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VS LPG advice.

imrhoss

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gday fellas, as you all know, the price of petrol is getting ridiculous. As such i am now considering an LPG conversion. The car is a 1996 VS statesman with 207,000km on the clock. i am the second owner of the car. I bought the car off of an 84 year old who has had it since new. ( he was still in his 60's when he bought it) the car is in great nick mechanically. full service books up to date. I use this car for work as i drive around to different parts of regional victoria.

just wondering what the pros and cons of LPG are. ive heard from so many people that "LPG F#*ks your car up" without any explanation as to why. Since ya'll are car enthusiasts i thought id ask what your opinion is. I am aware that the leads, plugs and coils will need to be replaced much sooner, headgasket may need replacement after a while. someone also told me that lpg burns hotter than petrol and they advised that i start the car on petrol each morning for 5 minutes then switch it over to LPG as well as running it on petrol atleast once a week to remove carbon build up.

for those that already have LPG systems, what are your experiences with LPG? do the cons outweigh the pros? could you please guide me into the right path, so many people with different story's!

Cheers Sam :)
 

wraith

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Waste of time unless it's already been done. If you do huge k's then maybe but after the cost of conversion and the cost of LPG now it will take a long time to recoup any costs.
 

frogsta

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I just got most of the stuff taken out of mine (For moar powah)
Basically $40 per tank and you'll get about 100km less than petrol, so saving about half your money. At 207,000km I wouldn't really bother, but if you want to just make sure you do run it on petrol every morning and such, things need to be lubricated and all sorts, LPG is also a lot colder than petrol so things freeze too. But yeah with all the replacing of stuff you will be doing tbh the car will probably be dead by the time you get your money back. It easily knocks off a good quarter of the lifespan of the engine too

But yes it was good about a year ago when you could find LPG for 60c per litre, but now I barely see it below 75-80
 

imrhoss

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Damn thats a high price! in victoria at the moment, its 57.9c a litre. Infact ill go get a picture. Also the government is still doing a rebate $1250 until june 30th. Theyre scrapping it next year. The installer i spoke to said his system costs 1950 including installation and tuning. so 1950 - 1250 is $700. so ill be $700 out of pocket. as it stands, im filling up a full tank of petrol for $95 every two days. if every tank i save $50 on lpg within 7 weeks id cover the difference i paid out of my pocket, so no, it shouldnt take a long time to recover the costs. give or take a week or two since you do get less kms on a tank of gas. Im just worried about the mechanical aspect of the idea.
 

wraith

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If your going through 2 tanks a week you have issues. My V8 gets a tank a week and it isn't babied. What sort of k's are you doing?
 

DAKSTER

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It totally depends on how many k's you do and how long you intend keeping the car.


Modern LPG systems are far more efficient than older mixer systems, but cost more. If you fit an older mixer system like the guy is quoting you for, you can expect to use about 30% more fuel, but you are only paying half the price for fuel. A modern liquid injected system will give reasonably similar economy to petrol if you bias the tune to favour the use of gas, and will require far less maintenance to keep it performing at its best than the cheaper mixer system..

Older systems will also cost you 10-15% in power loss. Modern systems you are unlikely to notice any difference at all.

If you do say 15000 km annually, and fit a modern liquid injected system, you can expect to save between $1000 and $1500 in fuel cost per year, so with a modern system costing about $4k, and the government still offering a $1k rebate, you should recover costs in 3 years or a little less.

Obviously the more kms you travel, the faster you recover your initial outlay. If you are doing 30000 km annually, you should recover your outlay in a fair bit less than 2 years.

It sounds like you are doing a whole bunch more kms than that, so it will take no time at all to recover the outlay even for the quality system, which is double the price of the system he is quoting you for.

You can run gas only without making any changes at all to your engine and simply tuning it properly. Your power will suffer slightly because gas prefers a higher compression, but consumption on a modern gas system is little different to petrol. There is virtually no difference in outlay costs between gas only and dual fuel.

If you want to go the whole hog, you can fit higher compression pistons, piss the petrol off completely and tune the car exclusively for gas. They do get a little hotter, so if you change pistons its also a good idea to upgrade the valves.

Whether switching to gas only is a good idea depends on the availability of gas in the areas you travel. These days, gas is pretty easy to come by, and certainly not the issue it used to be. The only town in QLD that I have been unable to buy gas is Quilpie, 190K west of Charleville.

A car fitted with a modern LPG only system will give similar economy to petrol, but of course the fuel costs about half the price. LPG is higher octane than petrol, if the car is tuned correctly for gas only you may actually gain power.


LPG gets a bad rap because people neglect to service it properly, and because the older style mixer systems are prone to more problems than the modern systems. Remember, petrol needs a whole different tune setup than gas, so any dual fuel car is a compromise and will not be ideal with either fuel.


Correcly tuned and maintained gas is actually kinder to your engine than petrol, especially during cold starting, because LPG does not wash lubricating oil from cylinder walls. People that give you horror stories about gas either have poorly adjusted, older design, or faulty systems.. or have never actually experienced the thrill of paying half the price for a tank of fuel and are talking through the wrong poorly informed orifice.


FWIW I have had many LPG cars, with both older mixer style units and modern injected units. Properly maintained, I have never had any problems with any of them. I am also building a blown LS3 for my VS Berlina with an injected dedicated gas system (no petrol) that is already producing insane amounts of power on the bench, which hopefully will soon be in the car. I'll look forward to doing a thread on the engine when I get it finished :) Cash is the major holdup on that project.



If you do 30000km or more annually, and intend keeping the car for more than 2 years (sounds like a good car, so I guess there is a good chance of that?) then I would be booking it in for a gas only conversion asap before govco completely wipes the conversion rebate and it cost you an extra grand to have done.

Even the factory dual fuel mixer system fitted to the ecotec which is currently in my Berlina makes the car cheaper to run than my Kia.. or at least it did until I took it off the road.

Dont let anyone talk you into the cheaper mixer system, get a proper liquid injected setup. Go gas, you will never look back.
 
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lease1

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Icom JTG liquid injected on my ssv for 125000km. Took me 32000km to break even. Averaging 12 to 15 litres per 100km mixed cycle and under 10 on freeway. Costs me less than a 4cyl to run. Plus I have all the usual mods, cam, headers cats exhaust etc. No servicing costs with my system either apart from a $20 fill filter every 60000km. Making 30rwkw more on LPG than petrol. Just do it
 

wraith

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Icom JTG liquid injected on my ssv for 125000km. Took me 32000km to break even. Averaging 12 to 15 litres per 100km mixed cycle and under 10 on freeway. Costs me less than a 4cyl to run. Plus I have all the usual mods, cam, headers cats exhaust etc. No servicing costs with my system either apart from a $20 fill filter every 60000km. Making 30rwkw more on LPG than petrol. Just do it
He's talking about an old VS not a VE.....
 

wraith

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It's about the system and the fuel, not the car it's on!
Your talking about two completely different engines so yes it does matter.
 
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