Engine blowers to replace lost power

My nephew who is into performance cars was up the other day. We where talking about tractors that have been converted to wood gas. I commented that right now the idea is on hold because both of my haying tractors are running just about at max power to do the work I need done. I have been actually taking steps to address that this winter and come summer we will see how successful I have been at lightening the load.
Anyway he asked a question that I honestly hasn’t even thought about. Can you add a blower to get back the lost power? It seems like an interesting idea to me simply because you wouldn’t be adding stress to the motor if your goal is to get back to the designed hp rating on the motor. Now remember the tractor motors I have are from the 60s recently rebuilt so good motors but with compression ratios of about 6 to 1. They are long stroke low compression low speed about 1800 rpm motors.
Anyway i figured it was worth asking. I am sure I could find a blower from one of the diesel models and make it fit. But to be honest I won’t be doing any science projects on theses two tractors until I have my big case 5240 running again I just have to have these two running right now and can’t risk something not working.
That said i wanted to float the idea to see what people think about using a blower to make up for lost power on wood gas.

1 Like

Blowers has been discussed on DOW, but I don’t know how to find it.
Wayne has experimented with blowers on his truck he can probably answer all your questions.

Ron Lemler put a blower on his 58?? Ford truck.
You might be able to pull up pics from 2016 Argos and get a look at it. I believe he was pleased with how it turned out.

A blower or mechanical super charger is a parasite load.

A turbo uses waste exhaust heat to drive the turbine.
Free power ( well nothing is free but lower cost than wasted shaft power to drive a roots blower )

If you can manage to get a couple of pounds of boost on a gasified engine that should make back what you lost.

Why do you loose so much power in the fist place?
That is a better question.
The act of pulling on the gasifier significantly reduces the engines power by increasing it’s pumping losses and lower VE.
Then you have all the extra nitrogen in fuel reducing the heating value of the fuel.

My opinion ( not back up by anything but a gut feeling ) is a turbo is the way to go and keep the boost down to as much as needed to make up for the lost power so you do not cause wear on the engine.

1 Like
1 Like

Thanks Wayne that was a great read. I think my best best it to stick with my plans to lower the load on the tractors basically changing the hydraulic pump to the min my accumulator can handle and trying to ballance the weight a little lighter if I can. Then if I can’t lighten the load up enough look for a bigger tractor with the power I would need. The tractor I truly need is out there just like that one I posted or an allis chalmers d19. That would have the power to spare and all the good things I like about my d17.

This reminds me of the old saying there is no replacement for displacement.


I think that would be the best approach. Something Steve Unruh said on one of his posts made me think a blower wouldn’t last with woodgas and other people have said a turbo can have trouble with seals because of higher vacuum from the gasifer. It would be fun try to solve those problems but not on something you need to make a living.


There is something to keep in mind here. One of the biggest loads on an ICE is; the engine is working hard to suck the tops off the pistons. Until recently, all diesels ran with a wide open intyake system. I’m sure that you are aware of the phenominal horsepower that is produced by diesel engines. High manifold vacuum is a huge drain on power. Race engines develop a lot of power because they increase the fuel-air charge. They also try to drop the manifold vacuum as much as possible so the engine isn’t working so hard pulling the pistons down.
High torque gasoline engines need a relatively high velocity in the intake mainfold to get good cylinder charging at low RPMs. High power engines sacrifice low-end torque to get top end breathing. The old dual-plane manifolds tried to get the best of both worlds. The spread-bore carbs like the Quadrajet were designed to get good intake velocity at low RPM.

The beer-keg manifold on the 318 is an attempt to have long runners and get a ram effect from the momentum of the air. They screw it up by opening the runners into a plenum.
There is probably a cam-valve-runner combination that would give better torque that the gasoline design but, it would take a lot of testing to work it out. Considering the RPM operating range of a truck, the 318 might benefit from smaller valves.
The 318 might benefit from headers to get better volumetric efficiency but, that too would take some testing. The slow propagation of the flame-front seems to be a big limiting factor. An exhaust system that scavenges very well would probably help out on that. You want a clean air-fuel charge. The EGR is specifically designed to make a polluted air-fuel charge. if you can increase the efficiency of the burn to the point that you can dial back on the advance, this tells you that you are getting somewhere.


My brother invented a grain dryer that’s 50% more efficient than conventional. He just passed the testing faze…not sure if you do grain ore interested… Brothers a smart cat, mechanical engineer , worked mostly on aircraft his life

1 Like

Cool about the new system.
I just raise hay for grass feed beef. Grain doesn’t really like our climate here and the big mid western farms can raise crops like that way cheaper then I could hope to here.
We did feed corn when I was a kid but I won’t have the pesticides here after finding out they where linked to my late uncles bone cancer.
So my focus is on haying old small square bales and raising galloway beef off them as they do very well grass feed. I am looking into what other animals there is is a profitable local market for. The horse hay market here is flooded and fussy my fields are not really good enough for that right now.


Lucky . I wish so much i could have a farm…Here it pretty much needs passed down by the family. My grandpa tried got rained out every year and become a mechanic. He build the high perfomance for the bootleggers and Ford wanted him…but, he rather the simple life

Getting into farming is hard everywhere I think. If I had to buy the land I am on I couldn’t do it. It is my mother’s land.
That said if you look into permaculture you can in most climates grow your own food on a very small plot. You are pretty far north so I can’t really make any good suggestions as to what will work up there. My brother moved to North Pole Alaska and I know he has to be very selective in what he grows in his garden. But he can hunt for much more food then I ever could here.
I can tell you my garden and burning wood for heat has alot to do with my ability to get by right now. My garden has cut my food budget to almost nothing.


luckily i learned to grow with marijuana as a youngster . With technology and LED’s it’s becoming easier for us city slickers to grow our own food etc. and cheap…still wish i had a farm tho… Love the hard work. My buddy has a dairy farm and i’ll go out and work for free…recently we pushed the city to allow chickens

1 Like

Maybe you can trade work at your buddies farm for a bio fuel you can burn for power. Most farms around here have lots of brush they need trimmed around the fields that will easily feed a Wayne Keith gasificer.

1 Like

That’s the plan ! :slight_smile: I just want it perfected first…still very early stages. you guys teach me lots