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Old 05-23-2004, 05:28 PM   #1
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Running the engine on Propane

My 1976 Argosey 28 foot motor home has a switch on the dashboard which allows the truck to be run on the LP gas. This fascinates me as it appears that the LP gas is simply fed to a dispenser ring located in the air cleaner around the carburetor, and that no other adjustments or carb settings are required. Do these systems work? I was told that it was extremely dangerous if a hose chaffed or leaked and that it could cause a serious explosion or fire. I was advised to disable this system. Should I disable it? Is running on porpane and cheaper? Is there any other advantage, other than a solution if I run out of gasoline?
Thanks,
Chas
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Old 05-23-2004, 06:03 PM   #2
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If possible, can you refill the LP tank with nitrous oxide?
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Old 05-23-2004, 06:32 PM   #3
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Chas Gould, I believe your switch allows you to run your Argosy on either gasoline or propanenot both. I had a Chevy truck converted in 1982 to run on propane. This was called dual fuel capability. Propane at the time in Montana was 59 cents for motor fuel, and gas was $1.19 Mostly, I ran the truck on propane, however when I needed extra umph for towing my 1970 27ft Intern'tl in montainous terrain, I would flip a switch, and revert back to using gasoline. Before computer controls, you got better horsepower on gas than propane. I would suspect this is the set-up you have.
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Old 05-23-2004, 07:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradobus
Chas Gould, I believe your switch allows you to run your Argosy on either gasoline or propanenot both. I had a Chevy truck converted in 1982 to run on propane. This was called dual fuel capability. Propane at the time in Montana was 59 cents for motor fuel, and gas was $1.19 Mostly, I ran the truck on propane, however when I needed extra umph for towing my 1970 27ft Intern'tl in montainous terrain, I would flip a switch, and revert back to using gasoline. Before computer controls, you got better horsepower on gas than propane. I would suspect this is the set-up you have.
You probably do have 'dual fuel' which is a great set-up. many vehicles in Canada ,especially trucks have been converted like that. They are completely safe as long as you let the one fuel burn out before operating on the other. You probably have that safety feature bulit in if you only have the single switch. Milage wise you will get slightly lower ,but more consistent combined city/highway milage but propane is less money usually right now. Power-wise there is a small sacrifice but the big advantage is engine life-no carbon build-up and non polluting. You tecnically never have to change your oil if operating on propane. If you (or anyone else on this forum) would like to have the ability to fill off your home bulk tank I have the pump set-up for you . A neignbor no longer uses it and it can be had for $50 plus shipping.
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Old 05-24-2004, 01:07 AM   #5
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There should be more than only a switch in the dash and a dispencer ring in the aircleaner
there should be at least two valves one in the propane line and one in the gasoline line
there should be a evaporator that is heated with the engine coolant
I run My cars on propane only for almost 20 years now I think it is safer than gasoline
1 a gasoline tank is made of thin metal or plastic a propane tank is thick steel
2 there is a shutoff valve on the propane tank and on the evaporator this valve close
when engine is not running , a gasoline fuelpump is on when ignition switch is on

When running propane the engine will get a bit hotter you might want to use a bit cooler thermostat
there will be a small loss in power but when you run propane only the engine can be optimised to run on propane.
1 you can advance the ignition timing a bit 5 to 10 degrees
2 you can raise the compresion to 14,5 to 1 max

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Old 05-24-2004, 01:24 AM   #6
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hi there;
I agree with Remcolent ( Hi ... ) and I ride different vehicles with LPG for a long time now.
So , I'm a bit surprised by the too much simply equipment on the motor, to run on LPG!!!
I' ve two different LPG systems and the last one is mounted on my Ford F150 4,6 l V8.
I can say you it's not simple and there is a small computer to calculate the LPG injection. And the equipment was not really cheap and only a specialist can work on it;
Is your single ring not only to warm the fuel during winter ... I know they do that in FRANCE, when the fuel was fixed by the very low temperatures, and this circuit allow to warm it. That 'll be the reason there was a lot of this kind of option in CANADA.

I hope that can help you.

Bruno.
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Old 05-24-2004, 07:23 AM   #7
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That doesn't sound right to me either. The butterflys on the carb could be used to control the airflow but that would just richen or lean the propane mixture, there needs to be a way to control the flow. It would not be a good location for preheating which is pretty necessary for propane, are there nozzles in the ring? Maybe a hp booster or way lessen detonation on hard climbs. I don't think it would actually work very well, but that never stopped sales in America.

FWIW I would disable it until you have a chance to check it out well. At least make sure the main valve is off.

John
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Old 05-24-2004, 07:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 74Argosy24MH
That doesn't sound right to me either. The butterflys on the carb could be used to control the airflow but that would just richen or lean the propane mixture, there needs to be a way to control the flow. It would not be a good location for preheating which is pretty necessary for propane, are there nozzles in the ring? Maybe a hp booster or way lessen detonation on hard climbs. I don't think it would actually work very well, but that never stopped sales in America.

FWIW I would disable it until you have a chance to check it out well. At least make sure the main valve is off.

John
I agree with Remco and Bruno, keep the LP system. There is a pressure regulator that keeps steady pressure at the carb, it has a heat exchanger filled with engine coolant so the propane won't freeze. It would be a very good idea to have your system checked over for chafed/leaking hoses. And yes, your engine will run a little hotter on propane, if your cooling system is marginal your vehicle will overheat. And yes, propane is cheaper than gas, especially on a BTU basis.
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Old 05-24-2004, 07:56 AM   #9
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I was pretty certain that this was a stock setup from the Argosy factory. It does not look like an add-on, and the switch gear on the dash appears to be original. The ring is perforated with nozzles all around it, and it is located above the engine block inside the air cleaner ring, so it gets preheated by engine heat. There is also a preheat mode on the switch for cold starting, and a second toggle to select Gasoline or LP. Does anyone else have this on their Argosy?
Chas
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