My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

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TNT
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My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#1 Post by TNT » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:32 pm

Well after my mk3 astra diesel managed to go beyond economical repaire I manage to pick up a 1998 VW golf mk4 1.6 SE with nothing a easy service ( which I managed myself) couldn't fix. now it's running sweet with 90,000 miles on the clock and I'm quite prepared to keep up the maintenance my self.

I went with http://www.ajcclassics.com/

The system they recommended was the Prins VSI or Silverline, but as luck would have it the Silverline is no longer available and they are getting the VSI at the same price. :D £1200 was there estimate. might be a little on steep side but I've heard Alot of horror stories and most friends or family who have tried it have had big issues.

they where quite happy to show me their Audi S8 d2 they converted which looks like a tidy job and has been running fine for 2 years+. Not serviced since except essentials oil/break changes to see ho long it will go before it's required. he demonstrated the system to me.

They said they wanted my car for a week ideally, bulk of the work would be done in 2 days, maybe another half for tidying up, the rest for testing and tweaking to make sure you have no problems, especially with cold starts. I said i have 4 maybe 5 days tops. They said fine.

Dropped it in on Monday

I feel a bit rushed as the car soon is going to be in use nearly every day, but The fact that these guys do some magic stuff with classic cars and can demonstrate a working LPG converted that they did. The owner seems to be a real petrol head, huge collection of motorcycles, felt like a good decision even if the garage is clearly in a cheep area to keep costs and overheads down.

Unfortunately, the public transport is terrible to them I'd love to be able to drop in and see how there doing, just hoping and praying I don't have a scrap car when they are done. or they don't go over budget without good reason because I'm not made of money.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#2 Post by john_d » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:56 pm

TNT wrote: £1200 was there estimate. might be a little on steep side but I've heard Alot of horror stories and most friends or family who have tried it have had big issues.

thats a very decent price 8)
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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#3 Post by Gilbertd » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:49 pm

john_d wrote:
TNT wrote: £1200 was there estimate. might be a little on steep side but I've heard Alot of horror stories and most friends or family who have tried it have had big issues.

thats a very decent price 8)
Particularly for a VSi. You'll see places advertising cheaper, you'll see places advertising quicker but what you get won't be as good.
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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#4 Post by TNT » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:54 pm

Yep, I suspect your all right, The Prins VSi system seems to be the quality one. well worth the extra for the peace of mind.

Only downside is that the parts only turned up this morning :(. they said they managed to get the injectors, pipework and sealed up the pipework holes around the tank/boot area all done today. Should have it running after getting all the electrical work tomorrow and time to play and tweak on Friday. trying to arrange some cover at work over the weekend when I need the car just in case I need to let these guys just get it right. Can't rush a top job and S**t happens alot.

Though they seem pretty confident they'll have it in a working state and worst case I'll be running on petrol this weekend. and drop it in another time to finish tweaking.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#5 Post by TNT » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:56 am

So far it's seems reasonable.

the only issue i hadn't considered was the additional weight at the back, the tank weighs 28kg's and it's right at the back of the car, I had to jack up the tire pressures at the rear to get the handling like normal. It still feels like I'm carrying 2 or 3 bags of garden compost or a big bag of sand all the time. The weight just seems to be in the wrong part of the car.

Also I don't know how accurate the fuel gauge is yet. If it's right on my first full LPG the gauge says 1/4-1/2 full and I've done 130 miles. but with the change in pressure it of the gas who know exactly whats in there without weighing the tank. but considering you never fill it up full anyway this might be expected.

But seems to be running about the same as petrol, but it seems much easier to stall it in both now.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#6 Post by Gilbertd » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:48 am

The quantity of gas has no effect on pressure, the only thing that causes the pressure to change is temperature. The guage is driven by a float in the tank but they are never particularly accurate. Run it until it switches to petrol, then you'll know it's empty.
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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#7 Post by john_d » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:17 am

TNT wrote:But seems to be running about the same as petrol, but it seems much easier to stall it in both now.
it should'nt have any effect when running on petrol, even on gas it shouldn't be any easier to stall than when its on petrol, maybe your imagination as you've not driven it for a few days?
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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#8 Post by pjpj » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:08 pm

Probably the extra weight. Maybe they have very slightly lowered the idle speed if this is possible.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#9 Post by TNT » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:45 am

I think it's just the weight, and I tend to pull away without allot of revs, unless I'm trying to pull out between traffic and get upto speed quick.

I drive Economically, or as my mate says like a granny. Plus When I drive aggressively I usually end up getting pissed off with every other slow coach on the roads.

Been driving on the red light of the prins button Gauge 20 odd miles. I'll have a look on the gauge on the tank itself in the morning. Last time I checked the one on the tank read significantly higher than the Prins indicator.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#10 Post by TNT » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:58 am

got 270 miles from the first tank.
127miles from my next 20 liter fill up.
Just tanked up from empty with 44.76liters this morning.

I think I'm getting around 30MPG on gas, and I was getting around 35MPG on petrol. Which sounds about right.

I have witted my petrol down to just under half and it's handling perfect now. The Main things that are a bit off are the fuel guage ( which is if i understand it correctly is to be expected ). Another issue ,but not a big one, is the new pipework especially on the engine cooling system. The pipes get warm they mold to the clips and become a little loose, so I did need to get them tightened and put some more coolant in the system. It did scare my mum when the coolant light came on. I don't appear to be losing any water now :). but apart from that I think I'm good.

the Guys at the garrage will do some more tweeking on the 1000 mile service.

I'm a happy bunny!

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#11 Post by TNT » Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:36 pm

Just updating.

2500miles driven,

Apart from a problem with an old HT lead, there has been little to mention.

It's very boring , it just works!

The float in my tank must be at the front as the gauge tends to read higher ether going downhill or in extreme cases when it takes the next reading while i'm breaking. make it much earlier knowing that to get an understanding of how much gas I have left.

the only downside at the moment is the price rises on pretty much all fuel, not just LPG.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#12 Post by TNT » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:42 am

Well this last few weeks I have discovered my Car Does not like the NGK recommended LPG 1. They where pretty well fouled after 400 miles lots of judder hesitation. it might pay to carfully clean them up and re gap them to 0.9mm or 1mm and use them in the future.

New ignition coil and HT leads did not help. bog standard NGK petrol plugs in my case NGK code 2397, work brilliantly. regular iridium IX plugs would probably be fine too.

Now upto 12000 miles on LPG.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 update

#13 Post by TNT » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:20 pm

Last week I killed the engine, a cylinder that had been misfiring for quite a while for maybe as much as 50,000 miles then lost compression :( . It's not completely broken down yet, but It needed a fair bit of TLC and new spark plugs to keep it going as long as i did. got about 115000 miles out of the LPG system. In my time with this car I've learned to do most if not all the maintenance myself.

I have a new to me mk4 golf with identical engine, and to be fair a much better car. picked it up cheep because it's gearbox is on the way out. it seems to be a no brainier move the LPG conversion into this new car as well as my decent gearbox.

What pitfalls are there to moving an LPG system, in this case i can transfer the engine bay wiring loom, the already cut and leak free coolant pipe work to the evaporator. Is the tank expiry important? Am i going to have to have pick up the Prins VSI diagnostic equipment to adjust it at all being an identical engine?

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#14 Post by Brian_H » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:21 pm

The tank expiry ideally should be in date - though it matters more with an external tank than one that sits in the boot for example. If you need it to be on the drivelpg register (some insurance companies do need this, others don't) then you may struggle to get it on there without an in-date tank.

Given the original hoses are now approaching 7 years old, I'd look at replacing the rubber bits and the t-pieces personally, particularly if the Ts were plastic as they do go brittle, hoses do go hard over time and get more prone to leaking, though if they are flexible reusing them isn't too major a decision. You might want to consider using the opportunity to rebuild the vapouriser given the mileage on it now, again upto you on that score.

I'd use new pipe under the car though - for 2 reasons, the polypipe now available is far easier to fit than the copper line you probably have at the minute, and the old one is likely to be a bit of a pain to remove.

I've found taking a map from one engine to another doesn't seem to work as well as you'd think - you might get away with it if you took the manifold across as well (you'd need to either drill and tap the new manifold or reuse your existing one anyway) as it would give slightly less variables to deal with, but you'd have to try it and see really. Generally I've found if you want decent results, its worth spending the money to get the system properly calibrated by someone who knows how to do it (Which I've just come back from doing today with Simon). If you need it certifying then its probably better to take that route anyway.

The general consenus on the lpg specific plugs is don't bother wasting your money on them, either use the standard copper ones, or the iridium ones for the vehicle. Just avoid the platinum ones.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#15 Post by TNT » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:51 pm

I had planned on keeping the pre-drilled section of the manifold, it makes sense. My tank sit's in the spare wheel bay of the boot and it should be in date but i haven't checked that yet. I hadn't given much thought to rebuilding the vaporizer, never going to have a better opportunity. new Filters too for the liquid and vapor stages of LPG too would also be wise.

Standard plugs seem to last plenty long enough anyway 20k-40k with everything in order , except when getting fouled by oil. LPG specific plugs in my case have just been problematic! Getting an LPGA inspection if that's required for insurance could be a pain my local spot's have shut down and I may well need to do some traveling to make that happen.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#16 Post by Brian_H » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:15 pm

Whereabouts are you in the country?

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#17 Post by TNT » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:36 am

In the New Forrest, right in the middle between Southampton and Bournemouth.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#18 Post by TNT » Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:38 pm

Finally not busy and have some time to really look at this properly,, and it's becoming quite expensive running on petrol. Checked with the insurance and they ( Tesco Bank ) require the car to be on the drive LPG register or they will decline the insurance.

Which leaves me with 2 issues, I Think the current filler which is on the rear bumper ( which i could transplant) won't hit LPGA Specs it's not restrained by any metal bracket attached to the chassis.
The tank seems to have 2 date looking numbers one is 11- 09 and the other 21/09 , it was fitted in 2012 if that makes any difference. These appear to be the main stumbling blocks to getting an LPGA certificate.

The Front end looks pretty simple work as I can remove the intake manifold complete with injectors and the entire section of the wiring loom all the way to the Both ECU's came out intact with 2 wire sinp's and reconnects ( Ignition power to the correct side of the loom, and Cam position sensor wire for the LPG ECU), and I've will have to reconnect the internal switch. The Vaporiser will be worth rebuilding with new seals and a clean out too having done 100k. New LPG Filters for vapor and Liquid states I will also need. While i have things apart I also want to be installing a new rocker cover gasket and fix some minor water leaks ( liike like it need a new plastic bit / and seal that a coolant temp sensor and the water pipes connect too.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#19 Post by Brian_H » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:58 pm

On the filler point, there are various places you can mount it, Personally I've gone with towbar mounted as it allows you to fill from either side pump as its in the middle. Its probably worth finding someone to certify it, and asking them what their preference is or whats acceptable to them?

The first number is the one you want for the date - which would be 2011 - September so its in date (if thats an Irene tank which it sounds like it is).

Simon could assist you, but hes quite some way for you to travel. Not sure of any other installers on here now besides Classicsweede and he's probably further for you to get to.

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Re: My MK4 golf 1.6 is in for conversion

#20 Post by TNT » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:45 pm

Well finally had some time to go check out my nearest drive lpg compliant garage. The guy seemed quite reasonable and he thinks s that it will pass just transferring everything as is to the new car. The filler is fine aparently due to the plastic pipework too it. If it was copper piping he would have insisted on it being attached to somthing more solid than the bumper to protect the pipe. £75 for the inspection and £35 to put the car on the register ( i suspect the thats ex vat , but thats great). Down side he's buzy for another 2 weeks.

I've got the gas tank loose and ready to be transfered. Also the vaporizer out ready to order up seal kit, also need to add a new set of filters and some suitable pipe/ataptors and fittings to get the new fuel line in place too that order. Some new stainless steel jubilee clips would be nice for the water hoses.

Edit
Darn it. Maybe nothing. Just had a proper look at my old car on the lpg register.
It states


The conversion is recorded as having been undertaken by a UKLPG Approved Autogas Installer using equipment supplied by a UKLPG Accredited distributer.

I need to check that if its an inspection it will state somthing simlar.
I suspect tesco will not insure it unless the lpg register states this. I asumed getting it on the register it would say this anyway but now I'm not so sure.

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