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scott12180

Propane or LPG in a Stanley?

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Hi --- Has anyone ever or recently been running LP gas for fuel in a Stanley?

It seems that with all of the challenges of using kerosene or a gasoline/diesel mixture, a natural alternative would be LP (propane) gas or similar. Clean, reliable, no residue. . .

Anyone ever give it a try? If not, why not??

--Scott

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in a steam xorum there was quite a lot said about using lp gas as a fuel .seems as though many people had very bad out comes with it's use including many fires with lots of pople hurt and some where killed

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I wish I could remember the details, but it seems there was a gentleman in California several years ago that had converted his non-condensing Stanley to LP. There was a leak, the car caught fire, he was killed and several of his passengers were severely burned. Again, I can't remember the details.

Jim Showers

1921 Stanley 735B

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I wish I could remember the details, but it seems there was a gentleman in California several years ago that had converted his non-condensing Stanley to LP. There was a leak, the car caught fire, he was killed and several of his passengers were severely burned. Again, I can't remember the details.

Jim Showers

1921 Stanley 735B

Got this on line:

1gal. Propane = 91600 BTUs

1gal. Kerosene = 135000 BTUs

To heat 1,000,000 BTUs it would cost:

10.91 gals of Propane x (price per gal) = Cost (to heat 1mil btu)

7.4 gals of kerosene x (price per gal) = Cost (to heat 1mil btu)

Remember this is at 100% efficiency.

If you are working with something less efficient you must multiply the fuel btu by the efficiency.

For example:

Propane Furnace that is 80% efficient.

1,000,000 / (91600 x .8) = 13.6 gals

13.6 gals x (price per gal) = Cost (to heat 1mil btu)

Kerosene furnace that is 60% efficient.

1,000,000 / (135,000 x .6) = 12.3 gals

12.3 gals x (price per gal) = Cost (to heat 1mil btu)

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There has been one significant propane-related fire in a Stanley. I haven't heard of any others, large or small.

In 1969, the owner of 1917 Stanley Model 728 #17292 (see Stanley Register Online - 1917 ) took it to a parade at Knott's Berry Farm. He had converted the pilot to run on propane. A witness observed him fill a spare tank that morning, failing to follow proper practice with propane tanks. The spare tank was placed on the floor in the rear seat area. As the day warmed, the spare tank released propane into the rear seat area. Since propane is heavier than air, it collected in the well between the front and rear seats. A passenger lit a cigarette and caused a rapid and violent fire. There were fatalities, including the owner. The car was driven from the scene. Knott's Berry Farm permanently banned the presence of steam cars on their property.

This incident caused considerable debate in steam car circles about the use of propane. 40+ years later, some insist that propane should not be used in a steam car for any purpose. However, many steam car operators use propane pilots today; they tend to be more reliable than vaporizing pilots. And such discussions generally fail to note the long-term successful use of propane as a vehicle fuel inside buildings (forklifts).

Every liquid or gaseous fuel carries significant hazards. When each is handled with the correct care, it serves without harming.

Practically speaking, using propane for the main burner would probably be unsatisfactory. 1) Its energy density is lower, as pointed out by the previous poster, so more gallons, and thus more weight, would have to be carried to travel the same number of miles. 2) It requires a heavy steel tank, which would be challenging to locate on the car and add even more weight, reducing fuel mileage further. 3) It could be difficult to find propane refueling service during extended tours. Although I have to admit it's getting harder to find kerosene these days.

Kelly

P.S. ligurian, is that a Model F you're building? Looks nice...

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The only place i see kero now is in small plastic bottles in the big box hardware stores. A discussion with a boiler engineer will reveal that LP gas can be very efficient and incredibly safe if the flame out and pressure devices used in stationary sets are employed. And,because most are solid state now,they are very small so wouldn't be obvious to the casual observer. There are literally millions of cars in Europe,South America and the pacific running on LP gas with no danger at all...and the shape of the tank can be adjusted to fit any location. Spare wheel shapes etc are common.

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Ron,,,Where are you located? Here in southern Maine there enough portable heaters

to prevent freeze ups,,,that every village has a K-1 pump,,even if its an above ground unit,,

The tight spot is that Coleman campstove gas is around $15,00/gal,,commonly used in Stanley pilots,,

Given all else equal,,,,,I'd prefer a burnin' puddle to a 15' ball of burning vapor,,

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