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Old 07-01-2009, 12:59 AM   #1
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DIY propane HP boost for diesels for about $250!

Thought i'd share this, I browse several boards and I think I found it elsewhere anyways, club me if I was dumb and someone posted it. :P This could help the people that are a little overgeared, have some hills, towing something, are lugging, or need to get going a bit faster due to traffic. YMMV i'm not responsible if you blow up your engine, but AFAIK this isn't much different than any of the "professional" propane injection kits work like.

May want to research such things a bit more first just to be safe. The only question i'd have is whether it works on both indirect injection and direct injection diesels. The only wrong concept I see here is that a turbo is an extra stress to a diesel engine. (by itself I cant see why, it's the extra fuel that is extra stress and the extra air makes that possible, propane would add similar stress but most diesels are fairly tough)

http://members.shaw.ca/k2pilot/Propane%20article.html

FWIW when I fiddle around with diesels in the future I plan to put something like this on, along with a junkyard turbo if it doesn't have one.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:36 PM   #2
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Re: DIY propane HP boost for diesels for about $250!

I did my own propane injection on jbII. I found that i could not get enough propane out of a 20 lb cylinder fast enough to make a significant difference in performance. I found that the difference of turning up the fuel inside the injector pump gave me a bigger "boost" than injecting propane from a standard bbq size tank. Using a 100 pound propane cylinder would certainly give you a much higher flow rate and more hp gain.

I think i did my setup for $150, and half of that is just the price of an acetylene pressure regulator (which fits on a standard propane cylinder)
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
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Re: DIY propane HP boost for diesels for about $250!

I would assume this to be a mod that comes after simple out of the box things like turning up the injection a bit... do the professional ones use anything other than a standard LP cylender flowing at standard rates?

What size engine did you use it on and under what temperature? What 'jet size' for feeding propane? He mentioned having to fiddle with it awhile until the jet was sized to make it work..

Maybe a pair of LP tanks would give a better flow rate.. or maybe the engine was already burning highly efficiently so benefitted only from slightly extra fuel and not from any improved mixing that occured.

Or maybe it's a package thing. I knew of a guy that did a GM 6.2 diesel or somesuch once, the 225lb/ft (at rear wheels) became like 255lb/ft when he put on a turbo, or 265lb/ft if he ran propane injection, but combining both of them together gave like 370lb/ft, more than the increase of either alone.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:47 PM   #4
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Re: DIY propane HP boost for diesels for about $250!

I used an adjustable pressure regulator from an acetylene tank, and started low, but ended up using as much pressure as i could get from the propane cylinder. I used 3/8" id rubber hose and a 3/4" solenoid valve that would open under WOT when the system was armed. The hose was plumbed into my air intake after the filter but before the turbo. Int dt360 all warmed up. I did a few runs up a steep grade with and without propane. It's one of the tallest points in SE michigan.

If you used a different sort of propane bottle you could allow propane to leave the bottle as a liquid then expand into a gas in some sort of expansion chamber/coils. i don't think standard bbq 20 pound tanks will allow liquid propane to escape without modification, correct me if i'm wrong though.

It's not too difficult to mount a 100 pound propane cylinder inside your bus (although prob not legal) The best idea, and probably within nfpa guidelines would be to make a ventilated exterior cabinet where you load/store the propane cylinder but have a small access door inside your skoolie to open and close the valve. Like ambulances do with large 0xygen bottles.

here is the outside compartment in an ambulance:



and the small access door inside the ambulance to allow you to turn the valve off/on

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Old 07-02-2009, 10:00 PM   #5
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Re: DIY propane HP boost for diesels for about $250!

Quote:
Using a 100 pound propane cylinder would certainly give you a much higher flow rate and more hp gain.
I doubt it. The diameters are about the same. I've got over 2 dozen sites with propane gennys, and I am learning that it is the surface area of the liquid that determines how fast it can boil and produce higher vapor flows. We use up to five 100-pound tanks in parallel to run gennys in the 5kW to 12 kW range in places we can't access with a tanker for refills.

I would expect two 20-pound tanks flowing in parallel would flow more vapor at high demand than a single 100-pound cylinder. The 100-pound tank would obviously do it longer, though. There's a reason those 200+ gallon tanks lie on their sides like mini-subs: more liquid surface area!
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