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Old 01-24-2016, 02:20 PM   #1
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Propane Engine?

I'm intrigued by the following Craigslist-ing, but I'm not sure that, besides the Westcoast, there are many stations for filling up on propane. Would that be inconvenient? Any ideas on what mileage could be like?

Maybe I'm just overestimating this deal as its already registered as an RV, and I'm intimidated by that hassle.

Thanks in advance for the feedback.


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Old 01-24-2016, 04:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sika View Post
I'm intrigued by the following Craigslist-ing, but I'm not sure that, besides the Westcoast, there are many stations for filling up on propane. Would that be inconvenient? Any ideas on what mileage could be like?

Maybe I'm just overestimating this deal as its already registered as an RV, and I'm intimidated by that hassle.

Thanks in advance for the feedback.


You can run as far as a tank will take or have extra tanks with you and for refill you have to find the suppliers in the area and pick one. There not like gas stations but if you spend the extra time planning your trip then you will be fine.
Propane goes boom because it is already compressed. gas is a little slower on the boom and diesel needs to be compressed to go boom? Plan your trips for propane refills and it is a workable option
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:35 PM   #3
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Oh, I guess I had imagined something different than exchangeable tanks (like a BBQ grill) of propane. Thanks for clearing that up. I'll research what sorts of tanks are used and how far they go.

Hmmm, I'm still trying to gauge how good a deal is when I see one. Other than the strange fuel type, what are your thoughts on this bus?
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:28 PM   #4
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My experience is that propane is much easier on an engine than gasoline. I ran a Ford pickup on propane for about 20 years and it never used a drop of oil in 250,000 miles. I had a 100 gallon tank (not pound but gallon) and I filled up from the propane tank at my home. As was mentioned above there are propane suppliers in many towns that could fill you up while you are on the road, you just have to do your research and find the suppliers in the towns you will visit. Keeping a BBQ tank onboard would only be for emergencies.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:20 PM   #5
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https://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/cto/5367903805.html

Well thanks folks. I'm tempted....
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:16 PM   #6
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I doubt that bus has the 454 in it.

GM used the high block 366 and 427 in medium duty trucks and bus chassis but to my knowledge never put the 454 in anything except cars and light trucks. The P-series chassis used in small buses and moho's sometimes were ordered with the 454.

Be aware that any gas engine that has been converted to propane is going to be a real slow dog on hills.

The newer engines that have been designed and built to take advantage of the lower cost propane fuel are better in the power department.

But the lower power output, limited range, and problem of refueling is going to limit your ability to go very far from home.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:23 PM   #7
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Propane is a good fuel for daily routes, and inner city stuff. But I would stay away from it if you're wanting to travel any distance. It's not that you can't fill it up, It's that it's not as fuel efficient as a gas or diesel. So you'll either have to have a super large tank to go anywhere, or fill up pretty often.

Propane engines run extremely clean because propane is a gas at room temperature and pressure. That's why their engine oil's are always cleaner then gasoline and diesel counterparts.

I'd be leary of just any old conversion though. Propane seems to play hell on valves and their seats inside the engine. So make sure the engine was built for it and didn't just have the kit slapped on.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Propane is a good fuel for daily routes, and inner city stuff. But I would stay away from it if you're wanting to travel any distance. It's not that you can't fill it up, It's that it's not as fuel efficient as a gas or diesel. So you'll either have to have a super large tank to go anywhere, or fill up pretty often.

Propane engines run extremely clean because propane is a gas at room temperature and pressure. That's why their engine oil's are always cleaner then gasoline and diesel counterparts.

I'd be leary of just any old conversion though. Propane seems to play hell on valves and their seats inside the engine. So make sure the engine was built for it and didn't just have the kit slapped on.

Thank you, Booyah45828 and Cowlitzcoach, for such concise explications. I appreciate it.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:17 PM   #9
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I have never seen a town without a propane fill at at least one of the gas stations.

This is 2016 people. Propane is everywhere.

20 pound propane tanks can be plumbed to be used as fuel if you run out of propane in the big tank. No issue.

Propane is cheap. However I would never own any bus without a diesel engine.

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Old 03-21-2016, 12:13 PM   #10
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propane

to the OP ...don't be afraid of propane. it is a great alternative fuel and we have been running our buses truck and of coarse some of the company's buses on it and it is cheap and works great. we travel every year down into the USA without any problem finding fuel stations that supply auto propane.

"I doubt that bus has the 454 in it. "

your information is not correct i own a 1999 GMC 72 passenger with a vortec 454 on propane from the factory just decommissioned.
we have put up a photo album in the photo section under "cowboy express" and this bus also is a 454 on propane.
if you have any question please feel free to PM me and i will try to help
thanks
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:43 PM   #11
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The best deal on propane, when purchasing over 30 gallons, is at U-haul. Purchases over 30 gallons are sold at cost and U-haul's are basically everywhere, not to mention gas stations.

As said previously, it all depends on how you're going to use your bus. Will you be taking long trips? Most of us highly prefer diesel engines, and the propane buses sell quite cheaply for that reason. If someone converted a propane bus to and RV, it still doesn't measure up in value to a normal diesel bus conversion in my opinion.
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Old 03-21-2016, 03:44 PM   #12
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Propane vehicles in general are preferred in Canada due to their very economically priced propane. That is where propane vehicles have value.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:31 AM   #13
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If I could put in my 2cents worth?
My folks had an 86 class A 20ft. a few years back with the 440 chrysler and although it ran nice and was not short on power by any means it was a bit pricey to drive. I used it twice that I remember, once on a trip east across the prairies and once west into the mountains.
Both trips were just over 300 miles one way and I think the fuel bill was aprox.$300.00 on each occasion. Unfortunatly I don't recall the price per litre at the time. There are still quite a lot of vehicles running on propane here in Canada and it's not hard to find filling stations. Shouldn't be any more difficult on your side of the border. Also thanks to googgle and gps it's a lot easier nowdays to map out a route with available fuel so you don't get caught.
Also make sure you get an addapter hose set up so you can use your bbq tank in an emergency, you will invert the bbq tank when it's attached to the engine so that you get liquid fuel. As a side note some engines like propane better than others and there are proper and improper conversions. They will all work but the more work that's put into a conversion the better it will perform and the longer it will last.
A good conversion will have stellite valves, hardened valve seats, re-curved distributor and about 11-1/2 to 1 compression.
and that's all i've got to say bout that
good luck whatever your decision
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Old 04-02-2016, 03:45 PM   #14
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I agree with booboo, Propane is readily available, most every where. If in doubt use the internet to check ahead for fill stations, if the regular "gas stations or Truck stops" don't have it the local Propane retailer most certainly will.
I drive 18 wheeler hauling Propane.
Our company supplies propane to a few school districts in the area that run their school buses on propane.
Many of our trucks run on either propane/diesel or propane/gas.
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:07 PM   #15
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Everybody agrees there's no problem getting propane here in the US. The point is propane is relatively cheap compared to gasoline in Canada, but in the US propane is more expensive than gas. Economics plays a big part in the decision to get a propane bus here in the lower 48.
Like everyone say, it all depends on how you want to use it. What's practical for your situation. Not all of us want the same things in a bus. If you're going to do coast to coast driving, sure it's possible with propane. Diesel might allow a little more boondocking since it's easier to carry extra fuel.
Don't you think propane buses are actually designed to run locally?
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:28 PM   #16
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heres the other use for propane, as an additive to a diesel engine to get extra mileage. old owner operator truckers mention 15-20 % diesel savings with propane injection rigs more power is a good thing just keep it uphill of the turbo and have a timed shutdown switch so the propane is shut off before the engine is. some even use a boost switch to gas it only when boost is present in the intake system. a poor skoolie's nitrous oxide injection.(no you wont make that kind of power on propane).
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