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  1. #1

    Detroit diesel to natural gas conversion

    Just for the sake of discussion has anyone ever successfully converted a 2 stroke Detroit to run on natural gas? In one of the other forums a guy said that he had read about some companies successfully running 92 series on natural gas over in Texas . Natural gas is going to be the future in my opinion and I'm curious if I will have to sell my boat or whether I will be able to simply convert.

    Any input on this subject is appreciated.

  2. #2

    Re: Detroit diesel to natural gas conversion

    Now this is going to be interesting....

    BTW, i have seen propane injection on diesel pickup trucks, and now there is an outboard that is being marketed that runs on propane.

    I think the big show stopper for a boat running on CNG is the tank and the zero ability to fill up
    CNG on the water.

  3. #3

    Re: Detroit diesel to natural gas conversion

    "I think the big show stopper for a boat running on CNG is the tank and the zero ability to fill up
    CNG on the water"

    LOL - bragging rights to having a CNG DD would be somewhat reduced if you had to say, "My Hatteras runs on CNG! Any idea where I can get some?"
    Mike P
    Mexico City/Kent Island MD
    1980 53MY "Brigadoon"

  4. #4

    Re: Detroit diesel to natural gas conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by arielmiller View Post
    Just for the sake of discussion has anyone ever successfully converted a 2 stroke Detroit to run on natural gas? In one of the other forums a guy said that he had read about some companies successfully running 92 series on natural gas over in Texas . Natural gas is going to be the future in my opinion and I'm curious if I will have to sell my boat or whether I will be able to simply convert.

    Any input on this subject is appreciated.
    Most hospital generators run on nat gas but everyone I've ever seen has been a Cat
    "DON'T BELIEVE ANYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR AND ONLY HALF OF WHAT YOU SEE" - BEN FRANKLIN


    I DON'T WEAR GREEN PANTS OR GOLD CHAINS!


    Endless Summer
    1967 50c 12/71n DDA 525hp
    ex Miss Betsy
    owners:
    Howard P. Miller 1967-1974
    Richard F Hull 1974-1976
    Robert J. & R.Scott Smith 1976-present

  5. #5

    Re: Detroit diesel to natural gas conversion

    i recently saw a press release from Cummins that they announced a 15L spark ignited CNG engine.....

    Again, i think it will be a very long time before we see CNG engines in marine applications due to the tank and limited (zero) fuel docks CNG capable....
    Last edited by RT46; 03-30-2012 at 11:11 PM.

  6. #6

    Re: Detroit diesel to natural gas conversion

    The one consideration is the complete lack of lubricating qualities in CNG when compared to Diesel fuel.
    I recall a number of propane conversions with over the road light trucks in the 80's. They worked well although cylinder heads/ valve guides suffered and had to be changed out intervals not seen prior. Performance also suffered as winter temps dropped and the CNG volume became more liquid the closer it came to - 40c. This however was Northern Ontario and Northern Quebec. Water us a bit firm at this point and boating is a bar discussion.

  7. #7

    Re: Detroit diesel to natural gas conversion

    it is probably 10 years out now but i think natural gas will make it's way over to boats sooner then everyone thinks. compare natural gas to petroleum by energy output. The simplest and easiest method to compute the energy output is BTU. Natural gas is much much cheaper per BTU and the green house gas is substantially less. It also will drastically reduce our dependence on foreign countries which is a huge plus. The marine industry will be forced to adapt. There are many factors at play which slowly force things to change. Cost of NG vs petroleum, EPA standards, etc.

    Gas stations will quickly adopt as well. There just has to be a way to convert current diesel engines to run on NG.

  8. #8

    Re: Detroit diesel to natural gas conversion

    Not worried about it. Besides, doesn't the diesel oil cool the head as well as feed the injectors?

  9. #9

    Re: Detroit diesel to natural gas conversion

    One backyard way to run CNG is to just inject it in the intake. You will still need to use diesel fuel to initiate combustion, but you can may be able to reduce this to a 20% diesel 80% CNG ratio.

    Pure NG engines require spark ignition. Many of the big OEM's make gas (nat gas, LPG, etc) engine variants of diesel engines, but they have spark plugs.

    Google and youtube have lots of guys that have experimented with this stuff. Companies have developed this stuff...check out this PDF of a Nat gas diesel conversion: http://www.gfs-corp.net/pdf/GTI%20201-07.pdf
    FTFD...

  10. #10

    Re: Detroit diesel to natural gas conversion

    I believe they tried this in Vancouver in a smaller ferry, compressed NG, storage was a serious problem as range and HP could not really be satisfied with the space available, seemed to die a natural death, seems I recall a concern about safety due to the very high pressures in the storage tanks and rupture could be catastrophic.

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