I am happy to finally talk with you. I am a former circle saw miller of more than twenty years. I owned and operated my mill in southern Illinois. I now work for the railroad and wish to learn more about your gasifier. I have a Ford truck that I quit driving a few years back because of the cost of gasoline. I was so excited to see a 460 running on wood that I feel I have already gotten my truck back. My truck has a 460 like your first truck. Do your new designs work on Ford 460’s as well as Chrysler products?
What year is your Ford 460?
Hi Bryan, I combined your posts here. The 460 will work, Wayne used one for a long time and now Doug B. is using it. His was carbureted which is a disadvantage but not impossible to work with. If yours has MPFI you’re in great shape.
How big is the truck? The truck’s weight and bulk matters as much as the engine. Given that it’s probably heavy duty, it won’t be a fast truck but it’ll get some work done.
Hello Mr. Bryan and welcome aboard,
Yes I will be excited to meet you in Argos as well. I wish you could have been there last year; looks like you’re just down the road a few miles.
I think we can safely say we can run any gasoline IC motor on wood gas. As a general rule they will run smoother on wood vs. gasoline but with less power.
The quick answer to your question is yes, our gasifier design will power your 460 but the devil is in the details as with any vehicle.
Chris has a good write up “what to look for in a woodgas donor vehicle “and I will try to add a few comments also.
Each vehicle will have negatives and positive in relation to being gasified. Just to mention a few, does the motor have a carburetor , TBI, or MPFI. Can the ignition timing be advanced manually, by the computer and how much? High torque / low rpm vs. high rpm / low torque motors. Design and material of the intake manifold and if there may be sensor attached. Horse power to weight ratio, difficulty of required maintenance, gearing, also working room for installation of components.
Another thing to consider is the intended use of the vehicle and state inspection laws.
In most situations one would like to us the vehicle he has, but if it has too many negatives it might be best to trade for one more suited for wood gas. Keep in mind none of these vehicles were designed for wood.
Here’s the article:
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I’m not sure of the year, seems it is a 87. I will check when I go home in February. It is a crew cab, F250. 8 miles to the gallon.
Thank you for your reply. I understand. I am a Chrysler man anyway. I got tired of buying parts for one of my log loader’s at one point and replaced the whole engine with a Chrysler 318. The 318 has been the most reliable engine out of all that I have owned, and we have had every flavor at some point in time. I am looking to build a highway truck that I can drive back and forth to our farm in Illinois. I’m tired of wasting all my money on fuel for the trip. I could go home lot more often, source wood is not an issue to run the gasifier.
8mpg, ouch. That would be a fast payback for wood conversion.
1984 2 barrel carb version is a good one for wood gas, will vouch for that. It gets 12mpg on petroleum.
1987 is right on the border for carb or injection so the year matters. We are thinking a later '90’s up to end of production as a good candidate for variable biopower assist. Same set up hydrogen generators, but with wood. May have to fool the exhaust gas sensor.
Price of diesel to price of gasoline and considering ground power, could live with poor mileage if it only happened during heavy towing. Running wood for low power excursions would offset the pain of petrol for full power.
If you’re looking for a highway truck, the F250 ain’t it. You want something light and powerful.
Start looking for a V8 Dakota 92-95. They’re almost magical little trucks… perfect for woodgas highway cruising.
Is it the highway speed of the Ford F250 - 460, the wood consumption, ease of conversion, or all of these combined that makes my ford truck a poor candidate?
Are Chrysler Dakota’s an easier conversion or just a fundamentally better all around vehicle for the gasifier once completed?
Your 460 would be fine for farm work or slower heavy towing. But it’s not ideal for highway driving, with or without woodgas. If you need a highway vehicle, I have to recommend something else.
It’s the combination of weight, high profile and low gearing (you didn’t mention an overdrive). The fuel economy sums it up; this is a hard-working truck that needs lots of power. It’ll do fine at slower speeds but I wouldn’t expect it to keep up on the freeway. It will likely do best at 50-60 MPH.
Dakotas have a large engine for their size, but more important they are light weight, low profile and geared high for good economy at freeway speeds. They’re not good for heavy towing, but they’re the best truck we know of for travelling 65-75 MPH on wood.
If there were lots of choices in this category we’d be using them too. No brand loyalty here; just no other light V8 trucks on the market. Similarly with the V10, it just happens to be the biggest displacement engine available in a pickup truck.
I have been very excited about the possibility of getting my old truck back on the road. Gas was 97 cents a gallon when I bought the Ford in 1997. It seemed a little steep to fuel it even then, but as the gas prices rose we drove it less and less. We got down to only using it to pull my boat back and forth to the river. I finally bailed out of it completely and started to use my S10 Blazer to pull my boat, it's been retired ever since. I happened to see Wayne's truck hauling hay in the youtube videos. I got excited about the possibilty of getting it back up and running again as a wood gasser and my first crack at gasification. My logic was that I would have little investment in the truck itself for my initial project. I could focus on spending most of my time and money learning and building my first gasification system. I am an avid welder and fabricator, these are skills left over from my sawmill days. I don't think you can run a sawmill for any length of time without gaining these skills.
Anyhow, what I don't want to do is beat a dead horse here. If your focus over time has progressed to the processes to make Chrysler Dakota's and Ram V-10's run on wood and very little time on making Ford engines run on wood, I would rather just start with a Dakota and follow your well worn path to success. I prefer Chrysler products to all others anyway. If though, you have the technology and processes to make the 460 run on wood dependably, I would like to return it to service for our farm and keep it from going to the junk yard for my first project and focus. I understand that the gasifier is only part of the equation, fine tuning this engine may not be as easy or as practical as the Mopar engines. If this is the case, I get it. I would rather start with a truck that I can get help with as my project progresses and be happy with the final result. The old girl is still a very nice truck, but completely impractical to run at current gas prices.
We have a very plentiful supply of wood and I still have access to sawmill slabs and cut offs, wood fuel is not a factor in this equation. I still have a few truck axles left over to build a nice chunker when the time comes. I hate the thought of going out and buying another truck when I have one I don't mind cutting up and modifying if it can be salvaged. However, if I am wasting my time and money for a poor performer, which was the case when I initially purchase this truck in 1997, your not going to break my heart by telling me so. I would rather start looking for a 318 Dakota and send the Ford off to the junk yard if this is the better choice. Your thoughts on this subject are very much appreciated, just wanted you to know where I am coming from.
The 84 460 Ford F-250 (carbureted) on woodgas with light mods runs great on the interstate. Just not as fast as most traffic. 60mph is comfortable. Long climbs at that speed get the gasifier breathing heavy and getting hot. Downhill you can flow with interstate traffic at the speed limit.
If you can afford some petroleum for big city traffic, and cool down time on long uphills, I think you would get a lot of use out of the Ford.
For pulling a big boat out of the water, you may prefer the weight of the big Ford at the launch ramp.
If your truck is carbureted and clean, or even injected, please!! contact me with price before scrapping, editor at resiliencemovemnt.com. Have wood, will travel.
For sporty, fun and fast, on woodgas, Wayne’s 318 Dakota conversion is hard to beat.
Don’t misunderstand here, the Ford is OK for woodgas, we’re not discouraging you from it. Just decide what your goal is. It’s fine for a farm truck, and if that’s what you need then go for it! It will also go on the highway as Doug points out. But it’s happiest on the farm.
If you mostly want highway traveling then you’ll do better with a Dakota, no question. It’s far superior on the big road, both on gasoline and woodgas. It can’t pull big boats though, or slog through a muddy pasture.
Don’t forget, this is just your first truck - there will be more. Build the Ford, use it on the farm and learn the ropes. Then do a Dakota later on, when you’re ready for a daily driver.
Good morning Bryan,
Above I mention all the vehicles will have positives and negatives in relation to gasifying. By already owning the truck are a lot of points toward the positive side . If the truck is intended for farm use I think I would go with it. I gasified a 84 ,F250 ,460 in 2005 and it was my daily driver ( farm use)up until last year. I sold the truck to Doug D and explained all the positives and negatives to him. It seems he is well satisfied with it.
Like Chris has said we are pushing no brands , in fact I have always been a ford owner. My first two gasified vehicles were ford , 78 F350 400 cid , 84 F250 460 cid. Also I bought a 87 F250 in 1991 and it was my farm truck until the gasified truck took its place ( it sits here in the yard and have not driven it in three years ) The only reason it is not gasified is because it is a diesel
If I were SHOPPING for a farm truck I would strongly recommend a V-10 Ram 4x4 . If I already owned a F250 460 carbureted or TBI I would spend just a little time searching for someone that might be willing to trade vehicles to take advantage of MPFI and OBD1. If no luck on the above I would build the truck you have. Over the years I have used the same truck as yours and it paid for itself many times and at present is keeping a smile on Doug’s face .
Thanks for all your posts. This is a great thing you are doing here. When I think of all the wood I could have driven on in my lifetime, it would have taken me to the moon and back several times over. I am looking forward to getting started. My truck is in Southern Illinois on one of our farms and I live in Northwest Indiana. I have some vacation this month and I am excited to get down there and start the process of getting my old truck up here and in place to start the conversion. My progress will be delayed a little, I am going to college full time plus working full time. School will be over for me and I will graduate in about a year. 2014 is when I will start to concentrate on making this all happen. I intend on becoming a premium member soon and learn all I can from you over the next year in between working and finishing school. I will see you in Argos, that’s for sure. You are doing a great things here. I’m not surprised that a fellow saw miller came up with all of this. Necessity is the mother of invention around a sawmill, and that is a fact. I only wish I had known about this technology earlier in my life. When I think about all of the missed opportunity that I had in the past to create my own energy from a practically free and unending wood supply, it is a little hard to accept. I would probably still be in the sawmill business today if I had known this technology existed. Farming, cattle and saw milling were my chosen profession. I am looking forward to retirement and setting up another mill and raising cattle again. I am glad to started on this now, I will be ready for the farm when the time comes when I retire. I probably appreciate this opportunity more now than I would have as a younger man. Again, thanks for answering all my preliminary questions. I’m sure this is the beginning of a long and prosperous relationship! I look forward to learning all I can from you, thanks for all your tireless efforts to make this a reality for all that have an interest. I appreciate your responses greatly, I know it has to take up a lot of your time.
Well done Wayne Keith and Company!
Many thanks again,
I have been amused by some of the responses I have received, even if I take the time to show people one of Wayne’s videos. I seemed to understand the concept right a way, have you all had the same type of experiences???
Do you get blank stares, questions like “Why would anyone want to do that?” or double-takes ;~)
My best double-take was when the podium announcer at the Humansville parade was reading off the cue card and said “powered by wood”. Then I got some cheers from some kids and thumbs up from some bikers.
Exactly what I was talking about, interesting how narrow minded folks are out in the mainstream.
This is definitely NOT mainstream. More interesting than the many folks that don’t “get it”, are the few folks that do.
It was amazing to ride and drive with Wayne around Springville and see how nobody in that small community gives a rip.
Woodgassers are a rare breed. Keeps the price of wood scraps down ;~)