To...Porpane..<or Not>...to Propane...tis the question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by fordy, Aug 28, 2004.

  1. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...............I need several 2nd. opinion(s) ......In the garage portion of my 40x40 bldg. i have a 77 f250, 4x4 , it has had : a completely rebuilt 6.6 liter(400 cu. in.) engine with about 3k miles , a rebuilt xfer case that I installed a bearing and seal kit into , all new ujoints , complete brake overhaul , new mc and vacuum cannister , new front brake lines . And, I have just finished a power steering modification that updates the old ford factory tractor style ps with the addition of a 78-79, hd ps sector box for a 4x4. To do this I had to pull all the left front qtr. panel, inner panel and the cross member panel which contains the radiator . I've probably got around 11k invested not counting my labor . I love old ford trucks!! I list all this info so you'll will have a feel for my attachment to this truck . OK.....when the mechanic rebuilt the engine we put 9:1 flattop pistons in and worked the heads completely . The mechinist thinks its around 10.25:1 CPR . It runs Very well for a "farm truck and gets... :waa: :waa: around 8 mpg , OUCH . So, I've been mulling over the idea of adding a Propane Fuel System , which would be ideal for an engine that has a 10.25:1 CPR . Clean burn , but at a 10% loss of overall Hp and Torque . The Propane folks informed me that I have to take it to Dallas, Tx to a company that does these type conversions . The quote is around 1500 which includes a 100 gallon tank . My other option would be to find an older truck with a complete propane system and salvage as many parts as possible and update\replace whatever is not working . Of course I could refill the 100 gallon tank on the truck with Propane from my 500 gallon Home tank (no road tax-farm use :p )...which would mitigate the fuel cost somewhat.....I need some feedback here on what you'll think about my idea....Please be objective as you can't hurt my feelings , fordy... :eek: :)
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Does this truck presently have a 4 barrel carb? If yes you might try putting in smaller jets - and keep your foot out of it; except when your blowing off the smartelicky kid with his new rice burner! If you live in flat country the propane chang over is practical, if your in hilly country - you will be sorry.
     

  3. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Kin and neighbors are kind of funny when it comes to your not paying your fair share of road taxes by using an alternative fuel illegally. You might just reap their wrath by being turned in, and penalities are severe.

    Farm use means just that, used strictly on the farm for such things as flame cultivation, tractor fuel, etc., not on roadways.

    You asked for opinions and mine is: Please don't do it. Such acts by one tends to give all farmers bad reputations after being caught, and make no mistake you will eventually be caught.
     
  4. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    I worked for a propane company for about 13 years and all of the trucks were propane powered. Propane develops slightly less horse power than gasoline but I never really noticed a big difference in performance. But I am a pretty sane driver, not really a leadfoot. Propane burns clean and the engine life should be significantly longer than a gasoline engine. But there is more to a truck than the engine so the other parts will wear like always. And this is a Ford........just kidding. I'm a GM kind of guy. Every time I buy a Ford it just breaks and breaks and breaks. So I quit.
    I heard that Ford was now installing 12 volt heat tape in the rear bumpers on the new ones. It's for the people up north, so they don't freeze their hands when they are pushing them in the wintertime............
     
  5. charles

    charles Well-Known Member

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    "Farm use means just that, used strictly on the farm for such things as flame cultivation, tractor fuel, etc., not on roadways."


    In my state you expected to use farm vehicles on public roadways and do. If you don't use them on the public roadways why bother to get plates for them?
     
  6. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ....................Thanks , I appreciate ALL points of view . Now , if somebody will critique the Question I origionally asked we can move forward.....fordy... :eek: :)
     
  7. twohawlks

    twohawlks Member

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    I would go with a dual fuel set up, but for good advice I would
    get in touch with Hoot if he is still arround I belive he was in the propane business!
     
  8. Old Jack

    Old Jack Truth Seeker

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    I've been thinking about doing the same thing but with nat gas.
    I found a scrapyard that has several propane trucks w/shot rear ends.
     
  9. MikeD

    MikeD Well-Known Member

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    Not having propane knowledge I'll throw the only thing I can think of out there. If you're not already, you may want to look into a "performance" air intake system and maybe one or two other aftermarket additions to the engine in order to help increase mileage while not sacrificing HP. Something along the lines of a K&N Tornado air intake coupled with a better distributor and/or ignition system might make enough of a difference for you. I know when I rebuilt my 85 Chevy 305 years back I was surprised at the comparable cost of some "performance" parts vs. "stock". A Corvette L81 cam shaft, for instance, was comparable in price to a stock cam for the same engine - according to my builder.

    From my limited experience and conversations with hobbyist "wrenchers" stock vehicles, regardless of age or "species", simply are not set up and/or programmed for optimum efficiency.

    Just my .02... Feel free to give me back change...:)
     
  10. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    HEY! Schwans has PROPANE!!!
    [​IMG]

    BTW Schwans is one of only a handfull of food makers that are owned by Americans.

    [​IMG]

    and they deliver it RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR!
     
  11. Farmer Brown

    Farmer Brown Well-Known Member

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    For more than ten years I drove 366 truck engines on LP gas. I liked the smooth reliable idle. It had just a tad less HP. I was running duel fuel so would switch to gasoline in hard to pulll hill areas as 366 was underpowered anyway. I think you can find conversion stuff for near nothing nowdays. I have a setup off a propane delivery truck a guy just gave me to get rid of. I may put in on a 350 GM one of these days. Since LP is higher in price I don't think people are interested. Diesel seems the go now. As for road tax. You might slip buy if you keep tank hidden and never get stopped for anything else. Here, it's a $60 dollar a yr sticker on window to cover road use. FB
     
  12. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    I dont see why the conversion cost is $1500, I was offered the carb replacement, for about half that earlier this summer for my old 78 Ford, but since there isnt as many places to fill propane available anymore, he still has it.... i could ask him if he was willing to let you have it, He was gonna put it on the crew cab he traded to me a couple years ago, but kept it figured to get another rig....

    I am not sure if the parts ever were installed very long on any rig, i know he has had them for quite a few years never geetting a "round tuit" in installing iton his Ford afore trading it to me for a newer Bronco...

    Have you searched J C Whitney for conversion parts? or other aftermarket places for the "doer-yersef" kits?

    anyhow maybe im missing something, but converting to propane is pretty easy, as long as you have the parts available, the 10% power loss is insignificant if you are after better engine life, it will not increase your fuel mileage economy, but i do not believe ever hearing of anyone complaining it took it down either. My cousin put 300,000 on one engine running propane and inside it looked new, the 2 ton truck was used for custom meat slaughter and delivery across state lines, he got a price break on his fuel cause he had propane refridgeration also on board, and propane water heaters and refrigeration units in his meat packing plant [small time] but he still got a discount all these past 25 years and he still runs propane on his meat truck [traded vehicles a couple times over the years].

    William