Having Fun With Small IC Engines

Funny you mention that, my original intention was to put my 10hp Diesel on my Kawasaki Vulcan 500. The engine went kaput and they will accept Ninja 500 rear wheels that use a sprocket instead of cog belt.

My only issue is a transmission. The CVT kits could work but I suspect the belts would be consumed quickly.

I could also run a single speed centrifugal clutch I reckon, but I’d need to gear it for hills instead of a good top speed.
If this was a Royal Enfield Bullet 500 I could just chain up to the divorced gearbox. I don’t know many other motorcycles that still use a separate gearbox besides Harleys and some Royal Enfields.

Kind of a moot point though, a slow bike is not a safe bike where I live. You need the ability to get away or out maneuver the other psychos on the road.


Hi All,
In pursuit of Nikasil (nickel silicon carbide) cylinder plating applications usages and history I found this video with the oldest origins history:

Many more videos on this channel with details of cylinder recovery and plating info.

Another English video was saying origins in Germany for wear life improvements in Wankle engine case bores.

And I did find a video where The Oil Geek guy is using an engine oil analysis wear service that is testing for nickel wear metals in the oil as indication of Nikasil bore presence and wear.

Home testing for having a Nikasil treated cylinder may be possible with muriatic acid.

Whiling away time waiting for my propane equipment for inverter generators to arrive.
My next projects adding depth to our home-power.
Steve Unruh


Hi Cody, i think you should be able to find separate gearboxes, older types, i got some Albion gearboxes with separate clutch i found pretty cheap, i believe these are British made?
There are another make but i can’t remember the name?


If a person really wanted cast-iron you could have the block bored out and sleeved.

The cost may not justify it exactly but I’m seeing quotes around $200 per cylinder. Sometimes a person wants the longevity and the cost is a secondary factor.


I could have sworn it was Mac using the nikasil coated bores in their chainsaws back in the 60’s, and it was reason they became very long term orientated is they handled the abuse better. It was a while ago i think buckin billy ray did a video about it, i didn’t wonder at the time if anyone else had adapted it over into small engine 4 stroke application


O.K. Guys here is what I’ve been up to . . . changing my generating stuff over to true dual fuel gasoline and propane now:

I had some old, old experiences with Impco and Century equipment from forklifts and AG tractors; a few larger tow generators.
The new Chinese retrofit mixer systems were the unknown to me.
So yes I did pocket book open up for an already done factory engineered system.
Ha! It will seamlessly change over to propane from gasoline and back based on applied propane delivery pressure.
None of the retrofit systems promote as doing that. ???
The Teed off propane gas pressure to the built on carburetor bowl diaphragm actuator fuel cuts off the gasoline and shows here at 11:45-12:14

This new unit is a continuous 3000 watts system the same weight and just slightly larger than the old Honda’s 2000’s.
Sound running the same.

I wanted to compare to my open frame Yamaha 2800i inverter-generator unit but that one is out on loan, try-it. Now with option to buy.
See, listen to it here:



I was so pleased with how the little engine runs on waste oil i put a ad up on Market place and Gumtree to see if i could pick up a cheap small generator , first few hours of the ad up on Gumtree i got what sounded like a true blue Aussie bloke saying he had a Yamaha generator for around 450/500 bucks for it , same model as that one above Steve except it was a Diesel , i said i did not know they made a diesel and he showed me a sales pic of them over 2 and a half grand new i said nice how far are you from me and he said about 3 hours away but he will ship , so i asked him to take a video of it running and he said he already had one but he could not get it to send to my phone for some reason , after a while he said i have a sound clip of it running can i send you that , i said yeah ok but i still want to see it .
he carried on trying to get me to pay for it and when i said no i will leave it and get one closer to home , he suddenly managed to send me a 3 second video clip of it running , it was so short if i blinked i missed it , but even with my bad old eye sight i could tell he had taken a video of it from his phone while it was playing on his computer . Bloody Scammers will try anything to get my wife’s money off me :rofl:
Still wouldn’t mind getting my hands on one of them inverter generators ,but no way can i go too 2.5 grand ,eyes out looking for a busted one now .


Hey Dave in gasoline these do exist down there used for real:

Maybe you could adapt in the diesel engine.

This guy never figured out this problem was a carburetor needing disassemble and detail cleaned:

I expect he later sold it as-is.
And another. Read the comments:

Some electrical power end details here:


Hey Dave maybe surprising to you but my bought new Yamaha EF2000i had a special purpose to me.
It proved to be the one unit that could eat up nearly any old found; stored gasoline.
With it’s higher fuel use consumption then larger orifices in the carburetor. Double inlet and outlet tanks screens. More moderate 2800-4000 RPM operation versus the proven to be fuel picky 80cc 3400-5000 RPM little ones.
The EF2800i with it all out in the open is super easy to clean out the shut-off valve screen and carb bowl. Even drop out the emulsion tube, carb-in-place, and poke-spray clear. 15-20 minutes done and running. The contaminated tank gravity drained and splash washed clean.

We’ve been having a re-occuring now cold Spring blast of days. 40F/4C mornings. So I’ve been practicing cold starting propane starts on this newest 149cc dual-fuel one.
One-two with choke pulls to activate the gas demand control and “flood” fuel gas fill the short delivery lines and engine cylinder.
Then a single off-choke pull it clears and runs.

On its sixth hour now and I began it with the last of 7 months old non-treated E-0 gasoline from last year. Then ran it on new winter E-10 non-treated gasoline. Than a half quart of Aspen4. Then a half gallon of newly bought this years E-0 with Echo red Armor ~45/1 made up 2-stoke mix.
Ha! Ha! Ran fine on all. The Red Armor strong colorant did turn the engine oil red. Saying it is still not completely broken in with still rings blow by.

The two bottles of propane I’ve tried are 10 years and 20 years old.
My regional State fuel carbons-taxing situation determines the cheapest for my by 30%, is bought bottle filled propane.
$3.69 a gallon for the bottle filled propane. Versus now cheapest $4.49-4.79 a US gallon for E-10; 87 octane gasoline. E-0 is all now an unnecessary 92 octane and $5.69-6.79 a gallon here.
So this Heomaito unit is becoming my go-too unit. Will eat-all consumer dispensed fuels (except for fuel oils) unit. A surprise to me.


Yes Steve they are here and available 2nd hand in good condition petrol ones for around $ 900 , i dont think it would be an easy job to convert to diesel due to the housing , if the cheaper Chinese ones are anything to go by , i striped a generator unit off a petrol engined generator but the housing for the stator would not fit the diesel crank cases on my small engine ,



Too bad there’s not an easy way to isolate and belt pulley drive them. That would be some real claptrap to put up with though.

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Wife filled her car yesterday. $3.35 for E-10 87octane. Our E-0 is 90 octane and $5.40 at the local small town station. Propane is between $2.25 and $2.50 per gal. As far as I know we don’t have summer and winter blends. I think that kicks up the price in a lot of states out west.


Hey TomH.
Here is an inverter-generator tip I picked up reading comments on Wen brands owners reviews.

Shut down the generator quickly by fuel knob/ignition off from the higher speed. Not from ECO lower speed.
Some had been having problems with warm restarting after shutting off. Crank, crank, crank. One fellow noticed that the 12vdc stepper motor had not pre-positioned the throttle plate to wide open prepping for the next re-start.
Look at regular synchronous set-ups being engine mechanical governor controlled. They are spring pulled to throttle plate open at engine shut down.
These inverter-generators without batteries for electric start losing generated 12vdc power at engine rotating stopping.
So stopping from the higher RPM leaves the throttle plate set more opened.
Ha! Seems to work alright.
Previously I was always letting mine run out of fuel under electrical loads to clear out the carburetors for “dry” storage. So that last bit of running, starving for fuel the stepper motor was driving the throttle fully opened trying to maintain rpm… So I never saw the problem.
“Wet” storing now with the 1/2 quart of the Aspen4 long storage fuel.


Good Morning All.

So far as the woodgas for small electric generator engines I’ve pursued for years and years now . . .
I consider that as solved years ago.
The first to show a practical useable way was Wayne Keith.
He used his big truck woodgas system once heated up and stabilized to woodgas fuel supply a portable electric generator he’d haul on his cross-country road trips. Haul along a small light weight table saw to at location cut up wooden pallets and road-side find for wood fuel.

The second to show a usable wood-to-electricity imho for small engines was was Gary Gilmore with his charcoal gasifier fueling a little inverter-generator.

A few years later then Ben Peterson developed and published out his Book-System for 500cc and larger electrical generators.

All three ways work accepting their use ranges intended.

My now evolving from the 1st generation 1998 Yamaha EF2800i inverter generator; to the nearly 10 years later era Honda EU2000 unit . . . and now the very 2023 later designed dual fuel gasoline-propane 3000 watt system is just an evolution acceptance of proven realities.

I’ll still have the 2nd generation large 459cc Harbor freight 9500 to woodgas with my B.P. system ever come a real need. A time of NO pump fuels. Or restricted use of pump fuels. Shits: they do happen.

Ha! This morning today may be one of the last seasonal really overnight long cold soaks.
The propane bottle pressure got too low to allow cold starting on propane.
I had to fuel up and get it started on gasoline.
Fine. Fine. Then the all out one end directed heats, out the inverter-generator can be used to controlled warm the propane bottle.
In fact this unit my first with a CO detector I’ve been closed door warming my rather still blow thru shop.
Warms enough to cycle the 1500 watt electric space heater. How I am getting my varying loads and rpm’s first 20 hours of engine-generator break-in time.

“Let no made BTU escape FREE unused”
Steve Unruh



Just now at 12 hours total running time I gave this 3000 watt dual-fuel my air compressor powering tests. It is labeled as 15A -125VAC; 1.6hp running, 3.5hp starting. A 175psi unit I have set at 150psi.
The Yamaha 2800 and Honda 2000 could never power up and drive this air compressor.

Just fine on gasoline or propane running at 1.6-1.8 kW. on this 3000 watts generator.
Starting watts show peaking at 3.2 kW with a one second red overloaded light. Picture only showing 2.3kw as the starting watts are coming down. 3 second shutter delay makes photo capturing hard.

I am becoming very happy with this units capabilities. One hand, one-man portable unlike the earlier, larger,115 pounds to 145 pounds of the 2nd generation 3000-3500 inverter-generator units.


I’ve been watching James Condon’s youtube channel. He buys “junk” generators, figures out what is wrong and either fixes them for sale or parts them out to fix something else.

He focuses on single cylinder synchronous generators of the sort that has come up in this thread and his videos are really detailed on diagnosis and disassembly. Posting a link in case someone wants to go down that rabbit hole.


Hi All
I finished up one sweating project. Half done with another now.
So time for some engines fun treats.

Small consumer use air-cooled four stoke engines are said to be only good for 150 to at the most 400 operating working hours.
Yeah. IF you follow the guidelines of the equipment sellers!!

I did a napkin tote count of the from 1987 new 4-stroke engines I’ve put into service. Three automobiles. At least 12 small air cooled four strokes. (10; 2-strokes too)
Over that course of time I’ve evolved a break-in for longest life pattern.

Same-same evolved breaking-in formula from me anymore.
I DO use a purpose made high zinc break-in oil:
That gallon of LUCAS break-in oil had done most for thier first few hours. Then if shipped; I used the supplied courtesy oil for the next few hours. Keep variable RPM (if possible) running. For sure variable loadings. For another couple of quick hours of running-ins.
When I stop seeing blow-by darkening the of the oil the engine is broken in.

Left to right on the Heomatio 149cc inverter-generator is:
big pan is Lucas break-in oil dumped out at one hour.
Second from the left reddish tinged colored was Lucas break-in oil, hours 2-5.
Third from the left is hours 6-12 on Mobile One 5w-50. Gasolines and Aspen4.
Far right 13-20 hours on propane fuel with a small time on Aspen4. Castrol 5w-50 here on.

Yes I do use a quality wide range 5W-50 synthetic just as soon as the wearing-in glitter stops showing.
Very controversially; for the last 4-5 years I have been using low doses of MotorCote in these small engines. Is said to be a long chain chlorine. Under heat and pressure possibly convert to acid. I do not see this. But then I do change my oils at visible darkening. At 1/2 to 1 1/2 quarts a change inexpensive to do.

The hardest used engines of the 10 plus all at at least 800 to 2000+ hours. Only taken out of service when the equipments they drive fall apart around them. One a Honda OHC vertical shaft has lived on three different mower bases. Took a 20 pound truckers winch in the grass to finally bend it’s very tough crankshaft.

Never accept limitations other will put onto to you.

So which now has become my favorite?

I would have said the dual-fuel Heomaito.
Then I ran the Bilt Hard 80CC after reassembly side by side with the excellent Honda 2000.
The blue is quieter.
The blue is lighter.
The blue has a larger fuel tank.
The blue is easier to carry around with a larger diameter moulded handle section than the others.
For the hell of it I plugged my air compressor into to it to force it to show some respect for the larger engined, and more expensive units.
GEEZ!. It runs the air compressor. ~2 seconds of red overload light starting the air compressor then sailing along on green light pumping air up to the 150 set point. Then it will even restart the compressor from 130 psi.

So I’ve been dithering where to go from here for family and neighbor friends loaning out my mixed bag of possibles.
No question. I immediately ordered in another Bilt Hard 2500.
Next month most likely another for as long as they will ship at the $303.79 USD free-shipping/no charged state tax I’ll get another for three then.

Loan out to buy.
Sell of some of the others to finance this springboard.
Time is of the essence for me.
No matter what there will be hard to swallow elections results by January 2025.
We squeeze past that, then . . .
Be I expect a California-type no new small engines to buy here into Washington State by January of 2026.


A separate post for separate experience findings:

The quarts of Aspen4 I’ve been using are dated marked as four years old.
The orange jug of Aspen2 I’ve used is three years old.
Both fine.
The Bilt Hard 80cc at 4800rpm was on This old Aspen4 running my air compressor.

Since I am actually only going to be using as a wet storage fuel in the future I will only be getting the jugs of Aspen2.
My four stokes run fine oil it.
Four of my generators do have metal tanks. I can hope a little oil might help.
Aspen2 here, prices just the same as the Aspen4.


Some times when you watch a YouTube video it gets to you in ways that it shouldn’t i mean take this guy i am sure he is only trying to be helpful showing how he loves his new generator .
I left my comment and in fairness he did answer me back but maybe its just me, see what you think Steve /everyone.


Do you use this no matter if the manual says 10w-30 or something else?
This post is timed perfectly for my needs as I am just about to break in a new Honda eu22i