I have long wanted my own generator, but a $500 and up price tag kept me from purchasing one new. After some internet searching and sleepless nights I found a good tutorial online at http://www.theepicenter.com/tow082099.html. What I liked best about the tutorial is that Brian at epicenter has already worked out the kinks and sells the materials. I have no connection with epicenter, and the only things I have bought from them were for this project, but what dealings I have had with them were fair and honest. He was also kind enough to let me copy some of his wiring diagrams for this article.
A co-worker gave me an older craftsman lawnmower for this project, it did not run, but with a little bartering, it was repaired. I ordered the plate, an alternator, wiring harness, pulley, and two belts from the epicenter website (approximately $160 with shipping).