Two Stroke Engine HACK to a Powerful Steam Engine


Introduction: Two Stroke Engine HACK to a Powerful Steam Engine

About: You may recognize Dan and Denise Rojas from their appearances in various made for tv movies and national commercials. As the hosts of Green Power Science, they share Fresnel lens and alternative energy ideas...

This illustrates the simplicity of converting any gasoline engine into a near perfectly machined Green Steam engine from scrap weed eaters or chain saws. Even old lawn mowers will work. I am considering an air powered tractor from a deep sea diving tank:-) Regulator to reduce 3200 psi to about 250.

Jun 26, 2009 05:46 PM



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    How about corrosion in this thing? Seriously want to build this but i am afraid corrosion would make the engine stop rather quickly.

    2 replies

    I'd probably just make some kind of oil system.

    Try to find some 2 stroke aluminium engines, compressor have those with Teflon ring. They should work fine and the cylinder wouldn't rust as fast.

    If you have access to a machine shop and metal, machining one in stainless steel would solve the corrosion problem, as for the bearing, that another problem.

    4 stroke engine would have way less problem with bearing deterioration as long as the oil pan is ventilated and the engine is well lubricated.

    how did you screw in the pipe to the spark plug hole? spark plug thread is different than pipe thread. i'm just drilling out a spark plug the brazing it to a pipe and it seems to work fine.

    You mention using a check valve instead of a solenoid. How would you do this?
    Great instructable by the way I'm loving it

    2 replies

    i hope this helps:

    Fantastic! I see now, very clever. Thank you!

    Wood is a totally carbon neutral fuel source. It's about as green as it gets as long as it's responsibly sourced (i.e. fallen limbs, sick trees, etc.)

    you could use a engine that doesn't even run at all and make it run on air

    What is your (proposed) source of Greenpower-gas for this?
    And why isn't this balanced when it looks like you tried adding a balancing-weight... that's your reed-switch-magnet isn't it?


    3 replies

    The magnet threw the balance off and the engine was held to the workbench with a few wood screws. The gas would be steam from a Fresnel Lens or a Parabolic Dish with preheated water from black hose. The exhaust would be recycled to the system. This was just a concept to demonstrate that an off the shelf two stroke can operate from compressed air/steam. Solenoids would not last for this purpose. A four stroke works better if you redo the cam shaft. Oil and valves are not an issue. I should have balanced the wheel:-)


    The flywheel was from a lawn product, it was off balanced from the neodymium magnet. It was a concept.

    Can you counter-balance it, and where are you thinking of getting some (green) pressurised-gas?


    interesting. My thought is, since presumably this is meant to facilitate off grid or emergency living. why add the requirement of a battery and short life solonoid?

    1 reply

    I agree.

    This is a concept, the solenoid pulls very little and a slide valve or check valve is a better option. The reed switch/solenoid was designed to illustrate methods of increased/decreased air/steam release through the cycle.

    could you hook up another magnet, reed switch, and solenoid to the out take and time it right so that you have a longer power stroke? or would you run the risk of blowing up your engine? i have what looks like a 2 cylinder 2 stroke that's collecting dust and i've always wanted my very own steam generator, this seems like an easy relatively cheap way to make something, at least to start with...

    1 reply

    For a longer stroke you move the magnet/reed switch closer to the center of the flywheel. This covers less distance as the center is slower. The reed switch experiences a longer magnet exposure. To reduce the volume consumption on the power stroke you move it out. The secondary solenoid does help with full strokes if you seal the natural exhaust but it eats tons of air/steam.

    To get power comparable to the engines original output, you will want 500 psi or higher.. (typical chamber pressure in a combustion engine). Finding a solenoid valve that will work quickly, and flow enough volume at that pressure will be "interesting", same for a regulator that can do high volumes.

    Any guesses on the air consumption of your engine? (the simple minded displacement x rpm will underestimate use, as the cylinder will be above atmospheric when the exhaust port opens).

    I like the solenoid valving, your engine will be more efficient than my take on the traditional CO2 engines sold in miniature for indoor model airplane use. - using a pin in the piston crown to open the inlet check valve, with the check valve mounted in the sparkplug hole. (I have even tried converting a sparkplug into the check) - it works, but since it opens before TDC, you don't get torque at low rpm's, and your air consumption goes up along with it.

    I assume you are using typical air tool lubrication solutions to keep things moving. I would add some oil to the crankcase to replace what it used to get from the premix passing thru...

    1 reply


    The check valve is a better idea as the solenoid does wear out and just past TDC is the optimal release. The input cuts out after the first 1/8th of the piston stroke preventing matched PSI on an expanded chamber = multi volume loss. So the flywheel needs to be a bit larger to store energy as the power stroke is shorter.

    Working with an Airsoft trigger valve.
    I have a tilt piston video uploaded a few years back.

    Thank you for the comment!!


    What is your reed sw hooked to. There is a solenoid or what?