JO's gasified 92 Volvo

I’ve always envied Wayne having a Sunday vehicle. Old pickups are hard to find here - but plenty of old Volvos.

I’ve been keeping this project a secret - only Kristijan knows what’s been going on. I can’t compete with his 24 hour builds, but back in April SteveU started talking about gasifying a car and I thought - maybe, just maybe, I can beat him to it :smile:
This is a 1992 Volvo 740 sedan. 2.3 L, 115 hp, 5-speed, 1430 kg (3,100 pounds).

First test ride, day before yesterday, was definately not a succes, but that’s another story. I’ll start with uploading some building pics, starting from early May.


Holy cow that looks great! Car looks really good too.


Oh yes finaly we see the machine!

I havent seen the last picture yet. Yep, this thing looks great with a gasifier! Looking forward to a drive video!


You said in my thread you were happy when your welds don’t fall off but it sure looks to me like you know what your doin! Awesome work!


Also keep in mind JO only uses a old rod welder! Indeed great looking welds


Wow. Even tacking that cut in barrel is a challenge when you use a rod. Great work! Looking good!


Thanks guys.
Ha, I already got questions about what happened the other day.
I was over confident. Both my previous gasifiers behaved perfectly first lightup and I kind of thought this would be a piece of cake. I was in a hurry and skipped some important preparations.
We’ve been spending time all over the country with family for the past week and had some of them staying at our house for the last two days. My plan was to get ready in time to take them on a sightseeing ride in the VOW (Volvo on wood). Didn’t happen. The old Mazda truck (MOW) had to step in.

So, reasons for tar? Well…several.

  1. Leaky filler lid (almost no hopper vacuum - fema mode)
  2. Tight filter. Since I use only a 5 gallon bucket I decided to try planer shavings/sawdust. Airmix valve almost all the way closed. (Edit: Not a no1 reason for tar, but low power)
  3. I skipped prefill voids and gaps with ash. The prefilled char probably shrank and took its place too fast. A 25 mile bag of wood disappered in less than 5 miles - raw wood passing the nozzles too fast.
  4. Being in a hurry, forgetting about things, shutting down several times to correct, made the brand new naked inside metal cool the process down several times.

Corrected lid and filter today. Tomorrow is charbed excersizing.


Exsperience is worth so much more then anything. Every thread you original guys post is a wealth of information hard learned that new guys like me get to pick up quick. I don’t know if I speak for everyone but thank you for your hard work and learning that you share with the rest of us. Looking forward to the driving videos of the VOW


Nah, l got a different theory. We discovered long ago Murphys law reflects strongly in woodgas. What realy happened was you had audience on your first run :smile:

All jokes aside, l belive the volvo has a non interfearance engine right? So l guess no actual damage?

Thank you JO for admiting the mistakes. This will no dubt help many to avoid the mistakes. And you already put down the right procedure, but alow me to echo the right first lightup procedure (at least for me).

Dump a few scoops of ash in the new gasifier. Whatever sticks, is ment to be there. Whatever falls trugh has no place there. I then fill the gasifier above the nozzles with engine grade charcoal and that is it. No packing! Just pour it in. Worked flawless for me every time


When you say ash do you mean fireplace ash or gasifier ash?


Just regular fireplace ash.

And yes, sometimes this means a whole bucket of ash will be put in


Looking good JO !!

Can’t wait to see that first DOW video :smile:


Great work J.O.
I had no idea that I could be so inspiring.
Quite a few WK type construction details in your hearth interior.

And you gone very practical close-coupled gas-out systems. You are going to get lots of questioning on that!

All stick welded? Really?
Now it is you: inspiring me.
Best Regards
Steve Unruh


Nice build J_O! What welding sticks do you use? (size and type)


How could we learn from other people’s mistakes, if other people didn’t make mistakes? Thanks for sharing your new project with us. Looking forward to more.


Wow JO, I am impressed with the work you have done. It looks great the gasifer and Volvo look. I bet your wife is going to want to DOW now. Your Sunday driver? You mean her daily driver car.
What everyone else have said too.


Wow, I’m overwelmed with all the response :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

All true, but the tar didn’t do any harm yet. Not even a sticky throttle.
Only evidence of tar was a ruff idle and a brown sticky cream and yellow water in the cooler and filter area, where I would expect black soot and clear water.

Steve and Don - about welding sticks.
I’ve done very little investigation. I use what I have. F-in-law left a dussin packs when he past away. Since he never got good results he kept buying a new type :smile:
For anything ss I use the 2mm 63.30. Very smooth welding even at low temp. The slag popps of nicely when cooling down.
For mild steel I used 48.00. Hard to light up, but once it does it penetrates very well without burning through. OK for the propane tanks.
For very thin mild steel I’ve used the 1.6mm 60.13
Clean and tight surfaces are more important than type of rod.


I need to practice my stick welds. No matter how many tricks I learn I still have a hard time striking the arc.


Thanks for the rod information J.O.
Exactly what I needed.

Cody it helps a lot to pre-heat the rod tip.
Have a piece of scrap steel adjacent. Just scratch drag the tip across this to arc heat it.
Hrrrm. Professionals never do this. Only metal artist and amateur’s using sub-par equipment.
Using my dip-lift-away (actually a flick away) technique I am tunneling the hot soft metal center flung-away leaving the melted flux outer. Cools any amount and I must scrap piece; tap or drag break this now flux protrusion off to arc re-establish anyhow.


A 25 mile testrun before noon. Still a few flaws to straighten out, but all in all ok.
Tar sympthomes seem to have past already, but still severe hesitation after letting go of the accellerator for only 10-15 seconds. A lot of bare metal that has not yet carboned up cools the charbed quickly.
The reason for stalling right before parking was my slingshot plug popped. Found it 100 yards behind the car. Fueled up and went home.

Since the internal geometry of this gasifier is similar to a WK, the fuel consumption is extreemly high these first hoppers of wood . I hope when everything settles inside I’ll enjoy better milage. And less hesitation hopefully.