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Old 05-11-2021, 03:36 PM   #1
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Question City Bus conversion with CNG

HI,

I recently bought a New Flyer C30LF city bus with CNG, will drive it from Seattle Washington to Florida have anybody here ever dealt with CNG buses?

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Old 05-11-2021, 03:39 PM   #2
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Just plan your fuel stops real well. Damn hard to bring out a 5 gallon can of CNG.
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:40 PM   #3
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They are not popular because they produce less power and CNG is limited in where and when you can buy it.
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:45 PM   #4
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Last July as I was coming back from Moriarity there were 4 of them going east on I 40. They were on landoll trailers towed by diesel powered trucks.
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:48 PM   #5
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Oh my god, a brave person you are!

I passed on my dream bus just weeks ago.

How you gonna get past Idaho?

https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/natura...arest?fuel=CNG
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:49 PM   #6
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By the way, the tanks must be replaced after 15 years. I hope you bought a very young bus, or a 16 year old one
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:05 PM   #7
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Just out of curiosity, how much natural gas can those carry.?
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:15 PM   #8
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Will those run on propane?

If not, can they be modified to?
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:41 PM   #9
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They will definitely not run on propane, but I believe it is possible to modify them. With substantial complexity - the Cummins ECU is not open or so far hacked AFAIK. You would also have to fool the CNG warning/safety signals which may or may not be a hell of a job. Or throw out the entire thing.

It’ll take a year, a couple dozen grand, or a lot of luck.

I passed on an ultra low mileage one for next to nothing because I didn’t have the time to dive into it.
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:46 AM   #10
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Oh wow, the lack of fueling facilities is daunting! OP, if you’re not going to travel much and plan to stay in metro areas with fuel, then absolutely go for it. If not, you may want to unload that and try again because you’ll be putting a lot more money to make it a home. It’s better to make that decision now than to continue to sink money into something that is going to be problematic in the long run
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Old 05-12-2021, 05:58 AM   #11
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Sorry to be that guy, but why not ask such questions before spending your money?
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:59 AM   #12
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Looking at the isl g manual. The gas pressure at the engine is between 70 and 150 psi. Mixing is similar to a propane mixer.
It would be a cool experiment..if the price would be right.

Wonder if the cng fill station demands proof if tank inspection before they hook you up.
Next would be the safety inspection station.

A diy cng to propane conversion would be nice, again if the price is right. Doubt that a shop would take on the liability.

You can always replace the engine with something more boring.
Nothing is so exciting as running the tank on vapor.

Good luck
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert06840 View Post
Oh my god, a brave person you are!

I passed on my dream bus just weeks ago.

How you gonna get past Idaho?

https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/natura...arest?fuel=CNG
I know...I was going to buy a diesel pusher RV, so the amount of money I was going to loose in depreciation and maintenance I think I'll brake even with the changes and built on this bus, no way to go thru Idaho.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:28 AM   #14
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Yeah, I agree with you here, this would make for a phenomenally cool project. But there is no telling if it would take a week or a year of fiddling to make it work right.

If I had the driveway and no expectation of having it on the road the next year, I'd take it on. You may get it running in half a day by just feeding propane right into the fuel rail through a pressure regulator, and leave everything else intact.

Then the fun starts for fooling the computers, starting it cold, starting it hot, idle, half load, full load. At sea level. In the mountains. Etc.

I'd be interested in the ISL-G manual you have, just for kicks.

I drove a Volvo V70 bi-fuel for a few weeks in Finland in 2006. In Finland, the bi-fuel version is for CNG: CNG/E95. Works fine. In Belgium and the Netherlands, where LPG is much more prevalent, the same labeled car is set up for LPG/E95. There are differences, but on a fundamental level it's just a hydrocarbon that you burn. I ended up buying the D5 instead. And an electric car in 2011.

But for bus nuts here that's not very relevant.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:30 AM   #15
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I knew that, I still have 4 years and will cost me 5k to replace and I just paid 1.8k for the bus... still a risky move
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:38 AM   #16
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Thank you, I really plan on keeping it CNG the plan is to build a mobile office and will travel only to places where fueling stations are available.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:39 AM   #17
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I knew what I was getting in to... still made sense to me, the plan is to build a mobile office and will not travel to places where CNG is not widely available.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caioalmeida View Post
I know...I was going to buy a diesel pusher RV, so the amount of money I was going to loose in depreciation and maintenance I think I'll brake even with the changes and built on this bus, no way to go thru Idaho.
It's a nice looking state, but you gonna have to settle for another route then

So you are going to keep it on CNG? Where are you going to drive it?

Check the tanks though. They have a do-not-use-after date on them.

EDIT: you answered these while I was typing this.

I'm very curious so see how it goes. Good luck!
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I knew that, I still have 4 years and will cost me 5k to replace and I just paid 1.8k for the bus... still a risky move
I'm not sure if it is all that risky, IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING INTO. If you are ok with the constraints, sure, why not!

I'd take it on. But we spend time in Maine, and there is not a single CNG station.

I'd budget a bit more for the tank replacement. You may also want to see if a recertification is possible. Not at all likely, but worth a shot. Are you going to run them at 3600 PSI?

Keep in mind though that some of the CNG points are not always publicly accessible, and their outage rate is high.

So plan your fill-ups accordingly. If you have the 150 Diesel Gallon Equivalent capacity, I'd never go over 200 miles unless you know that you're having a "diversion station" mapped out.
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caioalmeida View Post
I know...I was going to buy a diesel pusher RV, so the amount of money I was going to loose in depreciation and maintenance I think I'll brake even with the changes and built on this bus, no way to go thru Idaho.
Not just Idaho, there's plenty of states to get stranded in
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