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Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

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  • Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

    I am a master tech & occasionally I repair CNG vehicles. I am interested in making it an integral part of my business as there is a fill station here with very little use and a lot of interest.
    1. When I work on a CNG system the customer never has a wiring diagram for me to follow & I have to make my own as I go. Is this standard procedure for installers to not share this information? It would seem that any expensive add on this would be a critical part of customer information.
    2. I have people waiting for installations & the on line information is verry vague. For example, many companies say they make tanks, but no ordering information, price list, cyulindeer size etc. is available -- even when I e-mail and request information.
    3. I called to order an installation kit for a customer, they were happy to send one but when asked about tank size, cost etc. as part of the kit I received a note from the company telling me I needed to purchase the tank elsewhere.
    4. I called for a quote to install a kit from an installer. It appears to me that with $1000.00 for a kit, $1500.00 for a tank and shops charging $6k to $10k for what appears to be 25 to 40 hours work that the CNG business extremly lucrative and secretive.
    5. I understand this business requires wiring & adding injector and O2 sumulation, but I can not see how it would be any more difficult than repairing existing systems, tracing out and fixing a burned wiring harness or completly rewiring a resored vehicle etc. So why is the cost for installation so high?
    6. I have spent hours on the internet trying to sort out pricee, availability, cost, and certification of systems and the information is very poor. Is there a good supply source, information source, wiring diagram source, parts replacement source?
    Thank You
    Stan Martineau

  • #2
    Re: CNG questions


    Most CNG kit manufacturers and CNG tank manufacturers do not sell direct. They sell through distributors.

    As far as $1000 kits - You need to be careful. There are kits available online that are NOT EPA certified. These kits are less expensive than EPA certified kits. An EPA certified kit allows the OBDII system to operate on both fuels (if bi-fuel) or on CNG only (if dedicated). Installing a kit that is NOT EPA certified is illegal for it by passes the OBDII system. There is a letter going around to the mechanic shops in Utah that perform the emissions test about performing the emissions test on a bi-fuel vehicle, and if the OBDII system is not operating correctly on both fuels to notify the owner of an inelible vehicle for the emissions test.

    If you are serious about installing CNG kits, then we need to talk, because we will be manufacturing CNG tanks here in Brigham City in the near future. We are currently going through development and certification on a 13 GGE tank. Contact me if interested.
    Mountain Green, Utah
    2003 CNG Cavalier
    2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD


    • #3
      Re: CNG questions

      You sure about the OBDII comment?

      I looked at the {reference to illegal product removed by moderators} kit and it only changes (retards???) the ignition timing and turns off the injector signal to the gasoline injectors; the ngas mixture is still controlled thru the O2 sensor (they call it a Lamba sensor). The rest of the OBDII functions should operate normally.

      OBDII is a diagnostic tool that reports bad part codes to a recording chip; it should operate completely normal when the cng is turned off, and partially normal when it is turned on. The "emissions letter" only applies to Utah county, btw- their regulators obviously know very little or they are being pushed by vested interests.
      Last edited by rtry9a; 04-03-2008, 01:05 PM.


      • #4
        Re: CNG questions

        I am very interested. I have several people that have asked for a quote. I am also interested in purchasing truckks with big v8 and v10 engines for installation and resell. Many farmers and ranchers in this area buy trucks for work pulling trailers etc, but gas prices are hurting them. If I can provide the needed pulling power at a more reasonable cost there are people standing in line.
        I would really like to work with you and your company.
        I am the automotive department chair for CEU, teach full time, serve on an international automotive board etc. I have set up an LLC with a lawyer and am registered with the state and through parts places. I do have a legetimate business.
        Stan M.
        435-613-5221 work 435-653-2115 home
        e-mail works well for me with my erratic time availability during the day.


        • #5
          Re: CNG questions

          For the heavy-duty market you should check out Emission Solutions

          They have a fully EPA-certified natural gas engine to re-power the 7.6l DT-466 found in many trucks. The Utah sales rep is Alan Nielson at 801-815-2971. Cisco Foods in SLC has re-powered one of their trucks in a pilot project. It fills up at the Kix 66 CNG station in West Jordan at 63 cents a gge...

          There is also Cummis Westport with fully EPA-certified natural gas engines. Please call their Western US sales rep and let us know the availability in Utah.

          Finally, there are certified kits from Baytech for the 8.1 liter GM platform. SNO-motion is their exclusive dealer in Utah. If you would like I can introduce you to Rick Oliver at SNO-Motion to see if you could work with him in being a qualified upfitter alongside their completely-swamped shop.

          Call me if you need help.
          John Mitton

          p.s. Hope you don't mind but I am going to change the title of this thread to better reflect the heavy-duty vehicle nature of our discussion


          • #6
            Re: Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

            Swap out to a new cummins natural gas engine at Rocky Mountain Cummins in West Phoenix runs around $23,000.00 + tanks
            Dave Clement


            • #7
              Re: Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

              I am talking about the Chevrolet 454, Ford 460, Chrysler and Ford V10 gasoline engines used in 3/4 and 1 ton pickups --- Not removing diesel engines and replacing them with natural gas. I have read about converting the diesels to CNG with plugs, coils & a computer system. Do they work well when done?
              I am talking about ranchers and farmers who cannot afford a high dollar conversion and many will lose their way of living if we can not find an answer to their high fuel costs.


              • #8
                Re: Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

                The good news is that there are many sources of money available to assist in the conversion from deisel to cng. I would suggest that any good upfitter should have someone to refer you to that handles grants for just such cases. If not, I will direct you to speak to JoAnn Armenta, with Clean Cities, that may be able to assist both upfitters with such resources and customers wishing to convert.

                Upfitters, I hope that you are doing some homework to develope these resources. This is a key asset that CE developed to pull themselves up and set themselves above the crowd. They did the work, helped the customer get money to pay for it, thereby generating more customers and more work.

                Joann can be reached at 909-396-5757, tell her Curtis sent you.


                • #9
                  Re: Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

                  do farm tractors and such have emissions testing? are they exempt ? Do they even have emission equipment installed on them?I would just like to know.


                  • #10
                    Re: Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

                    I asked the Utah Dept. of Air Quality (who enforces the EPA mobile sources rules such as what we are discussing here) and it is their opinion that off-road & farm vehicles are not required to use EPA-certified conversions. Each state may vary on this


                    • #11
                      Re: Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

                      In Ca all off road farm equipment is smog exempt, even the family car, as long as it doesn't touch the paved roads.


                      • #12
                        Re: Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

                        I would think for farm equipment even if its not required to have an EPA listed system the systems should be listed by somebody. even if its a foreign agency.

                        The first rule would be not to blow yourself or family up.
                        The second would be not to damage your big money manchinery.
                        The third would be to save some money on fuel costs.
                        Reducing emissions are nice but not usually a goal of farmers.

                        Think things through and do not cut corners. Because of the pressures involved, you should not run these things on baling wire. If a tank needs to be hydro tested then test it.

                        Listing and certifications, in my opinion, seem to be a way to keep the competition down. It seems if you make things more open source then there will be more CNG cars around. The price will come down once you get more conversions figured out. Each one right now is design as you go type of thing.
                        Last edited by Idarusskie; 04-04-2008, 07:30 PM.


                        • #13
                          Re: Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

                          Where are you located exactly?


                          • #14
                            Re: Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

                            I think he mentioned he is on the Utah/Idaho border.


                            • #15
                              Re: Heavy-duty vehicle CNG questions

                              I am from Idaho Falls.