Driving a Wood Gas Vehicle

Howdy All,

I have now talked to a few folks who have driven these vehicles on Wood Gas, and here is what I have heard. This info is what I think I have observed watching Wayne Keith’s videos also.

Please, let me know if my observations are correct?

First off, a Wood Gas powered vehicle is underpowered compared to if it were run on Gasoline. So, a larger displacement motor of about 1-1/2 times the displacement will give a comparable amount of power compared to the original sized engine? Like the power of a 300 cubic engine on gasoline would be comparable to a 460 cubic engine running on Wood Gas?

Second, there is a loss of power when the gasifier is put to the test, like hauling a load up a steep hill, which either has to have a blend of gasoline added, or change gears to a lower ratio while climbing a hill in “Crawling” mode?

Third, that you can run these gasifiers in any weather, so long as you (The operator) doesn’t mind getting wet, or cold, or snowed on, etc?

Lastly, these do need ongoing draining, checking, and such. Not for someone like my wife who wants to be on her way 5 seconds after start-up.

While reading what I just typed, I have come to the conclusion that this is just like the old days, when I drove an old “Over the road” tractor, moving goods around. It was so underpowered, that on hills I had to shift into the basement gears, and sometimes in the sub-basement, depending on weight being towed. Then going down the backside, that’s where you would be able to get some real speed.

The old truck wasn’t fast, but kept up with traffic on the level. I had to check everything before and after a trip. She had a 12 gal gas tank behind the seat and didn’t go far before I had to stop and refill the gas tank, either by a filling station or the gas cans carried behind the cab.

Always had things that needed to be work on, and it had little quirks. Had to fill the carburetor through the vent tube on top if it sat more than a day, or it cranked over a minute before it picked up the gasoline from the tank, as the check valve never worked well.

Did all this regardless of the whether or daylight. Sounds a lot like driving a Wood Gas vehicle.

All I can say, is them were some of the best days of my life, and wouldn’t mind doing it all over. Can any of you folks remember things like this, or relate to my post???

Ken Winiarski


B -61 Mack, tryplex


This thread is going to be popular. You have given the deffenition of the woodgas

I have lots of money for gasoline. I can buy what I want.

It’s the process of fireing up the beast, and making it work.;
Of just feeling in control of your life
Of knowing what is happening and controlling it.

With a good carb and a hot spark, I can take my baby love
anywhere she want’s to go.

The only reason to go for this challange is for the love of it.

All I have to work with is grass clipings and tumbleweeds
So I can’t use a WK gasiier But something will work.
And that is the challenge Now isn’t it.

Build your visions; live your dreams......Daucie


Yep, was an old Mack, gasoline job with a 5 and 4 speed. Single axle, and a 2 speed also. Shifting was a bear and had to reach through the steering wheel to shift it, and “God help you” if you ever missed a gear climbing a hill.

Guess we both remember the good Ol’ days. I don’t see driving on wood would be much different?

Had about 18 inches of the fluffy white stuff yesterday. It is now tapering off, and got to plow my driveway. Usually takes 2-1/2 hours, with all the turns and such.

All total, about 3/4 mile long. The side areas and cleaning up takes the time. I’ll post a few pics later. The only problem is that this cuts into my time on studying about the Gasifier and drawing plans and tracking down material. Have began to order some stuff I need already.

Got to go play in the snow.

Ken Winiarski

Hey Ken,

Sometime with the ole B-61 and a 60,000 pound load hitting a hill the speed dropped faster than the gears could be shifted. Had to hope catching every-other one. Once you found a low enough gear the front of the cab would raise up a few inches with a little twist clock wise and begin to tremble

Six inch of flame and a lot of smoke out of the stack.

Under 1700 rpm was lugging 2150 rpm was over rev.


Been there, done that !!!

Ever have one of them days??? This morning I was so happy. The snow was tapering down, and I was busy finding material for the Gasifier project. All was going well, then came the rest of the story.

I put my little bulldozer (John Deere 1010) and my farm tractor (International Model 1566) in the garage having them warm and ready for plowing the snow.

I opened the garage door and out went the tractor. Down the driveway and back up, but the tractor steering started acting up, till it finally quit steering right in the middle of the driveway.

On to “Plan B”,… Opened the other garage door and out came the little bulldozer, and started cleaning out the dooryard. But a little dozer with a 6 ft blade is slow and doesn’t clean up like a regular snowplow will. Soon, this died on me,… After a quick diagnostic, I found water in the fuel bowl, drained the carburetor, filled with more fresh gas and back playing in the snow.

Now, it’s getting dusk, and put her away in the garage, and started the tractor, planning on steering it with the brakes. It fired right up and everything worked as it should. Checked all the fluids and a quick diagnostic. One trip down the drive again and it started acting up (Steering acting like it was sucking air), but the second pump which works the remotes, and 3pt hitch was working fine.

Anyway, I’m now it’s evening, and I am sitting at the computer trying to troubleshoot the problem. Believe it is in the MCV (Master Control Valve), and not the pump or in the suction line as the second pump which shares the same suction line works well. Hope it is a quick and easy fix. Hate to open up the transmission. This is 20,000 lb tractor with cab. (See Pic).

I could be warm, happy, and locating parts for my Gasifier project… Bummer. Guess the tractor takes priority right now. More snow Sunday!

So, How’s your day going ???

Ken Winiarski

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas … NOT … Can relate !!! Mike
Wish I could hibernate till spring but that is not an option …

Snow baaaaaad!!! People around here can’t drive on dry pavement much less on the slick stuff. I have a buddy that owns a body shop that prays for snow. Last night it was snowing here but it petered out…thank goodness. As far as driving back in the good old days I cut my teeth on a single axle International cabover with a 250 Cummins and 10 speed. I pulled a 45 foot drop deck furniture van with it. A poor way to make a living. Then I moved up to a Freightliner with a 318 Driptriot in it. If you said “hill” on the CB radio it would drop 10 MPH on level ground. Those were the good ole days. NOT!!!

Hey KenW
I had the same problem with our JD/Yanmar tractor. Drove me nuts for awhile. New hydraulic filter and fluid and would it would still with use lose it’s power streering assist. Affect the front bucket and and rear threepoint arms up speeds then too. I kept looking for a hard valve problem. NO. Was a black algae build up on the cylindrical metal pump inlet screen. The more flow, the longer the flow, the more it would plug. Mine at least was externally accessible for cleaning.
Dodge 318’s (5.2L), 360 (5.9L) and the Dakota V-6 cast iron V engines good for this floater sucked in oil pump pick-up sceen blocking it losing oil pressure if the engine high miles and has a history of no/long oil changes. Drives you nuts with good idle and low speed pressures until driven hard. These seem to develope a carbon crust on the interior block walls that sheds off with cooling and heating turning into high flow conditions screen clogging floaters. Seem more than few pumps replaced for this now. Only “seems” to work at first in the case of the Dodges due to a new unclogged pick up screen.

Steve Unruh

Edit correction. Thanks BrainH. Ahhh. One of those conditions be happy you’ve never fought with.

I do believe 318ci=5.2L, while Dodge’s 360ci=5.9L. Otherwise, I have next to no idea what you guys are talking about. :stuck_out_tongue:

Brian 318 Driptriot (8 X 71 V8 ) 568 cid 9.3 L two stroke 318 hp.