BMW Diesels - Lets talk Propane

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  1. BMW Diesels - Lets talk Propane 
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    Now for those who don't know, propane is the mother of diesel tuning.

    Essentially, Propane acts as a catalyst when combined with diesel fuel. When propane is added to diesel fuel, almost 100% of the fuel is burned (as opposed to approximately 75% without propane injection) which is what gives you the "powershot" of torque, horsepower and fuel economy.

    Normally (especially with older diesel cars that you see smoking alot), a large proportion of diesel fuel is unburnt in the combustion chamber as the temperature around the outside is not high enough for the diesel to combust. The remaining fuel is wasted and expelled through exhaust.

    It is cheap, usually easy to install, and unlike N2O thanks to its nature, it improves fuel economy rather than ruining it. And another massive plus, it breaks down any carbon build up in your engine.

    I did a quick search and nothing came up here. I know the BMW engine bays are fairly full as a rule, so obviously this makes things difficult. But has anyone heard of anyone doing it in a relatively new BMW (E36+) before? Google brings up nothing and I'm sure alot of people have never even heard of it, but I thought it'd be worth a try.
     
     

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    I've heard of it but never read of anyone doing it to a BMW. Think I'll have a look again later!

    Ian
     
     

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    Anyone any info? Perhaps some of the pro tuning companies?
     
     

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    That's something I've not heard of.
    For one, it can not act as a catalyst, as a catalyst encourages a reaction, but is not used up during the reaction. An example is the catalytic converter on an exhaust which acts as an intermediate step in a reaction, but does not get used at the same time.
    Diesel tuning is usually very simple, under most cases, the engine power is governed by the amount of fuel in an excess of air, and more power can be attained by simply adding more fuel to the already oversaturated air mix.
    Adding propane gas into the mix suggests the propane is also used as a secondary fuel ignited by the burning diesel.
    This means it can only work as a secondary fuel when diesel is being used to start the burn.
    It will be the equivalent of adding more diesel, but unlike petrol based LPG conversions, it is not able to operate on it's own as the sole fuel.
     
     

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    Ian S (08-08-2010)

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    It's not being used as a catalyst.

    Here's a bit more information on it www.mrsharkey.com/lpg.htm, looks like the process is referred to as LPG fumigation.

    Ian
     
     

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    Great article there.
    It does look like something that could work pretty well.
     
     

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    Apologies, a little rushed when I posted it, catalyst was a poor choice of word. Yes it is used as a secondary fuel, but most of the gains come more from the increased diesel burn rather than the actual burn of the propane itself.
     
     

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    Did you get any further with your research?
    Remember..... The brussels sprout is the fruit of the bonzai cabbage tree!
     
     

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    Excuse the resurrection but here is my 2 bobs worth lol. Modern diesels measure fairly accurately the fuel quantity they inject they run lean in order to prevent producing black smoke to keep in line with whatever euro regulations apply. Propane has a high autoignition temperature resistance in that it resists the head caused by compression in a diesel cylinder (over 350c I'm sure) this means that the propane can be plumbed into the air intake which will have the added benefit of evaporative cooling. Now with the excess of air in the cylinder the propane uses this air to burn which may be useful if you can't get a remap for your vehicle. So in theory you could run a larger turbo with propane injection for a great power boost. Also water methanol can be used along side as a pre-spool boost which also has a steam cleaning effect on the intake tract.
     
     

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    I've been using propane for many years on Diesel engines as a way to enrich the fuelling when adding nos

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