Mad Max

            10 HP Chevy Diesel Car


If you are a DIYer, you will note the cost of farm and utility vehicles like the John Deere, your mind will roam the halls of possibility. Other's will see this test mule as insane, and that's OK. If you are running biodiesel, you can run with far less emissions in this little 3000 RPM Yanmar or Yanmar clone Air Cooled engine than the gas engines. 

The Chevy Metro is a perfect donor vehicle for drive train pieces. Supplies of dead or damaged units are numerous and ever growing, demand is low. This means you should be able to rescue a Metro headed for the crusher for just a few dollars more than the salvage guy pays the Wrecker guy. If you are gracious and considerate, a little extra money might help with a title transfer if your project will benefit from it.

Following is a 'proof of concept' vehicle, it is not elegant, and it was not built to be a Hi-way vehicle. to say the least, the objective was to produce a mechanically sound drive train.

The maiden test drive was performed on 11/16/04, with the owner and mechanic both in the car. To make matters worse, the stock dead engine was in the trunk! The total passenger load was easily over 650 pounds.  Joel and the Miguel are NOT Girly Men.

The C.V.T. adds a 4:1 advantage in gear ratios, and it goes into overdrive when torque drops off, first gear proved to be useless for anything other than pulling stumps on the farm, this means that NOTHING will stop this vehicle if you can find the traction, and it will be obvious that taller terra tires could be added, and you will still spin the tires versus run out of torque. The Yanmar Clone diesel may only be 10hp, but like any diesel, it will make more torque than you might first imagine.

Joel Koch and his Mechanic started their maiden voyage with a trip to the service station; in Oregon, you don't pump your own gas, and the Attendant managed to squeeze in 99 cents worth of fuel to top off the tank. I'm sure he will be talking about this event at the dinner table tonight.

The car proved to pull the steepest hill they could find at more than 15 miles an hour with this hefty load! Flat ground produced nearly 50 miles per hour. Later, the car was driven with driver only, and Joel found the top speed to be no more than 50 on the flat, and he did see speeds nearing 60MPH when going down hills, this suggests that the drive system is pretty well optimized as per the ratios, but we feel a spring adjustment in the C.V.T. could be made to get the engine to rev another 500 or 600 RPM (if) maximum power were required. This engine makes continuous power at 3000, and max at 3600 RPMs, Joel is guessing that 3000 may be all she's able to give in top gear level ground, this could be because the engine is new, it may be because the throttle linkage needs adjustment, but I think the CVT needs to be optimized if the last bit of power is to be found. 

When you look over this concept, think about how easy it will be to make your own light weight frame, and how easy the drive train donor pieces will be to transfer to your poor man's utility vehicle.

if you are a demented thinker like me, you will have already processed the feasibility of delivering Pizzas in this vehicle, if you're getting paid mileage, you will certainly have your pockets jingling with the difference between your mileage payments and the actual cost of fuel and oil. If you are a true motor head, you will have heard of people using smog pumps to supercharge small engines... Hmmm, just how much can we squeeze out of a 10HP air cooledYanmar Clone, and what will a little propane injection do for the top end or pulling hills, Yes.. this is insane thinking, but it's not illegal to think this way yet, and if you're burning bio, it could be a clean thought.


Engine with CVT. Notice that electric starter, and yes it does have a built in charging circuit for the battery This Yanmar Clone engine is a quality copy (?under license?) of the famous Yanmar Air cooled unit, and it should run a good many hours.

Transmission receives an adapter plate and proper mountings that are engineered to support new radial loads.

Our generation has always found reasons to cut holes in the hood, but it's my guess that this is the very first Yanmar Clone to stick out of the hood of a Metro.


now that we've seen how the poor folks do it, here's an interesting effort that was accomplished with the additional funding.

Remember the Messerschmitt?



All the best,

George B.