Monday, February 2, 2009
It's already been a week since my last post on this blog.
One one week, it seems I have done everything, and nothing.
Although we have had a few days of sunlight lately, we are still in the grip of winter, with all of it's energy-sapping short days, and finger-numbing cold.
This keeps me indoors and not nearly as active in my projects.
A couple of things of note though.
On the bio-diesel frontier, I located BOOKS! That's right, through Craigslist I was able to obtain three different books on the old Mercedes diesels, including one gigantic mechanics manual of late 70's imports, which is over a thousand pages long!
I now have all the technical information, sizes, and measurements I need about my 4-cylinder Mercedes Diesel.
Later in the week, I was able to find two internet forum threads on people who have put 4-cylinder Mercedes diesels into trucks. Both were 4x4s, and really had to squeeze the 5-cylinder in there. I am now starting to feel that the more compact 4-cylinder is the right choice for my application.
On the one thread, the builder kept the original Mercedes automatic transmission, and modified it to the truck. The other builder created a custom adapter plate to mate his truck's original manual transmission to the diesel engine.
This is great in that I now have insight into BOTH of the two different ways I was looking at for the diesel install.
I also got an e-mail from a local eco-friend. The said she had a barrel I could have for my bio-diesel use, but was out of town for the rest of the week. I called her on Saturday, and was able to meet her husband and pick up the barrel.
This is something they have had in their back shed since using it to stockpile gasoline in the 70's oil crisis. Well, this barrel is going to have new life, serving its original purpose, helping plan ahead for our energy needs.
I also heard good news from Rob, one of the two guys I know who is really going all out for bio-diesel. He has located a small, but steady source of used vegetable oil for conversion to bio-diesel.
He is also at the heart of a "Community Supported Energy" project, which has ambitious goals for local, renewable energy production. As part of that, they have decided that bio-diesel production is one of the prioritites.
If you haven't seen Rob's Blog, you really should check it out. He is a fountain of knowledge about gardenening, energy, and a lot more. Especially note his Jan 25th, 2009 entry in regards to energy production and bio-diesel.
Also, I have been continuing to help others on their electric vehicle projects, including Tom's Neon EV project, and Swee's electric (and eventually bio-diesel-hybrid) trike.
Not only are these electric car get-togethers great for getting the work done, but they are also great events for like-minded folks to talk tech, throw out ideas, and get their dreams out there.
I did notice that one of the members went out to start working on his Electric Riding Lawn Mower conversion after being jump-started by working on other people's EVs.
Good works seem to be contagious.