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Diesel fuel

How to make diesel fuel

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Robert Putley20/06/2020 12:27:15
25 forum posts


I have a Taplin Twin which I have not used for a number of years, and I would like to make my own fuel.

Can anyone help please.

Paul T20/06/2020 13:09:53
7140 forum posts
1204 photos
2 articles

Hello Robert

Making your own fuel is a very dangerous undertaking and unless you are a chemical engineer I would strongly advise against it (been there, burnt the T shirt and blown the engine)

Reading this LINK might help explain.


Charles Oates20/06/2020 15:40:08
565 forum posts
46 photos

55 years ago I used to make my own fuel, the simple instructions were printed in a popular modeling book of the time, and the main ingredient could be bought at the local chemist.

That might sound like an endorsement to go ahead and do the same, it isn't. Frankly its a miracle I'm still here, the things that could have gone wrong, and nearly did would have finished me. I was behaving exactly as kids of that time did, it was a time when we made our own fireworks too, but to get through it you needed to be lucky, which I was. My motors never performed as well with the home made stuff as with the commercial fuel anyway.

There's another reason not to do it, chemistry had advanced, and I think I'm right in saying that the commercial fuel now contains something particularly hazardous.

It is perhaps one of those subjects where if you are sufficiently qualified and knowledgeable to do it, you wouldn't need to ask the question.


Dave Smith 1720/06/2020 17:32:23
30 forum posts

I used to mix my own diesel fuel back in the 70s, from memory it was roughly equal parts paraffin, ether and oil. I never got into the various additives and it didn't take long to discover that ready-made fuel cost very little more than the ingredients did.

I suspect it's not so easy to walk into a chemist's and ask for a pint of ether these days, either.

Dave Milbourn20/06/2020 18:02:45
3998 forum posts
282 photos

And just try buying amyl nitrate. The Feds would be at your door before you got back from the chemists.

Like horseradish sauce, why bother tryng to make your own when you can buy the stuff for a few bob without risking the loss of at least one of your senses?

Dave M

Malcolm Frary20/06/2020 18:21:29
892 forum posts

It was amazing what could be bought over the counter at the big chemist near the Grammar School back in the late '50's.

"Barlord! A gill of your finest draught ether, if you please!"

You had to go elsewhere for the cocktail sticks and cherries, and got funny looks in that shop back then.

The victim in that was my cousins ED Bee, which had not worked before, and didn't after, either.

Edited By Malcolm Frary on 20/06/2020 18:24:34

Ray Wood 220/06/2020 18:24:04
1979 forum posts
705 photos

My little .5 PAW will run for a very long time on this can of juice img_20200620_165617.jpg😄 and it smells great 👍

Regards Ray

Dave Milbourn20/06/2020 18:28:29
3998 forum posts
282 photos

Is that a Dave Boddington "Mini-Super", Ray? I'm with you about the smell... Stale glow-fuel always smelled like a multi-storey car-park stairwell.


Paul T20/06/2020 18:29:10
7140 forum posts
1204 photos
2 articles

Getting hold of amyl nitrate will give you more that a stiff neck, but there are other ignition improvers such as Ethyl Hexyl Nitrate which is easily available.

Yes it sounds easy to make your own bomb fuel but believe me it isn't fun when you loose your eyebrows by adding to much accelerant to your witches brew.

The biggest problem with vintage model diesel engines is that different manufactures recommended different types of diesel, each one had a slightly different combination of the same petro-chemical substances.

I really sympathise with Richards dilemma as he has a lovely Taplin Twin that he cant use as he needs a specialist mix of fuel.

I am sure that with the right recipe and a great deal of care the correct fuel could be created but the effort, including getting the correct government licence, makes for a very longwinded and expensive project.


Ray Wood 220/06/2020 18:37:54
1979 forum posts
705 photos

I don't think there is anything special about a Taplin Twin is it has 2 pots it will run on commercial D2000 standard or D3000 for racing mixture.

Hi Dave,

Dave Boddington's Mini Tyro 32" span 😎

regards Ray

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