2003 GMC K1500 Sierra CNG Conversion
With our extremely mobile society, and increasing fuel costs, many households and businesses are becoming more critical of how much of their budget is being consumed by fuel expenses. Because of the abundance of natural resources here in the United States, including right here in Ohio, natural gas is quickly becoming the alternative fuel of choice for many households and businesses. When compared to gasoline and diesel fuel, natural gas offers the same fuel mileage at nearly ⅓ of the cost.
New natural gas powered vehicles, which are also known as NGVs, are often costly to purchase when there is a significant amount of duty life left in existing gasoline and diesel powered engines. Because of this, older carbureted and fuel injected engines can be retrofitted to allow for the use of natural gas in addition to their current fuel requirements. These bi-fuel capabilities are possible through a CNG conversion process, which was performed on a 2003 ½ ton pickup truck as described below.
Compressed natural gas, which is abbreviated as CNG, is stored in a special DOT approved tank. Because the natural gas is stored in a compressed state, a small tank can provide enough fuel to operate a vehicle for many miles. Although small tanks are more commonly used in cars, SUVs and other types of light passenger vehicles, larger commercial vehicles can often accommodate larger and multiple CNG fuel tanks. Particularly for fleets, which log many miles of travel per year, converting to CNG does offer these businesses an opportunity to significantly reduce their fuel expenses.
Some corporate fleets have already begun the CNG conversion process locally. Businesses such as AT&T, Republic Services and other businesses that travel throughout our communities are already reaping the financial benefits of having a significant portion of their fleet converted to CNG. Whether you own a passenger car or are responsible for an entire fleet of vehicles, Weber Automotive offers CNG conversion services so that you can benefit from significantly reduced transportation expenses as well.
To the left is a picture of one of our latest completed CNG conversions, which was performed on a 2003 GMC K1500 Sierra ½ ton pickup truck. This truck is powered by a 4.8L V8 Vortec engine and is used primarily for local deliveries. As you can tell by the image, the conversion to compressed natural gas has resulted in a very limited footprint inside the engine compartment. In fact, it would be difficult for the average person to even tell that this engine can operate on either CNG or gasoline.
Mounting the CNG tank on this vehicle was easily accomplished by utilizing the space within the truck’s bed, as is pictured to the right. With the CNG tank mounted directly behind the cab, plenty of cargo space still exists for the vehicle’s owner to transport goods. And with a remote fill connection, with the lines properly secured underneath the vehicle, there are no wires or lines exposed that would cause obstructions when the bed is in use.
Refueling this bi-fuel vehicle is easily accomplished by using the vehicle’s original fuel door. As displayed in the image to the left, this conversion made use of the space behind the fuel door to give the vehicle owner a standardized location to refuel their vehicle with either CNG or gasoline. Because each vehicle is designed differently, the refueling location may vary. However, we make every attempt to give our CNG conversion customers the most convenient access to refueling their bi-fuel vehicle as possible.
The CNG conversion pictured on this page was accomplished with the use of a CNG United conversion kit. The kit included the fuel line, injectors, wiring and Zenit Pro electronic control unit (ECU). The ECU is programmable and the new CNG fuel delivery system was fine tuned to provide for a sufficient air/fuel mixture at all RPM ranges, including at idle. The cost for this CNG conversion, which included the kit, tank, installation and tuning, was $7,900.00. Considering that this vehicle is used for local deliveries, and is expected to log many miles of yearly use, the fuel savings will offset the cost of the CNG conversion in just a few short years. Not only will the vehicle owner benefit from lower fuel costs in the coming years, but the emissions produced from burning CNG are much cleaner than gasoline and exceeds the Ohio EPA’s environmental standards.
As the first automotive repair and maintenance facility in North Olmsted to offer CNG conversions, we encourage you to contact us today to learn more about the benefits of compressed natural gas and to discuss how retrofitting your existing vehicle or fleet can dramatically reduce your transportation costs.
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