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I live in Fairfield County, Connecticut and own a 1998 E430 (W210). But its getting increasingly expensive to keep my car filled, as premium fuel is $4.19 a gallon. I was wondering if it would be worth it to convert my car to LPG/propane. If you know of any places that convert cars to LPG/propane, please let me know.
Also, I heard about the Turbonator (Turbonator.com - Official Site), it says that it helps me save gas. If you have any experience with it, tell me how it works and if its worth the $39.99 they charge.
Please email me with your reply/replies ([email protected]). Thank you.
 

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Welcome to the forum, ggharek. Please take a moment to complete your user profile, available via the "User CP" link.

I'm sure that propane and LPG conversions will become more common as time progresses, although I cannot name anyone who produces the necessary parts. I did read a recent story about a pump to fill your LPG tank in your car, drawing from your house gas line.

As for things like the Turbonator, if it would have helped, the factory would add such technology. Don't bother with it.

The automakers take special care to create the proper swirl of combustion gases within the cylinder and head. This swirl is created by a number of factors, including the head design, both the combustion chamber and the ports, piston design, and I've even seen one engine that used different timings for the two intake valves.

Turbulence in the intake tract does not translate into turbulence in the cylinder. If it did, rest assured that the manufacturer certainly did not forget about this critical piece of modern engine design and your efforts are only going to make things worse.
 

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Some twenty years back, I know some people who had been experimenting with their engines, and one of those experiments was putting moth balls into their tank. I don't know if anybody heard those. For sure, those engines are gone.
 

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R230 SL350 Presnt, Past - W208 CLK230K 2000, W203 C Class, W202 C Class, W210 E Class, W201 190E
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I live in Fairfield County, Connecticut and own a 1998 E430 (W210). But its getting increasingly expensive to keep my car filled, as premium fuel is $4.19 a gallon. I was wondering if it would be worth it to convert my car to LPG/propane. If you know of any places that convert cars to LPG/propane, please let me know.
Also, I heard about the Turbonator (Turbonator.com - Official Site), it says that it helps me save gas. If you have any experience with it, tell me how it works and if its worth the $39.99 they charge.
Please email me with your reply/replies ([email protected]). Thank you.
In two words DONT BOTHER. There are literally dozens of claims about fuel saving gadjets and I have never heard of any that work either on the news or forums. When I opened the link you posted, before it even loaded you could just tell it was an amater site.
The only real way for you to save fuel is correct tyre (tire) inflation, lose any extra weight in the trunk etc, and drive gently, you will save money that way.
As for fuel cost the world is suffereing, but rest assured that you are the luckiest country going as you pay next to nothing for your fuel compared to ROW. it now costs me $140 to fill my CLK 230 tank and I only do 20 miles a day, I still fill up nearly 3 times a month !

If all else fails buy a diesel or smaller engine like the rest of us !
 

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E-ZGO 53 HP., 99 E 430 sport, 04 E55 AMG, 2008 Tahoe LTZ Sold Porsche to Brother
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I live in Fairfield County, Connecticut and own a 1998 E430 (W210). But its getting increasingly expensive to keep my car filled, as premium fuel is $4.19 a gallon. I was wondering if it would be worth it to convert my car to LPG/propane. If you know of any places that convert cars to LPG/propane, please let me know.
Also, I heard about the Turbonator (Turbonator.com - Official Site), it says that it helps me save gas. If you have any experience with it, tell me how it works and if its worth the $39.99 they charge.
Please email me with your reply/replies ([email protected]). Thank you.
LNG/LPG Only advantage now is greatly reduced emissions, the operating costs are close to gasoline. The conversions are not suitable for a Mercedes Benz due to the complexity of the induction system, fuel injection, and ECU. most conversions replace carburetors on simplistic engines.

Turbonator=scam
 

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For "mysterious reasons" the propane prices in USA always follow the gas prices. I've seen several cars running on propane in USA, what was done in 1970's but carrying 40 gal propane tank took lot of the space and the hassle wasn't worth small price difference.
In Europe where propane cost 1/2 what gas do -they have computerized systems that makes switches of fuel at highway speeds, but from what I heard such a system cost in the range of $2000.
Probably more like $3000 with present dollar inflation.
How long would it take to recoup that kind of investment?
Diesel conversion to VO make much more sense.
 

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LPG conversions very popular over in the UK on Mercedes, Jaguars and Range Rovers due to running costs so whoever said they dont work on mercedes engines is i'm afraid very wrong.
I'm not sure why you moan at $4 a gallon over in the UK we are paying around $ 10.50 a gallon in your money so its costing me at the moment around $560 a month to run mine.
 

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Diesel is more expensive here in the U.S.
The prices are closing lately, with gasoline going up and diesel remaining relatively flat. However, even at the extreme difference that we have seen lately, diesel costs less for the fuel to go the same distance.
 

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The prices are closing lately, with gasoline going up and diesel remaining relatively flat. However, even at the extreme difference that we have seen lately, diesel costs less for the fuel to go the same distance.
Thats correct Matt L

Diesel I think is more expensive then petrol around the world and certaily is mush dearer here in the UK then petrol. But as you said, the extra cost is outweighed by the extra MPG you get, so = > cost less.......
 

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LPG conversions very popular over in the UK on Mercedes, Jaguars and Range Rovers due to running costs so whoever said they dont work on mercedes engines is i'm afraid very wrong.
I believe as I understand it LPG makes it to the combustion chamber via something similar to a carburetor. That is, the fuel is not injected via the fuel injection system currently installed on the engine.

Therefore, the conversion is quite complicated.

Should the owner live in an area with periodic emissions inspection, the car will fail by definition because it's not what comes out the tailpipe as much as it is what's fitted to the car (must be OE) and what codes OBDII have stored. The mind boggles at OBDII response to such a conversion.
 

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E-ZGO 53 HP., 99 E 430 sport, 04 E55 AMG, 2008 Tahoe LTZ Sold Porsche to Brother
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I guess you were referring to me

LPG conversions very popular over in the UK on Mercedes, Jaguars and Range Rovers due to running costs so whoever said they dont work on mercedes engines is i'm afraid very wrong.
I'm not sure why you moan at $4 a gallon over in the UK we are paying around $ 10.50 a gallon in your money so its costing me at the moment around $560 a month to run mine.
I did not say that "they dont work on mercedes engines" nor did any one else.
What I did say is that it is "not suitable" no advantage to it for a person living in Connecticut, as the original poster dose.
The cost of a system that would integrate the "fly by-wire" modern Mercedes engine to run on LPG and or in a dual fuel mode would make it prohibitively expensive, plus the hazard of the LPG tank on board make it less than desirable in North America. If it was truly popular the factory would offer it as an option.

That said, I am sure many here are interested in the nuts and bolts of the conversions that you speak of, so if you have a website for the shops or parts suppliers that do or offer these conversions it would be an interesting read.
 

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hi all,

guess the situation depends where you live, but i feel there are some thoughts on LPG conversions out there that need to be set straight.

I bought my used V8 E420 with the sole purpose of converting it (in germany) to LPG. To answer the "why" is quite obvious: filling up a gas tank here is like playing russian roulette or hitting the slots: prices change up to 5 times a day at the pump and you never know where it's heading. Lately however, it's been up up up to record-highs.
LPG has a tax break by the government (many, in europe) given the lower emissions etc. As such, the price is about half or less of regular gasoline, but mostly: that price stays rather fixed (no more daily gambling at the pump).

costs: from 2000 to 3000 Euros for a top-of-the-line system installed by professionals (not something dodgy installed by "mechanics" in, say, poland). Beware, they do need to drill straight into the engine so you don't want to leave that to amateurs...
prices vary due to amount of cylinders, type of tank (and size), location of the nozzle, etc. for 4 cylinders it's 2000, 6 cyl. 2500, and 8 cyl 3000. However, they can do 10 and 12 cylinder engines too. there the price increases a lot because of the complexity and the size of the tank (useful to be able to drive further than 20miles on one filling).

given the higher octane value of LPG, and the fact that it is a bit "dryer", certain engine models require an additional lubrication system (ie Flash lube). Most Mercedes engines (at least mine) however, don't.... speaking for the engine.
downsides are: about 10% increased consumption.... that's it. Yet again, you save 50% on gas!!!!!!
ok, a slight reduction of power, but in my case having a V8 still leaves enough of it.

you don't necessarily lose trunk space, as for most vehicles you can install a tank where the spare tire goes.
and saying that having that tank makes driving more dangerous is completely ridiculous, as it is just as safe -if not more- as the regular fuel system of any car.
To re-coup the costs of installation you need to drive a bit, and calculate the savings over the distance driven based on the price delta between lpg and gasoline. in about 2 years you earn it back. However, also be aware that the resale value of the car is higher, so technically you need to deduct the additional resale value projection from the installation cost, and then calculate the fuel cost savings against that.

don't know how common LPG conversions are in the US, but in Europe it's increasing by the day. My installer's order book is full full full... everyday, people r getting more and more fed up with the prices, so they look for solutions. Remember, in Europe, it's about 8.5-10 $ per gallon... not $4!
Do your research, talk to the guys, etc. If they do V10 and V12 BMW, Mercedes, and trucks (GMC etc) you are probably in safe hands!

Just make sure you live close to a gas station that offers LPG... depending on where you live, this is sometimes still a problem.
other than that, no real downside for somebody who wants to drive a strong car, big engine, keep performance, but keep costs under control.
best of luck!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L
The prices are closing lately, with gasoline going up and diesel remaining relatively flat. However, even at the extreme difference that we have seen lately, diesel costs less for the fuel to go the same distance.

Thats correct Matt L

Diesel I think is more expensive then petrol around the world and certaily is mush dearer here in the UK then petrol. But as you said, the extra cost is outweighed by the extra MPG you get, so = > cost less.......



I believe in some third world countries, diesel is cheaper than regular gasoline. I can attest to that. I just don't have the exact figure how much. Diesel is dirty gasoline, I believe , and still unrefined and it's more expensive here I guess because of the governments restriction on it's use. You can see, ambulances and some corporate vehicles are the ones using it. Only a few of them.
The smoke and smell coming out of its tail pipe are just really bad. You could distinguish right away if it's a diesel smell or gas.
 

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The demand for diesel fuel for heavy trucks and such is fairly constant, whereas gasoline sales are much more flexible. You can decide to not take that trip, but people don't decide to stop shipping things unless they have to.

Diesel fuel isn't really anything like "dirty gasoline," but rather is much more like heating oil. Heating oil output reduces diesel fuel output, so the price tends to rise in the winter.
 

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Is the conversion to 'Dual Fuel' or...

just to LPG/CNG???
Living in LA there are many stations now selling these fuels, and I am currious if there is a Duel Fuel Injector that will work on MB's.
However I do not want to give up the liquid (gas) fuel option.

B
 

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E-ZGO 53 HP., 99 E 430 sport, 04 E55 AMG, 2008 Tahoe LTZ Sold Porsche to Brother
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Not economically viable....YET

just to LPG/CNG???
Living in LA there are many stations now selling these fuels, and I am currious if there is a Duel Fuel Injector that will work on MB's.
However I do not want to give up the liquid (gas) fuel option.

B
I have looked around, and in England The Gas Conversion Co : Welcome offerers a complete
dual fuel (gasoline and or LPG) kit that retails 1500 -2000 pounds = $3 to 4000 USD. So lets say $3000. divided by gas price $4.14 means you could buy 725 gallons of gas and if your car averages 18 MPG that is 13 thousand miles, one year of driving for the average American. As far as any savings here in the US in many cases the LPG cost more than premium gasoline so you can expect an extended ROI.
http://www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/pdfs/afpr_jan_08.pdf
From what little I have read the Government in England subsidizes the conversion and the cost of the LPG as well.
 

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YET.... is the operative word..

Thanks YM,, it sounds like you have really done the home work on this one.

I think that your pay back analysis is right on, but as you know the US will have a new administration soon, and I FEEL that we will see gas at 7-9 a gallon in the very near future, and a return to gas lines. So at the first sign of trouble I will be dual Fueling this wonderful car.
I am glad to find a vendor that can convert to a REAL Dual Fuel ( liquid or gas ) option.

Thanks for the help.
B
 

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I think you'd have to import one of the systems from Europe. Even cheaper cars there are commonly converted to dual fuel. Propane is freezing at lower temperatures, so gas start if often a must in the winter. Better systems have computer switching over at certain temperature/speed, while cheaper systems have manual switch.
YM compared the propane prices at local hardware stories. At truck stops in CA it cost now $3.29 v/s 4.09 for premium. Flying J: Fuel Prices > Gasoline & Car/RV Diesel Fuel Prices Propane Pricing
If you use propane for house heating and have it delivered to your home in bulk the price is even lower.
Still it is economical stretch, especially when you compare how cheap MB diesels sell.
 
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