Can a Ferrari be LPG'd! - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-13-2011, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Can a Ferrari be LPG'd!

An idle thought occurred to me this morning on the way in to work. In these times of expensive fuel 6.21 a gallon (9.78 dollers 7.09 Euro) is it possible to LPG gas a Ferrari.

A mate runs a 4.0 v8 Range Rover on gas and its the only way he can afford to run it on a regular basis.

It got me thinking I could run the TR more often when I 'eventually' get it.

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post #2 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 02:07 AM
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Firstly I would say - Sacrilegious!!

Then I would say, probably. The main considerations in my mind would be,

1. Is it economically viable given the mileage - because you are still unlikely to be driving Range Rover miles.

2. Where to store the tank? At the front is possible, but is likely to make it nose heavy.

3. Potential impact on any future resale - for a RR it adds value, for a TR it will remove value.

4. Potential Impact - i.e safety. KaaBOOOOOOOOOOOM.


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post #3 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 02:29 AM
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What a cool project this would be There's a lot to like about LPG for a high performance application, especially its 100 octane rating. Would you want to retain the existing petrol injection or convert to a straight gas setup?

I would forget the fumigation systems (Impco carbs, etc.) as they're old hat and are known to produce intake backfiring. I'd go straight to an injection system, which can either use the existing manifold ports if replacing the petrol injectors, or, new small ports can be added, and the injectors mounted nearby.

The Italians are big in this market (LPG injection), and their kits are cheap.....for a reason. If I drove a Ford Escort, and economy was my only concern, I might consider them, but for a Ferrari, not a chance.

Prins in Holland sell a very high quality LPG injection system based around Keihin's (Japanese) bespoke LPG injectors. These use 14mm o-ring seals top & bottom, so if you're handy, you could adapt them to fit the TR's existing ports.

If you're into DIY and tuning, you could probably pick up a set of Keihins, and control them with an aftermarket ECU with the proper injector driver interface. They're a VERY low impedance P&H injector (around 1.25 ohms) and require a strong driver interface, capable of hitting 4-6 amps peak, and 1.5 amps holding.

Be aware, the biggest Keihin (I've seen) is only good for about 50HP, but on a 12 cylinder TR, that's still not too shabby

Your biggest challenge will probably be finding a place to mount the tank(s) in the TR. A large toroidal could possibly be fit up front, but probably wouldn't give you satisfactory range (maybe 150km's?)

Valve recession on LPG is an issue with certain early European aluminum heads (none on Japanese heads, however), but there are top cylinder lube kits that address the problem very nicely.

If you're thinking to DIY, be very careful to use only the highest quality LPG certified hoses and fittings for this - normal petrol injection hose is not certified to work on LPG as it's too permeable. Or... pick your installer wisely - Prins dealers know what they're doing, but the guys installing the Italian systems are all about keeping it cheap.

I have tons of technical info on the Prins system and the Keihin injectors. If interested, PM me with your email addy and I'll start feeding it to you.

I'm not a Prins dealer, nor do I have any commercial interest in them. I just feel from an engineering perspective, they make the highest quality LPG system. Others may have their own favorites.

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

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post #4 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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An interesting subject I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t1fosI View Post
Firstly I would say - Sacrilegious!!

Agreed, But fuel prices are only going to go up, eventually curtailing use, certainly in my case.

Then I would say, probably. The main considerations in my mind would be,

1. Is it economically viable given the mileage - because you are still unlikely to be driving Range Rover miles.

A very good point. For a Merc/Range Rover size car it cost around 2000 to fit the system. I'm hoping to have it done on the G Wagenwhen i build it.

2. Where to store the tank? At the front is possible, but is likely to make it nose heavy.

Apparently these LPG tanks are no heavier than a spare wheel and actually fit into the space for the wheel.

3. Potential impact on any future resale - for a RR it adds value, for a TR it will remove value.

Again a very good point.

4. Potential Impact - i.e safety. KaaBOOOOOOOOOOOM.

Would it be less safe than a petrol tank.
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Wow CribbJ, you certainly know a bit about LPG. I know very little I'm afraid. I was just sitting in the traffic this morning and the thought came to me.

I think I would keen on keeping the petrol and adding the LPG to run with it. And it would need to be done by a recognised installer or I wouldn't entertain it. I certainly take your point that the system would have to be of the best quality to avoid any damage to the engine.

t1fosI makes a very good point in what cost it would be to make the system truly work against vehicle use. I can't help but wonder over long term would it encourage me to use the car far more rather for sunny days. Food for thought.

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post #6 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 06:01 AM
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A dual fuel system would be the best of both, but would probably require a premade kit and installer to execute.

You could start the car on petrol, then once warm, switch to gas for your cruising around (the gas systems don't start a cold engine very well). The limited range with the small tank probably wouldn't matter to you since the TR obviously wouldn't be your DD.

The only concerns would be whether you'd want to drop north of 3000 or 4000 GBP on something like this that might not have a payback in this lifetime, given your low usage.

As far as depreciating the car - the system could of course be removed for sale, however there would be the mounting holes left from the tank, and some 1/16" or 1/8" NPT holes in your intake manifolds from the injector pipes. These could either be plugged off or the manifolds pulled off and the holes welded and ground back flush.

As you can probably tell, I'm a big fan of gas powered vehicles (I used to work for two of the large stationary gas engine manufacturers)

'99 550, Rosso Corsa / Nero, S/N:114654, Assy: 31836, Engine: 52084

High mileage, low compression, and missing on a few cylinders.....just like my cars.

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post #7 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 07:32 AM
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M-House, I call those kinds of idle thoughts Nightmares! Seriously, as an engineer, that is an interesting thought, although I can't fathom doing it to my car.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-14-2011, 04:08 PM
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lpg ed

i say park it...until you can fill it with the highest octane gas available ,,,!!!.,..LOL...i would never ,,ever,,,consider running anything ., but the highest octane gas,in my Ferrari,,,that i can get,,,,so far,,the closest 108 pump gas,,,is to far from my house to use regularly,,,if it was,,,i would use that gas for every fill up,,,down here in So Cal,,,the douchbag oil companies,,only offer 91 octane,,,and they charge up the azz for it,,,,for what they charge,,,the octane should be 94,,,so what i do,,,is add FUEL ON,,in every fill up,,,ive spoke about this additive before,,,it allows my 328,,,to get every ounce of combustion possible,,,with any given gasoline,,,and my 328 is running faster than a 350 Z automatic,,,,from a 2nd gear roll on,,,,just my 2 cents PS....you said something about aTR....,,,i love that flat 12...and im considering getting one,,and that flat 12...wouldnt put up with anything other than the highest possible octane gasoline,,,lol,,,
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-15-2011, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maranellohouse View Post
t1fosI makes a very good point in what cost it would be to make the system truly work against vehicle use. I can't help but wonder over long term would it encourage me to use the car far more rather for sunny days. Food for thought.
I think your payback on this would be very very long. How much would you anticipate spending on petrol for the 308 or TR in any year?
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