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Propane conversion article for aircooled bus, interesting
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krisbeetle
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:00 pm    Post subject: Propane conversion article for aircooled bus, interesting Reply with quote

Hi, Im a splitty owner and also interested in different energy conversions, bio-diesel ect, and found this interesting article about a guy who converted his bus to run on propane.


http://www.motherearthnews.com/Alternative-Energy/1972-05-01/Convert-Your-Car-To-Propane.aspx

thought I would share it and see what you guys thought? have you ever seen a propane converted air cooled engine before? I have only seem jimmy vans and American cars converted before.
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VW industrial powered Zamboni's burn propane.
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JOGR
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder when that article was written. I sell propane at my hardware store and fill up RV's and the snap-on guys truck, etc. Its 2.50/gallon.

Our distributor's truck runs on LP, and he says he can run it for 6 months and the oil comes out looking like it did when it went in. He's got something like 400k miles on his v8 chevy with no internal work.
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cdennisg Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:22 pm    Post subject: propane gas Reply with quote

I have a 58 single cab I recently pulled out of the woods. On the driver's door is a bumper sticker that says "This is a CLEAN MACHINE using Doxol motor fuel" There is no longer any evidence of any propane conversion but the truck is missing the carb and the stock fuel tank is still there so who knows. It was last registered in 92 in WA state.

I remember an old issue of Hot VWs from the early 90's (maybe?) that had a propane powered bug featured. I will look in my back issues to see if I can find it.
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krisbeetle
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would be awesome cdennisg!

also I did some more searching and this article has come up on the samba before, but there is not alot of aircooled propane conversions floating around. One guy in Italy has one in a bug and is a member of this site.
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cdennisg Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sticker actually reads "This is a CLEAN MACHINE using Doxol Propane Motor Fuel" That would make more sense for this thread.
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Lind
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigPaddle wrote:
I wonder when that article was written. I sell propane at my hardware store and fill up RV's and the snap-on guys truck, etc. Its 2.50/gallon.

Our distributor's truck runs on LP, and he says he can run it for 6 months and the oil comes out looking like it did when it went in. He's got something like 400k miles on his v8 chevy with no internal work.

the article was written in '72 according to the url.

propane is much cleaner than gasoline, but it has something like 80% of the BTUs, so there is less power. I have always wanted to do a propane conversion, but it is way down on my project list right now.
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JOGR
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be interested in this if I could mount the tank in the tank in the stock location to maintain a stock appearance. Of course you would loose the dual fuel option. Where else could the tank go besides the roof?
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krisbeetle
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

could mount it in the cargo area, but Im not to fond of drilling mounting/ fuel line holes in my bus..... I dont know why you would mount a tank on the roof...... maybe if you had a roof rack to put it in...... or use a small propane tank and put it in one of those big old vintage ice coolers.....

I think one of the main problems is the power loss though 20-25% for acvw's. so you would probably want a 1776 to compensate or build the engine with a higher CR to take advantage of propanes higher octane and then according to this guy in Italy it is only a 5% loss in power (with his set up).
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peaceful warrior
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigPaddle wrote:
I would be interested in this if I could mount the tank in the tank in the stock location to maintain a stock appearance. Of course you would loose the dual fuel option. Where else could the tank go besides the roof?

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think because Propane is heavier than air, it has to be up high to get a gravity feed. Otherwise the tank would have to be pressurized. Something I seem to remember from some safety training course I took eons ago.
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iltis74
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You would have to have it pressurized. Height won't matter. One thing to look into is whether or not anyone can legally refill it if it is mounted inside an enclosed vehicle. Leakage due to overfilling or a faulty valve may be a liability, I would think. I know that I can not pick up oxy/acetylene bottles in the car for this reason, and the FAA will not allow passengers in a small plane carrying a propane tank. Of course the FAA is concerned with pressure changes and rather tight to begin with, but there may be a legal issue involved sticking it in the cargo area. Best to find out first.
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VW_MAN_73
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the site krisbeetle Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:15 am    Post subject: tank location Reply with quote

A double or single cab would be a good candidate. Plenty of room to hide the tank.
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JOGR
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it would not be able to be in the cargo area. ou are not supposed to even transport LP gas in your car or even a trunk. having it in the engine compartment might even be illegal - but the gas tank is there so you'd think it would be okay.. but vintage buses don't exactly meet current safety standards...

I think the DC/SC would be perfect, put it in the treasure chest - perfect. Man I want a double cab!
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Ellectronico
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would like to bring this back up. Has anyone else done this conversion?
The Dual fuel option would be a fun project!
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We (the old mechanic) at my shop used to build the VW engines for the Zambonis, but they have since phased them out and we hsve not built one for 8 years or so!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

microbus wrote:
We (the old mechanic) at my shop used to build the VW engines for the Zambonis, but they have since phased them out and we hsve not built one for 8 years or so!


thats cool. i remember reading about the Zamboni engines but it was years ago and i cant find the link.

Im mostly interested in the placement and connection of the converter and also the installation of the carb jet. i have yet to find any pictures of an air cooled LP conversion.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested in running my 1971 Karmann Ghia partially on propane. I read something like propane is hard to start when the motor is cold and burns hotter when running so it makes sense to just add a separate LNG tank and injectors with valves for controlling the switch or ratio. The reason I want to do this is because since ethanol is now sold at every gas station in "up to 10%" of the fuel, my car runs like crap whenever it rains, since ethanol absorbs moisture. Not to mention the gradual lowering of octane ratings of gasoline sold in the US. VW has a minimum octane rating of 91 displayed on a sticker inside the gas flap, and I can see that soon pump gas will fall below that. I can remember when 91 octane was the regular grade and 98 to as high as 105 or even 108 were the premium grades, gasoline was pink in color and had a potent smell, now when I inspect the fuel it is pale yellow and has much less odor resembling something like "diesel lite", and my old VW just doesn't run well on this crappy gas. With increased demand from China and India coupled with diminishing resources I am trying to figure out how to economically and reliably continue to drive my car every day. Electric conversion is not an option since the batteries are expensive and provide only about 100 mile range. Propane is an available fuel source and burns clean as I understand but would be different than conventional gasoline.
I am looking for more info on this but it's kind of hard to find because until now I don't think there may have been much need to use anything else, but I am starting to investigate the possibilities.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do a search for "Impco" and "Century" they are both suppliers of propane conversions. There are a few more but that will give you a start. I have dealt with vehicles running propane since the 50s. It is a very clean-burning fuel and does not have the hydro-carbons in it that gas does, hence the clean looking oil after use as there are no deposits from the fuel. You will lose about 6 to 8 percent of the power because of the lower BTU content. It is actually a very viable alternative fuel.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't see for the life of me why this would be a worthwhile endeavor.

No, the engine will not last longer on propane, it will be very hard on it.

When I asked Bob Donalds once ( who built scores of sp engines for Zambonis ) what the propane was was like he said.

"Imagine a 16 kid driving a bus up mount everest"

Its way hard on the valvetrain.

and thats just what I want in a bus, to have less power and have to bum around for the cheapest propane Rolling Eyes
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