View Full Version : Australian Ford Falcon
02-02-2009, 09:59 PM
It's probably only of passing interest to most of you guys, but I've been developing prototype after-market systems in Australia for the past seven years.
Our latest version is a 2007 (Australian) Ford Falcon station wagon (6 cylinder in-line, 4.0 litre) bi-fuel. It is fitted with a sequential multi-point fuel injected CNG system. The engine has a compression ratio of 10.3:1. In addition to the existing catalytic converter, we run a methane specific cat to control hydrocarbon emissions.
I have 55 cubic metres (14.67 gge) storage on board, and we have replaced the original 76 litre (20 gallon) gasoline tank with a 20 litre (5 1/4 gallon) limp home tank.
I get 640km (400 miles) on CNG (mainly highway driving) with gasoline backup of 160km (100 miles).
Our next step (next month?) is to fit a supercharger with 4psi boost that will switch on when we switch to CNG. This will raise the effective compression ratio to 13.4:1, which is ideal for our CNG composition. This is expected to result in much better combustion and further reduce emissions. I don't have a handle on what it will do to my fuel economy yet.
We have explored the possibility of bringing our systems to the US, but there are just too many regulatory hoops to jump through to make it feasible. Perhaps one day!!
By the way, I really enjoy reading all the posts on this site.
02-02-2009, 10:27 PM
G'day NGVKevin :
Would you be able to post a couple of Digital Images to that 2007 (Australian) Ford Falcon station wagon to the Images section of this site ?
I'd really like to see that thing
02-02-2009, 11:09 PM
Kevin, welcome to the community. We love to hear about offerings from around the world. I've moved this to the "Other Natural Gas Vehicle" forum, so please follow it here: http://cngchat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4370.
You can actually post pictures within a post. Copy and paste the pic directly into your post, or start a photo albumn in the gallery.
We have members from all over the world and it keeps things interesting to know what can be done when you're not regulated to death. It sounds like you're doing it right and complying with whatever regulations prevail there. What are the rules for conversions in Australia? You're probably right about the headache the EPA would give you if you tried to bring these kits stateside. I'm sure you've followed some of those discussions in the forums.
So give us some pics!
02-03-2009, 07:02 AM
the reulgations are not THAT difficult to work towards, especialyl since it seems you've got a good portion of the work done already. (The extra CH4 CAT and such). There are two large hurdles you face though.
1. OBD-II. Not sure if the Falcon is OBD-II compliant. If it is, does you vehicle still pass all the built-in diagnostics?
2. 4.0L I-6. I'm pretty sure Ford no longer uses the 4.0 I-6 in the states on ANY vehicles, opting for the Duratec V-6 i believe. This means a lot fo your engine specific work will not be all that usefull.
02-03-2009, 09:07 AM
It's probably only of passing interest to most of you guys, ...Are you kidding?!
The Falcon's are awesome cars! It was love at first sight when an XR8 passed me. oooo baby. If those cars where here in the states, I would be driving one.
I know you said you have a wagon, but post some detailed pictures please.
1. OBD-II. Not sure if the Falcon is OBD-II compliant.Doesn't matter much as the Falcons are right-hand drives only.
02-03-2009, 09:21 AM
It looks like the top model goes for about $56,000 aud or about $36.000 usd
Yes it does look like a Mecure. One version offeres the 5.4 engine, but most have the I-6. Over the years I've come perfer the I-6 for reliability; more main bearing area (if it has 7 mains). If you notice about all of the V-8 diesel class 8 truck engines are I-6 the V engines have disappeared.
check the attached from "Ford of Australia"
02-03-2009, 06:10 PM
Thanks for the comments, guys. I'll try to answer all of your questions/comments.
Photos - I don't have my camera with me at the moment, but will paste some photos in a few days.
The Australian requirements for conversions are:
Kits must comply with ISO 15500 or ECE R 110 in regard to high pressure components. The low pressure (under hood) end does not need to meet any specific requirements - except of course for the pressure regulator.
Cylinders must comply with ISO 11439.
Installation can only be done by a licensed installer
Vehicles can only be registered if they carry a CNG compliance plate fitted by the installer.
A prototype of each engine type/model must be tested for emissions using IM240 to certify that emissions are at least as good as the gasoline equivalent. The test requires two tests on CNG (one cold, one hot) followed by one test on gasoline. So far, we have had no trouble with exceeding the requirements.
The conversion is fully OBDII compliant. The system fully matches the original gasoline features such as traction control, dynamic stability control and variable valve timing.
The Falcon (and the Territory SUV) is Ford's only platform in the world that uses the I-6 engine. In 2008, Ford Australia announced that it would close down the I-6 production line in 2010 and move to the Duratec V6. However, they recently announced that they had made a breakthrough in emissions performance of the I-6 and will be able to meet all of the planned future emissions regulations. The I-6 lives on!!!
I personally think that the I-6 is the best 6 cylinder engine currently available. I'm probably biased, but I have owned every Falcon model since they were introduced in 1960, and have seen it develop from a 170 cubic inch OHV with 2 speed Fordomatic transmission or 3 speed manual to today's spec of 4.0 litre DOHC 24 valve VVT with 6 speed manual or automatic transmission.
Yes, they are only RHD at the moment, but Ford has recognised that export markets may be all that secure the future of Australian manufacturing, and rumour has it that a LHD version is under consideration.
02-03-2009, 07:24 PM
Kevin, a couple of questions. The vehicle OBD II or EOBD II compliant? Is the conversion a Ford propriatory kit or from some other manufacture? If so who?
For the rest of you guys, the emission tests using Im-240 is something that is simple and some states already use and makes a lot of sense. Many of the Dynes on the market already have that trace in the software package. A lesson from "down under
02-04-2009, 06:28 PM
I have to agree that I-6 engine ought to be used more, especially in USA where automakers almost always "dumb down" any innovative or fuel efficient engine that is sold in Europe or other countries. Look at 65 mpg Ford Focus or Fiesta that will not be sold in USA, diesels that are sold in Europe or Asia by Ford & GM but not sold in USA, etc.
I put blame on Big Oil, EPA, DOE, former Pres Bush Jr, etc. that have created their own Big Business transportation process here in USA that is merely a "Managed Consumption" model orchestrated by Big Oil . . . . what else explains small companies like Bully Dog, SmartChips, etc. to be able to plug in flash prom for computer and whallah the power is increased and mpg improved!!??##??!!?? My guess is restrictive-size exhaust pipes, reliance on catalytic converters, and "factory only" computer settings (ie cannot be "tampered" with) are just boondoggle to produce approx. 25 mpg maximum so Big Oil continues to sell billions of gallons of old school petrol in USA - - - thus, refiners, Big Oil, & automakers all in bed to produce dumbed down USA vehicles!!!
Although I deplore Ford for their miserable products sold here in USA (like POS E150 van unchanged for 29 years, Ford Explorer with unsafe frontend, Ford Ranger pickup with same unsafe frontend, Ford Crown Vic unchanged for years, etc), I have to say the Falcon in Australia is beautiful. Bring that as bi-fuel (cng/petrol/E85) as LHD over to USA and it surely will sell in $25K to $30K market. Keep the I-6 engine but make sure it has headers and free-flow intake . . . and most importantly, CNG !!!
02-04-2009, 09:34 PM
Larrycng - the Falcon is OBDII compliant. The conversion is not a proprietary Ford Product - Ford has only built 12 CNG Falcons (in 1997). These were a dedicated CNG station wagon, and I own the only one still on the road. We got the car from Ford for R & D purposes and totally re-designed the CNG system to achieve the results that Ford wanted in the first place. They lost interest in CNG when the gas utilities decided not to install public refuelling.
The conversion we are using is loosely based on the Tomasetto Achille Pampa kit from Argentina. However, as we are using the vehicle as a research vehicle, we have used different combinations of pressure regulator (ITT Conoflow, Teleflex GFI, etc), injector, fuel rail, ECU (including our own proprietary ECU), etc.
We have just about settled on a combination that produces the best results, but we may change a couple of elements after we fit the supercharger.
By the way, there is some talk (unconfirmed) that the Falcon floorpan and drive train could form the Ford global RWD platform for the next generation. How this would be affected by the current economic turmoil, I couldn't guess, but there has also been talk that the Holden (Pontiac GTO) platform could be the GM RWD platform as well.
11-28-2010, 11:36 PM
Ford in Australia is still offering LPG versions of the Falcon. These ones, however, had been fitted with carburettors and were dedicated-LPG (no gasoline limp home avaliability) until the newer generation had been released with an EFI setup (still dedicated-LPG). I always thought CNG was not avaliable in Australia...
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