CNG / LPG Conversion ??? - Nissan Titan Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 06:53 AM
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Question CNG / LPG Conversion ???

Has anyone done a CNG or LPG conversion or know much about it?? I've accepted a new job offer that will be over 100 miles of daily driving so I'm beginning to look into installing an alternative fuel system....

I'm not sure which one would be better though... From past experience on forklifts, I liked the power that LPG gives better than CNG, and LPG is available at most RV Places, U-Haul stores, etc... But CNG stations are starting to popup and a refill nozzle can be installed at home to refill in the garage...

A Comparison Chart shows that CNG has higher Octane, but LPG has a higher BTU and neither meet the BTU rating of gasoline.

http://www.fuelshopinc.com/compariso...nversions.html



And there's a C-Store chain offering CNG now:

http://www.oncueexpress.com/featureL...sp?feature=CNG

2005 Armada LE 4x4

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#2 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 08:04 PM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

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#3 (permalink) Old 02-28-2011, 09:39 PM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

Pops, you thinking about converting the Armada? Where you planning on putting the tank? I have heard it's better to have a vehicle that will still run on both cng and regular unleaded. Something about distance driven on cng is less when compared to regular gasoline. Even with the government rebates, do you think it would still be feasible? The retro-fit, has to cost a pretty penny. Still at the price of cng, it is tempting. Plus being an okie, we get a discount ( I believe 50%) from the state to install a "re-filling station" at our home.
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 06:51 AM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Section8 View Post
Pops, you thinking about converting the Armada? Where you planning on putting the tank? I have heard it's better to have a vehicle that will still run on both cng and regular unleaded. Something about distance driven on cng is less when compared to regular gasoline. Even with the government rebates, do you think it would still be feasible? The retro-fit, has to cost a pretty penny. Still at the price of cng, it is tempting. Plus being an okie, we get a discount ( I believe 50%) from the state to install a "re-filling station" at our home.
Yea, I use to have a neighbor who had a Dodge Dakota running on Propane/Gasoline... He could drive over 500 miles on the propane then another 300 on gasoline.. I was thinking of pulling the spare tire out and mounting it on the roof then put a tank in there...

However, this is a response I got from Tulsa Gas Tech, it looks like the EPA has gotten heavily involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom
I don’t see any company in the near future do the EPA cert of any Nissan
http://www.ngvc.org/pdfs/FAQs_Converting_to_NGVs.pdf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q&A
Q How would you describe the certification requirements for aftermarket
systems?

A Both the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California
Air Resources Board (CARB) require the manufacturers of aftermarket systems to
certify that their conversion systems meet emissions and onboard vehicle diagnostics
interface requirements. EPA and CARB can levy substantial fines for violating this
requirement, since it is against the law to tamper with emissions systems. The only
way to protect against a tampering violation is to have valid certificate of conformity
from EPA or a CARB Executive Order for the conversion system. (See below for
vehicles that are pre-2003 model year and/or beyond their “useful life.”)


Q How does the EPA have this authority?

A The EPA has the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate vehicle
emissions for all new motor vehicles. Moreover, it also has authority to regulate
modifications of in-use vehicles if the modification tampers with the vehicles emission
control systems. For a history of EPA’s regulatory authority, see
http://www.ngvc.org/gov_policy/fed_r...terMarket.html


Q How many companies are offering certified systems?

A The number of Small Volume Original Equipment Manufacturers (SVM)
continues to increase as new companies with automotive engineering expertise see the
aftermarket retrofit opportunity. Currently, there are nearly a dozen manufacturers
offering EPA-certified systems for about a dozen GM and Ford light-duty “engine
families” covering about 40 vehicle models (and various iterations of the same base
models). These include the GM 3.5L, 3.9L, 4.8L, 5.3L, and 6.0L engines and the Ford
2.0L, 2.3L, 4.6L, 5.4L, 6.2L and 6.8L engines. Note: Not all vehicles with these
engines are covered in the engine test groups for which certifications have been
granted. In addition, there are no certified natural gas engine conversion systems
available in the U.S. for any other light-duty vehicle brands.


Q Where can I find a list of manufacturers?

A Visit http://www.ngvamerica.org/pdfs/marke...Analyses.NGVsa.
pdf for an up-to-date list of EPA- and CARB-certified engines retrofit and repower
systems.


Q How do retrofit system manufacturing companies get engines certified?

A To obtain an EPA Certificate or a CARB Executive Order, the retrofit system
manufacturer must submit substantial emissions performance data and related
documentation for each engine family for review. Additionally, new converters may
be asked to submit a converted vehicle for rigorous testing to verify this data.


Q How expensive is it to comply with these requirements?

A The process of engineering, manufacturing, installing, pre-testing and then
submitting a proposed retrofit system to an EPA- or CARB-approved laboratory for
certification is a time-consuming and expensive process that may cost as much as
$200,000 or more per engine family.


Q How long does this certification last?

A EPA certification applies only to the installation of that system for a limited
time period, usually no longer than December 31 of the year following the year the
certificate was granted. Manufacturers may opt to ‘carry-over” their certifications into
future years by filing additional documentation and paying a fee, thus allowing them
to convert a previous model-year vehicle (for which they obtained certification) in
later years. However, Executive Orders issued by the California Air Resources Board
for a particular vehicle model year and test group do not expire.


Q What about retrofitting older vehicles?

A The U.S. EPA has indicated that its certification procedures are appropriate for
vehicles that are within their useful life, which is roughly defined as 10 years or
120,000 miles, although the exact definition of useful life has changed over time. The
EPA is expected to issue future guidance on this issue. In addition, manufacturers
generally do not maintain active certifications for vehicles with high (or even medium)
mileage due to technical complications caused by long-term operation on gasoline.
For any pre-2000 vehicles or any vehicle with mileage exceeding the useful life
definition for that model and model-year, EPA guidance appears to indicate that
certification is not required, although the manufacturer must have a reasonable basis
to believe that the system will not increase emissions. For 2000 to 2003 vehicles that
have not yet reached 120,000, EPA guidelines indicate that certification of the retrofit
system is required, which does not make this option economically attractive. See
EPA’s web site for further clarification on this issue including guidance on converting
vehicles older than 10 years or beyond 100,000 - 120,000 miles.


Q Are aftermarket installers certified?

A Neither the federal government nor California require the businesses or
individuals who install aftermarket conversion systems to be certified or licensed to
do conversions. Because of the liability for in-use emissions and safety,
manufacturers of EPA- or California-certified conversion systems train companies,
often referred to as qualified system retrofitters, to install their systems, and typically
they do not sell their system to untrained or unapproved installers. In addition, some
states, including Oklahoma, have established state retrofit system installer training and
certification requirements.


Q Can I install this system myself?

A Installation by a non-qualified installer could damage the retrofit equipment or
the engine, compromise vehicle performance, or render the vehicle unsafe to operate.


Q Are there other safety considerations?

A The installer is responsible for obtaining the fuel storage system components
(cylinders, high-pressure tubing, press release device, brackets, protective plates) and
for installing them in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association’s
Vehicular Fuel System Code (NFPA 52). These safety-oriented issues are the domain
of the local fire marshal, and most jurisdictions have adopted NFPA 52 as their
standard for proper installation of natural gas vehicle systems. Consumers should ask
installers to confirm that the installation meets NFPA 52 requirements.

2005 Armada LE 4x4

Last edited by Pops; 03-01-2011 at 07:09 AM.
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#5 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 08:09 AM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

just do it and dont tell anyone.

=D

2006 Armada LE- SEE MY WTB THREAD.
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 08:14 AM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

So the aftermarket kit has to be epa and carb certified, the vehicle has to epa and carb certified, but the installer...doesn't. Yea, that sounds about right. Call the state and tell them, you're willing to use the Armada as a training vehicle.
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#7 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 08:25 AM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Section8 View Post
... Call the state and tell them, you're willing to use the Armada as a training vehicle.
How would I go about doing that??

This is another reply from Tom.. One major issue with Nissan is that ANY alternative fuel conversion system does indeed void our OEM warranties, so I'm beginning to understand his reluctance towards working on them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom
I won’t touch a vehicle with over 60,000 on it. We only convert EPA certified vehicles and I don’t work in any gray area on the vehicle conversions.



The conversions are $12,500. You should only put that on a new vehicle.

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#8 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 09:19 AM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

This is another reply from Tom.. One major issue with Nissan is that ANY alternative fuel conversion system does indeed void our OEM warranties, so I'm beginning to understand his reluctance towards working on them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom
I won’t touch a vehicle with over 60,000 on it. We only convert EPA certified vehicles and I don’t work in any gray area on the vehicle conversions.



The conversions are $12,500. You should only put that on a new vehicle.


Oh horse snot. Your vehicle is epa certified. That is, if you bought it in America, and paid for it using American currency (instead of the alternative, animal pelts and human trafficking). He doesn't want to do it, because Nissan has yet to jump onto the cng band wagon here in the states. They have yet to spend the time and millions of dollars to perfect a system that works properly on their vehicles. They want the auto manufactures to develop the system, and ensure it's durability. Leaving them with the relative "safe job" of installation. Proving they are little more, than just glorified salesmen, trying to cash in on the latest fad. Nissan just hasn't moved in this direction yet. And for that reason alone, I would stay away from a cng "upgrade".

I would take that $12,500(or $6,250 after rebate if you prefer), and start looking for a more fuel efficient ride. Especially, seeing as how you will not be able to claim your tax rebates this year. Unless you can get all work performed, and paperwork done by the 14th of April.
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#9 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 09:27 AM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

That's pretty much my conclusion as well... However, keep in mind that altering the Fuel Supply System voids OEM EPA Certification and requires the vehicle to be re-certified... It's all in PDF's posted on the EPA website, the EPA website dipsnots scanned pages as images so text cannot be copied and pasted from with in the gazzillion page PDF's.

I'm just irritated that there's all this big hype to "get on board with the Picken's Plan" that ultimately ends up boiling down to "go out and buy a brand new GM or Ford vehicle to bring into us"... Friggin' $80k spent on a new plain-stock SUV??? Gimme a break!!!

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#10 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 09:58 AM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops View Post
That's pretty much my conclusion as well... However, keep in mind that altering the Fuel Supply System voids OEM EPA Certification and requires the vehicle to be re-certified... It's all in PDF's posted on the EPA website, the EPA website dipsnots scanned pages as images so text cannot be copied and pasted from with in the gazzillion page PDF's.

I'm just irritated that there's all this big hype to "get on board with the Picken's Plan" that ultimately ends up boiling down to "go out and buy a brand new GM or Ford vehicle to bring into us"... Friggin' $80k spent on a new plain-stock SUV??? Gimme a break!!!
Yes. The old man has driven several electric vehicles and CNG vehicles in the past. But these were company cars and he works for power companies. They roll these out as sort of proof of concept and green initiative stuff. As a private citizen, you would only do this for environmental reasons. You won't see a net savings over the life of the vehicle.

You then have to factor in the inconvenience of CNG fueling. This may not be an issue in your area, but here in the NW they are few and far between.

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#11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 10:09 AM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by chunko View Post
... You then have to factor in the inconvenience of CNG fueling. This may not be an issue in your area, but here in the NW they are few and far between.
It's not an issue here at all, C-Stores are starting to provide CNG Pumps, and there's one about 4-miles down the road from my house..... It's much closer than I have to drive to get to the nearest 100% Unleaded Pumps... FWIW, Gasoline will be at close to $5.00/gal again this Spring, alot like last year... I think it'll go back down later as well, but for driving 100 miles/day at $5.00/gallon, OUCH, even a 4-cyl Altima feels that pain...

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#12 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 10:20 AM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops View Post
That's pretty much my conclusion as well... However, keep in mind that altering the Fuel Supply System voids OEM EPA Certification and requires the vehicle to be re-certified... It's all in PDF's posted on the EPA website, the EPA website dipsnots scanned pages as images so text cannot be copied and pasted from with in the gazzillion page PDF's.

I'm just irritated that there's all this big hype to "get on board with the Picken's Plan" that ultimately ends up boiling down to "go out and buy a brand new GM or Ford vehicle to bring into us"... Friggin' $80k spent on a new plain-stock SUV??? Gimme a break!!!
Ah yes, the Pickens Plan. Get off of petroleum, and switch over to cng. Because they never get cng from petroleum, especially here in Oklahoma.

The problem is, there are so many choices when it comes to the "fuel of the tomorrow", that it's a crap shoot for a manufacture to decide which ones to invest in. From; more fuel efficient gasoline vehicles, diesels (and bio-diesels), cng, lpg, propane (and all the others anes), hybrids, full electric, E85/ethanol. Not to mention all the numerous renewable fuels; sugar beets, sugar cane, hemp, what have you. We have only started to scratch the surface, and it's only going to get worse. The energy business is just that, a business. With billions of dollars at stake.
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#13 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 11:54 AM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

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Originally Posted by Section8 View Post
Ah yes, the Pickens Plan. Get off of petroleum, and switch over to cng. Because they never get cng from petroleum, especially here in Oklahoma....
Right, but Gas wells seem to be more shallow and abundant than oil wells are, at least out West towards the Panhandle side of the state they are..... Either way, CNG is still only $1.39/gge which makes it the lowest price fuel station fuel....

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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

right now there is an abundance of CNG. i work for an oil and gas company. we used to be about 80% gas and here lately we've started looking more towards more oil rich plays. over the last year we've started the process of converting our entire fleet of vehicles to CNG. i've been driving a dual fuel CNG/gasoline Chevy 2500 HD since around June of last year. my company is pushing pretty heavy to get more refilling stations statewide. right now limited refueling is the main drawback to having a CNG vehicle, aside from the initial conversion cost. hopefully in the future automakers will offer oem CNG/gasoline vehicles.
i'd guess that once there are more CNG vehicles on the road and the supply starts to diminish, the cost of CNG would likely increase hopefully not to the point of gasoline, though!

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#15 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 03:08 PM
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Re: CNG / LPG Conversion ???

Of course the price of cng will increase, as popularity for it grows. Just ask any farmer or rancher, and ask them what has happened to price of feed (corn based) in the last few years. Ethanol production has caused some pretty dramatic changes in the price of corn.
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