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Old 01-22-2010, 11:09 PM   post #1 of 15
davedejonge
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Default home made generator

So, seeing another thread with mention of a tractor powered generator I was curious about the possiblities of using my suburban to power a home made generator... If I bought a generator with a burned out motor on CL, pulled the engine off and popped a pully on the head... can my 16 hp tecumseh (oh160 i think) run for 12 hours at a time to power a 6000 watt genny?

What about pully sizes and engine speeds.
Anyone have any idea as to the gas usage of a 30 year old tec vs a new b&s from the borg?
How big of a head could my tractor power??

Really more curious than motivated at this point, but, thats the fun of it right?
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:18 PM   post #2 of 15
ss12
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Default Re: home made generator

most engine mounted gen heads are set up for tapered shaft engines, making finding a pulley harder. the tech would run it no problem. as far as run time on a tank of fuel, i dont think youd get 12 hours idling? i wouldnt think so, but? as far as rpm, it should be the same as the engine, making the pulleys the same size.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:30 AM   post #3 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

Kbeitz and I have both found generators with engines that threw a rod though the block in scrap piles before..he illustrated here once,how you can use one of the ones with tapered shafts without buying an adapter coupling (which can be had at bearing supply stores,but you'd need to know what the taper is,and they aren't cheap probably)..

The problem is,getting the generator OFF the original engine without damaging it,often the taper locks so securely, you end up ruining the armature trying to get them uncoupled!..here's what to do:

Since the original engine is junk,just use a chisel and hammer to get the side cover off,if removing the bolts wont let it pull away enough to get at the crankshaft..(I smashed the one I had into peices easily!)..then you can get a sawsall or hacksaw blade in there,and cut off the crank,right at the timing gear..you'll now have a straight shaft (the portion that used to ride on the side cover & main bearing!) to put a pulley on,so ANY engine can now power it!..if there is no keyway,drill into the crank some ,so the setscrew has a place to bite into,that'll work just as well..

You'll need to find what RPM the generator runs at,and lets say thats 3600 rpm--if you use a 3" pulley on the generator,and a 6" on the engine,then the tractor will only need to be running at 1800 rpm to get the right speed for the generator..you dont want to "overdrive" it too much,or the engine will bog and overheat possibly..you also dont want it screaming at 3000 rpms if you used a smaller engine pulley ,that will likely wear the engine out fast and possibly make the rod get thrown like it did in the original engine..if you can gear it so the engine goes about 2200 rpm and the generator goes the 3600 it needs too,that will be best..It will drink gasoline pretty fast though,I'd plan on 5 gallons for 12 hours..change the oil every 12 hours too!.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:25 AM   post #4 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

Sears made i think it was a 4000watt generator for the St16 suburbans...(was for all suburbans) and supposedly it worked well...Id imagine if you wanna run it a very long time(more than 3 hours) your gonna feel it in the wallet...My 16hp tecumseh engines dont get any great fuel usage...they LOVE gas(yes I can lean carb out but then they tend to run hot and lose valve seats)...Myself id put a generator on a twin 16(SS16) the ones i have get the best fuel usage and Ive ran them ALL day without getting hot or anything...
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:55 AM   post #5 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

you ain't gonna run it at idle for 12 horus, let alone at WOT where it NEEDS to be. you could probably rig up a larger fuel tank to run it that long, but that depends on you and your skills/desires.

small gas powered gennies are made to run at 3600RPM. many tractor engines are governed for 3000-3600, so you may either need to up your engine speed or use a slightly different sized pulley to get it right. but it MUST be 3600RPM to the genny to get the proper 60HZ. if you are off and hook up delicate electronics, you could fry them. local EOC fried several computers running a genny test one day, the large industrial generator went squirrelly and was outputing 75hz instead of 60.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:58 AM   post #6 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

The taper is the least of your problems. The crankshaft is the second bearing for the generator. You'll have to fabricate a bearing plate to make it a two bearing generator.
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:15 AM   post #7 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

you just get a 5hp greyhound engine from harbor freight for $190 and avoid all these headaches
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:17 AM   post #8 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

a 5hp ain't gonna run a 6kw genny. you need about 2 hp per kw, this varies a little depending on a lot of factors but is a good rule of thumb.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:36 PM   post #9 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

Yes,I forgot to add you'll need a pillow block bearing with a "foot" mount to support the genny where the engine bearing used to be!..

I disagree that a small engine HAS to run at 3600 rpm,that is the speed they redline at,but dont nessasarily need to be running at 100% of the time..true,they will get more airflow at higher RPMs,but need it due to the greater heat generated at those speeds..I'd say it would loaf along at 2200-2500 RPMs quite happily..personally,I'd prefer a twin cylinder engine with pressurized oiling system & a filter to run a generator for long periods of time..single cylinder ones dont seem to like long run times all at once,IMO..
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:41 PM   post #10 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

the GENERATOR(not necessarily the engine driving it) has to run at 3600RPM, 3600 divided by 60 seconds is 60 cycles per second. in other words 60HZ. if your peak power is in a lower RPM range, then you need to properly size the pulley to make X engine rpm=3600 generator RPM. maybe that is a little clearer than the way i worded it earlier.

on a side note, many gen heads are designed for lessr RPM. they will be labeled if so. diesel gensets often run at 1800 which is why they are quieter and use less fuel. of course, a diesel has the torque to keep it running at that low rpm rate where a small gas burner does not. you cannot just run a genset at any speed, thus the need to matchthe engine to the genny.
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:24 PM   post #11 of 15
Kbeitz
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Default Re: home made generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by rscurtis View Post
The taper is the least of your problems. The crankshaft is the second bearing for the generator. You'll have to fabricate a bearing plate to make it a two bearing generator.


Like Tractor-holic said use the side cover off the engine the gen-set came from... It has the bearing... After cutting off the chunk of crankshaft you now have a generator with the side cover and part of the engine crank sticking out of the generator... Weld a pullie or Love-joy on the crank stub and your ready to go... Look close in the picture and you can see a small part of the engine cover. It's the square part. No bearing support needed.


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Old 01-23-2010, 08:54 PM   post #12 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

so far as running a generator off of a tecumseh HH engine goes:

(linked to album with more pics)
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:22 AM   post #13 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

Wow,isn't that in NICE shape!...looks brand new!

I found a generator just like that one,only painted orange in a scrapyard once,I grabbed it for the HH100 Tecumseh,bought it for 30 bucks!..the generator was junk though,it fell off the truck when it got scrapped a bit too hard and it was all caved in and ruined..

I was elated though,when I got it home,took off the junk generator, and found the engine ran great!..but my hopes of using it on a Suburban were dashed, when I discovered it had the dreaded "tapered crankshaft"...I didn't know then,that you can buy adapters to make it a "normal" straight one again,and I sold it for 50 bucks to another guy who wanted it..
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:11 AM   post #14 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

I'm debating on buying it. It's on ebay right now for $288.00, local pickup only. If anyone was interested in it, I could pick it up, crate it and drop it at the local truck depot as long as I get reimbursed for the materials and gas (3 hour drive one way) to pick it up...
Oh, and buyer pays freight.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:19 PM   post #15 of 15
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Default Re: home made generator

I have a generator/altenator mounted on one of my Cubs.

This generator/altenator was design to have a pulleyon the end of the shaft.

Framework to mount generator/altenator to mount to my Cub Cadet:
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