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Old 08-26-2005, 09:22 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 58
OT- 15-20 HP diesel or gas water cooled engine wanted

I'm working on my new off grid propery and want to put together a water cooled engine to run my 27 CFM two stage air compressor (was electric 7.5 HP) and backup generator (only 3.5 KV needed but I may use the Harbor Frieght 10KV belt driven generator head). The property is at 5500 feet, thus the need for more horses than would normally be required for these mutually exclusive loads.

Anyone have suggestions for a good affordable, water cooled motor choice? I'm looking for a low rpm operation motor. If gas, I'd convert to propane. A friend suggested a Geo Metro engine, running at 1800 rpm. How about some small farm tractor diesels or gas engines?

Any ideas?

Bruce McCreary
Snowflake, AZ
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:15 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,277
Perkins are famous for long life as stationary engines.... How about a spare Mercedes engine ?
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:22 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 33,980

mercedes made loads of 3 cylinder versions of the 615 engine and they are used in thermo king reefer units on semis. prob a lot of them around if you know where to look.

tom w
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 08-28-2005, 01:44 PM
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Thanks Leatherman and Walgamuth.
The 3 cylinder MB reefer motor might be perfect.
I found Listeroids today, a 650 rpm single cylinder diesel with a monster flywheel. That sounds very interesting!

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Old 08-28-2005, 02:30 PM
Mister Byrnzoil's Avatar
Currently Benzless :(
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palm Springs, CA
Posts: 777
those lister engines are so cool!

But I don't know if they would make enuff hp for your application.

anyway I've got a marinized version of the kubota D-950 24 hp tractor engine in my sailboat... its a great engine. Sweet spot is around 2300rpm, max rpm is 3300, burns about 1/2 to 2/3 of a gallon per hour. In my case a 25 gallon tank lasts an entire season!

I'd never use a gas engine as a stationary generator.
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