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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - MG B V8 on LPG?

Sorry for all the people living in the US, but this is something that might be only for UK and European residents. I was wondering how many are interested in putting their MG (especially the V8) on LPG (car-gas), what their experiences are and how they get along with it.
I have some stories of my own and could share them with people who are also interested in this topic. With the rise of the number of LPG stations in the UK there surely are people with MG V8's on LPG, or there must be growing interest? Perhaps some users?

Frank
Frank de Groot

Frank,

As you know I'm very interested (thanks for your Email) and I'm sure a few others will be. I imagine to the majority of Brits LPG is a very foreign concept. In the Classic Car realm it may be very difficult to convince people to go dual fuel. Unless of course they are like me and do an average of 20,000mls a year in a 24mpg V8. :)

I'm a New Zealander by way of Australia and back home in Kiwi a huge number of cars ran LPG. I remember my Dad's car had it in 1982-ish and I wouldn't be surprised if 50% of the people I knew in the mid eighties had an LPG tank in the back of their car. It's not too common in Australia yet but a lot of Taxi's use it.

It's cheap and plentiful in NZ. LPG seems to have a pretty negative image over here like the early days in NZ, backyard convertors etc. Cars going boom. Certainly shouldn't be that way a properly set up conversion is at least as safe as petrol.

Cheers,
Neil
Neil Cotty

LPG is tough on your engine, the valves don't get the lubrication that they do with petrol and the seats may burn. I orrigionaly bought a gas powered 3.5 '86 motor which was such a mess it wasn't worth reconditioning. You also may get a problem with back fire which will damage a L-jetronic fuel injection air flow meter (yes I REALLY got screwed on that one)and I've been told the same goes for the later hot wire (I can't visualize exactly how for the latter). You can buy anti backfire valves (which are esentially a piece of perforated tubing with a rubber cover), but I don't know how well they work.
Peter

Frank,

Go to RPI's web site : www.rpiv8.com, they do lots of LPG stuff for LandRover Disco/RangeRover with V8. Also might be worth hitting the Rover V8 group on Yahoo, it's run by a dutch guy and has some passed discussions on LPG. The Canadians run a lot of vehicles on LPG up in BC/Alberta oil patch. The problem of detonation causing valve seat resession or damage to pistons/cylinder head is cured by retarding the ignition with an "intercepter" ignition controller. The problem would be where to put the evaporator under the MG bonnet/hood.

Phil.
Phil Hill

Apart from the mechanical considerations mentioned I think people are probably waiting to see what the Government will do in, I think, 2004. At present there is either no tax or a very low tax on LPG.
You can bet your life that if there is an upsurge of interest and LPG gets popular the tax will soon be increased, probably to the level of petrol. Any advantage, particularly economical could be wiped out at a stroke.
Martin

fuel additive imput to this as I run an old Volvo 240 injection on LPG.
I only pay 27.5p ltr TAX PAID so at almost a third of unleaded price is worth thinking about.
I fitted the conversion myself (very easy) and it only cost me
Paul Humphries

The evaporator sits just in front of master cylinders in my LHD V8. When it was RHD it sat in front of the brake servo.
Lots of Range Rovers, Land Rover and even P6'es and certainly Vitesses ran on LPG over here. After two years of use it doesn't give me any problems at all. And the tank can be mounted invisible, as can the filler piece. The piping to the evaporator can go through the normal route.
I admit that you have to drive some km's to get a return on the equipment. So when the government is not stable, you either want a short return on investment period or not invest at all, I guess. Here Classics older than 25 years are still tax exempt. But you never know when that ends. Roadtax is triple that of petrol cars. So only if you drive over 20.000 km a year it will yield any benefits.
Having said that, I still wonder how many of you are interested in such a conversion or have actual experience with this kind of conversion. In Holland there are quite a few bad installers.

Frank
Frank de Groot

Paul,

What have you done wrt Insuring these converted cars. Did you inform the insurer and tell them you modified the cars yourself? What was the reaction and how much of a change on the premium? My biggest hesitation over here has been approaching the insurer!!

Cheers,
Neil
Neil Cotty

I have two insurer and neither is bothered that it's a DIY conversion.
The main policy is with NFU (National Farmers Union) because they gave the best deal on my old Land Rover. That's off the road but I still insure my everyday car with then as they are approachable unlike a lot of "direct" companies.
My wife car (insured in my name) is insured with TESCO. I asked them about LPG and it was simply a case of informing them so they can update their records. No engineers report or inspections nor increade premium.
If you have an insurance company who insist on a "professional" installation ask if they would accept a DIY but an independant engineers report of the standard of your workmanship after. This is what's require for most modified cars so they should know what you are talking about. be warned however the way a lot of comanies manage to undercut others is by restricting the policy. NO MODIFICATION may be one aspect. What a lot of people don't realise is that towing twin axle trailer, for example, isn't covered by most insurer (one reason why I'm with NFU) as a way of reducing risk and hence premiums. I'm sure there are lots of other restrictions too.
Paul Humphries

I have heard of more people installing LPG themselves. Surely in their MG B's. Main reason is because there are quite some dodgy fitters around that will fit LPG, but at the expense of your car's health and beauty. It is not difficult, and you have a lot of choices to mount the tank out of sight.
In the archive I saw some good comments from Peter de Velde. One of his comments is that at the moment LPG is used in Holland well over 20 years. Maybe in the startup period (or with a bad fitter) you can experience backfire. But after so much time and with so many cars on LPG it is hard to believe that large parts of lease-fleets have been converted to run on LPG if there were any real problems.
What's also interesting is that busses (the large ones) are being converted on a combination of diesel and LPG. Makes for more performance and a burning process that is almost without smog.

Frank
Frank de Groot

How on earth to you convert a diesel to run on LPG? As a diesel Land Rover owner I would love to do it but it must require very substantial work and expense
Marc

Marc: I believe Frank was referring to a practice similar to what we in the states know as propane injection for diesels. You still run diesel fuel, but injecting propane (and I guess LPG as well) to enhance the power produced by the diesel engine.
John Perkins

Certainly Diesel engines can run on old cooking fat. Police in South Wales reckon they can determine the source by sniffing the exhaust - chips? Kebabs? Popadums?
Paul Hunt

John, you're right. The vehicle uses diesel, but lpg is injected as well to get a better combustion process.

Frank
Frank de Groot

This thread was discussed between 11/12/2002 and 16/12/2002

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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