Propane forklift bottle
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  1. #1
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    Default Propane forklift bottle

    We have a older Clark propane powered lift. It has the bottle mounted
    in the "horizontal" or laid down position. Random bottles will sometimes
    only run the truck till they get to about 25% maybe 30% full...dies like it's
    out of gas. Stick a new bottle on and everything is good.
    Most of the time the bottles will run till they feel completely empty.
    Not really much of a problem, just weird..........
    Anybody else have this happen? Know why?
    Thanks
    David

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    A. Bottle not indexed properly.
    B. Dip tube inside bottle broken off.

  3. Likes sealark37, adama, digger doug liked this post
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    "Liquid Tap"
    "Vapor Tap"

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    Does the bottle holder have the little tab to locate the bottle correctly? Like dieseldoc said above. There should be a round peg that a corresponding hole it the bottle locates on to get it in the right orientation. Sometimes these get bent and/or fall off.

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    All my FLT propane bottles have had an arrow printed on the bottom that you have to point 'down' before clamping the cylinder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewmawson View Post
    All my FLT propane bottles have had an arrow printed on the bottom that you have to point 'down' before clamping the cylinder.
    Me thinks that propane cylinders are not the same across the pond....a pix would be nice.

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    Yup bottles are/were indexed correctly. The ones from our supplier will either
    have a hole or a slot to correctly position the bottle.
    My thought is the bottle itself will occasionally have a pickup tube
    damaged or screwed up in some way.
    Like mentioned earlier was mostly wondering if others see this sometimes.
    We're not a big user, maybe 20-25 bottles a year.
    David

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    Default

    my forklift bottles have an indexing hole in the flange that makes it impossible to tighten em down if they are not oriented right.

    I have this problem sometimes, as well, and I trade my bottles in for full ones, so its not always the same bottle.

    I have been told that sometimes there is air in the propane tank, and also, the regulator on the vaporizer on the engine may be getting weak. In my case, I suspect the regulator, not the tanks.

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    you may be mounting the tank in the wrong horizontal position. the pickup tube inside the bottle is curved to one side. if its not pointing straight down when the bottle is mounted it won't drain the tank. there is a hole in the sheet metal guard of the tank that is supposed to engage with a pin on the bottle clamp on the forklift. this is how you know the tank is mounted properly. if the pin is missing just locate the hole pointing straight down before you clamp the bottle.

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    On a big lift, running it hard in cooler weather, you will sometimes loose pressure in the tank before itís empty. There will be fuel in there but not enough pressure to push it out. This usually donít happen on smaller lifts though, as the draw isnít as high as a big v-8 engine.

    We fill our own bottles out of a big stationary tank. Iíve had the tube come off before, itís usually indicated by something rattling around in the tank when you shake it. Iíll just pull the valve and solder the tube back on.

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    Thanks,
    Next time we get one that won't empty I'll try clocking it off a bit and
    or see if it rattles. I've never looked inside a bottle, our supplier just
    swaps em out.
    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Me thinks that propane cylinders are not the same across the pond....a pix would be nice.
    Actually arrow points UP !

    It's a Hyster 2.5 XL and one cylinder lasts pretty well exactly 7.5 hours so I mark cylinders with clock hours when I fit them. Saves the embarrassment of running out in the middle of a difficult manoeuvre
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails loading-arrow.jpg   flt-cylinder.jpg  

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    If it's your tank that you have refilled you could try clocking it different until you hit the right position as David suggested. The arrow is up on mine. That may not be a standard. Picture the workers installing the valves and the arrow stickers.. Do they care if everything is correct. I bought a new tank and a kid at the hardware store didn't get the air out. On the third refill asked the worker to treat it as new. My forklift kept dying. He released the remaining gas and filled it and bled out more gas. I'm not sure if he did it correctly but it works better. Cold does drop pressure. The valves do ice up on mine.

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    If you are tapping into the vapor side of the tank and having valves freeze up, you need to run it from the liquid side and use a vaporizer. This is probably the cause of your forklift dying. It is burning the gas faster than the liquid can gas off especially in a cold climate. You can run a large propane engine on a 5 gallon bottle using a vaporizer.

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    Also, make sure your valve is tapped into the liquid port, and not the vapor port, most tanks are clearly marked. Most forklifts will run on vapor, it just wonít have very much power. An old trick in cold weather is to run your bottle upside down until the lift warms up, this will allow it to burn vapor and not freeze your vaporizer up.


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