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Earliest Factory Propane Options? #1298506 Mon Feb 11 2019 04:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 142
S
Spartan Offline OP
Shop Shark
Hi All,

I wasn't exactly sure where to post this and I did use the search "propane" before posting to see if I could easily find this info.

Basically I just purchased a 59 Spartan 100 and it is set up for propane. I have had propane rigs before so this wasn't an issue for me, but I was reading some articles about the history of propane and they stated that Chevy had a few factory offerings in the 1950's for propane engines. The article didn't say anymore or less than that. I was wondering if anyone can confirm or disprove this. I would love to find out that this truck I got was factory propane but I am certain that isn't the case.

Were there factory options? If so what motors/years/vehicles?

Thanks,

Spartan


Hoka Hey!
Spartan

1959 Chevy Spartan 100 "Battle Wagon"
2008 Buell Lightning "War Horse"
Re: Earliest Factory Propane Options? [Re: Spartan] #1298658 Tue Feb 12 2019 05:46 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 142
S
Spartan Offline OP
Shop Shark
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this isn't a topic of interest. Perhaps there is a more appropriate forum to ask this question?


Hoka Hey!
Spartan

1959 Chevy Spartan 100 "Battle Wagon"
2008 Buell Lightning "War Horse"
Re: Earliest Factory Propane Options? [Re: Spartan] #1298664 Tue Feb 12 2019 06:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 459
D
Dragsix Offline
Shop Shark
I know very little about the propane offerings so it would be a topic of interest for me at least.


Mike
Re: Earliest Factory Propane Options? [Re: Spartan] #1298665 Tue Feb 12 2019 06:19 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,323
tclederman Offline
Boltergeist
I'd guess this is the right place?

However, there might not be many members with first-hand experience.

My local propane gas man has an Advance-Design pickup with a V8 engine in it and it is powered by propane or gasoline (just turn a few levers/volves for a switch). He lives about 30 miles from me, so I have not studied how he accomplishes this. His truck also has an IFS.

He uses the truck as his standard work-vehicle.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 48 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler.
Re: Earliest Factory Propane Options? [Re: Spartan] #1298668 Tue Feb 12 2019 06:31 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 1,594
B
beltfed Offline
Shop Shark
You might ask your question over on the AACA forum. Those guys go back to the brass era and have an interest in odd stuff about cars. I have read during hard times like WWII, some British cars were run on such things as gas off chicken manure. Hmmm, methane propane, move a couple of carbon and hydrogen atoms around and you got it.

Last edited by beltfed; Tue Feb 12 2019 06:35 PM. Reason: Spelling

Six volt guy living in a twelve volt world
Re: Earliest Factory Propane Options? [Re: Spartan] #1298673 Tue Feb 12 2019 06:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,602
F
Frank50 Offline
Shop Shark
Farm tractor manufacturers built propane fueled tractors in the 50s and 60s that I know of. My grandpa ran his 1962 Ford C-600 COE truck on propane for a few years, eventually converting it back to gasoline. I know nothing of the details. I would guess that most propane fueled vehicles were aftermarket conversions done by custom shops and propane retailers. In the gallery is a 65 or 66 Chevy pickup with a dual-fuel system. You'll have to look for it. I don't think that person is active on these forums.

Re: Earliest Factory Propane Options? [Re: Spartan] #1298709 Tue Feb 12 2019 10:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 142
S
Spartan Offline OP
Shop Shark
Thanks for the responses guys. I was mostly just curious about factory options.

Dual fuel systems cool but if they aren't set up correctly then you'll lose power on either propane or gas.

I will have to pop over to the AACA forum (whatever that is haha) and ask them.

Spartan


Hoka Hey!
Spartan

1959 Chevy Spartan 100 "Battle Wagon"
2008 Buell Lightning "War Horse"
Re: Earliest Factory Propane Options? [Re: Spartan] #1299044 Fri Feb 15 2019 04:22 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,817
M
Mike B Offline
Shop Shark
I'm pretty sure Chevrolet never made a production vehicle (car or truck) that ran on propane. None of my parts books list any parts that would be needed like fuel tanks or fuel gauges...so it has to be aftermarket.

Mike B smile

Re: Earliest Factory Propane Options? [Re: Spartan] #1299048 Fri Feb 15 2019 05:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 18,843
H
Hotrod Lincoln Online
Boltergeist
I worked for a sand and gravel company in California in the 1970's that ran all its "gasoline" vehicles on LP gas. If it was not Diesel powered, it ran LP. The conversion is fairly straightforward- - - -install a high pressure fuel tank, run liquid LP to an evaporator chamber that turns the liquid into a gas with hot coolant, and pipe the vapor to a throttle body or a gasoline carburetor with a cutoff valve in the gasoline line, if you want dual-fuel capability. Since the LP displaces a certain volume of air as it passes through the throttle valve, the engine loses at least 10% of its power when running LP, compared to gasoline. "Propane" is actually a misnomer, as most LP gas is a Propane/Butane mixture with a variable percentage depending on the weather. Butane produces more BTU's than Propane, but it "freezes" (becomes liquid) at 32 degrees F. "Winter" mix LP contains a higher percentage of the more volatile Propane, which evaporates at -70 degrees F. or so, but doesn't have the energy output of Butane.

I've never seen a "factory" LP gas system on a car or truck- - - -we did all the vehicle conversions with aftermarket adapter kits. Some farm equipment and a lot of forklifts and other industrial equipment are set up for LP from the factory. The company I worked for also had its own LP gas refueling pump, and a 1,000 gallon LP storage tank.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Earliest Factory Propane Options? [Re: Spartan] #1299053 Fri Feb 15 2019 05:41 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,645
D
delux54panel Offline
Shop Shark
In the late 60s we had an "old" carloader 4cyl forklift that ran off propane. Max lift height was 6ft. Very clean burning in a small area and always started right up.
Kind of a worthless chunk,, but it served the purpose in our small shop. Plus, at that time we were the only ones in the old Yuba Mfg. complex with a forklift, so the side money was pretty good.

It had one of those long, narrow 6 (or 8volt) batteries , Cadillac type.


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