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Old 06-25-2012, 10:39 PM   #1
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Anyone done an LPG or Natural gas conversion to a Ford van?

These kits are very common and relatively unregulated in Europe, where LP gas is much, much cheaper than petrol/gas but apparently are much less common here for some reason. It doesn't sound like a hugely complex process and it seems to me that it might be a way of easing the burden of 12-13 mpg a bit.

Anyone have any experience?
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:27 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone done an LPG or Natural gas conversion to a Ford v

$16,500

http://www.worldcng.com/e350vanflyer.pdf
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:07 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone done an LPG or Natural gas conversion to a Ford v

Hi;

There are lots of mid nineties CNG Dodge vans out there for sale and cheap. It would have all the parts in it except for an adapter to the Ford engine intake and a computer/controller. $16K would buy plenty of custom work to overcome these challenges.

I bet you can even build it so the gasoline systems stay in place and the CNG is at the flip of a switch.

Did Ford ever build CNG vans?

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Gavin
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:32 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone done an LPG or Natural gas conversion to a Ford v

I thought most CNG vans are converted not factory installed. It was quite popular in the 80s- late 90s.
It was as far as I know realitivly easy when things were carburetored or throttle body injected. Multi Port injection might be quite hard. Any of the ones I have seen are only CNG and could no longer run on gasoline.

I think like many thing you should ask youself how much money am I really going to save by doing this?
Say you get even 25% better mileage and have lower cost fuel, how long would it cost to even get your $2,000 back?
Even ar $4.00 a gallon $2,000 is a lot of gas...
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:22 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone done an LPG or Natural gas conversion to a Ford v

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrasport12
I think like many thing you should ask youself how much money am I really going to save by doing this?
Say you get even 25% better mileage and have lower cost fuel, how long would it cost to even get your $2,000 back?
Even ar $4.00 a gallon $2,000 is a lot of gas...
The gas mileage remains the same. Natural Gas is measured and sold as an equivalent to a gallon of gasoline so 1 GGE of natural gas has the equivalent number of BTU's as a gallon of gasoline.

1 GGE of Natural Gas is about $2.25 right now and regular gasoline is selling for $3.55/gallon. At current prices you would need to burn 12,692 GGE's before you start saving any money.

Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of natural gas because almost all of it comes from within US borders and it burns cleaner than gasoline but there's no savings in a conversion. If Ford produced a facatory NG van it might make more sense.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:15 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone done an LPG or Natural gas conversion to a Ford v

Food for thought.

http://www.at.ford.com/news/cn/Pages/Ve ... alGas.aspx

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... rid=229466

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... rid=229466

http://www.cngvehicles.net/2000-Ford-Ec ... rris-OK-49

http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/may-2011-for ... cng/552245
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File Type: pdf Ford E350 Sales Sheet 10-14-08 (2).pdf (842.4 KB, 2 views)
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:24 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone done an LPG or Natural gas conversion to a Ford v

I was thinking seriously about doing a dual-fuel CNG conversion.

It's not very expensive to do it. I'm a bit suprised to hear $16k+. But maybe a straight conversion to CNG has other considerations that I'm unaware of.

Converting to pushbutton-switchable gasoline/CNG seems to be around $4000.

Here in NV CNG is very expensive. Currently about $2.75gge (gasoline gallon equivalent). Of course even at $2.75 it's about $1 cheaper than gasoline in NV. But in UT for instance, it is half the price in NV (or less -- as low as $1.10). And UT has lots of CNG refill stations. There are only a handful in NV.

There were some interesting advantages to a dual-fuel conversion:
1) CNG would reduce fuel costs (and arguably maintenance too since it burns much cleaner than gasoline)
2) But being able to continue to burn gasoline if desired means convenience. Especially being able to get a usable fuel in remote areas of the West
3) The combination of gasoline and CNG has the potential to be a range extender. For instance, a 45gallon TransferFlow tank costs $2k+ installed. So if you were thinking of installing the TransferFlow tank to get the extra range, you'd be halfway to the price of the CNG dual-fuel conversion which also provides extended range. I had visions of taking off from Las Vegas with gasoline and CNG tanks full. Drive on gasoline throughout the state. When extended range is needed, switch over to CNG. If in other states where CNG is more available, drive on CNG primarily for cost, use gasoline for extended range. Eliminate having to carry extra fuel canisters, or paying $2k or so for 10-15gallons of extra fuel in the main tank.

The availability and price of CNG in NV were glitches but not show stoppers. The show stopper was this: CNG fuel tanks are very bulky for the amount they hold. Enough so that meaningful amounts of fuel consume more space than I was willing to sacrifice.


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Old 06-28-2012, 09:13 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone done an LPG or Natural gas conversion to a Ford v

Thanks for the input everyone, it helps make a decision easier when others have done or thought about doing the same thing. Redrock, what company where you looking at using? I was thinking of doing it myself if I do it. As for tank space, I have more than I need under my van, even more so if I move the spare.

I shall have to talk to my friend in the UK. He bought a 40 foot RV in Florida and shipped it home, adding a LP conversion system to the 460 Ford V8 to make it affordable to drive. From what I have seen online, DIY kits in the UK are around $1000, though you then have to buy the tanks too.

What I did come across was a home compressor system for CNG that would be great for the commuter car at home, though it's so slow it takes all night to fill a tank.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:10 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone done an LPG or Natural gas conversion to a Ford v

This is an interesting thread but I didn't know anything on the subject. Found this to be a good primer: Should You Convert Your Car to Natural Gas?

With all the fracking going on in the area there should be more in the way of CNG infrastructure but for me the closest fueling station is almost an hour's drive away.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:34 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone done an LPG or Natural gas conversion to a Ford v

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVvan
This is an interesting thread but I didn't know anything on the subject. Found this to be a good primer: Should You Convert Your Car to Natural Gas?

With all the fracking going on in the area there should be more in the way of CNG infrastructure but for me the closest fueling station is almost an hour's drive away.
The economics of converting are quite good for vehicles with high annual mileage. Long haul semi trucks are the best example and many fleets are already starting to convert. Nationwide, the payback period for semi trucks with 100k annual mileage is about 4-5 months at current CNG prices relative to diesel.

But for personal use, the payback period is much longer and tough to calculate with precision because the costs vary. But IMHO, the bigger factor is availability of CNG refueling sites. In LA I know of just two that are available to the general public.

I'm pretty sure that I'll be driving a CNG SMB someday, but don't feel any urgency to be an early adopter until the refueling infrastructure is more fully developed.

Good luck.
R
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