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LPG conversion 1952 Bedford SWB
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First Bedford



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 107
Location: Darlington, Durham

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:47 am    Post subject: LPG conversion 1952 Bedford SWB Reply with quote

Contemplating adding an LPG conversion to this petrol engine. Any thoughts or links to previous discussions?
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3524
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had an lpg kit fitted to a Vauxhall Omega, did 150,000 miles in the car over 4 years (which is why I had the kit fitted n the first place) so save a fortune on fuel costs.

If you are fitting it to save money, just work how long it will take to recoupe the investment.

The ignition system does have to be in tip top condition as the plugs will fire at a higher voltage on lpg (I had to replace the coil pack twice on the Omega).

The components in the sort of lpg system you would fit are very simple, there is not much to go wrong, but obviously must be fitted correctly, and you will need a certificate for your insurance company.

Dave
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First Bedford



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 107
Location: Darlington, Durham

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:33 pm    Post subject: LPG Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. Will be on a 1952 engine which is 3 litre wagon. As the wagon will run only occaisionally then would have to be a DIY kit which then leads as you say to certification for insurance. Will really have to way up pros and cons.
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Jim.Walker



Joined: 27 Dec 2008
Posts: 1233
Location: Chesterfield

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had quite a lot of experience of LPG vehicles, though not recently. In fact I was an approved Calor Installer.
Certainly a lot of money can be saved, but only for higher mileage vehicles.
Reckon on using about 10% more fuel by liquid volume to calculate your break even mileage. We used to reckon, back in the late seventies that we saved over 1p per mile. At around 60,000 miles per year that was 600 per car THEN.
Cold starting can be difficult in winter, so retaining the petrol option is not a bad idea if immediate starting/use is essential all year round.
We never had any ignition system problems even though we had around 10 cars on LPG at any given time.
LPG is unleaded fuel. Modern cars designed to run on unleaded will cause no concern, but pre-unleaded engines CAN suffer valve pocketing, as we found on our BLMC 1800s after about 100,000 miles. Never serious enough to cause us to fit hardened seats though.
There are quite a lot of legal requirements to observe. not least of these being the need to have a fixed re-fillable tank with liquid take-off to a vaporiser. Gas take off from gas bottles is not allowed.
Be sure that you have an LPG re-filling point handy in your area and remember you may have to make detours when away from home to fill up, unless you still have a petrol option.
I hope all this helps.
Jim.
I'm not sure that DIY is a legal option unless (maybe) if you are Corgi registered or similar.
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First Bedford



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 107
Location: Darlington, Durham

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:47 pm    Post subject: LPG conversion 1952 Bedford SWB Reply with quote

Well, thanks to you both. It would have been a second fuel source, switchable. It would be a shame to make additions to something that I want to keep as original as possible. Can't seem to do anything nowadays without upsetting some government department, can't believe how everything is so regulated, granted some for the best but a lot, planning permission to change a toilet seat, seems to be revenue earning. Just getting old I suppose.
"Certainly a lot of money can be saved, but only for higher mileage vehicles." Wont be high mileage but I presume thirsty.
Thanks.
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Jim.Walker



Joined: 27 Dec 2008
Posts: 1233
Location: Chesterfield

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the subject of your Bedford. We used to service one that looked much like yours. A 3 Ton long wheelbase. I used to love road testing it. It cornered like a Mini! Unladen anyway!
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are ever likely to want". Computers had not been invented then!
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 21215
Location: North-west UK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My BM has LPG on it, but I've never run anything old on it. Rumours of it burning hotter and drier put me off considering it on the Dodge, when that hits the road, despite its MPG figures which will be well down in single figures. It won't do great mileages so isn't worth the complication in converting it, I'll probably just stick to pump unleaded with regular doses of proper 4 star.

A friend of mine had an early 60s Chevy pickup on LPG and encountered no problems, although Chevy engine parts are a lot easier to find than Dodge Smile I think he installed it himself. I'd have thought that the insurance companies would want to see a certificate proving a proper installation (they do with the BMW), so might be worth checking that angle before shelling out on DIY kit etc??? Maybe an inspection by a pukka installer, after a DIY installation, is sufficient?

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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emmerson



Joined: 30 Sep 2008
Posts: 1258
Location: South East Wales

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've run my Range Rovers on LPG for many years, and as has already been said, if the ignition components are top quality, you should not have any trouble.I have a pal in France who runs his 1957 Vauxhall Velox on gas, with no probs. As for DIY, its not a problem, and Tinley Tech will supply kits and advice to DIYers. Not all insurance companies rquire a certificate, but I believe Tinley will inspect and certify DIY jobs if they supplied the kit, but I'm not certain of that.
Also, as far as I know, there is no legal rquirement to be qualified to DIY.
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
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Location: North-west UK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you get a certificate, you then qualify to have your logbook altered to show dual-fuel, and I'm told it gets you out of congestion charge, if you're unlucky enough to live near London..

R
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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emmerson



Joined: 30 Sep 2008
Posts: 1258
Location: South East Wales

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick, unfortunately that's not so. I tried it, but the vehicle must be LPG ONLY to qualify. If it can be run on petrol, it's disqualified.
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Dirty Habit



Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 399
Location: West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emmerson wrote:
Rick, unfortunately that's not so. I tried it, but the vehicle must be LPG ONLY to qualify. If it can be run on petrol, it's disqualified.


I tried to change my registration document to LPG Only with DVLA but it came back as Petrol/LPG. I telephoned them and asked why they had not changed it to just LPG. I was told there is no separate fuel category for dedicated LPG only. I used the car in London and never paid the congestion charge and never received any penalty notice for non payment.
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Dirty Habit



Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 399
Location: West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: LPG conversion 1952 Bedford SWB Reply with quote

First Bedford wrote:
Contemplating adding an LPG conversion to this petrol engine. Any thoughts or links to previous discussions?


Are you planning a dual fuel installation or LPG only? I have done several LPG installations on my own vehicles, both petrol/lpg and LPG only. For the two with LPG only, I used Impco components made in the U.S. and Australia. They make dozens of different Propane carburettors and I am sure you would find what you need. If your going for dual fuel, then almost any of the European manufactured systems could be adapted for your Bedford.
Just one point. Don't mix Impco and European parts, they are designed to operate on different vacuum/pressures.
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First Bedford



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 107
Location: Darlington, Durham

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: Thanks Dirty Habit et al. Reply with quote

Biting the bullet and running without a conversion to LPG. Won't be doing a lot of miles, keeping it original, a nice simple engine so I won't compicate it. Thanks all.
Pete
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