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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to a change in my life/available time status I am reconsidering my 648 Hatz Diesel conversion.I am leaning towards restoring the 648 to new and running it on propane.I get propane at employee cost thru my old employer and I know literally millions of Generator Onans are out there on propane.I searched here and found nothing on the subject.Anyone care to chime in on this subject with their thoughts and advise.I think you could just put a lpg carb from a P220 on, but I don't know about tuning,ect. This is about the engine side of this question, not carrying a tank.A 40lb horizontal forklift setup will fit on top of the weight box nicely.
 

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The reason why you won't find any discussions about propane on CCI forums is because of the tank issue. Discussions about 600 Series tractors are perhaps 10 percent of the threads on any site. Since you have a 600 and are prepared to mount the tank on your permanent weight box, you have taken care of the major impediment to using one of the best fuels available. In your shoes, I would seek out local companies that are heavily involved in the sales/service of propane generators. There's a decent chance that you could find a complete conversion kit from one of them plus..... all of the advice you will need.

I don't see "tuning" as an issue. I ran propane powered service trucks for years and because they had distributors with variable timing advance, my installer used different springs on the advance weights. Onan's don't have that issue. Propane is the equivalent to a high octane gasoline, however it does not always provide the exact same HP output on some engines. I did not have that problem. How do I know? Simple. I put one brand spanking new GMC Van with a 350 in it, through a wheel dyno test before the conversion and immediately after the conversion. The wheel HP was identical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the info Hilda! :thumbsup: I am a licensed gas tech, so I am very comfortable working with it.I just haven't had any experience on the engine side of things.I worry about a lean condition with an air cooled engine burning the pistons fast! :eek: Very different than a 350 Chevy or a water-cooled forklift motor I think.I wonder if Boomer might chime in on this subject.There is a Cummins/Onan generator company in Bangor, but they are not very helpful if you aren't buying a $10,000 genset :sad:
 

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It does not give off noxious fumes-which is great for campers and close quarters.

The clean emissions are better for the environment-which is great for all of us.

The carburetor cannot and will not gum up-for dependable starting every time.

Larger fuel supplies-can give much longer run times and no dangerous HOT refills.

Safer fuel-propane and natural gas have proven to be safer than gasoline.

Lower maintenance-with less moving parts and a fuel that CANNOT gum up!

Longer engine life-absolutely no impurities in alternative fuel.

Remote Starting-requires no choking to start on alternative fuel.

:crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

Yamaha has been making propane powered equipment for years now. I can tell you it will help anyone in the long run, if, gasoline prices continue to climb uncontrollably.

Norm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alan_H said:
at about $230 for the conversion kit and then fab work plus a cylinder, how long will it take to recoup the conversion cost?
I think there are cheaper avenues available, but it's a starting point.There are Generac carbs on fleabay for $79...need to find out if they will work.I second everything Normand and Hilda said about LPG as a motor fuel...other than the storage problem it is very good. :thumbsup: :gums:
 

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most of the time a factory lp powered ONAN had higher comp heads installed to keep hp close to same as gasoline..... valve rotors taken out. finding place to mount vaporizer where it gets good heat. It is a doable conversion.
Bob M
 

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Its a little off base but I have two propane farm tractors both with 40 gallon tanks. They run circles around the gas and diesel's on economy and power. They have a higher compression engine 10.1:1 from the factory and yeild 7-10hp more. Only drawback is fueling them but if you set up your tractor with a grill bottle that's a breeze.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
1031d said:
Its a little off base but I have two propane farm tractors both with 40 gallon tanks. They run circles around the gas and diesel's on economy and power. They have a higher compression engine 10.1:1 from the factory and yeild 7-10hp more. Only drawback is fueling them but if you set up your tractor with a grill bottle that's a breeze.
That's a very interesting point about power/economy. :thumbsup: I plan on having 2 horizontal forklift tanks to swap as needed.Also, I get a great price on LPG from my old employer...better than a gold watch I suppose! :mrgreen: :gums:
 

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Mr onetwo said:
Due to a change in my life/available time status I am reconsidering my 648 Hatz Diesel conversion.I am leaning towards restoring the 648 to new and running it on propane.I get propane at employee cost thru my old employer and I know literally millions of Generator Onans are out there on propane.I searched here and found nothing on the subject.Anyone care to chime in on this subject with their thoughts and advise.I think you could just put a lpg carb from a P220 on, but I don't know about tuning,ect. This is about the engine side of this question, not carrying a tank.A 40lb horizontal forklift setup will fit on top of the weight box nicely.
Have toyed with the idea myself. Would be nice to pull up to the LP tank and fill up without the hassle of 5 gal cans and crap gas. Also considering selling my Case 351 and buying an LP tractor and converting my pickup to LP. As other posters have said, factory LP engines run higher comp.
 

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1031d said:
Its a little off base but I have two propane farm tractors both with 40 gallon tanks. They run circles around the gas and diesel's on economy and power. They have a higher compression engine 10.1:1 from the factory and yeild 7-10hp more. Only drawback is fueling them but if you set up your tractor with a grill bottle that's a breeze.
IIRC, propane has fewer BTU`s than gasoline, so a CONVERSION engine will actually make slightly less hp on LP than it did on gasoline. It does however have a higher octane ( anti knock property) rating so engines DESIGNED to run on LP have exploited this with a higher C/R make up the energy difference. None of this is meant to disparage LP as a fuel and in theory the OP could raise the C/R ( shave the heads? ) to compensate. :wave:
 

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99flhr said:
1031d said:
Its a little off base but I have two propane farm tractors both with 40 gallon tanks. They run circles around the gas and diesel's on economy and power. They have a higher compression engine 10.1:1 from the factory and yeild 7-10hp more. Only drawback is fueling them but if you set up your tractor with a grill bottle that's a breeze.
IIRC, propane has fewer BTU`s than gasoline, so a CONVERSION engine will actually make slightly less hp on LP than it did on gasoline. It does however have a higher octane ( anti knock property) rating so engines DESIGNED to run on LP have exploited this with a higher C/R make up the energy difference. None of this is meant to disparage LP as a fuel and in theory the OP could raise the C/R ( shave the heads? ) to compensate. :wave:
Yep. The bold italics are mine.

When I was a teenager, 'bout 100 years ago, I mowed pastures on my granddad's farm with a Massey that was a dual fuel. Had the conversion unit on the intake of the original carb. When I hit heavy stuff, blackberry briars etc, I would change to gasoline and had noticeably more power. Could cut through the tough stuff without shifting to a lower gear which was necessary when on propane. Having both fuels was nice. Nothing worse than running out of propane a mile from the tank! Having the gas as a backup prevented more than one hike!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have found an Onan Performer 24XL that runs on LPG for a reasonable cost.Unfortunately it has a tapered crank and a different crankcase configuration.I can't seem to find any dimensional data on the 24.Does Boomer or anyone else have a source for the measurements.Also ,any other thoughts on this swap.I think the additional displacement of the 24 would make up for the lost horsepower of going from gasoline to LPG.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Members keep referring to hi compression Onan motors.Does anyone have a part number for Propane heads for a B48M.....cummins dealer has nothing and I can't find anything in any of the parts books I have...they only list one head number.Failing that....Boomer, can you shave the heads I have or send me to someone who really knows what they are doing.I don't trust any of the machine shops around here :sad: Also, I have found an Impco Century liquid combination on Ebay from a P216 that I am going to try and get. http://www.ebay.com/itm/146-0680-ONAN-I ... 43af4c8aa7 Thanks, Mark
 
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