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Thread: LPG Conversion - Service advice / info requested

  1. #1
    Full Member Woody's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra C 3.2 Gsi Auto (Zavoli LPG with Flashlube)

    Trim : Gsi with loads of "Extras"

    Engine : 3.2 Z32SE (LPG)

    Year : 2004

    Mileage : 131,000

    Default LPG Conversion - Service advice / info requested

    Hi guys. I'm a "new" owner of a Vectra ( preface 2004 3.2Gsi ) with a professional LPG conversion fitted long before by a previous owner.
    Everything seems to "work" fine, the system has a tank where the spare wheel once lived and I bought the car simply because the cost of fuel seemed to make perfect sense.
    However, I now realise that I know nothing of the ongoing maintenance requirements of an LPG conversion and so would appreciate any knowledge / tips from anyone else who went into this option with a bit more research under his belt beforehand (I mean servicing requirements / regulatory checks / costs (apart from the cost of conversion and fuel) etc.

    Thanks guys and what a fantastic place this forum is !!!!

    Cheers

    Woody

  2. #2
    Regular Member rich r's Avatar
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    Not a huge amount to servicing requirements on modern LPG systems. Basically change the fuel filter every 50,000 miles or so, and do a check for leaks at that time. The LPG ECU constantly monitors things and will shut down the system and flash a fault light (usually on the fuel selector switch) if there are any issues.

    Welcome to the world of half price motoring Obviously your GSI won't get the fuel economy figures I get from my 1.8 Dual Fuel Elegance (about 45mpg on LPG), but when you're only paying 64p a litre, it's less of a worry. The only problem now is that once you get used to only paying that much, it's very difficult to go back to a petrol only car ever again, and even diesels have to be pretty good to compare. I'd need the equivalent of a car that could do 90mpg on diesel or petrol...

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    Full Member Woody's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra C 3.2 Gsi Auto (Zavoli LPG with Flashlube)

    Trim : Gsi with loads of "Extras"

    Engine : 3.2 Z32SE (LPG)

    Year : 2004

    Mileage : 131,000

    Default

    Thanks Rich. I'm already loving the cost of half price motoring and appreciate the thoughts of having to revert back to 100% petrol or diesel
    No ECU (as far as I know) on my car though just an LED type fuel switch with the digital meter showing how full the tank is and changeover button. BUT I'm guessing one of the other units would flag up an error if there was one.
    Is the fuel filter a LPG filter ? Are there any seerate MOT checks for LPG vehicles I wonder ?
    Cheers

  4. #4
    Regular Member Sebastian's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra Estate

    Trim : Elite

    Engine : 1.9 DTH

    Year : 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodpeck View Post
    Thanks Rich. I'm already loving the cost of half price motoring and appreciate the thoughts of having to revert back to 100% petrol or diesel
    No ECU (as far as I know) on my car though just an LED type fuel switch with the digital meter showing how full the tank is and changeover button. BUT I'm guessing one of the other units would flag up an error if there was one.
    Is the fuel filter a LPG filter ? Are there any seerate MOT checks for LPG vehicles I wonder ?
    Cheers

    There has to be ecu which works as master/slave with ur current one that assuming is all connected to injectors not being put through air box

  5. #5
    Regular Member rich r's Avatar
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    The LPG ECU will be tucked away somewhere - possibly near the battery. It's wired such that it sends fake signals to car's own ECU, and reads signals from there so that as far as the car ECU is concerned it's running on petrol. But the LPG ECU takes the injector signals and uses them to work out when to open the LPG injectors, whilst preventing the petrol injectors from opening.

    There are no LPG specific checks on the MOT. If your car had LPG from the factory then the emissions test is done running on LPG against the LPG emissions criteria. If it was converted afterwards, the MOT tester is supposed to switch it to petrol and test against the petrol emissions criteria for your car. What actually tends to happen is they don't even realise it's running on LPG and test it against the petrol limits because that's what comes up on the computer when they put your VIN into it. And as LPG runs far cleaner than petrol, you can get some wacky results. My old Subaru Legacy claimed a CO level of minus 0.5% which is impressive - actually cleaning the air of excess carbon monoxide If they'd have switched it to petrol like they should have, it would have been more realistic...

    The LPG fuel filter will be a metal cannister in the engine bay in the LPG pipework. Probably near the bulkhead.

  6. #6
    Regular Member DTi Elite's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra

    Trim : Elite

    Engine : 1.9 cdti 150

    Year : 2007

    Mileage : 145k

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    Quote Originally Posted by rich r View Post
    The LPG ECU will be tucked away somewhere - possibly near the battery. It's wired such that it sends fake signals to car's own ECU, and reads signals from there so that as far as the car ECU is concerned it's running on petrol. But the LPG ECU takes the injector signals and uses them to work out when to open the LPG injectors, whilst preventing the petrol injectors from opening.

    There are no LPG specific checks on the MOT. If your car had LPG from the factory then the emissions test is done running on LPG against the LPG emissions criteria. If it was converted afterwards, the MOT tester is supposed to switch it to petrol and test against the petrol emissions criteria for your car. What actually tends to happen is they don't even realise it's running on LPG and test it against the petrol limits because that's what comes up on the computer when they put your VIN into it. And as LPG runs far cleaner than petrol, you can get some wacky results. My old Subaru Legacy claimed a CO level of minus 0.5% which is impressive - actually cleaning the air of excess carbon monoxide If they'd have switched it to petrol like they should have, it would have been more realistic...

    The LPG fuel filter will be a metal cannister in the engine bay in the LPG pipework. Probably near the bulkhead.
    wrong , the car is tested as presented , if it is presented running on gas then its tested on that & it makes no difference if it is a conversion from new .
    if the car comes in running on petrol then it is tested as a petrol car

  7. #7
    Regular Member rich r's Avatar
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    Ah right, I stand corrected. So the MOT tester that did my Legacy made a mistake and chose petrol on the test equipment? Because the emissions report had the petrol ppm and % limits on it, not the LPG ones (they're the same as my other Legacy which was the same engine, but not converted to LPG). Or is it that for a 1996 car, there are no LPG limits, so it's tested against the petrol ones?

    Then again -this was Nationwide Autocentres attached to Halfords.

  8. #8
    Regular Member DTi Elite's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra

    Trim : Elite

    Engine : 1.9 cdti 150

    Year : 2007

    Mileage : 145k

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    running on LPG should be a 2 gas test with limits of co 3.5% & hc 1200 ppm .
    some testers get a bit confused when they get to test something unusual .

  9. #9
    Full Member Woody's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra C 3.2 Gsi Auto (Zavoli LPG with Flashlube)

    Trim : Gsi with loads of "Extras"

    Engine : 3.2 Z32SE (LPG)

    Year : 2004

    Mileage : 131,000

    Default

    Thanks guys a whole bunch of info here . The car went in for its MOT test today and failed but not on emissions, it failed because it needs Offside Rear Upper & Lower Suspension Arms (excessive play) so got a quote off a local Vx specialist for £120 labour and £155 Vx parts, oh well, I guess saving money on petrol, should leave me with more in my pocket for repairs LOL (strangely enough I can't see the extra pounds in my wallet, but maybe they got spent on beer tokens LOL)
    As far as emissions went, it passed, but I'm not sure if they were testing on Petrol or LPG, it doesn't say. As for ECU well I'm sorry for saying it doesn't seem to have one, well it doesn't have anything seen by Opcom, but on the installation certificate it shows a ZAVOLI ECU & Regulator from HKL Power with a 56ltr torroidal tank in the spare wheel well...... I'm not sure how this stacks up as a good / bad specification but it does run extremely well.

    Thanks

    Woody

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