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EF 2 Tickford LPG 'starving' after start-up 

 

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 Post subject: EF 2 Tickford LPG 'starving' after start-up
Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:51 pm 
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I have recently had my tickford LPG system serviced and alerted the mechanic to the problem my car has every time (!) (given 1-2 min) after it has started and run for 10-20 seconds. It starts perfectly fine, but after 10-20 seconds it sounds as if the gas system is beginning to 'starve' the engine, and it stutters and carries on, eventually getting over it by itself if left alone.

I got the car back, and it runs well, but still has the same problem, just as bad as it ever was.

Normally I start the car, reverse it out the drive-way and when I take off onto the road it will 'starve', losing all acceleration. In this case I need to take my foot off the accelerator, then re-apply throttle, after which it will accelerate normally again. It usually 'starves' 2-3 times while taking off, then operates perfectly normal for the rest of the trip, until I need to start the car again. Whether it is hot or cold makes no difference.

Does anyone with tickford LPG have the same problem. Has anyone found a way to overcome it? It is very annoying, and it would be great (!) if this problem were eliminated. If it was only during cold starts I would be ok with it, but not every single time!
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 Post subject: LPG Starvation
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:09 am 
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I had the same problem on my EF. I have an after market condenser now, having replaced the tickford unit. I was suffering a searching idle with stalling, and starvation, until the engine warmed up. The answer was that the problem was caused by a low coolant level.

The coolant delivers heat to the condenser, which takes the lpg from the tank and then delivers it to the intake system. ( I am not too technical, so forgive the basic explanations). With a low coolant level, not enough heat was getting to the condenser, and so as the LPG flowed through it, it was freezing up, and only letting a fraction of the usual amount of gas through to the intake. When the car had been running for a while and had warmed, the problem ceased.

Check it out. It may be a coolant flow problem or something similar.

 

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Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:32 am 
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alot of the problems associated with coolant flow on LPG convertors is the 2 stage thermostat. They shut of flow from the radiator (1st stage) and the heater (2nd stage) and what does the LPG convertor usually run off?? the heater side. So easy fix is to run an XG-H thermostat or cut section out of the 2nd stage (bottom section) of the standard thermostate to allow flow to the convertor when cold.

another thing it could be is the O2 sensor starting to go and not generating the right signal for the stepper motor that controls the gas flow when cold. Easy enough to check if oxy sensor is working ok if you have digital multi meter.

 

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 Post subject: it's possible...
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:01 pm 
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Whilst it could certainly be the lack of coolant flow, it still doesn't seem to make complete sense, as the car will do it when it is hot and left for 2 minutes or more. Not only that, but if I chose to depress the accelerator while it was doing it, it'd get over it straight away. I was thinking it may be computer related, but am not sure. I do think, however, that I will look at replacing the thermostat (XG one? Why not the standard tickford LPG one?)

One other thing I haven't mentioned is that when it 'starves', the air intake (presumably where the gas comes in at the mixer) makes a rather loud 'hissing' sound. [/u]
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Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:09 pm 
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sounds more like O2 sensor proplem to me, I would get that checked first. LPG is more sensitive to O2 sensor proplems than petrol (or appears that way).

I had a similar thing. Would hesitate when putting the foot down and then right itself, would be cruising along and it would just slow down but would be fine on petrol. I tested the O2 sensor and it seemed ok but got one from a wrecker to try and it fixed the problem.

 

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 Post subject: Re: it's possible...
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:26 pm 
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spvd02 wrote:
Whilst it could certainly be the lack of coolant flow, it still doesn't seem to make complete sense, as the car will do it when it is hot and left for 2 minutes or more. Not only that, but if I chose to depress the accelerator while it was doing it, it'd get over it straight away. I was thinking it may be computer related, but am not sure. I do think, however, that I will look at replacing the thermostat (XG one? Why not the standard tickford LPG one?)


you can get a standard tickford LPG thermostat?? thought they only came in the normal 2 stage one for the EF?

XG-H are like a normal type thermostat but the better option (like most LPG installers) is to cut a small section out of the bottom second stage of the normal 2 stage thermostat

 

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 Post subject: you're right
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:46 pm 
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My O2 sensor has already been replaced a few months ago, which did not get rid of the problem. You must take into account the starvation occurs consistently about 10-20 seconds after start-up. If left alone, it will stutter and carry on (at idle), but if I give it a rev, the problem seems to disappear. That's at idle.

If I start driving it before it's gotten to that stuttering phase (which I usually do), then, while accelerating to speed (60km/h) for the FIRST TIME ONLY, it will almost completely cut out; backing off the throttle and re-applying it overcomes the problem immediately, though it pretty much always will do the same thing once or twice more during the same acceleration stint.

So I need to accelerate, back-off (when acceleration is lost), accelerate, back-off, and once more accelerate, back-off, and then the car will drive like a dream. But it takes about 15 seconds to go from 0-60km/h, and it's a Falcon!

So if not the O2 sensor, not the balance line (taped up all the holes in that), and nit the stepper motor or converter (both been replaced) it could be the thermostat (you're right, there's no such thing as a tickford one :? ), or what else could it possibly be? Solenoids? Computer? Is there anything I missed?
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 Post subject: 2-stage thermostat
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:13 pm 
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Please clarify where the second stage on the thermostat is. I have noticed there are 2 springs, and that one is putting tension on a plate at the bottom (when installed) of the thermostat. Is this the second stage?
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Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:12 pm 
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here it is. red arrow points to the second stage

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 Post subject: Where?
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:38 pm 
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Where?
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 Post subject: Sorry
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:39 pm 
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Sorry, yep, I see it now; didn't show up initially for some reason. Maybe because I wasn't signed in
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 Post subject: Modified thermostat
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:37 pm 
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I drilled a 3mm hole in the plate for the second stage, and removed the bleeder valve on the first stage (also in a 3mm hole). Theoretically there should now be some flow through the thermostat.

However, disappointingly, the same problem still persists, and to the same extent as before. I think I can conclude it is the ECU or the gas computer causing hassles and, as far as that goes, I will just have to live with it, because it runs like a dream once it gets over that initial phase after start-up. IT only does it on gas, not on petrol, so it is something with the gas system.

Thank you guys for your input, as it helped point me in some direction. Even though the problem is not solved, you did your best to help anyway. Thanks once again.
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Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:36 pm 
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3mm hole wouldnt be big enough. most installers cut a section across with tinsnips

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Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:39 pm 
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dont know why pic is not showing up but if you left click on it and save it you will get what I mean. that is done to the second stage only

 

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 Post subject: ALright then
Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:37 am 
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So you only cut a section off stage two then? I thought I would have to cut the same size of stage one, but I know this would not be good as I may as well take the thermostat out then. So where is the flow coming from if I only cut a section out of the second stage?

I will give it a go, but I'm not sure it will fix my problem.
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