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  1. #1
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    Default propane regulater-dangerous ?

    A friend with a newly aquired old six cyl flat head propane forklift had the problem of idle only with choke completely on, if he tried to give it any throttle it would instantly kill. After a frustrating week of cleaning and trial and error testing got him nowhere I did some diagnostic tests for him. I've read that the regulater reduces the propane pressure to 6 psi. His was only 2psi, so I took a pressure regulater that was adjustable from possibly an air compressor and put it in. I slowly cranked up the pressure to 6psi and it ran perfectly. He wants to continue using the air pressure regulater because it is adjustable and it solved his problem. What could happen if he continued to use a regulater designed for air pressure? Cosmeticly the apperance of the two regulaters are waaaaay different!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluechipx View Post
    A friend with a newly aquired old six cyl flat head propane forklift had the problem of idle only with choke completely on, if he tried to give it any throttle it would instantly kill. After a frustrating week of cleaning and trial and error testing got him nowhere I did some diagnostic tests for him. I've read that the regulater reduces the propane pressure to 6 psi. His was only 2psi, so I took a pressure regulater that was adjustable from possibly an air compressor and put it in. I slowly cranked up the pressure to 6psi and it ran perfectly. He wants to continue using the air pressure regulater because it is adjustable and it solved his problem. What could happen if he continued to use a regulater designed for air pressure? Cosmeticly the apperance of the two regulaters are waaaaay different!
    "I do not know".. whom built either one, nor HOW, nor out of WHAT, but... take note, for example, that elastomer tubing and HOSES made for natural gas, Butane, and Propane, are commony made with DIFFERENT materials and are listed as suitable for, this, that the other, more than one, or one-only. Chemical reactions occur over time, y'see.

    I'd expect the same of the "guts" of a regulator ,and that those who mass-price them would know their s**t better than a shade-tree one-off guy.

    What would be SAFER, given the old one didn't do what it was expected to do, is a new and different regulator INTENDED for the purpose. that DOES do as expected.

    Not as if no one else ever had such of a thing, is it?

    AND NOT .. a regulator adapted as was engineered for a very DIFFERENT purpose.

    That's just common sense, ain't it?

    Or should be?

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    As Thermite said, don't trust the flexible rubbers to survive the LPG and smelly stuff.
    Typically the original regulator manufacture sells rebuilding kits, see if you can find one with a quick internet search. But most likely you'll find a new replacement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ignator View Post
    As Thermite said, don't trust the flexible rubbers to survive the LPG and smelly stuff.
    Typically the original regulator manufacture sells rebuilding kits, see if you can find one with a quick internet search. But most likely you'll find a new replacement.
    New regulators are also relatively cheap. They are also designed specifically to optimally control the low side output pressure.

    I'm really cheap but would never consider this for anything more than a short duration emergency solution.

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    HELL NO!

    They are called PROPANE regulators for a reason. The seals are designed to not only withstand propane chemically, but also the extreme cold of liquid propane.

    Generally propane regulators for vehicle use have an engine coolant connection to prevent freezing.

    The air regulator is OK for temporary test purposes but not using a real propane regulator is false economy.

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    The guy I helped is a bit of a 'cobbler' and very 'frugal'. I'll probably be best to insist on getting my reg back so he may be forced into getting the right one. Example; instead of putting a hose over a hose barb, he has forced the low pressure propane hose over an external thread, a short one at that, but when I told him it was not the way to do it he snapped that it doesn't leak! I'll get my reg back tomorrow and be done with it. I've never been involveds in a wrongful death lawsuit so maybe I could let him use it! Thanks to all for the cautious replies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluechipx View Post
    The guy I helped is a bit of a 'cobbler' and very 'frugal'. I'll probably be best to insist on getting my reg back so he may be forced into getting the right one. Example; instead of putting a hose over a hose barb, he has forced the low pressure propane hose over an external thread, a short one at that, but when I told him it was not the way to do it he snapped that it doesn't leak! I'll get my reg back tomorrow and be done with it. I've never been involveds in a wrongful death lawsuit so maybe I could let him use it! Thanks to all for the cautious replies.
    I'd get my regulator back and have no further involvement with the project. Sounds like a guy we labelled "Tinkerpaw" who thought he was a mechanical genius but was actually a mechanical idiot.

    Propane lifts are relatively safe if properly maintained and operated. If things go wrong they can be spectacular such as the time one of the setup guys at the Expo had a tank vent and ignite. Witnesses said the flames reached 30 feet high.

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    Since your man is "frugal", you might check the propane tank he is using. A forklift uses a specific horizontal tank. LP regulators are easily rebuilt, and kits are not expensive.

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    Thats f in crazy, wrong reg. and fuel hose on threads. Clearly this moron has not seen the results of a propane explosion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    Thats f in crazy, wrong reg. and fuel hose on threads. Clearly this moron has not seen the results of a propane explosion.
    Human error? Or error-prone humans?

    Could be worse.

    How'd yah like to be entering a European port on an LNG supertanker outta the gulf .... find out he was a member of the krew ... and not know WHICH ONE!

    How about airplanes flying into mountains?

    Ain't a single damned one of the mountains involved had moved more than a few feet in several million years, was there?


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    Quote Originally Posted by sealark37 View Post
    Since your man is "frugal", you might check the propane tank he is using. A forklift uses a specific horizontal tank. LP regulators are easily rebuilt, and kits are not expensive.
    Actually, most forklifts will run fine on a 20 lb. barbecue tank or even a 10 pounder. Simply requires 2 adapter fittings (POL to thd and thd to REGO). It won't run as long but some repair shops use the lighter tanks for diagnosis and test drives as they are easier to lift and many repair units come in and leave without tanks.

    PS: to do it properly thread sealant gets used on the adapters, which remain with the tank during usage and refill.

    Not at all the same as using compressed air regulators and jamming hoses on threads. That's just plain stupid.

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    I sold the guy the 6,000 lb lift clark forklift for $260 which we knew had a propane running issue as is, but somehow after 50 phone calls I realized I was somehow 'responsible' for getting it running perfectly so I put a pressure gauge downstream of the reg and it read low (2psi). It took less than a minute with a reg capable of 6 psi to find the problem. The reg was adjustable to 160 psi, so if the only problem is the incompatability of propane with various rubber or plastics degrading over time and if I insist on getting it back before he uses it again, I don't see a serious concern. Give me a moment before replying for me to put on my flak jacket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluechipx View Post
    I sold the guy the 6,000 lb lift clark forklift for $260 which we knew had a propane running issue as is, but somehow after 50 phone calls I realized I was somehow 'responsible' for getting it running perfectly so I put a pressure gauge downstream of the reg and it read low (2psi). It took less than a minute with a reg capable of 6 psi to find the problem. The reg was adjustable to 160 psi, so if the only problem is the incompatability of propane with various rubber or plastics degrading over time and if I insist on getting it back before he uses it again, I don't see a serious concern. Give me a moment before replying for me to put on my flak jacket.
    No need for a flak jacket. I'm sure most of us here have had our patience and good nature abused in a similar manner.

    Sad but familiar story. Sell something "as is" and then get call after call to come fix it. Perhaps change your phone number?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluechipx View Post
    I sold the guy the 6,000 lb lift clark forklift for $260 which we knew had a propane running issue as is, but somehow after 50 phone calls I realized I was somehow 'responsible' for getting it running perfectly so I put a pressure gauge downstream of the reg and it read low (2psi). It took less than a minute with a reg capable of 6 psi to find the problem. The reg was adjustable to 160 psi, so if the only problem is the incompatability of propane with various rubber or plastics degrading over time and if I insist on getting it back before he uses it again, I don't see a serious concern. Give me a moment before replying for me to put on my flak jacket.
    No good deed goes unpunished. Should have sold it to him for $1000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluechipx View Post
    I sold the guy the 6,000 lb lift clark forklift for $260 which we knew had a propane running issue as is, but somehow after 50 phone calls I realized I was somehow 'responsible' for getting it running perfectly so I put a pressure gauge downstream of the reg and it read low (2psi). It took less than a minute with a reg capable of 6 psi to find the problem. The reg was adjustable to 160 psi, so if the only problem is the incompatability of propane with various rubber or plastics degrading over time and if I insist on getting it back before he uses it again, I don't see a serious concern. Give me a moment before replying for me to put on my flak jacket.
    Next time you have one for 260.00 I'll have it and I won't bother you to fix it!

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    This whole thing is misguided, lpg forklifts use liquid propane, to first regulator that is heated and reduced to zero pressure that the engine sucks into the manifold. A barbecue cly is not liquid, nor does it supply enough volume to run the engine under load....If you cruse the internet you will find the right stuff to fit your engine with...will be more than you sold the life for...Phil

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    Air pressure regulators can vent to atmosphere. Not a good idea for fuel gas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Montana View Post
    This whole thing is misguided, lpg forklifts use liquid propane, to first regulator that is heated and reduced to zero pressure that the engine sucks into the manifold. A barbecue cly is not liquid, nor does it supply enough volume to run the engine under load....If you cruse the internet you will find the right stuff to fit your engine with...will be more than you sold the life for...Phil
    You can run a forklift on a grill cylinder, it just won’t have much power.

    Some forklifts like to freeze up the fuel system during cold weather, before the forklift warms up. I shade tree trick is to turn the forklift propane cylinder upside down. This will make it draw vapor only, and won’t freeze up. Just turn it back the right was once the lift engine warms up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluechipx View Post
    The guy I helped is a bit of a 'cobbler' and very 'frugal'. I'll probably be best to insist on getting my reg back so he may be forced into getting the right one. Example; instead of putting a hose over a hose barb, he has forced the low pressure propane hose over an external thread, a short one at that, but when I told him it was not the way to do it he snapped that it doesn't leak! I'll get my reg back tomorrow and be done with it. I've never been involveds in a wrongful death lawsuit so maybe I could let him use it! Thanks to all for the cautious replies.
    Others give good advice here.

    You are being kind calling this fellow "frugal". It would be wise for you to get your regulator back at the earliest time. The lawyer in me tells me that there could be a serious problem in the event that the frugal guy gets hurt during the ensuing fire when your regulator pops and sprays propane on a hot engine manifold.

    I once knew a couple that were so cheap that when they went to a restaurant, they would invariably order one dinner with coffee and ask for an extra plate and an extra cup. When dinner was over, they would never leave a tip. Now that's frugal.
    Last edited by Newman109; 11-05-2020 at 10:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    Others give good advice here.

    You are being kind calling this fellow "frugal". It would be wise for you to get your regulator back at the earliest time. The lawyer in me tells me that there could be a serious problem in the event that the frugal guy gets hurt during the ensuing fire when your regulator pops and sprays propane on a hot engine manifold.

    I once knew a couple that were so cheap that when they went to a restaurant, they would invariably order one dinner with coffee and ask for an extra plate and an extra cup. When dinner was over, they would never leave a tip. Now that's frugal.
    As far a 'frugal' goes, I knew a guy that would order a steak well done even though he didn't like his steak well done. I was puzzled as to why so I asked and he replied. "restaurants know the more you cook a steak the more it shrinks, so they have to start out with a bigger cut when you order well done". (face palm)

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