Chinese kits?

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Sniperx
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Chinese kits?

#1 Post by Sniperx » Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:41 am

I’m looking to convert a new purchased 2000 Mitsubishi Delica V6. The big problem is that I’m in Japan. Conversion kits are tough to find and expensive. They usually aren’t even sold as they want an installer to get paid for it. I’m not deliberately trying to cut out someone’s income, but I don’t like paying for things I can do myself. I’ve built a 67 VW bus, built the engine, installed and tuned an efi system for it, installed An AC system on it, designed and built an thermostat controlled oil cooling system for it, and added a a retrofit refrigeration system in the campers fridge (not an insert). I know a thing or three about a thing or three. I feel capable of an install like this.

Anyway...enough rant.

My choices are locate and overpay for a local kit (if even possible...it may even be Chinese components anyway), order from UK or Australia and paying unnecessary shipping, or get from China.

What is the consensus on the Chinese systems?

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Re: Chinese kits?

#2 Post by Brian_H » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:11 am

The biggest problem with the Chinese bits in the UK was if they were approved for use over here, in the past they weren't made to the required standard (E67) so you'd struggle to get anyone to certify them as safe over here, and hence not be able to insure it with it listed as a modification with most insurers (and in the event of a claim, they might not cover you etc).

Given your in Japan, you'd need to find whats required locally, I know they are strict compared to whats allowed over here as far as cars are concerned, as a lot get exported over here when they get older (or at least used to be) as obviously they are more suited to somewhere that drives on the left.

You can mix and match bits over here (so you can have a KME ecu and sensors, with OMVL injectors and a Tomasetto vapouriser for example) so if thats allowed over there it may be an option for you. I know thats not even allowed in some bits of Europe though as they specify in some countries that all equipment has to come from the same manufacturer, Others require that the kit has to be "approved" by the manufacturer for that vehicle (so they have to provide a list of compatible vehicles for the kit) so again it comes down to finding whats allowed before considering that.

You need to start by finding whats needed locally as far as any paperwork is involved (does it need certification/inspection of any type, and if so whats needed to gain that certification) and work from there to see what your options are really.

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Re: Chinese kits?

#3 Post by Gilbertd » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:43 am

Can't comment on Chinese made LPG components as I've never seen any, but from the day job I have had experience with Chinese made electronics. They tended to be copies of established manufacturers items but without any testing or certification done. When the manufacturers were told that anything sold in the EU must be certified and CE marked. Rather than getting anything certified, they simply put a CE mark on it so it looks like it was. It got to the point where CE started to become referred to as Chinese Export.

If you were buying a complete system from either the UK or Oz, I wouldn't have thought the shipping charges would add that much to the overall cost, unless there are any import taxes when the kit arrives in Japan.
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Re: Chinese kits?

#4 Post by Brian_H » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:46 am

The single heaviest item would be the tank, so maybe if you could find that locally?

Sniperx
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Re: Chinese kits?

#5 Post by Sniperx » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:19 am

I think I read that there are no real rules on a conversion. That when you go for biannual inspection they just check whatever you came in running on.

Actually cars are greatly misunderstood here. Old cars or high mile cars are not necessarily a problem. It used to be that 15? Year old cars required testing every year, but they changed that rule a while back. Now the tax is simply 50$ more on older cars. The whole idea from the “safety test”, to the taxing, all the way to the dealers...is to encourage people to buy new cars often.

It starts with the test, which used to be difficult and time consuming so you took your car to a specialist or the dealer. The dealer kept your car for a week while they did the “necessary” maintenance. During which they give you a newer model loaner. After the maintenance they give you a bill including the test and everything. It can easily cost over 1500$. Most of the maintenance or repairs “required” aren’t even checked, stipulated, or recorded during the actual test.

The dealer uses this opportunity to say things like we did our best to get the price down but next time it will probably be over 2000$...we recommend you buy a new car..how did you like the loaner?

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Re: Chinese kits?

#6 Post by Sniperx » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:01 am

Then, most people don’t do their own repairs and there’s no real part shops around. So dealers are free to take advantage of owners.

I know one person directly who replaced their whole third brake light LED array because a single emitter was out. The dealer said it was “required”. They spent about 1000$ just on that part.

All the while...the test is a very easy and automated self service test line. You roll to different stations and follow the commands. The whole thing takes about 30–45 including paperwork. It costs roughly 300$ including insurance, testing, and taxes.

So yeah...the whole thing about old cars here is a myth. People are just ignorant about cars over here. Rather than paying for a brake job, they’ll buy a new car.

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Re: Chinese kits?

#7 Post by Brian_H » Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:31 am

Sounds very much like the kind of folk over here who are happy to lease a car as it means they don't get any maintaince costs, but can end up paying nearly the full price of the car to end up not owning it after 3 years.

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Re: Chinese kits?

#8 Post by CNG » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:35 am

Sounds very much like the kind of folk over here who are happy to lease a car as it means they don't get any maintaince costs, but can end up paying nearly the full price of the car to end up not owning it after 3 years.
Yes you do wonder, agreed not all of us are handy, and if you CAN afford this, who are we to comment? But if anyone buys a car on the drip, it's very clear they can't. Who are they kidding?

Forgive me, but the OP's initial question doesn't stand much scrutiny? As said, save the tanks, the rest isn't going to be heavy. Import duty aside, it'd be £60-70 freight - UK to Japan, all in. Few want to part with hard-earned, yet in the greater scheme of things, if this gets us where we're going, why argue?

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Re: Chinese kits?

#9 Post by Sniperx » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:29 pm

To be fair,....

The Chinese kits also range from $100-$350. So the total price is pretty appealing. At that price I’m wondering if people offering kits are just reselling the Chinese parts or even the brand names are using Chinese components or what. I’d hate to pay £850 to find out all the pieces were sourced on AliExpress. I mean Keihin is a Japanese company, but parts may still be made in China. Panasonic is a Japanese company, but has products made in both countries.

At the same time Chinese quality can be really hit and miss. I had an alternator that wouldn’t run true. But I’ve had other things that were just fine. I worry QC of a vital part like a regulator could be questionable.

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Re: Chinese kits?

#10 Post by Gilbertd » Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:06 pm

My experience is with electronics but the way it works is that a known manufacturer sub contracts assembly of something to a Chinese company. The manufacturer is responsible for checking the quality as it is his name on the product. The company then starts producing copies using lower quality components and even missing some out if they don't see the necessity (de-coupling capacitors in power supplies being a favourite) but usually will make them look sufficiently different and with a different brand name on them so they can't be accused of doing anything illegal. So while some of the known branded part may well have been assembled in China, they will fully meet the standard that the company who has it's name on the label.
96 Saab 900XS, AEB Leo, sold
93 Range Rover 4.2LSE, Lovato LovEco, sold
97 Range Rover 4.0SE, multipoint, sold
98 Ex-Police Range Rover 4.0, AEB Leo, daily motor
96 Range Rover 4.6HSE Ascot, AEB Leo, my spare


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Re: Chinese kits?

#11 Post by Avensist » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:36 pm

I know this is a bit off topic but besides the kit, have you looked in the legislation regarding the LPG tanks in Japan? They are very strict over there regarding the tank specifications and certification so if you haven't done so already, I strongly recommend you look into it. As regards to the kit, I have seen European kits (AEB family) fitted to fleet of taxi over there.

And yes, I agree the cost of conversion in Japan is 3 to 5 times that of the UK.

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Re: Chinese kits?

#12 Post by Sniperx » Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:07 pm

There’s not really a lot of info on it. I think I read somewhere the tank needs to be checked every 6 years or something. I don’t know...I’ve read so much info in different languages...I can’t remember.

I contacted over a week ago, but no reply yet.

I don’t think anyone would know what to do with the system if they saw it.

Almost all taxis are gas powered here.

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Re: Chinese kits?

#13 Post by Avensist » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:00 pm

Indeed, getting information is extremely difficult. Apart from the technology and food, pretty much everything else in Japan is third world, especially the authorities.

Some information regarding the type approvals and some pointers can be found here.
https://www8.cao.go.jp/kisei-kaikaku/ot ... 05040.html

If you were to do things yourself, I strongly recommend that you fully understand the procedures as any non-compliance will result in the vehicle being struck off the MOT equivalent.

Needless to say, you will need someone who has a high degree of the language and technical understanding as most web pages which has 'English' options frequently lack significant amount of information compared to the Japanese site.

Couple of years ago, as a consultant, had to research the possibility of getting some kits type approved for use in Japan, getting the information was one thing, dealing with the authorities was another. Simply put, one will even start to appreciate the level of competence shown by the DVLA and DVSA or even your local council!

And yes, most taxis are LPG however have you had a look at their tanks? Again this is to do with the type approval matters, which is why they are in the form they are in.

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Re: Chinese kits?

#14 Post by Budgetbond » Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:47 pm

Good points, I'm trying to do a diy install myself at the moment and have seen the aforementioned kits on aliexpress myself.
They do mostly look like copies of a couple of commonish cheap maybe slightly older systems, but I might be wrong there, and I agree they do look temptingly cheap.
But when I did look into it closer, the price difference + postage wasn't as much when shopped around elsewhere for seemingly the genuine article.
Now shipping of the pure electronics parts shouldn't be that much more from different country to country.
So it sort of comes down to how reliable are/should the copies of the electrical copies and wiring and stuff, are the ecu s as easily as calibrated etc?
I don't know that unfortunately, whether anyone else does I don't know?
So it may come down to 'you pays your money and takes your chance.'
Are there any other heavier parts that can be sourced locally, any tanks, second-hand possibly.
Regulators don't seem too sophisticated wherever they're sourced, but also on closer examination didn't seem as cheaper when posting was added on aliexpress, are these available locally anywhere else?

I think the kits are generally an aeb system or a stag 300 system there am I right?

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Re: Chinese kits?

#15 Post by LPGC » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:11 pm

There's a lot of poor Chinese / Indian / Turkish / South American kit but we don't see much of it in the UK except on installs fitted elsewhere in Europe (usually Eastern Europe). Some of the poor kit seems to be copies of better known kit.

Tell you what though, in recent years a well known producer we've all heard of has seemingly started to rip off other firms reducer and injector designs but make poor (in most cases) equivalents. The firm I'm talking about only used to produce ECUs, now they have a full line up of various model reducers and injectors, all seeming to be relatively poor quality rip off's of other well known firms designs. These parts do find their way onto a lot of UK vehicles - but I wouldn't be happy fitting them.
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Re: Chinese kits?

#16 Post by Budgetbond » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:23 pm

Hiya Simon, I know your a massive expert on the subject and have read a lot of your v well written writings on the subject on here and elsewhere.
I'm currently trying to put together a kit myself and ironically was going to pay you a visit this week whilst on holiday on the Yorkshire coast.

But anyway, in your opinion briefly then, what are the most important components of the kits to get good quality in and what are the most important parts of the install to do well, if you can say?

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Re: Chinese kits?

#17 Post by LPGC » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:26 pm

Budgetbond wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:23 pm
Hiya Simon, I know your a massive expert on the subject and have read a lot of your v well written writings on the subject on here and elsewhere.
I'm currently trying to put together a kit myself and ironically was going to pay you a visit this week whilst on holiday on the Yorkshire coast.

But anyway, in your opinion briefly then, what are the most important components of the kits to get good quality in and what are the most important parts of the install to do well, if you can say?
I know you said 'briefly' but there are a lot of ifs/buts! If I wanted to DIY build a wall and asked a builder what the most important aspects were I'd probably be told to make sure I got the foundations right, mix the cement right, overlap the bricks and build it vertical rather than sloping... But the builder's general tips probably wouldn't cover a long list of points I hadn't even known to ask about and some of the unmentioned points could be very relevant to the wall I wanted to build. Even if I read a book he wrote on the subject I still wouldn't have his experience or be aware of some of the iffs/buts he didn't mention in the book.

After all the very simple nuts and bolts safety considerations such as bolting the tank in properly so it won't come loose in a crash and making sure gas pipes aren't wrapped around the hot exhaust etc,
the basics of good LPG conversion are:

1. If the engine features an electronic fuel pressure sensor, doesn't have a fuel return fitted and fuel pressure readings appear in OBD live data then fit a petrol return (or at least electronic petrol pressure emulator) must be fitted or there is no chance of getting good results.
2. Manifold nozzles in the correct position.
3. Short pipes between manifold nozzles and injectors
4. An ECU that can interpret petrol injection pulses to produce LPG injection pulses that follow the petrol fuelling strategy as closely as possible.
5. LPG injector spec/nozzle size/reducer pressure combination that can flow enough fuel for the engine at full load whilst also providing accurate fuelling at low loads and idle.
6. Pressure and temperature stable reducer that is capable of flowing enough gas for the engine at full load with a good supply of heating water from the engine.
7. If the vehicle is Japanese/Ford/on a shortlist of vehicles with soft engine valves then fit a valve lube system (forced lube system if it has forced induction).

The points in the list are in what is likely the most usual order of importance but order of importance can be different on some installs and there's a lot of interplay / inter-reliance between points (change one aspect of an install might have to change other aspects). The list leaves a lot of scope for further explanation and lots of scope for describing iffs and buts. A simple and quick example - points 2 & 3 are part of the same consideration really. 'Short' is a relative term... oldskool advice was to have pipes under 10inch long but 10inch would be a long length for a 200cc cylinder (800cc 4 cylinder engine), ridiculously long for a remote control toy car engine (20cc cylinder ?) or a short length for a 2200cc cylinder (26 litre Rolls Royce Merlin V12). On averagely complicated engines most mistakes involve points 2 and 3, on more demanding installs if the installer got 2 and 3 right they might mess up on 4, 5 and 6.
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Sniperx
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Re: Chinese kits?

#18 Post by Sniperx » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:55 pm

On number 2 you’ve listed, nozzle position. Have you seen the brass fittings that plug into the petrol injector hole, with a new petrol injector hole on top and a barb fitting coming out the side? Seems like the perfect position and super easy install.

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Re: Chinese kits?

#19 Post by Brian_H » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:00 pm

They compromise the petrol injector position as it causes the injector to sit further back, and disturbing the petrol injector gives you the chance to introduce leaks, either of fuel or air into the manifold.

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Re: Chinese kits?

#20 Post by Budgetbond » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:22 pm

Sorry I've not updated thanks for your v helpful answers above Simon.

As it happens I've got some of the above nozzles arriving on Monday, along with most of the rest of the stuff for my build which I'm going attempt during coronavacation.

I'll let u know how I get on with those nozzles because I want to change my petrol injectors at the sametime anyway and my inlet manifold s not ideal.

I figure they're a bit of a compromise more optimal for lpg but affecting running on petrol which unfortunately with my short trips won't be ideal but I'll give em a try first.

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