indeed a word! Anyhow, using a Redwood Viscometer, the liquid is poured through a narrow hole which was less than 3mm in diameter. The time it takes 50ml to pour through this hole is recorded in seconds, and this very obviously gives you the measurement. So heating oil is a "28 second" fluid, whereas the slightly thicker Diesel is sometimes called “35 second oil”, because it takes 7 seconds longer than heating oil to flow through the same hole. As an extra bit of trivia heating oil is actually exactly the same grade of fuel as Kerosene. Y'know, the stuff that goes into aeroplanes! In fact, the only difference between what Jimbo and the jet set use and what goes into your boiler at home, is that the latter has a pale yellow dye, to identify it for domestic or non-transportation use only.

As another interesting little tit-bit, back in 2002 I found that a brand new Kubota mini-digger will not run on “28 second” or heating oil. Once you put that in it will refuse to start, then cough and splutter the more you cranked it over with plumes of thick grey smoke, that was good for making you choke but would not produce any power at all, or actually start! It will then need to be drained (into the trench you've got the damn thing parked above!) filled with its favourite beverage (diesel) then cranked over continuously until it starts! It then needs to be run, and run, and run until the grey smoke disappears, then it can be taken back to the hire shop, and returned in full working order! However, “28 second” or heating oil if you will, will run a brand new rental transit back in 2002! And it would appear to run it without any smoke or trouble of any kind, infact when I off hired the Transit it still had 3/4 of a tank of heating oil in it, and it was running like a champ! We had it all week, and it never gave us any problems, and presumably never gave the hire company any problems after we gave it back to them as they never contacted me about it! Ahh, the innosence of youth... Having said all that though, I really wouldn't recommend putting heating oil in your diesel vehicle, and for that matter, I wouldn't rcommend putting petrol in it either!

So then, with lessons learned about what fuel powers what, here is another part to the Chev-suzu misfuelling fiasco! With less than an 1/8 of a tank full of my special brew, I decided that it was about time that I finally ran it out of go-go juice! So with my morning chores done and dusted, I was off out in the afternoon for a bit of a drive around! We headed out, obviously I cant be trusted to go out alone, so Mrs Clint and out two little monsters came along for the ride! It was soon obvious that they had a not so hidden agenda... Shopping! Oh good-o! After the shopping was done I thought that we would all have a nice stroll along the sea front, as it was looking very nice out. However, after a bracing walk along the beach, it was soon decided to get back in the Chev-suzu, and do a bit more driving! Pretty soon I had a familier light illuminated on my dashboard...


Mrs Clint pointed it out to me, and told me I needed to fill up! I said that I was going to fill up when, and only when it was properly EMPTY! She said I should fill up now, before we run out of fuel in the middle of nowhere... I drove on! And on, and on, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand on! Mrs Clint constantly telling me I need to get some Diesel! The further I drove on, the more Mrs Clint told me to get some diesel, every time we passed a petrol station, she would point it out, and I would just say nope! In the end she told me that if we ran out of fuel, and got stuck, and had to walk to get Diesel, then I would be buying dinner! I must admit that by now, I was really starting to think to myself that actually, I did need to fuel up, I looked at the gauge...


Yep, it was low alright, but then, just as we crested the brow of a hill it happened! A cough, another cough, a splutter, and then that was that, we were out of our special hybrid mix! Mrs Clint turned to our two little monsters and said, Good news, After Daddy has walked off to get some diesel, when he returns and gets the truck going again he's taking us all out to dinner! There was a group YAY!! From everyone in the Chev-suzu who wasn't me. After they had finished their cheering, I turned to Mrs Clint and said, The game is not over!! She replied with, yes it is, you've run out of fuel! To which my reply was, but, we are still moving! So she said, yes, but you are coasting! I replied, yes, but coasting is still moving, therefore, until this truck comes to a halt, the game is not over! As I said this I coasted into the petrol station at the bottom of the hill, and rolled up next to the pump. I then turned the ignition off, and turned to Mrs Clint and said, And that, my dear is how you win fuel light roulette! I then turned to our two little monsters and said, while I fill the truck up with DIESEL, decide amoungst yourselves where you would like Mummy to take us all out for dinner! There was another loud cheer, and as I got out of the Chev-suzu Mrs Clint was saying but... but... I said, but but nothing, I got us to the petrol station, now you get us dinner lol! I opened the filler cap, and it would appear that Mrs Clint had decided to help me out...


Oh she's such a laugh! But I got the right stuff this time! She's got such a way with words my woman!


But I did manage to get the right stuff in this time! And filled it right up! I then paid for my diesel, got back in the Chev-suzu, cranked it over a couple of times, and then, it fired straight up!! We were once again ready to drive off to get some food, it had been decided that we would go and see the King...


WAIT!.. No... Not that one, the other King...


I had a Whopper, as I sat there eating my meal of victory, and telling Mrs Clint how much I was enjoying my victory meal I could almost feel my nerves untangling! I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders now that the truck has got the fuel it was designed to burn running through it's lines. The whole time I have been driving this lately I've just been waiting for it to go off with a pop at any second! I've even been lying awake at night thinking about it! As time went on I should have thought that it was becoming less and less likely that I was harming it, but that niggling little voice in the back of my mind kept picking away at me, telling me it's just about to self destruct! My nerves have been tightly wound the whole time I was running with my special brew! But it really seems to have had no bad effect on the thing what so ever. Infact like I said before, if anything I would say that it went slightly better, and maybe even had a bit more power. Hopefully it hasn't done anything that will show up at a later date, I'm guessing the longer I put just regular old Diesel in it, the less likely it will be to break down as a result of my misfueling, but time will no doubt tell. But hopefully, I've got away with that! Now, lets not do it again!!


Comments