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Old 11 August 2006, 06:34   #1
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LPG converstion

Im considering getting my car converted to run on LPG. I would like to know if it's really worth it. I understand its going to cost about 1500 to have done, which in theory means I should start saving in the second year. I have a Ford Focus 1.6 16v petrol, and do about 15000 miles a year. Am I going to notice a significant drop in power/performance?
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Old 11 August 2006, 06:46   #2
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Is it possible/costly on a new RR or V8 Disco?
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Old 11 August 2006, 07:14   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim M
Im considering getting my car converted to run on LPG. I would like to know if it's really worth it. I understand its going to cost about 1500 to have done, which in theory means I should start saving in the second year. I have a Ford Focus 1.6 16v petrol, and do about 15000 miles a year. Am I going to notice a significant drop in power/performance?
I had a LPG 1.8 Mondeo.. Admittedly it was a Ford conversion, and had to be replaced 3 times in the one year I had the vehicle for..

LPG seems to be creeping up in price, the local garages here are close to the 50p a litre mark. When mine worked, I was getting approximately 22 to the gallon.. (Motorway miles at slightly, above the speed limit..) I didn't notice any difference in the cars perfomance.. Whatever figures the conversion people reckon you will get, don't believe them, I reckon you would be lucky to get 25 to the gallon. If your planning on keeping the car for the next 5 years, then it will probably be worth it. But you will find it a pita, keeping the car topped up with LPG isn't always convenient.. IMO, your going to be better off adding that 1500 to the trade in value of the Focus, and buying a diesel..
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Old 11 August 2006, 07:15   #4
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The Focus is pretty economical anyway but obviously with the stupid amount of tax on fuel it could be worthwhile. Usually people do the conversion on real guzzlers like the Range Rover or similar with 4L and above engines.

One problem you have is lack of bootspace - the other is getting the LPG - prices vary quite a bit - check first if there is a cheap supplier in your area - you can get it for as low as 35p per litre but 40p is more common in Swansea.

You lose very little power - most people don't notice as long as you get a good conversion. If your car does say 35mpg normally it will prob do about 28 - 30 on lpg.
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Old 11 August 2006, 07:51   #5
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Hello Tim,

1500 sounds high to me for a single tank system I'd be looking in the 750 - 1000 band including labour. You may be able to save more if you buy the parts and fit it yourself, there are lots of companies who sell good kits with good manuals. Dont get too hung up on the inspection front for insurance purposes most of it is cobblers and you can have it inspected to fullfil this requirement.

Directline do not inspect my gas barecue or my Sungaz grill everytime I go camping. Correctly fitted it is inherantly safer than petrol.
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Old 11 August 2006, 08:05   #6
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Talking of gas it amazes me why hydrogen powered cars aren't in use. I am NOT talking about hybrid vehicles or fuel cells - just using hyrdogen in a similar way to LPG in a normal engine. Internal combustion engines have had over 100 years of development. They are well proven and are much better than these expensive hybrid electric things.

Hydrogen is no more dangerous than LPG and would use similar types of tanks. BMW and several other makers have systems available - BP was ready to start selling hydrogen through it's filling stations. Of course with hydrogen there would be no CO2 so you could drive your 4x4 and be greener than anyone.

I always wondered why they wouldn't go down the hydrogen internal combustion engine route.....

For some strange reason the government has put a stop to this - they want car makers to focus on hybrid or electric vehicles - it seems the the thought of still being able to run around in a 4x4 AND be green terrifies them!!!

http://www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex...ydrogenBMW.htm
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Old 11 August 2006, 08:30   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim M
Im considering getting my car converted to run on LPG. I would like to know if it's really worth it. I understand its going to cost about 1500 to have done, which in theory means I should start saving in the second year. I have a Ford Focus 1.6 16v petrol, and do about 15000 miles a year. Am I going to notice a significant drop in power/performance?
Hi

How old is the Focus/Mileage, personally I'd agree with Tony and say put the 1500 towards getting a Diesel.

I used to have a Landcrusier Amazon 5.7V8, yes I know bit of a different beast to that of a Focus, but the Gas conversion was a pain in the arse, used far more gas than the normal petrol fuel economy plus if you put your foot down hard ie overtaking it could not physically pump enough gas in to the engine and switched back to petrol automatically, then had to stop, turn off the car, reset switch to gas, re-start engine and carry on. Plus Gas is getting more expensive to buy now.
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Old 11 August 2006, 08:35   #8
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Don't you mean 4.7? Totally agree get a diesel Focus - the TDCi is great to drive and very quick. I averaged 44mpg in one - other diesels(VW or PUG) tend to give you about 48mpg.
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Old 11 August 2006, 09:15   #9
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Originally Posted by codprawn
Don't you mean 4.7? Totally agree get a diesel Focus - the TDCi is great to drive and very quick. I averaged 44mpg in one - other diesels(VW or PUG) tend to give you about 48mpg.
Yes that's exactly what I meant 4.7 V8 lovely beast to drive though.
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Old 11 August 2006, 12:34   #10
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Send a message via MSN to AndyB007
My organisation does OE conversions for Vauxhalls & Saabs (sorry - can't get you a cut price deal for a Ford!). Points made thus far are mainly correct;

- Little noticeable effect on performance under normal driving conditions
- Slightly lower fuel consumption than with petrol, more than offset by lower fuel price
- Readily available in most parts of the country
- Loss of boot space unless system fits into spare wheel well which is not replaced like-for-like (eg space saver or aerosol sealant/inflation)

May not be a big issue for you but you cannot use the channel tunnel with a LPG vehicle, but your ARE exempt from the London Congestion Charge!

If you want more technical info PM me and I'll see what our Alt Fuel guys have (note I'm away for next week).

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Old 11 August 2006, 13:43   #11
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Of course with hydrogen there would be no CO2 so you could drive your 4x4 and be greener than anyone.
ehhh... and how do you make hydrogen? By using energy which has usually been produced by burning a fossil fuel. hydrogen fuel is NOT carbon neutral.
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Old 11 August 2006, 16:07   #12
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saving money on fuel

just run yer car on red! out of all the all of the thousands of people you know who drive, how many have been done with red in their tank!
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Old 11 August 2006, 16:13   #13
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just run yer car on red! out of all the all of the thousands of people you know who drive, how many have been done with red in their tank!
Well out of the thousands of people I know I can say at least 20 or 30 have had their tanks "dipped". And that is without actually going and asking them. Although I have never had mine done. None of them have been done for driving with red in their tank - because they don't take the chance - and pay the duty!
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Old 11 August 2006, 16:25   #14
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Originally Posted by Polwart
Well out of the thousands of people I know I can say at least 20 or 30 have had their tanks "dipped". And that is without actually going and asking them. Although I have never had mine done. None of them have been done for driving with red in their tank - because they don't take the chance - and pay the duty!

Having lived in liverpool for 30 years I know of no one who has been done...
.may be its a city thing.
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Old 11 August 2006, 16:52   #15
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ehhh... and how do you make hydrogen? By using energy which has usually been produced by burning a fossil fuel. hydrogen fuel is NOT carbon neutral.
Hydrogen can be produced by many methods - often as a byproduct but the 2 most promising are the new method of converting waste products such as sewage using microbes and even more important - using surplus nightime electricity that just goes to waste to electrolyse seawater instead of powering millions of streetlights and floodlit buildings.
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Old 11 August 2006, 17:37   #16
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Hydrogen can be produced by many methods - often as a byproduct but the 2 most promising are the new method of converting waste products such as sewage using microbes
as far as I am aware there are no microbes capable of producing hydrogen at the rate that would be necessary to replace petrol. There are certainly some anaerobic microbes which contain enzymes that break down e.g. glucose to acetate plus 4 H2 - but then you get left with shitloads of acetate waste for not a lot of gas. You could use other bacteria to break down the acetate but then you get CO2 as well.

Microbes are also bloody temperamental (they are my dayjob) so one day they are fermenting away and the next they stop. On top of that you need to keep the process sterile (or you will get competing organisms in there which mean you don't get H2 (or not as much) or get eg. H2S in their too.) - thats not hugely practical if you are processing waste. (most approaches to sterilisation are either hugely eco-unfriendly or energy internsive). Now microbes will produce gas at atmospheric pressure - it takes a reasonable amount of energy to presurise and/or liquify that gas so it is suitable for storage and transportation. And this all assumes you have pure H2 in the product (which I don't think is possible today) - if you have to purify / separate the product then you are looking at more energy required.

Personally I think it is viable on a local scale - but its not how BP or anyone else would do it for vehicle fuel.

Quote:
and even more important - using surplus nightime electricity that just goes to waste to electrolyse seawater instead of powering millions of streetlights and floodlit buildings.
that electricity is still largely produced by - burning gas or coal - so its not carbon neutral. Biodiesel and bioethanol are already with us - and are effectivel much more carbon neutral, and existing engines would run them with little or no modifications, the delivery mechanisms already exist etc. Call my cynical - but the reason they have not been more widely adopted/produced is that the countries which currently control the oil are not exactly the ideal countries for growing high yield crops.


PS sorry for hi-jacking the thread.
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Old 11 August 2006, 17:59   #17
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Originally Posted by Polwart

that electricity is still largely produced by - burning gas or coal - so its not carbon neutral. Biodiesel and bioethanol are already with us - and are effectivel much more carbon neutral, and existing engines would run them with little or no modifications, the delivery mechanisms already exist etc. Call my cynical - but the reason they have not been more widely adopted/produced is that the countries which currently control the oil are not exactly the ideal countries for growing high yield crops.


PS sorry for hi-jacking the thread.
Not carbon neutral maybe but as you know large scale power stations can't just be turned off and on - the boilers need to be kept up to pressure. The nightime electric just goes to waste as there is no way of storing it - except for rare cases like Dinorwic. Much better to use the waste electric to make hydrogen.

of course start using more Nuclear power and you CAN make hydrogen totally Carbon Neutral.
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Old 11 August 2006, 19:24   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GED
Having lived in liverpool for 30 years I know of no one who has been done...
.may be its a city thing.
Nah, I passed customs and excise dipping someone's tank on an old Citroen BX in Bristol a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 11 August 2006, 21:16   #19
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Nah, I passed customs and excise dipping someone's tank on an old Citroen BX in Bristol a couple of weeks ago.
i think that sums it up - an old car. I bet they wouldn't have bothered a new Audi or Jag diesel - they prob wouldn't even know it was a diesel....
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Old 12 August 2006, 04:20   #20
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I bet they would notice if it was running on red though-I've known quite a few people running on red before and the extra black smoke makes it a bit obvious.
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