DIY Propane Injection.
I've been approached by several folks to do a little talk on Propane Injection. OK, I'll do that, but first I want ya'll to hear something.
Propane Injection is nothing new! I first experienced it from a Diesel Mechanic that worked on a farm and plantation in the south back in the 70's.
He was a good friend, his Employer had seveal tractors that were getting too small for his place. He was overworking them.
His Mechanic, my friend had talked to his dad, had told him how he did it years earlier in a construction co. that had a big, D9 Dozer that needed a little help from time to time.
Back then, they just mounted a bottle by the drivers seat, hooked a small regulator to keep the pressure under control, ran a hose up to the intake just ahead of the turbo, and installed a hose there to spray a fog into the intake tube.
When power was needed, you just cracked the valve open just a little, then turned it off. You only add this when your motor is reved up and you need power. Some folks used it to cut down of fuel consumption and to add a little pep....the regulator was just cranked down lower.
Diesel only burns 70 to 75% in the motor, wasted fuel is passed out the exhaust. POWER ADDERS like propane injection and Nitrious just help burn the little extra thats left over in the combustion chambers. This is not rocket science, nor is it VooDoo, it just simply works.
In this day and age of high fuel prices and parts, we can all benefit from this! All you have to do is choose your system, hook it up, and HAVE IT TURNED DOWN AT FIRST, then gradually increase your pressure. A little bit will go a long way. And don't just add this to a running motor! Your rpm has to be up above idle.
I'm not condoning the use of this by idiots or morons, USE THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK! I WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR STUPIDITY! This is completely safe if hooked up correctly! Thousands of poeple have done it!
Theres 2 systems, and I have the latter, because I wanted the adjustability. The first on is the most safe, and is highly suggested for the first timer.
I will refer to this one as the BBQ Method. The parts list is simple.
I'm gonna tell you how to do it, I will supply my knowledge, you must look up the parts yourself. This is not hard people! It does not take a Genius to do this!
The BBQ Method is just as it sounds, you use a BBQ setup. This injects propane at less that 1 psi, and this wil increase mileage and add some pep. The bottle, the regulator (2 Stage) and the hose. Mount your bottle in your bed, I use a 30# bottle with a fryer/BBQ regulator. You can pick these up at Tractor Supply, Lowes, etc., for about $44 and up. Get a hose to run up to your intake, hook it into your intake tube just behind your air cleaner. You need a good, tight connection. Tap the inside of your fitting, screw in a small piece of copper tubing and insert a furnace or burner jet. Put your jet toward the center of the tube. I use a # 60. OK, a carb jet can work too....just make sure everything is tight and secure or your turbo will eat it and throw shrapnel into your intercooler and/or motor. I'm paranoid, so, I have a piece of screenwire over my turbo intake to keep things like that from happening.
Now, we need to add the electrical part of our system.
I install a Hobbs switch the is in a Tee with the oil pressure sensor. The Hobbs switch has a switched 12 Volt accessory wire, going to it. I pick up this wire at the Fusible link section there on the Drivers fender. Put a heavy Duty 12 volt Toggle switch right on the dash wired into there....this will be your Emergency Kill Switch! I use a heavy duty switch from Cole Hersee, they're about 10 bucks, and I have a red flip up cover on that switch, so, you know what it does! After the Hobbs switch senses oil pressure, it feeds its current to a universal 12 volt relay. That relay energizes a small fuse block on the inner fender on the drivers side.
Now then, right behind the pressure regulator on your bottle, you have to cut your new line and install a 12 volt Pressure solenoid. You can find these thru your camper supply folks, or your Auto parts place if they are good parts folks. I used Impeco's. And You Will Need 2 of these!!!! You can get them from Google or on Ebay. The Universals they sell on Ebay and Amazon are about $20 but the Impeco's are rated for Propane....
Hook the Pressure solenoid up to another toggle switch in your cab on your dash. Now run this back to your small fuseblock thats hooked to your relay thats hooked to your Hobbs switch. (Now, I actually use a relay for each Pressure solenoid, but thats just me. These draw some current, I just wanted to be safe.)
Now for a small recap! When your bottle is turned on, theres no pressure flooding into your intake. Its stopped at the 12 volt pressure solenoid. You start your motor, now the Hobbs switch is energized, energizing the small fuse block, allowing the relay to activate, BUT only if the switch inside on your dash is on. This is your emergency kill switch. Turn this switch off, it kills everything, because it shuts down your small fuse block.
We're almost there!
Now, go to Radioshack, or your automove parts store, get a roller arm micro switch, much like is used to activate a nitrious system, mount this were the throttle cable is hooked to your injector pump, and adust it so its activated a bit above idle. Hook this up to your fuse block.
Now, Remember thet OTHER 12 volts pressure solenoid you purchased???? Now, find a good spot up on your pass, fender, mount it close to your air cleaner. Cut your line and hook in inline there. Run a wire from your micro switch to your 3rd Toggle switch on your dash, then from your dash to your fuse block. Run the wire from the other side of your micro switch, to your 12 volt solenoid by your air cleaner.
Your system is now complete. I didn't supply part #'s because you might not be able to get what I used, so, you can substitute whats needed.
All thats needed now is adjustment. ROUGHLY set you regulator on your bottle to 10 PSI, if your using the "Serious" System. Set your other regulator by your aircleaner to 1 PSI or to where it just barely reads. Don't go any higher than 1 until you've driven it some. The BBQ is Non-adjustable....will increase your milage and add a little pep. The More pressure you add, the less MPG and more power you'll have.
By each switch, inline, on the dash, I mounted a LED for each switch so I could see which is active. I have them labeled....the E-Stop has a red LED to let you know everything is active at the fuse block. The 1st solenoid is a green LED so is the 2nd Solenoid....The last green LED thats wired into the microswitch will go on and off, as you step on the accelerator. I find this quite handy adjusting the switch....
Let me also add, this system, I've redone it several times....so, its safety first with this system. Now, I also used universal 12 volt relays to activate these 2 pressure solenoids, just to be safe.
The 2nd System I call the "Serious" system does not use the universal low pressure regulator from a BBQ, but uses a 2 stage welding regulator, regulated down to 10 PSI. Then, just before the 2nd pressure solenoid, I have another regulator where THAT regulates the line pressure down to 1 PSI.I have a pressure gauge there right after that regulator! At less than 1 PSI, you get good fuel milage, its only injected when that microswitch on the throttle is energized. Above 1 PSI, its less mileage and more power. I have known forks to use up to 5 or 6 PSI, but do this at your own risk....you can melt your pistons!!!! BIG POWER CAN BE HAD, AT THE DANGER OF SERIOUS ENGINE DAMAGE!!!!!
I use that latter system because I can adjust things myself. Every truck is different! A non-Turbo truck will be more sensitive to adjustments.... I did use the BBQ system for years, raising my fuel milage by 4 to 6 MPG's. That was while I was using 215-75-R16's.
With the Serious System I run 235-75-R16's, and I'm lite on the throttle to get good fuel milage. The reason for 2 regulateors on my "Serious" System, is also, every truck is different. so you might want to add a little, or take a little away.
Also, during the summer months when its hot as hell, with the welding regulator on the bottle,(theres a adaptor for that), the pressure fluctuates somewhat, so, thats the reason for the 2nd regulator. 1st one is for rough adjustments, the 2nd one is for fine tuning!
Now, for the Parts list:
1. (3) Heavy Duty Cole Hursee toggle switches, 1 with a red flipup cover, about $12 each
2. (3)-1/8" 12 volt LED's, 1-red, 2-green ($5 ea. with holder)
3. (3)-Universal 12 Volt relays (about $6 from O'Reillys)
4. 100' roll of 14 Ga. wire.
5. 10' of #8 or #6 wire to feed fuse block.
6. (2)-pressure solenoids, 3/8's or 1/4" ports ( As low as $20 ea. to as high as about $100 ea.)
7. (1)-HeavyDuty Microswitch ($8 at RadioShack, $6 at Wholesale Elect. Supplier)
8. 15' Propane hose ($20 from Lowes or Tractor Supply for Fryer or Propane heating torch, or get one made up by welding shop for 1/2 that!)
9. A pressure gauge to install right after the 2nd regulator if your using the "Serious " System. Usually theres a 1/4" NPT port on the regulator, but if not, use a T there for your pressure gauge to screw into. ($8 for the gauge from Tractor Supply or Industrial Supplier, $3 for the T)
10. (1)-30 Pound tank from Tractor Supply, but the one from Lowes is DOT certified....(I use 2, one to fill as a spare and one on my truck)
11. Assorted hardware like Spade terminals, male and females for your wiring, hooling up stuff. Pipe sealant. Use HeatShrink tubing! Fuse for safety....don't burn your truck down!
12. A universal 2 stage non-adjustable regulater from Tractor Supply or Lowes, From $45 to $65. This is for the BBQ Setup. The "Serious" Setup uses 2 stage welding regulator that screws directly to the bottle. (About $85 on up) The low pressure regulator will usually run about $25 to $45 bucks, can pick these up most anyplace that sells propane or compressed gas equipment.
Last but not least, if you smell propane while the truck is parked, DON"T START IT! You left a switch on/something stuck/ or a line is broken! CHECK IT OUT!
I have mine adjusted, and I leave all 3 toggle switches on! The other 2 just for the solenoids are mostly for troubleshooting purposing, and so you can control them should a malfunction happen. It helps divide the system up should there be a propane leak somewhere.
REMEMBER, E-STOP KILLS EVERYTHING IN THE PROPANE SYSTEM!
I leave my bottle on, the solenoid shuts everything down when the motor isn't on....REASON FOR HOBBS SWITCH!
PS- Let just add that Propane, while it is a fuel, is quite safe! To be conbustionable, or explosive, you have to have a certain amount of air to a certain amount of propane. I did work around this stuff alot welding. Below that threshhold, nothing happens, anything above that threshold, it might go 'POOF' and scare the hell outta you and burn your eyebrows and hair off, but won't explode. It will only explode if contained inside of a enclosed space, and under the right amount of air or oxygen.
Don't enclose your bottle in a toolbox. I have mine mounted under a trapdoor on the bed of my truck and its nestled in a small cradle, upright. Air can circulate around it and its not enclosed.
Its out of view of the cops and Troopers....outta sight, outta mind. If a DOT person sees you with a non tied down bottle in your bed, be prepared for a Big Ticket! Mount it where it can't be seen, or Put a cover over it!
It helps keep the sun from shining directly on your bottle, keeps your pressure even.....also, those puppies have a burst cap on them should the pressure get too high, it'll vent to the atmosphere!
"----If it ain't loud, lowered, long, and flatblack....an ain't belchin' black smoke...an don't have at least 1 Turbo....it ain't about S***!"-SCREAMIN' METAL
Last edited by Jossi; 11-18-2012 at 07:38 PM.