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Old 12-27-2012, 12:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
One can again get a PHILL home gas compressor for about $4,700.
No CNG stations anywhere near you ?
$ 4700 would buy a lot of gas.

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I drive a good deal more than the average Joe - about 30,000 miles a year.
That's what makes it viable.

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I can get the LS engine converted to CNG for about $9,000 installed.
That's steep.
A 4 in line conversion will run about 3000 - 3500 EUR locally.
(USD and EUR are worth about as much )
More cylinders means more injectors though, and you'll also need bigger tanks, but still ...

Quote:
CNG is much cleaner burning so maintenance is greatly reduced.
Power is often down by about 10% as well, unless it's restored by tuning the mixture, and power delivery is more gradual - hence CNG vehicles will feel more sluggish - so the tranny might cope better with the lower power

Less power means you're further up the load curve, which should be OK for MPG with steady driving - but not in the conditions where you need lots of power.

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At this stage I'm thinking a bi-fuel conversion. If CNG gets more commonly available (for trips) I'll go fully CNG.
The normal practice with conversions is that the regular fuel tank stays in place, so you always have an expensive back-up.

OEM car conversions usually sacrifice most of the regular fuel tank to mount the tanks - which also changes their official status to CNG car in the EU - on a light truck you'll probably have plenty of space to put the tanks.

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Old 12-27-2012, 05:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
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"...I'd be more favorable to a Diesel swap..."

Big Dave says:
Normally, I would be as well, but diesel is disproprotionately taxed, and EPA meddling has made suitable diesels a scarce commodity in the US.
Even if an engine such as the Cummins 4BT is technically-viable to be swapped in, the bureaucracy ruins it.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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But why stop at a simple engine swap. I can get the LS engine converted to CNG for about $9,000 installed.
Is that just the engine conversion, or does that include the tanks? You might be able to find a CNG/bi-fuel GM van to swap from for less.

My dad has looked into converting one of their vehicles to CNG over the last few years. Unfortunately, the EPA certified conversion kits are very expensive. There are many cheaper kits that are certified by international agencies, but they're technically illegal to use in a road vehicle in the US (offroad or racing are fine).
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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My dad has looked into converting one of their vehicles to CNG over the last few years. Unfortunately, the EPA certified conversion kits are very expensive. There are many cheaper kits that are certified by international agencies, but they're technically illegal to use in a road vehicle in the US (offroad or racing are fine).
As long as those non-certified cheaper kits retain a good safety level, you could manage the legal issues submitting the vehicle to a smog referee after the conversion.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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There are a couple of CNG stations in the Naptown area...about 25 miles from where I live.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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"...the damage unregulated fracking is doing to our fresh water and air quality"

Big Dave says:
I thought we agreed to keep the discussion on the cars.



"...I'd be more favorable to a Diesel swap..."

Big Dave says:
Normally, I would be as well, but diesel is disproprotionately taxed, and EPA meddling has made suitable diesels a scarce commodity in the US.
I've been driving on biodiesel for 8 years on 3 separate vehicles, and I think I am fairly informed. You asked for opinions. I gave you mine.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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So, are you still considering the CNG conversion?
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Someone mentioned it up top...about using an existing fueling station if its available rather than using a PHIL home station. they are expensive and slow. I would wait for the technology to catch up or someone to engineer a newer/better system because I believe the demand and opportunity is out there. In regards to the CNG retrofit there assuming you do have the fuel supply available there are some great kits out there now. Especially the newer injection kits. i have retrofitted several vehicles both using the venturi systems and have recently done a couple injected systems that were slick. They took a little longer for the install time but overall where possible i will use the injected systems from now on. They were worth the price and the extra install time. So if you are in the market and the vehicle you are wanting to convert is accessible for the injection systems, spend the extra money and you will absolutely be grateful you did.
Best of luck on your endeavor.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:39 AM   #19 (permalink)
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For what its worth...they aren't fracking for the natural gas. They are fracking for the crude. Natural gas is simply present in the wells they dig and they typically vent it or burn it off because they don't think its valuable enough to capture and transport it.....Sorry for the rant.
Other than that CNG is nearly 88% times cleaner than gasoline that regular vehicles are burning and it costs a fraction of what gasoline costs. Unfortunately the USA hasn't caught the picture like the rest of the world including the middle east in developing an ifrastructure to use it for vehicles. It is nearly as efficient if your vehicle is tuned for it and for the price a little less performance won't hurt me.
As far as mileage and maintenance goes on CNG because it is a cleaner fuel it causes less carbon build up for cleaner cylinders which results in a longer lasting higher engine performance for again less emissions. If you have a good cng kit installed it will run well and not have any major maintenance required. I have run CNG on both of my vehicles for the last 4.5 years and only had to replace a simple stepper motor on one system. (it had been on the vehicle since it was brand new. Over 10 yrs old) Also because it is cleaner you can run longer between oil changes. Typically you would need to perform the 3k-4k miles oil change and now my oil is still a light maple color at that point so i extended it to 5.5k miles and it still looks good.
If you are new to the CNG market and you are looking for a good and reliable vehicle. Look for a newer cavalier. They give you the benefit of a bifuel so you aren't left stranded if there isn't CNG available. If you want to go for an aftermarket CNK kit there are dozens of reputable kits available. I've installed several and they run great along with the benefit of running on both CNG and regular gas if needed. I believe the only draw back it the space the tank requires. It consumes your truck in a car and about the size of a truck tool box in a truck. Its worth it to me. hope this helped and good luck.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:28 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Yeah. I'm still considering the conversion.

Buying a Phill is very salty. It might be more practical to install 20 gge CNG tanks (and lose all my trunk) to make the 50 mile round trip for CNG practical. 20 gallons would get me through a week of commuting. Maybe a lot of tankage will hold me until somebody builds CNG filling station close by. I see that GE/Chesapeake Energy are no offering a package CNG compressor fill setup for public commercial use.

Going that far would get me moving on installing a six-speed (gaining 1-3 MPG). This may be my first move under any circumstance.

The performance loss is overcome with bigger CNG injectors. Lingenfelter (the hot rod engine builders) have messed with CNG LS7s. Lingenfelter would not put their name on a dog.

I have to talk to an installer. It may be the EPA restrictions have relaxed on my thirteen year-old-car.

If I had a source of grease, I would be using biodiesel. It is an outstanding idea. There is a guy about a hundred miles away that refines ASTM-quality B100 and will do business on a "sharecropper" basis. (I bring him 100 gal of cooking grease, he gives me 25 gal of high-quality B100) To operate my truck 24 weeks a year i need about 500 gallons of B100 so I'd need 2,000 gallons of grease. I just don't have that much of a source of restaurant grease.

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