1978 Dodge 360 power wagon

Captains Log, star date 2,6,2,0,1,3.
The truck was transported to my place this past week and scanned with a tricorder for vitals.
7 out of 8 tribbles are firing so the hunt is on to find the 8th. Go Scotty.
A preliminary assessment was done by engineering to see if there was room for a new source of energy without compromising the hull and shields.
After a thumbs up, plans and resources were made available to acquire materials for construction which shall begin on star date 2,6.
The gasifier energy plant was set on deck, as well as the cyclone, pre-filter/cooler, and final filter. These pieces still need to be secured to the deck before we go to warp speed.
Plasma conduits were run from one piece of equipment to another taking into consideration valves, drains etc.
The main 2" conduit makes its way under the captains helm just clearing the reverse thruster and terminating right next to the power plant.

The anticipated voyage under the power of a new fuel is star date 2,1,6,2,0,1,3.

There is much yet to do as well as install monitoring equipment so Sulu and Chekov can report conditions as they occur.

To be continued–

That has me and roomates banging our heads on the table laughing in tears. Classic. Thanks, that made our night.

glad I could add some laughter to your evening!

Captains Log, star date 3,1,0,1,3
Uhura- please correct the star date.
After conducting a methodical process of elimination the 8th tribble was found and put back in with the other 7 and in the right order. Good job scotty.
A threaded fitting was added to the exhaust conduit along with a long range sensor to measure the presence of oxygen.
A mixing valve was constructed out of non corrosive material (pvc) for the blending of antimatter and itdontmatter.
Linkage and attachments were made so the valve can be controlled from the helm.
Barring some type of cosmic storm we are still on track to launch our voyage, Star date 3,1,6,2,0,1,3,

To be continued–

Captains log - complete-
Today, after much anticipation and hard work I was able to drive a vehicle for the first time under wood gas power. What a hoot!!
Things went kinda how I expected but then there was the unexpected as well.
After joining this forum and getting Wayne’s book it became apparent that I would probably starve the 360CID and shouldn’t expect hyway speed. But thats OK you have to walk b4 you can run. Have you ever seen a gorilla suck on a coffee stir straw? That’s a good analogy of what happened.

A bit of history- The gasifier I built this winter was an Imbert style. It was built for the purpose of testing and learning with hopes that I could use the concept for a new boiler to heat my house.
The choke plate on my gasifier is 3/8" thick stainless with a 4" diameter hole. I have a themo couple in the choke plate (literally) to monitor hearth temp. The burn tube is 10" diameter, I have 5 nozzles with 7/16" holes. (ouch, that dog wont hunt!)
I will try and give a play by play-
I started the gasifier and was flaring off gas while it warmed up and I started the truck engine to warm that up as well.
When the gasifier hit 1200F+ or so I shut the gasoline valve off and ran the carb dry till the engine quit.

(I have a valve at the base of the flare tube and a valve after the hay filter so I can burn gas off before going forward to the motor. I use a vacuum cleaner in reverse and pressurize my system at the air inlet. This way I dont have issues with tarred up, burned up motors. It works great for leak testing and I do have a spring loaded hopper lid.)

I closed the flare valve and opened the downstream valve to purge the 55 gal filter and get the gas up to the air cleaner.
The mixing valve was open and when I had gas coming forward I shut off the vacuum cleaner.
The truck was set up with the following;
Choke plate temperature sensor and meter
gas temperature as it enters the hay filter.
manometer 0-20 wg digital on the gas supply line before air cleaner.
Magnahelic 0-10 on the down side of the grate.
Air fuel ratio meter with 02 sensor
0-25 in/merc vacuum gauge on the carb side of air cleaner to monitor air filter life.

The truck started up with no problem and I began to fiddle with the mixing valve to find the sweet spot. It ran smoother on wood gas than with gasoline.
I tried various throttle positions to see how the engine and AF gauge worked.
OK put it in gear and go! I stalled it a couple of times as I was learning the mixing valve.
First thing- mmmmm do I always have to fiddle with this mixing valve?
Then I drove it around the block about 4 miles and was quit surprised that it didnt take much throttle to fault out the digital manometer. So beyond 20" I know not.
I was also pegging the needle on the magnehelic which only goes to 10" wg.
However I was doing 40-45 mph and the hearth temps were now 1600F.
Stopped at the truck owners house to show him what had been done and moved onto my next stop.
Everything seemed to still be the same trying to find the sweet spot on the air fuel mix but became somewhat skeptical in light of pulling so hard on the gasifier. I could hear the mixing valve singing.
Then I saw the vacuum gauge move to 2 in mercury and wondered could it be? 4 miles later it was at 5 in merc which is about 70" wg. and the truck just didnt want to go.
So pull over (the only good thing about gravel roads is no traffic) and pull the air filter. It was a gold color b4 I started now it was black and wet and water laying in the base of the cleaner maybe 1/4 cup. Did I mention that I do not have a gutter on my unit but am using kiln dried oak for fuel.
Then the truck wouldn’t start (weak battery) but I had a spare battery along but by then I was spooked and opened the gasoline valve wanting to make sure I got home. So after I cranked on that for a bit thought I would try the wood gas again and it took right off, go figure.
Then serveral miles later I just couldnt keep it going, didnt know if it was flooding or starving. All the gauges looked OK so I switched over to gas and went home. Dont know what was happening and I was running out of adrenaline. Most of the time the AF meter indicated a lean mixture.
I dont know if I will run the truck again or not. I cant really do anything with the nozzle size. But if I do try it again I will have to blow a few more holes in the burn tube to get more air. Like add 5 more 7/16" holes.
It may Chernobyl the unit but it was only a test unit to begin with.
I will be posting a u-tube of the event when I get a chance.


Great first time experience Wes. I use KD hardwood too, and seem to get LOTS of water. The gutter system works good, but condensation occurs all the way to the intake manifold. Keep after it, every experience adds to your knowledge base.

Will do Carl, I think I will add 5 more nozzles and run one last test b4 I retire this student version imbert. It wasn’t built for durability so it would be just a matter of time before its burned out. I still may use it to develop a wg boiler for the house. It seems to me that condensate is the bane of wood gas. As I understand it even with a gutter you still have to deal with it. So, the only way I know how to deal with that is the same way you remove condensate from compressed air, refrigeration. Has anyone used their air conditioning compressor to dry out the gas? Or added a compressor just for that purpose?

Hi WesK
On answer to your “Has anyone used (mechanical refirgeration) to dry out thier gas?”
Yes the bigger installed India Institute of Science/Mukunda/DASAG stationary systems do use 1 to 2 post gas mechanical refrigeration steps.
Also Canadian Greg Manning does refrigerent chill and condense dry out his primary gasifier air somethines to dulplicated his more normal frozen Canadian winter dehmidified air conditions on his stationary gasifers. This should illustrate fuel wood moisture is only ONE of THREE moisture sources. Your air in moisure can be a huge contributor. A heat losing hearth system forces you to oxidization burn up even more fuel wood internally just to create the needed replacement heat to keep your core tempertures up to the needed levels. This over combustion WILL always create combustion H2O as a byproduct. More moisture than you could ever possibly disassociate down in the char bed. Then even MORE heat is needed to be produced (with even MORE combustion H2O) to be able superheat all of these excessive moisture loads down through the hearth core without temperature dropping, just to then be condensed out down stream in the cooling filtering systems. A self defeating heat energy waste.

Mechanical refirgeration adds a bunch of complexity and will take a lot of system power to operate. Unnecessary.

Get your system heats in balance so you are NOT temerature quenching out on gasifier combustion moistures and you actually will be able to handle all of the wet air and even wet wood up to 30% by wieght moisture fuel woods.
Read Waynes rainy day test results at the end of his book as proof of this.
Re-read his posts reports and he consistently gets MORE condensate volumns out heat Cheaply BEFORE the hearth core in his hopper systems than he has heat Expensive condensates AFTER the hearth core in his cooler/filter,
Sign of an excellant heat balanced system.

Steve Unruh

Hey Wes ,

Thanks for posting the video.

Nice video Wes! Who is your camera man? That was some good camera work - slow and steady - not fast and jerky like I sometimes do:-( You say this is an Imbert style with a 4 in. choke and five 7/16" nozzles and you were thinking five more 7/16 nozzles? That just seems like too much air to me! you don’t want to burn your fuel up before it gets to the engine:-)
Don M

P.S. How did you physically attach your TC to the choke plate? Was it type K with the insulated wire leads?

my understanding is that the total combined nozzle area should be about 5% of the restriction’s area for the traditional imbert design.

5 x 7/16 nozzles sounds right in the ball park to me… I wouldn’t add more air.

As others have mentioned, I would look into dealing with condensates before they go though your hearth. You may find that you will make better gas in the process.

A 4" restriction is somewhat small for that 360 engine. I’d be looking at something closer to 6" if I was planning on running it all the time.

I’m not smart enough to give design advice on an Imbert, but I do know good camera work when I see it, plus a well thought out “test” of a given system. With success! Kirk would be proud.

Thanks for the reply Steve,
One thing I dont have in this gasifier is a gutter so I realize that I have no where to go with the various sources of water. The condensate in the system didnt plague my test as much as the under sized nozzles, but that’s what testing and learning is all about.

Thanks Don,
My good friend for better than 20yrs and fellow walleye fisherman Bulldog is also a photographer.
I do have a 3D model on u-tube showing the construction of the gasifier. I built the unit so I could drop out the choke plate and support ring from the bottom of the burn tube. This would allow me to change the distance from choke plate to nozzle and change the choke plate as well. The thermo couple was an after thought when I started running it. I use a “k” type that has the glass braid insulation and the end is just welded together.
I drilled a 3/16" hole in the edge in the choke plate within a 1/4" of the 4" hole. Then I drilled a 3/16" hole through the burn tube so I could feed the thermo couple in all the way. Char and ash seal between the OD of the choke and wall of the burn tube. If I change the height of the choke plate then I would have to add another hole. and close the other. When I remove the access door I can see the results of the previous run I dont have cooling fins on the burn tube and it is only 1/8" wall tube so I know its days are numbered. I didnt know jack squat about gasification last October. When I got bit by the gasinator bug in October I just had to build one but didnt know what to expect of how to build durability and function into it so I built the test unit. The reason I’m thinking of adding more nozzles is to do one last run with the truck b4 I give it back. The one thing that I wanted to get a feel for was the mixing valve. I was forever playing with it while I drove and one position was good for idle and another for moderate throttle. One thing I dont want to do is continuously adjust the mixing valve while driving. I figure if the motor can get fuel easier perhaps a single setting would work broad range. Here I go again running off at the keyboard. So how much fiddling does one have to do with the mixing valve? Or should I plan on sewing my finger to the knob.


thanks for the comment, my nozzles are 5% of the choke as you stated. I could put a larger choke in but I cant really add to the length of the burn tube.

Just like the enterprise- always short on power :slight_smile:

You betcha’ Wes by all means get as much running time out of this one that you can changing one thing at a time to look-see and learn from.
On your plastic pipe gas supply leg going down under the cab and then back up you have created a moisture trap. Unavoidable. After only just ~20-30 pounds of fuel wood consumed you are going to have ~2 quarts/2 liters of condensate moisture accumulate down there if not already. This will block gas flow giving you engine fits if not low spot drained out. Did this on a ground laying blue pool hose on the second gasifier run I ever did. Yep. Even plastic if in a long enough run will lose enough heat to drop out lots of produced gas condensate.

If your hearth core still survies your overjetting on your kiln dried oak wood, try and have some chunked up soft wood availble like a pine, spruce or fir. Toss that in to finish up with. I think you will be amazed how much more gas will be produced quicker with a more reactive wood. Be aware this will also make more hearth heat quicker - why to try this last.

Steve Unruh

I will have to see if I can find some pine as you suggest. I do have pine pellets but in general I’m not sold on using pellets. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer but I did put a “T” in right under the truck at the low point b4 the 45 up to the engine and had a pipe plug in it. When I was done driving I pulled the plug and maybe got a 1/4 cup of what looked like clear water except for some black silt. It was about the same laying in the ail cleaner housing. I’m with you on the extra jetting though I will prob only add (5) 3/8" holes in between the nozzles. These will be just holes no protruding nozzle. I say push this thing to yee-ha performance and see what happens. I"m a big fan of Tim the tool man. :slight_smile:

Hi Wes, On the subject of mixing valves, I’m a natural born “fiddler” of knobs, so I probably adjust more then some. On a good 25 mi. trip to Walmart I will get it set and not have to move it till I get to town. On a relatively flat trip I will set a little lean to maintain speed, and just dial in a LITTLE gasoline, for a few seconds, on the occasional hill. It provides a noticeable boost but does not require A/F adjusting. When I get to town, it seems a little rich helps with the start and stop as the gasifier cools a little. Cool morning start-up is the hardest for me as the engine is warming, the gasifier is warming, I forgot what I learned yesterday, etc, etc. The disclaimer in all this is I’m still learning! My mind is a square peg, and I fear some of the holes will always be round!