It may have happened when I was exchanging emails with a Customer on Guam after the Island was hit by a large storm and people were without power for months. I received several pictures of generators that died for all kinds of reasons and formed a mountain of metal at the local salvage yard on Guam. My customer of course is a DIYer and loaded several in the back of his mini truck to see what he could make run again.
What happened you say? An idea… it’s been floating around in my head for years now, and then Roger Sperle, and old duffer and friend from down the street started bringing home lawn mowers and parting them for salvage. The alum mower decks and engine cases add up and a pickup load makes a fair paycheck for a guy just trying to keep busy.
Roger stops by one day with three generators he got out of the junk pile behind the small engine repair shop over by Foss’ Grocery here on East Hill. He wanted to know if I wanted to pick any parts off them before he busted them up into different piles of metal. I thought for a moment….Dang! this may be the time to try that DIY idea? Is there a KISS way to convert those single bearing generators into more useful two bearing Generators?
If you look at the picture above, you’ll see what Allmand tells me is a morse taper, if you’ve looked at engines made for single bearing generators you’ll notice the shafts are different, they often have this same taper. Fact is, this shaft above is the crankshaft salvaged from the engine and cut off right up against the crank throw. That long bolt runs thru the center of the generator shaft from the back and holds it all together. Once that taper takes a set, and the bolt is tightened, it’s mighty strong.
If you look at the picture above, you’ll see the end bell that normally bolts to the side of the four stroke engine, you might recognize that standard set of bolt circles. Since I’m a poor machinist at best, I sent off this end bell and the shaft with a measurement or two to Randy Allmand and he whipped up a custom bearing carrier for this end. The center of the bearing carrier indexes into the end bell center, the inner bolt circle was already threaded in the housing, so Randy created the carrier bolt circle to match the threaded holes to make the job easier for me.
After assembling the generator and tapping on the end bells, the shaft spins silky smooth, and there’s little left to do other than make a proper mounting plate.
Randy might be interested in making these conversion kits if there’s interest.. or… you can roll your own..