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  #1  
Old 05-22-2007, 09:44 PM
Ole' Mud & Guts's Avatar
Ole' Mud & Guts Ole' Mud & Guts is offline
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Propane Conversion

I know some of you have converted to propane. I am looking for some feedback:
1. What are the performance advantages/disadvantages to propane?
2. Does propane eliminate the need for computer controlled fuel injection?
3. What is involved in doing the conversion?
4. Is there a book or something that you can recommend on the procedure?
5. Where is a good source for the parts needed to do the conversion?
6. Is the propane conversion eligible for a fed tax break?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance
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1979 Cherokee Chief WT
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33x12.50R15 TSL Super Swampers
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2007, 09:36 AM
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Jeep4myBoys Jeep4myBoys is offline
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send a pm to bigun - he's done the conversion and is very happy with it.
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2007, 10:04 AM
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BRUTUS BRUTUS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole' Mud & Guts
1. What are the performance advantages/disadvantages to propane?

Self tuning like EFI but without the sensors. Propane READILY atomizes into air. Propane has less BTU's than gasoline. Will run upside down. Propane tanks are pressurized so there is no need for a fuel pump.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole' Mud & Guts
2. Does propane eliminate the need for computer controlled fuel injection??

Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole' Mud & Guts
3. What is involved in doing the conversion??

Acquire the tank, pressure lines, diffuser/mixer and throttle body and install.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole' Mud & Guts
4. Is there a book or something that you can recommend on the procedure?

If you buy from gotpropane.com, they have a 1 year warranty (new parts) and they have a helpline. Bigun pieced everything together on his own. Search Pirate4x4 "propane conversion site:www.pirate4x4.com" for the closest thing to a "book".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole' Mud & Guts
5. Where is a good source for the parts needed to do the conversion?

Many larger forklifts and some cargo vans ran propane. Or to buy new I would go with gotpropane.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole' Mud & Guts
6. Is the propane conversion eligible for a fed tax break?

Not sure if it is or not.... think about it this way though... you don't pay gasoline taxes on the propane that you buy for your rig.
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2007, 10:15 AM
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Whats the fuel economy rating on this conversion to a AMC 360?
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2007, 10:21 AM
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I might be interested in doing this as well. Wondering if anyone knew how the mileage compares to gasoline & price per gallon vs price per lb.?
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2007, 10:43 AM
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that got propane site is very interesting. Looks like they don't recommend the kit for enclosed spaces like a cherokee though.

I'm racking my brain thinking of where the tanks could be mounted, but I'm not sure that there is anyplace that would be safe. wouldn't put them under because of clearance and rocks, wouldn't put them on top in case of a rollover, wouldn't put them on the back bumper, and couldn't put it inside. Unless you want to chop the top, I don't think it would work on a wag or chero.
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2007, 02:07 PM
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Ole' Mud & Guts Ole' Mud & Guts is offline
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Thanks for the info Brutus. Great Site. Thanks again
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1979 Cherokee Chief WT
360,TH400,QT,D44(F&R
33x12.50R15 TSL Super Swampers
Chopped Top
Bobbed Rear
2" Body Lift
TFI Upgrade
MSD 6Aazor Grille
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  #8  
Old 05-23-2007, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowspyrsy
I might be interested in doing this as well. Wondering if anyone knew how the mileage compares to gasoline & price per gallon vs price per lb.?

From what I have read... lots of buggys that have switched from gas to propane have saved on average about 3 gallons of propane for the same type and length of wheeling trip. It is kinda hard to get a real feel for your mileage with propane because it doesn't have a guage and you would HAVE to run it absolutely empty to be able to calculate economy... also most vehicles with propane are running larger tires and different axle gearing without necessarily correcting the speedo/odometer. Just something to keep in mind.

Also keep in mind that the average octane for propane is around 103 or 104. So it will run in a low compression engine just fine. It will however excel in a higher compression engine. My roomate seems to think that 13:1 or 13.5:1 compression would be ideal.

Forgot to mention above... it also burns cleaner because it readily mixes with air = less carbon buildup and your oil will last longer between changes.
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"Brutus" '74 J10 360/T18/D20/Front D60 Pro Rock & ARB/2" shave, ARB, 15 bolt FF Rear/ 4.56 Gears/38.5 x 16 TSL
Current Jeep Status:Under The Knife
Current Homepage Status: RUNNING
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2007, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep4myBoys
that got propane site is very interesting. Looks like they don't recommend the kit for enclosed spaces like a cherokee though.

I'm racking my brain thinking of where the tanks could be mounted, but I'm not sure that there is anyplace that would be safe. wouldn't put them under because of clearance and rocks, wouldn't put them on top in case of a rollover, wouldn't put them on the back bumper, and couldn't put it inside. Unless you want to chop the top, I don't think it would work on a wag or chero.

I am going to mount mine under the bed forward of the rear axle and then provide a skid plate from frame rail to frame rail. With as tall as Brutus is right now, my axle doesn't go anywhere near the framerails. Also, the driveshaft is already "out there" for the rocks and I didn't hit any in Moab taking the buggy lines. Not sure what you should do if you put it on a stock or near stock lifted FSJ.

I seem to recall reading a while back on this board that a guy put one inside his cherokee and didn't have any problems with mounting it inside the cab behind the rear seat. I can't remember who it was though.
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Current Jeep Status:Under The Knife
Current Homepage Status: RUNNING
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2007, 02:49 PM
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Kinda makes you wonder why more cars didn't come like this new.
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  #11  
Old 05-23-2007, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowspyrsy
Kinda makes you wonder why more cars didn't come like this new.

money
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Current Jeep Status:Under The Knife
Current Homepage Status: RUNNING
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  #12  
Old 05-23-2007, 03:25 PM
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Fiodh. Argus Fiodh. Argus is offline
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Talking Cherokee Propane conversion

hello,
yeah I converted my jeep to propane and have a large 50 gal tank in the back of the Cherokee. It has a vent underneath to allow for the (heavier than air) propane to drain out in case of a leak, and I am also considering chopping the rear top in the future, "Avalanche" style. I don't have solid mileage numbers yet as I have had to rebuild the motor again due to faulty job done by PO. (piston slap due to non-oversized pistons and honing job) However, this time we are going .40 over with higher compression so it should be a beast with the t-18. I am hoping for 12mpg.

the setup is very easy once understood, and actually makes more sense to me than a gas carb. The propane is a bit cheaper than gas, some things I have found are -

- when filling up if you state the propane is for "offroad use", they won't charge you road taxes on it. However, you do pay sales tax. if you say it is for onroad use, then it's gonna have about 30-40cents more tax per gallon.

- the price of propane should really be compared to 100 octane race gas, and also a "full serve" fill, rather than self serve regular since we are not pumping it ourselves.... at the current price where I am, $2.59 a gallon, it's still a fair deal.

This motor should be done in about a week or two, so hopefully after that I will have a better feel for the mileage. It will still have the Erson Performer style cam and rhoades lifters and headers.

here's my write up for the conversion, which was also published in Full Size Jeep mag before it got changed to Jeep Junkie. (Jeep Junkie aint too bad, I must say)

http://www.fiodh.com/cherokee/


if it's any use to you please enjoy but hey, I'm not an expert, just researched it myself and made it happen so if I can answer any questions or you see any dumb solutions let me know.

I got most of my stuff from www.PropaneGuy.com in Canada (about $600) and also there is a place to order tanks in Ontario called "Sleegers" manufacturing that makes a unit that fits in the back deck. My tank was used off Ebay but if I were to do it again I would buy new from Sleegers, about $1000. The tank holds about 50 gallons.

I have not found any tank solutions that are suitable capacity that fit under the frame. There is a torpedo tank that could fit where the gas tank was, and also a dual tank setup that might work under the rear deck in the spare tire area, but the capacity is I think 17 gallons, which is not enough if you want to road trip it. These tanks are mostly made for British and Canadian cars with conversions.

the problem also with the propane tanks is that only the middle 60% of the tank capacity is usable.. the lower 20% is considered "empty" and doesn't provide enough pressure to feed the fuel, and the top 20% is considered a safety margin that most places will not fill incase of heat expansion, so in my 50 gallon tank I am only getting about 30 gals of usable gas.

also I use a 10 gallon forklift tank as a "jerry can" in case I am out and about and the main tank runs out. Then I just switch the hoses with a wrench and we're on the way for another 60 miles or so.

here's a link about tax credits and rebates but I haven't been able to make much sense of it yet...

http://alternativefuels.about.com/od.../a/afvfaq7.htm
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Last edited by Fiodh. Argus : 05-23-2007 at 03:39 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-23-2007, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRUTUS
you don't pay gasoline taxes on the propane that you buy for your rig.
There are books out there for propane installation unfortunately when they come up on E-Bay the bidding gets hot and heavy. Installation is pretty straight forward and there are a lot of threads here and on Pirate to help you.
Fuel mileage I don't know LOL with 37s on 3.73 gears my speedometer is so far off it ain't funny. Good thing engine will keep running no matter what direction it is pointed, no priming if you run it out, if you have a tank like mine you can hook the grill to it on the trail and have hot food. Your oil will stay cleaner longer.
Problems some times you have fun finding fuel especially in my case as the tank is bolted to the frame, that is why I drag the 100 gallon tank on the trailer with me. You will loose some fuel mileage the number I hear banded about is around 2% but you will make that up in the price per gallon which in my area for motor fuel is around $2.11 per gallon. If you use propane to heat your house here is a way to draw right off that tank and fill the average price for house hold use is $1.80 per gallon.
You will pay fuel tax if like me you have a truck mounted tank. Some places will not charge you but I find it is a good idea to have at least one ticket in your truck showing that you did . Like Jason said I pieced mine together off of E Bay and local finds. I do have the advantage in that BlackBart and his family have been using it for years.
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Quote:
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congrats...that's the first post on here I have absolutely no effing clue how to comment on.


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  #14  
Old 05-23-2007, 04:23 PM
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I think only in Canada it's 'illegal' to have the tank in an enclosed space. There's no reason you couldnt sink it down into the spare tire area, with some minor fabbing. That'd at least get you back SOME interior space in the back.
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  #15  
Old 05-23-2007, 04:45 PM
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AM am gonna be building a caddy 500 for my cherokee one day and I have been dreaming about building a multi port fuel injection system and wondering if it could be done, and how mutch money I would spend doing it. Plus theres tuneing, custom chips and all kinds of head aches. Plus I was thinking about running slightly higher compression for more power, and that would make me run premo gas. And with gas prices the way they are, that would really hurt the pocket book.

Seems like the more I read about propane, the more it appeals to me. Since I am building the engine, just bump up the compression a little more for the propane. It just seems like a computer-less fuel injection system to me. Plus the really clean burning pane giveing longer oil changes and a cleaner engine are a real plus.
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Old 05-23-2007, 07:08 PM
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Why can't you use the stock gas tank? Isn't propane more dangerous than gasoline? Wouldn't filling up be a pain in the butt? Heck where would you fill up at? Could you still use a carb?
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Last edited by dwrestle : 05-23-2007 at 07:11 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-23-2007, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwrestle
Why can't you use the stock gas tank? Isn't propane more dangerous than gasoline? Wouldn't filling up be a pain in the butt? Heck where would you fill up at? Could you still use a carb?

no.
no.
not really,
anywhere that sells it,
annnnnd yes.
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  #18  
Old 05-23-2007, 08:11 PM
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Fiodh. Argus Fiodh. Argus is offline
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howdy.

nope, we can't use the stock tank because propane is stored at 300 psi and is in liquid form at that pressure. Even to use a regular BBQ propane tank or standard propane cylinder, it needs to have a "liquid" port on it, which I believe accesses the bottom part of the tank through a tube, as opposed to a vapor valve which is at the top of most tanks with a nozzle. To use a BBQ cylinder I understand it needs to be inverted to let the liquid flow out the vapor valve, into the high pressure 300psi hose. forklift tanks have both liquid and vapor valves so can be used for both or hooked up to the grill for camping.

I guess filling is a bit of a pain at times, other times it is easier and the people are much more friendly, with no lines. I just love having the remote fill nozzle on the outside and chatting with the fill up people about the jeep.

it is a bit more volatile than gasoline and could blow up if really damaged, but the tanks are much much more robust than a standard gas tank, and if you roll over down a hill a couple of times, the odds are the tank is going to stay intact and not leak or blow up, while with a gasoline tank it's gonna be pouring out all over you as you struggle to exit the vehicle in flames....

just ask Bob!

or I had a friend who rolled his 76 Ferd F250 in a national forest and was fined $1000 for polluting when the dual tanks of gasoline emptied.

anyhow, to me it smells better and it's also 60% cleaner in ozone forming hydrocarbons so better for the ol' global warmin' and cleaner even than ethanol or natural gas. (just read that today at the goverment links above.) plus as mentioned, no carbon soot acting as sandpaper in your engine, so much longer engine life.

definitely worth a look. And the same carb can be used for a hydrogen set up if we ever get the opportunity.


some other notes I learned from a guy who did conversions... advance the timing 10 degrees past stock and disconnect the vacuum advance line , and use cooler spark plugs.

I would love to hear any other tips you guys who are running it have found?
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Last edited by Fiodh. Argus : 05-23-2007 at 08:16 PM.
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  #19  
Old 05-23-2007, 08:16 PM
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bigun bigun is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwrestle
Why can't you use the stock gas tank?
No propane has to be under pressure to remain a liquid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwrestle
Isn't propane more dangerous than gasoline?
Not really the tanks are stronger than your gasoline tank. You do need to have a way to inform rescue workers that you have propane on board because if the tank gets hot enough it could explode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwrestle
Wouldn't filling up be a pain in the butt?
Nope it is under pressure and generally takes no longer than filling with gasoline. When we fill off the trailer tank it can take up to 15 minutes or so simply because we are using the pressure off the tank and not pumping it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwrestle
Heck where would you fill up at?


KOAs, Hardware stores, Propane dealers, the propane tank in your back yard, the propane tank in somebody else's back yard (with permission of course), Gas stations...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwrestle
Could you still use a carb?

The setup I use is a dual fuel in other words I could use either gasoline or propane. I don't because it would to much of a hassle resetting the timing every time I switched. Now if you have a fuel injected with computer controlled ignition you would have the best of both worlds you could run gasoline to get to the trail then switch to propane on the trail. With a carb you have to run gasoline through it if IRC once for every two tanks of propane to keep the gaskets and seals wet.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambler68
congrats...that's the first post on here I have absolutely no effing clue how to comment on.


How you behave toward cats here below determines your status in Heaven.
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The birth of CROM is recorded here
http://www.alaska4x4network.com/showthread.php?t=7778
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  #20  
Old 05-23-2007, 08:23 PM
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cool
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