Everything You Need to Know About CNG Conversion Kits
Aspirated vs Direct Injection CNG Conversion Kits?
About CNG Conversion Kits – Aspirated
These systems are first generation simple technology. Aspirated kits usually cost less since and are relatively simple and easy to install. They have a closed loop controller that receives feedback from an oxygen sensor to keep the vehicle operating optimally. The performance of these systems is limited because the air intake must be throttled down for them to work properly. Also, aspirated CNG kits tend to trigger the “Check Engine” light which is a common occurrence. This application is intended for older vehicles with a carburetor.
About CNG Conversion Kits – Direct Injection
These conversion systems are the leaders in CNG Conversion Kit technology. They are also known as sequential port injection CNG conversion kits. They utilize a powerful microprocessor (ECU). This ECU supports the built-in automatic correction and calibration system. These CNG conversion kits use advanced electronics and offer superior performance. They cost more than aspirated kits but are worth it. They have evolved significantly in recent years. The latest technology in these CNG conversion kits utilize extensive electronic sensors. These work in sync with the premium CNG injectors. The 32 bit ECU integrates with the vehicle’s computer. These CNG conversion kits provide the best fuel economy and performance. A “Check Engine” light is not acceptable with these installations.
Dedicated, Bi-Fuel and Dual-Fuel Vehicles?
- Run on 100% natural gas
- Dependent on CNG fueling stations
- Can not switch fuels if it is overheating
- Expensive engine re-configurations to accommodate non lubricating natural gas
- High maintenance costs
- Reduced torque and HP
- Reduced mileage
- High conversion costs
Bi-Fuel and Dual-Fuel vehicles use CNG Conversion Kits
- Gasoline engines run on gasoline or natural gas
- Diesel engines runs on diesel + natural gas mixture
- Doubles the driving range
- Manually switch fuels while driving at the flip of a switch
- Automatically switches to the original fuel if the CNG runs low
- Starts on gasoline or diesel to lubricate the engine then switches to natural gas
- Low maintenance costs
- Increased torque and HP
- Increased mileage
- Low conversion costs
Direct Injection CNG Conversion Kits
- Gasoline bi-fuel CNG Conversion Kits run on either 100% gasoline or 100% natural gas. A CNG tank is added to hold the natural gas. The addition of another fuel tank doubles the driving range. Bi-fuel conversions greatly reduce your fuel and maintenance costs. Because the fuel combusts completely, your engine stays much cleaner. These conversions also reduce oil and filter changes. The cleaner burning fuel extends the life of your cars and trucks.
- Diesel dual-fuel CNG Conversion Kits blend a mix of both diesel and natural gas. This greatly reduces the consumption of expensive diesel fuel. Expect an increases your mileage, and a reduction in maintenance of expensive oil and filter changes. The air/natural gas mixture is denser. This denser higher octane mixture creates more power and increased torque. The cleaner burning fuel extends the life of you trucks and buses.
Are There Special Maintenance Needs for CNG Converted Vehicles?
Natural gas engines work essentially the same way as gasoline engines. An air-fuel mixture is injected into the intake manifold, drawn into the combustion chamber, and then ignited by a spark plug. Most engine service requirements are very similar and can be handled by a dealer, automotive shop, or trained mechanic. If there is a retrofit repair needed, such as a faulty injector or loose compression fittings, these would be taken care of by the installer.
Do Conversions Increase my Maintenance Costs?
Bi-fuel and Dual-fuel CNG Conversions reduce maintenance. Normal oil and filter changes are reduced in HALF. Dedicated CNG conversions INCREASE maintenance. Dedicated CNG Conversions double the oil changes and require quarterly replacement of expensive CNG injectors. Using CNG protects the oil viscosity in bi-fuel and dual-fuel CNG Conversions. This causes less wear on various engine parts such as the pistons, valves, and the head walls. The gases burn more efficiently. No harmful or filthy carbon deposits are emitted. Natural gas keeps your oil cleaner longer. Using CNG also extends the life of the engine. Natural gas governs the oil film that collects on the cylinder walls. This containment protects other engine parts. Gasoline and diesel engines are not protected from ash and oil particulates.
Benefits to the Vehicle
Trucks & Cars with Installed CNG conversion kits
- Natural gas carries higher BTU levels than gasoline with additives (125 vs. 90)
- Reduces the Fuel & Maintenance Costs Approximately 40%.
- Combusts without self-ignition.
- Protects your engine from knocking, even on engines with higher compression and efficiency levels
- Combusts 100%
- The oil that lubricates the engine is less contaminated
- There are no sediments
- Spark plugs stay clean
- Oil film on the engine cylinder walls are not washed off
- Combustion gases are not corrosive and protect metals
- Extends the life of exhaust pipe and silencers
- Eliminates the scanning actions in the cylinders during fast acceleration
- No irregularities or backfires with fast takeoffs
- Converted vehicles may switch from using CNG to gasoline by simply pushing a button while driving.
- CNG gasoline bi-fuel system doubles the car’s driving range.
- CNG conversions run smoother and more quietly.
- Vehicles operate in all terrains, even across mountains. For example, a truck with a 37-ton load drove above 4,800 meters high in the Peruvian Andes in May 2008.
- CNG works fine under any climate condition
- Natural gas does not freeze under cold outside temperatures.
- The CNG conversion kit is fully reversible and can be removed easily
- The CNG conversion kit can be reused on another vehicle
Three Main Components to a Vehicle Conversion
CNG Conversion Kits
NFPA-52 Certified high pressure parts
The CNG tank can be mounted in several places. Most popular locations are in the trunk or in the bed of the truck. A high pressure fuel line is attached. This line transports the methane passed a filter. The cleaned gas continues to the engine department. Here the natural gas is passed through a reducer. This 2-stage reducer will drop the natural gas pressure from 3600 PSI to 36 PSI. The natural gas continues through low pressure hoses to the injectors. These specialized CNG injectors dispense the fuel. This process is controlled by the CNG conversion kit’s ECU which is programmed to match the vehicle’s original fuel map. Sensors and computers adjust the fuel-air mixture for peak performance. CNG conversion kits do not reduce your car or truck’s performance.
Fueling at CNG stations is the same as gasoline or diesel. It also takes the same amount of time. The added CNG tank will double your driving range. You still need to use gasoline as this is required to start, lubricate, and warm the vehicle. CNG conversion kits are programmed to protect against excessive heat, and sudden changes in driving conditions. Should you need to break heavily, suddenly speed up, or hit a steep hill your fuel system will automatically switch back to gasoline for the needed additional power.
Converted vehicles work just like the original. Adding the new fuel system is completely non-invasive and easy to reverse. Sequential port injection systems from trusted manufacturers do not alter or interfere with any of the original engine manufacturer (OEM) factory settings or fuel system nor do they tamper with any engine devices or controls. Because there is no tampering, there is no violation with anti-tampering laws.
Will I Receive the Same Fuel Mileage and Vehicle Performance?
Against popular opinion, methane contains more British Thermal Units (BTUs) than gasoline. The energy content of gasoline is dependent on the season. It’s also changes when additives are included. Oxygenated fuel additives like methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MBTE) is used to reduce emissions. Ethanol is a popular cheap low energy additive. Ethanol blends are used in most gas stations.
BTU levels for gasoline
- 114,500 for a summer gallon of gasoline w/ no additives
- 112,500 for a winter gallon of gasoline w/ no additives
- 112,000 for summer blends with MTBE
- 110,210 for summer blends with ethanol
- 112,210 for winter blends with ethanol
BTU levels for natural gas
- 114,000 year round
BTU levels for diesel
The clear winner and most expensive is diesel with 129,500 BTUs. Due to the government subsidizing ethanol, it is much cheaper to use. Gas station owners want to save money. The stations don’t have to advertise if their gasoline is blended. So most don’t. This means that most likely your only getting 112,210 BTUs this winter. Vehicles running on natural gas receive more power with 114,000 BTUs.