On Tuesday 2nd July 2013 the Land Rover 109 Safari passed its 24th MOT since I bought it in September 1988
Land Rover 109 Safari LPG installation
Why enable a vehicle to run on LPG?
The long wheelbase Land Rover 109 Safari now (1999) had a new chassis so should last a long time, and since I have no intention of parting with it then the investment required to do a conversion to LPG should be well worth it. I looked at the information available about running vehicles on LPG/autogas both in magazines and on the web and found that not only were the emissions far better for the environment but also it helped the engine to run smoother and cleaner. The engine oil was supposed to last longer too. Looking at the different systems available I chose the dutch system from Iwema as supplied by Chris Perfect Components. Their tanks have four holes and the filler pipe is quite large making filling the tank a fairly quick process and probably safer then filling a petrol tank. Filling a car with petrol often results in some spillage which can go over your clothes and the smell lasts for ages whereas when filling a LPG tank the whole lot is sealed and there is no spillage. If there is a leak the LPG immeadiatly evaporates leaving no trace. In fact the gas used for LPG is propane and butane which are used as the propellant in many aerosols now because it does not affect the ozone layer. So running a vehicle on LPG/autogas is safer all round, the tank is also far stronger than a petrol tank, being made of thicker steel and built to withstand the pressure of the liquid gas.
Click on the images below for a bigger picture and more information
The kit of parts
The kit arrived in April 1999. I sat and looked through them for an hour then phoned Chris Perfect to see if there was any instructions, 'Oh yes' he laughed 'They are in the post', thank goodness for that I thought and waited for the postman to come the next day.
The supplied pipes include heater hose as well as petrol and vaporised gas pipes.
The parts include a vaporiser, the mixer, a soleniod operated valve for the liquid gas and another one for the petrol supply.
The mixer is an aluminium tube with a venturi ring inside which has holes in it where the gas comes out. The tube fits in the pipe between the air-filter and carb.
The 2-stage tandem vaporiser.
The 90 litre tank on its frame in the garage.
Back of the Landy
This is where the tank will be fitted.
The tank in position
The tank finally fitted in position in the back of the Land Rover.
Filler pipe to the tank
The filler pipe and the safety breather pipe.
The mat fits too
The 90 litre tank fitted and pipes plumbed.
Under the cover
Inside the die-cast cover .
Under the cover now
Everything connected. This is a recent photograph.
The tank solenoid
The LPG feeder copper pipe goes via a solenoid operated valve.
Along the chassis
Under the floor in the central passenger area.
Still along the chassis
Under the floor where the front passenger sits.
Cutting the pipe
Using a pipe cutter makes a better job than a hacksaw.
At the rear of the chassis
The pipe and the electric cable come through the floor.
Holes for the filler pipe were cut into the rear panel next to the petrol filler. .
The pipe is secured by a plate..
Under the bonnet (hood)
How it looked before the parts were fitted .
Parts get fitted
The vaporiser and the valves are in place.
Wired and plumbed
All the parts now wired and plumbed in .
The mixer in the air supply to the carb.
Wired and plumbed
A closer look at the vaporiser and valves .
The wiring after tidying up.
The fuel gauge
On the dash panel is the LED LPG fuel guage.
This is how the vaporiser looks 7 years later .
Seven years later
This LPG installation has worked very well for the past seven years the Land Rover being used every day as my transport for the 5 miles to and from work. Family camping holidays have also been taken with it when it sometimes becomes necessary to run on petrol if there is no LPG station nearby, not very often these days. Each year it has passed the MOT test with no problem with emissions, other problems crop up but the LPG system has been no trouble. The performance and fuel consumption is hardly any different on LPG or petrol but then again there is not a lot of performance to be expected from a 33 year old 109 Land Rover.
It was the end of September 2006 when the Landrover became difficult to start in the mornings on LPG. Then one evening on the journey home it spluttered going up a hill and I had to change to petrol, so I knew it needed some attention.
On the following Saturday I decided to check the spark plugs and other parts of the system. I removed the air-filter and pipe going to the brake vacuum reservoir. The air-intake on top of the carburetor was a bit loose. This has an adapter ring for the Weber carb which is a smaller bore than the Solex and Zenith carbs and tends to come loose. I made a diagonal cut in this aluminium ring some years ago to allow the hose clip to tighten it up on the carb body.
The plugs looked a bit rough and after trying to clean them I decided to fit new ones. I also renewed two high tension plug leads which had corroded connectors. After taking the plugs out there was bits of rust in the ports which I didn't want going into the cylinders so whereas in the past I have tried brushing it out this time I used a vacuum cleaner which worked a treat.
The distributor cap was taken off and the contacts cleaned, they needed cleaning too as did the rotor arm contact face.
After doing all that and forgetting which way the plug leads went on, the thing wouldn't start at all. Checked the plug leads then put them in the right place and it fired straight away and sounded much sweeter. The next morning it started first turn as well. On the following Tuesday morning it didn't start on LPG so I had to use petrol, but it had been left standing for a day and it was quite cool. On Wednesday morning I opened the LPG adjuster a touch and it started straight away.
Since then its been fine, I'm just waiting for some frosty weather to see what it does then.
This past summer, 2006, the weather has been warm/hot for most of the time. This last week or two it has grown a little cooler so I'm hoping that this caused the LPG to be sluggish in vaporising until its warmed up a bit, never used to be a problem though.
It's just 10 years since I fitted the LPG/Autogas system and in that time it has behaved excellently, with only th odd problem that was probably due to something else anyway. But now it appears that the OMVL R90 reducer/vaporiser has developed a problem.
The Landy wouldn't start on LPG the other morning so I had to run it on petrol. I tried changing to LPG and it did keep running but it wasn't very smooth. It ran fine on petrol but quickly cut out when changing to LPG. I decided to remove the vaporiser for further investigation.
In the meantime I checked and set the ignition timing to about 2 degrees before TDC. I had thought of checking the valve gaps but time and weather was against me, I will have a go at that later in the summer.
I priced up a new vaporiser and repair kit. The repair kit seemed to be about £30.00 or there abouts, and I coudld get a complete new one for less than £100.00. The repair kit didn't seem to have all the seals and gaskets, mainly the three rubber diaphragms, so I decide to buy a new one.
Fitted the new one on May 4, this seems to have done the trick. It's running on LPG better than it has for years.
I must take the old one apart to see what wear there has been.
Filled up with LPG this morning 14 May 2009 from Calor, will try to keep an accurate check of the fuel consumption from now on, but it is really running well.