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Old 07-16-2017, 08:12 PM   #1
KGBnut
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Default Alternative Fuels in a Model A

I got into an interesting conversation with Pop this afternoon. With the trend toward electric vehicles, the day may come in the future where gasoline is no longer on every street corner. I know that this is completely hypothetical, but as there are fewer consumers of gas and the economies of scale change...the price will go way up, and gas stations may become harder to find than a pay-phone. So, how will we keep our Model As running?

With that in mind I have to ask, has anyone ever successfully converted their Model A's engine to run on alcohol, propane/natural gas, or any other readily available alternative fuel?

I'm curious what's involved. I know that alcohol would require re-jetting the carbs (I seem to remember that alcohol needs to run much richer than gas)? As for propane, can you use a gaseous fuel with a carburetor, or does it have to be fuel injection?

I know it may seem silly, but I'm just curious.

Ken
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

>>As for propane, can you use a gaseous fuel with a carburetor, or does it have to be fuel injection?

It might be tricky stuffing the propane tank in the dash ...

As the engine management system in an A is a bit limited you are restricted to a ring that goes in the air cleaner for dual fuel, or replacing the carby with a straight gas (propane) unit. The carby replacement has much better performance.
On an overhead valve engine the compression can be raised to 10:1 or so if using straight gas as it has a higher octane rating equivalent.

The GasResearch unit here (photo 2) is a carby replacement. They sometimes do an intake manifold as well for flow. They work well. The red round thing in the first photo is the converter, it decompresses the liquid gas to a vapour while absorbing heat.
http://www.autospeed.com/cms/article...s-Power&A=0043

There is also vapour injection and the ultimate, liquid injection (cools the intake as it goes from liquid to gas) if you have a computer.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:08 PM   #3
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

I used to frequent a Propane place that could put a propane system on ANYTHING that had pistons!
They had BARRELS & BARRELS of REGULATORS/HEAT EXCHANGERS/CARBS/PLUMBING & most anything you could think of!
I'll bet if you asked them to put your "A" on PROPANE, they could do it!!! You'd just have to have a body style that could "hide" a tank.
Just think, if you put a small propane line into the head pipe, along with a trick valve, you could BURN the grass off the roadsides!!!---LOF---AND, "maybe" get PAID for it???
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

Over here, we run lots of cars on LPG. That's why we don't call petrol, gas.
I ave had several and the main modern car in the family is dual fuel. Gas outlets are already becoming further apart which all contradicts the movement to cleaner fuels. I don't think I will be doing it again.
I heard the other day that the French government has banned fossil fuel powered cars from 2040. The writing is on the wall "writ large".
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

Quote:
Originally Posted by KGBnut View Post
I got into an interesting conversation with Pop this afternoon. With the trend toward electric vehicles, the day may come in the future where gasoline is no longer on every street corner. ...
My opinion : That day will not be tomorrow. Not even for the next generation. And if that day would come : what are they going to do with all their fuel ?
(And remember : it's not only Model A's that that will need fuel !)
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

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I have worked in the oil fields. And asked the ole timeres. How long till the wells dry up? Answer back: "It doesnt man" What? Dont they slow down? " No." What do you mean? "This well fills that tank with three visits." It seemed from running around to different wells doing basic repairs that the oil wells ran like clock work producing the same amount of oil that they did when they were drilled in the 50s or 70s or 30s. You pumped a couple hundred gallons of water in the well through a hotsy pressure washer. It gave a couple hundred gallons of oil/brine back. The seperator ran it and sent it to the brine or crude tank. My job was to paint rust on this ancient equipment. Gas will out last us.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

They can also be run on a wood gas generator
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:03 AM   #8
Tony Hillyard
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

I have a great friend who live in Melbourne, Australia. He had several modern cars fitted with LPG conversions. They never did run very well, economic yes, but they were not a nice car to drive.

Perhaps it's down to the companies that do the conversions. You do need good engineers to set them up and service them.

He now has a normal gasoline powered car. LPG was too much hassle.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

FWIW:

I remember hearing of a guy in our rural area in about 1920 whose old used car broke down, so he hitched up his pair of farm mules to his car to bring his family to church in his car.

The following Sunday, he went out to his car and saw a flat tire with no spare, being in a hurry, he loaded his family in a wood skiff and pulled them to church with the same two mules.

Something tells me we human beings will always find some way to survive a crisis.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

Lawrence of Arabia said "A Rolls in the desert is above rubies".

I guess he was just making do with what he had.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:04 AM   #11
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

I saw flathead ted had a hydrogen generator on his 34 V8,
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:04 AM   #12
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

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Originally Posted by Tony Hillyard View Post
I have a great friend who live in Melbourne, Australia. He had several modern cars fitted with LPG conversions. They never did run very well, economic yes, but they were not a nice car to drive.

Perhaps it's down to the companies that do the conversions. You do need good engineers to set them up and service them.

He now has a normal gasoline powered car. LPG was too much hassle.
As I said in my earlier post, I have a car (in Melbourne) on gas and have had several others. I find a slight drop in power but other than that, you wouldn't know the difference. Just the same to drive and run just as well, a few horsepower off the top excepted. Gas about halves your fuel bill and at the prices we have to pay, that's significant. I don't know who you have been talking to but I think they are dead wrong. What ever, we digress. IMHO, petrol willl be around for long enough that i won't be worried. There are more pressing threats to our way of life than that and I'm NOT getting political.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

Here is some more thoughts,

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...7789&showall=1
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

A quick look at that link, and as I alluded to above dual fuel with a carby does not give the best performance. Straight gas (propane) is better. Raising the compression is better. Yes, the distributor curve is different. There isn't as much energy in gas.
A low horsepower engine losing a few horsepower probably isn't a good thing. If you have plenty of horses to spare, you probably won't notice.

The newer computer controlled units are a different kettle of fish altogether.

If the engine has any weakness in the ignition or engine sensors it will likely show up on gas more so than petrol.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:25 AM   #15
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

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...
I heard the other day that the French government has banned fossil fuel powered cars from 2040....
This means : no new cars running on fossil fuel will be sold. All other cars will still be allowed to be driven !
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:26 AM   #16
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

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This means : no new cars running on fossil fuel will be sold. All other cars will still be allowed to be driven !
Quite so. Maybe my wording wasn't as specific as it might have been. If the last fossil fuelled car is sold in 2040, they will start disappearing from the roads from then as older cars are not replaced. The last would be gone in about 20 years - probably less. That would be around 2060. By then I'd be setting new records for longevity!!!!
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:32 AM   #17
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

By the time this happens I will be long gone and so will Model A's.
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Old 07-17-2017, 06:52 AM   #18
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

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Originally Posted by Synchro909 View Post
Quite so. Maybe my wording wasn't as specific as it might have been. If the last fossil fuelled car is sold in 2040, they will start disappearing from the roads from then as older cars are not replaced. The last would be gone in about 20 years - probably less. That would be around 2060. By then I'd be setting new records for longevity!!!!
The last surviving Model A will be turned into a hotrod before the last gasoline sale.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:12 AM   #19
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

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...2040, they will start disappearing from the roads from then as older cars are not replaced. The last would be gone in about 20 years - probably less. That would be around 2060. By then I'd be setting new records for longevity!!!!
I don't agree ! : my daily driver for the moment is an 1986 Audi (32 years old) with 300000 km on the clock. Still going strong.
My second Audi (exactly the same, even the color) with 140000 km. So I don't need to buy an electric crap car during my life. And when the Audi's die I still have the A...
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:28 AM   #20
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Default Re: Alternative Fuels in a Model A

Many years ago there was an article in the model A News about a guy who drove his model A from his home to Washington DC on alcohol, and when he got the the steps of congress, he poured a bottle of Vodka in the tank. He said it ran fine, just needed the GAV opened up a lot more, and he had to preheat the carburetor in the morning with some electric heater that he plugged in at the motel.
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