Charcoal Powered Bolens Lawn Tractor

Here are pics of my 1972 Bolens Husky 1256. Last winter I actually ran on charcoal to do snowblowing. I start it with a rope, and yes it’s hard to start. I use a little portable vac to start the fire.

In the background is a blue barrel that I more recently turned into a gasifier for a Lumina APV minivan, you can find my post for it here too. I’ve since learned to crush the charcoal finer. :wink:


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Just a few more things about the Bolens,

I added egr since, not shown in the photos. I also made adjustable timing, that was fun! I just elongated the holes in the coil mounts, so it could be rotated. It helped a lot when the engine singing the higher registers.

Hey Dan, it looks like you have about the same size woodgas supply line to that 12 hp Wisconsin as you do for the Lumina. What are you seeing as power loss vs gasoline with this tractor? That hydro transmission is nice for woodgas as you can variably use all the power the engine gives without having to go to the next gear up or down.

Hi Don,

The line on the tractor is 1-inch (I believe, it’s swimming pool hose), the Lumina, 1-1/2 inch. Running the rototiller in the summer seemed to be about 1/2 power, but in winter the power seemed better, probably from better gas cooling. There was still a power loss running the snow blower, but it really did well anyways.

Pretty… I want to do that to a lawntractor next…

Very nice! I also use a vacuum to start mine, And don’t bother with gasoline. I find switching from gasoline to wood gas to be aggravating. I do like the gasoline if I want to just start it for a second to put it away or move it, but when I have a job to do it is charcoal all the way. I have not played with one in the winter yet, I don’t use small engines much in winter. I may have to mount one on my skid steer just for fun.

That’s a sweet tractor dan. I have the 1056 (10 hp) with the manual trans. It’s a beast.