Letter Re: Can I Burn Off Road Diesel Fuel in a Modern Diesel Engine?

I have experience with both off and on road diesels mechanical and electronic control. Normally off road fuel is ok to run in all mechanically fuel injected engines from a performance standpoint. (But legality is another matter.) However, both Stanidyne and Delphi produce an electromechanical pump for some on road applications that use an electric eye to read timing. These types of fuel systems cannot be run on dyed fuel. I repeat cannot be run on off road fuel.
Second and of primary importance is fuel quality all electronic fuel injection systems are very sensitive to fuel contamination and electromagnetic pulse (EMP). a near miss by lightning could put one out of action for good. Power transfer stations or “transformer farms” can also produce a local EMP[-like waveform] if they are taken off-line suddenly. As far as long term survival use or even in a short term SHTF situation, [traditional mechanical [diesel] engines [without microprocessors] are your best be. Unfortunately this limits you to pre 1989-on road engines and pre-2004 off road/marine engines but if you are good with a wrench most can be rebuilt to like new and run almost forever with proper care and maintenance. I would also recommend filter upgrades to all diesel engines to keep them running. I have a lot of experience with RACOR products. Look them up on the web. I would be willing to help out with any questions you may have on the care and feeding of the diesel engine. “Aim small miss small”, – Mike the Mechanic

JWR Replies: Many thanks for making that correction! I will revise my original post with the information that you provided on the Stanidyne and Delphi fuel pumps with optical sensors