There is a strong interest around the world in natural gas as an alternative fuel. This paper is concerned with the option of converting diesel engines to spark ignition operation. Although this may appear to be an outrageous thermodynamic action, it is preferable to using natural gas in a low compression gasoline engine conversion. An investigation is described in which engine maps were produced for a 5.6 litre direct injection diesel engine converted to CNG. The diesel operating characteristics have been compared with those of the spark ignition conversion at compression ratios of 18:1 (the original diesel value), 15:1 and 13:1. Detailed data are presented for the 15:1 compression ratio. These test results are supplemented by results for other diesel conversions. The use of these engines in bus fleet operations is also discussed.