propane conv. is it worth it? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums



propane conv. is it worth it?

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 12-31-2005, 04:48 PM
broncoman79 broncoman79 is offline
Freshman User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ayr,ontario
Posts: 40
broncoman79 is starting off with a positive reputation.
Talking propane conv. is it worth it?

i have a 79 ford pickup with a 302. i would like to get better fuel economy. its 4 wheel drive and want to keep it. but fuel costs are getting ridiculous. would changing to propane make it more barable. i know i will lose some power i am not concerned about that. any personal experiences or info would greatly be appreciated.

thanx broncoman79
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-01-2006, 11:43 PM
Dave Sponaugle's Avatar
Dave Sponaugle Dave Sponaugle is offline
Post Fiend
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Nutter Fort, WV
Posts: 21,280
Dave Sponaugle is a splendid one to beholdDave Sponaugle is a splendid one to beholdDave Sponaugle is a splendid one to beholdDave Sponaugle is a splendid one to beholdDave Sponaugle is a splendid one to beholdDave Sponaugle is a splendid one to beholdDave Sponaugle is a splendid one to behold
There is a coule of companies down here that have converted their company trucks to natural gas. The mileage is a bit better and the operating cost was lower. But since the last round of natural gas price increases I am not sure that is still true.
After about the third generation of conversions the power was about the same as what it had with gasoline. That was 10 years ago for the third generation conversion.
Even if it is still cheaper to operate, the cost of the conversion is going to take a long time to recoup before you start to see savings.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-03-2006, 12:32 AM
roger dowty roger dowty is offline
Posting Guru
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: western montana
Posts: 2,068
roger dowty is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.roger dowty is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
doubt that you would get better mileage...but will pay less for fuel as long as you do it right. I'm doing it but am building a motor just for that purpose.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-04-2006, 12:29 PM
Kenworth Kenworth is offline
Posting Guru
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,533
Kenworth is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
The only time propane is worth it is if your converting a big block engine like a 460 or 534 or any other big block engine that doesn't run that great on a carburator. A engine on propane is kinda like a engine on fuel injection it starts easy as the fuel is force fed where as a carburated its venturi.

A 302 on propane is going to be gutless your going to loose quite a bit of power. You will also have to redo the heads with harden valve seats you will also have to be prepared to repair oil leaks propane is dry it causes seals to dry up and you end up with leaks.

If you are going todo a propane conversion look at spending atleast couple grand CND. Here in B.C. a certified shop has to do the certication you can do your own installation but it has to pass inspection.

Anyhow you will be spending hundreds to save pennies its not worth it.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-07-2006, 12:45 AM
BigF350 BigF350 is offline
Post Fiend
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Melbourne, Aus
Posts: 18,785
BigF350 has a superb reputationBigF350 has a superb reputationBigF350 has a superb reputationBigF350 has a superb reputationBigF350 has a superb reputationBigF350 has a superb reputationBigF350 has a superb reputationBigF350 has a superb reputationBigF350 has a superb reputationBigF350 has a superb reputationBigF350 has a superb reputation
I will move this one to the gas alternative fuel forum
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-07-2006, 01:10 PM
The SnoMan The SnoMan is offline
Elder User
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 654
The SnoMan is new and has a neutral reputation at this point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenworth
The only time propane is worth it is if your converting a big block engine like a 460 or 534 or any other big block engine that doesn't run that great on a carburator. A engine on propane is kinda like a engine on fuel injection it starts easy as the fuel is force fed where as a carburated its venturi.

A 302 on propane is going to be gutless your going to loose quite a bit of power. You will also have to redo the heads with harden valve seats you will also have to be prepared to repair oil leaks propane is dry it causes seals to dry up and you end up with leaks.

If you are going todo a propane conversion look at spending atleast couple grand CND. Here in B.C. a certified shop has to do the certication you can do your own installation but it has to pass inspection.

Anyhow you will be spending hundreds to save pennies its not worth it.
By what theory will it be gutless? Also you will not have to redo valves as long as it is a 73 or newer motor. YOu can raise CR a lot if you want because propane has a octane of about 110.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-07-2006, 03:51 PM
Dino@his Dad's Dino@his Dad's is offline
Elder User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 699
Dino@his Dad's is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
propane conversion

B-man79, well, it will depend on what is the cost of propane in your area. If it is substantially cheaper than gasoline, then yes, it would be worth it. If propane is only cheaper than gasoline because it doesn't have road tax on it, will the gov't in your area ask for you to pay what the road tax would have been if you had used gasoline ? Conversly, does the gov't in your area offer any tax credits for converting to alternative fuel ? Lots of places do. Sounds like you have some math to crunch out, and see where the numbers fall. If you lose power on a propane conversion, something wasn't done correctly. DF,@ his Dad's house
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-07-2006, 07:10 PM
Kenworth Kenworth is offline
Posting Guru
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,533
Kenworth is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
To get the power out of a 302 on propane you will have to increase the compression ratio and run a RV cam. I have had 2 trucks on propane I hated it they burned more fuel than they did on regular gas. One truck it was 460 on propane the sucker would suck down 30-40 dollars worth of propane like nothing. When I converted the truck back to gas it had alot more power and it got better fuel mileage.

The main reason why I converted back is the system on my truck needed re-inspected the tank needed replacing plus other parts needed replacing. I priced it out it was cheaper for me to buy a brandnew gas tank,remanufactured carburator and fuel pump than it was trying to get the propane system legal again.

The DOT here and the rest of Canada has clamped down on propane systems they really tightened the rules. The reason why is the Taxi cab companies in Vancouver B.C. running Taxis with improper and very dangerous set up propane systems running their cabs. It was pretty leinient before but now everything has to be absolutely perfect if there is something wrong your vehical is pulled off the road.

One of the shops here used to install and service automotive propane systems when propane power was common as propane was 30 cents a litre compared to gas in that day was 60 cents a litre then some parts of Vancouver you could find propane for 10 cents a litre. When you had a big old 454 or 460 Ford it was worth it to run propane if you could get it for 10 cents a litre.

I haven't checked what the price of automotive propane is per litre lately its been 10 years since I had a propane powered truck.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-07-2006, 09:11 PM
The SnoMan The SnoMan is offline
Elder User
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 654
The SnoMan is new and has a neutral reputation at this point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenworth
To get the power out of a 302 on propane you will have to increase the compression ratio and run a RV cam. I have had 2 trucks on propane I hated it they burned more fuel than they did on regular gas. One truck it was 460 on propane the sucker would suck down 30-40 dollars worth of propane like nothing. When I converted the truck back to gas it had alot more power and it got better fuel mileage.

The main reason why I converted back is the system on my truck needed re-inspected the tank needed replacing plus other parts needed replacing. I priced it out it was cheaper for me to buy a brandnew gas tank,remanufactured carburator and fuel pump than it was trying to get the propane system legal again.

The DOT here and the rest of Canada has clamped down on propane systems they really tightened the rules. The reason why is the Taxi cab companies in Vancouver B.C. running Taxis with improper and very dangerous set up propane systems running their cabs. It was pretty leinient before but now everything has to be absolutely perfect if there is something wrong your vehical is pulled off the road.

One of the shops here used to install and service automotive propane systems when propane power was common as propane was 30 cents a litre compared to gas in that day was 60 cents a litre then some parts of Vancouver you could find propane for 10 cents a litre. When you had a big old 454 or 460 Ford it was worth it to run propane if you could get it for 10 cents a litre.

I haven't checked what the price of automotive propane is per litre lately its been 10 years since I had a propane powered truck.
Power should hbe the same if it mixture is correct and you have to run more spark than stock because it burns a bit slower and if stock timing is used power and MPG will suffer. Also Propane ha about 30% less heat energy ,per gallon so more of it is required to make same HP unless you raise CR ratio a lot to help offset this.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-07-2006, 10:13 PM
Kenworth Kenworth is offline
Posting Guru
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,533
Kenworth is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
Its why alot of people that run propane run a RV cam or something a little lumpy. You also have to watch propane you can lean it out and have a melt down like a diesel it happened to a truck my dad bought. The truck had a 454 on propane it had a few melted pistons it seized up solid. My dad bought the truck that way and turfed the engine converted the truck back to gas.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-08-2006, 03:24 AM
hotroddually's Avatar
hotroddually hotroddually is offline
Posting Guru
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Maple Ridge B.C. Canada
Posts: 1,242
hotroddually is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.hotroddually is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
i dont know where you get the idea seals are going to dry up,my truck runs great on propane,never leaks,has tons of power.its all in the way the conversion is done.just like any motor modifications,you get people that know what they are doing ,and idiots that should never open the hood on anything. i run a 428 SCJ on propane in my 74 4x4 dually,i pull a 38 foot tri-axle enclosed racecar trailer that is over 11000 pounds.i dont get much passing me on any hills through the rockies.my engine was 425 horspower new in the crate,it is now more,but ive done more work to it.the truck was chassis dynoed at 428 horsepower (to the ground).i would never go back to gas again.i may go to a deisel engine one day,but im happy with the propane.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-08-2006, 09:48 AM
The SnoMan The SnoMan is offline
Elder User
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 654
The SnoMan is new and has a neutral reputation at this point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotroddually
i dont know where you get the idea seals are going to dry up,my truck runs great on propane,never leaks,has tons of power.its all in the way the conversion is done.just like any motor modifications,you get people that know what they are doing ,and idiots that should never open the hood on anything. i run a 428 SCJ on propane in my 74 4x4 dually,i pull a 38 foot tri-axle enclosed racecar trailer that is over 11000 pounds.i dont get much passing me on any hills through the rockies.my engine was 425 horspower new in the crate,it is now more,but ive done more work to it.the truck was chassis dynoed at 428 horsepower (to the ground).i would never go back to gas again.i may go to a deisel engine one day,but im happy with the propane.
Propane is a great motor fuel, especailly if you take the time to set it up properly and run very high compression to take advantage of its very high octane.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-11-2006, 01:34 PM
kurtwalton kurtwalton is offline
New User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 5
kurtwalton is starting off with a positive reputation.
New but bare with me

I have 01 Lightning with a gas conversion and there is no difference in power and the fuel consumption if far better, however I do live in the uk and petrol is $1.57 per litre compared to 64 cents per litre for gas. The system I have is a Prinz system specifically designe for my lightning, prins are Norwegian but the have distributers in the US.

Dont know how much help this is, but its good to talk.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-28-2006, 07:01 PM
smoulding smoulding is offline
Junior User
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 72
smoulding is starting off with a positive reputation.
The 302 in that truck is already underpowered. My metro could take that on the 1/4 mile. I'd say you probably cannot afford to lose more power on the conversion. On the other hand, you may be able to re-build the 302 to get you about 16-18 mph in the old '79, which ain't bad! You may want to consider a mild build with an increase in CR, and more efficient engine parts. The stock 79 engine is pure garbage from the factory, but is bursting with potential with the aftermarket performance parts available.

That's my 2 cents worth.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-09-2009, 04:32 PM
Bishop Burner Bishop Burner is offline
New User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1
Bishop Burner is starting off with a positive reputation.
75 F-150 with conversion now major oil leak

Info here has been useful. I bought a old F-150 with a propane conversion two summers ago when propane was cheaper than oil. I was able to complete my summer roadtrip but now this baby has a major major oil leak. Little puffs of smoke coming out of the oil fill stem, but it got me home fine. Had thought about rescuing it as it was grandfathered for smog but with the price of gas down and a quote for engine repair more than what this baby cost me, I will have to let it go.
Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
94 f150 5 speed stuck in reverse broncoman1532 1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 3 05-18-2013 09:12 PM
5.0 efi swap to carb setup broncoman1532 1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 17 04-09-2012 10:32 PM
propane conversion. TaborCT 1967 - 1972 F-100 & Larger F-Series Trucks 15 09-03-2011 08:04 AM
79 351M; mods to run on propane? fishindave11 335 Series- 5.8/351M, 6.6/400, 351 Cleveland 2 04-22-2007 11:34 AM
flex fuel engine?? 78broncoman Ranger & B-Series 12 09-29-2005 10:58 PM


Go Back   Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums >

Tags
302, big, block, conversion, deisel, diesel, f250, ford, mileage, olds, power, propane, small, truck, trucks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:15 PM.


This forum is owned and operated by Internet Brands, Inc., a Delaware corporation. It is not authorized or endorsed by the Ford Motor Company and is not affiliated with the Ford Motor Company or its related companies in any way. FordŽ is a registered trademark of the Ford Motor Company.