Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CNG Tank Installation

Mark has delivered the GTO to Phoenix Energy to have the Luxfer Tanks installed safely and professionally. Steve Bouchillon will be doing the work and he has a long history of CNG work with the City of Birmingham. www.phoenixenergycorp.net The major work ahead of Steve is the fabrication of the double tank brackets, mounting to the trunk area of the car, and connecting to the plumbing going towards the front of the car. As soon as pictures are available of the tank setup we will be posting them.

As you know the tank mounting is the last part of the conversion that will allow the GTO to travel freely around town. And smoke the tires!!!

The Route 66 Alliance

Jim Conkle. Google that name and you will find out that Jim is Mr. Route 66. Jim graciously agreed to meet with me and Mark. I was overwhelmed at the passion Jim has for Route 66. Jim and all of his friends have formed Route 66 Alliance a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization to coordinate the efforts nationally and internationally to preserve Route 66. Jim instantly befriended us and has all of the information that a couple of knuckleheads need to make a successful trip across the historical Route 66. Jim knows the road, the hot spots, the history, and even the brassier tree. We feel like we have made a new friend for life with Jim. He has made important introductions to some very influential people across the country and we are excited, hopeful and extremely appreciative about his trust in us and the openess with which our ideas were received. One of the ideas discussed was to open this trip up to ALL of the alternative fuels available out there. The trip would be amazing with representatives of the electric car, hydrogen car, solar car, and every other alternative fuel source you could imagine. It was so exciting I could hardly sleep thinking about all the brilliant people that could participate in our vision.

Week in California!!

The CNG GTO is moving so fast I cannot even keep up with it. Last week Mark and I flew to California to move our project forward a huge step. The next step of the conversion was to go to Luxfer Gas Cylinder Manufacturing in Riverside CA to pick up our tanks. We got a full tour of the plant from John Carrigan who was awsome to spend the time with us. THANKS JOHN!! Mark returned the next morning to pickup our two brand new tanks complete with valves. The testing facility is top notch and I will give you a report about the plant when I have more time.

We also visited with Paul Mader of AFV Fleet Service and got a tour of his fleet conversion business. Paul was awsome to meet with and we went to lunch and listened to his years of knowledge in the business. Paul has taken a personal interest in our project and his expertise in so many areas is invaluable. Thanks Paul Mader. (Paul has a CNG Crown Vic that has a 400+ mile range, awsome) He gave us some really great ideas about refueling on the Route 66 trip using tube trailers.

Thats all fantastic news but there is more!! Read on the next post!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I am extremely happy to report to everyone that the GTO is OFFICIALLY running on CNG!!!
Check the website www.route66goatgas.com and look at the video tab to see actual video of the GTO running powered by a temporary tank of CNG. Its sounds awsome. The tank filler valve issued was worked out by Mark and he got a tank full and hooked it up. After a thorough pressure test all the way to the end of the system he had the green light to crank it up. It cranked right up without any problems. The idle became more stable as the engine warmed up and the hot water began to circulate on the first stage regulator. Its just amazing to see it run and you have to keep looking at the plumbing to realize its NOT running on gasoline any more. The gasoline tank has been removed from the car completely. When you look underneath the rear all you see is that beautiful GTO differential cover. Thanks Mark and Joseph for all of your hard work!! What a dream come true!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

GTO Crank Update

This is a quick update about the efforts to crank the GTO for the first time on Saturday.
The CNG tank valve was missing a plug that was necessary to cap off an outlet properly.
So rather than take a chance on doing something potentially dangerous with off the shelf parts we waited until Mark can go Monday and get the proper fittings. Just a quick update that the video of the CNG GTO has not been filmed yet. Stay Tuned!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Twas the Night before GTO Cranking

This is an irresistable moment. On Saturday October 3rd, the CNG tank will be filled a small amount and carefully placed in the GTO trunk. The fuel line will be attached. The hand valve will be slowly opened. The lines will be checked and double checked for any leaks. The emergency cutoff valve located under the car will be opened. More checks. The hi-pressure guage on the Stage One regulator will swing up to read the tank pressure. The pressure will make it all the way to the tri-carb setup. Then that magic moment will occur when the ignition key is twisted to the crank position. Will it start? Will it run? Everything is completely hooked up. The tension is as high as it has been since the project started. Tomorrow is a huge day. I cant wait to write the next post to let you know how it turns out.