PROPANE POWERED 300 six owner seeks better efficiency

The Big Block of inline Ford sixes

Moderator: Mod Squad

PROPANE POWERED 300 six owner seeks better efficiency

Postby Craigwell » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:44 pm

Ok, here it is.

As the signature says, I own a 1976 F250 4x4 'Highboy' Extended Cab/Shortbox 133'WB, with a 300 six on Propane. The truck uses Dana 60 and 44HD diffs with 4.10 gearing, and a built AOD automatic tranny.

Does anyone else have experience running this engine on Propane? I'd like to compare notes in the quest for better efficiency and performance.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby Slow » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:03 am

I can't tell you how my engine performs yet as I haven't had a chance to really drive it, but I recently built up a propane 300. It has:

- flat top 352FE pistons with a bit shaved off the top
- clifford intake
- EFI exhast
- Ported head.
- RV cam

I went for an 11:1 compression ratio, which is obviously designed for propane. I think you can safely do 12:1 too but I was worried about head gaskets and stuff. In theory raising the compression ratio will give you greater efficiency.. I'll probably get my 20% back from loss of BTU.

The other things to look at is gearing.. engines are usually most efficient lower in the RPM range. Then there's rolling efficiency (put max PSI in your tires) and aerodynamics.

Tuneups is a whole nother thing.. with propane especially getting the advance curved and timing optimized is important. There is also apparently a different diaphram you can use which leans out the impco mixers. If you're interested I could dig out a link.

I'll let you know when I get a chance to drive my new engine :) Probably won't be for a few weeks at least tho.

Ian
Slow
 

Propane powered 300 Ford 6

Postby flatford6 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:11 am

Propane engines make more power with high compression (10 to one +), cold (isolated from exhaust heat) intake manifolds, cold air intakes, low temperature thermostats, and short ignition curves with lots of static advance. Make sure you have sufficient hot water flow through the regulator. No lead in propane requires hard exhaust seats in heads that don't already have them. Do not use exhaust rotators, they will cause seat and valve wear even with hard seats. 1976 300 Ford pickup engines have very low compression from the factory maybe 7.00 to one. Mine had 400 m pistons in it. Thats about 100 Thou down in the cylinder and and a 1/8 divot in the middle. I replaced them with 1969 hypereutectic flat top 351 windsor pistons and the earlier 300 rods with the smaller matching pins. Compression ratio about 9.75. More with the early 240 head. Over 100,000 miles on this engine in an F250 and still running real good. Good luck.
flatford6
Registered User
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 3:11 am
Location: Gilroy, California

Postby Slow » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:43 am

The only thing I'll disagree with on the previous post, is the cold thermostat. From all that I have read (which is probably a fair bit), at low rpms, the heat from combustion will be absorbed into the coolant at a fairly rapid rate, causing a loss of heat energy/pressure. With a higher coolant temperature, the change in temperature across the cylinder wall will be less causing less heat dissipation and greater efficiency.

At higher RPMs this has less effect as the combustion takes place very rapidly.

Anyway, for max efficiency, theoretically a higher temp coolant will be better.
Slow
 

Postby xctasy » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:49 am

Proper LP gas mods have to be specific, and often are quite expensive. If your truck is dual fuel, then you are likely to be asking too much.


I've been involved with a good deal of Propane dedicated, and dual fuel Propane/Gasoline I6 engines in the 200 to 300 cubic inch area for the last 22 years. I started as a 15 year old working at a service bay for my dad's municipal power authority, then progressed to my own instillations on 139 and 250 cubic inch vehicles. Over here, we used Bedford I6 trucks which were converted for LPG back in the early 80's. The results were appalling because of five fundamental proplem areas.


1. Cost constraints,
2. the need to use gasoline for starting or emergency fueing,
3. ignition and plug heat range issues with I6 engines.
4. and intake flow issues with I6 engines.
5. Compression ratio

The ability to get fuel economy in a 300 cube engine is based primarily on how much you want to change the stock parts.

Next to no mods = no mileage or power.
Lots of mods = lots of economy and power.

If your carb, intake manifold and static compression ratio are going to stay the same as stock, then you have to accept a 20% reduction on the fuel mileage you got with gasoline.

You'll get simply stunning results if you get a better Offenhauser intake, a 2-bbl carb base, and a 9.5:1 compression (not 10 or 12:1, its too high for propane). The ignition should be electronic or a very good points ignition. You have to get a better propane carb, the CA 225, 300 and 425 are simply awesome pieces which have stood the test of time

If you don't want to do that, then you have to follw the old Impco technical bulletins from 1984, and use the CA 125 Impco carb, and E or L converter, and accept a loss on peak power as a tradeoff for reasonable propane consumption. Impco have done a huge amount of service vehicles with this installation, and they know there stuff.

The back ground reason for these recommendations is that the I6 has the worst intake manifolding of any engine combination known to man, and if you put a propane carb on it, the ignition timing has to be changed, and the better Impco carbs (like the CA 225, 300 and 425) won't work at all well due to the horrible porting.

The solution is to do something similar to what I did on my little cross flow 250. Get a 2-bbl intake, a Holley 4412 2300 series 500 cfm carb base, a CA 300 carb, L series converter with EC-1 lean cruise 'power valve', and a nice big Dodge 318 AF-1 air cleaner. I got such a huge improvement is propane consumption and performance with that combination that I'd smoke tires with a 3-speed auto and 2.77:1 gears with 26" tires in a 3200 pound car. Acceleration improved by 1 second over the quarter mile, and the fuel economy improved 20% from the earlier propane set up. I used a very low duration 252 or 256 degree custom cam, which had a 109 degree lobe centre, not much different to the stock Ford cam. It gave a reasonable idle with what was a huge carb for a 250 cube engine.

For your 300, I'd buy the CA 225 or 425M propane carb which has a 2-bbl 2150 Motorcraft base, and run an E or L converter (must have the EC-1 device fitted), and the biggest air cleaner you can get. The compression has to be raised by welding the chambers or planeing the head, so you get about 9.5:1. The later higher swirl 1988-1996 EFI head is likely to yield better results for economy, but is not any better than the pre 1988 heads for horsepower...the earlier ones flow better. There are issues with other changes required to run a later head.

A light car or truck might be able to use a 11:1 compression ratio if you spend on a good ignition recurve, but propane has no latent heat of cooling, and isn't suitable for high compression in a heavily used truck with a poor power to weight ratio. And all of Fords big sixes have suspect pistons under large load, so your then looking at some very expenisve engine rebuilding to support even a 10:1 compression ratio

I'll not babble on any more, but there are very sound reasons for each component, and if you follow the above components, you'll be stunned at the results.
Image
XEC Ltd ICBE's Inter Continental Ballistic Engines-
FAZER 6Bi (M112 & EEC5) or FAZER 6Ti (GT3582 & EEC5) 425 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
FAZER 6V0 3x2-BBL Holley 188 HP 3.3L/200 I-6 or 235 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
X-Flow Engine Components Ltd http://www.xecltd.info
User avatar
xctasy
VIP Member
 
Posts: 6394
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2002 11:40 am
Location: P.O. Box 7072 Dunedin 9011,South Island, NEW ZEALAND

Postby Craigwell » Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:05 am

That is some absolutely amazing information.

I will do some homework to identify the components, (all I know before I look under the hood is that I have an OHG X1 regulator.)

I am confident I will be able to make some effective changes at a reasonable cost to make this setup work the way I know it can.

Thank you very much for the start, I will post more info shortly, once I've had the chance to monkey around and get some more data. Will run a compression test to try to compute what CR I have currently.

Cheers
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby 83F150 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 10:35 am

What is the biggest advatage in running propane?

Even with a 11:1 compression ratio your not making any more power then a 8:1 compression gas engine.....because of the BTU power of propane is less.

later,
Dustin
[/quote]300's are known for that. Even running on 3 cylinders upside down without oil or coolant they'll still pull a locomotive up a hill, albeit at 5 mph..... OK so maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea....[/quote]
96 F150 4x4 300\E4OD\3.55's
78 F350 DRW 2wd 400\4sp\4.30
08 Colorado 2wd 2.9L\5sp\3.73's
Not my only vehicles....
User avatar
83F150
Registered User
 
Posts: 716
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:59 pm

Postby Slow » Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:50 pm

Mostly it's cost. Around here propane is about 60% the cost of gasoline, so if you can get similar mileage it's a big win.

For off road use it's great because there's no float bowl and no off angle issues. It's also a very simple and reliable fuel system.

Of course there are downsides too, especially availability in some places, but around here that's not an issue.
Slow
 

Postby Craigwell » Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:33 pm

yes.

I built the truck in Vancouver, where propane is now 46 cents a litre, versus over a dollar for gasoline.

Now I'm back in my hometown of Halifax, on the east coast, where I'm paying $1 a litre for propane.

Right now I'm on par with the efficiency with gas, or slightly below.

I determined today that my throttle body unit is an OHG X-450, along with the X-1 regulator. I need to do some more research about these, to determine if they are best for my setup
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby Craigwell » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:26 pm

Ok, some time has passed.

Stuck at 12mpg.

Did compression test, all read 110-115 psi. I'm thinking my engine is an older, lower compression unit; I do know the head has the older style rockers. Block cast - D3T3-6015-xx

I am currently running 12 or 14 BTDC initial advance, and it seems to perform the best. (another hint to me that mine is a low compression engine)

None of my initial advance adjustments have affected economy. Bottom line, I think this engine is working too hard to move around 5500lbs and AOD.

To make overdrive more useful on the highway, I need more low and mid tourque.

I have a core engine available, same block cast. pulled the head off of it tonight.

I want more mileage, don't want to spend a lot of money -yet.

Building an engine is long term. In the short term, I am thinking about rebuilding my spare cylinder head and trying it on my current engine.

Planing the head alone, and choosing a specific head gasket: is this alone going to do much for me?

what about this 250 or 292 chev rocker swap I hear mention of?

Not too anxious to port / polish, if all it's going to do is ..help me burn more fuel.

Am I better off getting an EFI head for better quench properties?

I guess I don't mind modifying intake/exhaust if it allows the six to work less hard to move the truck.

This same very engine received ONE THIRD better fuel economy when I had it in a 1000lb lighter truck with T19 four speed and 4.10's! I need to meet it somewhere in the middle to be happy.

Not often I have a lot of vacuum showing on the gauge when cruising in OD. Usually 0-5 inches if I want it to maintain 65mph without it slowing. Hills? forget about it. I manually downshift to third when I drop to 60mph on an incline. Then at least I can keep the truck at 55 with 10-15 inches of vacuum, even on slight inclines.

Any advice or insight is appreciated.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby SuperMag » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:55 pm

Craigwell wrote: Stuck at 12mpg. ... I want more mileage, don't want to spend a lot of money -yet.


Want more mileage? Propane only has 80% of the energy content of gasoline... Go back to gasoline; that alone will get you to 15 mpg. (With propane you're looking at this mileage thing wrong; you should be looking at in terms of miles per dollar.)

Next, get rid of the 4.10 gears. With an OD transmission, you're better off with something in the range of 3.55. Now you're to 16 or 17 on a good day.

And then there's that automatic transmission thing...
User avatar
SuperMag
VIP Member
 
Posts: 3365
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2002 12:29 am
Location: God's Country, Idaho

Postby Craigwell » Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:21 pm

Thanks Supermag, That is an excellent point on Miles per Dollar.. As far as that goes, I am winning right now.. Getting propane at about $1.50 less a gallon.

I was running a stock, tired six on Gas before I put in this new powertrain. It had enough power, but got between 12-15mpg itself on average, in large part to being really tired (no compression) i suspect.

My current gearing stays, so does the tranny. Third at 60mph: 2800rpm. Overdrive at 60mph: 1600rpm. I would never use overdrive if I had taller gears. Currently I only run 30 inch tires. If I was to move up to 33's, I'm pushing rpm lower, and was considering moving taller to 4.56, if anything.

I do know the AOD eats about 20hp, but it stays too. I spent over $2000 having it built specifically for the truck. If it does blow anytime relatively soon, I promise to give up on automatics altogether in disgust, and will put in a ZF 5 speed, I promise!! (promised that to myself after paying the bill, actually!)

Do I want much? sure.

Getting back to it, :D

Does anyone figure I'd gain much compression merely planing a head?
Any thoughts on changing the rocker arm ratio?

I'd like to get a good idea of what possibilities exist through head-work alone at first. I will begin working on building my block in the new year, and am thinking about FE pistons, and an RV cam for it.

Doing the head first (along with intake/exh) I figure will help me to gauge what I should do to the block when the time to pick parts comes.

If at the end of this, i still make 12mpg, but 25% more power, well that's alright too. Ideally though, I'd like to achieve a 20% increase in fuel economy, and maybe a 10% increase in power.

Again, I figure being underpowered is half of what's hurting my six's economy at this point...

Thanks again for all the insight. I have saved the earlier responses, and am in awe of the responses from fellows like Xecute and Slow. I think, in terms of what xecute has said, I dont want crazy compression, but I think I have 7:1 right now, and am thinking being closer to 9:1 would be ideal.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby addo » Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:45 pm

Why don't you want 11:1 compression? It will more efficiently extract the energy that's in propane.
User avatar
addo
VIP Member
 
Posts: 15191
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:06 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby Craigwell » Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:58 pm

I'm thinking along the lines of what Xecute said earlier in the thread. It makes sense to me that going too high with the compression would stress a close to stock rotating assembly in a heavy truck. (5500 lbs in this case)

I do intend on pushing snow with this eventually as well.

Still wondering what kind of increase in CR I can gain through head planing, and head gasket selection. Also trying to evaluate the merits of:

1) a 240 head
2) a carbureted head, both old style rockers and newer positive stop.
3) EFI head
4) rocker arm ratio modification

I'm trying to start up top, to help decide what to do as I move to the block and rotating assembly.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby Lazy JW » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:33 pm

xecute wrote:...
A light car or truck might be able to use a 11:1 compression ratio if you spend on a good ignition recurve, but propane has no latent heat of cooling, and isn't suitable for high compression in a heavily used truck with a poor power to weight ratio. And all of Fords big sixes have suspect pistons under large load, so your then looking at some very expenisve engine rebuilding to support even a 10:1 compression ratio ....


Interesting. I was ponderizing the possibility of propane in the White Ox so as to be able to use the much balleyhooed higher octane rating for better performance with a higher compression ratio. My experience with propane being near zero I defer to the voice of experience. Hmmmph.
Joe
74 F-350 300-6, EFI manifolds into single exhaust, Carter YF, T-18B, Dana70 w/4.11, Flatbed dually w/dump bed. Great farm truck!
Image
Lazy JW
FSP Moderator
 
Posts: 6272
Joined: Fri May 16, 2003 10:25 pm
Location: Careywood, Idaho

Postby Slow » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:50 pm

Well I guess we'll find out soon enough. I'm at 11:1. :) I'm going to get some stainless valves though.. hopefully that will help.
Slow
 

Postby addo » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:01 pm

I think that hypers at 11:1 would do fine - FTF's car is a good example of high compression and hypereutectic pistons. Generally they seem to get talked down by people who've bought forged pistons. :lol:
User avatar
addo
VIP Member
 
Posts: 15191
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:06 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby xctasy » Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:06 am

Jay Storer wrote a Propane Performance book with its inspiration being Ak Miller, he of Impco and later, OHG fame. Basically, Jay had a turbo 300 on Propane with two CA 125 carbs, good ignition and he blew the odd head gasket on low compression.

Impco in all there 1984 bulletins said to keep compression down on high Gross Vehicle Weight situations. Jay Storer reiterated the same maxim in his book. Info from the other side of the Pacific Rim says that after about 1995, all Aussie propane was downgraded from 105 octane to about 99, so there isn't much more detonation resistance than a tank of Optimax 98 gas. I assume the same thing applies to US propane.

Lastly, detonation increases when you have poor fuel distribution. That is certainly the case with any I6 with a single carb. I've seen detonation happen in my Falcon (cylinders 5 and 6), and it wasn't carrying much compression, about 9.7:1.

For these reasons, and certainly not just for the stock piston arguments, I'd shy away from anything above 9.5:1. Forged pistons run about a 100 degrees F less than uncoated cast alloy pistons, and I'd say a Hyper or coated Hyper piston would be able to hack 14:1. The problem isn't the pistons, its what detonation does to even a brillaint composite or steel head gasket...LPG detonations blow it appart. My stock cast alloy ACL's looked just great after melting the alloy head and burning the gasket fire ring and singeing the composite. Propane is does not put itself out if it goes over rich, it burns the living daylights out of everything when it starts to detonate.


Ah, I still love propane...
Image
XEC Ltd ICBE's Inter Continental Ballistic Engines-
FAZER 6Bi (M112 & EEC5) or FAZER 6Ti (GT3582 & EEC5) 425 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
FAZER 6V0 3x2-BBL Holley 188 HP 3.3L/200 I-6 or 235 HP 4.1L/250 I-6
X-Flow Engine Components Ltd http://www.xecltd.info
User avatar
xctasy
VIP Member
 
Posts: 6394
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2002 11:40 am
Location: P.O. Box 7072 Dunedin 9011,South Island, NEW ZEALAND

Postby addo » Fri Oct 05, 2007 7:29 am

I understand North American propane is actually more "pure" than our LPG - as in higher RON equivalent. Can't remember where I read that point.
User avatar
addo
VIP Member
 
Posts: 15191
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:06 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby Slow » Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:48 am

Well a turbo 300 is a totally different thing from a NA 300. With my 80% VE I would be surprised if I could get enough fuel in there to detonate, but that's just my take on it. The proof is in the pudding (that my engine will become if I'm wrong!) :)

hehe, maybe I'll pull the head off in after a few good runs and see if anything is blowing up in there..
Slow
 

Postby Craigwell » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:40 pm

sounds very good, all of it.

From what I understand, our propane is 105+ Octane. I have not been able to find it here for less than $1.00 CAD per litre. Distribution here is all oriented to home heating, small businesses heating/cooking. Add to that Barbeques, Forklifts and Construction purposes.

For all of the above, Propane is sold by weight. BBQ cylinders are 20 lbs, Forklifts and Equipment cylinders 30, 40 60lbs..

For those purposes it retails at about $1 per lb, and you typically need a contract, from what I understand.

I am thankful to have a 200 litre tank, but want more than 800kms out of it. I burn that in about 10 days currently. (11mpg)

I would rather 14 day intervals for fuelling, achieving 1000kms per tank, or 14mpg. I think I can achieve that and maybe better.

I think my engine is a 7:1 compression unit. It has the older non-pedestal rockers, C5AE-6015 block cast. Compression test shows 110psi even across the board. Current initial timing, 14btdc. Haven't checked centrifugal advance or curve. Engine is responsive, doesn't stumble or detonate. OHG X-450 mixer, X-1 regulator, 195 deg thermostat, Stock carb style intake and exhaust manifold, Bosch Platinum plugs, 2 1/4" exhaust with high flow muffler.

I am going to get an oxygen sensor and install an in-dash Air Fuel Ratio gauge, to confirm fuel mixture at all ranges of driving. In the meantime I will try leaning the mixer slightly, and am curious about a listing of plugs I saw that extend the electrode and gap into the combustion chamber further.

Still doing my research on a head build. And trying to do what I can to get the most out of what I have now.

I think in the end, getting closer to 9:1 compression may be all I need.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

update

Postby Craigwell » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:52 pm

Added an Accel Super Stock coil, and opened the gap up to .044 on my bosch platinum DR9BPX plugs.

The engine is running a little better at idle when cold, and otherwise. Engine not seeming to work as hard.

I think this was a good upgrade, maybe overdue.

Next on the list is an attempt to lean out the OHG X-450 slightly, and perhaps investigate the adjustable load mixture on my early generation mixer.

I dont intend to do too much on that front until I have the 02 sensor and gauge to precisely evaluate. Dont want to melt any exhaust manifolds, etc.

Anyone have an idea on what timing would be ideal for a 7:1 compression propane 300? static, centrifugal..

I'll take a look at what advance lever is in my distributor soon, and confirm vac advance dashpot condition
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby addo » Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:54 am

Would it be possible to make some degree of mixture adjustment on the fly? I seem to recall hearing of people doing stuff like this with other systems.
User avatar
addo
VIP Member
 
Posts: 15191
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:06 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby Craigwell » Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:52 pm

I know some of the last OHG mixers would allow this. I've seen the pictures, but can't quite recall the operation.. there was a mixture control solenoid used in concert with an O2 senso
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby addo » Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:30 pm

I was thinking mechanical control, like a rigid cable (as opposed to stranded cable) on a lever that turned a regulator screw, or was twisted to back a needle in or out.
User avatar
addo
VIP Member
 
Posts: 15191
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:06 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby Slow » Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:31 pm

I remember seeing something like that.. iirc it used engine vacuum to control the regulator and was made by impco. Based on feedback from o2 sensor it would use a vacuum solenoid to lower the pressure of the regulator feeding the mixer.
Slow
 

Postby Craigwell » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:44 pm

I would like to get an Impco mixer to compare it with the OHG I have.

After reading through a servicing guide (hoffman's) a time or two, I'm getting closer to pulling my mixer apart to check rods and condition.. clean out any sludge or 'wet ends'

Starting to believe head work alone will help my situation considerably. The ignition system work I did recently provided a notable increase in performance; haven't determined nature of any mileage benefit as of yet.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby Craigwell » Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:17 pm

ignition update:

old plugs: DR9BPX Bosch Platinum plugs, gapped .045. They had tan coloured deposits when removed.

new plugs: Champion Copper RF14LC (listed for bi-fuel vehicles, with extended electrode)

other notes: duraspark II with accel super coil and premium 8mm wires.

no great change, but engine runs smoother. I suspect the platinums were near the end of their life.. i was starting to have misses at idle, and idle was bad when engine was cold.

unsure what to think of the deposits.. The new plugs are much hotter than the ones I had.

I also tried some Bosch copper DR10GC plugs at one point- a listing for a 300 six LPG. Used these before the accel coil upgrade.

Still on the to do list:

1) check vac advance diaphragm and centrifugal advance amounts (cant believe i havent done this yet)
2) disassemble and inspect the mixer & regulator
3) cylinder head project. Starting to think a 240 head with chebby rockers might be the way to go, along with dual exhaust manifolds
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby Slow » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:48 pm

Yeah, the 240 head (or efi for that matter) would work great. My 11:1 propane engine is still running strong. She's got some good power! I can get up to 100km/hr (60mph) with the 38's plenty fast.

I can't really say for sure but I'd guess it has at least as much power as my stock 400. I'll know better once I put the "winter" tires on it (which are almost normal tires! :)) Now if I rebuilt that 400 using some performance parts.. hmm.. :)
Slow
 

Postby Slow » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:54 pm

There are a few things about my build vs the one xecute posted that I'd like to mention.

I'd be very curious to know how much boost he was running because if he's up in the 10+ psi range then he's putting WAY more stress on his engine than I would be with an 11:1 CR. That's almost double the air/fuel going into the pistons.

The other thing is that I'm using 352FE pistons. They look to me to be a much better design and they would be much less likely to break a skirt etc.

As for head gaskets, well, I can only say I've been starting to run my engine fairly hard at times and it's still together. Time will tell but so far so good.
Slow
 

Postby Craigwell » Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:08 pm

I'm looking forward to reaching the point of engaging in a proper build up, as opposed to trying to tweak my painfully stock mill.

Thankfully I have a few things I can do in the interim, and will continue to ponder the head build before taking that particular plunge after xmas.

I think regardless of what I do with a build, the Pistons will be upgraded; if only for the fact my truck is a heavy beast. I think my target right now is 9 or 9.5 to 1 compression... with the truck weighing 5500lbs empty, I'll play it safe there.

Still checking things off on my list. Thankfully I'm officially back in the trade part time; so as to keep my mind closer to task.

Good Times!
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby Craigwell » Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:15 pm

Engine Tag found!

Wow! I never expected the crusty bit of aluminum hiding under my ignition coil bracket to be a decipherable engine id tag!

I have looked at a couple of websites that provide decoding information, and have gotten closer to knowing as much as possible about this mill:

CID: 300
Model Year: 66
Change Level: 3 (??)
Production: October 1965
Engine Code Number: 132 S

I cannot find info on that code number.

Former owner says the engine was rebuilt, with a .030 overbore. I am wondering what compression ratio this engine most likely had when new, and what that may have dropped to with the overbore and no other work done.

As mentioned earlier, my compression testing read 110 PSI across the board.

I haven't done a positive id on the head yet.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby addo » Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:30 pm

Overboring raises compression. Are you sure it's a 300, then - not a 240?
User avatar
addo
VIP Member
 
Posts: 15191
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:06 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby Craigwell » Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:51 pm

it is a possibility, but I suspect I wouldn't have what power i do now if it was..

Block cast is C5AE 6015 -xx cant read the last two digits without getting out a wire brush.. understood that cast could indicate either block, but it at least matches the id tag..

i guess an id on the head is overdue..

..along with getting out my vacuum hand pump and testing my vac. advance diaphragm on the dizzy. I am quite remiss over not checking my timing curve.

i have been too busy working, and just plain driving this old beast (daily driver).

thankfully i'm working part time in a shop again, which will give me more opportunity/excuse to get some of these things done.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby Craigwell » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:26 pm

i know this thread is in danger of becoming ridiculously scattered, but I'll press on, in order to keep info in a tidy place.

Thank you again to all who continue to indulge me by reading and responding.

Looked at my core engine tonight. To my delight, it appears to be a 240!
Block cast: D3TE 6015 AA
Head Cast: D2TEBA under the thermostat, with I6 or 16 nearby.

Measured stroke was just under 3.25 inches, which seems to jibe with the 3.18 reported in the FAQ.

one thing i found interesting is the fact the pistons in this core engine seem to rise to deck height. Is this normal for this engine, or has it been decked?

Couldn't find any other casting numbers on the head. Are these the ones I'm looking for?

A preliminary goal for this piece is to use rockers from a 250, have seats/valves worked for Propane, and attach some EFI dual exhaust manifolds to seal the deal.

Does anyone else have recommendations for this head? Should it be planed or left alone? Valve sizes changed?

Thanks

J
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby Lazy JW » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:57 pm

Craigwell wrote:...
one thing i found interesting is the fact the pistons in this core engine seem to rise to deck height. Is this normal for this engine, or has it been decked? ...


The pistons in my 240 come mighty close to the deck. I only had to take .025" off the 300 deck.

Do you plan to leave it as a 240?
74 F-350 300-6, EFI manifolds into single exhaust, Carter YF, T-18B, Dana70 w/4.11, Flatbed dually w/dump bed. Great farm truck!
Image
Lazy JW
FSP Moderator
 
Posts: 6272
Joined: Fri May 16, 2003 10:25 pm
Location: Careywood, Idaho

Postby Craigwell » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:49 pm

No. I may use that block for my 300 build, but at this point im thinking only about the head.

chebby rockers,
maybe larger valves (1.90 & 1.60?) and port/polish,
efi exhaust
hard valves for propane

will not build a 240 displacement for this beast.. this core was one i purchased for it's manifolds a long time ago. never knew it was a 240.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby Craigwell » Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:26 pm

Ok, some time has passed, and I have some new goodies.

I purchased a 1995 EFI engine today, and it will be going into my truck while I begin my project 300 build.

For starters, I am trying to determine which is the best head to build, for the first phase of the long term project. I think I will go with the EFI head, as opposed to the 300 carb, and 240 heads I also have.

I will attempt to see what the slight compression raise and better quench properties brings to the table with Propane. The dual exhaust manifold setup will be tried, but not right away.

Of course, this will using the EFI engine, retrofitted with carb intake and exhaust manifolds. (any drilling required?) There will be electronic ignition but that's it.

My intention is to see how this setup with the slightly increased CR and better quench properties works -as opposed to my previous stock carb setup which was ill-equipped to deal with the 5500lb truck with a HP-eating AOD automatic. I had 12 mpg and less power than when running the same setup on gas.

Before I decide on the final components for my long term short-block, I'll try this out. If still not happy, I'll try the chebby rockers and dual-exhaust before considering different piston, deck height, and cam options for the project block.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby Slow » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:06 pm

You know I was thinking the other day.. if I had to do it over again I'd seriously consider building a stock CR engine and using a turbo. You wouldn't get any better mileage but you could get a lot more power out of it. At the time I was a bit concerned about mileage, but now we have a 93 van (with a 300 of course) that we drive most places instead of the truck so it's less of a concern now.
Slow
 

Postby Craigwell » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:06 pm

Up until recently I was running an 8.0 compression or lower 300 carbby six on propane.

Well, in a perfect world, it would go down like this for me for the long term:

-9.0-9.5 Compression, mainly to offset lost power from conversion to Propane. This could be achieved by using the 240 head.

(My gas carbby 8.0 CR six moved the same truck around well enough for me, so it stands to reason I shouldn't need to do too much)

Also worthy to consider, is the efficient combustion properties provided with an EFI head. If the charge drawn into my cylinders now with existing (or Stock EFI CR) can combust with more efficiency, perhaps I'll develop the added power to bring me back to the level I previously was at.

This thread started way back regarding efficiency. That has to be the governing principle behind all mods to the short block.

I will select a Cam, Timing set, and pistons with durability and fuel efficiency in mind. I want to stay as close to stock specs as possible, and am hoping to navigate the best way to increase performance for my application. Hopefully economy will improve, or at least not decrease while I gain in power slightly.

I am curious to know what cam grinds you guys might suggest, cam timing, head choice, pistons etc, with the above in mind.

The performance I had until I started the teardown suggested that I did not have enough tourque to keep the truck comfortably in a .66 overdrive at 60mph with 30" tires, 4.10 gearing, at 2000 rpm.

Running at 1:1 in Third would keep the engine around 2800-3000 rpm at 60 mph. Top end was reasonable in these conditions, but I dont care to run a 300 at 3k just doing 60., while running WOT and 0" vacuum and getting 12mpg in this rig.

If the mileage stays like that, I at least want to be able to hold 70 mph in overdrive at about 2300 rpm, only downshifting for big hills. I also want to put 31 or 33" tires on the truck eventually, which would have only made things worse before the teardown.

In the long term I may switch to a ZF 5 speed, freeing up some HP from the automatic. This also has a .75 overdrive vs the .66 of the AOD.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Postby Craigwell » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:04 pm

Took the 240 head in for machining today.

In the end, I am choosing Compression over Quench. Thinking it will provide more bang for my buck.

Will retain stock rockers and manifolds for now, to determine the effects of changing from a 300 head to a 240 head.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada

Re: PROPANE POWERED 300 six owner seeks better efficiency

Postby Craigwell » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:59 pm

I wanted to follow up this thread for posterity.

In the end, I had to abandon my propane build due to a serious issues getting automotive propane in the Halifax, N.S. Canada area.

I ended up converting the truck back to gasoline before selling it. I do still have all the propane fuel system hardware and experience, and wouldn't rule out running it again, but I'm not holding my breath.

I still have all the resources and info for propane, and for anyone interested, I'll certainly do my best to advise if asked.

Thanks to all those who helped over the years.
1995 F150 4x4 4.9L E4OD Mule / Plow Truck
Gone but not forgotten: 1976 F250 4x4 300 six, NP435. Dana60/44HD 4.10 Traction Lok, EFI Exhaust, 240 Head
User avatar
Craigwell
Registered User
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Atlantica, Canada


Return to 240-300 "Big Block" Six Performance

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 7 guests