PROPANE for Buick.

Discussion in 'High Tech for Old Iron' started by BuickSmith, Nov 5, 2021.

  1. BuickSmith

    BuickSmith Well-Known Member

    Hello Folks. I am starting a few new projects next spring and need some Info/help. I have an 1970 C20 Chevy truck. with a Sm465 trans. and a gear venders OD. I plan on installing one of my 430ci. BBB probably a 1968 from an Electra i used to have. It is a 2 barrel carb. This does not have the large port heads. This will be my trailer pulling rig/ blacksmithing truck. I Plan on running Propane Pure vaper carb set up. NOT duel fuel.... I remember an old write up, I think in Carcraft of someone doing this on a Electra or Riv. I just can't remember if they needed to change the valve seats in the heads. Normally they use powdered metal or really high temp stainless valve for this. but since the Buicks run a high nickel content, I am not sure if it is needed. Also will i need to have the rotating assembly rebalanced for the stick trans? or can i just have the new flywheel balanced per the flex plate in the same location? Some help on these matters would be much welcomed. Thanks. BuickSmith.
     
  2. BuickSmith

    BuickSmith Well-Known Member

    Thank you "Nailhead in a 1967", for the great advice. Yes i am planning on using a Model 425 mixer. With a 100gal tank. but also carry two 30# forklift tanks for, off truck use of my blacksmith gas forge. I figure that the 430 will be a great engine for this setup, well better than the little 250 inline six that is in there now. Don't get me wrong the six can be made into a pretty great engine. but it is not Buick Power, and will never have the kind of low end torque i want. Plus the 430 is already has more compression for the LPG. A hotter coil is a great idea. also the safety switch and filter. I will be installing a tank and line heater also, as i live in ND U.S.A. and can see winter temps drop into the -40's. I have had a couple of LPG, and duel fuel truck in the past on Chevy engines. We also run LPG on 454 Chevy engines for work as water PUMP engines on a 40,000,000 BTU trailer mount LPG gas furnace heater for heating water in the oilfields. And haul LPG by bobtail semi truck to these heaters. So i am somewhat familiar with the Gas, tanks, and fittings. All of these PUMP engines turn around 2100RPM for weeks strait, and have had the valve seats replaced for longevity. But since my truck will only see use for maybe a few hours at a time driving to blacksmithing events on mostly 55-65Mph roads, with occasionally towing around 6,000 Lbs. "" You know, when i have to get another BUICK"" ;) Do I really need the upgraded valve seats? If anyone has an LPG setup on there Buick lets see some picks please. and some more tips and tricks for these setups. I will be making a BUILD thread as soon as i get all the parts. Maybe we can keep this thread going.
     
  3. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    If LPG burns at a higher temperature, wouldn't that necessitate a colder plug?
     
    Waterboy likes this.
  4. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    I think he means "higher numerically", colder plug.
     
  5. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    That depends on the manufacturer of the plug. AC and Autolite have higher numbers for higher heat ranges, NGK is the opposite.
     
  6. BuickSmith

    BuickSmith Well-Known Member

    Larry. I would agree. Most of our plugs on the PUMP engines at work use a colder plug, with a narrower gap. as they are higher compression. But every setup is going to be different, so make sure to " READ '' your pugs to find out what it likes. As for the heat in the fuel. it is a higher octane but has less BTU energy. That is why most LPG engine use higher compression to make up a bit of the deference in loss of power. Most LPG gas mixers Are regulated by the engine vacuum . but there are Liquid setups out there that i really don't know to much about. that inject liquid Propane into the cylinder and then expands inside. " as LPG changes from a liquid to a gas at -40deg." it happens fast!! and can create almost a supercharger effect, If i understand it correctly. There was a Chevelle build some years ago named PRO PANE. Built for Mother polish, that used a system of this type. It was really neat. around 900 HP if i remember right. Used alot of parts from a New Zealand company.
     
  7. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    Yes to all. Cool project! Having no experience with LPG vehicles, I wasn't sure about the general spark plug requirements. When I worked for NYC Transit, we had a 1st generation flex fuel vehicle that ran on gasoline and LPG. I remember the difference in fuel mileage because of the lower BTU energy.

    Maybe down the road, you can fit some aluminum heads to the engine. They have hardened seats, and you can build more compression with them because of the smaller chambers.
     
  8. BuickSmith

    BuickSmith Well-Known Member

    Thanks again for the info guys. Neat trick with the popoff valve in the airbox. Ok i will be moving forward with the stock engine then, with upgrades to the ignition system. I may also have to look into running LPG on my other upcoming project a stroked 300ci. in a 65 buick special camino. Ooops may have let the cat out of the bag a bit soon on that one. Oh well.
     
    sean Buick 76 and Waterboy like this.
  9. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    Blacksmith? Are you a farrier?
     
  10. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    I like propane, it’s pretty cool. I had a tow truck with a 460 on LPG, was very awesome running and it even started up well in -30 surprisingly!
     
  11. BuickSmith

    BuickSmith Well-Known Member

    Awesome engine pic, Nailhead in a 1967. That setup looks great. Buick64203. Just Blacksmith. NOT a farrier. But my uncle has been for more than 60 years. sean Buick 76. Cool..
     
  12. BuickSmith

    BuickSmith Well-Known Member

  13. BuickSmith

    BuickSmith Well-Known Member

    Found the above info on the IMPCO online cat. download.
     
    sean Buick 76 likes this.

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