"Propane is the fuel of the gods," according to Hank Hill from the television show King of the Hill. Well, we would have to agree with Hank's enthusiasm for the wonder-gas, especially when it comes to diesels, as propane provides major benefits when mixed with diesel fuel. Most diesel engines fail to provide complete combustion of the fuel they're fed. Propane acts as a catalyst and raises the burn rate of diesel fuel to almost 100 percent. Of course with the engine now burning almost 100 percent of its fuel, there is a dramatic increase in horsepower and torque. Fuel economy also improves, as the engine is now using its fuel more efficiently. Propane also burns cool and clean, making for a cooler-running and cleaner, longer-lasting engine.
With the benefits of propane being clear, it is no wonder adding propane to a diesel engine is popular. Some folks piece together their own kits, but Advanced Turbo Systems (ATS) makes one that caught our eye. The ATS kit features the Torque Pro 2000 manifold, a variety of tank options, and everything you need to plumb the propane system into your rig. It is available for all popular diesel-powered vehicles.
We were eager to feel the benefits of propane, so once we got our hands on the ATS kit, we headed to Tarango's Diesel Repair in Santa Paula, California with our '99 Dodge with the 24-valve Cummins engine. Tarango's works only on diesels, so installing the ATS kit for them was fairly easy and they had us cooking with gas in about half a day. Follow along as we show you how easy it is to upgrade to propane power.