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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:40 pm 
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I'm guessing some warning of modern cars are blown all out of proportion, http://www.amrautos.co.uk/index.php/lpg-systems ,but are such warnings really that bad or is this just relating to the PRINS systems they installed or bad tuning? I know PRINS used to be renowned but things change and that was 10-15 years ago and thats more than enough time for things to go full circle.

I've got 2 friends who are really interested in LPG, one I'm on the look out for somthing decent for a friend who really needs stop riding motor cycles, I'm wondering if it better to go down the 2000 ish German car whose valve seats and no problems with the switch from leaded to unleaded, or it's just fine to go with somthing newer. I see that direct injection FSI engines are now possible to convert with direct injection kits.

Another friend is seriously converting a 1.6L '06 Renault megane, apart from being used all the time seemingly, the scare stories even from Renault specialists themselves are quite disturbing. Then again I see a local taxi driver running a Renault with the same car, same year and engine just the estate version, clearly no problems and racks up the miles. Never got a chance to ask if he got a new engine head ready for LPG.

I know there are some real pros around here, what is the deal these days with modern cars and LPG's, and issues.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:06 pm 
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As you rightly say, the FSi, or any direct injection engines, can be converted but only if a specific kit exists for the engine. They also need to inject some petrol as well as LPG so the savings are lower. A basic rule is that anything from the far East, the USA and any later Ford, GM and a couple of others, will suffer VSR. Bear in mind too that things like modern Volvos also use Ford engines. In many cases, fitting a Flashlube system will protect the valves but it is another expense that will eat into the savings. If the engine is set to run lean, VSR can happen anyway too. Car manufacturers these days treat cars as white goods and consider 10 years or 100,000 miles to be the expected lifespan, so they aren't built for longevity in the first place. AMR are Land Rover specialists and as all of the post 2005 Land Rovers used Ford engines, they will have problems. Interesting that they also quote the rising cost of LPG as another reason they no longer do conversions considering the price has dropped considerably recently with it now under half the price of petrol (at some outlets, well under half the price of petrol)......

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:16 pm 
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Agreed with Gilbert's points.

Reading between the lines, AMR have had problems failing to convert vehicles successfully. Some of us convert the same vehicles they refer to, successfully, and on a regular basis, saving owners lots of money.

They reckon real price of LPG is nearly a quid a litre, real price is actually around 50p a litre for equivalent running costs as petrol at under 60p/litre.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:17 pm 
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Yea things change and LPG and petrol have gone down quite a long way since that warning from AMR. I got a local co-op with LPG that 53.9p/l at the mo.

They see how cheep my 98 1.6l golf is to run on lpg and they get envious, now that you mention It i'm glad I found that vac leak I had, made quite a difference and it was definitely running lean.

The old VW diesel gate is off putting too, but I have banged on to anyone that will listen that diesel is just nasty stuff when burnt.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:21 am 
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TNT wrote:
Yea things change and LPG and petrol have gone down quite a long way since that warning from AMR. I got a local co-op with LPG that 53.9p/l at the mo.
47.9 around here! AMR's website could do with updating. Would also take their warning with pinch of salt - I reckon - they were not competent at converting some of the vehicles they supposedly specialise in, then blamed LPG the fuel and LPG conversion systems par-se rather than their choice of system components and skills at installing/calibrating for poor results. I will stick my neck out and publicly say I assume their back out of the LPG conversion trade was due to drive-ability and warning light issues on vehicles they converted, which wouldn't be an issue with systems fitted by installers like myself.

Some diesel vehicle owners around here, mostly boy racers, have started putting 'dirty diesel' stickers on the their cars.. Not sure if I inspired rebellion :lol: Some of these will never know the joys of driving powerful petrol vehicles, poor people, but content in their ignorance.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:26 pm 
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When my car was converted PRINS seemed like a great fit and one of the better systems, I'd also guess that other systems have caught up a lot now and may tweak better and work well with a wider range of cars. I've not really got into the in's and outs of maintaining an LPG system. I really haven't needed to, apart from filter changes and re-clamping the heater hoses around the vaporizer. All the problems i've ran into had nothing to do with the LPG system.

Also Gilbertd mentioned the build quality of cars these day and 10 years 100,000 miles being more the norm. I'm used to cars lasting alot longer than that, and I find the service intervals on modern cars crazy, I know modern oils can be better but not 20000 miles 2 years better. The worst thing is usually the chassis rusting through especially on french cars regularly parked near the sea. Many cars I've serviced have hit 300,000 miles and still ran great.

Even on my cars, the oil gets changed at 7500-10,000miles or every year whatever, and earlier if it gets particularly dirty too quick or has done a lot of stop start driving.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:15 am 
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Flashlube does work very well at preventing VSR (and don't forget it was developed for pure petrol engines that suffer from it, before it was found that it worked very well for LPG/CNG). It's also not that expensive - £30 for the basic kit, and then £60 for a 5 litre bottle, which will treat 5000 litres of LPG (you use 1ml of Flashlube for every litre of LPG). So in effect it adds on about 1p to the price per litre of LPG. So taking it from 50p to 51p or so at the moment.

I looked at AMT's website a while back, but it seemed so at odds with what everyone else was saying that I interpreted it as them making excuses to get out of the LPG business. Certainly when you look at the mileages people in places like Poland, Sweden and Australia manage on LPG converted Japanese engines, VSR really isn't an issue at all.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:34 pm 
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The prins question is quite an interesting one actually. The problem being that the injectors are very linear. Mind you they do work and work well. But lots of modern cars don't have a particularly 'flat' power curve. So yes some systems are much better suited to the more modern engines.
Shame the liquimax didn't take off. That struck me as having lots of potential.
Something needs to happen with direct injection before the whole industry falls on its ass. The applications are so limited. You spend more time turning fsi conversions away than actually getting jobs in the door. :?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:16 pm 
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I'm not a fan of Prins, have mentioned all the negative points against that system in the past - ECUs that only offer 3 handles on calibration, unreliable ECU's, unreliable injector driver units. But I don't see why injectors being very linear would be a problem. On another thread I said Valvetronics can be easier to set up with injectors that are not the most linear - but Valvetronics are an exceptional case, while a Prins setup that by default doesn't have a reducer vac connection, complete with Keihin injectors can give good results on a Valvetronic. Would probably give better results if the Prins ECU were substituted with another make ECU though. I rate Prins (Keihin) injectors as the best part of any Prins system, these are the component that gave Prins their whole reputation, yet Prins don't even make them... Problem with Keihin injectors is they are too big to fit neatly or in the most opportune location in modern engine bays. Pipe runs that have had to be longer than they might with other injectors because of the design of these injectors can negate any advantage that might have been realised from really linear injectors.

One problem with Prins ECUs seems similar to a noted issue with OMVL Piro. There is an issue with Piro messing fuelling up at 3000rpm, with Prins the same problem (not as pronounced) moves across the rpm range depending on factors of calibration. A few of us noticed that Jeep 4.7 V8s suffering VSR all had Prins fitted, this due to problem with lean fuelling. This may be related to Piro type symptoms but in some of these cases the installer had enabled Prins automatic high load mixture adjustment (none slave standalone closed loop under these conditions), which if enabled on these engines has the effect of leaning high load mixture off....

Liquimax type technology seems the most promising for the long run on DI stuff, I know it hasn't taken off yet, I don't know if development has stopped(?). Months ago I was looking into another manufacturer's similar technology to Liquimax, was cued up ready for training and thought I hadn't heard anything for a while... Then TinleyTech told me on forum that the manufacturer had gone bust. What prompted me to approach that firm was a repair I did on a Subaru with 'factory fitted' liquid port injection system (same system manufacturer) and getting conversion enquiries for V8 DI vehicles for which there isn't a vapour (or any other) system available at around the same time. The technology (diversion valves swapping fuels to engine original DI injectors) should make LPG conversion a nuts and bolts / straightforward plumbing job while at the same time offering best results - the other manufacturer seemed to confirm this with one proviso.. even with DI injection some vehicles had problems starting on gas, which is a bit of a negative if after running on LPG you cannot start on petrol (because diversion valve setup means LPG is present in fuel rail and has to exit the DI injectors before LPG will reach DI injectors). No problem converting any DI vehicle at all with that technology, as long as on some vehicles the driver remembered to switch back to petrol a few mins before switching engine off!

What will need to happen, and I expect will happen, is a variety of firms produce the diversion valves, in tank pumps and ECUs (which now pretty much just need to control the diversion valves).

Simon

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:25 am 
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The liquid si vialle system seems to be the only thing on the market capable of 4:6:8 cylinders at present.
But with prices starting at £1000-£1200 trade. It's a lot of investment ?
Especially as it's pretty un proven. You would need a very understanding customer for that conversion.
Reckon I would have a go though !


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:51 pm 
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It was Vialle that I referred to...

I repaired a Subaru with Vialle liquid injection a few months ago.. I'm not really impressed with any of the liquid port injection systems including the system on the Subaru.. Doesn't seem much point in liquid LPG injection for the sake of it, no need on petrol port injection engines, and in any case the supposed liquid injection is only actually liquid injection provided pipe lengths between injectors and manifold is short enough... On the factory Subaru, injector pipes were only a few inches long but liquid gas clearly vaporised in those few inches before reaching the manifold (pipes froze up), rendering the liquid injection system at least partly a vapour system in practice - with the only slight advantages coming from use of very linear petrol spec injectors to meter the liquid LPG dosage and a slight engine volumetric efficiency increase over the vapour port injection systems we fit on a regular basis due to the cold gas injection - I reckon both of those advantages easily outweighed by the ECU not offering as good calibration handles as those we're used to and the higher cost of parts.

Working on the Subaru led me to wonder if Vialle produced a diversion valve type setup for DI's (same methodolgy asi Liquimax) and contacted the manufacturer to find out.. was told they were in late stages of development on this type of system and had had some great results (except for the starting issue I mentioned on some models.. which would apply equally to Liquimax).

Agreed £1000-£1200 trade is a lot.. But if this type of system were around it would be the only current solution for converting most of the new breed of V8 DI engines, some of which are turbo'd, that we are seeing in new model BMWs and similar. For those vehicles the price doesn't seem too excessive, particularly as there is currently no other solution and this methodology (using petrol direct injectors to inject liquid LPG) should in theory (and Vialle said in practice) give unsurpassed results. No need for any calibration ability from the ECU, no cutting of wires between petrol ECU and petrol DI injectors, just physically set the correct LPG pressure on a mechanical LPG pressure regulator and fuel trims across the whole rpm load range of the engine should be correct.

If this technology were around, I wouldn't see myself converting many 4 cylinder FSI Audis using this type of system but might be among a minority of installers in a position to convert those 5L V8 turbo BMWs at all, such installs very likely to give better results than any port system that might come on the market at a later date anyway. Any type of port injection system on a direct injection engine might be considered a fudge (including liquid LPG and vapour LPG) because port injection on a DI engine negates some of the advantages of DI by default. I don't consider LPG vapour port injection on petrol port injection engines a fudge because we closely achieve same injection methodology as the petrol port injection system. A diversion valve type setup on a DI engine might be considered the least fudgy type of all because by default it achieves the exact same injection methodology as running on petrol.. I don't think the future of conversions is looking bad but as long as firms produce the bits (pumps and diversion valves etc needed). If these bits are not around when we reach a point where a majority of vehicles are running DI then we may still be converting DI vehicles with port vapour injection systems but probably won't be able to deliver quite so good results as those we have become accustomed to.

Simon

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:41 pm 
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I saw prins banging on about there direct injection kits, mostly at trade shows. Guess it hasn't made it to market.

So what i got from this is that DI converserios are possible however, you need a very specific kit designed to fit that engine, it makes fitting easy, but it also injects petrol too. It's also clearly not a well trodden path yet. FSI engines are still young and last time I check some manufacturers have issues on petrols anyway. Fowling the back of the valves or somthing which sounds bizarre considering the fuel is injected directly.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:46 pm 
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The Mitsubishi gdi' lists a de coke as part of the service schedule over 120k.
So it's certainly not a new problem. They where released in 2000 !


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:00 pm 
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TNT wrote:
So what i got from this is that DI converserios are possible however, you need a very specific kit designed to fit that engine, it makes fitting easy, but it also injects petrol too. It's also clearly not a well trodden path yet
That's pretty much it.

Port injection sequential slave ECU's (the type we usually fit on modern port injection engines) can be generic because, in simple terms, port injection systems all use a single injection pulse per cylinder per 4 stroke cycle of the engine, the start of that pulse occurring just about the time the intake valve begins to open (at part loads anyway, start of injection pulse may be advanced for higher loads) - so the LPG ECU can easily measure this single pulse length and do it's stuff (apply calibration settings, compensate for pressure and temp etc) to arrive at a single pulse duration to drive LPG injectors and the start of LPG injector pulse can occur at the same time as start of petrol injector pulse (could even be triggered by start of petrol injector pulse). The electrical spec of all different petrol port injectors is largely the same, so emulation of petrol injectors can also be largely generic and built into these ECUs without need for emulation to be adjustable (with few exceptions).

One of the biggest advantages of DI is that localised correct combustion chamber mixtures can be created due to a combination of pocketed pistons, head design and timing on petrol injection directly into that pocket... So where with port injection it is only really possible to effect overall cylinder mixture, with careful control of DI injectors it is possible to create correct mixture in only part of the cylinder, which can make for efficiency increases, especially at part loads (at full loads, of course, the full cylinder needs to have correct mixture). To create the localised mixture the DI injectors have to inject fuel at exactly the correct moment(s) into that pocket relative to piston position. Depending on engine load DI injectors may pulse at many various piston positions, not only on the induction stoke but also the compression stroke (only possible with DI) and each individual pulse can be a different length. These pulses are unreadable to the usual ECUs we fit on port sequential slave systems, DI specific ECUs add up all the various length pulses to arrive at a single pulse length for port vapour LPG injectors (which couldn't hope to be able to open and close at same frequency and pulse length as petrol DI injectors). Vehicle specific firmware must be uploaded to these DI ECUs so they can properly add up / interpret DI pulses, also sending some (or part of some) of these pulses to the petrol DI injectors (to prevent them being damaged due to outlet side being located inside cylinders and overheated due to lack of cooling fuel flow), and must properly emulate the various electrical specs of DI injectors. ECU firmware isn't available (at least yet) for all DI engines and it is possible that it may never be for some DI engines (at least not for currently available DI ECUs)... The injector emulation in current DI ECUs seems to be widely adjustable but will be limited by the electronics in ECUs regardless of firmware control over emulation.

As implied previously, vapour port injection systems for DI engines are the most fudged type of LPG system - they cannot create the localised mixture, cannot inject fuel on the compression stroke and can in no way be considered to follow the vehicle manufacturer intended fuelling strategy.. Modern DI petrol systems make full use of advanced 32bit processors to very precisely control fuelling. On port injection engines it is generally easy to fit LPG vapour port injectors close to petrol port injectors, these working in a similar way and very closely following the manufacturer intended fuelling strategy. It isn't possible to fit a high pressure DI liquid injection LPG injector beside DI petrol injectors (which might be considered adding like component for like component as we do with port injection) because that would involve making your own cylinder head, which even if possible would in any case likely mess up the very precision aspects of the DI system (chances are the engine still wouldn't run as well as before swapping in the head because both petrol and DI injectors would now be aimed at a different spot in the combustion chamber which would now also be a different design). As DI systems become more complicated, the only viable method of converting DI engines to LPG and achieving good results may be with fuel shunting type systems - every engine aspect is the same with these systems except LPG is fed to the standard vehicle DI injectors instead of petrol.

The older Mitsu GDIs in Shoguns etc are not as advanced as late model DI engines - Various ways of converting them even without DI specific ECUs, the main downside to the other ways being the GDI injectors may suffer damage through lack of cooling / cleaning petrol in the same way as later DI injectors. If you think about it with DI petrol engines, if we're talking deposits on the back of inlet valves - Get a bit of prolonged open duration at idle and petrol vapour can be pushed out the inlet valve, some could condense on the back of that valve and muck could build up. With petrol port injection, build up may be washed off by liquid petrol. Not a problem on LPG anyway where engine internals are always much cleaner!

Now that we've had the VW dieselgate, might not be too surprising if FSIs are given similar scrutiny, DI design means there may be some scope for manufacturers to produce vehicles that run just a bit smoother, make just a bit more power, if using a slightly different injection pulse strategy on the road to during an emissions check... Nowhere near as much scope for that as with diesels and worse case scenario would still be much cleaner than diesel and maybe even other petrol engines, just a thought though.

I (and others) have noticed issues with certain slave type port injection LPG ECUs on certain vehicles.. At the top of this post I mentioned the start of an LPG injector pulse should coincide with start of petrol injector pulse... In practice this isn't always so - Some injection strategies see the petrol injector getting a very small pulse before the main injection pulse (usually on acceleration). As said the LPG injectors cannot respond quickly enough to copy this small pulse, and besides, the LPG ECU can see the start of this small pulse and make the mistake of assuming the start of this small pulse is the start of the main pulse while still getting the end point of the main pulse correct (therefore seeing a much longer main pulse than actual). So most port LPG ECUs usually have a facility for filtering out this small pulse. Even with this filtering enabled, LPG ECUs cannot anticipate whether these short pulses will occur, so the only way they can filter short pulses is to delay until the length of a short pulse would have ended before starting the LPG injection pulse... On a modern engine (that might run a modern version of the Atkinson cycle, i.e. emulating Atkinson bottom end via longer intake valve open duration), if LPG start pulse is delayed long enough some of the LPG won't be sucked into the cylinder but will instead be pushed out, having the effect of leaning this intake cycle, but waiting in the inlet runner to make the next inlet cycle too rich... Some ECUs seem to invoke such delay regardless of whether extra injection filtering is enabled or not, some don't allow filtering at all, some seem to have different length delays (probably due to microcontroller processing speed or program processing overheads) whether they have filtering or not, whether filtering can be disabled or not. But then there are other aspects of ECUs to consider too... I like to select different make / spec ECUs for different vehicles.

Simon

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:29 am 
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One good car is the Ford Falcon (Australian) with factory liquid-injection system.
Unfortunately, will be extinct in less than a year.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:55 pm 
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I love reading threads like this, makes for a really interesting read. Certainly will be a while yet before I think any real options for Di petrol engines come to market.

I must admit I'm the minority who seems to think that not only do internal combustion engines have a future (albeit with renewable fuels) but diesel engines too. I'm a bit of a diesel head myself. I quite enjoy the lazy nature of them, especially when I do 700-1000miles a week. I know you can get the same power and torque from a large V8 or Turbocharged V6 but as a 23 year old insurance can be a massive issue.

I drive a 2015 Ford Focus Titanium with the PSA DV6 derived 1.5TDCi (120ps) engine. I try and run my car on Shell V-Power Diesel as it's a GTL fuel synthesized from natural gas. It burns much cleaner than standard diesel. This isn't just better for the environment but it keeps my oil cleaner, stops the vanes in my turbo sticking up over time and the EGR clogging up. I've also noticed the DPF regens at 800-900 mile intervals compared to 500 mile intervals on Tesco diesel.

Personally I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of LPG/CNG substitution on diesel engines. I know Volvo now have 'Methane Diesel' engines in a lot of their new Euro 6 trucks which can run on upto 90% Methane/CNG under low load conditions.
I know Romano have a L200 which they converted as a prototype and was set to do 65,000miles and was averaging a substitution rate of 40%. However I can't seem to find anything on it now?
Europgas do a system which incorporates knock sensors and EGT sensors to allow a safe substitution of gas of upto 50%. It drops the amount of diesel injected by taking control of the pressure on the fuel rail and using an emulator to keep the ECU happy.
Who knows? Maybe Diesel Blend will be the future of LPG conversions.

I'm hoping there will be a liquid port injection solution for diesels within the next few years. I like the thought of being able to inject LPG into the inlet manifold as a liquid and using it to drop the charge temperatures to improve combustion. May not do much for a petrol but I imagine there would be quite a difference on a diesel engine.


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