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IndustryArena Forum > Hobby Projects > Steam Engines > converting 4 stroke lawn mower to steam
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  1. #1
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    converting 4 stroke lawn mower to steam

    Hi, this is first attempt. I have no experience with steam. I built a rotative beam and I need input power. I plan to drive a small generator. After I get it to run I will spend some time to make it look better. Any suggestions welcome.


  2. #2
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    How did the wind turbine power controller end up? Haven't seen any post for quite a while.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by packrat View Post
    How did the wind turbine power controller end up? Haven't seen any post for quite a while.
    Hi, I completed the VAWT project. I tested my MPPT circuit and two other MPPT circuits from other designers. The MPPT circuit for a permanent magnet alternator is different than the solar MPPT circuits. You have to run the buck converter in discontinuous mode and for my PMA a 25 to 30% works best and does not stall the turbine.
    I live in a low wind area so I am trying steam.

  4. #4
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    Hi, modified the cam shaft using JB weld. The four stroke is now a 2 stroke. I should be able to test the conversion with air in a day.
    Are there any DIY cam shaft grinder plans availible???

  5. #5
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    Valves are opening at the same time. not good

  6. #6
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    first air test, no output torque

  7. #7
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    I haven't seen anyone do it this way. The standard ICE valves wouldn't seal tight enough, I don't think. Back in my hippy, Mother Earth News days, there were plans and even the parts to do this available. They did it by making a new cylinder head. The head used a shutle type valve and blocked off/sealed the original valves. The shuttle type valve is like a steam train uses.

    The problem with using the original valves is they are made to seal when under pressure from the cylinder. With no pressure in the ports. Using it with steam or air, the intake valve is always going to fight the pressure, unless you use a heavy enough valve spring.

    Have you seen this site? Lot of good info there. (ENGINE CONVERSION) Converting a two cyl. air compressor into a steam engine

  8. #8
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    Hi, thanks for info. This is just a first attempt to learn what is require. The BS motor had not worked in decades and was heading to the scrap pile, good enough for the learning experience. It looks like the boiler will be the real challenge.

    I was looking at a monotube boiler project on youtube. It used a reservoir and a small pump to add water to the boiler. Still searching for boiler requirements to make it safe. Suggestions welcome

  9. #9
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    Hi, running better. Now I need a boiler.

  10. #10
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    Completed boiler fabrication, safety is a real concern.

  11. #11
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    Hi, just a short video showing boiler leaks. Todays test revealed some problems. The fire is to small. The steam drum is to small. I have to find a way to stop the leaks. The pump needs to be improve, when the boiler is at pressure the pump does not have enough pressure to add water to the boiler.

  12. #12
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    Hi, first run of engine with monotube boiler. Runs out of steam after 30 seconds. I have to improve the rocket stove and water feed pump. Suggestions welcome.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnit0017 View Post
    Hi, modified the cam shaft using JB weld. The four stroke is now a 2 stroke. I should be able to test the conversion with air in a day.
    Are there any DIY cam shaft grinder plans availible???


    The JB weld did not last long. I had to braze the additional lobes.

  14. #14
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    WOW that is really a great Idea!

  15. #15
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    Hi, the end goal is to generate electricity using a permanent magnet alternator.
    There are problems areas. The engine oil pan fills with water, the run time is really short, and finding or fabricating a water feed pump capable of supplying water to the boiler when it is under pressure. I am currently working to solves these problems and suggestions are welcome.


    the idea is from other projects on youtube

  16. #16
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    Hi, I now have a working system. The mono tube boiler works well as long as there is adequate fire and water is being pumped into the boiler.

    The ICE converted to steam works well for a low cost learning tool but the oil pan fills with water and lubrication is a problem.
    I am now fabricating a more traditional engine.

    Attachment 207606

    I am having problems drilling the 1 inch hole needed for the piston cylinder, what is the best method for drilling a large diameter hole in a block of metal????
    Suggestions welcome

  17. #17
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    Re: converting 4 stroke lawn mower to steam

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J9SEBgoTMY

    Hi, I spent the winter fabricating a small 2 cylinder, single stroke. It has a 2 inch stroke with 1 inch bore. It should work well with the mono tube boiler.

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