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Soon to be CNG owner

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  • Soon to be CNG owner

    Hi all,

    Thanks for having this great site , I am glad to be a new member. There is so much contradictory information out there that I hope to be able to find some reliable information here.

    I am in Utah and currently seriously looking at getting a 2000 Chevy Suburban that was converted to CNG back in 2000. We have owned a Suburban for a number of years and we are really looking forward to getting one with CNG.

    A couple of the current question I have:
    Is it ok to pull a trailer on the CNG?
    Are there some things to look out for that might not be obvious? We have checked the expiration on the tanks (2016).
    Is there some paperwork/label that indicates an EPA certified conversion?

    I guess that will do for starters.

    Thanks all

  • #2
    Re: Soon to be CNG owner

    Just a couple of questions:
    Is is a dual fuel vehicle? Most of the early conversions would also burn gasoline as well. Many of the dual fuel owners say that they prefer to tow on gasoline, although I suspect that what you're towing would effect that answer.

    What is the weight of the item in tow. Are we talking jet ski's or horse trailers. If the towing performance is acceptable with the item in tow, there's no reason to not use cng as your fuel of choice. If weight and hills are a factor, and you are dual fuel, you can switch back and forth as needed. Gasoline will deliver more power when and where it's needed.

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    • #3
      Re: Soon to be CNG owner

      m0smith,

      That was a GREAT question. I own a Honda GX and a Bi-fuel Ford F-150. Most of these vehicles for sale state that they have a bigger rear end for more power, but you have to do your research first. I almost bought a dedicated F-150 with the intent to pull my horse trailer. After a bunch of searching on the internet, I found out that the dedicated CNG F-150 could only pull 5500 pounds, while the bi-fuel can pull 7200 pounds. The reason is that CNG burns much hotter than gasoline. Just be carefull what you need to pull. I have a horse trailer that I pull on occasion so I use gasoline, but most of the time, it's running on CNG.

      Good luck,

      Ralph

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      • #4
        Re: Soon to be CNG owner

        Another thing that determines vehicle towing ability is the rear axle ratio. For given powertrain combination a vehicle with a lower gear ration (higher numeric ration, 4.10:1) will have a higher tow rating than a vehicle with say a higher gear ratio (lower numerical say 3.55:1). Stay with the manufacturers recommendation.

        As Curtis indicated, you will have a power loss (around 10% ) on CNG. Most pickup trucks will usually have and overdrive trainsmission. It is not generally recommended to tow in overdrive (but I do it all the time with a 10,000 Lb 5th wheel and on propane). When you driving and the transmission is doing a lot of shifting between overdrive and direct drive (hunting) lock transmission in direct drive, this will save the transmission and not harm the remainder of the powertrain. (a good aftermarket transmission cooler will also help) It doesn't matter what fuel you are using, but you will have lock it down sooner when on CNG because of its inherent power loss

        Have fun

        Larrycng

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        • #5
          Re: Soon to be CNG owner

          m0smith,
          First, you're being had. If the tanks expire in 2016 than they were manufactured in 2001 and intalled in 2001 or later, not in 2000.
          Your going to want to confirm the validity of the install by checking for EPA or SVM/installer stickers under the hood and crosschecking the list of approved installers/systems for that year. That's what the state of Utah will be looking for when you go to register it.

          Good Luck!
          Your Friendly Nazi Squirrel Administrator

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          • #6
            EPA certs

            You can look up the EPA certifications obtained by the Small Volume Manufacturer here:
            www.epa.gov/dis

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            • #7
              Re: Soon to be CNG owner

              Thanks for all the great responses. I'll be pulling a 21 foot travel trailer so I'll see how it goes on CNG. The vehicle is a bi-fuel which is a requirement for us as we like to travel in areas where CNG is not available on occasion.

              According to the carfax, the vehicle was serviced by Brown and Brown in Mesa AZ. Do they handle CNG conversions?

              @cnghal

              Thanks for the heads up. We are having the vehicle inspected today so I'll double check my facts and make sure everything adds up. The installer sticker will be on the hood?

              @ John Milton
              Thanks. The model year on the search does not go back to 2000. What shall I do?

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              • #8
                Re: Soon to be CNG owner

                m0smith,
                Try the list on the last page of this pdf.
                http://cngchat.com/forum/attachment....9&d=1232021135
                Your Friendly Nazi Squirrel Administrator

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                • #9
                  Re: Soon to be CNG owner

                  Thanks again

                  More info:

                  It has a Tartarini on it and it also has an ECO sticker. The installer was AZ Star in Arizona.

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