Natural Gas for Fuel??

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by rwhitbeck, May 15, 2007.

  1. rwhitbeck

    rwhitbeck Rockstar

    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??

  2. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    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..
  3. Davandy

    Davandy Moderator 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    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. :mad:
  4. Cableguy

    Cableguy Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    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...
  5. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    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:

    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. TrailLeadr

    TrailLeadr Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    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: May 16, 2007
  7. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I should merge all of these natural gas threads together.
  8. McClintoc

    McClintoc ɹoʇɐɹǝpoɯ Staff Member 3 Years 1000 Posts

    [MENTION=14635]rwhitbeck[/MENTION] Seven years later, did you ever do the conversion?

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