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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Propane powered car

    Has anybody converted a diesel powered car to propane power? I hear it can be done, been doing research about it for a friend. I just want more information

  2. #2
    beer drinker
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    why don't you convert to bio-diesel instead?

  3. #3
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    I don't know about it, but if it can't be done, why not go for a hybrid car instead?

    Koffee

  4. #4
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    well, i know it can be done. Ive heard about it, ive been reading online about it. I just need to find a real person to talk to about it

  5. #5
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    That sounds dangerous. Ford had converted several fleet cars to propane, but were gasoline engines. The propane engines didn't have better range, but the tailpipe emissions were less. The downside is propane has to be compressed, and can be very explosive in an accident.

    You can't convert a diesel engine. The piston compression is way too high to use with gasoline or propane. The engine would explode like a huge grenade.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

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  6. #6
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    What DieselDan said.

    That said, a propane & gas car is great. Two of my uncles have Tahoes that run on either gas or propane. For a long time (maybe still), propane was a lot less expensive than gas.

    BR

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    A guy in Crested Butte (I think) made his car run on fryer grease.

  8. #8
    <>< SoonerBent's Avatar
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    I'm amazed! I agreed with DieselDan that it couldn't be done. Then I did a web search for "convert diesel to propane". It is possible and there are kits sold to do it. I've learned something new.

    SS

  9. #9
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soonerschwinn
    I'm amazed! I agreed with DieselDan that it couldn't be done. Then I did a web search for "convert diesel to propane". It is possible and there are kits sold to do it. I've learned something new.

    SS
    Sweet...I wonder how many pounds of gas you can carry? A months worth?
    There's probably special tanks with protective cages you can buy...The tanks and cages
    on the Compressed natural gas busses are HUGE

  10. #10
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    I have done some gas-propane conversions on forklifts. The only benefit is reduced emmisions (We did it so you could run them in a warehouse) Did some big floor buffers as well for grocery stores. The motors run hotter, there were headgasket problems, burned valves and stuff like that. There was a guy running a propane powered daully when I was in high school, the tank was in the center of the truck between the rails.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
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    I am in the woods and I have gone crazy.

  11. #11
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    A few years ago my local county public works dept. converted a handful of their fleet cars from gasoline to propane. From what I remember hearing, it was a simple conversion, but I recall complaints about cold weather performance.

  12. #12
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    They've been doing it for years. We lived in Kansas in the late 50's a lot of the farmers had duel propane/gas cars.
    Matthew 6

  13. #13
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick burns
    A few years ago my local county public works dept. converted a handful of their fleet cars from gasoline to propane. From what I remember hearing, it was a simple conversion, but I recall complaints about cold weather performance.
    usually they START on gas, then switch over propane when they are warm.
    The compressed natural gas would be awesome...fill up at home.

  14. #14
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Infastrutcture was a big problem with propane fueled cars. I still think it's a bad idea to convert a diesel to propane. I don't want to be near an engine with a 22:1 piston compression when the propane hits that compression.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    The engine would explode like a huge grenade.
    Car bomb, surely.

  16. #16
    Über member! sorebutt's Avatar
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    you can't convert diesel to gas or propane. The compression ratio of a diesel engine is to high for fuels like propane or gasoline. Those fuels will detonate too early and bust your engine..

  17. #17
    THC Freedom Fighter karmical's Avatar
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    i am curious why propane over bio-diesel...as the other californians' have mentioned....

  18. #18
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karmical
    i am curious why propane over bio-diesel...as the other californians' have mentioned....
    Convert your gasoline engine to propane.
    Convert your diesel engine to bio-diesel, but bio-diesel's exhaust emissions aren't much better then the oil based fuel.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  19. #19
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    ...... but bio-diesel's exhaust emissions aren't much better then the oil based fuel.
    It just smells better
    Matthew 6

  20. #20
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    Infastrutcture was a big problem with propane fueled cars. I still think it's a bad idea to convert a diesel to propane. I don't want to be near an engine with a 22:1 piston compression when the propane hits that compression.

    Why do you assume the compression doesn't get changed for the propane?

  21. #21
    Giggity giggity! Dirtbike's Avatar
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    My dad worked on a project in which he converted a Chevy 454 Bigblock to run on natural gas.
    Rides: 06 Demo8 II, Yeti DJ
    Pin it baby!

  22. #22
    <>< SoonerBent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    Why do you assume the compression doesn't get changed for the propane?
    The conversion web sites don't say anything about internal engine modifications. Changing compression would require either new pistons, new heads or extensive headwork.

    SS

  23. #23
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soonerschwinn
    The conversion web sites don't say anything about internal engine modifications. Changing compression would require either new pistons, new heads or extensive headwork.

    SS

    Or a thicker head gasket. How do you know there isn't a lot more air in the mixture compared to the diesel?

  24. #24
    <>< SoonerBent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    Or a thicker head gasket. How do you know there isn't a lot more air in the mixture compared to the diesel?
    There probably is a pretty lean propane gas to air ratio. I haven't researched enough to know what comp. ratio range or air\fuel mixture range will work for propane. In fact I had no idea that I'd be spending any time researching propane conversions. I really need to get a life.

    Back to the subject.

    Since gas engines are often converted I would have assumed that between 7 to 1 and 10 to 1 works. I didn't mention head gaskets because you arent going to change a 22 to 1 diesel to 10 to 1 or less without major work. Head gaskets will change comp. ratio a little but not that much.

    SS

  25. #25
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    Has anybody converted a diesel powered car to propane power? I hear it can be done, been doing research about it for a friend. I just want more information
    At one time, possibly still, the vehicles driven by the Providence Gas Company (Providence, Rhode Island) were all propane powered. I saw cars and trucks. Maybe they have a web site, I have no idea. I don't know if the trucks were converted gas or diesel. They must have some info.

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