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CNG conversion?

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05 Jul 2011, 10:10 am
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Default CNG conversion?

has anyone installed or heard of someone installing a CNG conversion kit on a PT. can it be done or will it cause the engine to go into limp mode if it senses a lean condition and the check engine light comes on?
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Old 05 Jul 2011, 11:10 am
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Default Re: CNG conversion?

Are you talking about Compressed Natural Gas? Don't think anyone's done it on this forum, but could be wrong.
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Old 05 Jul 2011, 11:30 am
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Default Re: CNG conversion?

I believe saw a guy from France or another country in Europe here at the forums with compressed natural gas
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Old 05 Jul 2011, 10:15 pm
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Default Re: CNG conversion?

crewzin.... yeah, compressed natural gas, they sell kits on ebay for around 600 bucks and natural gas is only 1.50 a gal. it would pay for itself pretty quick.
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Old 05 Jul 2011, 11:44 pm
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Default Re: CNG conversion?

I'm gonna wager you would need a full ECU reprogram to run CNG and you'd want to do that anyway. One of the benefits of CNG is the ability to run obscene mixtures and ignition timing due to the octane-equivalents of CNG.

I'd also wager you'd need a fair amount of work to run an alternative fuel (CNG, LPG, E85) on a car with returnless fuel injection. The nature of that system really complicates things.

Don't forget that - price notwithstanding - CNG comes with a hefty range penalty. CNG is stored at very high pressure and requires extremely stout tanks, and the energy density of CNG is quite a bit lower than gasoline. In order to maintain the same range you engine with a gasoline engine, you need to carry - by volume - a lot more CNG. The tanks are heavy, take up a fair amount of space, and are VERY costly. You will not maintain a ~300 mile range for anything approaching free.

I don't know what a $600 ebay kit actually does, but I can't imagine it puts you on the road unless you have some really strong automotive knowledge and fabrication skills. In California, Cal-EPA certified CNG conversions cost in the neighborhood of $5k-$10k, plus around $2000-$3000 per tank. I worked with a local courier/delivery service about eight years ago, and we looked into what it would cost to convert their small fleet of pickups to a variety of fuels back when we thought gas prices would spiral out of control. At the end of the day, even with the mileage a full-time delivery truck (Rangers and such) the economy didn't really work out for many years, often longer than the expected service life of the vehicle.

Just my $0.02, YMMV

Edit: I just looked on ebay, and I presume I found the kit you're talking about. I would seriously check local laws - I don't care what those auctions say, there is no way that those are road legal on any vehicle with Federally mandated emissions requirements. I also seriously question the wisdom of installing 3000psi of combustible gas on a road-going vehicle via a $600 kit I bought on ebay from a dude with a (2) feedback rating. UNLESS you also have a Costco membership and stock up on marshmallows before the maiden voyage.

Last edited by thesameguy; 05 Jul 2011 at 11:56 pm.
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Old 06 Jul 2011, 07:24 am
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Default Re: CNG conversion?

thanks for crushing my dreams......just kidding. thats good info. i guess when you factor in the fact that the nearest filling station is 2+ hours away, it isnt the best idea.....i did see a video on youtube and someone did a cng conversion for a grand......i'll stick to the ole gasoline i guess.....but i do like marshmallows....
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Old 06 Jul 2011, 10:51 am
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Default Re: CNG conversion?

CNG conversions can be practical and effective if you live in a city that has CNG stations. I see a few CNG vehicles here in Salt Lake every day and there are several shops in town that specialize in conversions. Getting 300mi out of a $20 fill up is great and the system will pay for itself over time. If you really want to get into the CNG market I suggest buying a used CNG vehicle, the conversions cost a few grand but if you buy used the original owner took the hit for that. Used CNG vehicles are actually cheaper than their gasoline alternatives.

If CNG is practical in your area local listings will show some CNG vehicles available. The most common CNG cars are Crown Vics, Civics and Cavaliers. I have also seen Ford Contours and full-size trucks/vans.
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