Q and A: PMG FAQs

Note: The following information was retrieved from UtterPower’s archived pages. All information is republished for educational purposes. Any mention of items for sale or prices are outdated and no longer applicable.

There’s no way I have time to post every email here, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received emails about expensive parts failing after a very short run time.


Good Evening George,
I just spent a couple hours reading on utterpower.com trying to educate myself about generators.  What I am looking for is an economical replacement for the 7.8KW Power Tech brand generator head on my RV.  I just got the unit back after spending way too much money to be told that the Kubota diesel is fine but the rotor and stator are bad and I need a new generator head to the tune of $1800 to $2300 plus labor.  At that point, I decided to get smart and do it myself plus, I like the KISS principle.

Note:  I share the above email in order for you to understand the high cost of repair in these generator sets, there’s a possibility this owner could take the generator to a good rewind shop and find out that they could rewind it, the rotor is bad too they say?? $1800-2300 plus labor! and the owner ha already paid a good chunk to have it looked at. Does this give you incentive to build a kiss Generator? It should….

(2/9/10) (sent from a blackberry) Good Day Mr George first let me start off by saying that how impress I’m with your magnetic motor I never seen anything like your motor however I do have a couple question how loud is motor  do you recommend indoor or outdoor is it possible to run this equipment under the maximum load 24/7 do you design custom made motors if so is there a way that can contact via phone Thanks  best regards H.B.

George Note: HB assumes the PMG actually runs on the magnets! I get about one email a month like this. I am fascinated by the lack of  critical thinking skills people like HB display. What I usually find is these people believe in a free lunch in finance as well as in physics, and if you probe enough, you almost always find there is no doubt in their mind that AGW is a real major and immediate problem, “we are all going to die quite soon”.


Hello George!

Thanks in advance for responding to this inquiry!  I bought a 20KW Chinese diesel genset manufactured by Weifei Shandong (I have all the model info at home and will send if you can help me).  The diesel motor runs great but after 900 hours of run time the windings in the generator head have come apart and the generator is not working.  I paid 4K for this machine.  Not sure if I should junk the whole machine, try to repair the head or buy a new head. I don’t need 20KW of power. 12KW would be fine.  This generator runs at 60Hz and backs up my solar powered home.  I’m short on panels so I am running the generator a lot.
Can you sell me a head?  Any suggestions?  Thanks!
T. O.

Follow up note to the above from a Home Power DIYer “The Generac brand is famous for doing that – the field windings literally fly apart.”  Not true? Well then ask for a lifetime warranty against this defect..


It’s February already, 2/4/10.. I should add more to my pages, and decided to add this one. I need to explain. India >has< made a number of engines that I found exceptionally clean, the CD was written some years back, and the added to all along. The key to buying a Listeroid (Lister Type), is getting a promise form a reliable dealer that they will help you with parts and pieces after the sale IF you find something wrong, so know that the following report is not typical of Indian good, but it could be your experience if you buy a ‘pig in a poke’. Some are quite nicely balanced, and you need ask the seller, if I get a ‘jack rabbit’, do I get my money back? Now the story..

Hi George,

I have lived “off grid” a little over 8 years. Grid power passes on the property line ½ mile away from my cabin, but I prefer to generate my own.

Until now I have run (2) military surplus diesel 5kw gen sets (MEP-002), with a 4.2 kw gasoline Generac as a stand-by. These have done a fair job as long as I been able to find surplus parts and been willing to spend a large amount of my time as a generator mechanic.

The military sets vibrate apart, are LOUD, and are quite complex. There are gauges, switches, pumps, relays, diodes, batteries, safety features, and at least a mile of wiring. On their good side, once tuned, maintained, and clean fueled, they worked well and offered 50 or 60 cycle power at single or three phase. I have some periodic use equipment that is three phase, so I can’t see life without a couple of these around.

For fuel I have used diesel, gasoline, WVO, WMO, waste hydraulic fluid, and blends thereof.

A few years ago I found your UtterPower CD while searching for information on Lister diesel engines. I bought the CD and began searching for a Lister (or clone). I found an engine and true to your warning I found a motor full of casting sand, I was discouraged by the sand and general low quality craftsmanship of the engine. I tore the engine down and cleaned and painted the case and cylinder and just lost interest in the motor.

Last year I found another engine here Houston, bought it, and although it is from a different Indian manufacturer, it was equally full of sand.  This is when I realized you may not be correct about poor quality control being the reason for all of this sand. It is actually a plot by the Indian government to move their country here two cups of sand at a time inside of every engine sent this way…

With this new engine, I just pulled the case covers, head and cylinder and scraped away most of the sand, then rinsed with kerosene.

I now retrieved the 3KW PMG (Permanent Magnet Generator) head from storage that I had bought from you and mounted it with the Lister clone. What a contrast in craftsmanship! From absolutely the worst to near NASA quality. It is embarrassing to have your generator in the same room as that engine…

Ok, there’s more… True to your CD, once the engine is cleaned out, the fuel tank thrown away, piped to a barrel of water, and a few other “fix-ups” that you list in the UtterPower CD, the engine starts and runs at +/- 650 rpm with soothing “clickitee / tickitee. Also per your CD the motor is quite out of balance and would leave my property if not CHAINED TO A LARGE OAK TREE.

I have run the engine/generator for about six months now 24/7 for three days one week and 24/7 two days the next. The generator operates as perfectly as it looks. I have run it for long periods in excess of 3KW. At first I would check the shaft, body, and cord temperature often. This got old as there are never any excess temperatures.

We had several days of freezing weather a couple of weeks ago and I found the engine frozen solid. Can you say – “no anti-freeze”. Ice had swelled past the gaskets of the water ports and at the cylinder head. I tented the motor with a tarp and left a propane heater running full blast for a couple of hours. After thawing the motor, water lines and barrel, the motor fired off with the first compression stroke. Believe it or not all of the gaskets held their ground.

So, all in all, I can’t fault the information from your CD one bit and you know… the Lister clone is really not that ugly. Ok, well, it’s ALMOST loveable.


Earl B

From: kenny wilson
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 12:48 PM
To: gbrecke@vircom.net
Subject: PMG prices

Ok George

You definitely have my interest peaked. What is the Cost of your PMG ?

Having just changed the voltage regulator on a (8000W ) Coleman generator …

that only had about 80 to 100 hrs on at no more than 1/2 to 3/4 load at any

given time … (due to Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav, and Ike I live near the gulf coast)

I am ready for the real stuff..

I do not remember how I found your site … but the PMG looks like it is a must have!

I also do Amatuer Radio Emergency Service with my brother so this fits into

our emergency use scheme.  And I am presently investigating how to wean myself

off the GRID.

I also find the engines very very fascinating … I am going to have to look into them also …

I love to tinker … Electrican by trade  a DIYer also



MY Reply:

Hi Kenney,

PMGs are about the same money (as of this writing) after shipping and buying the drive pulley as the economy play (ST5 head)

There are some high end 4KW heads out there for $1500, I doubt they’re more reliable than the PMG.

To your door with drive pulley, bushing, bolts.. $699.95

Shipping and insurance $59.95 in bomb proof box..

George B.

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