Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

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a1930ford
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Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by a1930ford » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:58 pm

I have an old Whipper Chipper edger with a Briggs and Stratton 4.75 engine on it that I had tuned up recently. I have been enjoying looking at any number of videos on YouTube as to swapping off gasoline and putting on propane. Tons of different methods or mods to do this with everything from generators to lawnmowers and since the old edger machine is basically just a tinker toy for me to play with, I thought, why not? I have parts on order to piddle with the conversion of the beast. I also had a great difficulty with the old pull crank operation on it, so I removed the housing and will have it where I can spin it over with a drill for an easier startup in the future. This is just a lark-type of mod effort on my part, but i am dead set on accomplishing it if the weather here ever gets a bit warmer.

I was wondering is anyone ever modified their Ural to run on propane, as well. If they ever posted anything about it, I guess I have forgotten or simply missed the thread. Perhaps someone has also done a car or pickup conversion, too, but mostly I just wondered if anyone has done up their hack to run on propane and what they thought about the end results of such a modification?

I am assuming this may have been previously done on an older Ural and not the newest models.

Any thoughts out there?
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Re: Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by GHGoodwin » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:06 am

I did a couple of VW's eons ago. My only recent conversions were my two generators. The VW's were kits and could be removed. The generators are now dedicated propane fueled. All were carbed before the conversion with the injector bodies either replacing the carbs (VW's) or permanently modded them (generators). I know there's quite a few CNG fuel vehicles out there but most are municipal/commercial. A reliable and safe fuel/fueling source was a big problem with the vehicle and I'm sure that's why the conversions never caught on.

My .02 on this. I'd use a 10lb tank to save weight. I have both 40lb and 80lb tanks. The 80's weight almost a 100lb each filled. I'd also investigate QD's with internal shutoffs for the lines where they connect to the regulator. I only have the tanks connected when I'm using them. You can get push on caps for them when they're not in use. I'll put up a photo of the small generator later today.

Not sure I'd want to do a Ural. Converting a carbed model wouldn't be too difficult. I just don't think I'd like to be tooling around with a 80lb propane thank that wasn't well protected from collision. The VW tanks went in instead of the back seat. A couple of pickups I've seen at shows had bed mounted tanks.
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Re: Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by a1930ford » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:58 am

When I was in Naples, Italy, many of the autos there were run on propane; especially Fiats or Citroëns. Why would conversion of a carbed model be difficult at all? Like say, there are tons of videos on such on YouTube where everything from lawn mower to generators are all converted with carbs. I have seen one reply mentioning that the person removed the butterfly valve, but on their unit, but that was more the exception than the rule, I felt. Also, kits are fairly expensive and most of these conversions I am addressing generally use little besides a high pressure regulator and a brass elbow and such. Not being argumentative with you, but not seeing just what you are saying as to it all being a carb issue situation. Thanks for the input. My Whipper Chipper will only be done with a 1 lb. tank and it is easily refillable. I am assuming that as to dependability, you must be addressing cold weather or such where gas may turn to liquid. No real issue for my edger, as it will only be used in spring and summer when it is not cold. Love to see photos of what you have done. Like say, I am on a learning curve here as to this project.
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Re: Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by GHGoodwin » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:38 am

What I meant was that a carb conversion is much simpler than a fuel injected system. All you have to do is replace the carb with the propane injection or modify the intake feed to inject the gas. The intake manifolds are designed as a fuel/air mixture delivery system. I'm sure there has been a good deal of improvement since I did mine - VW's in the mid 1970's and the generators around 2000. The adaption of a fuel injected system seems a bit more complicated.
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Re: Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by GHGoodwin » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:50 pm

Here's your photos.

North Star with 13.5HP Honda engine. 30amps 220v plus 6 20amp 110v continuous. Can run my well pump and welder. Plywood cover is where gas tank used to be. Sheet metal cover is mine and just to protect the engine.
P2090114.JPG
Under the plywood cover. Cables and gas line. note the regulator on the gas line. Both my conversions are designed to run on 7oz to 9oz of gas pressure which is the same as the gas from the street. This is the primary reducing regulator for both propane tank systems. I have shutoffs and QD attach hoses for my home gas lines.
P2090113.JPG
Here's the install on the Honda. Because this is a keyed start with a manual backup I added a solenoid shutoff so unless the key is not in the "on" position the gas won't flow. The regulator output goes directly into the air cleaner feed above the old carb. The rpm of the system is controlled by the demand on the generator which tries to open the carb and the increased vacuum opens the regulator to match. I had to fab the mounts. You can see the QD I mentioned above just before the solenoid.
P2090111.JPG


Here's my small generator. Coleman Powermate 1800. Small Briggs engine. Same type of system but without the solenoid. I put a plate where the old gas tank was. This was a kit that was adapted from another Briggs conversion.
P2090110.JPG
Had to fab the mounts and some of the input. There's and adjuster at the air intake input that's hidden. It's an idle adjust hand screw. Once the idle is running correctly the system is automatic. I had to drill out the air intake to mount the gas input adjuster.
P2090109.JPG
P2090108.JPG
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Re: Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by DisplacedYooper » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:00 am

Yes you can run a regular gas engine on L.P.,
L.P. conversions have been around since the early 1940's.
Just FYI, to get the efficiency of L.P. gas, a true "Built from New L.P. engine" has "High Compression Heads"
And many older conversions you started on Gasoline, once the engine was warmed up, you switched to L.P..
Also, you will need a large L.P. supply tank as it's running a the vapor form of L.P., if you are burning off the vapor too quickly, engine will die off, and intake icing is a constant problem with L.P.. Many have some sort of heater box, or coolant bypass in liquid cooled engines.

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Re: Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by Peter Pan » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:31 am

I have the idea that our polish friend Igor had shown us a Ural/Dnjepr conversion video to propane once a few years ago.
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Re: Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by INSUBORDINATOR » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:51 pm

Here is a (GREEN POWER - non-fossil fueled) CHARCOAL GAS burning DNEPR rig. Only smokes when Lit - HAHA.
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Re: Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by GHGoodwin » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:36 am

Darn insub. I always thought that thing was a still. Everything else in Russia runs on vodka power. :roll:
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Re: Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by INSUBORDINATOR » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:16 pm

Seriously there ARE drawbacks to Propane moto fuel. it requires a much larger tank, that can't be refilled just anywhere. I also would worry about parking propane UNDER my house. My last employer before retiring provided a 1990's Propane fueled Pickup Truck for employee job use. It had a huge tank that took up about 1/3 of the bed. It was supposed to be kept filled by the maintenance staff - Except the last time I USED IT - I ran out of Propane. That short errand took the rest of the afternoon to get me & the truck back to base. The truck was also pretty gutless trying to accelerate from a High way entrance ramp. Fortunately I was near civilization - before I owned a personal emergency cell phone.
Although I'm not convinced PROPANE is the best fuel for a vehicle - we have a propane emergency generator, to make mountain life more pleasant - & it really does.
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Re: Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by windmill » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:48 pm

When I lived in Barnegat NJ we had natural gas as a utility which we used for our heat, stove, dryer, and street light. It was pretty darn convenient.
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Re: Question re: propane conversions for grins and giggles

Post by a1930ford » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:54 am

In all of the videos I have seen for this conversion, they usually run the fuel line from the the gas bottle to the carb thru the air filter which covers the carb. My set up is a bit different from this, as the air box is to one side, but the gas line is run directly into the carb on the stock gasoline set up and not through any air filter. (See photos). I put a bottle onto the old gasoline tank mount and can easily run it direct into the carb as was done with the gasoline lines. I can add an inline filter if necessary when doing this. I can also opt to mount a brass elbow to the stock air box and run the gas line directly into that filter box, instead. Not exactly sure of which is the better route to go, so I may have to experiment. It is not shown, but the LP bottle will have a regulator on it and I may also add a brass screw piece to adjust the gas flow with. The actual stock air box on this edger is already vented in so many places that I am not sure if I will have to seal off some or not. The muffler to this monster is a real piece of weirdness.

I believe my set up is different from your's in that regard. Any thoughts as to how to best put in the gasoline tubing to provide the best results to the carb.? I don't want to run the gas hose incorrectly, but none of the videos I have viewed so far have this same carb. and air box setup.

Since I have already removed the gasoline tank, I am not sure just how easy it will really be to spin this monster over to crank. It has no gas tank now, so I'll have to wait until i complete all the mods to giver her a good crank and see how she turns over. I did give her a few spins to see if my battery-powered drill would spin her over good enough. That went well, so I suspect this mod is going to work okay for me.
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