Straight Jacket Engineering here

So I have a rather unique project. Me and a group of farmers/engineers are building a concept 1946 Chevy 1 1/2 ton rat rod gassifer powered high performance Electric drive truck. Ideally the gassifer would power a large stand alone generator that could be used for powering anything and the gassifer gen would be modular. The truck would be driven with electric racing motors and power packs.
And here’s the added plus we plan to remove the original engine and use heat exchangers to smoke meat and wood gas to grill meat under the hood.

We want to take Wayne’s design and make it a working piece of Rusty art.
I plan on picking many brains here and welcome ideas to make this happen.

First question. Do you think it’s possible to start the gassifer with a 12g blank round or a 209 primer ignition mechanism?
2 Wanting this to be a multi purpose module generator in the range of 20kw. I’ll need recommendations for generators to look for?

3 we want to get creative with fuel cooling systems like putting a heat exchanger on it to smoke meat. I had a thought of making a bong type filter that would cool and trap tar earlier in the cooling process knowing we will in to them dry the gas post bong. Sort of like a oil air filter set up.

Thanks In advance,
Doug A

CEO of Straight Jacket Engineering Firm


I don’t have any answers Doug. I just wanted to post so I am notified about additions to the thread. I would look for a four pole generator head though.


Just wondering the “why” of using a 209 primer other than the gimmick?

Blowtorch or kerosene soaked fiberglass rag on a wand starts just fine.

A water scrubber would be pretty finicky on a mobile setup. Also require more regular cleaning.

1 Like

Because it’s cooler than stuffing kero rags in


I don’t think they’d work too well. Even with a blowtorch it takes a good minute to light the char in any meaningful way.

1 Like

Thanks for the input

1 Like

Hello Doug and welcome to the DOW :blush:

Just wanted you to know I read your post and now I need to sit down and think a while.


Thank you sir. Much appreciated

Eye balling this Gen. Is NG do able?

Woodgas has less energy density then NG, so I am not sure that is going to provide the full 20kw without a bigger engine. I would take a looksee at the specs of the generator set for the power pallet 20kw (which is discontinued) at allpowerlabs because that aims at 20kw. but last I knew they used a gm engine with a genset, but it will give you an idea of what specs you need to drive it for 20kw of output.

NG gas engines themselves are ideal they have coatings to protect against the acids produced. I believe they also have a higher compression ratio and
they may have some timing adjustments as well.


A NG designed engine would work great. I’ve wanted to find a Mazda FE I4 forklift engine to replace my '86 FE and it’s sad 8:1 compression ratio.

1 Like

and as far as the smoker. I would take the output, run it through a cyclone to grab fly ash, then put a tee on the pipe with a valve to control temperature, and run the smoke directly into the airtight smoker, then have it exhaust back into the gasifier intake with maybe a venturi to get vacuum. You will get fats from the meat that should breakdown in the gasifier, and you want the smokey flavor in your meat. But you don’t necessarily need to do that. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the hopper smoke would actually give flavor. But cooking with the woodgas would be pretty easy, just need a blower to pull on it and go out to a jet.

I’ve been thinking the same thing. I’ve thought about putting a couple small trouts or perks on top of the chunks but never got to it. Maybe mix in a few green juniper twigs with the chunks for extra flavour. A quick stop 10-15 min from home and the meal would be ready at shutdown :yum:


Yes Chef. Do we have a woodgas recipe book coming out shortly?


I was thinking just a hook from the lid and a wire down to a foil wrapped meal. Hopper wood slides down and around it while slow cooking? Thought about a foil wrapped potato inside the upper heat exchanger too. I really need the Gary cook top modification with how much I think about food…


Marcus I think Wayne puts foil wrapped taters in the ash pan area.


I didn’t expect this thread to turn into a cooking show lol


Good morning Doug.

Sorry about us getting of topic :blush:

Can you talk a little more on planes to start the gasifier with the primers.



Pozdrav Albert , namen imate zgraditi plinifikator za pogon generatorja 20 kW? Koliko delovne prostornine ima vaš motor in na katerih obratih bo delal? Kakšna velikost lesa imate namen? Nekaj ​​okvirnega lahko rečem , motor s delovno prostornino 1000 ccm in obrati cca 2500-3000 na minuto bi proizvajal moč 10 kW , za 20 kW potrebuje motor z najmanj 2000 ccm . Motor mora imeti CR vsaj 10:1 , idealno pa je 13:1 - 14:1. Glede - premera in dolžine požarne cevi , premera mejne plošče , število v velikosti šob ,… za te podatke pa je tukaj boljših strokovnjakov kot sem jaz , toda najprej - velikost kosov lesa.


Welcome to the DOW, DougA.

Of course fellows jumped in to smoked cooked meats.
You had 5 distinctly different project goals layed out.
Ever heard the, “Too many Cooks will spoil the soup”??

Fellows are trying to say to you’all make smoking meats a dedicated specific DOings. You’ll get better consistent meats. Spoil less overheating, nasty green-smoke gasifier tars ruining the taste.
One down now. Get down to a true three priority goals and you’ll most likely succeed.

You were also answered that a cartridge primer, or a blank load round only had a short quik energy release. An impulse.
Take the fellow wanting this and have crank on a hand grinder for a purpose. Coffee mill, wheat grinder, old timey grinding wheel. Whatever? Then tell him he has to power that with primers and shotgun shells. The airplanes in both versions of the Phoenix had special starter mechanisms. Turning an ignited impulse into flywheel longer power pulse. Not long enough for minutes of gasifier hearth hand blower cranking.
So chuck out another distracting goal.

A Rat Rod, driving on wood has been done. Here, by artist John Stout:

So now to actually do all of these things break your guys out by their own interests into separated project groups.
The meat guys fail to produce and you’ll not eat. All others carrying on.
The electric power train guys fail, by wanting to eat the whole $ buget, then the other goals maybe still maybe be possible.

Accch. why do i bother? a committee . . . producing, no surprise . . . muddling grey.
Steve Unruh