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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

Who likes running on LP gas better than regualr gas?


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  #1  
Old 06-11-2005, 04:08:11 PM
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Chase Chase is offline
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Default Who likes running on LP gas better than regualr gas?

I've been going to convert a few of my engines over to LP for awile now because, well I just like the idea of it. I know some of you guys have already done this and I was woundering what all is involved. Do you need a volume tank like my bessmer does or would I be fine with just a fitting and a valve set up. Plus I hear your can get your engine to run slower on LP.

Chase 17yrs old and still in the hobby.
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Old 06-11-2005, 05:35:27 PM
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John Hammink John Hammink is offline
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Default Re: Who likes running on LP gas better than regualr gas?

Chase have you seen my post about it?

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showth...97019#poststop
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:38:50 PM
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Rob Skinner Rob Skinner is offline
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Default Re: Who likes running on LP gas better than regualr gas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chase
I've been going to convert a few of my engines over to LP for awile now because, well I just like the idea of it.
Hi Chase,
That's the best reason for doing something that I've ever heard. You oughta go for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chase
I know some of you guys have already done this and I was woundering what all is involved.
I've done it several different ways (because I liked the idea of it): using an accumulator, running the fuel through a valve and into the mixer without an accumulator, and using an on-demand valve as John has suggested.

For regulation, you can snag the regulator off of an old barbeque. You can buy 'em at the store, but once you start keeping an eye open for them, you'll see more junked barbeques than you ever before thought existed.

For precision regulation, an acetylene regulator is the hot ticket. Stick on a low pressure gauge that reads down below 1 psi.

My advice is to try the cheap and easy method first. Get the bbq regulator, some fittings, a valve, some hose, some tape and some bubble gum. Put the pieces together, point the fuel into the air inlet, and see what happens. You can then get an idea what you're dealing with, and then you can put together a more elaborate and elegant system.

Plus I hear your can get your engine to run slower on LP.
[/QUOTE]

Gaseous propane mixes more readily with the air, and large air flow around a venturii is not necessary to move the fuel, as is the case with most liquid-fuel mixers.

Rob
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:55:53 PM
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Default Re: Who likes running on LP gas better than regualr gas?

Sounds like something I might try with my little Iron Horse. I have a heck of a time getting it started, because I have to draw the gasoline from the tank and get it flowing to the carb. I usually start it on WD-40 and let her prime herself that way.
~M~
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Old 06-12-2005, 09:34:55 PM
ldj1002 ldj1002 is offline
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Default Re: Who likes running on LP gas better than regualr gas?

I never tried propane. I do use acetylene for starting. I just pick up my torch, turn the acetylene on, stick the tip in the air intake. For me it works better than starting fluid.
L.D.
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Old 06-12-2005, 11:31:14 PM
BobRR BobRR is offline
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Default Re: Who likes running on LP gas better than regualr gas?

Did you guys ever think of a small squirt can with gas to prime the mixer?WD is a good starting fluid.BobRR
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Old 06-13-2005, 12:08:15 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Who likes running on LP gas better than regualr gas?

PROs of propane - Engine wont carbon up if flooded, runs clean, CONs - runs hotter. hard to start in cold weather (some engines actually started on gasoline, and converted over as the engine warmed up. Hot weather starts can be interesting! Accelerated wear, as the propane 'dries out the cylender Increased valve wear : higher exhaust temps, and the absense of lubrication in the fuel accelerates valve wear, especially the exhaust valves!
Andrew
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Old 06-13-2005, 08:02:47 AM
Martin Reed Martin Reed is offline
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Default Re: Who likes running on LP gas better than regualr gas?

I believe there are some mis-conceptions going around about the effects of burning propane in an engine. I have a good friend who designs large bore (20"+) gas engines and he has converted all of his engines to LP because they burn clean, run well, and do not wear out. LP gas doesn't act like a solvent like a liquid fuel will, so there is nothing to dilute the oil film created on the cylinder bore and valve stems. In fact, engines will go 2-3 time longer without having to re-build them when burning LP or natural gas.
Concerning higher operating heat, LP has less latent heat per gallon than gasoline so if you want the same horse power from LP you have to modify the engine by increasing compression ratio. My experience is that engines don't run any hotter on LP than on gasoline but maybe there might be a timing issue with LP.
Generally I have had good success with running LP and have not seen any of the detrimental side effects that others have. It burns cleaner, doesn't mess up the paint, has a pleasant exhaust smell, and is just as safe or safer than gasoline. I wouldn't permanently modify a carburetor just to run LP myself but it's fun to get them working using the original equipment. Good luck.

Martin
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Old 06-13-2005, 10:23:53 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Who likes running on LP gas better than regualr gas?

When using LP you also get an approximately 10% loss of power, and a 25% increase in fuel usage. In a water cooled engine, the extra haet generated from LP usage, is absorbed by the cooling system. Autos and trucks have been using propane for years. Except for cold weather starts, LP is a good alternative fuel. In my 35 years of working on air cooled propane engines, the accelerated wear on the exhaust valves, and cylender wear, especially on aluminum block engines, is quite evident. A shop I used to work for had the contract to work on all gas powered equipment used by PSE&G in NJ. They used MOPECO heater - ventilater blowers to provide heated and fresh air for confined spaces, like manholes. These engines typically were Kohler 4 HP and B&S 5 HP IC series engines. Both engines typically burned out their exhaust valves within 4 months, wore the cylenders enough to overhaul within 6 months, and generally were worn past rebuild within 2 - 2 1/2 years. Granted these engines saw long use, but PSE&G also has some gasoline versions of the same equipment, and we saw these come to the shop much less frequently. The propane engines ran much hotter, and it was plainly evident on the B&S engines. Because of the extra heat, the Briggs engines used more oil as well The 5 HP uses oil from the get go, because of a design problem. On a regular gas engine, you need to check the oil every time you fill the tank. On the propane jobs, every time you start it was the rule. The Kohler engines were pretty good and sturdy units. Typically they were in for service 6 or 7 times during the life of the engine.Hourly - by logs kept be PSE&G, the average Kohler engine went thru this cycle - 500 Hrs - tune, decarbon and valve job, adjust valve lash. 1000 Hrs - Bore engine .010 oversize, renew piston, valve and clearance job, clean oil out of regulaters (there were 2) 1500 Hrs - valve, carbon job, tune engine. 2000 Hrs - complete overhaul of engine. Re-bore to .020, renew piston and con rod, renew regulater diaphrams. Install new valve seats, and guides, as well as new valves renew engine crank bearings, renew all gaskets and seals. 2500 Hrs - Valve, clearance and carbon job. 3000 Hrs Bore engine to .030 if nescessary, valve, clearance and carbon job tune engine. 3500 Hrs. for most engines, the end of useful service life. We could tell how good a care was taken of the equipment by the different crews. Some stayed on top of the engines, took for service when a problem first cropped up, like a loss of power, or a little smoke, loss of compression. These guys also keept a very accurate log on engine use. Others didn't give a d--m about the equipment. No service notes in the logs, inaccurate time kept, as long as it rund, don't bother to check the oil ( we wolud love it when a crew would bring in an engine with the rod sticking thru the block, when we would pull the crank case cover, the crank is blued for an inch of either side of the crank pin, and the end of the rod is welded to the crank You would find about 3/8" of burned oil in the engine sump, and about a quart of absolutely fresh oil in the block! Yeah there was oil in it OK! The B&S engines did not fare so well.
Their typical service pattern was as follows - 500 Hrs, replace exhaust valve, carbon and clearance intake valve. 1000 Hrs bore engine 020 over, renew piston and both valves, carbon job, check conrod abd crank for scoring. If found, replace rod and polish the crank.clean oil out of regulaters. 1500 Hrs - replace exhaust valve, replace valve guides, decarbon head. 2000 Hrs, bore engine to max (030), renew both valves carbon job, renew con rod and engine seals, replace regulater diaphrams. At about 2500 Hrs the B&S engines were about wiped out. The B&S engines cost about 2/3 the cost of the Kohlers, and we found them more suseptable to what we called 'propane wear', but the B&S engines withstood a lot more operater abuse than their Kohler counterparts. If run out os oil, the rods would usually just snap at the crank. 5 out of 5 wouldnt break, they would rattle like hell though. Sand paper the aliminum off the crank, polish the journal, put in a new rod and off you go! . With the Kohlers, you got a punched block every time! Andrew
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