First woodgas vehicle

I am new to wood gas and am wondering what would be the best vehicle to use or if it is a huge deal.

I currently own a 98’ dodge 1500 4x4 with a 5.9L engine. I think it would make a great candidate, it is beat up a bit and seems to fit the mold. I would like to be successful though and will have a lot of people laughing if it doesn’t work well.

If a dakota would be quite a bit better I am considering searching the adds for a good one.

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Good morning Levi .

Your truck should be a good one to gasifiy . The only criticism of the truck ( if it is the same as the 94 ,96 ) is it is hard to get to the distributor to attach a cable so the ignition timing can be advanced .

The truck should do good at driving 50-60 mph and being 4x4 should make a good work truck .

If little work is involved and a lot of open road driving the dakotas are hard to beat. They seem to work well at speeds 60 -70 mph.
.

I will be using my Ram today hauling cattle .

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Thanks Wayne. I will plan on using my truck for now, 50-60 mph is good for me and the 4x4 is going to be good with the low range.

I have seen some of your cattle and hay moving videos, it is impressive how much weight you can haul with the V10. I don’t plan hauling more than a small work or camper trailer which a 5.9 V8 seams big enough.

I have automatic hubs on my truck, would it be good to somehow disconnect them so that i can have low range while on pavement? I do wish to keep the 4x4 capability so maybe I need to look into manual hubs if low range is needed on the highway.

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Hello Levi .

I think I would leave the hubs as they are.

With many many miles on a couple of 4x4 Rams I have never used low range on the pavement even pulling heavy trailers. It is so easy just to add in a little gasoline and stay in high range .

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Okay good to know, I am getting more and more excited the more I find out about doing this.

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Hello Levi .

This is
dodge Ram with 318 .

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Just joined. Have Ben’s book & was planning to build my first using his plans (as a Proof of Concept). Would also like to adapt it to a truck. Currently have a 2000 Tahoe (SUV), but I like what others here have done with the Dakota (being more open). What year Dakotas are preferred? 95 only or are other years acceptable? There’s 94 near me with a v8 & a 95 with a v6 - which would be better?

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Hi piranha, welcome , I would go with the 94 V-8 more horsepower. You will lose 25% when running on wood over gasoline.
Bob

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Many thanks Bob!
Looking forward to formally joining the group here - to learn & add some value where I can :slight_smile:

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Hello phrang and welcome .

On the dakota v-6 the ignition timing can not be advanced where as it can be on the v-8.

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Thanks Wayne… sorry for the delayed response. Working on the gasifier build. So I already have 2000 Tahoe 5.3L which I could use as a prototype vehicle. Is there generic set of instructions for vehicle conversions? Or maybe even specific to that year of GM vehicles (i.e. Escalade, Denali, Suburban, Yukon, etc)? I would like it to be dual-fuel - switchable while driving (if possible). I’m not expecting this to be free & welcome purchasing “blueprints” to that effect AND becoming a member :slight_smile: Just let me know how to go about doing that, i.e. via email or online store. Many thanks all for your hard work & example!

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Phranq, in your fuse box you should have 3(or more) different fuses. One for the fuel pump and two for the fuel injector assembly. Injector fuses will be labelled INJ A, B, etc.

What I did for my Sierra was I bought fuse taps which go in the place of the fuse to make it remote. You still use the original fuse it just gives you a clean place to splice in a wire without permanently modifying your wiring. I spliced a wire into the tap and ran the splice to a switch in the cabin for each fuse(3 total for my 4.3L). If you just want to shut them all off then only wire in a switch, if you want to be able to hybrid, also add a Pulse Width Modulator on the Fuel Pump fuse.
Here is an eBay link to the fuse taps I used. They are not the Add A Circuit taps. Splice on one of the wires a connection to a switch.
Repair Car Fuse Holder Connector - Mini ATM, 32V 20 Amp, 16 Gauge Red Wire Cable 711181802160 | eBay

If your engine has the Spider type injectors it’s not advised to do this, they depend on consistent fuel pressure so it’s either On or Off, you can damage them with too low a pressure. The number 1 cause of those spider injectors dying is from people not replacing their fuel pump and filters and it affects pressure.

I’ll edit this post with some photos of my wiring setup, I don’t have a diagram I’m just not that kind of guy.

For plumbing, I bought a silicone sleeve from an auto parts store that matches the throttle body diameter. My air cleaner didn’t have any natural tapping points to attach a woodgas line so I decided to build a whole new one and keep the original one unaltered.
I am still building the air cleaner for my Sierra but because my throttle body is about 3" OD I’m using 3" PVC pipe to keep air flow correct when on gasoline. 3"PVC is 3.5" OD so I used a 3-3.5 silicone adapter. Don’t use silicone elbows they collapse under vacuum, use PVC elbows. I am not going to glue my PVC but just use a single wrap of aluminum duct tape, so I can take it apart for cleaning.

I’m a little lucky with my actual air filter box because the MAF sensor is located on that box. You want your woodgas to come in after the MAF sensor to keep it from getting dirty. I am using a 3x2x3 PVC Tee and my woodgas is coming in from the 2" line.
Somewhere between the MAF and the Tee add a butterfly to choke down your air. You can also put in a valve to completely shut off the woodgas plumbing but I haven’t found it necessary, your mileage may vary.

If your truck has a pan type air cleaner, or any of those sound dampener tumor looking things in the house you could use those to bring in the woodgas if it has a neck that is close to a PVC pipe size.

Most V8 guys have found two woodgas lines coming in helps out a lot, plan to include two lines.

If you want anything more specific you can PM me I’ll be glad to help you out no charge. Pictures of your engine bay would really help me strategize.

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Many thanks Cody! I will attempt to post engine compartment pics. I have a left-field question for the group: Has anyone attempted to run their vehicles with a “container” of woodgas rather than mounting the gasifier in the vehicle? I can see pros/cons with both approaches. Now that petrol prices are skyrocketing, us “woodgassers” might be rather conspicuous, and I’m not sure I want that kind of attention, while a woodgas “container” would be less noticable. Ben’s notes includes info on biogas “bags”. Admittedly such a thing has risks (i.e. explosion if punctured, etc) but then again, so would a gasifier (in the event of an accident). Open to suggestion…

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Bags don’t go very far. For the busses in WW2 that used them, they refilled at every single Bus Stop on their route.

Compressing is also unfeasible at the home level and it doesn’t have the same BTUs as Natural Gas or Propane so it isn’t really worth it in the long run.

The best way to hide a gasifier in plain sight is to route plumbing under the vehicle, don’t make it look so obvious. A lot of trucks have big drums and paint mixers that look like a gasifier.

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Your book arrived the other day - many thanks! In it you mention 92-95 Dodge Dakotas as being preferred. Is that still the case? The reason I ask is that I don’t have much leeway to experiment on multiple iterations - I kind of need to get it right the first time - which is why I became a member here, etc. Although I’m building Ben’s gasifier as a stand alone unit, I would also like to build your design, hence the book. And if the 92-95 Dakota is best for that, then so be it. Open to suggestion, even if it includes incorporating other designs as needed. Thanks Wayne, et al!

Phranq the Dakota is just a good example of a woodgas ready truck. Lightweight with a V8.

If you look up Kyle DiMario on YouTube he is powering a full sized C10 Chevrolet with a Ben Peterson design.

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Good morning phrang.

The dodge 5.2L 92-96 is the truck I like for open road use .

The later years 5.2 L motor are still OK but a little heavier and there is a shoke absorber that must be relocated.

For a working truck ( farm work ) the dakota is not a good option .

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Thanks Wayne (& Cody)… so just out of curiosity, what would make a good farm truck? The V10? I’m not a rancher, but do live in hilly backwoods, of sorts, and haul a single axle trailer around on occasion :slight_smile:

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For farm use I would like a 1/2 or 3/4 ton truck with a big motor .

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Below are 3 of my work trucks

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