Natural Gas conversion for a 94 Dakota?

I’m curious about converting my 94 Dakota to run on natural gas. There are 3 stations in my area that sell CNG, but it looks like $6500 to have it done, which is too much to be worth it. Can this be done for less money? If I can do it cheaper, are there disadvantages?

That’s probably about right. LPG/CNG conversions are very easy to do on older vehicles since the LPG/CNG regulator can bolt on in place of a carburetor and there’s even multi-fuel carburetor/regulators out there that aren’t too expensive. A multi-point fuel injected vehicle like your Dakota is a whole other story, though, since the computer needs to be reprogrammed to deal with the new fuel and an entirely different fuel system needs to be installed. Also in addition to the reduced mileage from the lower energy content in the compressed gas fuel, the gaseous fuel system will be nowhere near as efficient as the very well-designed MPFI gasoline system your truck already has.

If you’re really gung-ho about CNG, the way to do it is to buy an older vehicle. Or I suppose you might be able to stick an older engine in your Dakota and then convert it, but it’s definitely not worth the trouble in strict economic terms.

Sounds like a question for T.Boone.He is promoting this.But yes the price sounds way high.Lower engine power.Do some googling find a site that does conversions,best to get a price from someone who can actually do the job.

Are the tanks dangerous? I understand they are at 3500 psi to hold only about 5 gallons of compressed natural gas.

That was always a concern…but I really don’t think they are. Those tanks are a lot tougher then almost any part on your car. This has been around for years and I haven’t heard of any incidents.

I am curious to why bother even if half the cost you will never recoup. Your vehicle is at the average design life at this point (15 yrs for trucks).

It’s not any more dangerous than carrying around 15 gallons of extremely flammable gasoline in a relatively thin-skinned container like most cars on the road do.

My motivation is purely financial. Doing my little part to help reduce our country’s oil consumption is a bonus, but it has to save me money. Assuming the truck can go about 250K miles (it’s at 168K now), if the cost of the conversion is in the $5K-$6K range, it won’t save me enough to make it worthwhile.

I don’t see how it’s going to save you money. Running on NG your truck will get about 25-40 percent LESS gas mileage and power.

Natural gas can not be liquefied like propane at normal temperatures. That makes it a low energy density fuel. Your trucks RANGE between fill-ups (pump-ups) will be short.

Thanks everyone for the great feedback. This idea seemed fishy at first; now I know for sure.

Hey - maybe now I’ll go get one of those “water for fuel” gizmos! That’ll work for SURE!!

Running on NG DOES work. It’s just not going to save you money. And it is very very clean burning.