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Reader Question: Natural Gas Conversion Kits

By December 28, 2007

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Thanks to our many readers for providing continued food for thought during this last week of 2007--here's another question we received:

Ken wrote:"Please tell me where I may find info about natural gas conversion kits for automobiles. Who and where are they located? What is the approximate cost for a vehicle? Thank you ..."

Hi Ken,

Good question. Since most manufacturers offer choices only for fleets, and the Honda Civic GX is the only available production car in the United States, a conversion will give you more vehicle choices--and we are actually working on a series of articles on conversions that will help to answer your questions. In the meantime, we'll direct you to the websites of several companies that do CNG (compressed natural gas) conversions. And as you probably know, using CNG is an efficient fueling option that gives you the flexibility to fill up right in your own garage as well. As far as cost, it can range anywhere from one to several thousand dollars, depending on the vehicle you choose to convert.

This resource locator has links to different conversion companies across the U.S. and Canada. And here are some photos of Phill, the home refueling appliance, as well as the homepage for FuelMaker, the manufacturer of Phill.

Thanks for writing--and please stay in touch. Let us know if you do decide to do a conversion, and we'd love a photo or email that we could share with our readers when you do decide!
June 21, 2008 at 9:24 pm
(1) wgwright2 says:

Fuelmaker offers an in-home refueling option. Mycngkit.com offers conversion kits. Natural gas is plentiful and available in most states. It is cheaper and cleaner than gasoline. With the existing home infrastructure, this could potentially convert 5% of US cars to CNG over the next 5 years. Completely domestic. Why is this not being pushed more?

June 22, 2008 at 4:21 am
(2) joe says:

thanks wgwright for giving the website mycngkit.com I have to say the ones who wrote the post should be more informed should look in to where we can get kits you know in Argentina they have been installing cng since 1992 my friend was installing them for $200 to $ 500 and shops were set up all over buenos aires why cant we do it here I know bureaucracy

June 30, 2008 at 2:48 pm
(3) alternativefuels says:

Hey, you guys are right–interest sure is beginning to build in compressed natural gas again. There are a few conversion companies around, but it’s still a very small market. Interest has certainly increased because of fuel prices–not that many years ago, cng didn’t offer the price advantage that it does now. Of course, with this renewed interest and demand, there is a lag time until supply catches up. If the demand continues, markets to supply it will develop.

As we become aware of new conversion companies, we’ll keep updating our site–thanks for the heads-up on mycngkit.com–we’ll add it to an article that we’re working on now.

July 5, 2008 at 11:25 am
(4) Chris says:

mycnkit.com is totally a non-functioning site. Don’t even bother they have some whine on there about how nothing is their fault.
What is that about?

July 8, 2008 at 10:38 am
(5) Tim says:

Chris – you might want to try: mycngkit.com and not mycnkit.com.

July 13, 2008 at 7:00 pm
(6) Dirkasaurus-Rex says:
July 17, 2008 at 5:46 pm
(7) Energy Resource says:

There is a company in Utah that I know about that is currently putting mechanics through training on how to become certified to complete the conversions. Take a look at the tax benefits as well, depending on the car you may receive between 3-5K.

July 23, 2008 at 10:39 pm
(8) Bob says:

I want to pay some one to convert my 08 chevy
vortec v-8 to cng whats the worst case s and best case s?
has any body done it?
who do I call?
where do I get the gas?
can I compress it my self?

July 25, 2008 at 9:18 am
(9) Christine & Scott says:

The worst case scenario would be either that this truck/engine isn’t able to be converted to CNG (which is unlikely), or that an adequate supply of CNG filling stations don’t exist in your usual traveling domain. In other words, you couldn’t go to all the places you normally need to go and/or find fuel when you need it. The best case scenario? We say it would be just the opposite of above … a CNG-powered truck with the added bonus of clean and inexpensive fill-ups.

As far as anybody else doing this, we don’t know of anyone who has converted a 2008 Chevrolet Vortec V-8, but we’d be surprised if there would be a problem having it done. It’s a fairly basic engine design. One potential hoop to jump through would be emissions certification for your particular state. They may require special conditions since you’d be changing the vehicles “engineered” fuel type. They all differ, and some are easier to work with than others. The U.S. Department of Energy offers this information: http://www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/conversions.html#certification and CSA America offers a searchable database of compressed natural gas cylinder inspectors: http://webext.csa.ca/cng/cngmain.asp

We are currently working on compiling a resource list of CNG conversion companies–however, in the meantime, here are two others that sell CNG conversion kits: http://www.cngoutfitters.com/ and http://ewsews.com/cnghome.html. And this alt fuel station finder includes pricing for the U.S.: http://www.altfuelprices.com

As far as compressing it yourself, if you have natural gas in your home, you could install a Phill home refueling appliance. These devices compress and dispense a tank of fuel in about 8 hours. They are meant to be attached overnight, delivering a full fill-up by morning: http://www.myphill.com/

Although we have no experience with this company, they do state that gas can be compressed by having a cng compressor installed at your house for $4,500: http://ewsews.com/cngfaq.html

July 29, 2008 at 12:09 pm
(10) Max Walters says:

There was a post above that mentioned the company in Utah that does conversions. I finally found out which one it is: cngoutfitters.com. They sell Galileo kits, tanks, and also install. They seem to have the best supply right now and most reputable. Galileo shut down mycngkit for the US distributor and gave it to cngoutfitters.com. Hope this helps . . .

August 11, 2008 at 9:18 pm
(11) mike says:

Has anyone gotten any feedback on the hydrogengenerator sold at hydrogengenerator.com?

September 3, 2008 at 12:17 pm
(12) Bill says:

This is a new company to the web that has good kits and tanks available for converting your vehicle to natural gas. Looks like a good company and you can order the kits and tanks right on line with a credit card. http://www.allthingscng.com/cart/

September 4, 2008 at 4:24 pm
(13) Dr. Hans J. Kugler, PhD says:

Did you know that the PICKENS PLAN (freeing natural gas by making electricity with wind turbines, and converting cars & truck to natural gas)WILL NOT ONLY REDUCE OUR ($ 700 billion) oil imports by close to 1/2 ($ 300 billion) BUT WOULD ALSO REDUCE THE CO2 BURDEN ON THE ENVIRONMENT BY 120 billion gallons of CO2 gas per day?
See the calculations – - and much more about EVs, photovoltaics, electric motorcycles, environmental factors that affect your health and longevity – - at http://www.antiagingforme.com and the web-site quoted.

September 10, 2008 at 11:53 pm
(14) wgrubel says:

cngoutfitters may be the only people doing cng conversions, but I have been on their list for 3 months & still can’t get installed. Does anyone know what’s cookin with them? They’ve been pretty good about giving out info and very willing to explain the whole system, but 3 months is a long time. Lately (the last couple of weeks) they’re not answering their phone & the mailbox is full.

September 18, 2008 at 1:53 am
(15) John Merritt says:

I am looking for a conversion kit to buy and or a shop to do the conversion in the los Angeles area.
Can you help me locate either one or both?
call me if you can
of 310 316 2730 or cell 310 977 9295
P/S ..
I just love the technology and would like to try it if not too expensive to get started.

October 20, 2008 at 9:49 am
(16) Nick says:

In the meanwhile, there are always hydrogen generators at http://www.HHOtube.com that can help get an extra 100+ to a tank. Check them out at http://www.HHOtube.com

October 25, 2008 at 10:55 am
(17) White says:

We are looking for a certified shop that can convert our RAV4 for Natural Gas.
Either in St. George, Utah, Cedar City, Utah or somewhere close to these areas.

November 30, 2008 at 10:46 pm
(18) Paul Sandhofer says:

Any experienced auto mechanic can convert a gasoline powered car to a dual fuel vehicle. The following steps are required:
1. Purchase a natural gas carburetor from Empco. They sell a replacement air cleaner that has a built-in natural gas carburetor.
2. For supplying natural gas to the vehicle four items are required:
a. 4,000 psi high pressure tank (one standard oxygen tank, each tank equals approximately one gallon of gasoline)
b. High pressure 12 volt shut off valve for turning off the natural gas.
c. High pressure reducing valve, reduce the 3,000 psi natural gas to 100 psi
d. Low pressure reducing valve, reduct the 100 psi natural gas to 6 inches of water (an estimated pressure)
3. Fuel shut off valve for shutting off the fuel when running on natural gas.
4. Circuit breaker for powering a single pole double throw switch for switching between the fuels.
5. Scuba diving air compressor to compress the natural from 6 inches of water to 3,000 psi.
6. Electrical circuit to shut off the compressor when the natural gas bottle is filled to capacity.
7. Piping, wiring, tubing, hoses required for instalation.

A parallel system was used on a pickup truck using propane for a number of years. The system was deactiated when the price of propane was higher than gasoline. The only reason that a pickup is not running on natural gas is the cost of a scuba compressor. I have been watching EBAY for a reasonable price to have me running on naturla gas.

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