1997 ford f-250 460 fuel injected married to a AC generator

I am pulling a 460 and computor out of my pick up and want to marry it up to an AC generator. I am thinking I would get a frame from a wrecked truck and bolt in the engine/generator, it will be skid mounted and stationary. It will live in a building and supply electricity for my home, greenhouse lights and heat. Not sure how much HP the 460 will produce and how big a generator to hook to it. Has anyone out there done this before?

sounds good, i dont have much woodgas advice (im kind of a rookie at this point), but i know the 460’s pretty well, plan on keeping the efi? i wonder what your peak torque/power numbers are, since you have the post '94 heads you have a smaller quench, put a set of flat tops (pre '94 pistons) in and your 460 could pick up some grunt as woodgas has a low tendency to knock, you could mill the heads pretty cheap, maybe a rv cam (with the computer you need to stay mild), and if your fabricating/welding a header flange and a set of tubes would do you well. also get rid of your EGR woodgas burns slow, the emissions system is easy to fool, if you keep the relays plugged in just eliminate all the the plumbing, same for the EGR, also youll have to make a plate to mount up the 460 if you ditch the transmission, (the starter bolts to the tranny) and for a stationary application i would keep and consider improving the oil cooler, and improving the cooling system, as in BIGGER,
thats just everything i can think of to help the 460, you may not need or want to do all that but the woodgas has a low energy density, increasing performance, and with a raised compression ratio and advanced timing you can minimize your power loss


Hey Brent, thank you for taking the time to comment. Good info. I am not much a mechanic, but my cousin is and he does not know it yet but we have got a project to start this fall !! I have the same questions, HP and Torque. To keep the tranny or not, How big of a generator can I spin, I was thinking 15 KW would do it but more is better as long as I am doing this. I was thinking I could make all the wood gas system BIG so I would not have to fuss with it as often. I could not run it in the summer as the fire danger is pretty high out here in central oregon. I was thinking of stuffing it in a concrete block building to keep the fire hazard to a minimum. Thanks again,

David, i am new to wood gassing but have been around a lot of engines and generators as a loose general rule gas engines need to put out about 2 hp at1800 rpm per 1000 watts so a 15 kw gen head would need about 30 hp. So if more is better for you that 460 ought really turn a big gen head

Here is a reproduction of a chart from a chassis dyno run on a project car I did over a decade ago.The car has a late 1970’s block with D3VE stock heads, a stock cast iron 4bbl intake, stock cam, and a stock carburetor.

The transmission is a stock C6 three speed automatic with a stock converter.
The rear end is a quasi-posi (shimmed up) 2.75:1 for highway cruising
Rear wheels are 29.5 x 15 Mickey Thompsons
It got 14.7 MPG average during a 3,400 mile highway cruise - the Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour 1999
Dyno run was made at Daytona motor Speedway before a trip to the Don Garlits drag museum…

The only modifications to the engine/drivetrain are as follows:
“street” level shift kit
home made headers with about 23" tubes, not all equal length, but I tried
it had 3" exhaust to the axle with dual 3" cat converters.

It is running cheap-o regular pump gas and I noticed later that night there were silicone “slugs” in my fuel filter where I had sealed a hole in the top of a fuel tank that I took off of another vehicle. Not sure if the car was leaning out due to lack of fuel, but about 350 miles after this, I noticed a loss of power and glowing headers… that ended up being a sheared pin on the distributor drive gear.

So… I am certain anyone can build a better 460, but would expect at least as good performance from a stocker.
The chassis dyno safety was set at 140 MPH… and that is where they shut 'er down.

This is just a SWAG, but here it goes…
From what I have learned about wood gas, assume 25% to 50% of the power you see on petrol. Lets be pessimistic and run some numbers at 40% gasoline power. I have read that AC generation is sensitive to the engine speed, which can be regulated using a conventional automotive cruise control. Smaller engines would have trouble making the wattage, but you have 250 ft/lbs of torque from 2000 to 4000 RPM. Lets take 40% of that - 100 ft/lbs is a wood-guess, but I am not sure where to go next…

If we tried using HP near the peak of the stock motor on petrol, say around 3600 RPM, we could de-rate 200 HP at 40% would be 80 HP. If 2 HP per 1000 W it would crank out 40KW I think (?)

There are some people on the forum with good sized engines turning generators on WG, so they can correct me…
I am really interested in what I should be looking for on the generator head. please share the model and brand of what you have.

The BioMax 25 is a 25kw generator running on woodgas, driven by a 4.2 liter Chevy Vortex engine. Normally, a gasoline driven 25kw generator by the same manufacturer would have a 2.4 liter engine driving it.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time crawling around the BioMax 25 at the US Forestry Service biomass gasification research station in Louisiana and have talked with the guys who run an almost identical BioMax 25 at Auburn. The USFS unit has a roots blower to generate vacuum for starting the gasifier. The Auburn unit has the roots blower feeding the engine. It seems to me, the blower could help recover some of the lost hp when running on woodgas.

The BioMax I checked out uses Woodward automatic governors. It has a valve controlling the wood gas, another valve controlling the combustion air (from a standard K&N air filter) and a third valve controlling the engine speed. The lines feeding the woodgas and the combustion air look to be about 1 1/2" to 2" in diameter. As I said each of those has an automatic control valve for adjusting mixture. They come into a T and then go through the third valve right above the intake manifold.

Hello Todd,

On some of my earlier vehicles I had roots superchargers but only used them for start ups and had nothing to do with powering the motor. I have quiet using them because they are expensive and take a while to install. Also the motor has to be running for them to draw the gasifier. The little eclectic blower I now use will start the gasifier in less than two minutes.

If wood gas is being blown in the motor by a supercharger then you will also have to blow in the mixing air. The alternative is feeding the mix air before the blower.

I think one should keep the wood gas dead (no oxygen mixed in) until the very last opportunity to mix it in. This being the air breather (spring loaded of course)
Sooner or later there will be a small back fire from the intake manifold, the difference in the designing of the air and gas delivery to the intake will be the difference in a small puff back and a LARGE BANG!

Chris Brodbeck (one of the operators of the Auburn biomax) and I have spoke at several events together. Pics below

The biomax machine is big, computerized and shiny, but on my trucks ( V-10 8 L ) I am putting out near twice the power and the gasifier takes up the front two foot of the truck bed.

Chris tells me with today’s energy prices and the near ½ million dollar price tag the machine will never pay for itself.

Thanks for those comments. Yes, the return on investment for one of those experimental units simply isn’t there. By the way, converting my diesel pickup to run on heated used cooking oil (not biodiesel) had a payback of about five months. So far, I figure I’ve saved over $40,000 in fuel though it has required a lot of my time. But, I enjoy learning so it has been a fun experience. Now, to do the same with woodgas and ethanol.

Ford built the 460 in a natural gas version.

Google “Ford 460 + natural gas + genset”

Not to say it can’t be done better here. Just to say there are specs on the output.