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  #1  
Old 09-07-2006, 09:25 PM
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derherr65 derherr65 is offline
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Are there any economically viable alternatives to gasoline?

So imagine a situation, probably not far fetched for any of you:
You have a big block F150, gas prices suck, you want do something about it.
Are there any alternatives that will pay for themselves in... say 1 year of 15,000 miles, current MPG of 11.5?

My research so far:
Solar panels - $10,000 to cover truck. Not even enough power to push a F150 to 60mph. Not daily driver reliable(clouds, rain, night trips, etc) No go.
Battery powered - $2000 for a 90hp motor, thousand$$$ on batteries, more on controllers, cost per mile in a 15000 mile year including charging, unknown. even high dollar batteries must be discarded every 2-3 years and replaced. Prohibitively expensive due to battery technology deficiency. No go.
Diesel - thousands on a turbo engine and adapter, significant power loss(F150 can't handle a big diesel), double the mileage, possible break even with sale of running gas engine. With WVO conversion, possible break even without selling gas engine. Possible
propane - buy/build system($500?), add a tank($?), modify heads for valve heating and compression issues($400), other mods/expenses required??? Range on one tank? fill up locations and cost? unknown
Other solutions?
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I suggest we solve high gas prices with environmentalists... unfortunately they don't burn well.
1977 F150 400 C6 2wd, 10.2 sec 1/8 mile with 2.75 gears.
1982 Mercedes 300CD, 220K miles
1965 Mustang. Mostly stock...
2001 Ram 2500, cummins, 5spd, 202k miles.(girlfriends)
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2006, 09:44 PM
rusty70f100 rusty70f100 is offline
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Yep. Cut a 2x4 to a length of about 4", get some double stick tape, and place under the gas pedal!

I recently converted my 1992 Explorer to E85, using junkyard fuel injectors from a 460. Total cost: $80. So far, it's gotten nearly the same mileage, and E85 is cheaper. Long term effects are yet to be determined.

Of course, gas prices have dropped like a rock around here, so now it's kind of silly to run E85 for $2.259 when gasoline costs $2.399.

Something else you might think about is a smaller motor. There should be wrecked junkyard trucks with 302's and 351's. Possible swap?
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:46 PM
o7dgm o7dgm is offline
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check out propane.I have a F350 4x4 with a 460 on propane and it cost the same to drive to work as my friends S 10 4x4 on .gasoline

















S
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2006, 10:11 PM
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derherr65 derherr65 is offline
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"Yep. Cut a 2x4 to a length of about 4", get some double stick tape, and place under the gas pedal!" I'm running a vacuum guage. My minimum reading is still over 75% of idle vacuum. I'm confident this is not a problem.

"Something else you might think about is a smaller motor. There should be wrecked junkyard trucks with 302's and 351's. Possible swap?" An EFI 351W and lockup tranny could help a lot without totally sapping power. Cost about $2000. If you sell the 400 and big block C6 you just might break even. That's a possibility.

More details on the propane?
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I suggest we solve high gas prices with environmentalists... unfortunately they don't burn well.
1977 F150 400 C6 2wd, 10.2 sec 1/8 mile with 2.75 gears.
1982 Mercedes 300CD, 220K miles
1965 Mustang. Mostly stock...
2001 Ram 2500, cummins, 5spd, 202k miles.(girlfriends)

Last edited by derherr65; 09-07-2006 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:46 PM
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derherr65 derherr65 is offline
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100lb/30gallon tank = $120. range = 300 miles.

$1100 for everything but the tank kit. 1 less mpg, same power, about $1.60 per gallon. That would pay for 58% in a year, sans tank.
Kit 1

$800. Looks very similar. 76% payoff. Bolt on... Not bad.
Kit 2
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I suggest we solve high gas prices with environmentalists... unfortunately they don't burn well.
1977 F150 400 C6 2wd, 10.2 sec 1/8 mile with 2.75 gears.
1982 Mercedes 300CD, 220K miles
1965 Mustang. Mostly stock...
2001 Ram 2500, cummins, 5spd, 202k miles.(girlfriends)
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:05 AM
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derherr65 derherr65 is offline
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As for smaller engine... a 351M would be easier and cheaper. A short block runs $425 online, payoff in under a year, and easy install.
reman engine

It would be nice to get the compression up though. Mill the heads while swapping the block I guess.
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I suggest we solve high gas prices with environmentalists... unfortunately they don't burn well.
1977 F150 400 C6 2wd, 10.2 sec 1/8 mile with 2.75 gears.
1982 Mercedes 300CD, 220K miles
1965 Mustang. Mostly stock...
2001 Ram 2500, cummins, 5spd, 202k miles.(girlfriends)
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2006, 01:06 PM
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More Options?

1. If you drive in a lot of stop and go traffic, you could make your build your truck into a hydraulic hybrid for some fuel savings. Haven't seen any aftermarket kits yet, but it will be interesting if Eaton sells their HLA as an aftermarket kit.

2. Brew & Distill your own ethanol or butanol. Sites like www.ethanolstill.com have stills and plans for sale and several people on here seem to do it. Running ethanol would also take some mods to your truck.

-Jim
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Last edited by PSKSAM2; 09-08-2006 at 01:22 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2006, 04:03 PM
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derherr65 derherr65 is offline
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Mostly highway, so the hydraulic idea probably won't pan out.

I have done homebrew before... probably not too different from the beer process. What is the process from... grain? corn? to ethanol to engine mods required? Anyone know the total fuel cost per mile?
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I suggest we solve high gas prices with environmentalists... unfortunately they don't burn well.
1977 F150 400 C6 2wd, 10.2 sec 1/8 mile with 2.75 gears.
1982 Mercedes 300CD, 220K miles
1965 Mustang. Mostly stock...
2001 Ram 2500, cummins, 5spd, 202k miles.(girlfriends)
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  #9  
Old 09-08-2006, 11:35 PM
rusty70f100 rusty70f100 is offline
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Here's a site with plenty of info, including plans for a still.

http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/

Read it, know it, probably more than you ever wanted to know. I'm sure it will answer your questions, and maybe present new ones.
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2006, 10:14 PM
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Swap in a 300 cid I-6.
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2006, 10:35 PM
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derherr65 derherr65 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 76supercab2
Swap in a 300 cid I-6.
That's not a big block bolt pattern, right? The required tranny would probably make that less economical than a crank and piston or short block swap to a 351M.
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I suggest we solve high gas prices with environmentalists... unfortunately they don't burn well.
1977 F150 400 C6 2wd, 10.2 sec 1/8 mile with 2.75 gears.
1982 Mercedes 300CD, 220K miles
1965 Mustang. Mostly stock...
2001 Ram 2500, cummins, 5spd, 202k miles.(girlfriends)
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2006, 02:52 PM
Dino@his Dad's Dino@his Dad's is offline
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lower cost per mile

Der, I wouldn't consider the smaller engine. If you reduce the engine's size, what remains has to work harder to move the truck. 400 cubic inches is not a bad size at all for pushing around a heavy truck. but how heavy is your truck ? Is there anything you are carrying with you that you don't have to ? Are the brakes dragging ? Is your C6 healthy ? Is your carb set correctly ? Do both your vaccuum and centifugal advances work the way they are supposed to ? At 11 1/2, it seems like something is wrong. The two realistic options would seem to be propane and ethanol ( or E85 ). In my locality, E85 is always cheaper than gasoline. The gap is only 25 cents at this writing, but has sometimes been as large as a dollar a gallon. Switching to propane would seem like a good idea, IF propane is easliy available in your area. Where I live, you can only get propane in a gas grill or hi-low bottle, 5 gallons or so at most. But I have three stations selling E85 within a short drive. The question becomes how committed to this are you going to be ? If you want to maintain the same power and miles per gallon or better, the engine has to be modified to the extent that running normal gasoline is no longer an option. For me this isn't really a problem, because I have more than one truck, and only want to convert one of them. For now at least. Might it be easier and cheaper to improve the mileage of what you have before converting ? DinosaurFan
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:09 PM
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Rebuilding for propane or E85 would be OK since you could rebuild for higher compression than gas will allow. Switching back and forth between propane and E85 wouldn't be too bad since they both work well with higher compression. Higher compression pistons are available for the 400 from TMI.

A C6 can be built for better efficiency with needle thrust bearings and a towing or RV converter.
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:09 PM
 
 
 
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