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  #1  
Old 07-16-2008, 03:36 PM
craigarooney craigarooney is offline
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Location: Salt Lake City, UT
 
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Mein Auto: 528i
Lightbulb Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) conversions?

Last year I sold a dual-fuel vehicle that ran on CNG and gasoline. There is a CNG filling station less than a mile from my house (76-cents per gallon = SWEEEET!). When the CNG tank went empty the car automatically switched to gas/petrol. Total range for the fully fueled vehicle was 750 miles (only stop to go potty).

We had bought it from out of state and so I am looking for somehow to have this same enhancement done to my 2000 528i (E39). I've listed this under the General BMW forum because this conversion isn't specific to my car.

What I'm looking for is as close to first hand experience as possible on CNG (not LPG) dual fuel (also called bi-fuel) conversions.

Ideally I want to know where it gets installed in the vehicle, how it impacted/improved performance, stuff to avoid, details to pay attention to.

I'm also interested in knowing where to buy kits so I can have a technician install it for me. Often kits may include a tank, hoses, filling point, fuel injector, etc.

I love my BMW, and I approach this like getting surgery on my own body.

P.S. Before anyone throws tomatoes, I've already searched and read thru existing threads on CNG and these are my unanswered questions.
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2008, 12:22 PM
feier1 feier1 is offline
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Location: Belmont, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 328i
Cool CNG conversion

I'm looking for the same thing for my 328i. In addition is there a portable NG compressor available for home use. I don't have a CNG service station near.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2008, 05:06 PM
Starab Starab is offline
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count me too....
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2008, 05:09 PM
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obmd1 obmd1 is offline
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I would like to find the publicly traded companies who are involved with this fuel and invest. Lao, SS... names?

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  #5  
Old 09-15-2009, 09:48 AM
variousoldcars variousoldcars is offline
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Location: Colorado
 
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Mein Auto: several e28s
CNG options (few, far between)

I was thinking about this just this morning. Seeing the opportunity to buy yet another nice low mile e28 for next to nothing, I thought "why not convert my 'fleet' of old BMWs to CNG?" The answer: because the EPA won't let me (right now) and it would cost a crazy fortune (right now).

There are only a few (six) companies in the US that do small-volume retrofits, and only EPA certified retrofits can be done (note 1). As it happens, I know the owners of one of those companies so this morning I asked the question: "If I had several 20-year-old BMWs and plenty of extra money, could you convert them to CNG for me?" Answer, paraphrased: "No." (note 2) Good news: the EPA may be changing the rules which make that answer "no" by mid-2010.

It costs a ton to get the EPA certification for any car model, so that means you'll only find conversions for fleet vehicles, generally big engine fleet vehicles (see links below for details). A DIY conversion would be considered tampering with your emissions system, with a seriously big fine attached. In Europe there is way more flexibility, so for example one could convert a Range Rover classic to CNG for a reasonable amount. Here, not so much. The EPA is working to open up regulations to allow retrofits of older cars, recognizing their rules, meant to ensure reduced emissions and public safety, actually prevent conversions. That said, it's much more expensive to integrate CNG conversions with newer automotive computers, so an early carburetor-equipped Rangie is a great choice in the UK. Maybe a nice '73 BMW 2002tii? Fuel injection is possible, just more expensive.

For now, if you want a CNG vehicle, buy a new or used one. If you want an alternative-fuel classic or older model, convert to electric or wait a couple years. Not better, just legal. If you really, really want a CNG BMW, move to Europe.

1. http://www.greencar.com/articles/can...atural-gas.php
2. http://www.fueltek.biz/FuelTek_Conve...nversions.html
3. http://www.ngvamerica.org/resources_tools/index.html

Steven in Colorado
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  #6  
Old 09-15-2009, 04:57 PM
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Chrisdridley Chrisdridley is offline
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Location: Chattanooga,TN
 
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Mein Auto: (2)335d, RS60 Spyder
I worked for a beverage company back in the '80s and the entire fleet, delivery trucks,service trucks and service vans...over a hundred vehicles in all ran on CNG.
They ran great... I drove a service van that ran on CNG for over 100,000 miles with only oil changes.
I have been waiting for CNG cars for a long time.
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2009, 01:29 PM
Richy_Boy Richy_Boy is offline
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Sorry, only LPG experience here. We don't have CNG in the UK...

Rich
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2010, 05:05 AM
Shibu Shibu is offline
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Mein Auto: '10 335d sdn monaco blu
In case you are still looking into it I recently was driven in a cng taxi in India. I didn't realize it until we stopped to refuel & we went to a CNG station. It was also a duel fuel vehicle but you had to switch manually. The driver says he has to switch to regular gas on steep hills because the CNG does not provide the same power. I saw the CNG tank in the trunk & it does take up some space. The big plus in the cheap gas. I would definately consider it if I had more any stations close to my house in NY. Put one in a BMW & you have the best of both worlds... CNG when you are in stop & go traffic... reg fuel when you want BMW performance.
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  #9  
Old 02-25-2011, 09:32 AM
JUMPNYC JUMPNYC is offline
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Location: Queens, NY
 
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BUMP!!!

I would do this on my E30 or my 2002!! Any new news about the EPA regs being changed?

With all the garbage going on in the middle east, and gas prices about to hit $4.00 here in NY, I would seriously consider a conversion!

They did it on a newer Mercedes and are tuning it now.

http://jalopnik.com/#!5768588/the-23...ed-natural-gas

Last edited by JUMPNYC; 02-25-2011 at 09:40 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2011, 04:30 PM
jah3 jah3 is offline
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Location: Seattle
 
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Mein Auto: 94 530i
In the Us, only certain American cars have been approved for conversion. Honda and a few others have factory models. BMW has a hydrogen model, but not too many stations. California has enough stations to make it worth while. Utah prices are $1.25 a gallon, whereas California runs about $2.25. Might be really cheap to fill up from home if natural gas is available.
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  #11  
Old 03-25-2013, 06:12 AM
foozil747 foozil747 is offline
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Location: Utah
 
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Sorry to resurrect an old thread. The post on only "certain approved conversions" is only if you are looking to get a federal tax credit on an overpriced conversion kit. You can install a conversion kit as long as you have a DOT approved cylinder and don't alter any of the emission control systems in your vehicle you just won't be eligible for a small tax rebate from the feds. By doing the conversion you will however save money in fuel and not pollute for the rest of us when you drive. Of course you need to have access to the fuel within a reasonable distance as well or have a home fueling station. (they are still $$$ to have installed, and not worth it yet imho). Other than that the newer injection kits are pretty slick and run phenomenally. They are reasonably priced now as well if you install them yourself. I would however like someone mentioned above, have the tank installed by a certified installer just for safety sake. But the kit do it yourself. Go for broke and save some cash. Best of luck and hope it worked out for you.

http://cngconversionkitsinfo.com/
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