Thursday, 6 September 2007

For the Petrol Heads - Cooking with Gas

Somebody out there might be interested in my experience in converting my 2005 Falcon SR to gas.My old mate Peter (Captain Smirk) – came good with $2000, which made it worthwhile, given that the conversion was an expensive one (state-of-the-art Sequential Vapour Injection) costing $4400. It was fitted in November last year, and I’ve covered 20000k since, including a trip to the Atherton Tableland and back.

The car is giving about 14lit per 100k around town, which costs the same as 7lit per 100k given that lpg is half the price of unleaded in Toowoomba. I’ve seen 11lit per 100k cruising. It’s almost impossible to pick the difference between lpg and unleaded (car will run on both) under most conditions. Total range is about 1100k with the 68lit toroidal tank together with the normal tank. The toroidal tank fits neatly into the spare tyre space, and the tyre is bolted on the boot floor. This is the only disadvantage, but unless I’m on a trip, I don’t carry a spare relying on a pressure-pack tyre kit. On long trips, I fit a plastic luggage pod on the roof which makes up for any loss of capacity. I’ve also fitted heavy-duty rear springs which compensate for the additional weight of the toroidal tank and maintain the ride height.
The system uses an additional computer running software which emulates unleaded settings, so there is very little loss of performance because of the different characteristics of lpg. I’ve finished up with a car that costs less to run than my wife’s Fiesta, but provides the performance and security of a big car. It’s been reliable – no gas odour – instant starting – no backfiring, and seems in every way superior to the Ford factory gas which is still the old-style taxi system and lacks the flexibility of dual-fuel.

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