Best Diesel Engines For Biodiesel

Looking to start using Biodiesel but need a vehicle to run it in?
Like everyone out there, we have our opinion. However, I would say that ours is based on talking to literally thousands of customers over the years that have run Biodiesel and asking them their experience.

While our opinion shouldn’t be regarded as absolute, it’s a pretty good start.

We complied our list of diesels with recommendations for them as well as published a video on the subject as well.

Click the link below to watch the video & then scroll down to see our complete list!

National Biodiesel Board’s new car Biodiesel compatible listing:
2014 Vehicle Listing

Diesel engines & Biodiesel
FORD
======================
2009-2013 Ford 6.7 Liter Diesel Engine
– Warranted for up to B20 only
– Ford designed this engine from scratch, so far it’s a much better engine
– You can use up to B20 and still be within warranty
– Still uses in engine post combustion injection to clean the DPF
– If DPF is removed, B100 should be able to be used, not many people have done this (that we have heard of)
– If not removed, oil dilution from Biodiesel will occur

2007.5-2008 Ford 6.4 Liter Diesel
– Somewhat of a variation of the Ford 6.0 liter (made by International)
– DPF is installed on these trucks
– Not a good candidate & not recommended
– Diesel particulate filters don’t do well with Biodiesel
– If removed, possibly will work; not a lot of people doing it

2003.5 – 2007.5 Ford 6.0 Liter Diesel
– Poor candidate for B100
– Not Recommended. Expensive to fix if things go wrong
– If things go wrong, the cab usually has to be pulled – E-X-P-E-N-$-I-V-E
– They don’t do well on Biodiesel, usually injector related
– Install secondary lift-pumps
– Filter fuel down past 5 microns
– Ensure it’s well reacted, well washed, and extremely dry

1988-2003.5 Ford 7.3 Liter Diesel
– Excellent candidate for B100
– Pre 1999 may need fuel lines eventually replaced
– Usually the return line on drivers side head tends to eventually erode

1983-1987 Ford 6.9 Liter Indirect Injection
– Excellent candidate for B100
– Fuel lines should be replaced with Biodiesel compatible lines

General Motors
=====================================
2010-2013 GM 6.6 Liter Duramax
– Warranted for B20 Biodiesel
– Capable of handling B100
– DPF cleaning injector now located outside the engine
– DPF can sometimes smoke randomly though (not burning off all the Biodiesel)

2007.5-2009 6.6 Liter Duramax
– Warranty approved for up to B20 (20%) Biodiesel
– Not recommended for B100 (100%) Biodiesel if DPF left installed
– If DPF removed, runs excellent on B100 Biodiesel
– If not removed, oil dilution from Biodiesel will occur

2001 – 2007.5 GM 6.6 Liter Duramax Diesel
– Excellent Candidate for B100 Biodiesel!
– Very few issues related to Biodiesel
– Early years had leaking injectors, but not Biodiesel related
– Ensure fuel is well reacted and well filtered (5 micron or less)

GM 6.2 & 6.5 Liter Diesel Engines
– Fairly good candidate for Biodiesel
– Ensure the fuel is well reacted and well filtered
– Some issues with the electric eye in the injection pumps
(Some have said it’s Biodiesel related, others have indicated that it’s just a bad electric eye)
– Filter down to 10 microns
– Burns well on B100

Dodge
=======================
2007-2013 Dodge Cummins 6.7 Liter Diesel
– Only warranted for B5 personal or B20 in fleets
– NOTE: 2013 now warranted for B20
– Not a good candidate for B100 if DPF is installed
– If DPF is removed, the engine runs great on Biodiesel
– Not a lot of data on the trucks yet though with B100 Biodiesel

2003-2006 Dodge Cummins 5.9 Diesels
– Fairly good candidate for B100 Biodiesel
– Filter the fuel down to 5 microns though
– Some have reported injector issues, but it’s unknown whether it was Biodiesel or not

1998.5-2002 Dodge Cummins 5.9 w/ VP-44 Injection Pump
– Excellent Candidate IF secondary lift pump installed
– This generation of the 5.9 had weak lift-pumps

1989-1998 Dodge Cummins 5.9 Liter Diesel
– Excellent Candidate For B100 Biodiesel
– They love it! No problems
– Just be sure it’s well filtered

Jeep
=================================
2007 & Newer Jeeps
– Not recommended for high Biodiesel blends
– No more than 5% Biodiesel recommended
– DPF’s are installed on these vehicles

2005-2006 Jeep Liberty
– Excellent candidate for Biodiesel
– Ensure fuel is well filtered (5 micron or smaller) & dry
– The engines do very well with it

Volkswagen
============================
2008 & newer
– Only warranted for B5 (5%) Biodiesel
– Have DPF’s installed
– Some have been successful burning high blends
– See this video for more details

2004-2006 TDI Diesels
– Fair recommendation for Biodiesel
– Older models are better
– The Pump Duse pumps are finicky
– Be sure fuel is well reacted, well filtered, and dry

1979-2003 Diesel Engines
– Great Biodiesel candidates
– The pre-TDI engines are especially tolerant
– TDI engines require well filtered fuel (under 5 micron)

Mercedes
=============================
2007+
– Can only use up to B5 (5%)
– Have DPF’s installed
– Not recommended for high Biodiesel blends

1960’s – 2006
– Great candidates for Biodiesel
– The older indirect injected engines love the stuff!
– Newer engines require better filtration (5 microns or less)
– Watch return fuel lines as they aren’t viton on the older vehicles

Learn more about the DPF issue here:
http://www.utahbiodieselsupply.com/blog/2007-diesel-emissions-not-all-that-rosy/

About Utah Biodiesel Supply

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31 comments on “Best Diesel Engines For Biodiesel

  1. Agree with you on the PD VW’s. Stay Away. I have a 2006 Jetta TDI PD that I ran B100 homebrew on from 16K miles to 75K miles (live in hot Houston). Injectors started throwing codes and eventually had to be changed out at 75K miles. Now I run no more than B50 even in summer and I quit running Bio all together whenever I feel any hestitation. It will clear up and then I go back to B50. I also had the tandem pump develop a leak while running B100 and a lift pump in the tank go intermittent. Has 105K miles on it so far.

    I also have a 84 Ford Ranger 2.2L diesel mini pickup. It loves B100. No problems. Just not enough power.

    • I’ve had the opposite experience. I had a 2004 TDI Golf (BEW engine) for 5 years (50k – 100k miles), and ran an average of B85 with no problems. Previous owner used ~B20. Sold it at 100k, and it was still running beautifully.

      I ran B50 during the coldest part of winter (not that cold in Seattle), and B99 the rest of the year.

      However, I bought soy biodiesel at a commercial station. I’m wondering if your injector problems were a result of the homebrewing, not biodiesel in general.

  2. I have a 2006 Dodge and a friend of mine has a 2004 Dodge. Both run very well on biodiesel. We are also running it through a 2 micron Cat filter before it goes into our fuel tanks.

    • My bad! Forgot about that one when I was putting the list together.From what I’ve heard up to 2006, the Sprinters do very well (I have several customers running it in them). I don’t recommend the one’s with the DPF’s installed though unless you take them off (2007 & newer). I do know that the fuel filter on it is pretty small & people recommend upgrading the fuel filter to a bigger canister size. Also, filter the fuel down to 5 micron or smaller before sticking it in the Sprinter, but other than that, they do really well with it. If I remember right it’s a Mercedes diesel engine. Can’t remember what size. I wanna say 3.0 liter?

  3. Anyone have any information on using biodiesel in toyota trucks, which were available back in the 1980’s in the United States, and still are in the rest of the world?

    • As far as I’ve heard the older Toyota diesel engines do extremely well with Biodiesel. While we’ve heard limited exposure on them in the US (because there just aren’t many of them here) there’s a place in the US that imports them from Japan & installs them into toyota trucks that claims they do really well with bio.

  4. I have a 1990 Toyota diesel from Japan. Similar to the few 1980s models you could get in the u.s.

    Great engines that will run in anything. I learned to make biodiesel 5 yrs ago and made poor fuel but this truck ran well on it.

    I think you could pour anything oily in the tank and it would run

  5. Just bought a Holiday Rambler diesel pusher with an International 350 hp engine with a dpf(2013). Literature that I have says that 20% biodiesel is OK. So far I have not been able to determine the injection point for the dpf. I believe that is similar to the older Fords. Duramax and Cummins ( injecting fuel in the engine on the exhaust stroke). Is there any data on this engine and biodiesel?

    • If you can identify who the engine manufacturer is, you can contact them directly & see how it’s setup. But I’m betting you’re right, I’m betting it’s done inside the engine (which sucks because that’ll limit you to the 20%).
      -Graydon

  6. Thanks for the great info. Have you heard of anyone having any trouble with the 2011-2012 Duramax since you posted this info? Time to retire my Liberty and I’m looking for something newer that will run on B100.

    • Yes. The 2011-2014 Duramax’s are having issues with random smoking when burning B100. The dealers are tracing it back to the DPF’s not getting hot enough to burn off the Biodiesel so they smoke occasionally (and not just a little smoke, I mean full on billowing white smoke). It has nothing to do with the engine, but everything to do with the fact that the DPF isn’t getting hot enough. However, if you chip the truck & make it run hotter then the problem goes away (ie. the exhaust gas temps get hot enough to fully heat the DPF up hot enough to burn off the bio that’s sprayed onto it.)

        • Yep. Out the tailpipe. My buddy in Utah had the catalytic converter replaced & pretty much the whole exhaust system replaced on his, but they never were able to pinpoint what the cause was. The dealer just believes it’s the DPF regenerating too many times.

          We suspect that the DPF keeps sending the signal to the computer to regenerate because it’s not truly burning off the particulates because it’s not getting hot enough. No damage to the engine at all though. Just exhaust related issues. If he burns B50 the problem goes away, but anything much past that and it randomly smokes.

  7. I have a 2005 F250 6.0 that I have been running home brew B100 from 100k to the current 254k odo reading. And as far as problems, yes the 6.0 has problems, but once addressed they are reliable. But the problems are not related to the fuel you put in it. These problems came from poor design on internationals part. My buddy who turned me on to bio has a 7.3 and 6.0 and also hasent had any problems running home brew for the last 7 years.

  8. I just bought a 1993 dodge with a cummins 5.9 diesel with 297125 miles AND a 5 speed manual tranny. I went to the gas station to fill up…they have 20% biodiesel so i wait and come home and there is all sorts of stuff that says its great to run bio on the old truck BUT one post scared the heck out of me that says that it cleans the engine and often they start leaking oil due to the gunk being cleaned out of the seals etc and also that the seals melt from the bio fuel of 20%..even cummins site does not suggest it for them..

    So any one out there have any experience with this particular truck engine and what if any has to be done to make it ok.
    Also I had a 84 ford with the 6.9 international and put in a Hydrogen setup and it quit smoking, went from 16-17 mixed to 21-22 MPG AND it had a hell of alot more power to boot!
    Any issues that I may have with this engine with the Hydrogen or Bio? All answers very welcome!

    • We’ve had several customers run Biodiesel in that particular engine with no problems at all. In fact, even Yellowstone used that engine with B100 with no problems at all. There is a chance of B100 cleaning out the fuel system and plugging a fuel filter, but with these older Cummins, that’s about the only thing I’ve heard. Most of the fuel lines on this model are all metal too & I’ve never heard of these older Cummins ever having fuel leaks.

      As far as destroying the seals in the engines, that refers more to the newer diesels with DPF’s on them. Biodiesel can get down into the engine oil and can cause issues with those, but not with this year. There haven’t been any issues with this year that I’m aware of at all short of needing to replace the fuel filter every now & then.

      Never had anyone run Hydrogen and Bio in an older engine like that, but the old 6.9 should be fine with Bio. It may have older rubber fuel lines on it that may need to be watched though. The 6.9 is similar to the 7.3. The 7.3 uses the same block, they just widen the cylinders out to 7.3 liters. Great engine though!

  9. Have you heard anything about the new light truck engines coming out, like the Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and the Duramax 2.8L Turbo Diesel in the 2015 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon? They are both listed as B20 compatible.

    • Right now all of them will have DPF’s on them (I know, it sucks), but the Chevy’s are going to be rated for B20. Technically the RAM 1500 is only rated for B5, but if you look in the owners manual they’ll let you put up to B20 in it if you change the oil on a more frequent basis (due to fuel dilution in the engine oil from the DPF).

      My guess is that the 2.8 L Turbo Diesel for the Chevy & Canyon is actually going to be a VM Motori engine as well, but I don’t have anything confirming it yet.

      The VM Motori diesel is actually a really good motor for Bio, it’s the stupid DPF that gets in the way of things.
      More on that here:
      http://www.utahbiodieselsupply.com/blog/2007-diesel-emissions-not-all-that-rosy/

  10. One point to make regarding the 6.2/6.5 Chevys, the 6.2s and 1992-93 6.5s would be much better candidates than 1994-2000 6.5s as they do not have the optical sensor nor are they electronically controlled. They are mechanical pumps. The 6.5s didn’t go electronic until ’94, which also means the dreaded PMD is not an issue with the 6.2s and early 6.5s. Cheers!

    • Amen to that! Totally 100% agree! The electronic ones really had issues. I still can’t believe they mounted the PMD’s in the valley of the engines (you know, where they get REALLY HOT)….

      But yep, totally & completely agree with you.
      -Graydon

  11. I have a 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins. You mentioned that you suggest installing a secondary lift pump, do I need to do a secondary or can I just replace the OEM one? In addition do you have any personal recommendations? I have done quite a bit of reading online and there are a lot of varying opinions. Other than the lift pump everything is good, fuel lines and seals are all compatible?

    Thanks for your time!

    • You can just replace the OEM one with a heavier duty lift pump (the oem ones were weak & anemic at best). I really like the one that we sell–but admittedly I’m biased.

      Here’s the link to it:
      http://www.utahbiodieselsupply.com/rawpowerwvobiodieselfuelpump.php

      Air Dog or FASS pumps are also good choices.

      As far as I’ve heard, yes, outside of the lift pump, on the Dodges everything else is compatible, especially in the year you have.
      -Graydon, Utah Biodiesel

      • Good to know, thanks for the information. I do like the information on the pump you are selling. Obviously it is fully compatible with ULSD as well I assume? The question I do have is when it comes to some of the FASS or Air Dogs some of them actually say they are not compatible with bio, why would that be?

        Thanks

        Jordan

        • A couple reasons on the FASS/Air Dog’s. not being 100% compatible.
          1) Because they don’t have Viton Seals (Bio eats through rubber seals)
          2) Because they’re chicken to stand behind it with Biodiesel (just the reality of it)

          Yes. Ours would have no problem with ULSD. It’s sealed with Viton seals and has a really heavy duty motor in it (it was built to be warrantied with Waste Veggie Oil–much tougher than even biodiesel) so it’ll definitely stand up to just about anything you can throw at it.

          • Great to know! Sorry for the slow reply. My next question (sorry to be a pain). I am currently in an apartment so I certainly can’t make my own bio (dont have space etc). I have been running B5 from Valero the past few months and not noticed any issues. I did have my fuel filter replaced because it was actually due mileage wise but i was told it wasn’t any more dirty than usual. I would like to try say B20, and eventually B99. My question really is this: when buying station bio should I be worried about the lift pump, anymore than when I’m buying ULSD? Either way its a weak pump, are there any additional cons to it using bio? This truck was actually my grandpa’s and I purchased it from my grandma after he passed. I was going through the service records and see he had replaced it years ago (I also saw paper work for a Fass), although I think he was just doing research because when I looked at the lift pump it appeared to be stock.

            Thanks for the feedback!

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