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New Truck - 2003 F-150 XL SuperCab Bi-Fuel

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Old 09-02-2015, 07:42 PM   #1
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Default New Truck - 2003 F-150 XL SuperCab Bi-Fuel

Howdy all!

I just purchased my first vehicle. As a life time Ford fan, naturally I got a F-150. I ended up getting a used (obviously) 2003 XL SuperCab Bi-Fuel propane. The lot I purchased it from had not tested the propane system on it so I wasn't sure if it would work when I bought it. The truck is in pretty good shape (other than normal wear for a 89k truck), the pre-sale inspection only said that the upper ball joint covers were slightly dry rotted and the joints would need to be replaced sometime soon (no play yet). They were not qualified to check the propane system.

Anyway, I get it home, go have it filled with propane, flip the switch to Alt, and start it up. After about 2 seconds it fires up, with a large cloud of whitish-grey smoke coming out of the tail pipe. No more smoke after the initial start. The light which is supposed to come on in the fuel switch isn't on, so my dad goes around back and takes a whiff of the exhaust. He tells me: "It smells sweeter, not like gas." So we assume that it is running on propane. It only took 9.9gal before it automatically shut off. If I read the Bi-Fuel manual correctly the tank is 33.7 gallons (correct me if I am wrong). With a 80% max capacity (26.9 gal), it seems to me there was 20 gal already in there. On the way back home (closest propane place is about 20 minutes away), I notice that the gas gauge was going down. It is still in the Alt position, no light on the switch. I kept driving it for a day or two and after about probably 2 hours worth of driving, it was down to 3/4 a tank (gas gauge).

As I have never had experience with propane before, I don't have any solid ideas about this. The only idea myself and my dad could come up with was maybe a fuse was bad. We have not had a chance to check the fuses yet though.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:55 PM   #2
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Howdy all!

I just purchased my first vehicle. As a life time Ford fan, naturally I got a F-150. I ended up getting a used (obviously) 2003 XL SuperCab Bi-Fuel propane. The lot I purchased it from had not tested the propane system on it so I wasn't sure if it would work when I bought it. The truck is in pretty good shape (other than normal wear for a 89k truck), the pre-sale inspection only said that the upper ball joint covers were slightly dry rotted and the joints would need to be replaced sometime soon (no play yet). They were not qualified to check the propane system.

Anyway, I get it home, go have it filled with propane, flip the switch to Alt, and start it up. After about 2 seconds it fires up, with a large cloud of whitish-grey smoke coming out of the tail pipe. No more smoke after the initial start. The light which is supposed to come on in the fuel switch isn't on, so my dad goes around back and takes a whiff of the exhaust. He tells me: "It smells sweeter, not like gas." So we assume that it is running on propane. It only took 9.9gal before it automatically shut off. If I read the Bi-Fuel manual correctly the tank is 33.7 gallons (correct me if I am wrong). With a 80% max capacity (26.9 gal), it seems to me there was 20 gal already in there. On the way back home (closest propane place is about 20 minutes away), I notice that the gas gauge was going down. It is still in the Alt position, no light on the switch. I kept driving it for a day or two and after about probably 2 hours worth of driving, it was down to 3/4 a tank (gas gauge).

As I have never had experience with propane before, I don't have any solid ideas about this. The only idea myself and my dad could come up with was maybe a fuse was bad. We have not had a chance to check the fuses yet though.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Sounds like you found yourself a unicorn. Pull the switch and replace the light. Find the circuit in your owners manual and check the fuses and relays.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:56 PM   #3
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Oh sweet. I didn't know I bought a unicorn. I'll give that a try. Thanks.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:15 PM   #4
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Oh sweet. I didn't know I bought a unicorn. I'll give that a try. Thanks.
Lol or a pegasus, whatever you prefer. I have only seen one in person. Go for the fuses and relays first check the cab and under the hood.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:24 PM   #5
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A couple other things I was wondering about:

1. Is it possible to add cruise control?
2. Which models have compatible bench seats? I am not a fan of the one that is in it.
3. Is it standard for the steering wheel to not be adjustable or did NCDOT really cheap out and get the base of the base model?

Those are all the questions I have right now! I will post more as I think of them
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Blenderite View Post
A couple other things I was wondering about:

1. Is it possible to add cruise control?
2. Which models have compatible bench seats? I am not a fan of the one that is in it.
3. Is it standard for the steering wheel to not be adjustable or did NCDOT really cheap out and get the base of the base model?

Those are all the questions I have right now! I will post more as I think of them
1. Without changing the pcm I honestly dont know.
2. Are you dead set on keeping a full bench or is switching to a 60/40 bench an option.
3. They went base of the base my man. You could change the column I suppose.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:37 PM   #7
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1. Without changing the pcm I honestly dont know.
2. Are you dead set on keeping a full bench or is switching to a 60/40 bench an option.
3. They went base of the base my man. You could change the column I suppose.
I am not dead set on keeping a full bench. In fact, I didn't even realise that there was another option.

I expected base of the base, doesn't surprise me at all. I'm sure changing the column would be expensive.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:45 PM   #8
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I am not dead set on keeping a full bench. In fact, I didn't even realise that there was another option.

I expected base of the base, doesn't surprise me at all. I'm sure changing the column would be expensive.
yep most of ours come with the 60/40 and anything 99-03 will bolt right up no problem
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:50 PM   #9
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Is it safe to assume that it doesn't have to be another SuperCab that I rip the parts from?
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:56 PM   #10
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Is it safe to assume that it doesn't have to be another SuperCab that I rip the parts from?
That depends. Does yours have the seatbelt in the seat or separate? That is really your only restraint when it comes to your donor truck.
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