Elsbett SVO Conversion Workshop

October 21-23, 2005 - Pittsboro North Carolina

Rachel Burton and the Piedmont Biofuels team hosted a superb Elsbett workshop at Central Carolina Community College just as fall weather arrived to re-mind jack-o-lanterns and cloud points. Alexander Noack, Elsbett's Ambassador of Canola Injection, sandwiched this workshop between similar events in San Francisco and Ireland, and led six Mercedes owners and three VW owners to SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil) power.

With more than 40 years experience designing and converting diesel engines to run on vegetable oil, Elsbett commands great respect on this subject, and currently offers the world's only single-tank conversion system. It was this single-tank design that originally prompted fourteen diesel owners to sign up for the workshop (not to mention Eric Henry's recommendation and full confidence in Rachel's skills). Unfortunately, several dropped out when Elsbett announced that the single-tank design doesn't yet apply to VW TDI Pumpe Düse (PD) engines.

I'm Jim Woodfin, a Jetta TDI PD owner from Melbourne, Florida, who learned of the PD limitation and Elsbett's alternative two-tank system after signing up for the workshop. Since I mostly drive short distances, the two-tank warm-up time doesn't fit, so I cancelled my car from the workshop, but enrolled with camera and notepad, hoping to learn the conversion process so I can do it myself after I find a compatible car.

Mark ("Mr. Red Shirt"), another observer at the workshop who appears in the photo above, has set up a web site with photos and comments. Don, who was first to finish his VW Vanagon at the workshop, has set up a yahoo newsgroup for Elsbett info. If you are interested, send an email to: elsbettconversions-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

My photos and notes admittedly suffer from a narrow TDI focus, since that's the process that I hope to duplicate in the future. With apologies to Mercedes owners and to Don for lack of detail and to Alexander and Elsbett for inaccuracies and misunderstandings, here 'tis!

Theory and Components

Fuel Supply Line

Fuel Heaters and Filters

Injectors and Glow Plugs

Electrical Connections

Workshop Participants

My Conclusions