Silencing a Honda GX160

Has anyone got any experience in getting small aircooled singles running quietly- I’ve got good neighbours, and I want to keep it that way. Is it possible or worthwhile to build or buy an uprated silencer [US. muffler], or is an aircooled single inherently noisy? Soundproof enclosures? What’s a good sound insulation medium? Damp woodchips?

Hello Brian,

I once ran the exhaust of my saw mill through a drum of saw dust. This was an experiment to see if I could dry the green dust enough for gasification.

Didn’t work very well for drying but I couldn’t hear the motor!!

Hi BrianH
Excellant, excellant topic and very appropriated.
Even when you live Rural your sleeping with life parner is sure to object to “That noisy droning generator hour after hour!”. I was just expaining to DannyC how I’ve had to evolve through three completely different engine set-ups to silence my Wife’s complaining.

You can get it done with this engine.
Your noise sources will be #1, yes, the exhaust; #2 the cylinder wall, cylinder head and much lesser crankcase “combustion event” generated; AND the overlooked mounting stucture and driven conponests resonating and broadcasting.
Lots of ways been tried already that work well. Read here in thier “Gas/Propane/Natural Gas Engines” Board for the discussions, projects and results:
You will recognise some familiar names there like David Baillie and k-jab (Ken Boak), Jim Mason and others.
MANY of these fellows are building sets for really tight attached urban garages, side and back yard/lots.

For the very best commercial solutions to all of these sound area sources in a single cyclinder configuration dig deep into this site:
Thier side bar expands out to four layers deep and they have lots of full audio video. Look for the pictures of thier isolation mounting engine cradle system. SS water dampened engine exhaust, ect, ect, ect. Thier systems are designed to be inside residential building installed.

Of course the best solutions to any problem is to have the minimal problem to solve in the first place. Mine was to engine upsize to a V-Twin with the proper duel inlet end sound cancelling muffler system. Wish I could claim brilliance on this - naw - persistance out listening what was inherently quetest.
My portable sawmill V-Twin aircooled engine was ran 30 feet from an adjacent urban lot living nieghbor sawing up a really, reallly pitchy downed hazard tree. No sound objections at all from them. Saw blade whine was noisier then the actual engine.
Woodgas/CharcoalGas I can make a heck-of-a pitch why you want to stay with an air cooled engine in a maritime climate like yours to be able to pre-dry your fuel woods. Ha! Ha! The guys on the Hang-Out yesterday burnt me out. Have to recharge my words now. (Actually get the SHMBO’s garden tilled-in or be couch sleeping tonight and then on untill it IS done)
Steve Unruh

Oh. Gave the pitchy boards to the niegbors. They built a visible barrier fence for thier sight activated Scotty dogs. Thier 600 feet away yapping was really bugging my wife when she was visble out on her sitting/relaxation side porch watching her bird feeders. Nieghborhood Peace reigns at last. S.U.

Brian, I feel your pain. My neighbours “comment” on my Peugeot Ludix when it takes off for work in the morning. I guess they’re not 2T fans. I’d imagine a small 6x4 shed from B&Q, clad in sound deadening boards and a new exhaust for your genny. I’m after an old 125cc moped silencer to build a custom exhaust for my old mans tractor mower. Partly because it’s rotten and partly because I want to Pimp That Ride! If they can silence a 2 stroke then they may do to shut up a genset. Here’s a link to another Brit who has gone through what you are going through. He built a whole “power shed” around a Listers engine being fed from a GEK. I like his exhaust heat scavenging ideas. Good way to give the house hot water and the central heating a boost.

I am building a generator to run off woodgas, the generator I am using has a 1200cc car engine running at 1500 rpm (for 50 Hz here in Australia) Going this way offers several advantages, one is the engine will last a very long time running at 1500 rpm, it will comfortably produce 15 horsepower. Secondly it is quite, it is like a car running at a fast idle so noise level is very minimal. Thirdly running at a lower speed is more efficient woodgas takes longer to ignite and a high revving engines (3600 rpm) piston is moving nearly as fast as the flame front.

Most single cylinder engines are only designed for a working life of 500 hours and with the chinese imports you are lucky if you get anywhere near that. Being air cooled a lot noise is emitted as mentioned by Steve above, a water cooled engine was a double layer of metal and water to keep the noise in. You should be able to pick up a car engine quite cheaply, I would look for one that has a carburettor and ignition coil/distributor ignition.

If you are in a cold climate area you can use the water cooling to heat your house also.

Steve U. Is that a Peterson saw mill from New Zealand. That is something that I hope to get for the farm someday. How do you like it?

Hey SheldonG.
I’ll PM you tomorrow so’s not to thread topic drift.
Search out also “Swing Blade sawmills” as LUCAS, X-Brand (Montana) and a BC Cananda system with “180 degree swing blade capabilty” - can’t remender that manufacturers name.