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Fuels and Alternative Fuels Materials or substances that can be used as a fuel, waste oils, vegetable oils or animal fats, which can be used alone, or blended with fossil fuels.

Fuels and Alternative Fuels

propane anyone? ford truck


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  #1  
Old 07-29-2013, 12:30:36 AM
Bryce D Bryce D is offline
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Default propane anyone? ford truck

As I read all the different threads about all sorts of different fuels. I just wonder how propane has fallen from the radar as an alternative fuel.

I have been running propane on an 85 ford truck for years. I rebuilt the engine to 11 to 1 compression. I can pass most semis pulling my 26 foot 5th wheel trailer and only paying 7 cents more per gallon than natural gas. The gas mileage is about the same as it has always has been.

I think that Detroit could make a propane vehicle without much trouble.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:45:49 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

I've seen a few propane powered vehicles over the years, and often thought about converting one over but never had the time or money to do it. (or more like time & money at the same time)

There are a lot of propane carb conversion kits on eBay that I've been looking at, but I'm guessing there is more to it than simply switching carbs, like bumping up the compression as you mentioned.

One of these years..... I might get around to it.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:11:15 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

I would like to convert my commuter vehicle to propane. I figure that once I do, propane prices will go up.

You can buy new Ford pickups and vans from Roush http://www.roushcleantech.com/

A lot of the Schwans trucks are still propane powered. My understanding is that Schwans buys so much propane that they get below wholesale pricing.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:41:07 PM
James A.Martin James A.Martin is offline
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

Personally I really like propane, my dad bought a 3/4 ton GMC p/u in 1974 (new) and took everything that smelled like gas out and went all propane. I think the engine has been rebuilt twice, but we are still driving it. I filled up last week for $1.50 a gallon, (87 gal tank). Keep smiling, Jim
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:49:27 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is online now
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

Propane makes more sense than putting ethanol in gas. Only disadvantage I can think of with propane is that you're not allowed to park in underground or enclosed parkades with a propane powered vehicle. At least in this part of the country.

Bill
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:05:12 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

I've got a '82 Ford 1-ton 4X4 and some tractors on lp, used to have a bunch around the farm. With no fuel dilution the engines just don't wear. You can just hang the vaporizor and carb on and it will run just fine but it will have a little less power than you did with gasoline. If you don't knock the compression ratio way up you are leaving a lot of power on the table. Never saw it in person, but the guy that I used to get parts from claimed he was running a big block Chevy at 14 to 1 on lp in his Camaro.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:55:58 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtractors View Post
I would like to convert my commuter vehicle to propane. I figure that once I do, propane prices will go up.
If they do like they do with with pump gas prices, it will probably go up now because of that plant in Florida that blew up yesterday. Gas Grill propane tanks exploding all over the place along with the big tank(s) they filled them from.

Big mess, but if I heard right, no-one was killed in the explosion. Heard about it a couple times over night and early this morning, but then switched channels and haven't heard any more about it.

---------- Post added at 11:55 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:50 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Wehrman View Post
.... Never saw it in person, but the guy that I used to get parts from claimed he was running a big block Chevy at 14 to 1 on lp in his Camaro.
I don't know what compression ratio he's running, but one of the local tractor pullers has a Minneapolis Moline (Pro-Pain) running on propane. I haven't been in to the fair for several years to watch him, but the last I knew, he was way up there in the rankings.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:39:23 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

To run propane the compression needs to be higher. The BTU content of propane is 20% less than gasoline. The boost in compression brings the power up closer to gasoline. That being said the proper conversion to gasoline requires different pistons, high compression, to be installed in order to not take a 20% power loss when converting to propane. The most common propane upgrades are done to vehicles that will be run inside buildings such as forklifts. Today an engine updated to propane from scratch will cost more (re-machining the cylinders round and the labor to install the pistons, rings regulator fuel warmer, the device that the fuel and coolant run through and plumbing) than just getting an engine ready to go.

---------- Post added at 12:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:35 PM ----------

"That being said the proper conversion to gasoline requires"

Should have been written:

That being said the proper conversion to Propane requires
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:50:19 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

If you are buying propane for road use you need to be careful where you get it. Any and all fuel for highway use is required to pay a highway MFT tax. This usually runs the same as you are charged at the pump for gas. If you are only paying 1.70 per gallon you aren't paying the MFT tax and can be charged a stiff fine usually into the thousands of dollars. Propane purchased at truck stops do include this in the price, not the fill pump for barbecue grill tanks. We run into this issue on diesel trucks on the farm and have to keep fuel receipts on top of the requirements of non dyed fuel. There are similar requirements for propane use as well. There are revenue agents that do roadside checks as well, I have been checked for the fuel in trucks on occasion and they are very serious about it. F.J.W.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:52:09 PM
marvgarr marvgarr is offline
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by FWurth View Post
If you are buying propane for road use you need to be careful where you get it. Any and all fuel for highway use is required to pay a highway MFT tax. This usually runs the same as you are charged at the pump for gas. If you are only paying 1.70 per gallon you aren't paying the MFT tax and can be charged a stiff fine usually into the thousands of dollars. Propane purchased at truck stops do include this in the price, not the fill pump for barbecue grill tanks. We run into this issue on diesel trucks on the farm and have to keep fuel receipts on top of the requirements of non dyed fuel. There are similar requirements for propane use as well. There are revenue agents that do roadside checks as well, I have been checked for the fuel in trucks on occasion and they are very serious about it. F.J.W.
Around here propane is cheaper for cars and trucks then for the home or grill. Arizona has special plates for alternative fueled vehicles and I thick there is a tax break.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:00:54 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

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Originally Posted by OTTO-Sawyer View Post
I've seen a few propane powered vehicles over the years, and often thought about converting one over but never had the time or money to do it. (or more like time & money at the same time)

There are a lot of propane carb conversion kits on eBay that I've been looking at, but I'm guessing there is more to it than simply switching carbs, like bumping up the compression as you mentioned.

One of these years..... I might get around to it.

You don't have to increase compression. It's just that you can increase compression, and the higher you push the compression, the more effecient the engine will be.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:13:14 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

The new direct injection vehicles run 11 to 1 or so, seems like it would be a good time to bring multi fuel back.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:31:12 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

Pretty sure that the EPA is the obstacle now days to widespread use in highway vehicles. They don't like the pressure vessels in the vehicle, also they have a fit about people doing the tank refills possibly causing pollution. It was real popular around here years back, it died out about the time the EPA got powerful. We still use it in a tractor here and it does the job. F.J.W.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:59:58 AM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

The other problem is cost. The CNG option in the new RAM 2500 is over $11,000- and it takes up half the bed. It still requires gasoline for starting and warm-up. For the same or less $, you can get the Cummins engine and Aisin transmission, a far superior package IMO.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:30:56 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

I have a friend working for a local Ford dealer. I believe he said they have installed over 2000 units in new Ford pickups and vans in the last two years or so. I think they install multiple tanks inside the frame rails and even have a donut shaped tank that fits where the spare tire was. This is in the Kansas City, Missouri, area.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:16:01 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

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Originally Posted by RSCurtis View Post
The other problem is cost. The CNG option in the new RAM 2500 is over $11,000- and it takes up half the bed.
CNG conversions are another animal all together from propane conversions.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:30:43 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: propane anyone? ford truck

Pros and cons: Cons - unless compression is increased, roughly 20% power loss. Increased valve wear. Below 40 F. start on gas advised, to assist in engine warm up. Propane needs a lot of initial heat to light, and standard spark may not light it when cold. Tank must have enough expansive area to not freeze when operation is in cold weather. As propane evaporates in the tank,the operation of liquid turning into gas cools the liquid. if the rate of evaporization exceeds the heating of the tank, the fuel will eventually chill to the point where there will not be enough vapor pressure to supply the engine. Propane will not turn to gas at about -89 F.

Pros - Cleaner burn in the cylinder. Longer oil life, as there is virtually no fuel wash down, and low carbon contamination. Low pollution from exhaust - CO2 and water vapor main componants. Most propane fueled engines are certified for indoors use, where gasoline engine use is not permitted. right now (2013), propane compettitive with gasoline in price per mile.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:45:00 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

Any Propane Forklift that I have ever had used Liquid Propane. It is then Vaporized in a heated vaporizer so tank area is NOT an Issue. Only when the tank is very Low would it run on Vapor.

I would guess that Road Vehicle conversions do the same thing.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:36:43 PM
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Default Re: propane anyone? ford truck

Yes any application that fits on to a internal combustion motor is set up with the vaporizer. It gets it's heat from the cooling system liquid. The only time you have to take it easy is during warm up and all tanks used in these applications have a liquid draw valve and a vapor draw valve for cold weather warm up. F.J.W.
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:00:18 PM
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Wink Re: propane anyone? ford truck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Mackey View Post
..... Propane will not turn to gas at about -89 F.
If it ever gets down to -89 degrees around here, propane not vaporizing will be the least of my worries.
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