Wood Hawg Project

Greetings all,

My choice for a woodgas project is a 1963 Chevy C-10. It is an all original, longbed stepside, 250 cu in straight six, column shift. I have had the truck for about a year. It has become my daily driver. I really enjoy driving it. I kicked around getting another old beater for the project so I wouldn’t have to hack up the C-10. But then I would be driving the wood burner and the C-10 would be put up wasting away. After weeks of stressing over it, I decided to go with the C-10.

I started by pulling the stepside off and putting on a custom, lighweight (cheap, home built) flatbed. This not only made the gasifier install easier, it also saved several hundred pounds. I have the basic components built and have test fit and mounted them on the truck. I’ll be ready for the hay filter, blowers and the under bed plumbing when the videos come out.

Hi Richard, I came from a Chevy family, my Dad bought his first brand new Chevy in 1958, a straight 6, 3 speed on the column, gull wing Biscayne. I was 16, just got my license and felt like I owned the world driving it, lol. Your truck has the original paint color that looks just great and the frame looks really good, too… Nice job on the cooling rack, it looks good on that truck.

Yes, your cooling rack looks great. Nice work! Plenty of room behind the gasifier to carry a crate full of wood chunks. You will be able to put some miles down without towing a trailer full of fuel.

Nice job Richard. Those are interesting helper springs U-bolted to the frame. Can’t say I have seen them that way before. I see the trailing arms so it must have coil springs over the axle. That straight six will give you plenty of room for the gas pipes to the engine. Do you have the carb connection figured out yet? Once you are burning wood you can give the truck another hard kick under the gas cap! Keep up the good work.
Don M

Excellent job Richard, such a proud new look to a great piece of Detroit Iron! Drive it down to Amity sometime, we’ll round up an audience for you, and supply wood to get home.


Hi Richard, You are lucky you are down south and that truck is still solid. Check with Rick Bates as he is also driving with a carborated 69 GMC with a 250. His main jet plugged up recently on his way to work. Here is the link to his post on the yahoo woodgas group
The closest I have is my 66 chevy impala with a 283 V8. Gasifier system is on the rear bumper, as they made real bumpers back then.

Richard, nice work with your clean simple design. The flat bed does open up the area for a good source of wood and the cooling rack looks great.

Good job RichardC.
Your Keith style slope slited transition piece “gutter cover”? and heat exchanger shows you are seriously building this. Your cooling rack cleanout plugs show you been reading right along.
I drove one of these trailing arm Chevys with a straight six in it (a '69) for eight years from 80 through 88 as my street racer CURE vehicle. Hauled a few hundred cords of firewood out of the mountains. Nothing I’ve owned was more reliable or easy to work on. Driveline center bearing and water pump bypass hose burn-outs from the exhaust manifold were the only pattern failures I had.
Flat bedding is a sure way to do the weight trade off for adding the gasifier system AND now gives you a lot of opened up underbed tools/posibles storage space. California fellow did this simular change over and gasifier installation on his early 60’s Chevy/GMC.
Since this is a behind the seat gasoline tank vehicle, is the rear between the frame rails round tank shown a mocked up gasifier condensate tank? or a propane fuel conversion tank? Is this a propane converted vehicle?

Steve Unruh

Steve, Good thinking about that behind the seat tank. I have a 72 dodge and a 72 ford with the tank behind the seat. I suppose it would only be a problem in a major wreck but then the occupants won’t be around to think about it as, seatbelts ? what are those ?? I remember when I would go fishing and crabbing with my grandfather. Every time he would stop he would stick his right are out to keep me from hitting the metal dashboard. I did that automatically with my kids even though they were usually strapped in … I seem to recall some of those behind seat tanks going below the body of the truck so a bottom drain could be opened to drain water or bad gasoline out of them or maybe it was just a hole for the fitting to the fuel line ??? Getting too old to keep it all straight in my noggin … ML

I’d be thinking about converting the gas tank to condensate… and mounting a small gas tank in the back.
I’d rather live with the condensate in the cab.
HWWT soon


Thanks everyone for the kind words.

I haven’t altered the truck in any way that can’t be undone, YET. But, the more I play with this project, the more I am convinced that it will never go back to original. It can still be a cool old truck, and a test bed for the gasifier.

I am concerned that it may be somewhat under powered with the original engine. The good thing is that I live in the middle of nowhere. Traffic is never a problem. I can’t “legally” drive over 55 MPH within a hundred mile radius, so slow is not a deal killer.

My long term plan is as follows…
Get the system working with the existing power train, running the woodgas though the carburator. Removing and cleaning this carb would take 15 minutes max, when necessary.
Work out the bugs and get some experience, and maybe work with an under carb system.
Then, I plan to repower with a GMC big block V6 and a 700R4 trans. The V6 is a 305 cu in, slow turning, torque monster, that begs to be gasified. This should allow me to install A/C and be able to pull a small fuel trailer so we can hit the road to visit family and all you other gassers.

The Hawg has accumulated it’s share of bumps and bruises, but it is in great condition overall. It has not been washed in years for fear of losing it’s patena. It actually has moss and lichens growing around the grille. After the system gets to a reliable state, we may pop for a new paint job.

The tank between the frame rails at the rear is the condensate tank for the cooler. There is massive area under the flatbed for tanks, plumbing, tool boxes etc. I do plan to scuttle the in-cab gas tank for an underbed unit later.

If I missed any of your questions, please ask again.

Wood Hawg Fuel

My search for a reliable fuel source turned out great. I my area, there several saw mills. There are stacks and stacks of slabs everywhere. They are mostly pineand many of the pieces are 6 to 10 inches across. I couldn’t think of an efficient way to process those larger pieces, so I kept looking for options.
I found a mill that specializes in making barrel staves. Their waste product is “sticks” measuring from about 1X1 to 1.5X5 and about 40 inches in lenght. This is all hand selected premium white oak. This material has been sitting for six to 10 months so it is well seasoned. They loaded it onto my trailer for me. Cost of the wood (loaded) + fuel cost for transport + a big tip to the forklift operator, came to .5 centd per pound. I brought home about 42,000 lbs. I’m smiling!

I’d be smiling too. The sad part is most of us have thrown away enough “bio-mass energy” to last a lifetime. So proud of all who are investing in a sustainable future on waste wood.

Wow RichardC
You sure know how to show you are serious about this.
BTW my comment about the behind the seat gasoline tank was not meant as a safety thing. I just knew the rear between the rails tank wasn’t for gasoline. I’m kinnda’ a real safety ninny and I never felt unsafe about the behind the seat tanks. I’ve never seen or heard of any actual reported incidents. And there they sure are protected from road salts corrosion and road hazards. I wouldn’t bother changing out except to free up some in the cab dry, warm storage space.
BenP back in ~2008? slapped one of his early Woody model gasifier systems on the front of his 10 ton GMC dumptruck with a GMC V-6 in it and drove it around a bit. It’s on a video somewhere. Worked. Needed more mixer/timing refinement. But then who would want to drive around a dump truck daily? Long since sold and gone.
Your re-power option plan sounds sound if you know for sure about the engine to tranny match up.

Steve Unruh

Greetings Steve,

I’m not so concerned about the safety issue either, but the extra space in the cab would certainly be appreciated.


Yep. Behind the seat one of the best “possibles” cubby holes. Stuff keeps safe out of sight, cleaner, better organized than crammed under the seat to slide forward and jam your pedals. Just swapped out my single bit ax for a Polaski ax/hoe after my Euro B-I-L and I rescued a couple of land slide stuck driven in Geologists servicing monitoring equipment on a hike in we did into the Mt. Saint Helens crater using theirs. Forgot how handy and labor saving the hoe end was for loosening, moving dirt and rocks.
Goes with the cable come-a-long, tow strap, bow saw, tie down ropes, tool kit, etc., ect.

Steve Unruh