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Propane conversion... pro's / con's?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Topdown, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. Topdown

    Topdown 1/2 ton status

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    Propane conversion... pro\'s / con\'s?

    I have seen/read the post on Pirate ( http://www.pirate4x4.com/tech/propane/ ) but I have a few questions for all of you first...

    What kind of loss is propane going to give? Hp/torque? Mileage?

    I am building a 400/400 and have considered running propane to it, but if its gonna kill it, forget it, I will just ride my bike or buy a motorcycle and only drive the /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif to the trails.

    -Ryan /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  2. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Propane conversion... pro\'s / con\'s?

    I was just discussing this with a freind out at Tellico. The propane offers less power at the same compression but allows you to push the compression ratio by a full point. Its supposed to be cheaper than fuel injection and it gives you the same properties.. like running upside down.. not that your oiling system could take that.. but....
     
  3. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Re: Propane conversion... pro\'s / con\'s?

    [ QUOTE ]
    I was just discussing this with a freind out at Tellico. The propane offers less power at the same compression but allows you to push the compression ratio by a full point. Its supposed to be cheaper than fuel injection and it gives you the same properties.. like running upside down.. not that your oiling system could take that.. but....

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Also Propane is drier than gasoline so your engine will wear faster, unless you keep it dual and run gasoline ever once in a while to lubricate the engine.
     
  4. Suburbanite

    Suburbanite Registered Member

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    Re: Propane conversion... pro\'s / con\'s?

    Pros:
    =>Propane only engine will essentially last forever bc propane is a much cleaner burning fuel than liquid gas & bc, since it enters the engine in gaseous form doesn't dilute the engine oil or have the cylinder washing effect that liquid gas has. It's true that it doesn't have the lubricating qualities of liquid gas (however small) but, based on my references, the only area potentially affected is the valve seat & that's easily corrected with hardened valve seats (if they're not already so).
    =>Much smoooother running engine. From what I've read, assuming a V-8, a properly tuned, propane-only engine, runs like a straight six.
    =>Much cleaner burning then liquid gas therefore lower emissions than liquid gas vehicle.

    Cons:
    => Possible valve seat recession (see above).
    => 10-15% less mpg (& possibly HP) due to lower BTU value. But as someone has already said, can be somewhat made up for with higher compression since propane tends to be about 95 octane.
    => Difficult to obtain?
    => Perhaps difficult to fill in worst-case scenario?
    => Heavy propane fuel tank & placement of same.
    => It 'stinks'.

    From what I've read the ideal propane engine setup would be a turbocharged propane-only engine. Running a dual/bi-fuel engine means too many compromises & doesn't allow taking full advantage of propane's qualities.

    I've read of diesel engines being converted for propane-only use but don't know how it's done. Do know that some diesel vehicle owners are using add-on propane systems for power & mpg improvements. Apparently, in a typical diesel engine, only about 87% of the diesel fuel is actually burnt. That goes up to mid 90's with the addition of propane. Plus, longer injector & injector pump life is a supposed side benefit due to the cooling properties of propane.
     
  5. Rolled

    Rolled 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Propane conversion... pro\'s / con\'s?

    My dad has a Durango that is propane/petrol gas. He does not like to run propane for two reasons.

    1. It is usually more expensive.
    2. You can only get the tank filled at a place that has the correct adapter. Which you will not find in the middle of nowhere.

    He says the mpg is about the same and the power is the same too. I have drove it with both propane and gas and I see no difference.

    I guess you could put a BBQ adapter on the tank so you could fill up anywhere but I think it might be illegal.

    I was going to do the same thing so I could drive in the carpool lane but I have nowhere to put the extra tank unless I go 100% propane. I don't think I will...
     
  6. limey

    limey 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Propane conversion... pro\'s / con\'s?

    i had propane on my 92 4x4 f150 extended cab long bed and i really liked it. i got the same milage as gass and it was .69 a gallon the only thing that sucked was if you were pulling a load it dosent have quite the power and if gong up a big hill hauling i would just flip the switch and go to gas. but you had to buy a 120 tax sticker every year still saved money. but now propain is just as much as gas so i dont think it is worth it. the only thing i miss it the cheap price and with to gas tanks and my propain i could drive 1000 miles between fill ups.
     
  7. manyblazers

    manyblazers Registered Member

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    Re: Propane conversion... pro\'s / con\'s?

    I had an 82 jimmy that was full propane. Ended up selling it with over 500 000 km's on original engine. Oil changes were longer. Fill ups cost me seven to eleven dollars. When it was newer i got around 400 km on a full tank. The valve stem seals were gone for sure but it was a very smooth running engine. Only mistake I made was putting two heat ranges colder plugs in it and it wouldn't start when very cold out. The truck ended up rotting around the whole system but never had a major problem with the engine. I would do it again if the price wasn't so high up here now. Up in toronto the price is at 70 cents a litre now.
     
  8. homemadesin

    homemadesin 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Propane conversion... pro\'s / con\'s?

    I've been looking at doing this on my '72 K5 for a couple of months now. It looks pretty easy to do and clean. I'm just concerned with the ability to get the propane. For those interested, there is a sight that lists all of the alternative fuel centers and some additional information, it is here

    If I can work out the supply issue, I'd go totally propane. If not, perhaps a split gas/propane. Still gotta wheel throughout the mountains though /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  9. Topdown

    Topdown 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Propane conversion... pro\'s / con\'s?

    ttt
     

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