Running Trails With An Alternative Fuel
With the price of gasoline constantly on the rise, we've become more and more interested in alternative fuels. Among those that have become most prevalent are E85 and propane. Many new cars and trucks are now equipped to run E85, and propane is widely used by taxis, buses, and delivery and fleet vehicles across the nation. With propane being the more obtainable of the two - as well as the fact that GotPropane.com offers a conversion kit for the Suzuki Samurai - we elected to test a propane kit to see how it held up against gasoline. GotPropane.com propane conversion kits are designed for pre-'86, non-smog-controlled vehicles. Kits are available for Suzuki, Toyota, Jeep, and Ford applications. The kits include all of the necessary items for an easy conversion.
At press time, the gasoline average was soaring around $3 a gallon. At the same time, the price of propane averages less than $2 per gallon nationwide, so the price break alone is obviously tantalizing. Probably the only drawback of running propane is that fuel mileage doesn't necessarily improve. In fact, you can figure on consuming about a gallon more on average during a typical all-day trail run (GotPropane.com states that it gets about 14 mpg using its Jeep 258 I-6 propane kit). You will experience increased power and quick starts though, due to the higher 100- to 110-octane fuel, and the average cost per gallon of propane compared to gasoline is still significantly less. With the RocZuk Samurai, however, we actually did experience a slight improvement in fuel mileage, but we suspect that the stock carb may not have been as efficient as it could've been.