Keith gasifier for a military genorator

I have an MEP-015A 1.5 kw from the 1970s. The goal is to run it on wood gas and have a nice backup power source. No pictures yet, just a sketch.


Welcome to the DOW, EugeneL.
Please read this for the correct process steps that must be done. Your illustrated zones are in the wrong sequence.

Read through especially Jim Masons very detailed explanation.

One “J-tube”? or many around like GEKs, and Mother Earth News System use in their downdraft systems?
Steve Unruh


Ok, thank you! My only gasification experience is from building a dual container tin can gasifier. So running an engine is new to me. Also, there is 6 J tubes ideally. Here is the sketch for the tin can gasifier:


I see.
Thank you for the additional illustration and labeling.

I see now on your first diagram that the bottom zone is labeled “tar cracking”.

Well Sir, for an engine grade made fuel gas the upper system zones made tars are not lower system long chains cracked down in our made woodchar beds.
The long chain tars are oxidized burnt into simpler molecules in the OXIDIZATION zone first.
Then those medium chain molecules HOT are further broken-down REDUCED-down in the glowing hot near pure carbons wood char bed. The wood char bed sacrificing itself to do this. Jim Mason explains this in greater detail.
It is these super simple finished made molecules of one carbon and one oxygen CO; one hydrogen and one hydrogen H2; and even in a raw wood fueled gasifier a percentage of CH4 (methane) is made that have the clean burning fuel combustion potential inside an IC engine.

What you made in your dual can system was a pyrolysis gasses maker. That would be ok for a flare. O.K. for a heating furnace even. There is really no need to even have the second filtering can for the heat making gas mix that you made.

Engine grade woodgas fuel is a whole level-up game to learn. And a hard teacher demanding respect. Take shortcuts. Screw up just a bit on one run and you’ll have a tared up clogged cooling filtering downstream. Or a valves and piston ring tared up IC engine.


Hey EugeneL. let me cheer you up a bit toward your goal of running you generator on your own made-fuel. A very worthy goal.
Please show us picture of your military generator unit.
Overall. Under-the-hood cover. And it’s specification plate.
This will pull in others interest into your project.
Lots of old Vet’s and newer 21st Century Vets here who were probably in-service when yours was a in it’s military prime.
They can give tips and hints on it’s characteristics.
Diesel fueled? Not a problem. A few here are duel fueling engines as diesel and woodgas.
Steve unruh


I bet you @Dualfuel would know a thing or two about it.


I got one of them. Cool little engine. Made by continental. Mine has a bad voltage regulator. I found this picture on the web. I like how they adapted a Briggs and Stratton recoil starter onto the rope wrap.

So… Because it is an antique engine, and it does not have electric start, and this is your first gas producer, eugene, I would say this is a poor choice to start with. I think if I had to do this, I would run it on gasoline and see if I could switch it over to Wood gas as it’s running. I have never been very successful doing that. Trying to start something with a rope wrap is incredibly annoying. Eugene will have many other variables to concentrate on. I think I would adapt some sort of electric starting motor to the engine if I was to run it on wood gas or charcoal gas.
I certainly don’t think it’s impossible, and I am not saying to don’t do it. But there are lots of other choices out there.


I guess you would want to retrofit one of those belt driven Starter Generators to it, wouldn’t you?


10 or so years ago I used that same 2 cylinder military engine on the little chunker I made.

They are a smooth running little engine.


Thanks for all the advice! It does have the rope wrap start and as of a few years ago it ran great. The main issue is the rubber bellows covering the governor. They have a rather large hole, and I can’t find a replacement(in Canada)


The first picture is the engine, second is the bellows on the governor, and third are the barrels.


On the specs plate the genorator says that the engine is made by Chrysler

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O.K. Eugene I saw your big barrels. Most would say too big to build a small engine gnerator system from.
Not so.
Watch these:

Watch and re-watch and re-listen again and again to Flash001USA’s video especially. He IS showing excellent hard learned operating procedures. An old video. He did kept evolving on and off into 2017. For longer hopper added running times. Switched from AC generator charging to 165 amp 12VDC alternator charging into his big home battery bank.

Both of these guys have learned zones; and zones controlling very well.
19 out of 20 youtube presentations with woodgas so-call running an electrical generator are a sad, sad, sick-joke. They do not show long hours running. Or the tared up engine from smoke running the generators. Smoke is a powerful engine fuel for one-time stunting. But just like in a chimney . . . sticky gooey creosote coating stuff.
Engine grade safe real woodgas is fully thermal-chemically REDUCED first; then cooled & condensed washed; and then staged filtered fuel gases.
Steve unruh


The engine was designed by Continental. It was part of the military standard system. Similarly, to the LDS465 multifuel engine in the deuce and a half, military standard engines were built by many different contractors. White, Hercules, Kaiser, GM, all built military standard engines. I would not be shocked if there were other manufacturers besides Chrysler and Continental, who built those little engines.
Can someone print the part for you?

@ForbiddenTuna, I like those lil military engines but they really are gutless. That lil twin is only 3hp. I would not waste my time on putting a starter on one though. I just bought a new 13hp electric start predator for $250…I would only mess with the military engine because of nostalgia. I have capitulated and gone OHV e-start, HF Chinese.

What I want to know, is , has anyone (here) put an electric start kit on a 6.5 hp predator engine?


Bruce I have, but you cannot add electric start to a Predator with the Hemi head. You can tell a hemi from the standard OHV by the valve cover. Hemi has a cast valve cover and standard has a stamped cover.

You can still do it, its just very unconventional

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From what I understand the taper on the crank for the flywheel is a different angle. It’s one of the biggest setbacks for the Hemi version, were popular with go-kart and motorized bike guys.

IIRC the Tillotson 212cc engines are a hemi and come with electric start.

Their flywheels can withstand 10,000 RPM as well.

Try doing that with a Predator, I double dog dare you. It’ll grenade after that kind of abuse if the valves don’t float first.

These have higher compression as well, dyno claimed 9hp out of the box.

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Small engine electric starting non-conventional coming up:
$132 USD
A Chinese knock-off of a four pole Hitachi unit. Used on golfcarts and resorts runarounds.
Belt it up to a mower deck driven pulley, center cut out and welded to a spare recoil starter drive cup.

Once engine started driving this; it will then generate for battery recharging.


Yup done it many times. If the engine does not have a fly wheel for a starter this is the best way to go.

As for the Hemi Predators you can get electric start for them. You just need the standard starter and the flywheel for that engine. Just good luck finding that stuff but they did build stock versions of the hemi 212 with electric start. I had the Duromax version with electric start at one point it is the same engine. All 420cc engines both hemi and non hemi have electric start options.

Not all clones but most are made by Lifan. Predator, Duromax, and many other brands simply use them as a vendor and plop there name on em. Predator is just a brand, Lifan is actually producer of those engines.

In fact Lifan use to make the parts for the Honda. Thats how the Lifan clones came to be and why the parts were direct. Its because they are actual Honda parts. Honda sued Lifan and thats how the Predator engines came to be. Lifan had to change them so they made the Predators better than the Honda.


Might be worth saving your penny’s and getting this guy. It even has a key fob to remote start it.

Does not have 220 volt like the Predator version though.