General Gasifier Troubleshooting hodgepodge

I don’t know your engine or it’s history. Did you replace the valve in the picture? This guy has a lot of good tricks for engine repairs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK2R2LdkLKs
I highly recommend an oil pressure gauge. You can tell a lot about the health of an engine with it. For example: if you observe a slow decline over months time in oil pressure at idle you can replace the oil pump and or crank bearings before rapid cylinder wear begins to occur.
Rindert

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Pressure leak-down testing without the regulator/gauge set, and air compressor:
Pull all of the spark plugs from 2,3,&4. Leave #1 spark plug in. Disable the ignition. Cranking over listen for the compression leakage with a mechanics stethoscope at either out the oil filler - THE PISTON RINGS.
Or: hissing pressure leakage out either the intake entry or exhaust manifold - THE VALVES SEATS.
Repeat this test doing cylinder #4.

The rings on a low-use one like this can always be in-place decarbonized improved with a patent spray-into-the cold cylinder de-carbonizer. Foaming Sea-Foam brand; a foaming spray-in Chrysler product, ect. Left overnight to sit and work.

Not-sealing valve(s) at the seats is a pull the head, and repair job.

Yep. Yep. You will have to put back in the push rods and rocker arms to do this test.

I am actually surprized this 1-3-4-2 engine will run on just two cylinders with usable power. 3&2 still good and I think you got lucky. 1&3; 3&4; 4&2, 2&1;;and I do not think it would.
S.U.

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valve is in cylinder 3 . bought oil pressure gauge .valve

cylinder walls looked clean did not fill with oil to see if rings held oil . replaced head gasket . still trying to rebuild ,
will have flare after engine , If I get flare I can shut off flare and start engine , 55 gal hay filter , looking for foam sock filter to put in 55 gallon drum . I was going to be cutting Alfalfa now to fill drum . bought fittings for big loop of pipe to cool wood gas.

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when I ran on 4 poured half quart of synthetic oil into engine , did not help engine at all , smoke stayed in house all day .
I will try sea foam . Cylinders 1 and 4 have a third of compression of 2 and 3 . which has 150 psi . I lapped the valves .

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I’d pass on the alfalfa. Too many small leaves that may end up further down the system, and the stalks are quite coarse. Use wild grass instead.

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Henry,
I’m amazed that valve is holding pressure somehow. I would not have reused it.
I’m with Garry Tait about the alfalfa. I would use some long stem grass. Alfalfa is really good for cows, but …
Rindert

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It has been two weeks , ran engine with two cylinders 127 amps at 48 volts oil pressure under 50 . Permanently removed carburetor replaced with 1 1/2 inch ball valve . put dried flowers in hay filter , have foam filter in hay filter . sealing filter drum with paint . Done a lot of leak sealing to gasifier . Almost put together . Need to make fuel .

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Hi Henry,
A core item in gasification, “conservation of energy”.
I believe that preheat helps reduce the chance of tar. You don’t want to introduce
cool air into the heart of the system, although it works, it has to take heat away from
the core to heat that air. That takes heat away from the gasification “process” and
could lower the temp at the nozzles thusly impacting the core temp. Maybe not a lot, but hey
conservation of energy is critical in this process for max clean gas production. I went through a
whole rigga ma role just to do essentially what you’ve done. It’s a GOOD move despite the
PITA.
Do you have to? No, but this is heat (energy) that is not available to the
gasification process itself.
It’s a good move. The only problem I see is the meltability of your tubing. I used copper for mine.
Any holes melted in your tubing will detrimentally affect the core temp and thusly your
total good gas output, imho. Then a tear down and put in metal pipe anyway. Watta PITA that’ll be!
Go to the Small Engine section and check out “My first small engine run” on page 456 for a
pic of my setup.
I have to say it is well worth the effort!
Pepe

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that was my June 2 post . I painted this with high temp paint sealed threaded ends with muffler paste . Original tubes failed at threaded end because they were not sealed and burned trough and leaked air and all gas burned inside gasifier .

I plugged air pre heat and used lighting tube for air without pre heat producing a whole lot of tar . It produced gas that could run engine . I have now replaced original air pre heat . have not run gasifier since .

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successful run of gasifier , could not light with propane torch used map gas . Heated to 10 mV started engine . Power output half what was expected , 60 amps at 48 volts . shut down at over 30 mV heat probe . injected undiluted 2 cycle oil before shut down . Noise made me deaf . Engine 2 cylinder of 4 cylinder 3L . sealing of leaks could improve performance .

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I’m not really an engine guy, but you might want to thin that 2-stroke oil with something, maybe kerosene? There are also things like “Marvel Mystery Oil” that folks have used to intake fog a marine engine for winter storage. Henry, I am amazed that you can run engines minus a cylinder/piston/rod. That is a revelation to me! Thanks for posting! I know you can make a small aircraft engine out of 1/2 a classic VW 4cyl engine, but that involves a lot of machine tool work.

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gasifier fail . relight , got flare , flare died had smoke . All gas being burned in gasifier . On off switch failed just when I needed blower and igniter to confirm this . I will cap air heating system and use air form lighter tube again , pipe on blower control is extension for lighter tube … First run fuel auger hit void and stopped feeding fuel . temperature went up shut down system . Second run had bridging in gasifier . Did not have time to continually look at temperature . Third run gasifier would not produce enough gas to run engine , just enough to start engine . Gasifier burning up temp probe did not show it . all the work was for nothing , Original coil failed , replacement coil failed . I have three drums to trap tar . It is 4 cylinder engine four pistons in engine but I am only feeding gas to two . Push rods removed and intake manifold blocked to two cylinders .

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I tried another run . I now have the timer for auger and shaker working .Gasifier not so much . with all mixing air shut off engine will run well for three minutes then die , but it can be immediately restarted and will run for another three minutes and then die . For next run I will bypass air heating coil . as soon as I make more fuel .

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That’s an interesting problem.
Are you measuring anything that might help you to troubleshoot the system?

Many guys troubleshoot by flaring. They don’t hook up an engine until they can control a reliable flare.

Pete Stanaitis

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Sounds like an air leak?

This is from the first entry on this topic:
Air leaks–pressure test with soapy water, smoke test, create suction and watch a vacuum gauge or manometer while using liquid on suspected joints and fittings. Don’t assume stock parts (air cleaners, hoses, fans, blowers, valves, etc.) are air tight. When running on gasoline, closing air mix valve and gas pipe will stall engine immediately. If engine runs at all you have an air leak near engine.

I’m not sure about the “near engine” part. Perhaps an engine will run some with a leak that is some distance from the engine?

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Just wanted to capture this troubleshooting wisdom that Steve U posted in another topic:

examples just in the last two weeks have been a retired mill electrician B-I-L and his son a welder/millwright; a 40’s yo medically discharged hi-tech Army Ranger neighbor; another different 30’s y.o. working machinist neighbor all asking auto-electrician me for help with five different vehicles with electrical system problems. Sigh. One had burnt out all of the under-hood harness fuseable links on his just-found 69 Ford Thunderbird insisting on installing TWO, not one, batteries backwards. that old Ford had old both black colored replacement battery cables. Both of those with universal fits both +&- lead clamp on cable ends. Gee dude. The cable going to the engine block would just have to be negative, eh. Fried the alternator. Fried the instrument cluster voltage regulator too. Radio too?
The other neighbor with only used occasionally an 85 Jeep Wrangler was head scratching a goes dead after weeks sitting, recently developed problem. He asked for help after new cables, new alternator, new charge-back wiring, new starter, and two different batteries installed. Turns out one battery had been recharged reversed polarity by a different “helpful” neighbor . Sigh. So that new alternator was probably needed.
I showed him step by step how to measure key-off battery drain/draws with a 10 amp fused milli-amp meter.
How to split out at his starter relay batt-terminal junction stud to trace his 250 millamps draw to each individual vehicle leg supply circuits. Ha! Was none into the factory vehicle circuits… His draw was through his recently installed bumper winch unitized reversal solenoid-pac. Dude, you will need a simple manual disconnect added into the winch supply cable.
B-l-L and son were fighting a 150 milli-amp draw on a high mileage 05 Ford Escape.
First dudes quit trying to trace the problem with just voltage on your VOM. Use the 10 amp scale battery in-line.
O.k. Under hood power distribution block master-circuit fuses #19, and #21 are the sources. See . . . NOT the alternator you’ve been suspecting. NOT any of 80% of the rest of a relativity complex features options laden vehicle. Half of their 150 milliamps drain goes away with removal of in-vehicle 10 amp fuse #10. This feed the instrument clusters/theft system light…
They are still working down to find the other problem drain.
Easy “fix” solution I suggested? Just put in two ignition-on powered isolation relays up on the #19 and #21 circuits.

My point to my long drawn out stories. None of these fellows is stupid. 3 of the 4 much more PC computers savvy than me. They ALL work/have worked in complex, hard to learn, technical areas.
But take a person out of their hard-learned specialty . . . .
Expect them to learn a whole 'nother hard-learn . . .
THEN they will expect YOU to deliver to them a rock solid never fails I don’waana-learn system solution.
And will bitch mightily when you fail to deliverkeeping them out of their dis-comfort levels.

Ha! See-DO is just so much more easy to sell.
You plugged it up dumb-assed!
You tarred up your valves dumb-assed!
Now clean up the mess, you made. Learn from this. Learn not to do this next time.

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Another troubleshooting tip:

Jan-Ola Olsson (SWEDEN)JO_Olsson1d
All this time I’ve had problems running 100% gasoline. Lean condition and unable to crank up cold without a adding woodgas, and then suddenly, like flipping a switch, rich condition when the motor is warmed up. I’ve checked every sensor there is, with no luck.

Today I finally got to it. I swapped computer box with my junk Mazda. SUCCESS :smile: The truck runs as it should again.

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I spent a month finding leak , sealing leak , letting sealant harden , testing for leak . finding leak . sealing leak . letting sealant harden . After failed attempt at running engine , That was actually due to auger failure . I spent another week looking for leaks in hoses connecting gasifier to filters to engine and found a lot of minor leaks . After run I think I have tar leaking from hose connection that was air tight . I am using flare have strong flare . Am using igniter from gas drier as to not drain battery . Had dead battery after starting flare , drove car up steps to connect jumper cable . Have to test if alternator is working , could have had more then one failed run due to battery going dead . Have charger on battery during run .Should always test for air leaks before running gasifier . Because I am not producing enough gas to keep engine running I think bypassing air heating coil may allow engine to run .

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Good post Bruce! I got caught with this more than once.

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Soooo familiar. I usually just say something like <If you want my knowledge you will have to do what I did to get it. I estimate 300 hours (example) of bust ass hard work. Don’t like the price? Then hire someone to do it for you. You earn your pay, let them earn theirs.> The usual reply is something like <Hugh!!! That sucks.> and they stomp off somewhere.
Rindert

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