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propane "fuel mileage" ?'s



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Old 08-26-2010, 08:34 AM   #1
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propane "fuel mileage" ?'s

I'm in the market for a new powerplant for my Explorer trail rig and have been debating between fuel injected gas and propane; either way it would be mildly built.

Since after much research I can't find a stock fuel injected Ford engine to transplant that makes decent power without a lot of work I'm leaning towards building one to run on propane. I currently have the first gen 4.0l that makes good torque and not much less hp than a 5.0 or even a 5.8 of the late 80's/early 90's era so I don't want to go to all the trouble of a swap for ~50hp and maybe 100 lb/ft of torque.

My biggest and really only concern with propane is running out and not being able to just borrow a couple of gallons from someone to get back to camp. So my question is how long could I expect to be able to run a mildly built 351 on a standard forklift tank? I'm only thinking cam, bump up the compression for the 'pane, maybe some head work, nothing special really.

I realize there are quite a few variables there, but I haven't ever run with anyone with propane so I have no idea what to expect. The rig is/was a 92 Explorer currently on 9"/44 with 36's, eventually on 1 tons/42's. It's still a 4 seater, but is 90% tube so the weight shouldn't be too bad.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:14 AM   #2
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I can run all weekend on a tank with a 4 banger. Full millage sucks on pane though. I run two tanks so I never run out and I have a spare in the truck just in case.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:44 AM   #3
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I ran my sbc 350 on one 10 gallon tank each day. We just made sure to swap out each morning, but there was always a couple of gallons left in each tank. If you are building the engine, try to get your compression up above 10:1 if at all possible. This will greatly improve the performance w/ the pane.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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Thanks! After some more research I see that the tanks I'm thinking about are 8 gallon 33.5 lb tanks. If I could get a fairly long weekend of wheeling out of 3 of these tanks I would be ok with that.

I'd only be shooting for a minimum of around 300hp, hopefully it'll be manageable without too much trouble.

I'd have to look a little more, but I think I read that the ideal compression ratio for the pane was 12:1. I'd definitely build the engine for as close to ideal as possible for that application.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:55 PM   #5
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i run the 8 gallon propane tanks in mine. vortec 350 alot of gearing so I don't have to throttle up stuff very often. I can usually get a good day of wheelin on one tank.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:22 AM   #6
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I think I've decided to just run the efi and spend the time/money to build it into what I really want.

I was trying to find the ultra cheap route, but I should have known better.
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