Gas to Propane

Jersey Devil

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Jul 5, 2002
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Has anyone modified their automobiles from gas to propane?
If so, are the propane prices that much less? Has it been much enough of a savings to recommend it?
 

arturo

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Mar 14, 2002
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much less per gallon...for now

Jersey Devil said:
Has anyone modified their automobiles from gas to propane?
If so, are the propane prices that much less? Has it been much enough of a savings to recommend it?
Subsidized propane (the only kind most people use) sells for RD$25/gallon. That's a clear cost advantage over what you see at the gasoline stations. There is a catch. In order to fully comply with IMF accords, the government would have to eliminate the subsidy. If the subsidy were to disappear, the cost of propane would increase by an estimated 89%, which would bring it in line with what regular diesel costs.

Keep in mind that propane powered vehicles generally enjoy a miles per gallon advantage over gasoline powered vehicles. Even without the subsidy, you would save money. The conversion cost is between RD$5000 and RD$6000 for a professionally installed system. I don't recommend using the so-called "patio" version unless you want to see what it's like to be cannonball.

Happy motoring
 

macocael

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Aug 3, 2004
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It is definitely a big savings Jersey Devil. I recently drove from the Capital ot Miches, over the Eastern Cordillera there (beautiful!) and back again all for about 600 pesos of "gas." Gasoline would be have been considerably more expensive, probably three times as much. Somewhere on this board somepeople commented that the propane might be hard on your engine as it is "dry" combustible or something like that, but I am no car mechanic and cannot advise you about that. I know that many of my friends have converted though and seem to have no problems.
 

Rocky

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Apr 4, 2002
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To clarify a point.
You get a bit less miles to the propane gallon, than with gasoline, however, as mentioned, the savings are still very substantial, for the lower price per gallon.
You can expect approx a 60% savings.
I investigated the heck out of the conversion, as I wanted to convert my RockyMobile/Olsmobile 98 with it's gas guzzling V6.
As it turned out, there was a run on installations at the time, and I couldn't get a decent size tank, so the plans got delayed.
Along the way, I kept on asking questions and observing, and it is the general concensus that it damages your engine.
Apparently this would not be the case in other parts of the world, as the standards are higher for the equipment, but it is the case here.
If you want to know for sure, just go hang out at a busy propane gas station, listen to the exhaust coming out from the propane public cars coming in to fill up.
They sound like they are gurgling under water, a little like an inboard/outboard diesel engine on a boat.
The guys who run the station, if they are honest with you, will also tell you that it prematurely wears out car engines.
My other source of info was from Espaillat Motors, and being the good friends that they are, they highly recommended that I do not make the conversion, specially with an old engine, as it could have been the straw that broke the camel's back.
 
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Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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gas conversions do hurt engines. Howevver, the odd tank of real gasoline will keep things on a fairlyeven keel for a lot longer. Gasoline additives will also help.

the price differential is now about80-90 pesos a gallon! My son runs a big Chevy pickup on propane, and gets 11 kilometers+ per gallon. He only gets 18 kilometers a gallon on gasoline (HWY), so he uses 3 gallons +/- to go 36 kilometer on gas ($135) versus two gallons ($250) to travel 36 kilometers,

He just came back from Punta Cana. i am going to ask him about this..

later,

HB :D:D
 

macocael

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Aug 3, 2004
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so once you install whatever you need to convert to propane, you can in fact alternate with gasoline? And why is it, then, that the propane hurts the engine, what specifically is the problem?
 

Rocky

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macocael said:
so once you install whatever you need to convert to propane, you can in fact alternate with gasoline? And why is it, then, that the propane hurts the engine, what specifically is the problem?
The modern conversions, included internal switches to go from gas to gasoline.
As for the damage, they refer to it around here as being "dry".
I suppose it means that gas does not lubricate as much as gasoline.
Maybe the engine runs hotter too, like with a lean mixture, that will definitely burn out an engine before it's time.
 

macocael

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Especially in the tropics! well I am torn, because I was so impressed by our savings on the trip to Miches that i began tothink this could be the way to go when I get a 4wheel vehicle. Thanks Rocky.
 

mountainfrog

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Dec 8, 2003
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Dry Fuel

Rocky said:
.... gas does not lubricate as much as gasoline.
Leaded petrol is supposed to lower the tendency to "knock" and lubricate valve seats. Especially older engines may suffer from unleaded fuel and lead free propane gas.
It may help to switch to gasoline from time to time and add a good amount of additives which modern liquid fuels have.

m'frog
 
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