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  • Classic conversions?

    I'm just curious about converting a classic ('66) Mustang to possibly a bi-fuel. Is converting a carburated car practical/possible at all? I want quality parts and everything, but I'm sure there's no certification available for something that old. If it is possible, is there going to be a timing problem? I just want to keep driving without burning my bank account.

  • #2
    Re: Classic conversions?

    Converting a carburator car to bi-fuel (CNG/Petrol) might be tricky since your going to have to figure out how to get the petrol carburator to stop sucking gas when you switch over to CNG. You can install a solenoid shut-off valve on the fuel line but the car is still going to be running on petrol until the carburator fuel bowls are dry. After the car dies you could then switch over to CNG when you restart the engine.

    Also for optimal power, when running on CNG you will need to advance your timing somewhat more then on Petrol. MSD has some timing gadgets that your could install to control your base ignition timing from the dash.

    By the time your all said, it would likely be a cleaner install just making it a deticated CNG Mustang.

    The other option would be to convert the engine to fuel injection first, then install the CNG.

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    • #3
      Re: Classic conversions?

      A classic conversion will likely be easier than modern vehicles because:
      1. the cars are larger, more room for tanks
      2. Simple noncomputerized ignition systems, no O2 sensors to modify.
      3. Carbs are easy to lean mixtures and tune, only one ignition port with ngas conversions
      4. Need solenoid valve to shut off gasoline flow to carb float bowl (not a big deal; it will be easier to run on natgas most of the time due to flooding from gas remaining in the float bowl- easy to change from nat gas to gasoline)
      5. Reduced/No EPA interference and state registration problems.
      6. Older performance cars often have higher compression engines that run great on natgas
      7. Might have to upgrade to hotter coil.
      8. Lots of (cheap) universal conversion kits to chose from
      Last edited by rtry9a; 08-07-2008, 10:58 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Classic conversions?

        I was just going to ask this very question! Would converting an older vehicle be legal, assuming one uses DOT approved tanks and etc? In California, anything older than 1973 does not need to be smog inspected for registration, so the chances of the government interfering are low, but would it be legal?

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        • #5
          Re: Classic conversions?

          California vehicles were first required to have exhaust emission controls with the 1966 model year. By 1968 all vehicles in the United State were required to have exhaust emission controls by federal law.

          My guess is that any thing that you to an engine from 1966 an newer would be a violation of California law and or Federal law. I found the following on the internet

          United States, the Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1963, the Air Quality Act in 1967, the Clean Air Act Extension of 1970, and Clean Air Act Amendments in 1977 and 1990. Numerous state and local governments have enacted similar legislation, either implementing federal programs or filling in locally important gaps in federal programs.

          The California "Handbook for Inspectors and installers --MVPC" for emission controls (the SMOG techs bible) first adderssed alternate fuel in the late 60's. The 2002 version of the SMOG Check Inspection Manual in appendix "I"(a later version of the bible) states that any conversion completed after August 30, 1969 must be of a type approved by the Air Resouces Board and have a lable identifying the make and model of the equipment. I don't believe that has changed It was the same in the 2006 version, and I haven't check the newest version.

          Most of Calif SMOG Regulations are more stringent version taken from the various Federal clean air laws

          Soo it is probably against the law (which sucks) and you probably won't get caught except maybe in a road side check (when they have them)

          Larrycng

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          • #6
            Re: Classic conversions?

            Thanks for the explanation Larrycng.
            That really is a shame! I can understand the CARB and EPA wanting to strictly regulate conversions of newer vehicles because of all the complicated emissions systems and what not, but making it hard to convert the older gas-guzzling pollution factories which many of us love so much seems silly. It is almost certain that classics, which lack the emission equipment of newer vehicles, would be so much cleaner running on CNG. It is as if the EPA, contrary to what its name would suggest, really doesn’t want to protect the environment after all. Still, nothing we can do about it I suppose.

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            • #7
              Re: Classic conversions?

              If I may chime in, OEM vehicles from the 60's are on the order of a couple of magnitudes dirtier than todays vehicles (more than a 1000 times dirtier). The smog laws are there for a reason, just ask anyone who has been in Los Angeles on a bad smog day.

              The EPA provides for a "useful vehicle life" which has been creeping up over the years. It was first 60,000 miles, now close to 100,000 miles, and expected to go to 125,000 soon. This useful life has nothing to do with the vehicle body, but how the vehicle is to remain in emission compliance within the lifetime. It is called a "DF", or a "Degradation Factor", how the vehicles emissions degrade over time. Modern vehicles with look forward technology has the capability of continual tune and processor updating which compensates for the deterioration. At some point, the emission systems fall out of compliance due to engine wear, O2 sensor failure, component failure, etc.

              Installing an aftermarket fuel system now has to meet the same DF. In the late 90's, these fuel systems were assigned a large DF factor which allowed for some leeway but since 2004, the DF has been dropping to close to the OEM to tighten the fuel control systems (no mechanical system can meet the DF today).

              (added)
              Antique vehicles prior to 1968 had minimal emission requirements and are generally considered exempt, unless they are gross emitters (eyes water, smokers, etc). Depending on a vehicles mileage, a "newer" vehicle may be exempt as well. The ARB has been pretty open in the past about what is exempt and what has to comply.

              As for performance parts, those that have an "Executive Order" number, have been tested and have not reduced emissions from the original certification. Just because an item has an EO number does not necessarily mean it reduces emissions, just that it did not degrade from the original certification.

              Food for thought.

              Franz
              Last edited by Franz; 11-15-2008, 09:00 AM. Reason: addition

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              • #8
                Re: Classic conversions?

                so i have a question. would a 96 ford with 140,000 be exempt of anything or is it just a dream?

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                • #9
                  Re: Classic conversions?

                  I got this list for pre 1993 approved conversion components from the CARB. Not sure what engine a '66 mustang has, but most of the popular cubic inch ranges for domestic engines seems to have at least some options:

                  http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermk...s93_022607.pdf

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                  • #10
                    Re: Classic conversions?

                    The 96 Ford would have OBD-II which would require a onboard scan for its test. I would not guess you would have any loopholes.

                    Franz

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                    • #11
                      Re: Classic conversions?

                      Originally posted by malicous View Post
                      I got this list for pre 1993 approved conversion components from the CARB. Not sure what engine a '66 mustang has, but most of the popular cubic inch ranges for domestic engines seems to have at least some options:

                      http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermk...s93_022607.pdf
                      The '66 Mustangs had 289 cid V-8s, I think they went to 302 (5.0) in '68. If I remember the engines are bolt in exchanges. They also had the 240 or 250 cid 6 cylinders. (I believe the '64s had 260 cid V-8s)

                      Larrycng

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                      • #12
                        Re: Classic conversions?

                        put a impco mixer on it a fuel cut off and use a on off on togle switch when going from gasoline to cng flip to off when it starts to run out of gas flip to cng as nasty as those old cars were it will be cleaner if you are going run cng most of the time just set the timeing up and carry a 1/2 inch timeing wrench for a small block ford that has a 90 in the handle and put a mark so you can set it back if you cant get cng

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                        • #13
                          Re: Classic conversions?

                          Originally posted by rtry9a View Post
                          A classic conversion will likely be easier than modern vehicles because:

                          8. Lots of (cheap) universal conversion kits to chose from
                          Cool! Where can I find them?

                          Thanks
                          Kent

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