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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:22 am 
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In the UK, LPG is 100% propane gas. From April to October, on the continent the mix is 60% butane and 40% propane. I just found out that my car makes up to 6 miles per gallon more like that, which translates in considerable extended range and cost savings in the long run.

I know that its possible to buy small bottles of butane gas for bbq and patio heaters, is there a safe way of filling up with these?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:22 am 
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You'll probably get more responses if you'd posted in the General Discussion forum but maybe one of the mods can move the thread? The actual mix depends on the country as well as the time of year and can be anything from 10/90 up to 50/50 Butane/Propane. I noticed the same, I got 280 miles from a tank in my Saab running over to Minsk compared with 240-260 in the UK. However, some of that can be down to the continuous constant speed cruising you can do in Europe which you can't do over here due to the amount of traffic and congestion.

To fill from a Butane bottle would be the same as filling from a red Propane bottle in as much as you'd need to invert the bottle so you get liquid and not vapour and use a pump. Not impossible but not straightforward, see http://www.diy-lpg.co.uk/articles/files ... ed-up.html for Simon's article on his pump. You also need to bear in mind that BBQ gas has no road fuel duty added to the price so HMRC would get offended if they found out. It also depends on how much you would have to pay for the BBQ gas bottles. A quick Google suggests you'd be looking at around £28 for a 13kg bottle. 13kg is roughly 26 litres so you are paying over £1 a litre so rather than cost savings, you'll be paying more compared with the 60 odd pence a litre buying LPG at a filling station.

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'96 Saab 900XS, AEB Leo, sold
'93 Range Rover 4.2 LSE, Lovato LovEco, sold
'98 Ex-Police Range Rover 4.0, Singlepoint AEB Leo, my daily motor
'97 Range Rover 4.0SE, eGas multipoint, a project.....

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:30 am 
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Thanks for your reply Gilbert, maybe I should have posted in the general forum. I see that financially it would not make sense to try to reach a 60% butane content, but from the mylpg.eu website I understand that the mix varies widely within countries. Given that in the UK LPG is 100% propane, I wonder how much butane I would need to get a positive effect, 6 mpg is a lot of difference in the long run and I am willing to try out a refill can of butane like Servisol Butane Gas 220 for three pounds delivered. I still have a spray can to car adaptor from when I tried out a spray can of LPG system cleaner so I could actually try how minimal the Butane content would have to be.

I am impressed you get nearly 300 miles out of your Saab, I start looking for stations to fill up my Saab 9-5 2.3t at 150 miles, hoping to find one before 180 and pushing it to 200 worst case. Best range I ever got out of my 45 L net tank was 220 miles. I drive across Europe at least three to four times a year and was planning to go to Latvia next year.

How is LPG and driving in Belarus?


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:44 am 
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Not sure how you would expect to get Butane from a lighter refill into the tank, there would never be enough pressure there to lift the non-return valve off it's seat not to mention the 10 bar or so pressure in the tank from the Propane. I suppose you could cover your tank in dry ice to cool it and heat the Butane can up with a blowlamp, no perhaps not.....

My Saab was the old B204, 2 litre, non-turbo motor which would take 47 litres to fill so probably the same tank as yours. I used to get anything from 190 miles when just used for running around town up to 240-250 on a long run. That was on a singlepoint system so I would run on LPG until it ran out and then flick over to petrol so was completely emptying the tank. While I think the extra miles was partially down to the Butane content (as the stoichiometric ratio of Butane is different to Propane so you need slightly less) but just as much was down to the road conditions. Cruising through Germany and Poland you can drive at a constant speed, 75-80 in Germany and 60 ish in Poland (I have the on the spot fine ticket for travelling quicker than that!). Something that you won't do here except maybe in the middle of the night when the roads are clear.

Belarus is different. Taking the main E30, Hanover, Berlin, Warsaw, Minsk, Moscow road you go through Germany on billiard table smooth Autobahn. Into Poland and it becomes a wide single carriageway where the trucks stick to the edges leaving what is effectively a single centre lane for cars to overtake. There is a new stretch of dual carriageway partway along (which may have been extended by now) but that just stopped in the middle of nowhere. I knew it went to the south of Warsaw but didn't know if I had passed Warsaw or not got there yet so when the road stopped I had no idea which way I needed to be heading! Crossing into Belarus at Brest is an interesting experience where every bit of paper you have will be checked and you will be given a 'passport for the car'. That has to be handed in when you leave the country or they will assume you are trying to import or export it and charge you a huge sum in duty. Once over the border one of the first things you see is a huge filling station that sold LPG (or газ as the signs will say) at around half the price of anywhere in the EU. Petrol is similarly priced so that was the only time in the 4 years I owned that Saab that I filled the petrol tank to the brim. The main road is actually pretty good. The edges may be cracking up a bit in places but most of the time it's reasonable dual carriageway. There is a toll booth on it that does not take local currency from foreigners so you will be expected to pay in Euros or US Dollars (it was 1 Euro or 1 Dollar 5 years ago). Most of it is 110 kph speed limit with just a short section of 130 kph and they like their speed traps. Got stopped on the way back the last time I was over there at 1am when I was one of about 5 vehicles on the road in the entire country. Fortunately having a local that could speak the language meant I got let off with a warning. In fact, having her with me meant I got let off with a warning on 4 different occasions.......

It's an interesting place and much like Russia so expect to see vehicles in use that look like they should have been scrapped at least 20 years ago. Standard of driving in the cities is pretty good but out on the main roads you certainly find some nutters. Private car ownership is rare and most people have never seen a RHD car. I suspect most of them aren't aware that there even is such a thing. Minsk itself is like any modern city (most of it was demolished by the Germans in WW2) only cleaner. I was surprised as I was expecting some run down Soviet greyness but that isn't the case. The Communist Government does not pay benefits to people without work, they put them to work. So, irrespective of what qualifications or experience someone may have, if they want a handout from the State they get given a broom and shovel and told to get out and clean the streets. Personally I don't think it's a bad idea, sooner they do something useful than sit at home watching Jeremy Kyle all day long.

But if you are going to Latvia I suspect you'd avoid it and go from Poland into Lithuania and then on to Latvia. You'll miss out on the stupidly cheap gas but you'd save the £100 or so that they charge for a visa. That has to be obtained in advance from the Embassy too, none of this buy one at the border like in some countries.

_________________
'96 Saab 900XS, AEB Leo, sold
'93 Range Rover 4.2 LSE, Lovato LovEco, sold
'98 Ex-Police Range Rover 4.0, Singlepoint AEB Leo, my daily motor
'97 Range Rover 4.0SE, eGas multipoint, a project.....

Proud to be a member of the YCHJCYA2PDTHFH club.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:36 pm 
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Thanks for your comprehensive reply, makes sense and very interesting.

My logic to use a Butane gas refill is based on some using spray can based system cleaners, I guess that the pressure of one of those is not much greater then of a regular spray can but I might be wrong. If it wasn´t possible to use a spray can there wouldn´t be any brass adaptors I think. In any case I just bought a "Pro - Tec" LPG system cleaner and will see if it makes enough pressure to go inside, there is also the Bardahl one I can get from Italy.

Regarding Eastern European driving, I have driven all the way through to East Ukraine and Crimea twice - ten years ago (when there was no doubt what country it actually was). My other half is Latvian and so far I have only flown there but with children on the way in the future driving (on LPG) may actually be the better option. My other half´s family is Belorussian by origin so we may find ourselves visiting over there.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:30 pm 
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Having just had a look at the Pro Tec cleaner, I see what you mean. I was only aware of the IC12 stuff that you pour into the vapour hoses to flush through the injectors. You might find there is enough pressure in a standard can, who knows but it has to be worth a try. Although as you say, adding only a tiny dribble from a refill can is hardly going to have any noticeable effect.

I drove to Minsk for two reasons (well three if you count visiting a local that I'd previously met in France). I liked the idea of a bit of a road trip and it worked out no more expensive than flying and that was just for me on my own. With more than one person in the car then it would be a no-brainer. Flying to Latvia is fairly cheap and easy these days with the likes of WizzAir and Lot doing regular flights to Riga at budget airline type prices. To Minsk the only airline is the Belorussian state airline, Belavia. So it would have had to be Belavia from Gatwick or Manchester direct, neither of which is particularly convenient for me, or one of the other airlines to either Riga or Warsaw and then change to Belavia for the next leg. We are talking 2007 and the price then was something like £350 return so I decided to drive because I could.

We are actually considering a road trip around Eastern Europe later in the year and calling in on my wife's family while we are in the area. She should be OK as although she now has British Citizenship and a UK passport, she still has her valid Belorussian passport so she would just use whichever was the most convenient at the time. I'm going to be the one applying for the visas now. Before she had her UK passport we worked out that the only country in the world we could visit where neither of us would need a visa was the Ukraine, and that was only because they removed the need for EU citizens to need a visa when they hosted the Eurovision song contest and never reinstated it. I've always wanted to visit Chernobyl for some obscure reason even though my wife isn't quite so keen (she often helps out with a charity that brings children that have suffered from the affects of the fallout over here for a couple of weeks at a time) and can't see why I would even want to. Didn't go down too well when I told her that I wanted to witness the results of Soviet engineers playing around with things they didn't understand.

If you do decide to visit Belarus though, make sure you plan it in advance and get the visas (I assume that now Latvia is EU your wife will need one too) or they'll just turn you back at the border.

_________________
'96 Saab 900XS, AEB Leo, sold
'93 Range Rover 4.2 LSE, Lovato LovEco, sold
'98 Ex-Police Range Rover 4.0, Singlepoint AEB Leo, my daily motor
'97 Range Rover 4.0SE, eGas multipoint, a project.....

Proud to be a member of the YCHJCYA2PDTHFH club.


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