Huge Chinese Singles: recalling my first encounter

During the VN War  years, we visited Hong Kong as a Liberty port. For a young sailor who liked mechanical things, Hong Kong was magic, so much was different, the food, the cars, trucks, buses, trams and more. The water front and harbor of special interest, famlies living on Junks, and many of them quite large.

I remember our ship in the harbor, and a nearby  Junk attempting to pull anchor and get underway. The Junk was maybe 60 feet long, and when the engine started it blew three huge smoke rings, and stopped. Poof! Poof! Poof! I figured it had to be a single, but just how big?  The voices grew louder and louder on that boat, the person at the helm yelling orders,  others on board relaying messages from the person in the engine room.  About 45 minutes later, I heard the Poof Poof, Poof, and the junk was underway, the smoke cleared to a light haze, and the Junk was quickly up to Hull speed. I wanted to go aboard a junk, but I was way too timid to ask.

This Junk was built the first year I visited Hong Kong.

The Chinese singles are all over the Far East, and even some Yanmar engines that were built in Japan. Whether it’s powering a line shafted machine shop, or re-powering a truck for Ag-work, it was always interesting to see what these backyard engineers came up with.

In my later years, I learned of Western formed minds using Chinese Singles to repower trucks that had lost engines, and were too expensive to fix, and Gwyn in Belize sent me a picture of a Truck the local Witch Doctor owns. I guess it’s the name I give hin, as he sells a number of popular medicinal products to locals, and tourists alike. Snake Powder is Popular in Belize.

Belize 077

Notice the reduction, and Imagine the torque delivered to the rear wheels when the manual transmission is in compound low. Note the engine block is still in place, a simple cover over the top of the block. The local roads are said to be bad, so a top speed of 15mph is all you need.

Yes, I’ve been saving an 1125 Changfa for just this reason, but my list of projects is way too long, and my life grows shorter every day. If you live closer to Seattle, and this sounds like a fun project, consider writing me.

This new and never fired Changfa brand engine is a big bore brute, electric start, electrical system, even provisions for lights! And of course, spares and tool kit included.

I have no interest in shipping quotes, but engine is still sitting on the original pallet bottom, and I will assure it gets loaded into the back of a truck, or to a nearby loading Dock for Pickup. I need the space.

If you are a wooden boat fan, here’s a power plant with that special old boat sound!

It would cost a lot to deliver this engine to Seattle if it were legal to do so today, a relic of the past, but parts will be available for many years to come.

Update, 10/30 looks like this engine has a new home in Southern Oregon, Tom D, Has an 1125 powered generator, and wants another one..

Thump, Thump, Thump. $899 cash and carry… If you were here, you’d know I need the space.  There are secrets to making these engines reliable, a flexible link in the intake and exhaust and remote mounting is a good move, mounting fuel tank off the engine another great idea. All easy to do, and done by those who know.

email me if you like….  And please… don’t tempt me with the perfect boat or old truck, I’m feeling weak in the knees already.

Some of my pages on Viet Nam

George B.

Posted in DIYer Skills, Engines, Projects, Slow Speed Engines, Things I like, Vehicle Design | Tagged | 4 Comments

For Sale: Complete Lister generator with PMG for sale!

It’s all a little south of Seattle.


This item sold in 30 minutes, with back up offers, it has a new home in Oregon..


I am buried in projects, and this must go soon, it’s blocking part of the shop door, and there’s stuff outside that needs to be moved in. This was from a batch of good clones.

There’s a number of concerns I have when buying a 6/1, a major one is shipping cost, another is, what if you get a bad part? Poor flywheels are a major concern. The better dealers in India will send you a spare, but the shipping costs can be very high.

This particular machine was a known good runner, a seasoned block, known good flywheels, fitted with new parts, and there’s even spares. This is a stationary set up, heavy Eye Beam frame, electric starter, cooling tower, AND a brand new PMG! Lots of extras on this machine.

You’ll need to check timing, and do a minimum amount of checking compared to a kit. If you find any part is less than a good part, you’ll get a spare from me..  but you’ll get a lot of spares with your purchase.

PMG, drive pulley, Belt, Transfer box, fuel tank, filters, can’t imagine what else you’ll need.

Many people want a PMG, so no need to take it as part of the deal..

You’ll pay a good bit of money just for the steel in the generator’s base.

I’d be quite expensive to ship what’s here, you’ll love the cooling tower.  I’d much rather make a local sale, but if you send an agent, I can load it into a pickup truck or trailer. The starter  was made by a local Fabricator, owner said it provided good service. The generator no longer needed when an off grid family abandoned their property due to job loss. I bought it knowing its history, and place a higher value on it than an unknown new one.

Just a note, Listers are open flywheel engines, they’re dangerous, so what you are buying is an unfinished kit, you’ll need bring it up to OSHA safety standards on your own..  If you are not mechanical, I don’t want to make the sale, unless you have a mechanical mentor in your life.. you’ll get a copy of my CD that covers a lot of Lister topics..

$2995.00 for all, and the opportunity to own a new and totally tested PMG.  Price a kit engine, and shipping to Seattle, and you’ll know this is a good opportunity.

send me email at


Posted in CHP/ Co Gen, Engines, Generators, PMG, Slow Speed Engines, Small Diesels, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

ST5 generator head for sale in Bloomington IN.

John L is a retired Engineer, and wrote a few articles here on Burning Wood. John is moving south, and attempting to lighten his load.  He say’s he’ll make somone a good deal.

Of course we all know, the best deal will be had for the guy who lives close and has no need to fund a shipping Bill. I’d love to meet John face to face, he understands energy and machines far better than most.



Posted in Generators | Tagged | Leave a comment

Kiss Ideas. When is KISS too KISS? Or when is a Critic too Critical?

I was thinking about this today, and thought this might be a good example:

Notice how high the eye is above the plastic hole? This extra length acts as a fulcrum, and the amount of force applied to it could eventually break out the plastic hole. This might never happen with a bungy cord, but what if someone attaches a line to it? What if that line gets wrapped around an axle?

We’d likely never have the what Ifs…. if that plastic part was cheap to replace. But if we are concerned, how do we improve on the DIYer design?

tie down

tie down

Now true DIY KISS should cover the majority of our worries, and it need be as SIMPLE as possible.  The rubber piece is a #4 stopper with a hole in it stock, these are bought from Lab supplies, and do come in black. There’s a seller on ebay that sells them by the pound cheap. The ring is a heavy duty key ring, you buy them by the hundred count. The piece the ring is supported by is a hardware store 1/4 by 20 thread ‘connector’ you can make two pieces out of each connector.

The ring is our ‘fuseable link’ With a static 60 pound pull, we are just starting to deform the ring, remove this force and the ring is not damaged, but apply another 5 pounds, and the ring will pull apart and assure your plastic hole is not broken.

I posted this for several reasons, first, I think Polaris is making some amazing products, the new RZR 1000 is close to Alien Technology, and I think these holes they supply will find a dozen uses. I’m thinking of using one hole for a CB antenna. The hole idea? It’s an old idea, older than the expanding drain plugs used in outboard boats.

If you have a Son or Grandson interested in mechanical things, it might be fun to get him interested in designing a handy thing, and attempting to sell same on ebay.  A tiny drill press and a hacksaw could be all your young one needs to start a business.

George B.


Posted in DIYer Skills | Tagged | 2 Comments

12/2 in Ontario for sale 8/28/14

I’ve had email asking about where to get a 12-2 clone, here’s one in Ontario.

This equipment has been sold, stayed tuned for more opportunities.  

As of 8-28-14, this Generator is for sale.



Posted in Slow Speed Engines | Tagged | 1 Comment

A good Lister 6/1 Clone for sale, and an ST head too.

update:  There’s plenty of interest in this post, and not so good of a job of managing offers to date, (my apologies)   I am now confident that Jan (the widow) is not so interested in crating or shipping, I think she’s plenty busy making a living as many of us are:  One engine and a generator is spoken for, the other one is available for $2100 cash and carry. If you are in the area, or up for a beautiful fall drive, Give Jan a call at the below number.      

I’ve been following the production of clones for a good many years, and I do remember a period of time when production orders where steady, and the errectors were producing better quality. We always expect others to have different opinions, and those who have engines for sale might tell you theirs are simply the best ever.


Above: Engines as they are presently stored in Penn.  See that ST head in the lower left corner?

One of my concerns has always been the intergity of the flywheels, after that is balance issues, as this is harder for the DIYer to address.

The very best 6/1 I have is at Easton, it has started first crank most years after the snow melts, and has been left in the elements for years! This unit I have is from the same lot as the two engines up for sale here in Penn State.

A customer of mine bought them some years ago, and they are still on the pallet bottoms. He has passed away, and now his widow is putting them up for sale.  I think his wife and Son have all the spares that came with them, and since I’d like to see her recover some money through the sale, I have offered to help.

There’s two engines, they are branded Metros, and again.. out of this lot we found excellent runners, and good flywheels.  There’s also an ST head with the name Power Solutions on it, Joel Koch from Portland Oregon ordered these with the utterpower spec, this should mean you’ll find sealed bearings with proper grease, a better rectifier and more.

The Widow, and the Son are reasonable people, they have a way to load the engine and obviously a east coast sale might save somone a LOT of money in shipping charges. If you want it shipped, the owner will re-crate it for a reasonable fee, they will load it free of charge, and they do have a business address, that does make a difference as per shipping rates, but you’ll need arrange shipping from your end.

As I write this, I think about a friend who ordered an engine and got one terrible flywheel, he’s an ME, so he knew it didn’t ring right, and dug the puddy out to find a flywheel he’d never run. The cost of the spare shipped in from India was a rather enormous expense. Attempt to avoid that situation if you can.

Since I’d like to see this Widow as whole as possible on this deal, I will offer parts I have  at cost or less plus shipping, if you need spares.. again, I think they have the spares sent with the engine. Here’s your chance to start out with what might be a best clone..

I’ve told her to ask for $1800 for the engines, and take a best offer. As for the ST, I have found a difference of forty pounds between the best and  the worst. We need verify it doesn’t have a plastic fan. I’m pretty sure none of this lot did, but best to check..

Please spread the word, let’s help one of our deceased DIYer Brother’s Wives, it’s a good thing to do..

Your contact is (Janice Rowles) at 814-236-1342.

I’d appreciate your efforts to share a link of this post with friends, and old engine forums, I’d like to see these engines become runners in the hands of a DIYer. And of course we should all like to see the widow get a square deal.

Do scroll down to comments, there may be additional (more curent) informaton.

All the best GB.


Posted in Engines, Small Diesels, Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments

My latest field trip, remote places in Alaska.

17 years of intensive study of Alternative Power Production has made me a skeptic in so many ways. It’s not that there isn’t good equipment and decent investments, it’s that there are so many people who would sell you the wrong thing in order to profit off your investment. People in Government are amongst the larger crooks, it’s my opinion, and I feel it’s an educated one.

The end of the road is often the beginning of the Journey.


It took hours by plane, and two days of travel by truck to arrive at the end of the road, and there my journey began.

Eagle’s 2007 Flood is an example of what Nature can deliver, there are high water marks on some buildings, but many were crushed by ice and ground to bits. There’s heavy equipment that was twisted up like a pretzel, and all a reminder of what mother nature can deliver.

Alaska itself is an interesting study, there’s a complex spiderweb of subsidies that makes it difficult to discover the real cost of food, energy, or much of anything.  In areas outside of the Boroughs, there’s no property taxes, and inside the Boroughs, there’s near insanely high fees for things like sewer that are tied to water usage. Water the lawn, or wash the car? Not a good idea, not even if the water is cheap and plentiful.

I have always appreciated the simplicity of evaluating the off grid investment for Electricity, no need to compare the cost of a Kwh from the Mains, as they are not there to make use of. But it’s good to know the price of commercial power nearest your off grid site, just to know what you might be missing or gaining.

On this latest trip, I explored some on my own, in other cases, I was tutored some by my Alaska born friend Chuck F, he opened the doors to houses and homesteads, and small town power plants, and one of the first things I attempted to grasp is what people do in order to live and even thrive at minus 60F and below?

As I have often said, there are two basic plans for living off grid, one is living with a woman, and the other is living off grid without them.  A good study is Jim McGlothlin in Eagle, I instantly liked Jim and had the pleasure of sharing some time with him. He’s a Geologist by trade, a welder by his imagination. I’ve never seen better cabin construction, logs so closely fitted by Jim, that a proton couldn’t be squeezed between any of the logs in his work, but Chuck says it takes him a month to fit a new log. Of course Jim and Chuck have a long list of Jabs for each other.

But like many if not most men in remote areas in Alaska, Jim’s cabin is not so neat and tidy, and it doesn’t bother him at all to tell every person who sets in his guest chair not to squirm around too much, or the chair will fall apart. And that engine block in the corner, and the drill press next to the cookstove, it’s a handy thing, as you can stir a pot while you’re drilling that hole in a part for your gold dredge.

But just down river maybe 15 miles is Andy Bassish and Kate. It’s even more isolated here and how different does he live? I’ve watched the TV show ‘life below zero’, and I’ve wondered, is this the perfect environment to learn what really works and what doesn’t? Does the high cost of fuel, and the extreme effort to get new parts and or repairs cause you to do more research before you make an investment? What feminine touches does Kate bring to the house?

Andy comes off as a ‘hot head’ at times in the TV show, and I wondered how much he really knew and what makes him tick? How much does he think he knows, and is he into  learning from others?

Chuck and I made a run down river to the 70 mile, there we spent an incredible day looking at the geology, fishing, and enjoying a piece of the planet few get to see.  No need to beat the clock, as the sun never really sets this time of year, but it was a decent hour as we arrived to Calico Bluff, and just up from there is Andy and Kate’s place, we decided to stop in, but Andy knew we might do that.

I saw a new wind turbine, and a modest solar PV investment, a thousand watts, maybe a tad more. And a new house under construction.  There’s a comfortable looking temporary house with a comfortable front porch, and a retired 17 year old sled dog napping.  I thought about the 2007 flood, and all that Andy and Kate have done to recover.

It was a very pleasant visit, and I found Andy and Kate gracious hosts who made the time to show us around and explain what they were doing. Andy has done some amazing things, and one was loading an HD24 woodmiser saw mill onto two boats, and moving it down the Yukon to their place. I am very familiar with this mill, I have moved mine down the road, and it will push a truck when you’re stopping! I’m still not sure how he managed to load and unload that mill onto and off of two boats.

But there’s other things to be impressed with, like building a raft in Dawson and bringing a D4 sized Dozer to their place. It may not be as much of an engineering feat, but certainly shows his determination. Plus it’s and old dozer, and you need talent to keep out of trouble, and in his environment you could permanently lose a dozer to the mud.

His choice of equipment was outback for the Solar PV, and the 3KW Wisper wind turbine uses a Xantrex inverter, and all has been reliable so far. Kate did mention that the Wisper can sound like a helicopter at times, and we need factor that the silence in their world is something few of us will ever experience, so to spoil it is a larger sin there.


Kate and Andy's greenhouse  August 2014

Kate and Andy’s greenhouse August 2014

What does Andy have for a Generator? What does he thin he needs? What he has, and what he says he needs tells me he has a lot of hands on experience. Andy is no wannabe Bushman, he is a Bushman, and he is always looking to learn more, no way he’d tell you he knows it all, he is another man in learning mode, as most real DIYers are.

It’s my hope, and I’ll even say a prayer that the river and all of nature is good to both of them the rest of their days. Consider watching life below zero, Andy and Kate are no pretenders.

Years of study on my part, and still so much to learn…




Posted in Building Design, Critical Thinking, Inspirational People, Off Grid Power, Things I like | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Jerry Bartlett (Crazy Jerry) top honors in Mileage contest.

If you are a friend of Utterpower, you’ve heard the name Jerry Bartlett more than once.

Jerry recently shared with me that he was making good progress in getting a car ready for a high mileage contest and the results are in!

Before you read the coverage, I want to mention the Triumph spitfire, few people will know what a light weight this car is (was) till you start tearing into it. Maybe 30 years ago, a friend attempted putting a Ford Pinto engine in a spitfire, and it seemed that half the engine was above the hood line! It is no wonder the spitfire was chosen for a lightweight high mileage chassis.

Do note that Jerry donated his prize money for his win.  That’s no surprise to me, and I’d bet that most all of Jerry’s friends know that money is not what motivates Jerry to do what he does.

Congratulations Jerry, the car looks great, and obviously does more than you set out to do!

Jerry Bartlett, one of my favorite AE DIYers, hands on is where it’s at.


Posted in Building Design, Critical Thinking, DIYer Skills, Earth & Energy, In The News, Inspirational People, Small Diesels, Things I like, Vehicle Design | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Mother of Automation?




The SeaTac $15 minimum wage.

The SeaTac $15 minimum wage.


Quote: The mother of Automation is the Higher Cost of Labor.

George B. 2014

No… you shouldn’t expect the cocksure to ever figure this out.. especially Socialists like Kshama Saywant and my Washington State Senators to mention a few.

If you haven’t been following Seattle’s City Council Socialist Kashama Saywant, you are missing a good show.  Her goal is to raise the Minimum wage For Seattle to $15 an hour. This WILL literally destroy a lot of small business because the business model they are founded on will not work with the higher cost of labor. Saywant has no sense of business, which allows her to operate within the utopian business plan.

Bill Gates is a liberal in many if not most ways, but he warns of what’s ahead.  all I attempt to share here is Saywant unwittingly accelerates what WILL happen, and that is… a superior hamburger will be made by automation soon. Saywant’s efforts just makes it happen soonest.

But perhaps even as obtuse, are my Senators,…… one should know better…

All the best,

George B.

PS… I claim the Quote on Automation, it’s been going on since the wheel, but it’s possible we see more changes in a month, than some saw in a lifetime.




Posted in Survival Skills | Tagged | 2 Comments

Email of the Month?


Cool looking old switch I found in the bowels of a Seatle Building.

I don’t think it can get any better than this, you can read this from bottom up to get the conversations from first to last email..


There have been numerous qualified electrical engineers who have vetted this unit.
If you can’t figure it out then don’t reply. If you want a challenge then try to duplicate it.
Go to : and see for yourself.
The first time I saw this I thought, like you, it was BS. I researched it and found that over unity is possible. Just for a moment take the blinders off, blinders are a shortcut to thinking.

> From:
> To:
> Subject: RE: Contact Form: Coil shorting?
> Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 19:49:09 -0800
> This is pure bull shit..
> —–Original Message—–
> From: [] On Behalf Of Tony xxxx
> Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 4:40 PM
> To:
> Subject: Contact Form: Coil shorting?
> From: Tony xxxxx
> Subject: Coil shorting?
> Message Body:
> Hi George,
> I’m not smart enough to figure this one out.
> Here’s a link:
> thanks, Tony

> This mail is sent via contact form on


If you believe in the impossible, you’ll likely vote for it too.





Posted in Critical Thinking, Free Energy, Question of the day | Tagged | 11 Comments