New member from Belgium

Hello DOW’s, I’m new here. I’m Henk from Belgium and been reading here awhile.
I like this a lot!!!
I’m in the wood business and dreaming a while of making good use to my wood scraps. I’m planning to turn my Renault Goelette (1954) which I replaced with a Ford 2.8 (Cologne) motor into a woodgasser… The Renault is an old army truck with enough space to build something on it. (will post pics when I find out how…)
I had some help replacing the engine, not a mechanic but learning :slight_smile:
If possible I would like some input on the possibility of using this engine for DOW and what I should certainly not do… and probably a lot of other stuff!
Are there any other Belgian or near-bye members?
Very pleased to meet you all,


Pics will be appreciated, it sounds like you have a great project vehicle lined up!

Posting pics is simple, click on “upload” below the dialogue box, then choose the source for the image and upload it. The only issue is you will probably have to reduce the image resolution by some means for it to upload.

Looking forward to following your progress, other members will certainly guide you with comprehensive advice as the direction of your project becomes clear.



Yup, from Belgium to… welkom…
I see you are from around Mol ? My brother lives there


Welcome Henk. Glad you could join us. I had some trouble with the pics myself. I had to reduce the size of them from about 4000 to 400 or so to get them to upload quickly. Right click the pic description and find resize. Change the number of pixels. and save it. Then you should be able to drag and drop into the text field.

Basics for woodgas…big engine + small body vehicle is better

Again, glad you could join us. Billy


Hi Henk
Very nice truck, I love

1 Like

Dear Henk,
welcome and good luck for woodgassing soon!
I’m from Germany, but I live in the northeastern part, unfortunately not very close to Belgium. At the moment I can’t help with practical experience, but with theoretical background knowledge. We are in comparable situations. I own also an old vehicle, in my case a Land-Rover built in 1961, which never tasted woodgas so far but i hope to change this better sooner than later. However, just started a new job, moved to another city so plans are slowed down…

Of course your Renault can be converted, just keep in mind a power loss of at least a 30%, worst 50% if just the carburetor is changed against a gasifier. There are measures to minimise this number, but you will never get full petrol power.
I like the Goelette as well, searched for some pictures. But it is a van, right? Because a gasifier should not be mounted inside a vehicle.
Have you decided to go for wood or charcoal yet?

I can strongly recommend reading through the library section, especially the two books

  • Driving On Wood: The Lost Art of Driving Without Gasoline

  • 1949 | Gengas: The Swedish Classic On Wood Fueled Vehicles

These are about experiences of the forties, the technical level of your Renault is close to what is described in this books.

If there are more questions on this site is for sure someone who can help.

There was the idea of organising a European woodgas meeting sometime ago. The more european members, the more likely that this could happen.



Thanks for the comments already and the warm welcome!
20150928_165749Speaking of temps, we had a record today; 37°C.
I bought the old Renault because I love the design :wink: , the simple techniques, all terrain 4x4, convertible and a pick up. The engine is rather big for us Belgians, maybe not big enough but I could’nt fit any bigger in it. Originally this Ford engine had about 140 HP which is 3 times the power of the Renault. I figured there would be some left after…
Hi Koen, Yes I’m living in Mol now (Rauw) and you’re not in the area I read… Maybe helpful though for language problems in the future…
A woodgas meeting would be nice and a fill up can be arranged at my place… I’m already stacking my chips!
The pic was taken before I started working on is… now is even better!


Hi Henk,
Welcome to the site. That is one neat, tough looking truck. Looks like you got the picture download OK.
What is the body of water I see in the background.


Welcome Henk, looking forward to see the progress of this build.


Hi Pepe, where do you see that body?
You mean behind the green gras? that’s just the sun

1 Like

Hi Henk,
My father emigrated from Sneek in 1956. Dutch John is also in Nederland.
Prehaps this was a military truck? 1400Kg? I like this. Bigger engines are usually better for woodgas. But now some of us are beginning to get equal power to petrol. I think you will not have too many problems.

1 Like

Nice to hear this about not too many problems… Rindert and nice to meet you!
Yes it was an old army truck
You don’t have John’s phone number? :wink:

1 Like

Welcome Henk,
I would suggest Wayne Keith’s book. It gives you access to some of the premium content on the site. Even if you don’t, ask a lot of questions. :wink:

If you aren’t a good metal fabricator/welder, you -might- poke through the charcoal gasifier section. They are simpler and material prep can be easier.

I would also suggest looking at “chunkers” and wood preparation. If you intend on using the truck a lot, you will want a machine to help you out.

Also check local rules and regulations about driving it on the road. Some places have laws against it (I don’t know about Belgium laws) I don’t want to see you go through all the work to build it, and not be able to drive it. Even if you can’t drive it, you might be able to create an electric generator, which would could lower your electric bill, or you could do both.


Hi Henk,
as Sean just put up the question between charcoal and wood, have you already thought about it?
Wood means less work for preparing fuel but a heavier equipment on board and charcoal vice versa.
How are the rules about woodgas vehicles in Belgium? In Germany, there are no emission regulations for petrol engines before 1968 and thus it is quite easy to change a vehicle first registered before that date. After that, it is more complicated, if possible. So in Germany, your Renault won’t be a problem.
I don’t have John’s phone number, but he has a website:


Hi Sean, thanks for guiding me a bit.
I have the book and I’ve seen the video’s but I did not find the charcoal gasifier section…(I will go and look for it). anyway I was planning to throw in woodchips… I have a machine (spiral chipper/chunker) and I already have a stack.
Welding I did before as well as cursing … if necessary I can ask for help.
I could post some pics of my chipper but is this the wright place for it?

1 Like

Hi Til, we have a lot of rules but I think it’s about the same as in Germany and I’m willing to risk it…
They might try to ignore me…not knowing what’s in the book.
Have you decided what to do charcoal or wood?
I think I have the space for it on my Goelette to go for wood…

1 Like

Henk, Welcome!! Put your spiral chipper /chunker description post and or pictures in the “Wood Supply” topic!


I don’t think there is one in the book. There is a fairly active section in the forums here. :slight_smile: It might be a mute point if you already have a chipper/chunker. I would love to see pictures/videos of it too. :slight_smile:

Hi Henk,

That’s my approach, too. If it looks like a piece of cargo, nobody might be interested in it. And in the case authorities don’t like it, better ask for forgiveness than for permission.

I will most likely go for charcoal, because the gasifier and filter on the vehicle is simpler, lighter and less bulky. I have more limited space on the car than you. Also probably less smoky during lightup and refill and thus better to hide during a drive. But this could be also minimised for woodgas if you know how.
With your Goelette and the space available, I would be maybe tempted to use wood, also.
Have a look in the carcoal section here, there are some pretty good builds to get some ideas about that!
Have a nice sunday,

1 Like

Hello Til, thanks and I will look for the charcoal section…
Have a nice day!