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 Post subject: New member
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:44 am 
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After a few attempts to get registered, here I am. I couldn't find a formal introduction area, so hopefully this will suffice.

I am a Reliant enthusiast and have a small sideline business specialising in repairs, restorations and upholstery etc, everything in fact!
Having sold my beautiful GTE that I had fully restored, I went to Holland to fetch a GTC that was advertised in good condition. Yes I know! Anyway it turned out to be LPG converted and there was no viable petrol facility, due to the amazing bodgery that had gone on. To say it was hairy driving back would be something of an understatement. Holland is full of LPG stations, but further west, I found myself running on fumes.

I have done some sorting out and improvements since, a new petrol tank, a replacement cylindrical tank and feed pipes, plus a replacement mixer unit to run the 38DGAS. It has been quite a learning curve and am now at the stage where I know a touch more than I did about LPG but finding that specialists and suppliers are pretty uninterested. One specialist I went to early on charged me a small fortune for a pretty poor job that I should have done myself, had I had the confidence.

The fuel gauge didn't work very well, so once I got the petrol tank in there too, I was stuck for reliable indications. The petrol gauge supplied was the wrong one, missing the WL terminal, so decided to sort the who.e lot with an Arduino. This interfaces both tanks and registers on the factory gauge automatically depending on which tank is selected. Dead easy to calibrate too and I can select the warning light points. Only tweak I need to get around to is to debounce the WL as it tends to flicker a bit.

All seems to work well, although my range isn't great due to it only being a 45 litre single hole tank. That having been said, it should take 36 litres from empty but the maximum I can get in is 30-31 litres apart from one occasion when it was still pumping at 39 litres at the specialist. I was told not to be concerned, but not to pump any more in.

The tank has been rotated to the optimum position, first by angular measurement and then by adjusting for lowest gauge reading on my computer monitor. I spoke to Tinley Tech about it and they were dismissive, suggesting that the valve can't have a fault etc. It is a bit irritating because that last gallon of LPG could make all the difference to my current 80 mile ish range.

For anyone interested, the saga of the collection from Holland etc is here: http://www.scimitarweb.co.uk/sgwrs/view ... 20&t=29736


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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:22 pm 
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Welcome aboard and nice choice of car! Never owned one but always liked them.

Your LPG consumption seems a bit high though! You're getting 80 miles out of 36L of LPG? That's only 8 gallons so 10mpg. Is it similar on petrol?

Also you don't mention what LPG system you're running - is it a simple open loop system with no ECU and a simple changeover switch/valve arrangement or is it something like a single point system with a Leonardo or similar ECU?

As for your warning light, i'm guessing that's for low fuel level? Is there a facility in the Arduino to put a delay of say 3 minutes in before it turns the light on? You'd have to set it so the light would only come on after the delay if the low level switch was still on and doing it this way would eliminate the light flickering on and off due to fuel slosh, going up (or down) hills etc.

Just read the first page of your collection thread and noticed you mention the range is 180 miles (not 80) on LPG which is 22-23mpg and probably about right for the car with that engine, gearbox etc. Surprised about the 38DGAS though on the Cologne engine, all the Granadas i've known including my own with the 2.8 lump had some weird Solex (or was it Pierburg?) thing instead. Read a bit more and can see you have a nightmare ahead of you!

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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:27 pm 
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Hi, the range was with the torroidal tank which is now removed. I estimate that the LPG consumption is around 13MPG which is not wonderful I agree. With my previous GTE with an Essex three litre, I got around 18MPG on petrol around town, which is the same type of useage.

The system is a simple non ECU type with a changeover switch. I have had a tank built with a Range Rover V8 internal petrol pump. LPG tank is a 45 litre cylindrical one hole type.

As for the warning light, yes it is low fuel. I have it set to a quarter tank currently. A delay as you suggest is debouncing it. A subroutine will be triggered when the tank gets down to that level. The subroutine keeps checking every half second or so and if the trigger is still there after a preset time, it will allow the light to illuminate. You would normally use milliseconds when debouncing a switch, but for this application I will perhaps check once a second for ten seconds or so. Must get on with it! There is a convenient USB tail in the boot that I can connect to for uploading.

The original carb is a Pierburg. Not so bad in good nick, but the 38DGAS is a bit more mainstream and a nice new one makes all the difference.


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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:16 pm 
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Arduino probably a bit of overkill for controlling the fuel gauge.

Maybe kill two birds with one stone by debouncing the gauge reading (since low fuel light is based on gauge output level), by not only sampling at a slow rate but also averaging the samples.

E.g.
Have an array to store potential fuel gauge output readings, don't update gauge output until array is full, calculate the average, store that figure and output to gauge. Would need to instantly fill the array with current calculated gauge output (and update gauge output) when ignition is first turned on and/or when switching fuels.

With one array, amount of debounce could be increased by pre-filling some of the array with the current gauge output value.
Reckon I'd use 2 arrays each storing maybe 100 values. One cell in first array updated every 1/10th second, so 10 seconds to update every number in first array. Every 1/10th second (same interval), average of first array is calculated and that number entered into a cell in the second array. Average of second array could be calculated and gauge updated as often as you liked (would expect every 1/10th second) and would take 100 seconds for gauge to move from one extreme to the other. With this type of debounce you wouldn't see gauge suddenly move every second or so, would move smoothly. Could set low level light so it could only come on after the 2nd array has been completely updated following ignition on / fuel changed. Only using 200 cells for similar smoothness to 10000 cells at 100ms update period.

Simon

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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:02 pm 
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Interesting points, thankyou. I did have a brief look at the code earlier, but lack the concentration today. You made me think about the software today and have realised that both senders need debouncing, unless I just use the gauge output as you suggest for the threshold. Need to think about it a bit more.

The fuel gauge is already "debounced" as it is a thermal type, so don't need to worry about needle flutter.


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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:41 pm 
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The other reason I have used an Arduino (Nano) is because I need to build a simple gearbox ECU for the A4LD fitted. TC lockup needs a little processing of road speed, vacuum and brake light switch ideally. I am manually switching it currently, but it's not ideal of course. Also, the Nano costs less than a fiver!


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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:06 am 
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Scimitar wrote:
Hi, the range was with the torroidal tank which is now removed. I estimate that the LPG consumption is around 13MPG which is not wonderful I agree. With my previous GTE with an Essex three litre, I got around 18MPG on petrol around town, which is the same type of useage.

The system is a simple non ECU type with a changeover switch. I have had a tank built with a Range Rover V8 internal petrol pump. LPG tank is a 45 litre cylindrical one hole type.

As for the warning light, yes it is low fuel. I have it set to a quarter tank currently. A delay as you suggest is debouncing it. A subroutine will be triggered when the tank gets down to that level. The subroutine keeps checking every half second or so and if the trigger is still there after a preset time, it will allow the light to illuminate. You would normally use milliseconds when debouncing a switch, but for this application I will perhaps check once a second for ten seconds or so. Must get on with it! There is a convenient USB tail in the boot that I can connect to for uploading.

The original carb is a Pierburg. Not so bad in good nick, but the 38DGAS is a bit more mainstream and a nice new one makes all the difference.


I wonder if adding even a simple Lambda-control type ECU such as a Leo or even one of the cheaper ones (Bingo or something i think they're called) for controlling single point systems would pay dividends on the economy and drivablility fronts on gas? One of the installers or more experienced DIYers on here might be able to answer that?

Slightly different definitions of debounce, in my day we used a simple resistor-capacitor to achieve debounce but the end result was the same more or less.

Never been a fan of Pierburg (or Solex) carbs, the 38DGAS is a nice carb - had one on my Mk1 Cavalier 2.0 to replace that piece of junk known as a Varajet II - great carb when it ran right but awful when it was even slightly out and given the general publics propensity for fiddling with screws tht shouldn't be touched, 98% of Varajets were out! Needed setting up with a water manometer and ideally a vacuum pump and gauge to run right. Managed it more than once with some screenwash tubing, plywood (to mount the tubing) water and food colourant to see where the water was. Very fiddly and if you overdid things you could easily "flood" the engine with the coloured water. Thank dog for twin choke webers! :D

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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:31 pm 
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LairdScooby wrote:
Never been a fan of Pierburg (or Solex) carbs, the 38DGAS is a nice carb - had one on my Mk1 Cavalier 2.0 to replace that piece of junk known as a Varajet II - great carb when it ran right but awful when it was even slightly out and given the general publics propensity for fiddling with screws tht shouldn't be touched, 98% of Varajets were out! Needed setting up with a water manometer and ideally a vacuum pump and gauge to run right. Managed it more than once with some screenwash tubing, plywood (to mount the tubing) water and food colourant to see where the water was. Very fiddly and if you overdid things you could easily "flood" the engine with the coloured water. Thank dog for twin choke webers! :D

I was into rear wheel drive Fords when younger, thinking was cheap parts easily available including upgrades / mods etc. 2L pinto engined models came with Weber carb, as did Ghia spec 1.6's, but lesser model 1.6's had the crappy VV carb (same concept as Varajet) which made less bhp, did less mpg and had automatic choke which was prone to going wrong. Those were the days, before speed cameras and unmarked police cars, when me and the ex regularly went to Newquay Cornwall for the weekend, driving by night and sometimes covering the 350miles in 3hr10mins including fuel stops :lol: Would often end up being a little convoy of 2/3/4 cars all speeding, not racing, didn't know anyone else in the convoy but we'll all have had the same thought - group together for extra eyes to look out for those that would rather us not be travelling quite so fast.. one car slowed down we all did until coast seemed clear (cars sitting on raised bits besides motorway of particular concern). At 120mph with 4 speed box, pinto would sit at over 6000rpm most of the way but only problem I ever had was having to roadside 'fabricate' an alternator bracket out of a bit of wood to get us home. Not possible to get away with these days! Fitted 5 speed boxes in some Cortinas but the shift wasn't as nice. I used to flow the carbs and heads myself, have heads skimmed to raise compression, fit bigger longer cams etc, 4 branch manifold, 3L air filter, great power increase and even economy increase.

Above would have been around 1989. Not much later than that I started a second job doing DJing etc and had a Vauxhall Senator. Coming back from a gig one night on the M62 I set the cruise at 130. A plain looking car caught me up and pulled alongside, I looked across and there were a few officers in high vis jackets giving me the once over.. but they didn't pull me, I slowed down just a little bit and they continued at same speed, phew! I reckon they knew I wasn't driving flat out trying to speed test the car or anything as they'd be familiar with the model, early hours of Sunday morning the road was completely quiet and although driving fast I wasn't driving like a biff... but I reckon they might have done me had I been in a Cortina or the Saphire Cosworth (well, especially if it wasn't the end of their shift and they weren't in a hurry on other business)!

Simon

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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:34 pm 
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Odd that you mention 1989, unmarked Police cars, Vauxhall Senators and speeding all in the one post! If you remember car-jacking had just started to be "popular" where hoons would run you off the road, drag you out of your car, whacked over the head and nick your car.
One night traveling back from seeing my girlfriend, i was tailed by a dark coloured Senator - midnight blue for want of a better description. I was in the aforementioned Mk1 Cavalier 2.0.
Anyhow, this Senator kept coming up behind me, dropping back, coming up behind, going to overtake, dropping back. I'd been doing about 55-60mph but had edged up to about 70-75mph and they were still doing it.
By now i was thinking they were going to try and force me off the road as there had been plenty of opportunity to overtake so i floored it and watched the speedo and rev counter both go off the scale. Speedo finished at 130 and rev counter ended at 7000 and at a guess was reading about 7300-7400rpm. Was a 4-speeder and about 20mph in top, i'll let you do the maths! :wink: :twisted:
When they had disappeared from my mirror completely and with a rigorously enforced 50mph limit coming up soon, i let go of the loud pedal.
They clocked me on the over-run (when they eventually caught up! :lol: ) at 106mph and when i slowed to 49mph for the 50mph limit, a blue strobe appeared on the dash of the Senator.

Nurses and warty curds muttered i. Pulled in to the lay by and was given a bo77ocking by them and it went to court. Meanwhile after the nasty chat, i said to them "What's that then a 3 litre Senator?" - "Yeah, bit quicker than a 2 litre Cavalier" came the reply to which i responded "Bloody wasn't a while ago, was it???"
Probably not the best thing to say as they insisted on seeing the engine bay and straightaway spotted the 38DGAS sitting on a drilled and tapped manifold. I explained it was a budget standard conversion using second hand parts and offered no performance gain but was much better on fuel than the OE Varajet. Thankfully they either didn't know the difference between the sequential twin choke DGAV and the synchronous DGAS or they didn't care, either way they were satisfied it wasn't there for performance.
Poor deluded people! :twisted: :lol: I didn't have the heart to tell them there was an experimental profile Piper Magnum 285/2 cam and solid lifters inside with a few more tricks :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: that helped the engine to about 160-170bhp, nearly as much as their Senator but in something 2/3 the weight.

When it went to court i got a heavy fine and 3 points, escaping the usual ban for being 30mph+ over the limit because of the circumstances and fearing for my safety due to the threat of being car-jacked.

About 6 months later the first GATSO in the area was installed in the village with the 50mph limit. It made shed loads of money in its first year apparently.

A year or two later i moved down south and could quite often be found in the oustide lane of the M27/A31 etc heading to Bournemouth, Torquay or similar at 135+ in an SD1 V8 - they didn't catch on to unmarked cars or GATSOs down there as quick! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:28 pm 
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[quote="LairdScooby"].......... in the oustide lane of the M27/A31 etc heading to Bournemouth............[/quote]

The only place I have been done for speeding in over 30 years of driving.


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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:33 am 
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Talkingcars wrote:
The only place I have been done for speeding in over 30 years of driving.
You've not been trying hard enough.......

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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:43 pm 
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[quote="Gilbertd"][quote="Talkingcars"]The only place I have been done for speeding in over 30 years of driving.[/quote]You've not been trying hard enough.......[/quote]

No, just lucky :roll: :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:55 pm 
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Talkingcars wrote:
Gilbertd wrote:
Talkingcars wrote:
The only place I have been done for speeding in over 30 years of driving.
You've not been trying hard enough.......


No, just lucky :roll: :wink:


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:00 pm 
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Interesting story but I reckon a 3L Senator would easily beat a 2L Cav even with the mods you mention.. 0-60 in 6 seconds and over 150mph top speed with pretty decent and neutral rwd handling.. My mate was into nippy little cars like XR2's at the time but we used to go to the coast as a four-some in my Senator. He laughed when we were cruising at a ton and it kicked down to 3rd and quickly pulled to 140 when I put my foot down, XR2 etc, er, wouldn't do that. Weight is important for 0-60 etc but aerodynamics and horsepower are more important for high speed performance. 3L 24v was 220bhp, cops all ran those, one of mine was same before I fitted the turbo, Lotus Carlton style...

Was once pulled by an Omega 3.3 or whatever while in the Senator and officers told me 'If you'd decided to take off, we wouldn't have caught you in the Omega, we preferred the Senators'.

For quite a few years now I've had a clean license but it was seldom that way when I was younger and won't be that way again soon - I recently got a letter from S.Yorks Police saying an auto camera clocked me at 37 in a 30 zone (was on approach to a little village a month or so ago on my way to sort the Jeep I mentioned elsewhere on forum)... Would I like to attend a course on speeding which would cost £80 and 5 hours but no points or just accept the £100 fine? This time I chose the £100 fine and 3 points, because 3 points won't make a difference and I can do without spending 5 hours probably on a Sunday being preached to about the dangers of speeding etc.

Simon

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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:27 pm 
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LPGC wrote:
For quite a few years now I've had a clean license but it was seldom that way when I was younger and won't be that way again soon - I recently got a letter from S.Yorks Police saying an auto camera clocked me at 37 in a 30 zone (was on approach to a little village a month or so ago on my way to sort the Jeep I mentioned elsewhere on forum)... Would I like to attend a course on speeding which would cost £80 and 5 hours but no points or just accept the £100 fine? This time I chose the £100 fine and 3 points, because 3 points won't make a difference and I can do without spending 5 hours probably on a Sunday being preached to about the dangers of speeding etc.

Simon


Yeah the speed awareness course isn't fun though i'd suspect a lot of people already know that one reading this!.

Going back to the original topic - the mention of the overfilling tank its worth being aware that under the right (or wrong!) conditions its possible to fill more than expected. I can get a variation of about 8 litres on the tank depending which end/side of the car is lower if the ground isn't level. Usually underfilling, though i've had one occasion where i ended up with 52 litres, though i wasn't convinced afterwards that it wasn't an inaccurate pump. That was at a converter somewhere down in the southwest on a particularly cold day.


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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:30 am 
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LPGC wrote:
Interesting story but I reckon a 3L Senator would easily beat a 2L Cav even with the mods you mention.. 0-60 in 6 seconds and over 150mph top speed with pretty decent and neutral rwd handling.. 3L 24v was 220bhp, cops all ran those,


Simon


You're right if it was a 3L 24v Senator but it wasn't, it was only a 12v, the reg was D878 GVG - basically the same engine as i had with 2 extra cylinders grafted on. Yes it had fuel injection and had almost certainly been chipped but even so, my Cav left it standing from 70 to 140+ and they admitted they didn't have a hope of catching me unless i had slowed down, which of course i did.
I later owned a Royale 3.0E coupe (same engine as the Senator had, 12v Bosch injection) and the acceleration/top end on that was nowhere near what that 2.0 Cavalier would do.
I've also driven an ex-Police 24v Senator (J522NKO) that belonged to a friend until it was stolen and burned out :shock: and as i commented to him after driving it, "you don't pull away in it, you launch it!". Those extra 12 valves (and on his a 5 speed box) made a hell of a difference.

I've been lucky over the years with speeding, these days i'm (usually) pretty careful and either stay within the limit or take a gamble but without getting to the point of an instant ban for being 30+mph over the limit.

Getting back on the original topic and the overfilling, i've managed to "overfill" my Jeep a few times. It's a 90L tank so in theory an 80% maximum fill will only be 72L and a couple of times i've managed 78L. However, both those times were at a particular station i no longer use and the consumption worked out at a stupidly low rate. While towing recently it still managed 13mpg on gas (despite the problems i had in the other thread about possible vapouriser icing) and after towing (before refilling the other day to work out the consumption) i was trying to sort a cooling problem so was running the engine without going anywhere so 13mpg isn't bad.

So what could cause overfilling like that? Is it likely the pump was out of calibration?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:37 am 
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LairdScooby wrote:
LPGC wrote:
Interesting story but I reckon a 3L Senator would easily beat a 2L Cav even with the mods you mention.. 0-60 in 6 seconds and over 150mph top speed with pretty decent and neutral rwd handling.. 3L 24v was 220bhp, cops all ran those,


Simon


You're right if it was a 3L 24v Senator but it wasn't, it was only a 12v, the reg was D878 GVG - basically the same engine as i had with 2 extra cylinders grafted on. Yes it had fuel injection and had almost certainly been chipped but even so, my Cav left it standing from 70 to 140+ and they admitted they didn't have a hope of catching me unless i had slowed down, which of course i did.
I later owned a Royale 3.0E coupe (same engine as the Senator had, 12v Bosch injection) and the acceleration/top end on that was nowhere near what that 2.0 Cavalier would do.
I've also driven an ex-Police 24v Senator (J522NKO) that belonged to a friend until it was stolen and burned out :shock: and as i commented to him after driving it, "you don't pull away in it, you launch it!". Those extra 12 valves (and on his a 5 speed box) made a hell of a difference.

I've been lucky over the years with speeding, these days i'm (usually) pretty careful and either stay within the limit or take a gamble but without getting to the point of an instant ban for being 30+mph over the limit.

Getting back on the original topic and the overfilling, i've managed to "overfill" my Jeep a few times. It's a 90L tank so in theory an 80% maximum fill will only be 72L and a couple of times i've managed 78L. However, both those times were at a particular station i no longer use and the consumption worked out at a stupidly low rate. While towing recently it still managed 13mpg on gas (despite the problems i had in the other thread about possible vapouriser icing) and after towing (before refilling the other day to work out the consumption) i was trying to sort a cooling problem so was running the engine without going anywhere so 13mpg isn't bad.

So what could cause overfilling like that? Is it likely the pump was out of calibration?


It would suggest so to me - if its running out at the same milage but with what should be more fuel it would suggest the amount of fuel isn't what it was supposed to be in the first place. It can be hard to tell though. I'm sure when mine did "overfill" that i found the same thing - no additional milage before it ran out.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:12 pm 
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Good - i'm not going completely mad then! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:33 pm 
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Maybe you'd forgotten you actually had the 9.4L 18cylinder 520bhp engine in the Cav at the time Dave? :lol:
If (with the 2L) 7000rpm = 130mph but you were doing 7400rpm with pre red top engine, then you'd be doing 137mph, which is below the 12v Senator top speed by some margin. Senator would kick down to 3rd gear from over 110mph and pull pretty well from there..

Simon

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 Post subject: Re: New member
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:25 pm 
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In the 2L Mk1 Cavalier, 4th gave about 20mph/1000rpm, might have been 19.7 or 20.3 or something, can't remember exactly now but for all intents and purposes, it was 20mph/1000rpm so 7400 was about 148mph, maybe only 145 but still faster than a 12V 3.0 5 speed Senator.
It was the CIH engine, pre-Family II, pre-Red-Top which was a development of the Family II. I'd also had it rolling road tuned so i know it was about 160-170bhp - the guy was a bit vague about the figure and didn't give me a print out but this was 1989.
Shortly after i also had a VX2300 (facelifted Victor FE) tuned up with parts from the same source as i used for the Cav and one wednesday night i was chased by an XR4i with a fancy paint job and disco lights on the roof. I lost him up a steep hill.
Friday morning at work one of my workmates came in and announced his brother (a serving police officer) had chased a black Vauxhall up the hill in question on wednesday night. Apparently he was flat out at 145 on the flat and the Vauxhall lost him.
Haven't a clue what speed i was doing, there was no tacho in the VX and the speedo scale ended at 110 and it was going past that when i flew past the Sierra on it's "Piggy Perch" (a police nickname so i'm told by a traffic officer) and bending the zero stop from the wrong side shortly after.

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Cheers,
Dave


Somewhere in Suffolk with a Jeep, 2 Rovers and a V6 Volvo

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