New Guy in Utah

Hello, Im Tyler, I live in Provo, Utah. Im new to gasifiers. My project will be to run a 1982 Lazy Dayz 18’ Motor-home. It has a rebuilt Chevy 350 with only about ten miles on it. It is carburetor fed. This vehicle is intended as a Bug Out Vehicle. I will be keeping the gas system in tact but mostly running on woodgas. I guess thats called a hybrid system. I have just started collecting parts. I am an experienced welder but know this project will test my abilities.
Please forgive the terrible sketch, just wanted to show my intended design. Im planning to redo the rear bumper and attach a rack with the components on it represented in red. The cooling tubes are the yellow lines.
I thank all those who came before me, for paving the way and making this project even a dream that may just come true.

Welcome to the site Tyler.
That thing will go like a bat out of hell on wood gas…downhill. You will be struggling to go up those grades in Utah on straight wood gas. I understand guys would rather upgrade to an electronic fuel system to be able to control the gasoline input as needed. Running hybrid may be the realistic option.
With that said, I don’t mean to be discouraging, rather encouraging because I am curious how it would turn out and frankly want to see it done.
Others will chime in to offer you a more realistic insight for your project.
Again, welcome

Tyler, I see a nice hitch receiver on the back of that unit and I would seriously consider a trailer mount system so you could haul some bagged wood along and then maybe even switch it back and forth to another vehicle.

I do have a trailer, even a good place for the system, but I was planning on making that area a wood bin to store a good amount of wood right next to the system.
Also, i do understand that being a big, heavy, and carbureted vehicle poses several undesirable conditions. But its what I have to work with. I will gladly accept any advice from others who have converted carb 350’s. IF anyone has! I’m still reading through all the projects. The way I see it is that ill shut down my fuel pump on the flats and down slopes. As the carb runs out of fuel slowly shift the timing and increase woodgas. When more power is needed, switch the fuel pump back on and within a second or two should be back on gas. Its based on a Chevy van, so the distributor is very close to the doghouse cover inside the vehicle. I have an idea to make a lever to adjust my distributor quickly to change my timing. But you all are the experts. If others have tried and failed, maybe I should re think my system entirely. I really don’t want an EFI. Don’t want all the computerized stuff in case of EMP or Solar Flair. Yea I know, it sounds crazy to me too when I type it, but that’s what preparedness is. Being ready for what ever may come! I have already went to great lengths to EMP proof my engine. The entire electrical system is enclosed in a Faraday shield. None the less, if its just not going to work. please don’t hesitate to tell me. I would rather change plans now than hundreds or thousands of dollars from now. My only known option is a propane conversion. but even propane runs out eventually. If it can be done, Woodgas is my choice.

Hi Tyler,

I’ll be a little more optimistic. First off if you’re really only 18 foot long, that’s only a foot longer than these Dakotas. Of course it’s taller and much more wind drag. But really weight will be your main concern, the less you have the better. However we do have folks rolling upwards of 14,000 lbs on wood… slowly, and not too often. :slight_smile:

As for running hybrid, I’d set it up as a dual throttle with woodgas underneath the carburetor. That will let you add just a little gasoline whenever you want, just by using the pedal. I did this on a full size Dodge truck and it worked great. You’ll get a little gasoline through the idle jets at all times. For a rig like this, you’ll appreciate the tiny boost. Unless of course gasoline is unavailable and you need to conserve, then you’ll want to shut off fuel to the carb.

Don’t put too much critical stuff on the trailer. You may need to be able to ditch it due to flat tires etc.

I was reading on a fellow woodgased a motorhome. His issue was the extra weight way back there caused some tail dragging almost taking off the bumper. May need to beef up suspension depending on where your rear axle is located. For me and mine a trailer is the way I would go. But you have different requirements than I.

Welcome Tyler.

I’m interested to see how your project goes, as I might be living out of an RV myself soon.

I might be mistaken, but aren’t RVs/Motorhomes measured in “living space”? IE, the entire vehicle isn’t 18’ long, but only the living area (behind the back of the driver’s seat) is 18’ long? I’d think that might put your total length closer to 24-26’.

At one point I did a fair amount of research into EMP/Solar Flare protection. The general conclusion was that one had to Faraday/isolate EVERYTHING that had anything to do with the engine: Motor mounts, drive shafts, radiator/cooling, steering column, etc. Military vehicles are designed to have all the shielding/hardening done during the building/construction phase, but it is next to impossible to retroactively harden a civilian vehicle. That said, older (pre-electronic anything) Compression-Ignition diesels would be more-or-less immune to EMP, as long as one had a way to protect the starting mechanism, which is easier to isolate/protect.

On to the point… I’ve seen several folks who have converted carb’ed vehicles with a dual-throttle, such as mentioned before, but almost entirely were of the “extra foot pedal” (use the existing pedal for woodgas throttle and a 3rd or 4th foot pedal to add gasoline) variety. One thing that struck me as odd about this setup is “why use another foot control which makes things confusing?”

A hand control, such as the throttles of a larger boat or lawn-mower, to control the gasoline would make things so much easier rather than 2-footing or heel-toe’ing it while driving. This would allow the operator to be able to give a “static supply” of gasoline, IE, set the gasoline throttle to the equivilent of what would be used to, say, drive the vehicle at 25mph. Obviously, one could go anywhere from “low idle” up to the normal “flooring it” on gasoline with ease. Add in a remote shut-off for the gasoline line and one could (compartively) easily run hybrid from 100% gasoline/0% woodgas up to 0% gasoline/100% woodgas.

Brian, the main reason I like the dual foot feed is for when you need to drive on gasoline for whatever reason, even handing the vehicle to someone else… you just drive as usual. The “new” pedal (left of brake) operates the woodgas. It comes more natural than you’d think.

Some of the WWII cars had a linkage that would allow one foot pedal to run both throttles, with a ratio adjustment lever. I never looked into this but it’s an intriguing possibility.

Chris; point him to Mr. W’s original red Ford 460 to show the carburetor set and pedals. I’m sure you can find it faster than I. Been a long time ago.TomC

Another advantage foot pedals have over hand throttles is in a panic stop situation. My foot automatically goes to the brake pedal - which means it isn’t on the gas pedal. I might not think to close a hand throttle in the same situation. I’ve heard it takes 300-500 repetitions to develop muscle memory for a new reflex, and 10 times as many to un-learn one you already have. Might not have that much time if a kid on a bike runs out in front of you.

I found a couple form 2006

84 ford and 87 dakota

Thank you for all your replies. I had thought at one time of doing a hand throttle, but for the woodgas side. But looking at it and considering all your posts, I think the second gas pedal on the left is a good choice.
Does anyone have any pics or reference to how the carb is set up with the air and woodgas inputs and such. I assume i will need a couple throttle bodies, one for air and at least one for fuel, but the system calls for dual feed lines, so maybe even 3? Like I said, i still need to do a lot of research as im just getting started.
Also, YES, the total length is closer to 24’, the living space is 18’.
Also, what is the expected total weight of this system. I expect somewhere between 3-500 lbs. Honest, im a big guy, was 340 lbs but have lost over 50 lbs in the last few months, but even if I stand on the bumper, and my wife, at 150, it hardly even drops half an inch, even jumping on it it hardly moves. I dont want the system on a trailer in case the trailer needs to be ditched some day. But if its like 1500 lbs, well then thats something to consider.

Go back thru the posting and look for Peter Coronas build around posting 314+


Hi, Tyler!

Panic: One gaspedal, One brakepedal on the floor!

Convenience: On dash

  1. 100% – 50/50 – 100% stepless woodgas/gasoline lever,

  2. gasoline <–> woodgas timing lever,

  3. common idle adjustment (“handgas”), follows the fuel selector.

  4. woodgas/air fine adjustment

These adjustments will cover “all” your needs…

The gasoline carburettor adjusted without any “own” idle; getting needed idle adjusting through the common idle adjustment. This way no gasoline is used when total woodgas is chosen.

A total independence for both woodgas mixing with air and gasoline/air mixing. A gasoline carburettor is best left alone from the woodgas function.

Vehicle axel loading:

Gasplant → front axel distance
--------------------------------------- X plant weight =
Rear axel → front axel distance

real weight of gasplant on rear axel.

Gasplant → rear axel distance
--------------------------------------- X plant weight =
rear axel → front axel distance

front axel enlightment.

Max 20% front axel enlightment is allowed in Europe.

Max 20% of max. allowed front axel total load.