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Author Topic: Propane/butane for H and M. Anybody done it?  (Read 149 times)

Adirondack Jack

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Propane/butane for H and M. Anybody done it?
« on: November 05, 2020, 05:26:50 pm »
Just pondering the possibilities. The small engine conversions  for lawn mower sized engines seem to do well, burning extremely clean, both internally and exhaust. I’m mindful of how bulletproof the old 5000 lb forklift we had in the shop was years ago. Literally just gas and go for years at a time.

Has anyone played with propane or butane in a hit and miss?  It would seem to me the fuel part is pretty easy, either by directly introducing propane into the mixer, or using a torch type Venturi mixer to inject fuel mix. The stumbling block would be some method of oiling the top end. I almost think that for as little oil as the top end needs, I might want to try some sort of drip oiler dripping directly onto the intake valve stem on the top of the vertical cylinder.  There would appear to be plenty enough clearance to allow oil to wick down the valve stem into the intake.

I’m also daydreaming about running the in-line four I have ordered on propane or butane . That one is pressure lubed, no oil in the gas, so it’ll be easier.

tony1951

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Re: Propane/butane for H and M. Anybody done it?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2020, 02:09:52 am »
I'd have thought that the intermittent firing pattern of the hit and miss engine might lead to issues of butane building up in the intake system, though careful adjustment might smooth that out. You would also need to be careful about the stuff leaking into the air, say if you were distracted by a phone call or a visitor while running, which it is much more likely to do than liquid fuels. There is an explosive risk obviously with gas escaping.

Personally, i think the way these small engines handle ordinary petrol is very convenient and sort of 'correct' to type - they are models of the once very common farm engines after all which the vast majority of worked that way. I know some oilfield engines of the period burned well gas, so you could justify that if you wanted to replicate that type of usage.

Raphael

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Re: Propane/butane for H and M. Anybody done it?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2020, 10:16:20 am »
Bonjour,
I have found this example, it seems very sensitive to settings for a large engine, what would it be for a small one ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CglWYuKj0xE
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PatJ

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Re: Propane/butane for H and M. Anybody done it?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2020, 11:44:44 am »
Running small IC engines from propane or butane is common from what I have seen.
They use a valve in the carb that lifts off during intake for air intake, and at the same time uncovers the propane orifices.

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Alan

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Re: Propane/butane for H and M. Anybody done it?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2020, 12:34:39 pm »
Hi
On the Regular Stuff : "For sale" there is a nice hot bulb ignition (with propane) model engine and a video.
I have also the same in red and it's runing very good.

https://www.officeofsteamforum.com/classifieds-for-sale/hot-tube-ignition-engine/

https://www.youtube.com/c/GasKraftMaschine/featured

Adirondack Jack

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Re: Propane/butane for H and M. Anybody done it?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2020, 04:01:36 pm »
It does seem there are varying schemes. I once knew a fellow who drove a Model A Ford truck converted to propane. He cobbled together a demand regulator that was operated by manifold vacuum to admit propane straight into the carb throat. The truck ran well, driven almost daily in the snow free months as late as the mid or late 80s.

I’ve seen the video linked above. The hot bulb engine and essentially a stove type mixer to push propane into the inlet. I think the stove type mixer might be fine for constant speed, constant load applications.  The propane would be controlled just as a stove burner or propane torch is.

The demand regulator used on conversions of carburetor engines seems the better route for varying speed and load as one might have with a leaf blower or generator. Just pondering.  I have a small hobby type propane torch. It’s the kind with a hose from the bottle top valve to a pencil style torch with the air mixer.  A bit of brass tube from the torch head to the mixer inlet on a hit and miss wouldn’t be difficult to cobble together. In theory one could even cobble up a hybrid that started on petrol, before opening the gas valve and closing the petrol needle at the mixer.
Alternatively the petrol needle might be useable as an oil injector if running on propane.

tony1951

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Re: Propane/butane for H and M. Anybody done it?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2020, 03:20:51 am »
Running small IC engines from propane or butane is common from what I have seen.
They use a valve in the carb that lifts off during intake for air intake, and at the same time uncovers the propane orifices.

Thanks for the information. I was wrong - as you fellows have made clear, lots of models run on gas.

Adirondack Jack

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Re: Propane/butane for H and M. Anybody done it?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2020, 03:32:44 pm »
Though i of course forgot to bookmark it, I saw a video the other night taken at a model engine show. There were several engines running that the camera just panned past, all hooked up to butane. In at least one instance there were three small hit and miss engines running off a single butane bottle, using a camp stove control and tees in the line. It sure looked like they simply hooked the butane up to the normal fuel nipple on the mixers, perhaps fine tuning individual engines with the needle valves.   
I dug out the Bernz o matic pencil torch today.  I’ll scare up a propane bottle and do an experiment or three.

Raphael

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Re: Propane/butane for H and M. Anybody done it?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2020, 10:55:37 am »
Bonjour,
Little question, how do you oil an engine if fired with butane/propane instead of fuel ?
Raphaël, Membre du Modèle Yacht Club de Paris : http://mycparis.fr/
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Adirondack Jack

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Re: Propane/butane for H and M. Anybody done it?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2020, 02:09:55 pm »
That’s the tricky part. I’m not exactly sure how they’d go about it. A drip oiler with very light oil such as marvel into the intake ought to work, but I’ve not done it.
I was intrigued by the video of the engine show. Several men sitting around as their many engines were running indoors, the butane cans attached through a stove control valve to ordinary fuel tubing.  As with forklifts used in warehouses, gas instead of petrol is far less harmful. No worse to breathe perhaps from a small hit and miss as well have,  than the pilot light on a kitchen gas stove.

 

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