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Old 02-02-05, 07:17 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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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
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Old 02-02-05, 07:42 PM   #2
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why don't you convert to bio-diesel instead?
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Old 02-02-05, 07:47 PM   #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?

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Old 02-02-05, 07:48 PM   #4
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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
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Old 02-02-05, 08:10 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 02-03-05, 08:42 AM   #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.

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Old 02-03-05, 08:46 AM   #7
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A guy in Crested Butte (I think) made his car run on fryer grease.
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Old 02-03-05, 09:23 AM   #8
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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.

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Old 02-03-05, 09:48 AM   #9
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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
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Old 02-03-05, 10:48 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 02-03-05, 10:56 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 02-03-05, 11:15 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 02-03-05, 11:19 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-03-05, 11:48 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 02-03-05, 11:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDan
The engine would explode like a huge grenade.
Car bomb, surely.
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Old 02-03-05, 12:53 PM   #16
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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..
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Old 02-03-05, 01:40 PM   #17
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i am curious why propane over bio-diesel...as the other californians' have mentioned....
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Old 02-03-05, 02:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
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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.
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Old 02-03-05, 02:31 PM   #19
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...... but bio-diesel's exhaust emissions aren't much better then the oil based fuel.
It just smells better
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Old 02-03-05, 02:33 PM   #20
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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?
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Old 02-03-05, 02:47 PM   #21
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My dad worked on a project in which he converted a Chevy 454 Bigblock to run on natural gas.
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Old 02-03-05, 03:21 PM   #22
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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.

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Old 02-03-05, 03:39 PM   #23
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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?
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Old 02-03-05, 04:06 PM   #24
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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
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Old 02-03-05, 05:13 PM   #25
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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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