Want to run your car on Vegetable Oil? Here is a list of cars that make good candidates.

With the recent popularity of and interest in alternative fuels, especially waste vegetable oil conversion, many people wonder which vehicles are suitable for the conversion. While there have been many diesel engined vehicles available for sale in the U.S., not all of them are suitable for a WVO conversion.

Mark 1 Rabbit

1st Generation Rabbit
1st Generation Rabbit

Vanagon

Vanagon
Vanagon

Common, Easy to Convert Cars

These are some of the most common diesel cars on the streets of the U.S. They are also the easiest to convert.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen has a great reputation for reliability and longetivity with their diesel engines. These are the Volkswagens that are recommended for WVO conversions throughout the industry. The earlier models can be found for very little money and will run for a very long time if they are looked after. The Vanagon was only offered in the U.S. with a Diesel for the 1982 model year, which makes them somewhat hard to find and unusually expensive when in good condition. Dasher and Quantum models are not all that common but they are out there, some parts on these two models are hard to find due to there relative obscurity. These cars are workhorses and with the exception of the turbo models, won't get you anywhere fast.  

  • 1977-1984 Rabbit, Jetta, Vanagon, Dasher, Quantum
  • 1984-1992 Golf, Jetta, Quantum, Passat
  • 1996-1999.5 Golf, Jetta, Passat, New Beetle
  • 2002-2003 Golf, Jetta, Passat, New Beetle

Mercedes Benz


Mercedes Benz was also very well know for the robustness of their diesel engines and manufacturing quality. Their cars of this era are blessed by unusually cheap parts and wonderful parts availability. As far as drivablility goes, they are leaps and bounds above Volkswagen's offerings for the same time period. 

  • 1965-1968 200D
  • 1968-1973 220D
  • 1973-1983 240D
  • 1975-1985 300D (TD, SD, and SDL)


Dodge Ram

Dodge Ram
Dodge Ram

Common, Easy to Convert Trucks

These are some common diesel trucks that are good candidates for conversions.

Ford

These trucks seem to be everywhere and for very little money. It can be very hard to find one in good condition, most of them were run into the ground as work trucks. These trucks are not very fast, and they are pretty loud.

  • 1983-1994  6.9L and 7.3L. Used in F250 and F350 trucks, Econoline Vans, and Light Commercial Trucks.

Dodge

These trucks are great. The 5.9L Cummins motor is considered the best offered in the U.S. during this time period. They are known as 1,000,000 mile motors due to their longetivity. These trucks are incredibly strong. Many people bought these trucks for recreational purposes when they were new, which means that examples in great condition with four wheel drive are fairly common. These generally fetch a higher price than the equivilant Fords from the same period.

  • 1989-1993 Cummins 5.9L 12 Valve 1st Gen VE Rotary Injection Pump
  • 1994-1998.5 Cummins 5.9L 12 Valve 2nd Gen P7100 Inline Injection Pump



Common Vehicles with Know Holdbacks to Conversion.

These vehicles are also pretty common but have some reasons to be weary of performing a WVO conversion on them.

Ford

  • 1994.5-1997 Powerstroke 7.3L

Reason: Stock Fuel Filter Issues

  • 1999-2003 Powerstroke 7.3L

Reason: Fuel Routing Issues

Chevy/ GMC

  • 1982-2000 6.2L/6.5L

Reason: Injection Pumps famous for catastrophic failer when using WVO

Volkswagen

  • 1999.5-2001 1.9L TDI

Reason: Known for hit or miss quality on early 4th generation models

Dodge

  • 1998.5-2002 Cummins 5.9L 24 Valve

Reason: VP44 Injection Pump does not hold up to WVO



International Scout

International Scout
International Scout

Other Vehicles

There is a long list of other vehicles offer with Diesel Engines in this country. For the purposes to this page I will leave larger commercial vehicles off the list. These are by no means all of them, just some that may pop up in your search.

  • International- Scout available from 1976 with SD-33 Nissan Diesel, 1980 With SD-33T Nissan Turbo Diesel
  • Toyota- Very few 40 and 60 Series Land Cruisers are around with diesels in them. Most are Grey Market. No 80 Series were imported to the U.S. with diesel engines, although some private owners have performed conversions. Pickups were available with 2L N/A diesel and 2LT turbo diesel engines, these optional engines were cancelled in the U.S. in 1985.
  • Isuzu- P'up pickup trucks pop up from time to time with diesel engines. I have come across a few early Troopers with diesel engines, I'm not sure if these were official imports or grey market.
  • Peugeot- These cars are by no means common in this country. If you look hard enough you can find a few 504's and 505's with diesels in them. I can't vouche for quality though.
  • Land Rover - Older Series Models only, newer models only imported with gas engines. Numerous Discoverys, Defernders and Range Rovers have had diesel conversions performed on them by owners using genuine LR parts, but these are generally considered emissions illegal.
  • Jeep- A few early model XJ Cherokees were sold with the 2.1L Renault diesel engine. Definitely not known for quality, most of these died a slow painful death a long time ago. Some 2005-2006 Liberty models were sold with a 2.8L VM Motori diesel engines, these got good reviews. I have been told that they are not candidates for WVO but time will tell. Grand Cherokees were available for 2006-2007 with a Mercedes Benz OM642 3.0L V6. I have also been told that these are not good conversion candidates.
  • Mercedes Benz- Mercedes has offered a lot of diesel powered vehicles in this country aside from the ones listed above.
  • Volvo- I have stumbles onto a few 240's with diesels and heard rumors of 760's but have yet to see one in the U.S.

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Comments 14 comments

GAWjr profile image

GAWjr 7 years ago from Denver, CO

I'm sure lots of people will wish they did a veggie conversion when fuel prices go back up. Buying a vehicle like these should be a little easier now. Because, when fuel prices were almost $5 a gallon, they were a little harder to get your hands on.


ttravis5446 profile image

ttravis5446 7 years ago from U.S. Author

The prices on these are definitely coming down with the price of fuel. Now is the time to get one.


JakeAuto profile image

JakeAuto 6 years ago from Calif.

I have an MB like a young actress on a talk show had converted for bio diesel, she mentioned filling it in a warehouse store's parking lot with cooking oil.

I would consider a conversion for the cool factor, if I could secure a regular supply of french fry scented fuel.


tony 6 years ago

Ihave a volvo 760 td here in the US.2 MB 300sd I have a friend who,s a PEUGEOT mech and parts dealer. has loads and loads of diesel engines and peugeot diesel are great check out RAMSEY peugeot N.J.


Bill 6 years ago

I have an 2007 grand cherokee diesel.Is it the factory warranty that makes this a poor candidate?


ttravis5446 profile image

ttravis5446 6 years ago from U.S. Author

The newer Grand Cherokee's are bad candidates due to the common rail fuel system they utilize. The Common Rail system is a very efficient design but is not really compatible with WVO conversions. The Jeep Liberty CRD models are disqualified for the same reason.


HomerMCho profile image

HomerMCho 5 years ago

Great,


mary-lambert profile image

mary-lambert 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

I'm a huge Greasecar fan and have one installed in my Mercedes Benz 300D. Works great, but my 81 is falling to pieces. Not the engine, everything else. I'm expecting to walk out and see everything fallen off the car but the engine. Great engine to convert if you can find someone that is handy with basic skills.


faerylaughter 4 years ago

I am considering buying a Mitsubishi Pajero diesel, 1993 with 109,000kms. Is this a good vehicle to convert?


Bernie 4 years ago

I have an 1983 Mercedes 300SD. I have 20,000 miles on WVO, injection lines and fuel filter heaters.

Not long ago I bought a 1987 Ford F250 XLT Lariat, 6.9L, 2 tanks. Front tank diesel, rear tank WVO.(25% diesel - 75% WVO).

I start on diesel and finish on Diesel. No problems whatsoever.

I use a "frantz oil" filter in a shop setup using 1 roll of toilet paper for every 5 gallons. My oil is super clean and is under 3 microns (under microscope)


Chuck 4 years ago

$8,900 OBO RUNS ON DIESEL OR WASTE VEGETABLE OIL

Will consider a trade for a truck!

1998 Chevy Suburban 2500 LT four wheel drive runs on Diesel and Waste Vegetable Oil. Vin # 3GNGK26F5WG128293 170,000 miles

Black with gray interior, leather seats, 3rd row seat, rear barn doors, roof rack, power windows, power seats, cruise, cd player, Was purchased in Miami Florida in 2008 with 110,000 miles, I have all my records, has aluminum Chevy wheels off a 2004 2500hd with good rubber, looks & drives great, no smoke, no accidents, title in hand, well maintained with lots of replaced parts and no rust or rot. No tears in the leather seats just wear marks. Set-up to tow with trailer hitch.

I had it converted to run on WVO with a professionally installed Greasecar kit complete with a custom 30 gl tank, copilot auto control unit and a plate heat exchanger @ a cost of $4,000.00. I have two other grease cars and no longer need the large suburban. The car runs great on grease and saves you $$ on diesel.

List of parts that I have had replaced: Injector pump, PMD, lifter pump, new heads, head gaskets, ball joints, u-joints, batteries, thermostats, head lights, tail lights, starter, hub assembly, outer tie rod end, adjuster sleeve, pitman arm, idler arm, rotors, brakes, shift cable, oil pressure switch, shocks, glow plugs, alternator, brake booster, belt pulley, balancer, bolt and timing cover seal, radiator, turbo booster sensor, cv shaft, rear main seal ect. ect…

Please call Chuck with any questions or to set-up a test drive

@ 603-254-3323


kevin 3 years ago

Im considering buying a gmc box truck with a 4 cyl. isuzu engine in it. Do these motors convert well to run on wvo?


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 2 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

It's good to know about the 82-00 Chevys because I would like to take a CUCV and convert it to veggie. I wonder if it would be possible to put a different manufacturer brand fuel pump in. But I also admire the old Mercedes diesels, and it seems like they are actually very reliable vehicles. Thank you!


art 18 months ago

i have Chevy Cruz 2014

and 8 months its go on svo -i spent for 2 months 50 $ on fuel only !

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