CNG conversion in the States

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by Crawdaddy, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. ahm1127

    ahm1127 Rockstar 100 Posts

    This was great, very interesting! Thanks
  2. Ethan

    Ethan Rockstar 100 Posts

    Yes and no. If you change out the intake manifold to accept a carb, the engine will run just fine, but the transmission wont like you. Likewise, TBI is still using electronically controlled fuel injectors, a TP sensor, and O2 sensors, so it can be considered a EFI motor as well.

    I worked on a 89 S-10 with a 4.3 that had the propane and fuel system on it from the factory, had a separate computer for the propane injection inside the engine bay, and looked very complicated, something I would not want to work on.
  3. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    This is getting popular again.
  4. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy has no brakes Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    The price of gas jumped up nearly 10 cents in the past 24 hours to $3.29 here, but it's still economically infeasible to convert my truck to use CNG. Between the cost of the conversion and not having any local fueling stations, I just can't make the numbers work.
  5. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    That's a good point. I just went to a CNG station opening yesterday in Grapevine, Texas (which is right in the middle of DFW) and it was opened by Classic Chevrolet (the biggest Chevy dealer in the US) and it's basically going to be used mostly by municipalities and government vehicles, but there are more and more fleet service vehicles that are starting to think about switching, or have already switched to CNG to power their fleets.

    Once you get into a 10, 20, 50 or larger fleet, the cost per conversion comes down quite a bit. Then you take into account that you'll have to fill up more often and give up quite a bit of room inside of the bed of a pickup truck (see my photos) or in the trunk/rear seat of a car. That's annoying to many consumers, but it wouldn't be a deal breaker for a business that could save a lot of money on a consistent basis.

    They did throw out the number that 90% of the CNG used in the US is produced in the US. That's something that's very interesting to say the least.
  6. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy has no brakes Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    CNG is definitely a very fleet-oriented product in the US as of now. When you have a fleet, you can easily justify the cost and space to have a CNG fueling station on-site just like many fleets have gas/diesel fueling stations on-site.

    As for space lost, that is indeed a very consumer-oriented concern. I don't know how fleets handle car tank installation, but the truck/full-size van installs work out so well you'd never know it was a CNG-fueled vehicle if the fleet owner didn't plaster a huge sign on the vehicle bragging about it. They can typically cram the tank on a pickup on the frame rail under the bed and between the gas tank or spare tire and the bumper on a van. I'm sure they also put smaller tanks on the fleet vehicles since it's assumed the vehicle won't go significantly out of range of the nearest fleet-owned fueling station and will return daily to the yard to get refueled.

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