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What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

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  • #16
    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

    Have a 2002 Civic NGV with a extra tank that has no expiration sticker on it.
    Can this tank be inspected and certified? If not do I just disconnect it or do I have to remove it?

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    • #17
      Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

      Originally posted by gaspig53 View Post
      Have a 2002 Civic NGV with a extra tank that has no expiration sticker on it.
      Can this tank be inspected and certified? If not do I just disconnect it or do I have to remove it?
      gaspig53,

      There are couple of things to do first.

      1) Check the entire surface of the tank. Sometimes the label is located on the underside of the tank (out of plane view). Use a mirror if needed.

      2) If no "expiration" label is present, but a "manufacturer" label is, contact the manufacturer for a replacement label. Unfortunately, if the manufacturer is out of business, then you are out of luck. With no label and no way to replace the label, you must remove the tank from the vehicle.
      Jared.
      Mountain Green, Utah
      2003 CNG Cavalier
      2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

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      • #18
        Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

        One issue that popped up a couple of years ago is that there is no plan for disposing type 3 or type 4 cylinders. They are not typically recyclable, and the cost to recover the materials for any recycling attempts greatly exceeds the cost of a new cylinder.

        Landfills anyone?

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        • #19
          Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

          A " sawsall" works great on a type 4. Small pieces are easy to dispose of -- even in the home garbage -- a little at a time. You might want to a dust mask when doing the job.

          I've cut up a type 3 with a sawsall for training aids. It takes a takes several blades.

          Type 3 cylinders, when cut length-wise make good watering and feed troughs
          for live stock

          A storage tank for your home air compressor???? Safety factor of about 200 +

          You could always donate the cylinders to a school that has an alt fuels program

          later

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          • #20
            Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

            I've bought a very nice 96 CNG Crown Vic with 26,000 miles on it from a local government. The tanks expire at the end of this year. There are no public CNG stations in my area so I am planning on converting to conventional gas, I already have all the parts to do this. My problem is, the government kindly filled the tanks at the time of sale, so I have four full cylinders of 3000 psi highly flamable gas. My question is, can I just drive this car 'till the engine quits and will that render all four tanks to 0 or atmospheric psi, then can I safely pull them off?

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            • #21
              Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

              I would drive the vehicle until it gets down to a quarter tank on the fuel gauge then have the remaining gas vented in the proper and safe manner. The tanks will then be safe to remove. The tanks are probably PST (Press Steel Tanks) and are heavy. The ones outside are the easiest to remove. The inside tanks are a bit more difficult. Check the file on this web site, there is a copy of the Crown Vic CNG publication that will give you an idea of how the thing is put together. It is best to have a professional do it.

              Why not run the vehicle until about a month until the tanks expire? In the mean while look around for some newer tanks and have them installed.

              It sounds like you got a nice car. Converting it to gasoline will cost some big bucks (gas tank, fuel lines, injectors, necessary changes to the wiring, replacement of the EEC V computer and probably re-programing). Then you may have to run premium fuel because of the 10:1 compression.

              Hope this helps

              Larrycng

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              • #22
                Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                Thank you Larrycng for the detailed information. I would really like to have a pro take these cylinders out. I live in the Portland Oregon area, could you point me to someone in this area?
                Thank you
                Steve

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                • #23
                  Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                  could he put a propane tank in and a vaperiser and tie in to the low pressure line and run it on propane as there is no cng where he is and then the high compression would not be a problem and it would still be a clean air car or would the higher btu be a problem or would the o2 and the computer pick up the differance and ajust the mix? just my thoughts

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                  • #24
                    Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                    I have a couple of ideas on tank removal. I'm looking for some phone numbers, give me a PM and I will give you the names and numbers.

                    As for Cowboy's comment, that is a possibility. The compression would be ideal for LP and the O2 would be no problem. The injector flow rate would probably be too high and throw off the fuel trim numbers. and possible tripping the check engine light giving you problem with DEQ. Also the pressure sensors would have to be tweeked since the gaseous LP would be at lower pressures which would drive the injector pw higher and again would throw a check engine light because of fuel trim and low pressure. It would be an interesting project and you wouldn't have to do much with the wiring.

                    Larrycng

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                    • #25
                      Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                      I have been thinking again so get feared why cant the expired tanks be checked for damage and re rated for say 2000 psi and change the filler this should give a good margin of safety and say 5 or ten more years and move the car to local use say for moma to go to the store or you to the parts store kinda like when we were kids moma got dads old car

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                      • #26
                        Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                        Interesting idea, but where would you get a 2000 psi fill? I only see 3000/3600 options. Now, not meaning to open an old can of worms, and i read through a lot of old threads on the subject even on this board, but what I still don't get is that my understanding is the most stress and wear comes from the fill/empty cycle and that 15 years was a bit arbitrary. If that is the case, how do taxis run these things for over half a million miles with no incident? I have heard that some of the Super Shuttles went over a million miles.

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                        • #27
                          Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                          good question on the fill. how about we install a regulater that is set at 2000 lbs in the fill line of the car and not change the fill fiting than one could fill at 3000 or 3600 but only get a 2000 fill to the tanks and we could do this to the 3000 cars also and than they could fill at 3600 pump or could we come up with a onboard temp compensater that could be set for the 2000 or 3000 limit?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                            Hey Steverinomeister of Portland, OR . . . . I'd sure recommend getting your own Fuelmaker rather than wasting money tearing down a perfectly good working dedicated cng vehicle!! Further, with the massive trunk of the Crown Vic, you could easily put some other current cng tank in there. Watch CL listings for a tank bargain, and ask a guru here on cngchat where to get closest tech to swap out the cng tank. CNG folks in Utah find ways to get new cng tanks as well.

                            Best case scenario, I'm guessing a used tank could be found for $500 to $750 in the 9 gge size range, and add another $500 for installation and your dedicated Crown Vic with only 26,000 miles is good to go for another 300,000 or 400,000 miles!!! Buy yourself a used C3 for FM4 Fuelmaker for $2,500 to $4,000 and you've got a commuter car for the rest of your lifetime!!! Sure beats throwing away money on a stinking Prius!!

                            Worst case scenario, just sell it to cng supporter who will do what it takes to save the car if you won't . . . . do Not tear it down, that'd be such a waste.

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                            • #29
                              Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                              What is the average life span of these tanks? Do they expire 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, or longer?

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                              • #30
                                Re: What do I do when my tanks EXPIRE!

                                Tanks typically had 15-year lives stamped on their labels . . . thus a 98 Civic GX or bi-Fuel Ford pickup would have tank with expiration dates printed on the tank label saying like Expires Sept 2013. Older cng vehicles like Dodge vans from early 90's (let's say a 1992 Dodge) would have tank label saying Expires Oct 2007.

                                FYI to Steven86 in Houston . . . there are also different "Types" of tanks ranging from Type 1 (steel) to Type 4 (full composite). Many old school cng guys feel that Type 1 steel tanks (when installed and taken care of properly) likely could have much longer life than stated 15 years . . . . reason being is that DOT bottles (typically 6 gge) that are used for storage in some public cng stations (ie bunch of bottles daisy-chained together) can have lives longer than 15 years if they are inspected and repainted to gain an additional 5 years at a time.

                                However, recent tank manufacturing techniques are getting better and better and now vehicle installed tanks generally have 20-year life stamped on the tank label for all types (1 through 4).

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