Forced Induction

Hi all,

Nice to meet you all in advance.

I was wondering if anyone has attempted turbocharging or supercharging their engines in an attempt to make up the power difference between running woodgas and petroleum.

I live in the UK and am planning my first wood gas truck build. Unfortunately, here our engines are not exactly renowned for being large in displacement.

Would supercharging be better as the draw on the gasifier would be more uniform than turbocharging? Would the gasifier have to be oversized to compensate? Would you risk meltdown?

I’m eager to hear what you guys think and if you’ve ever experimented with this.

Many thanks


Hi Alex,

You don’t need large displacement to run good speeds. I have a worn out 1986 Mazda B2000 with a carbureted 2 Litre engine. Brand new they maybe pushed 80 Horsepower. With a charcoal gasifier I’ve managed to keep up speed at 55mph or 88kph. I can easily maintain 45mph even on the steep hills.

I’m currently repairing the truck after a bad collision but I plan to replace the charcoal gasifier with a raw wood gasifier using Wayne Keith’s design from his book, scaled to my needs.

Some have tried blowers but I can’t name any off the top of my head other than @SouthernYankee. I’ve heard mixed results.


Hello Alex and welcome to the Driveonwood site .

Below is a thread where we talked about the turbos and superchargers .

boosting a gasifier can really get complicated .

Turbo Charging or Super Charging Woodgas Engines


The Corvette on monster garage was planned to be rear mounted turbocharged but in the complete opposite sense of how it should work. Pressurizing the Woodgas only. So It was disabled to save our ass. Now if the air/fuel ratio was mixed before the inlet of the turbo then pressurized, I’m confident that’ll work. Eventually I’ll get to proving it with a front/manifold type setup of course.


Hello Alex,
Ron Lemler took his Ford pickup with a straight 6 300 cu. in. to our Argos meetup and showed off his super charger.

I don’t remember how much boost he was getting and he was still playing with adjustments etc. but I remember him saying that it did not work like he thought it would.


This car by beaver energy was powered with wood pellets and supercharged . Top speed was 47 mph . I was not impressed :disappointed_relieved:


I think for the price of a super charger you can up the compression on your engine to only burn on premium fuels. Also put to bigger engine in your vehicle. This is what some of the members have done. Or buy a truck with a bigger engine like you Dodge 1992 to 1995 and the Ford’s in the same years. Big six cylinder engine work too.
Bigger stock engines is the way to go when it comes to gasification.


Hi Cody,
This is great to know thank you! In that case a 3.5L V8 could do alright for me. 55mph is very respectable. What was your mazda like for towing?

Really sorry to hear about your truck man, I hope you’re able to get it fixed soon.
Thanks again for the advice


Hello Wayne thank you,
Thanks for the link. Yeah, that is definitely not the straightforward power gain i was anticipating :thinking: in that case, I think for a novice like me, it’s best to steer clear and keep to a N/A engine


Hi Kyle,
Pressurising the woodgas with a turbocharger?? That sounds crazy! so did the woodgas pass through the cooling rack and then into the turbo?

Sounds like that would be an awesome project, do you have a link to the monster garage project?

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Hello Don,
Wow thats a gorgeous truck!
Definitely not the easy power gains I was hoping for then :sweat_smile: and if it dramatically increases the wood consumption, if anything its a power killer huh?

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47mph? yeah thats definitely not that impressive compared to expectation. So what performance upgrades would you recommend Wayne? Is it more about upgrading the engine or optimising the gasifier?

Unfortunately here in Europe, we can’t access your gasifier plans so I’m using Ben Peterson’s builder’s bible. But any pointers would be greatly appreciated

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Hi Bob,
This is great advice, thank you. I think the biggest engine I can shoehorn into my truck is a 323cu in Jaguar V12. Unfortunately, as awesome as american market engines are, our import taxes here in the UK make them prohibitively expensive to buy and repair.
Upping the compression is a great call and I’ll do some research to see if theres a workaround to get an American engine


Hi Alex , welcome along , what truck do you have ? you mention 3.5 v8 so i am guessing its the trusty old rover engine ?
When i lived in the UK getting hold of left hand drive American cars were pretty easy and not too costly , i guess these days though with petrol prices what they are there now wont be so many around unless there all on lpg , here in Australia we still have the big engines but fuel prices now catching up with you over there , plus the cost of living over here is a real killer these days .


Hi Dave, thank you. I have a Land Rover Defender currently a Td5 engine but she’s in bad need of a complete rebuild (chassis corrosion) Aye thats right! the rover engine was what I was first looking at but considering I do a lot of towing with my business, I would rather have something with more grunt.

Yeah there are still a lot of american cars here but the prices are now astronomical and thanks to the new UK tax laws, importing parts is so expensive.

Petrol prices have skyrocketed yeah and with the fuel shortages we are currently experiencing, I’ve decided to stop relying on the pumps and start taking some responsibility for my own fuel. I run a green waste company so wood is plentiful and free.

Do you have a truck running? and if so what truck and engine are you using Dave?
When did you move over to Australia?


Hello Alex, Wayne is right in theory boosting the intake pressure will work to increase power, but I have found out it is not that simple.
[email protected]
Vesa has turbocharged woodgas successfully,he also had a book with quite a lot of detailed instructions and gasifier plans, very good reading and instructions !!
My attempt was not so great, my truck has an inline 6cyl 300 cid pretty heavy truck 3/4 ton, I was already getting 55-65 mph with woodgas, without a blower and was just curious if it could be made to run 75mph so I added a Buick M60 supercharger, and got 5lbs boost, resized the gasifier 25%.
Now on gasoline this truck will fly!! On woodgas not so good about 45mph, so I exchanged the 1 5/8 in pully with a 3in one and now am getting 55-60 mph so the woodgas was too weak ,and am considering going back to the naturally asperated setup.( like Wayne said, much simpler and still works well)
I am sure it will work, but havent figured it out , I hope this helps if you do go with boosting the woodgas I would like to see it working. :slightly_smiling_face:




Hi Ron,
Thank you for the link. You have such a beautiful truck!
It sounds already like you’ve tinkered a lot with forced induction. I was planning to go down this very same route so you’ve saved me a lot of time and frustration trying all this again.

This being the case, I think I’ll get the biggest engine I can and see if I can up the compression ratio slightly with a skim. Then once I’m more confident, I will look into perhaps a forced draw on the woodgas after I’ve read Vesa’s work

I saw on one of your videos that you were saying about intake manifold modification. How did you modify them if you don’t mind my asking?

This was extremely helpful, thank you again


I simple low tech way is to use the Ametek blowers and use a battery to power them. Only use them when you need the boost for accelerating, then recharge the batt at speed.


Hello everyone, I think that you shouldn’t go after a huge engine for the car to run fast on generator gas. I would prefer to pay attention not to the volume of the engine, but to its traction characteristics (especially in the low rev range), to the compression ratio and to the transmission that works with it. It must be remembered that on wood gas engines very poorly overcome, under load, the 4000 rpm mark due to the low combustion rate. And if we consider, as an example, my Opel - in it, at a speed of 100 km / h, the engine has a speed of 3500 rpm, then increasing the engine without changing the transmission will not lead to an increase in my maximum speed of 130 km / h at a speed of 4.2k. In general, I would recommend paying attention to the engine speed when driving, because with a 1.8 liter engine I do not experience a power shortage, unlike a speed deficit.