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 Dual fuel conversion

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adeh
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PostSubject: Dual fuel conversion   Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:33 am

Having recently topped up with my first over-£60 of petrol, a panic reaction set in. Do I swap the Zaf for a micro car? My first thoughts were: get a Yaris, 50 mpg, five seats, semi automatic. However, £7000 for a good one made me think. What is the best value? That much for a new car, or simply change the amount I have to pay for fuel.....? LPG is 69p per litre in my local garage and within half a mile. As most of my driving is done within 60 miles, I felt I could run the Zaf on LPG alone, with a couple of gallons of petrol as backup. A search of the net found a £900 conversion, in Cardiff. Much cheaper than a change of vehicle, and I calculated I would recover the cost within a couple of years at most.

An early start (4am!) found me in Cardiff exactly on time, 8am, and my Polish lpg conversion specialist just opening his workshop. The conversion was expected to be complete by 7pm that same day, and he would give me a courtesy car while the work was done.

A trip to Cardiff centre, Barry Island (a sort of Southend and the Welsh end of Gavin and Stacey: I come from Billericay). Cardiff a bit expensive on parking fees, and not particularly interesting. I took myself back to the workshop at around 6pm, asked how things were going. OK, but the bad news is, another two or three hours, quite a lot of the Zaf had to be removed to allow gas pipes to be fitted. So, I tried to make myself comfortable in the front seat of the Honda I had been loaned. Nine o'clock, ten o'clock passed by, still no sign of work being finished. Surely they would, could not work any longer? I was knackered and I'd done nothing....
The problem was twofold: the car would not run on LPG at under 900 rpm, and the engine warning light would not go out. A cold hand gripped my stomach (that's what it felt like anyway). At one the next morning, they had cured the warning light, vbut not the low rpm problem.
I had no wish to spend any more time trying to sleep in the courtest car, so we mutually came to the decision to call it a day, and I would drive home, and return later when they had found out what was the problem.

A lovely quiet run home, empty motorways, no charge to get back across the Severn Crossing, nor to get back through the Dartford Tunnel.
Of course, something HAD to go wrong: the warning light came on about 80 miles on the way home, and hasn't gone out since!

I am going back to Cardiff within the next week as they think the problem is the rail, whatever that is, and this will be replaced. I'll report back when it's done and will let you know IF the conversion is worth it. P.S.: the ignition barrel is playing up, have got to have it expensively replaced befor I can get to Cardiff....

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supersterl
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PostSubject: Re: Dual fuel conversion   Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:37 am

hope you get it sorted ,keep us informed with updates of how she runs etc..

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topladz
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PostSubject: Re: Dual fuel conversion   Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:42 am

i was talking to someone at billing the lpg only kicks in when the engine is hot but i dont know anything about lpg

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Robbo
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PostSubject: Re: Dual fuel conversion   Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:57 am

I've got factory fitted LPG on my bus, it's great and saved me a fortune. Bad news is it stopped working last week. I can't complain though because she's covered 176,000 miles now and the LPG has never been serviced.

I'm going to book it in for repair in the next few weeks. Unleaded is costing me a fortune Sad
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supersterl
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PostSubject: Re: Dual fuel conversion   Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:45 pm

let us know how you get on ..

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madmalc917
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PostSubject: Re: Dual fuel conversion   Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:41 am

a bit af advice i was given when i bought my bus from a good friend who is a network q master tech stey a way from gm lpg/duel fuel as they end up with problems and vauxhall can very rarely sort the problems
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Robbo
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PostSubject: Re: Dual fuel conversion   Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:00 am

Well mine is 7 years old and has done 176,000 miles never had any LPG problems until now. Hardly a problem if they can't fix it anyway just means you have to run it on unleaded.
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adeh
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PostSubject: Re: Dual fuel conversion   Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:01 am

Hallo again chaps...Update below.
Got the ignition barrel replaced, costa fortune! Nice not to have to wrestle with the steering wheel though.

Took Zaf to Cardiff again, new rail fitted which cured the engine warning light , but on the way home got to the Dartford tunnel (I take the southern M25 which always has fewer roadworks) when - curses! a slight thump, antilock brake warning light came on together with engine warning light AGAIN! and the gearbox decided to stay in top gear! Got home ok, straight on the Net and it seems the problem lay with-you've guessed it- the MAF sensor. Got a used one from eBay for £29, gave it a spray with electrical contact cleaner and my problems are at last solved. In fact I now wonder if that was the original problem...no matter.

It is difficult to say accurately what the gas consumption is, because there is no positive cutoff when filling up with LPG, you have to stand there like a twerp leaning on the button while the indicator creeps slowly along (factor the speed of filling up into your calculations folks! LOL) but it seems to be slightly more, say 5 mpg, than petrol. That still means quite a saving. My Zaf is nine years old with 142K miles and you might think it not worth the £900 it cost me, but I reckon the owner of a later model who intends to keep it will be quids in at the end. I certainly don't regret it. I reckon I do about 5000 miles per annum and I should save about £300 pa. So it will take me 3 years to recoup the cost. The more mileage you do, the more you save.

By the way, the gas tank is fitted under the back where tha spare wheel sat, so that now has to be carried in the boot area. No problem for me, but bear that in mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Dual fuel conversion   Today at 3:33 pm

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