Automotive LPG Fuel
Summary: Sketch of autombile LPG conversion; basic description;
how-to basics; photos; Impco info; some sources given. Data/experience
in last few years not yet in here, including substantial road
experience; ETA is Summer/Fall 96.
Starting in 1988 I embarked on a project to convert my car to burn
LPG (aka propane) instead of gasoline. The little I knew of it at
that time indicated it would be a great motor fuel. I built an
engine for LPG in '88 (basically just a complete, clean rebuild,
with high-compression and a funny camshaft), and in '90 I built
the car itself. I wrote it up as a small booklet, "Do-It-Yourself
Automotive LPG Conversion", and amazingly, sold about 1200 copies
in two years mostly through the Real Goods Trading Company (Ukiah,
That booklet, slightly updated (not the rewrite it needs) with the
information gained since then (this written in March 1994) is
presented here, along with some additional technical information
I've been able to gather. For something that's been around for so
long (since the 20's or 30's) there's amazingly little information
floating around out there of a practical nature. I started out
cold, and learned mostly the hard way. All of the information in
the booklet turned out to be correct.
My 1994 conclusion to the question, is LPG any good as a motor
fuel? An unqualified yes. It's nearly non-polluting (mainly carbon
dioxide, and less of that per-mile) and cheap. But not profitable
for oil companies. Read on if you care. There might even be enough
information for you to duplicate my efforts, for the very few people
All of the technical information is for IMPCO equipment, which
makes most of the equipment for vehicular applications (as opposed to
stationary engines or lawnmower type stuff).
Automotive LPG Fuel
Table of Contents
Net resources on LPG/propane
Various LPG organizations contact
Overview of practical physics of LPG
as a motor fuel, an excellent top-level technical comparison
of spark-ignition automotive fuels. This is such an excellent
document I made a local copy, because I couldn't bear the thought
of the original becoming unreachable. (And one of the things that
makes some aspects of copyright complex on electronic media.)
DOE's Alternative Fuel Data
Center An excellent example of public data -- this site has
been growing continuously over the past year, and it's now quite
substantial and -- gulp -- useful. Contains tons of resources, list
of refueling sites, technology, laws, etc.
The Centre for
Alternative Transportation Fuels, operated by BC Research
Inc.(BCRI) in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, maintains a GIGANTIC list
of citations to A.F. articles, sources, tables, etc.
Winter weekly fuel prices for propane, heating oil, etc.
FAQ on gasoline; chemistry, use, physics of combustion, etc. Pretty
FAQ on gasoline.
BCC Clean Transportatation Technology News, newsy info on clean
fuels projects, technology and related, and Canada and US of A,
written in a breezy but dense press-release style, bullshit level
seems low, enough tech info to tell what's going on.
"Alternative fuels: future necessity or future nuisance" (sic)
by SMU student John Lehman contains some juicy pointers to AFDC
sites that are not responding -- presumably a victim of those DC
scumbags' game of budgetary chicken. Now what does the 'future
nuisance' reference mean?
Manufacturers web index lists a few large, dull corpses together.
Possibly useful if you're trying to locate equipment.
Well-edited transcript of EGO (Exhaust Gas Oxygen) sensor
information sources maintained by DOE's AFDC (see above).