A Popular DIYer Generator Build

 ‘Wife Friendly’, A Smart Engineering Excercise.




 My personal thanks to Phil for his years of sharing what works and what doesn’t, and his good finds on surplus items. Phil is plenty happy with his new diesel and this may be what our DIYer movement moves towards as the EPA figures out how to make gasoline even more unstable and near useless for our standby ready small power equipment. Needless to say, we never know what the future brings, the stationary engine exemption might be re-instated some day. The EPA has demonstrated their propensity to plan statically, E15 would not have been so vehemently opposed, had the CARB and the EPA not previously  worked so hard to make carbs non adjustable and impossible tune for a different percentage of alcohol mix.  We know their endorsed fuel causes us to throw away the carb, and sometimes the complete engine due to corrosion and oxides forming where we can’t rearch to clean because of the tamper proof design they insisted on. 
Podkanowicz Perkins-Utterpower PMG

Podkanowicz Perkins-Utterpower PMG

Picture showing the drive system was taken during trial fitting.    

WE know this new generation of small diesel engines will serve us far better than the Gasoline engines.  We know we need the best of coolant protection, and we’ll need a lube oil that has anti-wear additives, and anti corrosion additives, it’s best you look at every quart of oil you buy, and read what’s in it. Do all you can to keep condensation out of your engine. Keeping it at a near constant temperature and slightly above air temperature if possible can help keep acids from forming in the crank case, and of course a monthly routine run will re coat parts with oil and remove any moisture that has condensed inside.

Thanks Phil!

George B.

This entry was posted in DIYer Generator, Off Grid Power, Projects, Small Diesels, Utterpower's Friends and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Popular DIYer Generator Build

  1. Kbonk says:

    That kinda looks like a thermo king refer engine? I personally would love to see more from this Master DYIer

  2. George B. says:

    ThermoKing used a lot of four banger mitsubishi diesels I believe.
    this is a two banger,

  3. Drew Sparrow says:

    I’ve considered the Yanmar and would love to see more pictures of the drive setup.

  4. kbonk says:

    Thermo king uses a number of manufactures, yanmar, isuzu, kubota, most are made just to thermo kings spec. Heat king trailer units use TK, 2.4 & 2.9 twin, made by yanmar I think its a 235 & 295 , and there are some 3 cylinders numbered 353 & 395.

    I have befriended a local TK parts guru and am trying to find out what the spec are and how they differ from a stock motor. I need to ply some more beer soon. He did tell me that early TK units used a Mercedes Benz 4 cylinder ( think 1959 190D ).

    From what I have found they are very robust, extra sump capacity, and so on, I cant tell from the picture but I think Phil might be using one of those.

  5. Paul Martoccia says:

    That looks like a Perkins 400 series 2 cylinder engine. I have the same engine in a mini-skidsteer I have owned for several years. I don’t have alot to compare it to but it seems to just sip fuel nice and slow. The engine manual states that during cold weather operation the engine should be run until it reaches a minimum 160 degrees F to ensure that the valves don’t accumulate excessive carbon deposits which won’t be broken down at lower temps.

    • The Perkins 400 series has a good reputation for rugged reliability in the outback – mainly on chillers and unattended material handling applications.
      Basically I was told locally the 402C-05 is 8.2KW @2800 rpm – 10.2KW @3600 rpm – being only a 500cc engine the life expectancy is good at 6000 hours despite extended oil intervals.

  6. Phil Podkanowicz says:

    The engine is the Perkins 402C-05 model, a great little engine.

  7. Joshua Gates says:

    Tell us more about the pulley and stuff, I want to build one of these. I already have the engine and a generator head I just need part numbers for the pulley/belt system.

  8. George B. says:

    Pulleys are selected based on the HP of the engine, the size of your generator and how much power you want to make. Some of us like to operate at 4000 watts or less, and we optomize our engine to develop enough power to start any load we need to start, and at the same time under run the rated RPM a bit to save wear and tear on the engine and to more fully load each power stroke wit the work we do. Once we give it our best shot to determine that, we select our pulleys. A typical choice for a 3600 RPM engine might be a 5.0 inch on the engine and a 4.2 on the 2 pole generator head.
    If it’s a 4 pole head, you might use the 8.4 inch pulley on the generator. see

  9. Dana Pugh says:

    I have a thermo king engine to 486v 2.1 liter . It is a 4 cylinder with low hrs. I would like to make a standby gen set for the house. Would this be a good choice for a engine and what size generator do you think would be a good match.k

    • bob g says:

      i am not familiar with that version of the thermoking engine, but the c201 was an isuzu diesel product

      thermoking used the engine to drive both a refrigeration unit and also to drive a genset, the only difference between those enigne’s was how the pump internal settings were made.

      i would assume you engine can also be used to drive a generator and do it quite well, i would expect maybe 12kwatt/15kva or there abouts. i am guessing the engine is rated at about 22-25hp at 1800rpm.

      it is also likely that there is a generator that will bolt directly to the bellhousing.

      bob g

Leave a Reply