LPG Conversion? - Ford C-Max Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-24-2010, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Guys,
I'm thinking of getting an LPG conversion.

Has anyone had one, got one, or know someone (C-max or otherwise) that has one?
Any experiences, or advice?
Since my car is still relatively new at 2008, I won't need to change it for a few years yet and according to the maths, I'll see a return on my install costs within a year. So I'm struggling to find a reason not to go for it....
Cheers,

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post #2 of 10 Old 05-24-2010, 11:03 PM
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I have 2 experiences of LPG.
When I was still in the police in 2001- 2002 I regularly drove anAstra that had a factory LPG conversion which we were testing.
At 50,000 miles it had a cylinder head gasket failure which our workshops attributed to the hot running of thegas conversion.

The engines run hotter on gas, you have to start on petrol and then the car switches over automatically.
The performance is affected quite a lot when running on gas - the Astra was a police spec car so had basic trim but SRI Recaro seats uprated brakes and suspension. If I was in a rushI immediately switched to petrol to get the performance. Don't forget you can't do a direct mpg comparison, the gas tanks either take up boot spaceor the spare wheel well.We certainlydidn't continue trying them and in fact soon after switched most of the fleet to diesel Fusions (they are still buying them now).
My brother in law used to be a fleet manager at a Vauxhall main dealership about6 years ago which decided to do LPG conversions. They did them on all sorts of vehicles not just Vauxhall.The workshop manager had a nervous breakdown because of all the problems with the converted engines.
I suspect your new car warranty would also be invalidated in respect of any engine related claims minimum.
Personally I would leave well alone and change the vehicle for a diesel ifI was looking to save fuel costs.

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post #3 of 10 Old 05-25-2010, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Cheers,
I'm not keen to change vehicles due to the history and mods I have with this car. Low performance doesn't really bother me but the headgasket is interesting as it's the first issue I've heard with them.
I'm wondering if there have been any improvements since then with the systems as like you said it was in testing.....
Hmm even with headgasket changes every 50k it still works out cheaper to run LPG.....
Not convinced either way just yet.....

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post #4 of 10 Old 05-25-2010, 01:12 AM
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I'mnot convinced -I work on the premise that at the moment 'green' is the flavour of the month.
If LPG is so good why are Ford and others concentrating on low emission high mpg petrol and diesel engines. I don't recollect Ford pushing LPG recently. I also note that you cannot take an LPG running vehicle on eurotunnel.
If you are determined to follow the LPG routeI suggest you check thoroughly the quality of the conversion and try and drive a vehicle so equipped. This website may help you decide on the economical side of it. To me 2000 is a lot to shell out on a conversion. i also looked at a 'Green' car website and they talk in terms of running costs being similar to diesel, but quieter. They also mentioned that some insurance companies charge more for LPG equipped cars.
Will be interested in hearing your final verdict
http://www.drivelpg.co.uk/savings_calculator.php

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post #5 of 10 Old 05-25-2010, 02:36 AM
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I`ve heard of several conversions done on RangeRovers have had the same overheating problem.
Lots of people have asked me why I don`t have mine converted.Simple really,I don`t do the miles to warrant it & there is nowhere near to top up which makes it even less of an option,besides,I like the huge boot space I have.
MM




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post #6 of 10 Old 05-25-2010, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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Eurotunnel isn't an issue as we have other cars in the family. From a cost perspective alone it makes sense and I'll save money.
What I'm not sure about is the day-to-day running and longer term view onmaintenanceetc. I was hoping someone on here might have got one or know of a similar engine conversion and could comment as that's what will swing it.
I have a friend with it (Rangerover as well as it happens) and he swears by it.
I've changed jobs so my annual mileage has changed which makes it now a potential option. Bootspace isn't an issue as it can sit in the spare wheel well were the inflation kit is.
I must say it's rather evenly balanced both ways at the moment.....

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post #7 of 10 Old 05-25-2010, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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"i was lookin at gettin one on my car, and was advised by a lot of garages not to bother, as the engine wouldnt handle it or some bull like that, not sure if the c-max would have same problem. the main thing i was being told was along the lines of the heads fitted from the factory for LPG equipped vehicles suffer valve seat regression, so a non LPG head isn't likely to last long if you do decent length journeys."

Comments by a member on Focus Owners about it.

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post #8 of 10 Old 05-25-2010, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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LPG engines do run a bit warmer, but a cooler thermostat helps. The heads only suffer valve seat regression if you dont have this kit fitted:

http://www.lpgasmagazine.co.uk/autog...he-system.html

Seems to be as son as there is a draw back to the system there is a workaround. Hmmmm.....

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post #9 of 10 Old 05-26-2010, 01:55 AM
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I had enquired from a local firm here in Northern Ireland about a gas conversion to my cmax and got the following response:
Thank you for your enquiry on an autogas conversion.

The total cost would be 1500.



This is for a "state of the art" fully
sequential multi-point injection system. This is one of the well proven high
quality Italian systems, not one of the cheaper eastern european types.




You should be aware that a number of Ford Zetec (and
Duratec) engines have suffered from
valve seat wear when run on autogas.


This can occur regardless of the installer or the make of
system fitted.


It is more likely to occur on cars used mainly for
motorway driving.


The possibility of this happening can be considerably reduced
(but not totally eliminated) by fitting a "Flashlube" system, which
introduces a small amount of valve seat lubricant while driving.


The car would use about 1 litre for 5000 miles.

This is included in your quotation.



The standard of our installation far exceeds any other
installer we have come across and also considerably exceeds the requirements of
the LPGA.


So confident are we of our workmanship that we are happy
to offer an unlimited warranty on the standard of work on our installation.


The system also comes with a 1 year parts warranty.

Of the many hundreds of systems we have installed, fewer
than 4 have ever required any parts replaced and that was only after many
years.






There are a number of unapproved gas installers who will
offer you a conversion at a lower price (probably arround 1000 - 1200). These
will most likely be the much older "single point" gas systems. Under
no circumstances should you have one of these systems fitted to your car.


they are dangerous and unreliable - cause frequent
stalling, backfires and a considerable reduction in power. These systems are
also considerably more likely to cause valve seat wear on your engine.






These single point systems are not very accurate at
precise fuel metering and so will cause the cars engine managment light to come
on.


Additionally,
these unapproved gas installers have a very poor standard of work and do not
even install the system to the minimum safety standards.
going by this I think I will give it a miss, hope this helps
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-26-2010, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm that actually sounds quite positive....cheers for posting that.

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