Liquid Propane EFI Injection - Anyone Done It? - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-06-2007, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Liquid Propane EFI Injection - Anyone Done It?

I'm seriously considering a liquid propane injected engine for my next project.

Has anyone here played with this type of injection or seen any of the systems that are now commercially available?

Propane mixers and/or propane carburetors are a different breed; not interested in those.

I'm talking about a port-injected engine that sprays liquid propane out of the fuel injectors. This is a new type of propane injection that is extremely attractive from a performance perspective. Not only does propane offer 100 motor octane, but it also offers chemical intercooler properties (liquid propane absorbs heat when evaporated...it's a refrigerant, like nitrous oxide). There are systems like this now being demo'd by several companies across the US.

I'm thinking of making a high performance version for the rod market. Efficient operation at 12.7:1 CR or greater should be possible; and given the current state of our gasoline prices...propane is rapidly becoming an attractive option. Additionally, the emissions from the combustion of propane are so clean...you'd probably pass a sniffer test without cats.

This is also extremely attractive for power-adder vehicles. Existing engines and/or parts makes it simple to build a 9 or 10:1 engine these days, and with propane as the high octane fuel / intercooler; it's just asking for a turbo/blower power adder.

Pro:
-Clean
-No fuel pump needed, only a bottle heater/control solution.
-100 motor octane
-Chemical intercooler properties
-Power-adder friendly
-Becoming cost effective
-Far less likely to degrade in quality
-Far less likely to rise in cost as fast as gasoline

Con:
-Takes slightly more fuel volume per horsepower.
-New technology / bleeding edge.
-Refueling not as convenient.

Anyway, there's a lot of smart people on these forums. If anyone has had any first-hand experience with any of these systems and/or has any inside information about how to obtain parts (specifically, the coaxial insulated fuel line stuff), I'd be very interested to see some of those parts and/or hear about the more challenging parts of this system.

I do cryogenic related engineering by day for Boston Scientific. I have a pretty good idea what needs to happen to keep the propane in liquid phase right up to the injector nozzle. What I'm not sure about is what happens next..will the injectors freeze/stick? Do the lines ice over? Will I need a purge cycle or a recirc pump to prime the lines before startup or possibly a continuous recirc pump to keep the lines from boiling? These are all problem areas I'm sure...I'd be curious to know how these issues have been solved. I've contacted Bi-Phase (leader in this technology) and they won't provide details, even under NDA.

Anyway, I think it would be extremely interesting to do this. Then, eventually convert the cobra over to Propane and certify it as a clean energy vehicle in California. Imagine a 1000hp Cobra with a clean energy sticker on it driving in the commuter lane. LOL; that'd be news.

Byron

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 12:09 AM
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Byron,
You have a lot higher expectations than I do, however I would love to hear your questions answered.
I was talking to my wife today, and ask her if she had heard how much LPS was a gallon, and told her that I was wondering if there was a way I could change my 1994 F-250 4X4(54,000 miles) to LPS. I told her how much cleaner it burned, and it couldn't be worse than the 9mpg I get now.
I am very familiar with LPS as I had a company truck that ran on it for 5 years, this was back in the late 80's.
Now, if there is a EFI deal, I am interested in hearing about it.

David,

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 07:27 PM
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use it in vapor form.pressure loss in the tank will happen fast.you would need a refrigeration unit and heat exchanger setup to keep liquid at the injectors.then some kind of magnetic drive pump with no seals to loop back to the tank.to many pressure changes going on using liguid.come out of tank as a saturated vapor keep lines insulated and plumb like regular fuel.should work???just need a stand alone programmable fuel managment system.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 08:00 PM
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Well the fuel tank is definitely a negative point. The are both large and very heavy. The future negative that will come along is if it get popular then eventually the gov't will start taxing the hell out of it just like they do with regular fuel. I have had a couple propane vehicles (old style) since the mid 80's in Canada. When I filled up my truck last year the price of propane was the same as regular. It was $0.09/l when I started driving propance in the 80's.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Liquid Propane

Yes, the tanks are heavy. However, in a drag car you don't need much fuel to make a pass and therefore don't need a big tank.

I don't completely understand all aspects of what the other post was communicating, but I got some of it. The more I read, the more I think I'll need some kind of recirculating pump to keep the propane under pressure and liquid in the lines (otherwise it'll boil). If I'm pumping the liquid propane around, chances are it'll build heat...so that must be what the refrigeration system is for; to cool the fuel down and get it closer to a nominal operating vapor pressure.

I am not interested in using the fuel in pure vapor form. Do that, and you eliminate most of the performance benefit of liquid propane.

I finally got some information from Bi_Phase today; was a matter of getting high enough up the food chain. Now these guys are interested enough that they may provide me with the parts I need to start screwing around. One thing has already been decided...they don't have parts big enough for a race application; for that...I'm on my own, but they're interested in helping and seeing it happen.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 09:22 PM
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Byron,
I have a local propane company that I'm friends with the owner and he told me last year that Ford supposedly makes an EFI propane fuel injector and offers a cab/chassis truck that's liquid propane EFI.
He was looking into one for a new service truck, I haven't seen him in a couple of months to know for sure. If I get any new info I'll post it .
John

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2007, 08:01 PM
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Hi Byron,

Have you looked at the Roush propane injected Ford pick-up they just built?

John.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2007, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Heard of it...

I heard about that roush truck, and wanted more information. Bi-Phase is the maker of the system...and they are very very slow at giving any information out on it.

The other propane Fords are gaseous injection without exception as far as I know. Propane yes, but not liquid. The 160lb/hr injectors in my Cobra were OEM propane crown victoria injectors. They flow around 15-20lb/hr gaseous propane. If you put liquid gasoline through them...160lb/hr.

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