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Old Apr 04, 2010, 06:58 PM
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Olive Lube

I have been doing a lot of testing with E85 in my OS .25 LA. It has worked great. I have been flying a lot with it. So far I have used 20% castor oil and 80% E85. But after checking out the diesel forum at RCU, I discovered that people have used olive oil instead. I too have also olive oil in my MK-17 diesel. I even broke it in with it. It worked. It still has good compression. Since I'm running low on castor I mixed up 20% extra virgin olive oil and 80% E85. My LA ran well. There was plenty of unburnt oil coming out. What do you guys think about this olive lube? I have also learned that olive oil has very similar properties to castor. Olive oil would be cheaper since there would be no shipping charge.

Thanks,
GG
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 08:27 PM
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I do not see a problem with using extra virgin oil oil. it has similar if not the same characteristics to castor oil.
Several guys have used it in their RC cars already too.
Everyone reported success so far.
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 08:40 PM
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Just out of curiosity, can you really run nitro engines on 20% olive oil and 80% E85? What is the performance difference to regular glow fuel? What happens to the 15% of regular gasoline in the E85? This would be a cheap alternative to glow fuel. Very interesting.
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 09:24 PM
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Bad news guys, for some reason the olive oil eventually separated out. I guess the gasoline is doing this? Oh well, I'll just have to bite the bullet and get some more castor.

Sp3hybrid, yes you most definately can! But not all glow engines are happy with E85. I'm in Annapolis, MD and E85 is $2.85 a gallon at this Shell station. You also have to factor in the cost of oil, but you still come out way cheaper than let's say Cool Power 10%. My OS .25 LA is currently in a spad PBF with a Mousse Can Muffler and Hobby King 9 gram servos. With my original brew of 20% castor and 80% E85, I could still hover and pull out of the hover. But pull out was a little slower than with the CP 10%. Flight time was almost double! The E85 produced a bit more smoke and the engine ran a little hotter (this is probably due the 15% gasoline). Don't worry too much about the gasoline. It just burns with the ethanol. Since E85 and castor is basically clear, I couldn't tell how much fuel I had left while flying so I added a few drops of blue food coloring.

I took my engine apart after about a half dozen flights to check for damage. I didn't find any. I looked like it was getting plenty of oil. The blue food coloring had turned the inside a little blue. I'm not sure if that is good or bad? But it all blew out after running it with CP 10% again.

I have used a OS A3 (now the #6 plug) and an OS F pug. I think it ran a little smoother with the F plug.

I had to readjust both the highspeed needle and the airbleed screw. After I did this, the engine started just as easily as it did with the CP 10%. I use an electric starter.

The castor oil I used was from a drug store in walking distance from my house. They only sell 6oz bottles and it costs 6$. Kinda expensive, and this is only enough to make a quart if mixing 20% oil. But since it's only a .25 and I get a lot more flight time, maybe it's worth it. I mean its convenient and there are no shipping charges. Don't worry it is degummed . Currently I'm looking into, Brodak, Sig, and Klotz castor oils.

I'm thinking about trying E85 in my EVO .46 NT that I have in my Spad 3D. Yes I only fly spad planes .
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 09:58 PM
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Hmm...I wonder if Rite Aid sells castor oil. They might have it cheaper. I also wonder what heavy mineral oil would do in a glow engine. Like olive oil, this is available at any grocery store. There is also a grocery store in walking distance from my house.
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 10:32 PM
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hmm, thats interesting. You mentioned that the engines run a little hotter. Can you counter that by running them richer? Is the excess heat a problem?
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 10:38 PM
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I would think that running it richer would help. I don't think that the excess heat is problem as long as you have plenty of oil in the mix. Plus castor oil (if you use it) provides excellent protection even in high heat and stress environments.
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 11:43 PM
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Hey, nice job, Glue Gun. I know your idea wasn't exactly supported, but it looks like it worked out just fine for your purposes. No detonation problems with the gasoline in the fuel then? How about glow plug lifespan? Did you need to put on board glow or does it catalyze in the ethanol? What about using castor oil brewed for model airplane fuel use? I think it might be cheaper than the drugstore brand. I saw a quart of it for like 6 bucks I think at my LHS. Any vids? I'd like to hear what a glow motor sounds like munching up E85.
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Old Apr 04, 2010, 11:54 PM
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I have also done some testing with E85 and castor. It wants a hot plug as you have found but otherwise it works fine.
As long as the drug store castor has no added sugar it is the same as airplane castor.
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Old Apr 05, 2010, 07:46 AM
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Bummer on the settling out. I didn't think about the olive oil not mixing well with the gasoline. Well, you can always shake the fuel jug to mix it up before each use.

Besides nitro-methane, oil is the most expensive ingredient to add to the fuel. You can add like 3% to 5% castor along with 17% to 15% synthetic oil for your gas-glow fuel. That might get the costs down some. But you may want to try a small test mix to see if it settles out or not.
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Old Apr 05, 2010, 09:23 AM
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I definitely wouldn't substitute olive oil for castor. Castor is unique amongst all oils (natural or synthetic) in its lubricating properties and ability to withstand heat.
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Old Apr 05, 2010, 09:35 AM
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b7gwap, I have not had any problems with detonation, I haven't burnt a single plug, an onboard glow driver is not needed, and my LHS also sells quarts of Sig Castor, but I have read that it doesn't mix with gasoline. Sorry, I don't have any footage of it running. But sounds just like regular glow fuel. Nice and smooth.

Yeah I'm kinda bummed out about the olive oil. It was like some of the olive oil I added stayed mixed with the ethanol and some of it settled to the bottom after awhile. The oil on the bottom would appear 5-10 minutes after shaking the olive oil and E85 together. But the mix still held its green color. Maybe all is not lost. Gasoline itself has some lubricating properties by itself. Plus if I just do what Earlwb said and shake the jug before I fill up my airplane's tank, I should be good to go. Engine vibration on my PBF shakes the tank some. The stange part was the fact that after I filled the PBF's tank (about a 1/3 of the way), ran it some and then let it sit while I started this new thread, when I went back to it, no olive oil was resting at the bottom of the tank, but some was resting at the bottom of my fuel bottle.
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Old Apr 05, 2010, 09:42 AM
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I had trouble with Sig castor blending with kerosene, but Klotz Benol castor is fine above ~35F. Olive oil should have similar properties as far as blending, but temperatures could be different. You might have water in your fuel.

The lubricating properties of olive oil are not defined. You could probably run a variety of vegetable oils and have similar results. It's hard to say what the result will be over time.

Greg
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Old Apr 05, 2010, 10:52 AM
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I'm going to keep trying the olive oil. After a few flights, I'll take the engine apart again and check for any signs of increased ware or damage. I mean like I said before, my 1950s Soviet Union made, steel piston and cylinder, MK-17 diesel engine, which was run on nothing but extra virgin olive oil, is still very healthy. Last fall, when I was really into diesel, it was run almost daily, so I'm pretty confident that it should do the job in a glow engine where due to much lower compression (at least with my .25 LA) stresses are much lower. Who knows, I might be onto something.
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Old Apr 05, 2010, 10:55 AM
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I think Castor does indeed mix with gasoline. You are not having a problem with E-85 for instance. And I have dosed up my two cycle weedeater fuel with it for breakins. Works like a champ.

Cheers,

Chip
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