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I C engine running on gas

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Hi all, I'd like to build an I C engine sometime in the future. I have asthma and lung problems and can't bear to be near petrol or the smell of it. Can most model I C engines be made to run on gas and what would I have to do to make them? Thanks in advance for your replies. Regards Weldersmate aka Keith.

Dean W:
Keith, does the smell of naphtha cause problems for you too?  That is the component in liquid camp fuel, like what
pump up stoves and lanterns run on.  If you can use that, you can make an IC engine that is the same design as
a regular petrol engine.

Using propane is also an option.  The basic engine remains the same, but you need some sort of demand valve
for the propane in place of a carburetor.  The simple answer to your question is "yes" you can use fuel gas like
propane or butane for running IC engines.  Usually with just the modification of the carburetor issue.


I am just going through the getting ready stage to build a new engine, and that can run on either gas (propane, butane or a butane/propane mix) or petrol. A lot of the engines we make, hit & miss and other types of engines like them should be more than happy running on gas. I don't know about the higher speed ones or multi cylinder.

The main difference is the carb, the gas one is much easier to make, just basically a tube with regulated gas fed into it with a butterfly to control the speed range.

I have attached at the bottom a very low res picture from the plans of my engine, and it should show you how easy it would be to make.

One thing you must consider though, you need to control the gas before it gets to the engine.

On the gas tank, it should have an on/off valve with a built in pressure regulator, and between the tank and carb, ideally you should fit a demand valve. This only allows gas to the engine while the engine requires it, if the engine stops, the demand valve cuts off the gas supply. It is really a safety measure, to prevent explosions if the engine stops, if it isn't there, the gas can continue to be fed even though the engine isn't running. They are not difficult to make at all.

I hope this is of help


Thanks Dean and John, thats what I was looking for. I knew if I asked here some one would come up trumps. I can't even fill the car up with petrol I have to get my wife to do it. A good wiff and I would be on the floor. It won't be anytime soon to build one But I can look for plans now and decide which one to go for. Thanks Keith.

You can find plans for a Propane Demand Regulator by Richard Williams at the FloridaAME website,

Look under the "Tips and Links" section, then "Assorted Model Engine Building Tips" (fifth one down in the list), then "Tip #3". The info includes a pdf of drawings for the regulator.

Cheers Garry


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