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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Aug 2005
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    Default Switching car to natural gas from gasoline?

    Hi all

    Is it possible to switch car to natural gas? Can one use gas from a gas well to run a car? Instead of using gas allocated for home heating could it be used in the cars? I was told, all I would need is some kind of a compressor and a filter and once car is switched I would be good to go.

    I have heard somewhere that 100,000 cubic feet of gas is = to about 2000 gal of fuel oil. Does anyone have any idea if this is close or way off?

    Cheers Coffeeman

  2. #2
    Veteran Member BTDT's Avatar
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    IH M Farmall-propane powered, H Farmall (father-in-laws), Ford 1300 diesel

    Default Re: Switching car to natural gas from gasoline?

    Yes it's possible. About 10 years ago it cost about $3000.00. Regulators, tanks, electronics, etc. Fleets and gov. vehicles usually come out better than individuals due to them being able to afford their own compressor stations for fueling. Max operating pressure was 3000 psi. When we were converting vehicles (I worked for a gas utility in their garage), gasoline was $1.00 or so a gallon, and N.G. was about .30 cents per equivalent gallon. Worked ok, but only had a range of about 100 miles, so they had to be fueled daily, or more often. Then there is the road tax sticker you have to buy, and all installation had to be approved by governing agency (Texas Railroad Commission) in our case. We had the choice of switching between gasoline and N.G. with the flip of a switch.
    Praise is not something you do to get closer to God, praise is a response to God being close to you.

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Switching car to natural gas from gasoline?

    When I was doing gas leakage surveys, one of the gas companies I worked with had their pickups converted to run on natural gas. As mentioned above, they could switch between natural gas and gasoline with a flip of the switch. I do know that not only was range severely limited, but the company fussed at their drivers a great deal because the drivers preferred gasoline for more power and wouldn't use the natural gas if they could avoid it. And while it was the same gas company, in different cities they had different fueling stations. One station refueled a pickup with natural gas almost as fast as you could refuel one with gasoline, but the other station was one where the drivers hooked up their pickups at the end of the day and left them overnight until they returned to work the next day. Of course, this was all in 1993, so a few things may have changed since then.
    Bird

  4. #4
    Veteran Member BTDT's Avatar
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    IH M Farmall-propane powered, H Farmall (father-in-laws), Ford 1300 diesel

    Default Re: Switching car to natural gas from gasoline?

    Why don't we power our Atmos road vehicles with Atmos Natural gas?
    And not depend on out of control prices and availability of gasoline.
    At this time, only one auto maker is offering a CNG vehicle and it is known as a dedicated unit (no bi-fuel). It is my understanding that no CNG will be offered in the 2007 model year. Other disadvantages of these vehicles include that their traveling distance is usually limited to approximately 100 miles before refill, and their compression infrastructure is expensive and requires extensive maintenance. Auto makers are now concentrating on hybrid engines.

    This is off of our company Question/Answer forum. Back when we were Lone Star Gas, they were all for it. Now it's a non issue.
    Praise is not something you do to get closer to God, praise is a response to God being close to you.

  5. #5
    Elite Member DieselPower's Avatar
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    Fairfield, PA
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    JD 3020, JD 4230, JD 7410, JD 2440, MF 750, NH LS170

    Default Re: Switching car to natural gas from gasoline?

    Sure it can be done. I have installed a few LPG kit's over the years to convert gas powered medium duty trucks over to multi-fuel. The natural gas converssion should be almost the same.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member workinallthetime's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    Tulsa, ok
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    b3030 TLB,zd326

    Default Re: Switching car to natural gas from gasoline?

    bird,
    what you were seeing in one place fillin up fast as gas is called "fast fill" this does not get near the same amount of "gas" in as a slow fill (over night).

    Guys GM has been doing this for years, right now you can buy a cobalt or a c1500 that runs on cng or gas. infact it is necessary to have both to keep the injectors clean. one thing you might want to keep in mind is that both of these engines are built to run on cng due to higher combustion temps. they both have hardened valve seats along with some other stuff i never found to important to remember,lol.
    last i heard it was still a pretty big chunk of change to have the system built in from the factory but you also got like a 3000.00 rebate so it was a wash. i dont think its a good idea to convert an existing engine to cng just based on what is involved with the conversion. like diesel i have worked on may medium duty trucks that ran off of lpg or cng and they require a strict maintenace schedule thats pretty expensive but with the cost of gas it might be worth it on a med duty truck. there is a company in texas that does the cng conversions on limited models.


    filled both trucks up today, 128.00 uggggg
    equipment = L45 tlb, zd326p
    attachements = disk, pallet forks, box blade, 4n1, thumb, ld material bucket
    past equipment = b???? old slow no p/s, bx23 tlb, b3030 tlb, mf 175, jd301a

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    May 2004
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    638

    Default Re: Switching car to natural gas from gasoline?

    Quote Originally Posted by BTDT
    Why don't we power our Atmos road vehicles with Atmos Natural gas?
    And not depend on out of control prices and availability of gasoline.
    At this time, only one auto maker is offering a CNG vehicle and it is known as a dedicated unit (no bi-fuel). It is my understanding that no CNG will be offered in the 2007 model year. Other disadvantages of these vehicles include that their traveling distance is usually limited to approximately 100 miles before refill, and their compression infrastructure is expensive and requires extensive maintenance. Auto makers are now concentrating on hybrid engines.

    This is off of our company Question/Answer forum. Back when we were Lone Star Gas, they were all for it. Now it's a non issue.
    The BTU's in "natural gas" our much lower than gasoline, reducing performance and increasing fuel consumption, while reducing gas mileage. There is a few advantages however; spark plugs stay extremely clean along with the engine oil, and tune-up's less frequent! If I remember correctly, an auto engine is only 30% efficient in mechanical energy, 30% is lost in engine heating, and 30% goes out the exhaust, but that still leaves 10% lost somewhere else, water pumps, fans, alternator, etc!?

  8. #8
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Switching car to natural gas from gasoline?

    Do a google search on CNG Cars. Lots of hits.

    I spent many years working at a place that used natural gas to fuel two cycle Cooper Bessemer natural gas compressors.
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    Egon
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  9. #9
    Super Member kenmac's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    The Heart of Dixie
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    yanmar 3110D

    Default Re: Switching car to natural gas from gasoline?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird
    When I was doing gas leakage surveys, one of the gas companies I worked with had their pickups converted to run on natural gas. As mentioned above, they could switch between natural gas and gasoline with a flip of the switch. I do know that not only was range severely limited, but the company fussed at their drivers a great deal because the drivers preferred gasoline for more power and wouldn't use the natural gas if they could avoid it. And while it was the same gas company, in different cities they had different fueling stations. One station refueled a pickup with natural gas almost as fast as you could refuel one with gasoline, but the other station was one where the drivers hooked up their pickups at the end of the day and left them overnight until they returned to work the next day. Of course, this was all in 1993, so a few things may have changed since then.

    My co. took all the CNG off our vehicles about a year ago. It just got too expensive to keep the system up & running & with the cost of Nat. gas there was no advantage over gasoline . the new conversion systems for our vehicles was around $4000.00-$6000.00 ea. constant compressor troubles , the tanks had to be tested every x # of years,You had to set the electronics for a hotter spark at the spark plug so, spark plugs had to b replaced often, etc,etc,etc,

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    Aug 2003
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    246
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    U.P. of Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere X728SE

    Default Re: Switching car to natural gas from gasoline?

    I worked for 30 yrs for a state dot. Retired in 2002. We had a 2000 Chevy Lumina that came CNG. It was a nuisance to drive, hard to find fuel. That vehicle was pulled from the fleet long before the lease miles were met. DC would pass these transportation bills that would require the states to have so much of their fleet as alternative vehicles. Anything from 1500 series trucks and below had to be a certain percentage, say 30% by 2002, 40% by ?? etc, don't recall all the details. That starting costing the state(s) a lot of money not to mention delays in replacing vehicles as the alternate fuel vehicles needed longer lead times on orders, a year or better for GM to batch them. Finally we stopped buying 1/2 ton PU's and went to all 3/4 ton because the GVWR was exempt. A couple of the CNG trucks they did have back around 2000 were hard to sell at auctions losing the the state more money. Not to mention the CNG had less area for equipment etc and they would tell us to never leave them in any building over night because if the explosive danger.

    They told us it drove the fleet costs up millions of dollars and saved nothing
    Mike
    2015 GMC Sierra Denali 6.2L/8-sp CC SB
    2010 J D X728SE w/47" snow blower
    2009 Cadillac CTS4 3.6L
    2006 Honda Rincon 680

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