Kerosene to Propane Generator Conversion-Cheap and Easy




I have yamaha kerosene generator since kerosene is hardly to get, so I experimenting to use gas (propane). And it works.
It don't need any changes on the carburator so if there is no propane gas, I can still use kerosene or gasoline.
And it only cost around $15.

Step 1: What We Need

for this convertion we only need 3 main component.
- high pressure gas regulator
- gas hose
- gas valve (like the one in the picture)

tool: only drill

Step 2: Set Up the Position for Gas Valve

The gas valve will be place aline with the carburator.

Step 3: Now Use Our Drill

Use our drill to make a hole at the air filter cover and air filter honeycomb.

Step 4: Cut the Valve Pipe

use iron saw to cut the pipe on the gas valve, to adjust (if it necessary)

Step 5: Put It Back in Order

Now we can put it back in order.

Step 6: Start You Engine

It will need some feelings to start the engine.
We have to open the gas valve slowly so it will give the right mount of gas.
After it start, try to open and close the gas valve to get engine stationary stage.


Always run the generator on open air or in good ventilation.
The gas will not automatically shutdown when the engine stop running.

Have a nice experiment.
Good luck.




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    24 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Without a proper, vacuum operated, on-demand engine regulator this is dangerous. Please, if you plan on making this conversion, do it properly or face the consequences. You can even make your own on-demand regulator by converting an old fashioned standard regulator (it needs to be the type you can take apart), there's plenty of info on line, but please, don't just use a standard gas appliance regulator, unless you have a death wish & like blowing things up.

    3 replies

    Reply 4 years ago

    unlike in USA, we in parts of asia don't have a luxury of hardware store and ordering parts that we can pickup from our mail boxes.
    We just tried to utilize what we have most. Just like many inventors before us. They who dare taking the risk of death to make better life.

    We still live in 19 century where there is no insurance company saying it's not safe and not covered. Even our goverment can't provide us with our basic needs. Electricity is never stable thing, sometimes on - plenty off. We can't buy gasoline in jerrycan.

    but thank you for your concerns.
    I still looking to improve my system. If you have know how to built simple solenoid, I will be very happy.

    best regards


    Reply 4 years ago

    I'm not in the USA either. You are probably better placed to make your own on-demand regulator where you are & then write another instructible to show how to do it. That would give you a great generator which would be safer, more reliable & wouldn't waste valuable gas.

    I will have a google & see what I can turn up, I'm not sure I will be able to post links in these comments, but I could at least give you some keywords to search for.

    Basically, an on-demand gas regulator works in the reverse of a normal one. If you can find an old fuel gas regulator which you can take apart (one with little screws or bolts holding it together) you can dismantle it & mount the spring on the reverse side of the diaphragm (at least I think that's how it's done, I would urge you to double check that first). This would also save you a lot of fuel & would mean when the engine stops, the flow of gas stops too.

    They can also be found on old engines which were equipped to run off gas. Sometimes these are found in scrap yards, some old military units had these supplied too, as a back-up source of fuel, & many would never have been used & could well have been scrapped with other old surplus.


    Reply 4 years ago

    I've already thinking to use modified sprinkler valve. As you can see in this clip,

    but then I have to make a hole at intake to get the low pressure that needed to open the valve.

    my target is to make modification as simple as it can be.

    Then there is common rules that we can only turn on the generator at open space or outdoor. And never leave running generator unattended.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I was really on the verge of giving up on deciding about using propane conversions but I think somehow I found the answer. I am a newbie here but I would just like to share my experience since some people might feel the same way. At first I was a bit doubtful if converting gas to propane would really fit my expectations but I've come to realized that yes, it is the answer for my longing prayers. It's very affordable, convenient and is truly a lifesaver. I don't need to spend too much on gasoline and I enjoy the perks of saving my precious time and energy. Just to share, try visiting this website that I found, It's a good reference for your concerns about propane conversions.

    I hope it will help you like it did for me. :)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Hendro,
    Hey, i never knew it was that easy and cheap!
    Only in this setting you need to take care and remember to turn off the gas supply when the engine is off..
    This guy installed a solenoid to turn off the gas flow when engine shuts off:

    Do you know how the car-conversion works? it would have some sort of flow control synced with the throttle control of the engine, i suppose?

    Great job! keep em coming.. :)

    Thanks for sharing!!
    "Tarik choke sampai stabil"... lol... salam dari Bali Mas!... :D

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    my main objective is to make this system as simple as possible so anybody with minimum knowledge and minimum tools can do this conversion. And for those who have greater knowledge can make some improvement from what i have done. Like that guy you've mention above...

    yes it's not totally save... but that is the price we have to pay... if we can't get the proper equipment or don't have money to buy parts we needs, we have to pay by doing more afford and hard works. In this case we have to always pay attention when the generator is running... it's not a problem for me cause usually power outages only run for 1-2 hours( I live in Jakarta) and only 2-3 times a year.

    yes, the main problem on car conversion is throttle control... the system is more complicated it will need solenoid valve, engine management computer, air flow controller, etc... It's too complicated for me... just leave it to the professionals... hehehe... 


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, I totally agree. In indonesia it wont be a problem because the genset would most likely run on the front or back porch of the house, and quite loudly too.. So when it stop working anybody in the house will notice for sure!
    Just remember to tell the wife and anybody in the house to swich the LPG off in case the genset dies.. :)
    i lived in Balikpapan for four years, we had PLN cutoffs everyday there.
    I'm not kidding: everyday for three hours!!

    Anyway, I'm familiar with the noise of the genset on the porch..
    Also the problem of refueling: They dont allow people to buy gasoline with jerrycans in Balikpapan (meant to stop the illegal street vendors), so i had to buy gas to my motorbike then transfer to the genset..

    If i had known your trick back then, it would have been much easier.. I would have done it exactly like you did, no need for solenoid too.. :D

    But for those who have a bit more money to spend, a solenoid would still be recommended..


    8 years ago on Step 6

    hi, i know this instructable is old but what the hack. i'll comment any how...

    it's great.
    can it work on methane gas (organic waste gas) to? the major problem that it is uncompressed, i think...

    what are your recommendations?


    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I know that in Philippine they use methane from dump field to generate electricity.

    But I think it's more simple if we use methane to light up fire. the fire is used to boiled up water, then the steam is used to spint a turbin connected to dynamo... or like a steam locomotive...

    or make a stirling engine like - then we use the up an down movement to move coil from a shaker flashlight

    or use peltier concept like

    both of stirling and peltier can use methane to light up the fire they needed.

    although i was wondering(since you pop-up the question) is it possible if we use air pump that usually used on aquarium to pressure up the methane... or using pump that used to fill up air mattress... :-)
    but those pump need electricity to run.... :-p


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great Instructible!  I did one with a spare carb but this is a great alternative for those who do not have spare carbs and its actually a lot faster and easier to set up or take down when you use it.  How the heck does your generator run on kerosene?  You generator is now way more usefull being a 3 fuel source machine.  Just think in a time of emergency, you can pickthe shortest line to get fuel for yours, probably propane ro kerosene.  I would like to know how that thing runs on kerosene...

    9 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you.

    It came with kerosene when we buy it. But it still need gasoline for starting. So there is two tank, gasoline and kerosene. when starting up, we got to pull a valve on the carbs, it will let gasoline flowing to the carbs reservoir, so gasoline and kerosene will mix. After  the engine heated up only kerosene will flow to the chamber. I think kerosene need to be heated up first before easily to burn, just like diesel fuel. In diesel engine there is one part who preheat the fuel before we start up.

    Maybe you can modified your gasoline engine by adding a smaller tank to fill with gasoline and the big tank(the one you already got) fill with kerosene. Then you need a switching valve. So after your engine is starting and heat up by gasoline you can switch to kerosene.

    Another idea I have is by following kerosene to copper pipe that coil the exhaust pipe. That way the heat from exhaust pipe will preheat kerosene before entering carbs. But it still need gasoline to start then after heat up we can switch to kerosene. I think by doing this innovation we will save same fuel, because the burning will be more efficient.

    Have a nice experiment.......
    Please let me know which way is works.....


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I may have to try that at some point.  I dont want to experiment on my working generator with Kerosene but I can find an old lawn mower for free so i may try it out there first.  Yeah preheating it may make it burn better.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    like I said above, there's little economic incentive.

    gas is 115000 BTU/gallon

    K1 is 135,000 Btu per gallon but probably costs more in your area in the amount of  BTUs per dollar.

    I've never fooled with it but I suggest you start by taking the lawn mower engine and reducing the compression somehow. Once I read that one way to go about that would be to use two head gaskets. This should be a fairly easy conversion if the old lawn mower engine is not overhead valve and is air cooled (most are)

    It's true by using 2 or more head gaskets we can lowering the compression.
    It's also true that today kerosene is more expensive even in my country(indonesia).

    As you now lately indonesia hit by several earthquake. My main objective is to make a generator that can use any fuel we can get in case of emergency.

    If I'm not mistaken more calories contains in fuel, less compression we need. Therefore if we want to use kerosene for gasoline engine, we must adding the compression.

    My personal challenge is how we can improve the generator to use many different type of fuel without any major changes and switching between fuel at any time instantly.

    Now I'm thinking about how making my generator runs using cooking oil...
    any suggestion?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable, I didn't even know you could get generators that ran on kerosene. Regarding cooking oil power, you would have to use an old diesel genrator to run on that, as gasoline/kerosene engines don't have enough compression to ignite vegetable oil. But it can be done; I have a Lister-Petter AC1 engine running a 2Kw genny and it works well! (although I haven't had a chance to use it as we don't have many power outages around here). Also there are lots of examples of people running diesel engines off SVO (vegetable oil) all over the net. Have fun


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    not sure about cooking oil but I think you would have to pre-heat it pretty hot to use it.  Might be able to look up cooking oil for fuel, I know they do it in diesel engines pretty easy and I know there is some sort of preheating it.  I am planning on experimenting with a steam generator next summer.  Where I live I can burn wood for weeks before I have to worry about it and if I can generate enough steam to turn a generator, if I ever needed fuel just walk outside on my back acres and cut a couple of dead trees.

    You write pretty good English to be from Indonesia.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Oh yeah... I also thinking about wood gasification. It produce power more efficiently from wood and it can applied on your gasoline generator.

    I got this link from friend of mine...


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    again, thank you very much... It is also give me much pleasure talking with you...

    you are so lucky to have a back yard full of trees... I live in urban area so I can only depend on fossil fuel... :-(

    Beside experimenting with cooking oil, I'm starting to experimenting with Peltier thermoelectric. If it works we can produce electricity direct from the heat. Heat from the sun or from the stove or chimney...

    Maybe this website can gift you more clear picture...

    The modern module is more simple, but the retro concept also likely to applied.

    Maybe it's not much produce power but it is from wasted heat... so we have nothing to lose... :-)

    From a US-centric view, kerosene powered spark ignition engines are almost unheard of. There used to be some farm equipment  that also started up on gas and swiched over to kerosene after they warmed up.

    These machines were invented because gasoline was taxed at a higher rate for road revenue purposes.

    About a decade ago, here in the US, something was manipulated such that even without the road tax, kerosene was as expensive as diesel. Truck drivers promptly stopped running their rigs on 50/50 mix of diesel and undyed kerosene (or so I hear).

    You can get a spark ignited internal combustion engine to run on kerosene by designing it with a low compression ratio and making sure you can somehow warm it up before you switch over to kerosene.