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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > TDI Power Enhancements

TDI Power Enhancements Discussions about increasing the power of your TDI engine. i.e. chips, injectors, powerboxes, clutches, etc. Handling, suspensions, wheels, type discussion should be put into the "Upgrades (non TDI Engine related)" forum. Non TDI vehicle related postings will be moved or removed. Please note the Performance Disclaimer.

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Old April 18th, 2016, 20:23   #1
Smokin Joe
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Default Anyone tried propane fumigation/injection on a TDI?

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has set up their TDI to breathe supplemental propane. I'm looking into this and want to see if it's worth it. Company called EcoDiesel makes an electronic, computer controlled and programmable unit, but the cost is $2300+. Then there is the Powershot 2000 for around $800.00. Its not nearly as sophisticated as the EcoDiesel, but from reviews I've been able to find, guys seems satisfied with it.

Be interested in hearing from anyone with hands-on experience.

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Old April 18th, 2016, 20:58   #2
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What is your goal with supplemental propane?

I've ran it in other diesel engines before, but not a TDI. It didn't end well.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 21:02   #3
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The goal is improved fuel economy---but I wouldn't object to a little more power on an "as needed" basis. Curious in what manner "it did not end well" in your non-TDI applications?
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Old April 18th, 2016, 21:20   #4
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Ran on it's own, self ignition with no timing, horrible diesel knock, etc - ended up with a blown head gasket and it actually broke the head off one of the head bolts.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 21:29   #5
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That's what scares me a little about the less expensive (cheap?) version (Powershot 2000). The EcoDiesel is electronic, redundant, laptop computer programmable and monitors numerous engine parameters in determining how much propane to meter. The Powershot just meters based on boost and a simple spring loaded metering/valving system. However, the Powershot web site has a video with a functional display (using compressed air). If the display is representative of how the system works with propane, the changes in metering appear pretty instantaneous and precise in response to changes in boost pressure. However, the criticism of the EcoDiesel people is that boost pressure does not tell the whole story of how much propane to inject. They seemed to scoff at the idea that an increase in boost pressure should result in an increase in amount of propane injected.

Would love to hear from others who have tried out propane fumigation.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 21:46   #6
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Mine was a grill tank in the backseat with a hose up to the air cleaner and me reaching back and turning it on (a little bit at a time) . Yes, it was stupid.

So, what will tell the ECU in your Beetle to reduce diesel fueling when you've added propane to the mix so you can reduce diesel consumption? I seem to remember researching this in my IC engines class and it was only slightly different than diesel in terms of Air/fuel ratio, etc and it's autoignition temperature was less so there's not really any control over the ignition timing so in a turbocharged application, the more boost you have the earlier the mixture will ignite. Propane can be less expensive than diesel for fuel costs, but even at $800 for one of the kits you mention, you'd have to save 400 gallons/20k miles worth of fuel just to break even on the system itself, not to mention the cost of the propane as well. Even if you were to double your diesel MPG's, it would take you 40k miles + propane costs to break even. No maintenance, no time spent, no problems, etc.

Not trying to discourage you, just want to make sure you're aware of what it will cost to gain a few MPG's.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 22:34   #7
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You make a very valid point on cost: is it even worth the cost, especially on a TDI. I could see it on a big diesel, but the fuel consumption of the VW is so low that it would take a lot of driving to recoup the investment.

As far as mixture ratio, I had the same question: how does the engine know to reduce the amount of diesel injected. The answer I got was more power at lower RPM means less throttle which equals less fuel. Not sure I buy that. My New Beetle with the DSG lugs pretty constant on the RPMs, even pulling a decent grade. Now, the engine is probably getting more fuel because of more boost (when pulling a grade) even if RPMs are constant, but I'm not sure I'm seeing how the engine fuel consumption is being reduced. They do say that you get close to a 100% fuel burn (of the diesel) with propane, as opposed to only about 75% without which is supposed to increase efficiency. But how does the engine get this feedback (increased fuel burn and thus power) so as to reduce fuel fed to the injectors?

Last edited by Smokin Joe; April 18th, 2016 at 22:43.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 22:52   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin Joe View Post
They do say that you get close to a 100% fuel burn (of the diesel) with propane, as opposed to only about 75% without which is supposed to increase efficiency.
Smells like BS

As to the "engine knowing about the fuel added" diesels are throttled by fuel input, and the idle is governed. Put in false fuel and the governor (or your right foot) will see raised RPMs and decrease metered fueling to reduce engine output back to the desired range.
Learn how a diesel works before you start thinking about changing it up too much.
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Old April 19th, 2016, 00:13   #9
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The folks at EcoDiesel say that fuel economy improvement from introducing propane (and thus causing a more complete burn of the diesel charge) is 10%. They call it the "fudge factor".
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Old April 19th, 2016, 01:20   #10
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Youre better of with a eco ecu tune
Problem with propane iTS hard to controle and can make a lot of damaga
Maybe try w/m and see how That affect mpg
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Old April 19th, 2016, 04:46   #11
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You'll need to do a lot of driving in order to reclaim that $2300...
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Old April 19th, 2016, 05:32   #12
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I see this a fair bit on Cummins trucks in various online places.
Ignoring the efficiency side and properly measured or just dumped in (again maybe increase fuel from map/nozzles/evry etc...) how much of a performance gain is seem from this?

Fix until broke - until it broke how did you find it? Not looking to do this myself but always interested to hear on results as the potato cam videos on youtube pointed whilst at the dash whilst driving with the other with no basis from comparison give little context.
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Old April 19th, 2016, 06:00   #13
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I tried it many moons ago - I even forget the brand used, but in the end the fact I was lugging a huge tank around outweighed the performance / economy benefits, so it was all ripped out and I ended up going down the nozzles route for enhanced fuelling, and having the car about 50kg lighter.
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Old April 19th, 2016, 06:11   #14
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Taking into consideration loss of cabin space and added complexity make propane/CNG systems impractical for your average automobile. Heavy trucking, earth moving or container ships? Sure!
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Old April 19th, 2016, 07:09   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devonutopia View Post
I tried it many moons ago - I even forget the brand used, but in the end the fact I was lugging a huge tank around outweighed the performance / economy benefits, so it was all ripped out and I ended up going down the nozzles route for enhanced fuelling, and having the car about 50kg lighter.
Jason:

I saw your youtube vid on your propane fumigation system. You're exactly the guy I was hoping to hear from. Sounds like the costs exceeded the benefits for you. Do you recall how large was your propane tank? Lastly, what nozzle tweaks did you use to improve fuel economy.

Thanks,

Smokin Joe
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