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  1. #1
    Sr. Apprentice rwhitbeck's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Default Natural Gas for Fuel??

    Have any of you or anyone you know converted a GM 350 with TBI to run on Natural Gas?? Any idea of the cost involved? How does it affect the power of the vehicle? I have been tossing around the idea of converting mine to CNG to try to save on fuel prices, but I will still need to be able to tow a trailer with a '76 CJ7 Rock Crawler on it.

    Honest opinions...good or bad...I want to hear them all!! Just remember, I want opinions about the conversion...not about how big an idiot I might be for considering it!

    If not CNG, any other ideas...maybe MPI instead of the TBI??

    Thanks!!

    Ron

    shadetree13@iwon.com
    '88 GMC Suburban
    '76 CJ7 (Project Trail Rig)

  2. #2

    Default

    Hmm....It sounds feasible. I believe there are some school bus drivers around my area that converted their gas buses to run on propane. I do believe you would lose power and pickup by switching to CNG. I think that it does not burn as energetically as gas does. But, in tradeoff for lower gas prices, it may be worth it..
    Christopher

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 265K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half



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  3. #3
    Moderator
    Davandy's Avatar
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    Default

    The conversion to propane in Belgium cost $2000 for a TBI.
    If you want gas injection it's more like $3000

    The loss of power is about -10% the fuel consumption is also + 10%
    Gas injection doesn’t have the loss of power.

    I drive around on propane for years. Can you blame me on $7 a gallon for gas.
    Peter Smet
    Haasdonk, Belgium

  4. #4

    Default

    Thats a perfectly good question, I think everybody is pretty much fed up with fuel prices. Try this guy, I just read a hand full of articles...

    http://www.altfuels.org/index.html



    Jamie

    2007 Ford E250(Work van) (Ya, Ya, shut up!)
    1996 GMC Sierra SLE 1500 5.7L/4L60E

  5. #5

    Default

    Propane's actually a terrific idea, even better for your rock crawler. Propane has higher BTU's than gasoline. If you buy propane as a vehicle fuel from a designated fueling station vice buying a local heating supplier or RV refill center you'll save money at fill up time, it's cheaper as a vehicle fuel than as a home heating fuel.

    Here's a good website for some research:
    http://www.gotpropane.com/

    I bought all the parts to convert my 91 rock crawler from this company. they do a lot of Toyota conversions, but have info and parts pertaining to all makes.

  6. #6
    Legend
    TrailLeadr's Avatar
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    Default

    One of the problems many nay-sayers have is that they experience a lack of power when switching to LPG, or CNG. The reason for this is that they took a gas engine, and did a direct conversion of the fuel system alone, and did nothing to the engine.

    To get the best results from going to CNG, or LPG, you need to have a custom cam ground for your engine for starters.
    You would also want to consider going with a higher compression piston. Since propane, and natural gas both compress well you can get some trully sweet twisty torque out of your engine. Hp may drop, but that should be of little concern since you're going to be looking for economy before performance. Don't get me wrong, the performance will still be there!

    The conversion can be done without engine modification, but you'll be happier with the engine mods done, than without.

    You'd in fact be very wise to consider the change now, since once more people start going that route, I doubt it will get any cheaper. The whole supply, and demand thing....

    You can pick up propane systems on Ebay. Two major brands are impco, and Century.

    Davandy has had experience with driving a burb which was converted to LPG. You might want to pick his brain on this.
    Last edited by TrailLeadr; 05-16-2007 at 11:23 AM.
    Patrick
    Rhode Island


  7. #7

    Default

    I should merge all of these natural gas threads together.

    Steve
    10 Chevy Traverse LT AWD
    02 Chevy Trailblazer LS (110K+ miles - loaded except for 4WD - WRECKED!)
    99 Chevy Cavalier LS (105K+ miles - commuter car)
    78 Chevy Suburban Silverado (454, 3/4 ton)
    62 GMC 3/4 ton Pickup (350 police interceptor)

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  8. #8

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    @rwhitbeck Seven years later, did you ever do the conversion?
    Clint (TX) 2001 Silverado LS 4.8L auto 2wd ECSB [GARAGE]
    Gasoline or gunpowder: If you ain't burning one, you ain't having fun!
    NRA Endowment Member 5 24 48 88 - Hendrick Motorsports FTW!

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