2014 - Volume #38, Issue #6, Page #15[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
“Best Buy” Ford F-150 Runs On Propane Or Gas
Edwards bought the longbed pickup new in 1978, equipped with a 302 cu. in., V-8 carbureted gas engine and 4-speed manual transmission. The next year he had Impco in Fort Worth, Texas (ph 714 656-1200; www.impco.ws) convert the engine to run on propane as well as gas. “My father-in-law loaned me $1,100 to to make the conversion,” says Edwards.
The conversion included an 80-gal. propane tank mounted in the pickup bed, and a propane injector and water vapor unit mounted on the 2-barrel carburetor. A hose runs from the tank up to a regulator.
“I paid $5,600 for the pickup new in 1978, which was the last year Ford F-150’s could be operated on regular leaded gas,” says Edwards. “At the time, propane cost about 35 cents per gal., and it still costs only about $2 per gal. today. So we run it on propane most of the time.”
He says the propane conversion has paid for itself many times over. “Running on propane, it gets 12 miles per gal. in town and 14 miles per gal. on the highway. The driver just flips a switch to go from gas to propane. With propane you lose a little power, so sometimes the engine will slow down a little going uphill.”
Last November his mechanic completely overhauled the engine, putting in new rings and valves and timing chains. He also re-bored the cylinders and replaced the camshaft.
“I change the oil every 3,000 miles, even though I could go longer than that because most of the time I’m running on propane,” says Edwards.
The pickup has survived 2 accidents. “My wife rolled the pickup over in 1981, but four guys got out alongside the highway and flipped the vehicle back on its wheels. She was able to drive it several more miles that day.”
The propane tank helped Edwards avoid serious injury last year when he was involved in another accident. “I had stopped at a traffic light when someone going 55 mph hit me from behind. Fortunately, the propane tank was full and the weight helped keep the pickup from twisting around and rolling over.”
The impact tore off the pickup’s bumper and the right side of the bed, and bent part of the tailgate but he fixed everything up. “I put new headlights on and had the pickup repainted. Now everyone who sees it loves it,” says Edwards.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Steve Edwards, 4513 Garden View Dr., Granbury, Texas 76049 (ph 817 326-2473).
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