Historic woodgas tractors


raschig rings. in the bottom

hay filling with pressing spring and gas exit… this space will be filled with horse hair or sheep wool


Truly a work of art Giorgio :smiley: :+1: Test firing it up soon?


yes, some little things to do, washing the horse hairs…
installation of oil bath filter…as provisoric blower for now the big blower from my forge…

than is to look at the engine, ignition system, and so on, and than hopely a successfull motor start…after than oil change and filter cleaning…
is it necessary to make a motor wash - clean away old oil residues, and how is it done?
i have read somewhere, motor oil with a part of diesel (how much was not explained ) can be used to clean all the oil circuit of the motor…who has experience?
my first bigger engine…


A small ratio of diesel or kerosene can be used, but only in short runs.

Kerosene is also good for cleaning an engine that has been flooded from water and emulsified the engine oil. As a flush.

Bear in mind the diesel will thin the engine oil, so it is best to use a thicker oil and at most a 15% of diesel. Run in short sessions and check the oil color.

Mix the diesel together with the oil before adding.


I would say for that engine, bear in mind it’s a kerosene engine, run it hot, stop, drain oil, fill up with 50/50 diesel to oil (older type, industrial diesel preffered, the smellier the better) let it run on high idle, no load 10-15 minutes, stop, drain, fill with cheap engine oil, run on idle an hour, stop, drain, fill with good engine oil.
Kerosene engines manage to run on pretty thinned oil, they are constructed that way due to their heavy diluting/thinning of oil when running on kero.
Edit: Or: drain, fill with simple oil, 10% diesel, run it as normal, change oil when work day is over, repeat with smaller amounts of diesel or no diesel at all.
Important is to get engine warm when “flushing” and no high load.


Giorgio, I have to say I’m impressed by your ss supply :+1: Welcome to the club :grin:


Hi GiorgioG.
I echo the same advices for running and cleaning ratios.
Except I use automatic transmission fluid as my dissolving flushing mix-in.
It has high detergents in it.
No need to use expensive synthetic ATF’s.
Use the cheapest ATF’s you can source.
Once the oil/ATF mix colors, not able to see through dump it out to remove contaminants. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until it stays translucent indicating the majority of the able to dissolved and flushed has been removed.
Steve Unruh


Our friends gave you very good advice, warming up the engine and engine oil is important for the viscosity and cleaning of the lubricating parts, I always change the oil in my engines when the engine is warm, and from time to time, when the oil drains, I use a vacuum pump to suck up the deposits that remain at the bottom. I use a smaller cylinder, to which I connect a vacuum pump, and on the other connection a suction pipe, …I adjust a piece of copper pipe to pick up sediments from the bottom.


What Goran sayd. Once l even run pure diesel inside, but just high idle for a minute or so. Its amazing how black the diesel came out! All steps l did as Goran sayd.


thanks to all for the councils…
ciao giorgio


Some thoughts on the bottom-up air intake nozzle:

  • pieces of charcoal can obstruct and block the air flow
  • glowing coal settles down and overheats the metal
  • a narrower beam of glowing coal is formed straight up, the fuel collapses unevenly, mostly only in the middle

I tried it in Fergi’s gasifier with one opening up, but it quickly clogged, then I inserted a nozzle with side openings, and it works well. Here are the sketches, for easier understanding, … the plate above the nozzle is filled with ash on top and thus provides thermal protection, fresh air below cools it, and it directs it sideways to all sides, thus creating a wider area of ignition, the fuel collapses more evenly , metals suffer less, …


Your thinking is good. I will be interested to see how you actually make this.


Some of my friends are already used to me drawing a sketch and giving my thoughts on the construction and operation of their posts about the construction of the gasifier, so I apologize in advance if I am too direct.
The air inlet nozzle installed below is, in my opinion, the best choice for a charcoal gasifier, as it is thus the least thermally loaded, because the heat forces it upwards, and it is also automatically protected by ash. When it is upgraded with a plate that prevents the air opening from clogging and directs the air to the side, we can easily implement a gasifier with a cross draft, the resulting gases are discharged through the perforated sheet to the outer wall and through the pipe towards the exit. This has several advantages:

  • the gasifier can work with moist coal, as most of the steam remains below the top, while at the same time it creates a moist atmosphere, which is a condition for the formation of hydrogen in the gas, and the steam also prevents extreme temperatures, which is good for the preservation of metals
  • a layer of hot gases, which reaches the outer wall through the perforated sheet, creates excellent thermal insulation of the hot zone, and at the same time it cools down a little on the outer wall
  • if I would add another sheet below with holes for ash removal (rotating disk), raised from the bottom by approx. 10 cm, it is not necessary to empty the gasifier to remove the ash


I am trying to think of the logistics for the hearth area with a vehicle.

Like my 4.3L for example. At most it spins 3000 RPM, but at cruising speeds about 1500-1800 RPM.

My best guess would be a 12" diameter hearth with a 2.5" or 3" central nozzle.

Would it be best to maintain a single row of holes in the nozzle? Or would two rows be acceptable? Using Koen’s spreadsheet if I divided it among 10 holes it suggests 8.2mm using a 2500 RPM rating to give some breathing room for hard pulls.

Or perhaps this is better spent on engines below 2 Liters?
It’s a very interesting idea for sure.


If I may suggest using a solid steel bar welded inside a pipe with a cup shape welded on top would give a more unrestricted 360° nozzle direction for air to come out into the charcoal.
Old stainless steel washing machine drums would work for the enter barrel screen for gases to pass through and up the 55 gallon barrel side.
I really like this most simple cross flow design Tone. Talk about K.I.S.S. Keeping It Super Simple.
As you can see I up the nozzle to run a larger engine.
This should work with using 10% moisture engine grade charcoal.


Bob, good sketch, but I was thinking of welding three flat iron legs to the curved plate, which I would push into the ash between the outer tube and the inner nozzle.
A drum from an old washing machine would probably fit a 200l barrel, here is a sketch ,… I think this gasifier volume would be driven by a pretty big motor


Okay now I see how the ash dish is being held in place above the nozzle. I like the ash clean out plate with lever for opening and closing.


Explain about the function of the washing machine drum please. Not part of Tone’s 292 drawing.


I hope Giorgio won’t be angry because we’re stealing his night, Tom, he’s got a washing machine drum in front
a plate with a narrowing opening, it is necessary to cut it and weld a plate that fits a 200l barrel (55 gal), I tried to draw this in the sketch, and on the back wall there is a supporting axis, which is removed and a hole is cut in the middle for air intake, well, openings for ash removal are also cut, which would be covered by the rotating disk during operation.


Does this have to be air tight? How do you seal this?