D.I.Y Builders Shop For New Woodgasers

Diesel as opposed to gas engine

Hummmmm-sounds as though diesel is in the “experimental” stage. I have an 85’ Ford F250 with a “cornbinder” 6.9 International engine in her. Since I am not a fan of rebuilding or experimenting with it, I am looking for your advice.
I have the opportunity to buy a fuel injected, 6 cylinder, 300 C.I., 1989 Ford, F250 pickup, similar to the size of the build for the Dakota that is being built here. Would you recommend that I acquire the fuel injected truck as opposed to the diesel? Again–I am not a “rebuild” fan, nor a motor/gear head. I have actually started the build using the plans on this site, and have recently gotten 20 band saw blades for the cooling fins for the fire tube.
If selling the diesel and buying the gas would relieve potential headaches in the future, that is what I am trying to achieve. Simple is better!

Thanks for the GREAT website!!! – Lee


Hello Lee,
Yes I would say if you want to avoid a bunch of custom work go with a gasoline fuel injected engine.
With a big truck and a small engine I am not sure what kind of performance you will have you would be better off
with a 351w of the same year if possible. Sean

Hello Lee,

I also have a cornbinder here in an 87 model. The truck still runs Ok but I haven’t used it much since 2005 when I built the old ford wood gas truck.

I have experimented running a hose from another gasifier to the truck. It would knock like I was putting starter fluid to it.

I know to gasifie it I would have to add some head gaskets to bring down the compression.

Thank you–I have decided to sell the diesel and go with the 6 cylinder 300 C.I. Ford. I accidentally said it was a F250–It is really an F150. I think this engine size is comparable to the build we are doing for the construction section. If I am barking up the wrong tree or going down the wrong path please let me know so I don’t spend time on the wrong build. Thanks Lee


That truck will work fine, what is the intended use for it? Highway, hauling, farm work? Does it have overdrive?

Hello Chris – Sorry it took so long–Crazy life-anyway I want it mainly for highway, light hauling and occasionally pulling a 16’ trailer. So you agree that I should get rid of the Diesel and purchase the F150 300 C.I.? Thanks Chris

Yes the 300 F150 will work fine. Use the larger size firetube.

Hello Lee,
I recently talked to a diesel mechanic he is currently converting diesel engines of all makes and models.
To run on methane,cng and LP gas. To achieve this he has to change some things in the engine to work correctly.
The mod list is
lower the compression ratio to 10 to 1 drill and tap the heads for spark ingition, change valve system to nonlubecating system diesel fuel is a form of lubecation
All of the above is time consuming and expensive. I would stick with the gasoline engines and parts that are readily available Regards Sean

Thanks Chris and Sean!!! That really helps. Of course I expected quality response from this site and particularly the both of you! Thanks - Lee

Chris–I missed the question earlier–Does it have overdrive? Yes–I consider a 5 speed transmission to have “overdrive”. – Lee (does it make a difference overall in performance)?

Hi Lee,

Overdrive makes a big difference at cruise, keeping the RPMs lower and using less fuel. This is also reflected in your MPGs. My old truck is a 3spd automatic without overdrive, and it has a hard time above 60MPH, gasoline or woodgas.

Way cool! Thanks Chris–hope to meet you guys some day, but Washington State is a long ways from where most of you guys are. Maybe a goal to take my completed “wood gasser” to a meet!! - Lee


I happen to be in Summerfield, Florida, and I am interested in seeing your setup. My target is to run a generator to charge some batteries, but love to see your setup.


Add me to the list of want to be there… If you held a workshop within a couple hundred miles of San Francisco I’d be the first one in the parking lot waiting for the gate to open… Any chance you can take the show on the road? PLEASE??

Hi Sean,

What is the ballpark price for a full wood gas conversion? PM me if you like. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada, north of the rust belt, and would like to have a rust free 1/2 ton, 4wd from the south. Not looking to do this right away - its a long term goal.

I got to visit Sean and made a video of the experience.

Thanks Sean for sharing your time and knowledge.

my working truck the prime candidate for woodgas conversion is a c6500 GMC with a 366 in it plenty of weight carrying ability as I could haul half the wood lot ideas suggestions and thoughts are welcome

Hey Mart,

Thanks for taking and sharing the video. I enjoyed getting to ride along.

Looking good Sean,

When I was watching Terry L. videos I put my coat on and had the wife to fill the heater. As I was watching you drive I rolled my sleeves up and had the wife open the windows.


Hi Mart,
Well must say great job!!!
You caught me completely by surprise thank you for taking the time.
Glad you and Tim had a good visit

Thanks for the video Mart, ( http://youtu.be/lyVT_dlDNEA ) but this leads to a question for Sean and Wayne and group. Starting at 14 minutes in the video we see Sean jump up into the bed of the pickup and open the lid with the engine at a fast idle and proceed to poke the coals and add a sack of wood. Somehow I always thought that you shut the engine down when reloading but apparently that is not necessary with the Keith gassifier? You couldn’t do that with an Imbert, right?
Don M