Website content updated

We constantly update the content on the Graeme Cooper website.  Most recently, pages dealing with both petrol and Diesel engine history, performance and tuning have been revised.  Also, we have updated the LPG conversion page due to recent difficulties in finding filling stations.

Please use the menu on the website home page to access the new versions

Land Rover LPG conversions

Although LPG injection gas systems provide the optimum balance between cost and effectiveness where conventional fuels are concerned, its use has largely been superseded by hybrid systems, meaning a combination of electric motors and small petrol engines. This especially applies to taxi and other fleet operations. In new vehicles, even automotive Diesel engines are being superseded by hybrids.

There are several reasons for this but the main one is the cost of maintaining the retail LPG delivery systems. As the use of hybrids increases, the volume of LPG sales declines, so the cost of retail tank inspection and replacement cannot be justified. This is why many servos previously selling auto LPG no longer do so. As tanks fall due for inspection and/or replacement they are removed from service.

There is also the belief the electrical power is more environmentally friendly – a nonsense when the electricity is usually created by coal-fired power stations in the first place.

A real dilemma occurs for a vehicle owner where LPG is already fitted. Perfectly content both with performance and economy, it is increasingly difficult to obtain gas when and where needed. Fortunately, most systems are duel fuel, so switching over to petrol will usually get the vehicle to the nearest filling station.

A bigger potential problem for the owner is the 10-year inspection. The cost of inspection alone can approach $1000 (depending on the location and integrity of the inspector) because the tanks must be inspected internally as well as externally and many have to be removed and replaced to do this. Also, that cost does not include replacing a failed tank and/or valves.

Despite all of this bad news, LPG continues to be a viable choice for many owners especially where change to a Diesel is unaffordable or changing to a hybrid drive is not feasible. When many Km are traveled, the cost of installation and/or inspection can be recovered within a reasonable time. Additionally, LPG has a lower level of noxious Oxides of Nitrogen than petrol. Emissions are lower than petrol or diesel. LP gas engines are up to 50% quieter than diesel and can be as much as 70% cleaner and 30% less noisy than a conventional diesel engine. LPG also provides the benefit of much-reduced engine wear

Most petrol-powered vehicles can be converted effectively to either dual-fuel or dedicated gas operation but for the reasons stated above, dual-fuel arrangements offer considerable advantages.

Due to the decline in demand, Graeme Cooper Automotive no longer install LPG systems but can certainly advise on maintenance issues.

Tuning Land Rover petrol engines

The following is an extract from the full article dealing with the history and tuning of Land Rover petrol engines.  To view the full version, see https://graemecooper.com.au/petrol_performance.htm (available only on the desktop/tablet version of the website)

There is much misunderstanding about “tuning.” Essentially, this means making whatever adjustments / enhancements that may be needed to maximise the power output. The fundamental rule is that no amount of tuning will improve an engine that is not running correctly in the first place, so basic maintenance is an essential prerequisite. Additionally, delivering additional power means putting more strain on other vehicle systems, especially the drive train, steering and brakes so these MUST be up to acceptable standards before attempting to gain power. Also, power and torque are two different things and the objectives must be made clear before commencing.

Remember too that the engine typically delivers less than half of its power to the wheels. Every related system robs power so the more gadgets are running (like air-conditioning) the less power there is getting to the wheels.

There are, of course, many different stages of “tune” from relatively simple improvements to power and/or economy, through to tyre-shredding increases to power at the wheels. Money is the essential ingredient.

Graeme Cooper Automotive will provide advice on performance tuning to suit your particular needs and budget