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Old 2nd December 2007, 01:42   #1
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Default Ford Ikon 1.6 ZXi-CNG Convert Review

Hi! I am Abhik, 22yrs of age, working, fan of performance engines.
This is a review of my 2002 Ford Ikon 1.6 ZXi which i bought second hand in June,07. The car had done 90000 kms when i bought it. The car returned 8kmpl with the air con and 9 without it. As my daily running is 100+kms the efficiency was killin me though the performane of 91 horses teamed with an amazing handling package(thanks to indipendent suspensions up front and seni-indi rear, forward weight bias).
So CNG wa sthe only alternative fuel as it is widely available now in delhi. A number of dealers told me that the Ikon 1.6 cannot be retro-fitted with a CNG kit. (But i gave a damn!!coz a lot of ppl had also tld me not to buy the Ikon 1.6 in the first place.) So i did a lil research as it has always helped me on modification or before buying a new car(as i believe in facts not what people have to say without even knowing what they are talking about)on the fuel and kits available and got in touch with Jolly Motors IGNOU rd., neb sarai.
There are 2 basic types of kits available, a normal one in which CNG is fed into the cylindres through the air intake pipe going from the air filter box and the other is a sequential injection kit in which separate injectors are fitted for CNG intake but is pricey at double the cost INR-80000
Whereas the normal is for half the price varing from INR-35000 to 40000.

CNG bein a high octane fuel can produce performance in terms of speed but cannot generate torque as compared to petrol, resulting in less low-end grunt and acceleration. This is because the timing of a petrol engine cannot combust CNG with the same settings. But if fitted correctly with a LAMBDA(ECU for CNG) and timing advancer(with 3 pre-sets) and a good kit, the difference in a petrol and CNG run engine can be reduced to quite an extent.
My Ikon did not require a LAMBDA as the on board ECU is sophisticated enough to detect the change occurring due to change in fuel type and the ECU resets itself and adapts itself to the changes. Fitting a LAMBDA would results in a conflict. So just the timing advancer does the magic with a Tomascetton Achilles Kit. Best kit available in the market and made in Argentina.
The car run like a beauty and i prefer running it on CNG than petrol as for some reason the rev-limiter has gone off and the car revs all the way to 7000rpm instead of 6300rpm and the car also climbs up the rev range quicker than when driven on petrol. I have done 160kmph @ 5700rpm before i ran out of road and the engine was so calm and composed without the slightest hint of stress. Acceleration is a little lesser bt probably within a second's difference as compared to petrol but still does 50kmph 1st gear 50kmph, 130kmph 3rd gear, same as it was on pertrol. All this is stock settings.

I am a performance guy but for the records the car is returning 16kms to 1kg of CNG. Running cost of INR1.20/km against 8KMPL and INR5.50/km. So a good amount of savings and similar performance as compared to petrol.

I have driven the car for 3000+kms after getting CNG fitted in October'07.
The Ikon sets down by 2 inches at the rear because of the weight of the cylinder and that hampers handling(understeer and less responsive steering resulting in more steering input and unpredictable braking as disc upfront) and braking but can be rectified by after markets spacers which can rectify the problem.

Lastly I am thoroughly satisfied with Ford and its service. I would recommend that cars from Ford, Mitsubishi, Honda, FIAT etc should be taken to their respective service centers as the mechanics are well qualified and trained to carry out required work and they are the best as they work on the same cars day in and out. Mechanics outside can't carry out satisfactory work and thus people in turn respond as the car being bad or costly in terms of maintenence. parts might be cheaper outside but dont last long and in turn hamper other componenets. However this is a personal experience and opinions may vary.
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Old 2nd December 2007, 18:37   #2
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Nice review. But hold on - 80k? Who told you that? Tata vehicles get sequential injection kits that do very well in 43k all including an additional ECU and all that jazz. I'm not half as techie as wolfinstein the CNG guru! But all the same, good to see your experience.

Please do keep running car on petrol every now and then. old open loop kit in m800 (dont recall if it had timing advancer or such) used to have issues of fuel pump drying up, and regular issue with alternator. On new kit, 22k km done by brother, no issues - lambda really rules. its just a 5k additional cost btw!
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Old 10th December 2007, 21:01   #3
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Thanks phamilyman, i do ensure dat i run the car 5-6kms daily and always start the car in petrol(when cold or hot) and sometimes even 10-15kms. I was game for the lamda but as i mentioned that Ikon's own ecu is able enough to control changes occuring due to CNG,fitting lamda would result in a conflict, otherwise lamda is a very good addition to the kit.


Note from Mod - Please type in full words, and avoid the use of SMS language ("dat" etc). Thanks.

Last edited by Rehaan : 10th December 2007 at 21:32. Reason: Please see note in post.
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