Interested in a Toyota 4Runner but wish it had a diesel powerplant? In the U.S., your engine options are limited to a 4 liter V6 or a 4.7 liter V8 (and you don't get the V8 in all states). But, if you're not in the U.S. and buying a Toyota Hilux Surf (i.e., a 4Runner with a different name), then you can opt for a diesel engine. Since a diesel engine is made for this vehicle, AutoblogGreen reader Mark G. had an idea. He wrote in to tell us about how he went about taking his 1999 U.S. 4Runner into a diesel SUV (importing an engine from Japan), and then had the engine converted over to run on veggie oil by Diesel Toyz. He writes:

Everything is completely factory in appearance and function. I now am getting 35+ mpg in a Toyota 4runner with 4wd that I used to get 15mpg. I am also now running on a waste product like waste vegetable oil. The ridiculous thing is that the rest of the world gets these vehicles standard, we have to pay to convert them.

That's quite a jump in miles per gallon, but we know that diesel get inherently more mpg than petrol engines. I've asked Mark how much these conversions cost him, but suffice to say this is one way to get the car you want to run on the fuel you want.

UPDATE: Mark responded:

The conversion including engine, trans, wiring, gauges, and labor to install was around $15k. They gave me all of the gas engine etc back and I sold them on eBay and recouped approx. $2500. The vegoil conversion added another $3k onto the price. Absolutely the most honest, straight-forward guys I've ever dealt with.

[Source: Diesel Toyz]