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  1. #1
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    Default Interchanging Diesel & Jet Fuel

    I found a very good youtube channel for a Brisbane company Cutting Edge Engineering - link below.
    The guy has a 1970's International crane he uses around the yard.
    He said he runs it on jet fuel for convenience as he keeps jet fuel in the workshop for cleaning.
    Are the two that similiar?

    Cutting Edge Engineering Australia - YouTube

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  3. #2
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    Don't know about octane ratings etc. I'd be very wary about the jet fuel additives.....
    FSII, Fuel system icing inhibitor, when burnt in a diesel engine might cause issues such as toxic fumes, is the jet turbine engine burns higher/lower than a diesel engine?? Could the jet fuel not have lubricants needed in diesel engines??
    A few unknowns.

  4. #3
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    That was my first thought, that the jet fuel wouldn't have the same lubrication properties as diesel.
    That said, I'm not an expert on fuel, I've never owned a diesel vehicle - aside from unleaded my only experience with fuel was mixing my own methanol based fuel for R/C aircraft.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    Don't know about octane ratings etc. I'd be very wary about the jet fuel additives.....
    FSII, Fuel system icing inhibitor, when burnt in a diesel engine might cause issues such as toxic fumes, is the jet turbine engine burns higher/lower than a diesel engine?? Could the jet fuel not have lubricants needed in diesel engines??
    A few unknowns.
    Jet fuel is pretty much just kerosene, its not typically measured in octane rating (which is a measurement of anti-detonation) because diesel/turbine engines compress the air rather than the fuel.

    Diesel, kero and jet fuel are similar. Additives are the biggest difference, and I think sulphur content is the other big difference from memory. Pretty sure Jet-A and Jet-A1 have higher sulphur content, so would be fine in all modern piston diesel engines.

  6. #5
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    i would have thought the main difference between the two would be when it freezes?

    dunno why but i kind of thought of AVGAS propeller planes when reading jet fuel.

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    Another aspect (not fuel quality related) is that CEE are based on Townsville airport in, I believe, one portion of a former airline maintenance hanger, and other parts of the hanger are currently occupied by a helicopter charter or maintenance business with Turbine choppers. These help with availability of the Jet fuel, it's not like a long drive to an airport to get some, more likely be a long drive to a servo to get a container of diesel for the crane if he ran it on that.
    I used to be an engineer, I'm not an engineer any more, but on the really good days I can remember when I was.

  8. #7
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    Default

    I have a vague memory of running a big old tractor that you stared on kero then switched over to diesel as it warmed up, I think it was a Russian thing or something, it had heaps of torque we used it to pull stumps.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by malb View Post
    Another aspect (not fuel quality related) is that CEE are based on Townsville airport in,
    HE is based out of Ormeau on the Gold Coast. Right on the Gold Coast Train line!

  10. #9
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    A sawmill I once worked at had a mobile international/fowler yard crane. It started on petrol and then you switched it over to kerosene.
    Regards,
    Ross

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by smidsy View Post
    I found a very good youtube channel for a Brisbane company Cutting Edge Engineering - link below.
    The guy has a 1970's International crane he uses around the yard.
    He said he runs it on jet fuel for convenience as he keeps jet fuel in the workshop for cleaning.
    Are the two that similiar?
    back in the day -- I was working in Broken Hill at the time -- we had a large truck mounted 12000 litre hot bitumen sprayer.

    Hot bitumen can be mixed with lighting kerosene (intended for use in fuel powered lamps), power kerosene (intended for motors), avtur (aviation turbine fuel), or diesel.
    The differences were that
    Bitumen mixed with Lighting or Power kerosene, is known as "cutback" bitumen. The cutter made the hot bitumen runnier (less viscus?) and essentially evaporated within hours of the bitumen being sprayed and graded aggregate rolled in.
    Avtur behaved similarly to lighting and power kerosene. It had a very similar smell to lighting and power kerosene.
    Diesel acted as a "flux" in the bitumen and remained in the bitumen after spraying. Note that Australian sourced diesel contains waxes that freeze at low temperatures. I'm not sure about diesel refined from middle east crude in Singapore.

    so using Avtur to run a diesel powered yard crane is reasonable.


    BTW
    Bitumen is essentially an oil refinery waste product -- over the past 40 years the bitumen grades suitable for spraying have migrated to higher numbers from 90 to 160.
    I understand that the fuel oil used in ships is bitumen that is kept "runny" by piping the engine exhaust through the bunkers.
    regards from Canada

    ian

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverbuilder View Post
    I have a vague memory of running a big old tractor that you stared on kero then switched over to diesel as it warmed up, I think it was a Russian thing or something, it had heaps of torque we used it to pull stumps.
    Running stationary engines and IC traction engines on Kerosene but starting them on petrol was common into the 1950's. Stationary engines generally had a small bowl attached to the carby with its own cock/jet screw for a small dose of petrol, plus a second adjustable jet screw for the kero mixture control. Typically kero would be shut off with the screw, and about 1/4 cup of petrol poured into the bowl and the lid was closed. The petrol screw was opened the predetermined amount and the engine started. When the engine had consumed almost all of the petrol in the bowl, the kero screw would be opened a predetermined amount and the petrol screw closed to prevent the engine sucking air from the petrol bowl and leaning out the kero mixture. At this point, the engine was hot enough to continue to run on kero without issues.

    Tractors etc running on both petrol and kero usually had a small fuel tank for petrol and a much larger tank for kero. These were generally plumbed to a selector valve, and hence to a common carby. Petrol was selected for starting and once the engine was warm, the fuel selector was changed for running on kero, again the engine was hot enough for the engine to successfully run spark ignition with kero fuel.

    Petrol start, diesel run was common with earlier diesel engines, but used a small petrol 'pony' engine as a starter in lieu of an electric starter. The two engines were separate but intergrated to the extent that they had a common cooling system and the exhaust from the pony passed through a passage cast in diesel inlet manifold to heat it. In this system, the pony was started via a rope, or later by an electric starter, and run for a few minutes, circulating hot exhaust gases through the manifold and warm water through the block of the diesel. A decompressor valve on the diesel is opened and with the diesel throttle at the cuttoff (stop) position, a clutch is engaged allowing the pony motor to rotate the diesel flywheel via gearing to build oil pressure in the diesel. The throttle is then advanced to the idle position and the decompressor closed, at which point the diesel should run happily and be ready for work.

    A third class of engines was the hot bulb ignition engines that could run on virtually any flammable liquid. These had a large mass of iron on the cylinder head, and this was heated for some time with a kero blowlamp prior to starting, then the engine was rocked over compression, often using a detachable steering wheel. The engine would fire when the flammable fuel contacted a hot spot on the head inside the cylinder, and the heat from each firing would keep the hot spot at working temperature while running, so the blow lamp could be extinquished and removed. These motors were two stroke and could operate successfully in either direction. If being difficult, the motor might fire prematurely when being rocked over for starting and start running in the opposite direction to that desired. Experienced operators could slow the engine sufficiently to cause it to reverse of it's own accord in order to operate the machine in the other direction.

    To the best of my knowledge (may not be perfect) there were no engines that used petrol for starting then ran on diesel in the same cylinders, as the petrol would require timed spark ignition but the spark plugs would have a short working life with the pressures and temperatures required for the diesel to run.
    I used to be an engineer, I'm not an engineer any more, but on the really good days I can remember when I was.

  13. #12
    Boringgeoff is online now Try not to be late, but never be early.
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    We inherited my father-in-law's petrol-kero Ferguson and as Malb mentioned it has a large tank for the kero and a small tank for the Petrol and a selector valve to one carby. These days we only run it on petrol, with an additive to compensate for the unleaded.
    A lot of the Caterpillar machinery ran the separate pony engines for starting, I operated a D8 briefly in the early '70's started exactly as Malb described except on a cold morning the pony motor was a mongrel to start. I think the International dozers started on petrol and switched to diesel without the pony motor.
    In the mid '60's in NZ a lot of the servo's had a kerosene bowser, I had a mate with an old Chev, he'd pull up at the petrol bowser and put a bit in the tank then move up to the kero bowser and put a bit of that in. He had a ratio, which may have been 1 petrol to 2 kero, kero being heaps cheaper than petrol. It smelt like a heater going down the road.
    Good old days.

    Cheers,
    Geoff.
    Last edited by Boringgeoff; 3rd January 2022 at 01:44 AM. Reason: more info.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by malb View Post
    Another aspect (not fuel quality related) is that CEE are based on Townsville airport in, I believe, one portion of a former airline maintenance hanger, and other parts of the hanger are currently occupied by a helicopter charter or maintenance business with Turbine choppers. These help with availability of the Jet fuel, it's not like a long drive to an airport to get some, more likely be a long drive to a servo to get a container of diesel for the crane if he ran it on that.
    CEE according to their website are in Ormeau

  15. #14
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    Probably not relevant but here in the US, farm diesel is required to have a red die. The reason is the long-haul trailer tractor, semi, drivers were using the farm diesel fuel to avoid taxes.
    Rich

    When SWMBO said "I won't cook in metric."
    The metric system died in the US.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by malb View Post

    To the best of my knowledge (may not be perfect) there were no engines that used petrol for starting then ran on diesel in the same cylinders, as the petrol would require timed spark ignition but the spark plugs would have a short working life with the pressures and temperatures required for the diesel to run.
    Malb

    Sorry to have tell you this, but early Internationals did exactly that. I have a 1950 TD18. It has spark plugs. The theory is that you start on a petrol cycle and once the engine is warmed you switch over to diesel by means of a large lever that closes a valve somewhere in the head and switches to diesel fuel. The valve raises the compression ratio (not that high. From memory it might be 18:1) and allows it to run conventionally as a diesel. Trouble with this is that the carby is primitive and it works well if you have a spare hour to fiddle with it. When I was last using the machine (it broke a track many years ago and I have not repaired it) I used to give it a healthy spray of a proprietary volatile start mix (aerostart, startyoubarstard etc.) and it fired up first time every time direct on diesel.

    6cyls, 11litres, 100bhp and two unsilenced exhaust pipes rising vertically from the bonnet in front of you fair gets the adrenaline flowing!

    Regards
    Paul
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