Maserati Gran Turismo LPG converted Autogas conversion

Maserati Gran Turismo LPG converted Autogas conversion

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Discussion

AndrewCrown

924 posts

55 months

Thursday 27th July 2017
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Simon...really interesting post and clearly an unusual recipient for your wares ...

As a GT driver...I am intrigued as this conversion increases the range quite considerably...using both tanks...so could one call it an ET :Esteso Turismo.

The flip side being it reduces usable luggage space and room to put stuff one has bought on route...

The key question...does it affect the exhaust note?

Edited by AndrewCrown on Thursday 27th July 00:49

SimonYorkshire

Original Poster:

691 posts

57 months

Thursday 27th July 2017
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jakesmith said:
I'd love to see a picture of that becuase I just can't picture it. I put one case that is slightly larger than a cabin case in the boot and there is little other space. No idea where the pram would go!?
On the roof rack and in the trailer Jake? Yes I'm kidding ;-)

I'm a bit of an outsider here, Andrew, so I wouldn't think fit to ponder change of a vehicle name that others may feel attached to. Anyway, there may be a bit of disbelief if you return from a trip and tell others you've been flying around Europe in ET! My sister and great aunt are/were the language people in our family (aunt 13 languages / Bletchley Park, just as good at maths too)... but I Googled Esteso just in case! The LPG tank does add a lot more range, though. The exhaust note is indistinguishable from running on petrol.

Simon

Murph7355

21,818 posts

197 months

Thursday 27th July 2017
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jakesmith said:
I'd love to see a picture of that becuase I just can't picture it. I put one case that is slightly larger than a cabin case in the boot and there is little other space. No idea where the pram would go!?
Click here

It's not a normal pram, but one which will go in a flight locker smile But the kids love it as much as the big pram they have.

As noted elsewhere on the thread above, two more flight cases fit in front of the pram. And then there are a couple of spaces towards the sides that can take coats/shoes etc.

Edited by Murph7355 on Thursday 27th July 17:25

Murph7355

21,818 posts

197 months

Thursday 27th July 2017
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SimonYorkshire said:
...
I've gone with your questions which my answers paragraphs above hopefully answer, even though I suspect a case of you probably already knowing the gist of answers to your questions but playing devil's advocate a bit ;-)...
Thanks Simon. Appreciate it.

I thought I knew some of the answers, but was worth checking. As noted, it seems a barmy conversion to do on a GT to me. But each to their own smile

Do any LPG tank makers do kits that simply replace the standard fuel tank? Or is the pressure such that that wouldn't work?

SimonYorkshire

Original Poster:

691 posts

57 months

Friday 28th July 2017
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Murph7355 said:
SimonYorkshire said:
...
I've gone with your questions which my answers paragraphs above hopefully answer, even though I suspect a case of you probably already knowing the gist of answers to your questions but playing devil's advocate a bit ;-)...
Thanks Simon. Appreciate it.

I thought I knew some of the answers, but was worth checking. As noted, it seems a barmy conversion to do on a GT to me. But each to their own smile

Do any LPG tank makers do kits that simply replace the standard fuel tank? Or is the pressure such that that wouldn't work?
LPG tanks have to be cylindrical in shape (even a spare wheel toroidal tank design is a twisted cylinder) indeed because they are a pressure vessel (rounded shape is best for strength), petrol tanks are not a pressure vessel so don't have to conform to the same shape restraints - very few modern vehicles have a petrol tank shape that an LPG tank could replace. We wouldn't want to replace the full petrol tank with an LPG tank without fitting another (perhaps smaller) petrol tank anyway, converted vehicles start on petrol when the engine is cold (can be started on LPG but not advisable and best left for an emergency such as if the petrol pump breaks), even if they started on LPG with a cold engine most owners would prefer to keep the ability to run on petrol. For a limited range of mostly 4x4 vehicles smaller petrol tanks are purpose made to allow an LPG tank and the smaller petrol tank to fit in the same space as the original petrol tank.

There isn't a massive amount of pressure in an LPG tank, pressure rises and falls with temperature but even on a summers day pressure might only be around 10bar. LPG tanks aren't like you see in films where someone shoots the tank with a high powered rifle and the tank explodes or shoots off due to the trust of gas escaping from the bullet hole.. I have removed valves from tanks that are full of gas, thus opening a 70mm diameter hole in the full tank! All that happens is gas squirts out very quickly for a few seconds before the flow slows right down and almost stops well before all the gas has emptied - When gas escapes from the tank it has the effect of cooling the tank and when the temperature falls the pressure decreases (low pressure less squirt)... Very soon you can look through the 70mm hole in the tank and see the cold liquid gas, could even pour it between containers as you can with water in this state. LPG isn't to be confused with CNG which is stored as a vapour (not liquid) and at very high pressure, CNG tanks are stronger than LPG tanks but very much heavier. An LPG tank is nothing like a 'bomb in your boot' or 'a bomb mounted under the car' as some people seem to think, they are designed to take crash damage without bursting, can be severely deformed without bursting, and even if they do burst you only have the effect I just described. CNG is a different thing entirely, stored as a very high pressure vapour thus no cooling effect if the tank were to burst and 2000psi pressure means if the tank suffered a one inch hole it would give the tank 2000 pounds of thrust (so if it were not securely mounted it really could take off under it's own thrust, but it still wouldn't explode)! Then again, CNG tanks are even stronger than LPG tanks. Both are very much stronger than petrol tanks. All E67 LPG tanks / fittings feature an over-pressure relief valve that automatically opens to vent gas above pressure of around 40bar, if this opens the gas is vented externally of the vehicle even if the tank is fitted inside the vehicle. If that valve were to fail the tank still wouldn't burst, the tank is designed to stretch at extremely high pressure rather than burst. They all have a thermal fuse which in the event of a fire will open to allow a controlled flow of gas out of the tank, again externally of the vehicle. When you compare all this to a petrol tank, plus the fact that LPG is explosive at a very narrow range of mixtures with air compared to petrol, it is no wonder that insurance firms consider LPG tanks as safer than petrol tanks.

Simon


Edited by SimonYorkshire on Friday 28th July 13:32

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911Thrasher

2,468 posts

140 months

Friday 28th July 2017
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14,000 miles before you break even...only then you might start saving a couple bucks - bonkers!

In all seriousness, if you can't afford the fuel bill for one of those, don't buy one, and i can't even start thinking of where else the owner must be corning corners on that car...servicing maybe?!?

Want to see the face of the mechanics when the owner takes it back to Maserati for its annual service lol.

SimonYorkshire

Original Poster:

691 posts

57 months

Friday 28th July 2017
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911Thrasher said:
14,000 miles before you break even...only then you might start saving a couple bucks - bonkers!

In all seriousness, if you can't afford the fuel bill for one of those, don't buy one, and i can't even start thinking of where else the owner must be corning corners on that car...servicing maybe?!?

Want to see the face of the mechanics when the owner takes it back to Maserati for its annual service lol.
People can accurately see from my figures how much the conversion can save the owner. What they can interpret from those numbers is that in respective terms for every 14000 miles after the first 14000 the owner effectively gets 7000 miles free of any fuel costs. If you think of that as only being 'a few bucks' that's fair enough, but other people will see that as a substantial saving. We could apply the same approach in many subjects such as energy bills for running a house (could be said that preferring to pay a lower energy bill for running a house is the wrong approach, should have bought a smaller house rather than swap energy providers), or in business (don't like paying that supplier's bill, should be in a different business, saving a couple of bucks by switching to a different supplier won't save much)..I am often tasked with converting really powerful / special vehicles, but I am just as often tasked with converting run of the mill vehicles that might achieve 30/40mpg as standard (LPG then makes for 60/80mpg in equivalence running costs) and I don't need to charge as much to convert those vehicles so the payback time is about the same.

Maybe the owner does intend on servicing the car himself at home or getting other than a Maserati dealer to service it for him, I don't know. I can see the arguments about residuals but again if the owner intends keeping the car long enough he might be better off not using Maserati dealers. Just because it's a Maserati doesn't make servicing rocket science so there's different ways of thinking about what 'cutting corners' means in terms of servicing too.

Yes I'd bet Maserati mechanics would/will do a double take when they see the install but none of it will affect their service procedures or even diagnostics when it is switched to run on petrol.

Simon

SimonYorkshire

Original Poster:

691 posts

57 months

Friday 21st September 2018
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Update on this.

The owner of this Maserati swapped it for a Bentley with the W12 engine. The ex owner of the Maserati wants me to convert the Bentley to LPG at some point.

The new owner of the Maserati was impressed with how the vehicle ran identically on LPG compared to running on petrol, still he didn't want the car to have the LPG system fitted when he took possession, so the ex owner had me remove the LPG system.

However, the new owner has since changed his mind and asked the ex owner to have me refit the LPG system.... Which I have just done.

Seems difficult to believe but all true!

Same superb conversion results as last time I converted it.

markiii

1,201 posts

135 months

Thursday 27th September 2018
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how much is an LPG conversion running these days?

pyro225

1 posts

120 months

Monday 13th May
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Hi, any update on this conversion?

I have a couple of questions as a seasoned lpg veteran - are you using a prins or aeb kit or something else?

I currently have a v10 Bmw m6 on lpg I’ve had since 2010 and for the first 6 months it went back and forth to the fitter then he cracked it mainly being such an unusual high revving engine and I’ve so far had 70k miles of cheap lpg running! I’m no fool I knew the servicing costs etc but 70k for the price of 30k is a no brained.

Anyway I am seriously considering one of these and possibly doing this conversion too. I guess I want to as the dread R question... as mention 70k I have the last v10 revision which doesn’t seem as affected by the bearing issue touch wood and have had only a clutch, fuel pump, coils and throttle body actuators in 8 years. How would one of these bad boys compare in terms of reliability if I were to drive it for 70k? Would there just be a pile of bits on the floor? Is Maserati considered main dealer only? I often take my existing one to a local well rated Bmw specialist

jakesmith

3,899 posts

112 months

Tuesday 14th May
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pyro225 said:
Hi, any update on this conversion?

I have a couple of questions as a seasoned lpg veteran - are you using a prins or aeb kit or something else?

I currently have a v10 Bmw m6 on lpg I’ve had since 2010 and for the first 6 months it went back and forth to the fitter then he cracked it mainly being such an unusual high revving engine and I’ve so far had 70k miles of cheap lpg running! I’m no fool I knew the servicing costs etc but 70k for the price of 30k is a no brained.

Anyway I am seriously considering one of these and possibly doing this conversion too. I guess I want to as the dread R question... as mention 70k I have the last v10 revision which doesn’t seem as affected by the bearing issue touch wood and have had only a clutch, fuel pump, coils and throttle body actuators in 8 years. How would one of these bad boys compare in terms of reliability if I were to drive it for 70k? Would there just be a pile of bits on the floor? Is Maserati considered main dealer only? I often take my existing one to a local well rated Bmw specialist
Honestly your questions are related to cars of old, the Granturismo has a good reputation. It has a few weak points as do any cars and is generally as well put together as my 987 / 997 / R8

- Engine number needs to be after a certain one to avoid Variator issue - check online, cars after 2009 were OK if memory serves. If not it's a pricey fix £3k+
- Front wishbone bushings give a supple ride for a heavy car but wear out after 10 years or so, £2.5k all in for new kits on both sides & alignment
- Rocker gasket replacment is about £1k and happens from time to time
- Brakes - EBC Yellow pads & pattern discs from Eurospares are multiples cheaper than the Maserati branded stuff same as any performance cars
- Rust underneith, many exposed parts, Steve from SMDG recomended 2 hours of Dinotol treatment or similar to protect the chassis
- Infotainment is diabolical and only a few places can swap it out as it requires a bespoke module (Auto Audio in Park Royal or that other place that has a lot of Maseratis, name escapes me)

Pork

9,448 posts

175 months

Wednesday 15th May
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Nuvola?

jakesmith

3,899 posts

112 months

Wednesday 15th May
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Pork said:
Nuvola?
That's the fella, Nairman, what a bloody nice bloke he is too

I have to say I have just bought a Smart car as a little runabout to compliment the R8. It was a head decision , I needed a little car to go into London in once a week (40 mile round trip). Needed an auto with leather seats. Really wanted to buy another Granturismo though - just such a fantastic car to own, look at & listen to. Best sounding car ever IMO