The output shaft is about 13" LOA and can't be any shorter due to having
clear the starter. If I were doing it over (and I might yet), I'd do it
Use the original clutch, pressure plate, and transmission input shaft.
pilot to the shaft to support it in the crankshaft; add a pilot bushing if
necessary like I did. Shrink/press/whatever that transmission shaft into your
1.5" shaft that goes out through the flange bearing. This would probably be
easier to build than what I did and have the advantage of absorbing the
hammering at startup/shutdown. The engine is very rough during those brief
periods, and I'm afraid that my scheme is going to hammer itself to pieces, it
hammered out the original rubber tubing bushings in very short order. Dunno how
the Delrin bushings and my keyways are going to hold up; as I said, it's ROUGH
during starup/shutdown, and you have the inertia of the pulley, sprocket, and
even the generator working against you. The clutch plate has springs to absorb
Don't forget to use at least part of the vacuum pump unless you're starting
with an engine that didn't have one. The gear on the vacuum pump drives the oil
The Hoof governor is still available from Saturn
Surplus last I
looked. Get one now, the price is right and it works well. Drive it at about
engine speed (2200 RPM). The linkage rod ball ends came from the local
autoparts store. You can get forged aluminum rod ends from racing supply
houses. The 2:1 ratio on the bellcrank is because of the short throw on the
original governor. It turned out to not work all that well, and I had paid more
for it (used) than the Hoof cost new.
The speed is about right, don't try to run that engine too slow, it's
to be cranked up. Remember that 2200 RPM is about 45 MPH in high gear in the
car, so that's really loafing along.
Fuel consumption was under 1 GPH with a 7 KW load, it should be quite
less under lighter load.
Almost any small radiator should work, I'm using one from a VW Dasher.
draws about 20 amps, so the alternator must be in good shape. It does a good
job of cooling, but it must be shrouded so that all air goes through the
radiator, it will bypass it otherwise and not cool well at all. I was able to
buy hoses that came very close, including one long one with several bends. That
one got cut twice and spliced with 1" EMT. You can see the splices in the pics
of the Radiator and LH Side. If you need it, I can give you part numbers for
I have a low-oil-pressure shutdown incorporated. The pushbutton to the
the key switch bypasses it during starting and shuts off the fan at the same
time. The shutdown pressure switch is from the VW; it's a N.O. switch that
operates at about 30 PSI. Glow plugs are the old "slow motion" jobs and are
operated manually by the pushbutton just above the key switch. The selector
switch at the upper RH corner of the control panel is for a 12VDC light in the
genshed to assist starting in the dark.
The Gilmer belt drive is a bit of overkill, I think I could have gotten
the dual 'V' belt drive, even though the book says "No". The Book says 4 belts
are required; a gearbox couldn't be used because the generator must turn the
same direction as the engine. I would definitely not advise trying to put it
alongside the engine and belt-drive it from the front of the crankshaft, as the
crank isn't heavy enough to handle the stresses imposed. If you have to buy all
the parts, it's not much more expensive to go with the Gilmer belt, however:
total cost was about $200.00 for the sprockets, belt, and taper-lock bushings.
The generator bushing must be bored to size, as it's metric or something.
(.984" or 25mm dia.)
Although you could probably build this w/o a milling machine, it was
easier because I have one. A lathe is required to do the shaft work, and
transfer punches were used to get the holes in the rear adaptor plate aligned.
I have a shop full of tools, and most were used for one part or another. :-)
(wire welder for the exhaust work, etc.)
The frame is made from 4" channel iron, and the engine mounts are from
Dasher that I started with. It would have been much harder to mount the engine
if I'd not had those mounts, as most VWs have the engine sitting E/W instead of
N/S as in the Dasher.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with it, and feel that it should give long
service. Other engines might be a better choice, as some are available with
better mounts, attached governors, output shafts, etc. However, one criteria
was availability (I had several VWs sitting out back), and future availability
of parts. I should be able to keep this thing running forever. The engine
itself should be good for many thousands of hours, I just hope my work is as
Your overall cost will depend a lot on what you can scrounge. If you
engine free, you'll still put over $1000.00 in it by the time you're done. That
belt drive, guages, exhaust parts, hoses, iron, etc. all add up faster than
you'd think. Oh, that's PLUS the cost of the generator. I bought it from
Northern for about $550.00, back in about 1995.