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Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

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  • Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

    Okay,

    I would like everyone's opinion about going bi-fuel versus going dedicated.

    I'll start this off with my opinion.
    Here is what I know, so correct me if I'm wrong (and I may just change my mind about bi vs. ded.).
    BI-FUEL:
    Advantage - You never have to worry about running out of gas.
    Disadvantage - Two fuel systems means two times the components to break down. Most (if not all) bi-fuel vehicles were originally designed to run solely on gasoline, this makes for inefficient CNG operation (hence the publicized 15% reduction in power and slightly lower gas mileage). Sometimes you have to force yourself to run gasoline to keep that system working so it fail on you (a full tank of gasoline every 60 days).

    DEDICATED:
    Advantage - One fuel system means easier maintenance. The vehicles are tailored to CNG, so they have respectable power and gas mileage.
    Disadvantage - If fear of running out of CNG and being stranded is always there (you can not drive your car everywhere).

    Right now, my choice is bi-fuel just because the fact that you can't fill up with CNG anywhere you want to. If I want to take my family to Glacier National Park for instance, we would take a bi-fuel vehicle and run CNG as long as we can and then use gasoline the rest of the way (try filling up with CNG in Idaho and Montana). When the time is right (CNG fillings in more locations) then I will switch to dedicated, but for now...I'm bi.
    Jared.
    Mountain Green, Utah
    2003 CNG Cavalier
    2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

  • #2
    Re: Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

    BI? That's a personal question that I am uncomfortable answering

    Always better to go bi-fuel unless there is a reason for going dedicated like CA HOV lane access. But going dedicated resolves the temptation to run gasoline in your car which means in the long run the dedicated vehicles will last much longer.

    Murf
    sigpichttp://WWW.CNGMOTORS.COM
    SAVE TIME. SAVE MONEY. SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT.

    2003 Hummer H2 bi-fuel
    2000 GMC Yukon XL bi-fuel
    1999 International 4700 dual-fuel
    2007 Chevy Avalanche bi-fuel

    FMQ2-36 Fuelmaker w/ 24 GGE cascade

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    • #3
      Re: Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

      Perhaps we should start a GLBT vehicle forum?

      Also, if you are pondering this question in relation to converting a vehicle remember that the federal tax credits only apply for conversions to dedicated alternative fuel. This is $4,000 (or $8,000 if a 3/4 ton vehicle or higher weight).

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

        There are advantages to both systems. I'd have to say that how you intend to operate the vehicle is a factor. Most dedicated owners simply use their other vehicle for trips that were beyond the scope of their comfort zones, as far as the refueling situation goes.

        The reason that you have better performance with a dedicated vehicle is that cng is about 130 octane. Cars set up to run this single fuel are set to a much higher compression ratio to take advantage of this. The Civic GX is 12.5:1 compression, for example. When you are running bi-fuel, the compromise in setting up the vehicle will accomodate gasoline most of the time, which is generally 8.5:1-9:1 compression. If you start splitting the difference to accomodate both fuels, you fail to take full advantage of either.

        Your engine will certainly last longer if you run cng only due to the lack of carbon buildup in the engine. I'm currently setting up my 1979 ElCamino to run bi-fuel (gas/propane) just because fueling the propane system is dicey in my area. The station locator doesn't usually show all the available stations in any given area, unlike cng stations.

        You also lose some of the incentives that apply to dedicated vehicles, depending on where you live, like HOV access, free parking, etc. You also need to remember to run the gasoline system once in a while to prevent the gaskets in the carb, and other components from drying out, shrinking and leaking. You should run a tank through it every couple of months.

        You seem to have a pretty good grip on the pro's and con's, you just have to figure out what works best for you.
        Curtis
        [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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        • #5
          Re: Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

          I agree that you seem to a good handle and the pro's and con's. I went through the same thing when making the jump to CNG three years ago. The way I solved it was end up with a Cavalier Bi-fuel, and a Civic GX, now my wife and I can both commute on CNG but if we have to go out of "bounds" we have the Cavalier to fall back on. One note I'm about to sell the Cavalier and buy an 08 Civic, we will then be totally dedicated CNG. What we have discovered is we never buy gasoline, so we can live without Bi-fuel, and with the incentives right now, $4,000 fed, $3,000 state, and $2,000 county I can't afford not to get the 08 GX. (At least that's what I'm telling my wife).

          Dennis

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          • #6
            Re: Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

            Look at it this way, with all the money you save on gasoline, specially with where prices are headed, you can afford to rent a vehicle for those occassional long trips.
            [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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            • #7
              Re: Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

              We have 2 dedicated GXs which we drive most of the time and a minivan which we drive about once a week. The money we save with CNG pays for having a 3rd car around, plus it's more comfortable and, of course, carries a lot more things and people than the GX. It's also nice to have a backup vehicle when one car is in the shop since we need two cars almost every day.

              Having two fuel systems is more than twice the equipment since you have additional equipment to switch between the two systems.
              02 GX
              01 GX
              03 Crown Vic
              06 GX
              Home Fueler

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              • #8
                Re: Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

                Originally posted by freedml View Post
                We have 2 dedicated GXs which we drive most of the time and a minivan which we drive about once a week. The money we save with CNG pays for having a 3rd car around, plus it's more comfortable and, of course, carries a lot more things and people than the GX. It's also nice to have a backup vehicle when one car is in the shop since we need two cars almost every day.

                Having two fuel systems is more than twice the equipment since you have additional equipment to switch between the two systems.
                As posted earlier, we are buying a new GX. We currently have a Pilot and Accord. My wife will be driving the GX as her main car as she drives the kids everywhere. We are going to keep the Pilot for when we need more room and I will continue to drive the Accord.

                Depending on how it goes with the new GX, we may buy another one. Esp if we move to Utah .

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                • #9
                  Re: Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

                  If you have good CNG refueling infrastructure around you, go ahead and go with dedicated. The vehicle you buy doesn't have to fit your needs 100% of the time. If it suits your needs 90-95+ percent of the time, then you can always rent a nice plush gas guzzler anytime you want for vacations and the like. Buy a nice used or new Civic GX dedicated CNG which should suit the needs of most commuters and small families. Then when you want to cruise through the open range sans CNG, you can do so in style with a rented SUV. It's always fun to drive someone else's car every now and then anyway. I have an '07 Civic GX and a 2000 Ford F150 bifuel, so as you can see I'm not following my own advice. I just couldn't go that long without having a pickup truck, so I ended up getting a nice used one so I can haul whatever I want and drive wherever I want without worrying about running out of fuel. Caution though - once you get used to the low price of CNG, it really stings when you have to fill up with gasoline.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

                    After driving a bi-fuel Cavalier for 5 months I sold it for a dedicated Crown Vic and I love it. I live in Salt Lake City, and so for me it didn’t take long to “prove out” CNG. Going wholly dedicated didn’t bother me a bit.

                    Curtis has a good point in that you can rent a vehicle for those special trips. I also like the idea of having one dedicated vehicle and one bi-fuel. So if anybody hears of a 4X4 bi-fuel “Z71” (in any form) I’m very interested. Go CNG!
                    08 Civic GX

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                    • #11
                      Re: Are you Bi? or Dedicated?

                      We have both systems. I myself like the bi-fuel. Because here in Ohio there aren't alot of places to fill yet. I don't have to worry about running out of "gas" so that makes me feel better.

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