Dodge D250

Here’s what’s up with my truck.

It’s true, as Mike LaRosa points out I spent a lot of time making this site go, and not enough time building stuff. So it’s BACK TO WORK. :slight_smile: I am going to team up with Wayne and try to get my own Keith-style gasifier on the road before too long. I’m actually planning to take the truck down there and work on it in Alabama for a couple of weeks. It SHOULD be ready in time for the meetup in May. But before I go I want to have everything ready that I can.

Some of you may remember from reading my blog, that I had the truck almost completely built, and ran into flow restriction problems, and had to stop and re-evaluate things. As it turns out, there’s a lot more to a gasified truck than just “getting it to run” - longevity of parts, capacity for condensate and ash, heat recovery and other useful tweaks can make all the difference between a daily driver and an expensive hobby. Barely running isn’t good enough.

So I took it back a couple of notches. Basically the truck is back to normal, with a nice looking headache rack. I will be adding a hay filter and plumbing real soon. Stay tuned!

Got these gauges in the mail yesterday. WIKA brands, $25 each. They will go on the cooling rack and elsewhere.

Here’s some pictures of the truck. The gasifier I built has been removed, in favor of a Keith-style unit.

Hey ChrisKY
Good post, good learning curve. Advantage of using an evolved hearth design is you will get a richer, denser more powerful composite fuel gas. Your restriction choke point problem, won’t, once you can quit having to over primary air feed in producing better output gasses… Inert Nitrogen flow through will drop from ~60% into the 50’s. Double digit inert CO2 % will drop below into the single digits having been converted to the fuel gas CO (note the one less O needed and the additional heat energy chemically latched ready now to IC engine spring to do this). As a raw wood fueler your low 1-2% CH4 methane output will double to 3-5%. This is the Best of the power gas components.
And add to your list of the needs overall system maintenance access points. Ha! Ha! You ain’t quite done with your cooling racks yet until you add in the Keith inspired style wash out plug ports to the uprights and cross-tube ends.
Don’t let the Administration “fleas” here keep you from your own DOing man. To not is proven burn out. We can all just wait a bit sometimes. Still gonna be a mighty fine world here after 2012 is a memory like Y2K.
Steve Unruh

Great lookin’ racks Chris!
While we all are very excited to see more on the site, you got to take care yourself too.
We understand that this is a project that is going to take some time.

Went to visit Wayne and get supplies yesterday. It’s a long trip but it was worth it. When I got there the car started acting real funny, bucking and stalling, and I barely made it to his house. After a while of trying different things, it turned out to be a loose ground wire.

With that solved, we talked for a bit and started collecting some materials. Wayne is graciously sponsoring my re-build with some materials, and later we’ll be working on it in AL. That’s coming in a couple weeks. For now, I’ve got some work laid out for me.

Hi ChrisKY
Good catch on the chassis ground wire problem. Even more fun on a Japaneese vehicle when you lose big to engine block starter ground cable. Then next cold start watch the throttle and cruise control cables go up in smoke trying to be the cranking amperge ground return path!!

I see the firetube in the back of your Metro. Reminds me.
Darren Curtis had 9-10 extra 12 inchers cut he was offering for $30. each over on the Premium members Builders Design forum.
You should ask him if he would allow you to post these in the Classified section here. Be a need for these to some.
They should be UPSable.
Bound to stir an interest in some to see just how these are used in a Keith build-up.

Steve Unruh
PS I finally found the little blue edit button. Thanks much for this.

Hi guys,

Here’s where I’m keeping updates on the truck progress. Easier to have a central location than keep little update threads everywhere. So check out the Eat More Chili blog!

Today’s post: Eat More Chili!: Progress

Hey ChrisKY
I think this topic is in the not so many eyes Premium section, eh? If So you can moderate out what I am going to say.
I tried loading your eatmorechilli - 5 minutes loading just to see a then loading gear icon then five minutes more to have my system crash, have to power down and restart.

You are making a mistake taking your visible work off of this site.

Yeah, yeah I know you think MikeL. and I are old tech fossils needing to get on with the times.
Take ten deep cleansing breaths and please listen:

. For personal Freedom. To keep this old stuff from being shipped off shore for the poor in Asia and Africa to burn and stir out the copper from that toxic soup before they dump it in the ocean for the buck that will buy them that days meal.

Am I making and sense to you here?

“Use it up. Wear it out. Make DO. Or do without.” Applies to Tech even more importantly than for overalls and pickup trucks if we want there to be a healthy clean individually Free World for the future generations. I do not choose to be a party, hearty person at other peoples expense.

Forum/Group stats for all of the woodgas ones I’ve been on are never less that 20-1 to as high as 100-1 vistor read versus participate. Actual wanting, needing rural and offgrid woodgas wanting users are again 100 to 1 versus those who are willing to hang their name out on the WWW and talk about it. . That video you sent to me is getting passed around a lot by these people.
Never ending Software capabilities drives the need for newer hardware creating obsolescence and then we are trapped into a throw-a-way merry go round faster and faster shallow vain culture.
Ever really looked at the George Washington bridge? Still working today. Same with paper information. Think or the best of music preserved on paper just waiting for a DOer person to bring it to life.
Make sense?


Mar 16 Edit done by me Steve Unruh in the interest of brevity. S.U.

Hi. I was a bit surprised to see some of the secret sauce recipe out there too. Figured it would take a while even after the book is released before it would be on a blog. (just my .02)
Gary G.

@ Steve, I understand your concern. I am reposting this here, mostly for your benefit and others in your position.

@Gary Graham, nothing explicit was shown, but even (I think) the part your refer to has been removed.


Here’s the progress so far. Of course I mean progress on the woodgas truck, version two.

I went to visit Wayne in Alabama and came home all the same day. It was a long trip, but well worth it.

Wasn’t too sure what happened when I got there - right as I pulled onto his street the Metro started bucking and stalling, the dash lights flickered on and off, and I barely made it up his driveway. Long story short, it turned out to be a loose ground wire:

Why a loose ground wire would kill the entire engine I don’t know. It’s a bad design, but at least the problem got fixed quickly.

With that straightened out, we got on to business. Wayne loaded me up with supplies and I helped him with some computer issues. Which reminds me, check out his latest video! I put this together for him:

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the site I built for Wayne.

It’s a great place to learn about gasifiers and woodgas vehicles. Wayne is a woodgas pioneer, why not take it straight from the guy who drives on wood every day?

I’ve started building things now, and the plasma cutter comes in really handy. Here’s some thick pipe I cut:

It’s not smooth because I am still learning my plasma technique. And I’m officially very bad at making holes! I have five burned out heat shields to prove it:

The problem comes when I try to use the plasma to pierce thick stuff; it widens and increases into a bowl shape, and doesn’t always punch through. Like this one:

There’s just nowhere for the molten steel to go. So my workaround is to predrill the holes.

Finished the condensate tank. It’s not hooked up, and there may be further changes made, but here it is:

And started the dashboard wiring. Here’s four control cables, three new switches and a vacuum gauge:

Not bad for two days work, eh? And more to come…

Hi Chris,
Excellent Job and great pictures.All of us are very lucky to have you and Wayne team up on this project.Chris did you use a propane or water heater tank for your condensate tank?

Hi Bob,

I used a well tank. It was the exact height I needed to fit between the frame rails. I still have some adjusting to do so the pipes can be connected without hitting anything. Also the exhaust pipe is right in the way, will have to move.

Great job Chris!!! If you don’t have a means of making sure all the condensation is out of your air going to your plasma cutter that will multiply your cutting issues. Our local welding supply guy says he makes more money off of folks not properly getting the water out of their compressor lines than he does on any other single factor.

Look forward to your future photos.


Chris F.

Headed to Wayne’s on Monday in the Dodge. We’ve got two weeks lined out to really push forward on his truck and mine. Will keep a semi-regular journal on the site here, in this topic: Trip Report

Taking a load to the dump tomorrow. Guess I ought to use the wooden bits for fuel…

Here’s a picture for those who might think gasification takes up all the space in your truck bed:

I noticed that the vacuum gauges you got look like they are brass… is that ok to use? i was under the impression that stainless internals would be the way to go, less tendency to corrode… brass internals are alot less expensive… thoughts?

The gauges are what Wayne uses, they seem to last just fine.

I rolled 1,000 miles on woodgas today. To celebrate, I decided to clean things out a little. Carbon tends to build up in the heat exchanger, so I cleaned it out. Quite a bit of it actually. Then I stuck a hose in the cooling rack and let it run. I don’t have all my access ports done yet so I only have one spot to run water in. Still got a lot of black sooty water out. Don’t worry, this stuff is actually good for the grass.

hey i read about your ground wire, on my bronco when i put my huge stereo in it would do the same thing, turn it up and the engine would die! wouldnt start for 5min the computer was so unhappy, then i put a 4ga ground to the cab from the chassy out of desperation, NEVER HAPPENED AGAIN!