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I've read about the possiblity of getting poor quality diesel in developing countries and/or remote locations. I'm not sure if this means impurities ie dirt/water in the fuel, or what. 'Diesel Bug' does seem to exist, but is it really an issue?
I'm off to Morocco soon and was wondering what's the best way of dealing with this?
Obviously I'll try to buy fuel from decent supplies, but if there's an extra/different filter to install then I might as well do it in advance of problems.
I've seen a twin filter unit mentioned, and talk of different size filter holes (different makes/costs).
De-Bug and Powerplus gadgets look like a waste of money - I cant believe their claims.
What do the experts think? Anyone have experience of this?
You'll have no problems with diesel in Morocco. Euro quality diesel has been available throughout the country for a couple of years. Look for "Euro 350" .Fuel stations are widespread so there should be no need to pump out of barrels, unless you're planning to spend a week in the wilderness, in which case fill your jerries/aux fuel tank.
Given your engine I’m sure you’ll have no problems. Even the non Euro stuff will be fine. I think the only difference being it’s got a higher sulphur content. Someone on anther forum did point out high sulphur will contaminate your oil quicker so an oil change sooner rather than later when you get home maybe worth doing.
Mine was fine, just smoked a little more but actually seemed to run smoother on high sulphur. Lot to be said for low tech.
If you’re worried about water contamination there are marine filters available that will separate water.
I use racor, not cheap, but reliable & good reputation
Absolutely Andy, i have one on my mercedes truck, definitely worth the price. West Africa diesel (esp Nigeria) can be really watered down. Plus the drop-in filter from the top with the 2 inline filters fitted means as little shit gets through as possible.
A lot of my clients have had huge hassles with modern Nissans, Toyotas, and Mitsubishis. One client in Gabon has been running a fleet of Nissan Patrols, and they are getting a maximum of two years life out of them before they need replacing as they become too unreliable. When they used the old diesel Landcruiser pickups, their replacement time was over 5 years.
Mitsubishi pickups in the Gambia last less than 18 months, but then there's NO preventative maintenance done on them, and the level of maintenance is "dodgy" at best.
Diesel quality is also a serious issue. My clients in Kolwezi, Congo have to transport their diesel by road from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania because the diesel available in the Congo screws up their fancy computerised Landcruisers.
Location: On our bicycles, probably pushing up a hill!
I've heard from a few people now that lamp oil(kerosene) is used to dilute the diesel. This is not so good for your pump and strip the lubricating properties from your diesel/pump (not sure exactly how.what..?) You will smell if there is kerosene in the diesel, the exhaust fumes really stinks. A good thing to do is to add a bit of normal diesel engine oil to your fuel tank before filling up. About 100ml / 100 liters
Maybe someone with more technical knowledge can elaborate a bit??
If you havent already gone, as the guys mention,Morocco fuel is generally good, though a Racor (or similar)is generally a good idea as you can get a bad tank of diesel anywhere.
doing interim fuel filter changes on the 300 Tdi (take a couple of extras wrapped in clingfilm to keep the dust out) will help to keep it happy if there are any doubts about fuel quality or the 300Tdi doesnt start instantly as my 90 always does. Though high concentrations of paraffin/kerosene in the tank will wreck the engine.
Also trying to fill up at newer fuel stations on busier routes with a quicker turnaround of their diesel stock can help avoid dodgy fuel thats been sat in a tank for a long time.
In reply to Pumbaa's question above.
Diesel's lubricity will be 'watered down' by parrafin or other additives with a lesser value. The diesel pump needs this lubricity to keep wear within the parameters of the manufacurer.
A lot of African diesel has a high sulphur content, (though low sulphur is now available in certain areas) which is detremental to the fuel pump and will reduce the engine oils ability to protect to the engine components
This is not my work, but explains what gives diesel lubricity.
'Diesel lubricity is largely provided by trace levels of naturally occurring polar compounds, which form a protective layer on the metal surface.
Typical sulfur compounds do not confer this wear protection themselves rather it is the nitrogen and oxygen containing hetero-compounds that are most important.'
I wouldnt be so quick to add engine oil to my diesel tank, if the oil has less lubricity than the diesel then it will not improve the situation.
Here is a link to a posting about a diesel additive study, worth a read, though a lot of the products used are North American.
HI Clive it does not say what type of landrover you have however most were fitted with a fuel filter & a fuel sedementor.
i have seen lots of disco's that have never had the sedimentor cleaned out, on my own 200tdi disco the sedimentor was 1/2 full of crap when i bought it as a poor runner.... it ran perfect after being cleaned out.
the sedimentors on disco's were normally on the inside chassis rail by the O/S rear wheel.
this should be cleaned out whenever the main filter is changed.
have fun in marroc. my tdi ran smoother on the diesel there.
good tip is top off your tanks in Gibraltar on the way home, I got through spain on diesel @55ppl in 08'
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