Instructables

A source for a small Diesel engine?

I'm doing a science fair project about algae biofuels, and was looking for a small, tabletop, less then 70 lb diesel engine. Oh, and cheap would be nice too :D.

Phil B5 years ago
I am assuming you want a 4-cycle engine rather than a 2-cycle engine. That pretty well limits you to a lawnmower with a 3.5 or so horsepower engine. If the engine has a vertical shaft, you will need to add something for a flywheel. That is a function the blade usually fulfills, unless the engine does not need to run. Try a scrap yard. Take a compression tester and a wrench to remove the spark plug. People sometimes discard almost new engines because they hit a tree root and sheared the key on the very light duty flywheel inside the engine, sending the spark timing out of the workable range.
lemonie Phil B5 years ago
Why 4-stroke? 2-stokes are simpler aren't they? For algal I would have thought they were after a diesel, where you're more likely to find 4-strokes I concede. L
 No 4 stroke have valves and hold oil in an oil pan...a 2 stroke engine has to get oil from the fuel.
I know how both work. A 2-stroke diesel will usually have a 4-stroke lube-system.

L
Honestly, since your looking for discount prices, your going to need to find a used unit. Most new units your looking at will cost around $600-$900 dollars for a very small engine. You can get pretty good new unit prices if you order directly from china through a site like mychinaagent.com though if you do air mail it will cost twice the engine price in shipping, and if you do freight it will take 30-50 days to arrive, and youll have to deal with customs which is a bear. I actually did this same project (still running strong off an anaerobic digester. my cottage runs on poo!) I ended up finding a really super lombardini 8.5 horsepower diesel. Those signs you see on the highway that are like road warning lit signs the department of transportation pulls out there all run off of the lombardini diesels. They are fantastic engines with full mechanical jerk pumps, oversized oil pans, really REALLY high quality, and i found one out of a decomissioned highway light for $100, with the electric generator already on it. Hope this helps!
Xellers5 years ago
A lawn mower is a good source. I imagine that you want to build a small electric generator? You would need to be a bit creative, but I can easily see it happening.
If you are creating an electric generator, take a look at this.