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Converting my LT to run on LPG

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AndyT View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 Aug 11 at 16:55
Hi Folks,

There's been a fair bit of discussion recently on this topic so I thought I'd put something together to explain the basics and answer common questions.
It's a work in progress so will change from time to time.

How much does it cost

A professional conversion costs about a grand depending on the size of tank.
They will also register your vehicle on the database as required by dvla and your insurers etc.

How big a tank should I fit

My view is as big as you can, in rural areas lpg can be scarce or relatively expensive.
My tank is internal and 120l, at least one other member has replaced the petrol tank with a large lpg tank and fitted a smaller auxilliary petrol tank.

I only keep a tenner or so's worth of petrol in the tank at any time, so if this is done safely it's an option to retain interior space.
I start all year round on lpg, petrol is for emergencies.

Can I convert my LT myself

Yes, but you will need a certificate/registering as above.
There are guidelines but no real regulations at the moment, however dvla etc will require proof that the installation was carried out by a competent person.

Some suppliers will do this if you buy the parts from them, parts being around £500+vat, and inspection £150ish assuming it .passes first time.
You may also have to travel a fair distance for the inspection, and have to weigh this against having the conversion done locally.

How much will I save

Varies all the time, where you live etc.
As a rough guide though I'd suggest that for every £100 you spend on petrol you'd save £40.
If anyone disagrees with my maths then say so and I'll edit accordingly.

Will it damage my engine

Don't believe so, any engine able to run on unleaded can be converted.
There is an additive which can be used, but personally I haven't tried it.

Are there any servicing issues

Not really, a couple of adjustments on the lpg system and small modifications to the engine timing.
At the end of the day if it runs right, no missfires etc then it is right.
The major saving is in the cost of fuel.

Can I run my cooker, heater etc from the same tank

As far as I know, not possible.

Lpg systems use liquid from the tank, whereas cookers etc use the gas.

Can I buy second hand

Yes, but don't buy a box of bits, they are often incomplete and unsuitable.
A kit from a landrover (thirsty vehicle) might be suitable for example but I'd rather buy new with instructions/warranty etc.

Long term reliablity

If purchased from a major manufacturer, don't see a problem.
My RR was converted years ago, getting hold of the software was a problem, but parts are available on ebay.
LT's don't have this problem as there are no black boxes, in 5 years I have had no problems whatsoever. Just minor tweaks.

This is just the start of a topic so please ask any questions here, rather than creating new.

Cheers

Andy

LT28 1979 2.0 Pampas Nevada Camper LPG 93K, 1980 T3 A/C Camper 98K,1994 RRC 3.9 LPG 120k , 1998 Audi A6 Est 2.5 V6 diesel 127k

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mackney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 11 at 20:22
This is great stuff Andy I'm differently getting my LT28 done this month just trying to find the best please to take her in Derby.  
mackney.com on tour with a LT28 petrol 4 speed low roof 1991
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote terry bug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Aug 11 at 21:11
Great post mate and your right about rural areas. My brother converted his petrol Range Rover some time back. And got caught out on a trip to Wales. But since then he has downloaded a list of all LPG selling petrol stations to his iPhone and sat nav. Ain't been caught out since   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bryankelly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 11 at 12:47
Hi all
 
Just wanted to comment on the issue of running gas appliances from the same tank as the engine.  I have a 1980 LT28 2.0 ltr. with a very early Calor Gas LPG conversion which has the ability to run the engine, cooker/oven/grill, refridgerator and a gas heater, all from the same tamk.  I believe that the condensor transforms the gas from vapour into liquid at the engine, which would account for this.
 
Another concern for Gas, is the valve seats on early engions (pre unleaded). If possible and not already fitted, hardened valve seats should be fitted in order to avoid damage from long-term running on gas.  I've heard people suggest that running on petrol periodically is helpful
 
Thanks for all the useful information, as the LPG system is probably the most important one I have dealt with on the van, and now after a lot of time and expense, finally have it optimised and running very well.
 
Cheers
 
Bryan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dreamcatcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 11 at 17:38
Andy,s doing a good job,
If anyones interested I will post the picturs of my underslung LPG tank and auxiliary petrol tank.
Dave 1991 LT31 Camper
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 11 at 13:25
The calor gas system is a new one to me, didn't even know they converted vehicles.

The issue as I understand it is one of safety, but no doubt there are technical solutions.

With lpg there is a solenoid on the tank which shuts off the supply when the ignition is off preventing any leaks. This is contrary to what you need for a cooker etc, which is a gas supply when the engine is not running.

With a gas bottle the regulator does this and you turn it off before you drive off, don't know how you achieve this with an lpg system as the regulator would have to be on the lpg tank.
If it was inside the vehicle then any connecting hoses would be exposed to damage and the possibility of venting the tank.

If anyone comes across a specific tank which allows both types of connections then please post details. Standard tanks are relatively cheap, be interested in the extra cost.
LT28 1979 2.0 Pampas Nevada Camper LPG 93K, 1980 T3 A/C Camper 98K,1994 RRC 3.9 LPG 120k , 1998 Audi A6 Est 2.5 V6 diesel 127k

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jodielee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 11 at 10:53
Thanks for this Andy, very helpful, I was considering doing this but was quoted £1800! are there any reputable and reasonably prices places conversion can be done that anyone recommend in the bristol area?

Thanks

Jodie
1996 Preg LT35 Diesel PAS LWB Luton :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 11 at 12:19
Hi Jodie,

Not sure it's possible for an LT diesel, (too old!!)  but you could try the people where I did my course.

http://www.mintlpg.co.uk/adwords.php

They should at the very least be able to put you in touch with someone in the Bristol area, who has completed their course.

Andy



LT28 1979 2.0 Pampas Nevada Camper LPG 93K, 1980 T3 A/C Camper 98K,1994 RRC 3.9 LPG 120k , 1998 Audi A6 Est 2.5 V6 diesel 127k

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jam-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 11 at 13:27
Hi, with regard to having hardened valve seats fitted. I personally would not bother as the cost of that will make the conversion unviable.
 
As some of you know I run an LPG converted Ford 3 litre V6 in my LT (it's in September issue of Classic Ford Magazine if anyone is interested!) and these engines have the softest valve seats in the history of motoring! However, to counter this I have fitted a drip feed vlve lube system which was only a few pounds literally. It is a system designed specifically for this problem and any LPG installer you go to who is worth his salt will know about this. I have now done 5 000 miles since the conversion on an engine untouched since 1979 and all is still well with it. I can get the name of it and post it if anyone is interested. I buy refills of ebay very cheaply and with it set to drip correctly it lasts about 500 miles per litre.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mat_the_cat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 11 at 13:55
Debatable whether this should go in here or useful link, but the most up to date (in terms of price) list of LPG stations is www.filllpg.co.uk

It is user updateable, so I just update it whenever the filling stations I use change their price, or when I visit a new station. The list of stations is not complete, but the more people that use it the better this should get.
Mid engined, 6 cylinder, turbocharged 2 seater - it can only be a VW LT!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jam-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 11 at 13:58
Now that is useful 'cos I can never find a decent LPG availability chart for long journeys... Cheers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 11 at 14:21
Petrolprices.com is what I use, let's you search by town or postcode.
Don't know how it gets updated but seems accurate so far.
You do need to register (free) and select lpg as the fuel, but you can search upto 25 miles from a postcode etc, ideal if touring.
Most Morrisons seem to stock lpg btw.
LT28 1979 2.0 Pampas Nevada Camper LPG 93K, 1980 T3 A/C Camper 98K,1994 RRC 3.9 LPG 120k , 1998 Audi A6 Est 2.5 V6 diesel 127k

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jam-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 11 at 14:30
Perfect. I'll use both which should ensure I don't get caught out again. Having a 3 litre 'under the hood' isn't such a good idea when you don't have LPG!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 11 at 15:24
You want to try my Range Rover, got problems with the fuel pressure regulator and nobody makes it anymore.
Reckon it does 7mpg on petrol!!, fortunately doesn't take long to warm up and switch to gas when I get the equivalent of 29mpg.
LT28 1979 2.0 Pampas Nevada Camper LPG 93K, 1980 T3 A/C Camper 98K,1994 RRC 3.9 LPG 120k , 1998 Audi A6 Est 2.5 V6 diesel 127k

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jam-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 11 at 21:58
Ouch! I can squeeze 18-20 out of the LT. Just...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G vwlt31 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 12 at 18:54
hi
   i want an lpg fitted to my lt31 2.4 petrol ive looked online there seems to be a lot of diffrent 
   systems anybody out there with a 2.4 vwlt point me in the right direction on best system to go
   for.thaks
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 12 at 19:17
I don't think the hardware matters too much, just check ebay etc for spare part availabilty.

What I'd be looking into is how long the company has been around, and how near they are to you incase there are problems. It's a pretty basic system on an LT and relatively little to go wrong.

My Romano system has been problem free for years, and I've worked on other systems without major problems but not running correctly.
The main problem seems to be ignition timing, modern vehicles with electronic ignition can compensate for this but you don't have that on an LT.

Recommend you change the coil, plugs and leads and maybe consider a electronic points upgrade for future reliability. Cost is insignificant compared to the £1k for the conversion.
Wherever you choose, collect the vehicle early in the day and go for a drive so that there is time for any problems to be fixed.
LT28 1979 2.0 Pampas Nevada Camper LPG 93K, 1980 T3 A/C Camper 98K,1994 RRC 3.9 LPG 120k , 1998 Audi A6 Est 2.5 V6 diesel 127k

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G vwlt31 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 12 at 19:26
Thanks for the info andy,is the romano system fitted to the carb or is it an injector type system,what size is your tank n how much is it too fill regards graeme  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 12 at 19:51
All LT's need is a device fitted into the air intake which then feeds into the carb, sort of looks like the top of a gas hob.
My tank is 120L and holds 93L of lpg. Cost varies but around 72p/L is probably average, fuel saving currently is about 40% as you get around 10% less mpg on gas. I get around 250 miles before I need to look for a top up.
LT28 1979 2.0 Pampas Nevada Camper LPG 93K, 1980 T3 A/C Camper 98K,1994 RRC 3.9 LPG 120k , 1998 Audi A6 Est 2.5 V6 diesel 127k

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote G vwlt31 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 12 at 19:58
Thank for the info much appreciated.g
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