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Robert Wort
Grand Master
Username: robert_wort

Post Number: 373
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 16 July, 2008 - 23:30:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Can you spot the difference?



If you look close enough, you will notice that the gas converter is nestled in next to the windscreen washer bottle under the wiper cover.

As our wonderful new government is talking about ending the $2,000 rebate for LPG conversions, I thought Iíd bite the bullet and get it done now rather than later.





Most conversions are of the dual fuel variety as most enjoy the extra range that two tanks will provide you, but the downside of all this is that you have to sacrifice at least half of your boot space if you want to retain the existing fuel tank. The other option is to install a smaller petrol tank as a reserve; I decided to forget petrol altogether and just go with LPG.

Why?

Well there were a few reasons. When I have dual fuel installed on my old Falcon some 10 years back, I soon got sick of the huge price difference in petrol to LPG and simply never filled the petrol tank again. I think that after 280,000 kilometres without troubles, I can safely say that I donít need petrol and if, in some small way it helps to starve OPEC. Then so much the better.

So I donít have a dual fuel system in my í82 Silver Spur ANC04359 (Charles to you), but LPG straight.
There are a couple of advantages too.

The 100 litre tank fitted nicely in the cavity where the old petrol tank was.







It looks nice and neat in the boot with only the safety shut off gear evident.



I can use my existing fuel filler cap instead of opening the boot to fill it.



And I donít ever have to worry about the potential problems of dirty petrol or accidentally putting ethanol blended fuel in the tank (not that I ever did).

Loss of power? NO WAY!

There is a particular hill that I use to travel home on where most cars (Even so-called sports cars) lose momentum and slow down to between 60 and 75 kph. (This is a seriously steep hill), and Iíve always got extreme satisfaction out of the old chaps immense torque and effortless hill climbing ability.
So how did it go this time?
Yep. He still passes all the others at 110 kph. No problem. In fact, the engine idles beautifully; it always did but itís even better now. He starts better, and for the life of me, I cannot discern any loss of power at all.

The jury is out on fuel consumption so far but Iíll keep a watch and keep you posted. For the record, on petrol I was getting around 9 to 11 mpg around town and 12.7 was my best on a trip to Narooma from Greensborough (mind you, I did floor it a bit in the overtaking lanes to get past those bloody motorhomes who will insist on 40 kph in a 110 zone).

Any downsides?

The only two I can think of at present is that the tool shelf above the old fuel tank had to be removed to accommodate the extra height of the gas tank, but as the last owner never left me any toolkit, it was empty anyway.
The other one is that to get to the suspension spheres, the gas piping will have to be removed to gain access at present, but I think I might make some changes to carpet cover to hinge it or something to get around this and as the sphere are fairly new, Iíve got about 4 years to figure it out anyway.

Iím not quite sure what to do with my now redundant petrol tank.
I could keep it, as Robert Chapman (who did the job), made the conversion in such a way that everything is reversible (but who would go back to petrol anyway?

Maybe sell it on EBay (maybe someone out there has a damaged petrol tank), cut it in half and make a spit roaster?
Cover it in carpet and make a barstool?
Who knows?

Anyway, the only external difference is the LPG sticker on the number plate (now everyone will know Iím a cheapskate ).

So here is the old tank, standing at the back of my garage.

Hereís to longer and more frequent excursions.






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Robert Wort
Grand Master
Username: robert_wort

Post Number: 374
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 16 July, 2008 - 23:55:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Incidentally,
You may have noticed I wrote the fuel consumption as MPG not KPL.
That's because I still can't get my head around kilometres per litre so I just get my conversion tool to convert kilometres to miles and litres to gallons and then work it out from there.
Just in case you thought it was a typo.
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Stephe Boddice
Frequent User
Username: stephe_boddice

Post Number: 65
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, 17 July, 2008 - 09:57:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

So what is the mpg on LPG? What is the % cost saving when comparing the increased consumption against the fuel cost saving? How much older will you be by the time the installation cost has been recouped by the fuel saving?

Whatever, it looks like a pretty slick conversion to me. I wonder if my ConR could live with it?

SB
www.boddice.co.uk
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Robert Wort
Grand Master
Username: robert_wort

Post Number: 375
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, 17 July, 2008 - 10:20:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Stephe,
LPG is just under half the price of petrol so it should only take about 12 months to recoup my costs considering the average mileage I do.But of course, the Federal government here gives you $2,000 back if you convert. Because I had a few extras done instead of choosing dual fuel it cost me a bit more ($4,200)so I actually paid $2,200. I haven't used all the fuel up yet to be able to check the consumption and I will also need to do a long run to compare highway cruising against local driving.
If my old Ford is a gauge, there was a 2 mpg difference. On petrol it averaged 18 mpg and it now does 16 mpg which I would count as negligable.
It may be different in the Spur, so I'll keep you posted.
In any case, the price difference will mean that the car will be 50% cheaper to run and no doubt that will encourage me to drive it more.
That'll be better for the car so it's a win win situation really.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 812
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 17 July, 2008 - 11:15:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Robert,

I always thought you would end up giving Charles gas rather than liquid sustenance purely to keep him on the road in the lean years to come for "petrol heads". Now you can face the future knowing you will still be able to drive in a manner appropriate to the "good old days" of abundant cheap fuel.

The conversion is exactly what I would expect from RC - as far as the fuel tank goes, I would be rinsing it internally with a mix of 90% diesel and 10% new engine oil, seal the tank openings and coat the entire exterior with heavy grease before wrapping it in some old sheets/blankets [no plastic to avoid condensation] and storing in a warm, dry place. The reason for this is to keep the tank in pristine condition to go with the car should your heirs and successors decide to sell it and it can be returned to original specification by the new custodian if desired.
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Robert Wort
Grand Master
Username: robert_wort

Post Number: 376
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, 17 July, 2008 - 13:31:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Good advice David.
I'll do just that.
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Glenn Amer
Experienced User
Username: recordo

Post Number: 31
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Friday, 18 July, 2008 - 08:34:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Great Job Robert! I'm very impressed. At approximately $160 to fill the tank of my Shadow, it's a conversion I am seriously thinking of. Ten to fifteen tanks full of normal petrol - and you have the conversion done.
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Robert Wort
Grand Master
Username: robert_wort

Post Number: 377
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, 18 July, 2008 - 09:40:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thank you Glenn,
A Shadow of course, has its fuel tank in a different location to the SZ Series cars and in most cases; a duel fuel scenario would be the best option for those that regularly travel long distances.
One of our Victoria Branch Members had such a conversion done on his Shadow a couple of years back, also by Robert Chapman, who, in my opinion would be the best person to carry out such work on our cars as he knows them like the back of his hand.
Adrian wrote an article about it in Issue 9 ( Bottom of Page 15) of my Crewe'd Jottings publication and you might like to visit it here.

http://www.rrocavictoria.org.au/Text/1214701640453-3495/pC/1214388131531-8769/uploadedFiles/1215255875625-1898.pdf

On page 4 of issue 8 you can see the tank installation on Adrian's Shadow.

http://www.rrocavictoria.org.au/Text/1214701640453-3495/pC/1214388131531-8769/uploadedFiles/1215255849343-4883.pdf

Oh! and there's one more advantage with running on LPG, although I strongly suggest you don't put it to the test.

About 3 months ago on my Falcon, I had a rupture in my lower radiator hose (I was not impressed as it was less than 6 months old)and coolant started spraying out onto the road. I was blissfully unaware of this until the engine stopped. The reason the engine stopped was because, as no coolant was heating the gas converter, the LPG froze up thus starving the fuel supply.
While I'm pretty certian that I would have noticed the temperature rise on my temp. gauge, the engine stopped before the engine got to the overheating stage.
Not a bad little bonus.


(Message edited by Robert_Wort on 18 July 2008)
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Robert Wort
Grand Master
Username: robert_wort

Post Number: 378
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, 21 July, 2008 - 00:07:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Alright, My first consumption figures have been calculated. This is for city driving. If you look above on my first posting you will see that on petrol, I averaged between 9mpg to 11 mpg around town. My LPG around town consumption came up as 9.51mpg. In other words, about the same as I did on petrol. I did some country and freeway driving today so I'll fill the car up again tomorrow and calculate it's cruising mpg.
So far, pretty pleasing results and it only cost me $29.00 to fill the tank, though it wasn't empty.
I'll post the results tomorrow if I get time.
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Robert Wort
Grand Master
Username: robert_wort

Post Number: 379
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, 22 July, 2008 - 14:18:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Never got a chance to fill up yesterday so I did it today. The country run (which included some suburban to get to the freeway and back), with speeds between 60 kmh and 100 kmh returned 11.42 mpg. The best I've ever done was when I drove interstate at 12.7 mpg.
So overall, fuel consumption on LPG seems to compare favourably with petrol.
There certainly isn't any dramatic increase in fuel consumption; in fact, over the long term, I would say that it will work out roughly the same with maybe only a slight variance.
I'm very pleased with the result.
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Neville Davies
New User
Username: nev_davies

Post Number: 10
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Friday, 08 August, 2008 - 15:56:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Robert. Looks a great conversion,I do wish the UK government was as constructive as yours using incentives rather than their love of taxation to encourage greener motoring. Would you know if this system works as well on turbo vehicles?
Nev
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Robert Wort
Grand Master
Username: robert_wort

Post Number: 380
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, 08 August, 2008 - 23:25:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Indeed it does Nev.
I don't have any photos handy, but I do know of a conversion made to such a vehicle about two years ago in Victoria. He had the carburettors removed (It was an early Turbo but there's no problems with the later ones as well) and two gas converters put in their place (That was his choice and not essential to the job) and, like me, had a dedicated LPG system in place instead of Dual Fuel.
Unfortunately, the owner is not a Club Member to my knowledge so I havenít seen the car since.