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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

Hit & Miss on propane


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  #1  
Old 02-20-2008, 05:09:23 PM
George Best George Best is offline
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Default Hit & Miss on propane

I'm trying to run a 5hp hit&miss engine on propane and have a Garettson SD regulator.

Wondering if anyone is using this regulator successfully with a hit and miss engine. DO NOT REPLY ABOUT RUNNING A THROTTLE GOVERNED ENGINE ON PROPANE as I think throttle governed engines only need a simple pressure regulator.

My engine starts fine on propane, but I'm having a problem keeping it running. I'm wondering if I'm not getting enough suction to work the regulator. I know that last year when we ran this engine in Holland on propane it worked fine on one set of regulators, but wouldn't run on another set that we had. Although another engine we had at the show would run using either set of regulators. Neither set of regulators belonged to me so that is why I'm trying to use the Garettson regulator.

I'm thinking that my engine may not create a strong enough suction to work with all on-demand regulators.

I'm in the process of making another adapter plate to go between the engine and the gasoline carburetor (which is not being used). I'm also using 1/4" tubing to run the propane from the SD regulator to the adapter plate. This is the same size tubing we used in Holland and it ran fine.

I think the Garettson SD may require a stronger suction to function. Would necking down the air passage through the adapter plate increase the amount of suction?

Would love to hear what people are using here in the States for hit&miss engines. Of course I'm assuming you're using an on-demand type of regulator.
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:11:03 PM
George Best George Best is offline
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Default Re: Hit & Miss on propane

Excuse the typo, that was Garretson, not Garettson.
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:42:34 PM
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KyleBlankenship KyleBlankenship is offline
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Default Re: Hit & Miss on propane

i run my 3 hp ihc on lp. 20lb lp tank, gas grill regulator to a needle valve and into the carb. runs great and will run all day 4 days a week all show season on 1 tank.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:12:04 PM
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Eric M. Eric M. is offline
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Default Re: Hit & Miss on propane

I have seen a 3 horsepower United run on propane with a regulator, and a 32 horsepower Fairbanks-Morse N converted to a Hit and Miss running on propane. Both ran extremely well. I have also personally operated a 15 horsepower Fairbanks-Morse N Hit and Miss engine on propane. The N had a regulator and IMPCO carburetor. The thing I have noticed is that all these engines have demand regulators in the gas supply, set to flow gas at slightly below atmospheric pressure so that they don't constantly flood the intake. I would recommend that you adjust the vacuum required to make the regulator flow. If that isn't possible, you could try putting a variable choke on the intake to provide an adjustable vacuum while the engine is running. What is the elevation that you are running the engine at? Perhaps the higher atmospheric pressure in holland had an effect on the cracking pressure of he regulator?
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Old 02-20-2008, 10:17:56 PM
Robert Haus Robert Haus is offline
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Default Re: Hit & Miss on propane

Actually, hit and miss or throttle governed should not matter....the carburetor and regulators are just there to provide the air/fuel charge when it is demanded...a throttle governed engine will demand a little for each intake cycle....the hit and miss may demand more, but will only demand it when the governor calls for fuel and allows the exhaust valve to remain shut (thereby letting suction open the intake)

I'm not familiar with the Garretson, but the Impco uses a negative 1/2PSI between the converter/regulator and the mixer/carburetor. Both components are required to make it work...they are also both demand operated...this, if combined with the vacuum lockoff valve provides 3 points of isolation to keep fuel from flowing when the engine is shut down.

I found that if I used a gas grill type of regulator with the Impco mixer that the engine promptly flooded as it outputs at a positive 1/2 psi...so when my engine went to take a gulp of air/fuel, it got a large fuel charge forced in rather than drawn in as it should be....make sense? Other makes of regulators work differently, but the key is to have them matched for the carburetor you have on the engine.

Anyway, many of these sorts of regulators can be adjusted so if you suspect a problem with the cracking pressure you may be able to bring it within limits that will work with your engine.

Go check at your local propane dealer and see if they can order a manual for you....I can't speak for the garretson, but the impco manuals I got were very detailed and covered all the rebuild and adjustment proceedures.
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Old 02-21-2008, 01:30:24 AM
hit-n-miss166922 hit-n-miss166922 is offline
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Default Re: Hit & Miss on propane

Hello from Wisconsin!!! I run my engines exclusively on propane successfully!!! I agree with all that has been said.. To put more draw on the regulator I close the CHOKE PLATE!!! Also maybe the engine requires an accumulator, that is a piece of 2"x6"long plastic pipe in the fuel line, just before. the carb., and after the regulator (demand). Hope this helps!!!!
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:28:16 PM
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Forrest A Forrest A is offline
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Default Re: Hit & Miss on propane

A couple thoughts, the line must be long enough to allow proper warming of the incoming gas or you will have ice forming where your inlet needle is. Some people remove the inlet needle and put in a plug. I also agree with earlier advice, follow it. I also think that you can get better vacuum control making your own regulator.

A good source for making your own regulator (and just about anything model engine related is here:

http://www.floridaame.org/

Select on left: "tips and links"
Select on the right: "Assorted model engine building tips"
Scroll to tip three.

One benefit you get from running LP is that the oil isn't washed from the cylinder wall so lubing can be kept to a minimum meaning a cleaner display.


Please ignore what is below if you do not want to read about throttle governed LP burners.

As for throttle governed engines there has to be a heater placed inline (usually the engine coolant circulates through it) for warming the incoming gas (vapor). I have not seen many air cooled engines running LP. Misconception about LP: An engine that has been converted (no mechanical changes) to LP puts out more power. Nope, you lose 20% horse power if you convert a regular gasoline engine without boosting compression.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:34:05 PM
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Forrest A Forrest A is offline
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Default Re: Hit & Miss on propane

I just realized I didn't specify the inlet needle I was referring to in my post. The needle you can remove (if you can adjust the supply at the regulator) is the one in the mixer of the engine. Sorry.
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:20:44 AM
Frank Stenger Frank Stenger is offline
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Default Re: Hit & Miss on propane

Related to this subject, item no. 120224676821 on
ebay is a new, Nikki demand regulator - seller says
from a 30 hp Kubota engine. I bought one of these
for future experiments with my halfbreed engine.
(Use it to feed a modified Harley Sportster carb.)
Anyway, the seller wants $12.99 + $8.83 shipping
in the US. You can input full propane tank pressure
(250 psi) - liquid if you feed hot water thru the
heater ports. They should work with tank gas if
you keep it from getting too cold (without hot water).
It does have a manifold vacuum cutoff to stop flow
when the engine is not running - I'd probably need
to work around this for my halfbreed. Looks like a
high quality regulator for the money. I would think
these would work with a much smaller engine with
some adjustment used in the carb inlet port.
Just a thought if anyone is interested...
Frank Stenger
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Old 02-22-2008, 12:37:38 AM
Robert Haus Robert Haus is offline
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Default Re: Hit & Miss on propane

The Impco converter uses engine coolant to help vaporize the fuel when put in a liquid draw system. I've been running mine as a vapor draw system...just at reduced power ratings...the impco model L is rated for larger engines, it will easily flow enough liquid propane to vaporize and support the demand...if you run vapor in it, you can't flow as much.....but on our small horsepower engines this is not a problem.

The point of all that is that you can use a liquid draw system on vapor, with no coolant hookup (or aircooled engine) as long as you are not trying to max out the flow capacity of the regulator. ...I hope i explained that sensibly.
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