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  • Adding Tanks - void certification?

    I'm looking at a CNG conversion vehicle that has all the proper EPA certifications but does not meet my range requirements. It looks to me like I could re-route the exhaust system and get another good size tank on board the vehicle. My question is, can I do this without having the vehicle become "Illegal"? And are there some standards or regulations about adding tanks that I would need to follow?

    Thanks
    -D

  • #2
    Re: Adding Tanks - void certification?

    I don't believe the tanks themselves are considered p[art of the emmissions system (unlike gasoline tanks, which have to meet vapor requirements). So changes to them would not fall under EPA regs, and would not change the certification level of the vehicle.

    Be very careful with whtyou do with tanks. The recent explosion and injuries in corona should bring to light what can happen if the tanks are not properly done. I'd definately look for someone who has done some GOOD conversions/upgrades for help.
    1997 Factory Crown Victoria w/ extended tanks ~~ Clunkerized!
    2000 Bi-Fuel Expedition --> ~~ Sold ~~ <--

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    • #3
      Re: Adding Tanks - void certification?

      That's correct CraziFuzzy, EPA regulations do not include the tank.
      Jared.
      Mountain Green, Utah
      2003 CNG Cavalier
      2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

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      • #4
        Re: Adding Tanks - void certification?

        Ok, well that is good news. The vehicle in question is the BAF technologies E-350. It has about 20 GGE on board standard, however I'll need 30 GGE and I cannot sacrifice space inside the vehicle. As I mentioned, my thought was to re-route the exhaust outside the frame. That should leave space enough for something pretty close to the 10 GGE inside the frame where the exhaust is now. If I were to go this route I would attempt to just duplicate the mounting hardware and plumbing that BAF used on the other side of the frame with their tank, so it should be safe enough I would think. Anyone here have experience getting extra tanks onto the Ford Econolines?

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        • #5
          Re: Adding Tanks - void certification?

          Be careful! It is easy to mount tanks, however, It is not easy to prepare ones self for any and all problems and regulations for mounting tanks. There are min distance requirements for tank installs. Such as: 8 in from exhaust. And min distance from drive line, shielding and tank inspection. Good old common sense will serve you well, just make sure the mounting will be safe from abrasion damage, (road debris, rocks and the like), and it does not hang to low to the ground (impact damage) hard lines must be pressure compliant (3600psi working). Fittings also must be of quality and rating to be safe. Service coils must be used when going from tank to platform (to allow vibration protection to hard line). Any other questions? Write me.

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          • #6
            Re: Adding Tanks - void certification?

            Dave,
            First, if your serious about doing and work/upgrade on a factory vehicle, buy yourself a current copy of NFPA 52 and become very familiar with it.
            There is a lot of regs that apply to tank installation and thier associated plumbing.
            I have a lot of first hand experience with Ford factory E350s from MY98 - MY04. I have done conversions thru MY06. I have been working on a similar project using sidepipes and running boards. One problem is the driveshaft is about 2" off center to the right leaving only room for a 10" diameter tank unless you do some major crossframe modifications. The 15 passenger models are usually long enough to add a third rear tank.
            This is how SuperShuttle in LA added range to a bunch of thier E series vans. A 10"x48" right midship and a 12"x35" third rear just forward of the rear bumper. The rear would not be my choice for a safe location, but the second midship inside the frame, with proper structure, bracketing and shielding should be as safe as the factory tank.
            The correct plumbing is another question. I'm not familiar with BAF installs.
            Your Friendly Nazi Squirrel Administrator

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            • #7
              Re: Adding Tanks - void certification?

              Generally speaking EPA doesn't want the small volume manufacturer to add more than 500 lbs to the vehicle without going thru a special application process. Don't know how many lbs were added to the vehicle by BAF...

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              • #8
                Re: Adding Tanks - void certification?

                Originally posted by John Mitton View Post
                Generally speaking EPA doesn't want the small volume manufacturer to add more than 500 lbs to the vehicle without going thru a special application process. Don't know how many lbs were added to the vehicle by BAF...

                That's about the stupidest thing I've heard in a while. If it passes emissions and it's under the GVWR what do they care? It's just part of the payload. I've got a driver who's pushing 400 lbs, does that mean I can't have more than 100 lbs extra equipment on board when he's driving? He's part of the system, trained in on monitoring pressure and refilling tanks.

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                • #9
                  Re: Adding Tanks - void certification?

                  Dave,
                  It may sound stupid until you step back and look at the big certification picture. Most certifications and thier emission standards are based on GVWR. A 500 lb difference can put you in a different weight class (i.e. light duty truck to medium duty) or standards bin or tier or like the situation we had with E350s.
                  The handicapped conversion company put on a high topper with a lot of steel reinforcement and a wheelchair lift and being a SVM raised the gross weight on the vans. Now we step in and convert the van to CNG using the type 1 Faber tanks that Ford used. Now you have an ass dragging road yaught with an extra 1,000 lbs of empty weight and no drivetrain or suspension upgrades. How does it run empty? How does it run loaded?
                  Answer: Like an underpowered boat going upstream in a headwind.
                  Weight Matters!
                  Your Friendly Nazi Squirrel Administrator

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                  • #10
                    Re: Adding Tanks - void certification?

                    Originally posted by cnghal View Post
                    Dave,
                    It may sound stupid until you step back and look at the big certification picture. Most certifications and thier emission standards are based on GVWR. A 500 lb difference can put you in a different weight class (i.e. light duty truck to medium duty) or standards bin or tier or like the situation we had with E350s.
                    The handicapped conversion company put on a high topper with a lot of steel reinforcement and a wheelchair lift and being a SVM raised the gross weight on the vans. Now we step in and convert the van to CNG using the type 1 Faber tanks that Ford used. Now you have an ass dragging road yaught with an extra 1,000 lbs of empty weight and no drivetrain or suspension upgrades. How does it run empty? How does it run loaded?
                    Answer: Like an underpowered boat going upstream in a headwind.
                    Weight Matters!
                    Sure, weight matters however the EPA has no business dictating how the vehicle rides or handles as long as you stay in the GVWR. I could load twelve 200lb passengers and over 1300lbs of luggage without going over the GVWR of my vehicles. That kind of load never happens in my business - I always have 500 extra lbs or more payload to spare - in my E250's!!. The E350's have nearly 1000lbs more payload capacity and the same passenger/luggage space. I would not hesitate to load on 1000lbs of gear to an E350 for use in my business - the stock vans are over powered and over-sprung as it is.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Adding Tanks - void certification?

                      Originally posted by cnghal View Post
                      .
                      This is how SuperShuttle in LA added range to a bunch of thier E series vans. A 10"x48" right midship and a 12"x35" third rear just forward of the rear bumper.
                      Hmmm, by my rough calculations this would be about 8 GGE. And if you add that to the standard 20 GGE that they probably started with that gives 28 GGE. Now that is getting close to what I need - in fact for 99% of the time that would be plenty. Give me another 2 GGE and I'd be 100% covered. So did they have to do major exhaust work to get that to fit?

                      I'd also be fine with 20GGE and a 10gal gasoline tank in a bi-fuel van, but it doesn't seem that that particular conversion is available in an EPA certified version.

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