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Naff Profile
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Date Registered: 09-2005
Location: QLD
TOTAL POSTS: 786
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Re: LPG autogas


In the name of research, I want to test the fuel consumption of a petrol Exy at 180km/h... Brett, maybe you can supervise this? emoticon

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My Triton GLX-R

18/Jun/2007, 8:22 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message MSN
 
jalalski Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29094
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Re: LPG autogas


Nath,

You gonna have to take the rocket launcher off first before you attempt this emoticon

You don't want to end-up being chased by an F-16. hahahaha

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18/Jun/2007, 8:33 am Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
mwardy Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2008
Location: Bowral
TOTAL POSTS: 6
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Re: LPG autogas


Hi All,

I recently decided to take the plunge and go for the LPG conversion for my 2004 X-trail (QR25 engine for our offshore readers). There is not a lot of information out there on LP conversions for the Exy so after some research and careful consideration I decided to go for it. Well the results are great and I have put this together for anyone else who might be contemplating a duel fuel conversion.

Background:
I chose to go the LPG route for several reasons. The wife and I travel in excess of 60,000km a year and have had great success with a previous ’96 V6 3.8l Holden Commodore we had converted to LPG and used for 3 years (since traded in), and our other car, a ’04 V6 Commodore we also converted to LPG about 2 years ago (still own). The LPG conversion easily cut our fuel costs in half and over that 5 year period we conservatively estimate to have saved about $20,000 on fuel. The LPG conversions were all duel fuel so it was also great for range where we could drive from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane without refuelling. Probably the most asked question I received was regarding power loss. Both of those conversions were using the venturi type systems, versus the newer gas injected systems. The only time I noticed a performance difference from petrol to LPG was during hard acceleration and in the upper RPM range, where the acceleration curve was slower. But as 75% of my driving is freeway/motorway work, it wasn’t a problem for me.

Getting to the current situation, we were using the Exy as the family car and the ’04 Holden for work km, so the Holden is gaining km rapidly and the Exy was a relative low 55k after 4 years old. However after a change of strategy, we decided to look into LPG conversion for the Exy, and use it for work trips too.

Due to emission requirements, the only type of system available is the gas injected systems. The system I chose was a Eurogas sequential Common Rail injection system. The system is emissions certified to Euro 3 standards and is claimed to be suitable for ’01 to ’07 2.5l X-trails. It is distributed by the Australian LPG Warehouse and installed by selected LPG installers, a list of some of them are here. The system injects the gas under pressure into the inlet manifold and uses the spare wheel well to accommodate a 63l toroidal tank. The LPG filler is in with the normal petrol filler. The kit comes with a 12volt air compressor and an emergency tyre repair kit, in lieu of carrying the spare wheel. The LPG system comes with a 3year/100,000km Australia wide warranty.

Image Image Image Image

Price:
Shopping around is important – prices varied from $4500 down to $4125, some installers offer a free courtesy car for the couple of days it takes to install. I got mine done at an approved installer called Zeidler Automotive Excellence (also trading as Australian LPG Conversions) in Wollongong for $4125 + free use of a courtesy car. (I initially went to my trusty LPG mechanic who did my last two installs, but he didn’t do the newer system or have the necessary laptop interface for programming purposes.)

Getting it done:
I only had to book the car in a week in advance. When I dropped the Exy in I had a look at the kit and was very happy to see it was professionally prepared. All mounting brackets were prefabricated and powder coated. The wiring loom was all prepared with Nissan plugs and sockets, meaning most connections simply plugged into the factory wiring loom. All the various plumbing fittings were heat shrunk and sealed. So I left the car there and two days later, I got the call to come and pick it up. The only option I had to choose was whether or not I wanted the system to automatically change back to petrol after the LPG tank runs out. I was actually recommended that it be left to manual, which I did. I was particularly interested as to how the gas was injected. During installation, the inlet manifold is removed and holes are drilled in each intake runner next to each fuel injector. Fittings are put in and then plumbed back to the injector rail.

Image Image Image

Operation & Driveability:
The system works like this. When the engine is cold, it starts and runs on petrol until the engine has warmed slightly, this takes about 1 minute from the engine being stone cold. If starting the car with the engine warm, it changes over almost immediately. When driving, fuel changeover is imperceptible and there is no hesitation or surge. All that changes is a light on the LPG fuel gauge, to indicate the car is running on LPG. What is most pleasing is that there is absolutely no noticeable power difference at all, when running on LPG or Petrol. It is an amazing contrast to the earlier LPG systems. Without the LPG fuel gauge it would be impossible to tell, when driving, what fuel is being used! Everything works as it should including cruise control, etc. In summary: No power loss and all drivability is retained. The LPG fuel gauge had 4 green LED’s and 1 red LED to indicate remaining the LPG. The system has a failsafe mode whereby a failure is indicated by an audible warning and reversion back to petrol. The system can be plugged in to a laptop for diagnosis. The only difference is a slightly different sound from the injectors, but that is only noticible when the bonnet is lifted.

Fuel Consumption:
My personal experience of running on petrol is that I normally get 520km to a tank of fuel, which takes ~55litres of fuel to fill the tank, giving me a fuel consumption of 10.6l/100km. With petrol reaching $1.46/l at the moment, this means it costs $15.48 per 100km to run the Exy, and $80.30 to fill the tank.

With the new system I get 460km to a tank of LPG, which takes 53 litres of LPG, giving a fuel consumption of 11.5l/100km. Purchasing LPG at 65.9/l, means it costs $7.58 per 100km, and $34.98 to fill the tank. (The LPG tank has 63 litres water capacity, but due to the 80% fill limit it only accepts 53 litres.)

Therefore it’s costing me less than half to run the Exy, with no power loss whatsoever!
Given my estimated 30,000km per year, I would spend $4644 on fuel, or $2274 on LPG, a saving of $2370 per year (or $197.50 per month.)

Conversion Costs:
The conversion cost $4125. There is the Government rebate of $2000, but the job must be completed and paid for first. There are conditions with the rebate, see here. The $2000 rebate was in my account about 7 days later, therefore my out of pocket cost was $2125. At 30,000km per year I should re-coup the costs after twelve months and from then I’ll be in front!

Installation Issues:
Picking the place for the LPG fuel gauge was tricky and took some compromise to get the best place, I am still playing around with that. The boot floor panel had to have some of the ribs trimmed down to allow it to sit as low as possible, but one corner causes the floor to lift a small amount. Easily fixed with a piece of velcro or similar. The fuel guage needs to be recalibrated as it is goes down too fast at first and then sits on the lower LED’s for much longer, but I’ll have that done at the first service.

Image Image Image



So I hope this helps anyone that might be interested in an LPG conversion !




Last edited by mwardy, 2/Mar/2008, 10:42 am


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Wardy

2004 TI-L Manual, nudge bar & Lights, r/racks, steps, dual fuel LPG.
1/Mar/2008, 9:42 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
jalalski Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29094
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Re: LPG autogas


Excellent write-up Wardy. Thanks a lot for sharing this information with us. I am sure it will help many other xtrailers decide if they want the LPG system.

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1/Mar/2008, 10:54 pm Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
Naff Profile
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Date Registered: 09-2005
Location: QLD
TOTAL POSTS: 786
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Re: LPG autogas


Got me sold! Now just to save up! emoticon Sounds very good to me.

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My Triton GLX-R

2/Mar/2008, 7:05 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message MSN
 
Revhead Kev Profile
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Date Registered: 10-2006
Location: Mona Vale, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
TOTAL POSTS: 6117
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Re: LPG autogas


I'd love to see a dyno run with the LPG because the savings seem quite attractive.

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Kev X450(c) T30 Guru
03 Titanium Ti T30 Series 1 **MODIFIED**
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2/Mar/2008, 7:55 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29094
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Re: LPG autogas


quote:

Revhead Kev wrote:

I'd love to see a dyno run with the LPG because the savings seem quite attractive.



The power loss (if any) might be negligible for a stock exy as Wardy has experienced, but I have no idea how this would effect an exy with power mods and a full exhaust system replacement which has a high flow cat converter. While the emission from LPG is less when compared to petrol, the gasses do burn at a hotter rate, so this could potentially impact the catalytic converter core is some way in the longer run.



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2/Mar/2008, 8:12 pm Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
mwardy Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2008
Location: Bowral
TOTAL POSTS: 6
Reply | QUOTE
Re: LPG autogas


I cannot state with certainty how the LPG conversion would interact with any other engine performance modifications. That would be best discussed with the installer. However me thinks it is not impossible. It was explained to me that the LPG ECU relies upon the original Nissan ECU injector signals and simply extends the duration of each pulse slightly, to allow for the different flow rate of the LPG from the injector rail. The LPG ECU also measures engine temp and oxygen sensor readings, to provide the optumium measure of lpg to be injected. Going on this train of throught, if the Nissan ecu signals a longer injector pulse due to engine enhancements, the LPG ecu will simply exends that a little longer for LPG use. In my mind the question then comes down to the flow rate of the LPG injectors.



Last edited by mwardy, 2/Mar/2008, 8:42 pm


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Wardy

2004 TI-L Manual, nudge bar & Lights, r/racks, steps, dual fuel LPG.
2/Mar/2008, 8:39 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
jalalski Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29094
Reply | QUOTE
Re: LPG autogas


I spoke to Hi-Tech this morning and was advised that there will be no impact from using the LPG with a high flow cat. converter. The power loss is negligble and it is mainly due to LPG being lower in Octane rating than Petrol.

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3/Mar/2008, 9:25 am Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
tiny tech Profile
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Date Registered: 12-2007
Location: Trafalgar, Vic
TOTAL POSTS: 111
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posticon Re: LPG autogas


Hi Wardy,
Great explanation of conversion etc. You have confirmed my resolve to fit lpg. Country fuel prices in Vic are outrageous, the only competition is the local footy (Aussie Rules). Quoted $4225 for Tartarini system from reputable organisation, similar/same size tank as yours. How has the additional weight affected your ride? And, do you/have you pulled a van? I am also fitting OME suspension system to help van travel - hoping it will also help extra weight of lpg.
We can have an extra few weeks away each year on the savings!
Cheers
Tiny Tech
6/Mar/2008, 10:38 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 


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