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  #1  
Old 07-07-2008, 11:06 PM
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Propane Injection

Has anyone done this or know anything about it???:


Propane isn’t just for camping stoves anymore. Sure, gas engines have been converted to run on propane for a long time, but now kits for turbo diesels are also available. Unlike the gasoline conversion, where the motor runs on LPG only, the setups for diesels inject only a percentage of propane into the air intake tract, leaving the diesel fuel as the staple diet for the motor. Also in contrast to the gas-engine conversions, which are less efficient than when run on gasoline, an LPG-injected diesel produces much more power and gets better mileage. Two kits are now on the market for propane injection.



So what makes a diesel run so much better with some propane mixed into the air? Perhaps the simplest answer is to compare it to nitrous in gas engines. In both cases, the added gas (nitrous/propane) promotes a better burn in the combustion chamber, and both are added only as needed. As Advanced Turbo Systems (ATS) puts it, “Propane acts as a diesel catalyst during combustion. This in turn creates a more complete [burn] of the diesel fuel.”



While playing with nitrous can be a highly volatile game, complete with spectacular engine explosions and more common, boring meltdowns, propane injection in diesels appears to be harmless. Still, the instructions for Bully Dog Engineering’s kit include pages of warnings, largely pertaining to the rules and regulations of having LPG on board. Yes, propane is certainly a flammable gas, but a properly installed injection kit used in conjunction with common sense is probably a whole lot less dangerous than driving on public roads, no matter what the fuel.



According to ATS, when using a 15 to 20 percent propane mix, mileage can increase by 30 to 40 percent, with overall increases of 15 to 20 percent. Longer distances between diesel fill-ups is therefore a given, but how often the LPG tank needs to be filled obviously depends on its size. It can be bed- or frame-mounted or even take the place of the spare tire.



When Bully Dog tested an early kit on a Bob Jennings’ dyno, we saw significant increases in power. Baseline was a modest 192 hp to the rear tires of a ’99 PowerStroke, but with the flick of a switch, the output exceeded the capabilities of the dyno. While tire slip fouled the numbers, an impressive 280 hp resulted between 2,200 and 2,700 rpm. Peak torque, as best as we could measure it, was a healthy 668 lb-ft, and there was more in the engine.



Unlike nitrous, propane has some soothing effects on the engine too. ATS’s Torque Pro 2000 kit claims to keep the oil cleaner, produce cooler exhaust gas temperatures (by 5 to 10 percent at identical power levels), and reduce emissions. Similar statements appear in the Bully Dog literature. ATS also says, “…and in most cases, engine life increases significantly due to increased efficiency and reduced engine wear with lower internal engine stresses.”



Installing an LPG injection kit is quite simple, with the possible exception of placing the tank, and certainly seems to have several advantages. At least, as of this writing, we don’t know of any disadvantages, although, depending on what’s downstream of the engine, some transmission improvements may be in order to match the extra power.



Pulling a sizeable load up a grade? Hit the switch (Bully Dog) or give it some more throttle (ATS), and let the propane propel you to the top.[/I]
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2008, 11:24 PM
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The down and simple of it is as follows:

Propane is additional fuel. Period.

By their nature, diesels usually have more air than is used by the fuel in combustion whereas with gasoline engines, the ratio has to remain between 15 and 17% in order for the fuel to burn. Since diesels have this excess air, the propane has extra oxygen to burn. If you calculate the BTU factor by mileage, you will see that you basically are getting the same BTU/mile. Sure, more diesel mileage, but that's because your are using the propane for fuel.

The best propane injection systems have a fail-safe off control and are governed by boost pressure. You can put too much propane into and engine and the results are a very good boat anchor. Calibration is very important, but things can still happen.

Overall, with the cost of propane rising, I doubt that you will see any $$$ savings either.

Remember, if you are carrying propane that is hooked up to your engine as a fuel, you must have an DOT approved tank. The ones that are used for home grills will not do the trick legally.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:24 PM
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For every percent higher power output you get from the engine, its going to be an equal reduction in the lifespan of the engine. It was designed to reliably put out what it does....making it put out a lot more is asking for problems.....
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mbenzer View Post
Perhaps the simplest answer is to compare it to nitrous in gas engines. In both cases, the added gas (nitrous/propane) promotes a better burn in the combustion chamber, and both are added only as needed. As Advanced Turbo Systems (ATS) puts it, “Propane acts as a diesel catalyst during combustion. This in turn creates a more complete [burn] of the diesel fuel.”
False information. Propane is only a supplementary fuel that burns along with the diesel. It does not change how the diesel burns, it only adds more fuel to burn.

Propane is a waste of money. The solutions are simple- If you want more power, turn up the injection pump. If you want better economy, drive slower.
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
For every percent higher power output you get from the engine, its going to be an equal reduction in the lifespan of the engine. It was designed to reliably put out what it does....making it put out a lot more is asking for problems.....
Not to mention that propane burns slightly different than #2.....I had propane on my F-350 and liked the power but one day, on the Interstate, I was passing someone and when it downshifted, it bent two pushrods and broke a couple of rocker arms....
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbenzer View Post
Has anyone done this or know anything about it???:

So what makes a diesel run so much better with some propane mixed into the air? Perhaps the simplest answer is to compare it to nitrous in gas engines. In both cases, the added gas (nitrous/propane) promotes a better burn in the combustion chamber, and both are added only as needed. As Advanced Turbo Systems (ATS) puts it, “Propane acts as a diesel catalyst during combustion. This in turn creates a more complete [burn] of the diesel fuel.”

.[/i]
A Catalyst is not used up durning a reaction and the Propane is obviously used up during the combustion process therefore Propane dose not act as a Catalyst.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcedInduction View Post
False information. Propane is only a supplementary fuel that burns along with the diesel. It does not change how the diesel burns, it only adds more fuel to burn.
It changes the flame front.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by winmutt View Post
It changes the flame front.
It does not change how the diesel burns, the flame front is different because the propane burns at a different rate.
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2008, 09:38 AM
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is the OP selling kits or something? BullyDog? ATS? or just asking questions? or is he just stating something to get sales of kits?
Hmm, how about Hydrogen generators along with propane injection? hmm?
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:54 PM
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I love seeing postings like this, stating something new, when we've been using propane for decades to add power to diesels. Cheap way to add peak power to an engine, expensive fuel though. Better to add boost/fuel/aftercooler and do it right.

LPG has less BTUs/gallon than gasoline, far less than diesel, not a cheap fuel dollars per BTU.
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:21 PM
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Do not use propane/lpg in IDI diesels btw .......
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