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Studebaker powered generator...(thinking out loud...)

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  • Studebaker powered generator...(thinking out loud...)

    After being without power for four days this week - the thought of emergency back up frequently crossed that barren landscape between my ears several times.

    Doing some searching last night, I realized that there are a number of generators that operate from a PTO as below.

    25K watts for less than $3000...

    My poor little 1952 IH Super C would have to run at almost full throttle to make the 540 rpm PTO speed these (and the one above requires 48 hp - I have half that).

    Then I started thinking about the engine stand I had built and finished up with this last spring.

    Wish I had the facilities and know how - a frame a little longer for 3sp tranny and enough room for the generator and someone might be in "the light" pretty easy. You could even leave the front suspension on and come up with some type of rear wheel system (frame might be too long if you kept the stock rear axle location.) There are people giving away Champion and even 259s that could be utilized for this.

    Fan shroud, six bladed fan, governor, and kill switch for low oil pressure/excessive coolant temperature and someone would be set - you could hook your neighbors up as well. (saw a another one that was 50K watts for little over $4500).

    My great-grandfather had a Studebaker straight eight in the late 1930s that was used as a stationary engine to run a hammer mill to grind corn for his cattle. My uncle said they would intentionally put too much corn in at a time just to hear the governor kick in and the engine to really start talking (had a straight exhaust).

    As you can tell - being without electricity results in a lot of thinking...I think people should go a couple days a week without juice - might make them think a little more about what is really important in life...

  • #2
    Didn't Studebaker own Onan Generators?


    • #3
      They were bought by Studebaker/Packard in the early 1960s - they are now owned by Cummins.


      • #4
        It is a romantic notion, but if you were going to the trouble of building something like this, I think you would be farther ahead with some sort of modern powertrain. It doesn't seem like a good idea to go out of your way to use antiquated technology for a modern tool like this.

        I love the Studebaker engines, especially the little Champ 6 in my Lark; but I would be hesitant to build equipment upon which I would be relying to run at a sustained RPM for hours or days. That's 50 year old metal that will certainly fatigue over the decades. The varying pressure/rpm of gentle driving is one thing- the grind of driving a constant generator is something else altogether.
        Proud NON-CASO

        I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

        If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln


        Ephesians 6:10-17
        Romans 15:13
        Deuteronomy 31:6
        Proverbs 28:1

        Illegitimi non carborundum


        • #5
          Equip your Champ with a transmission-mounted power-take-off so that you can run a generator while retaining the benefits of a truck. Otherwise, I believe that engine-mounted generators are available to mount under the hood of a truck.

          Here's a manufacturer's link:
          Last edited by Milaca; 11-03-2012, 05:44 PM.
          In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.


          • #6
            Be the first on YOUR block to have your VERY own generator with OVERDRIVE!!


            • #7
              This is something that would make sense, if you had a spare engine lying around, and a spare generator. A Stude V8 driving a 10 or 20 kW generator would just be loafing, especially if you used an 1800 RPM generator, or used a belt drive to run a 3600 RPM unit. You would have to have a governor, or engine speed, and hence power frequency would change as loads were switched in or out. If you are in a climate where home heating is needed, put the radiator inside the house, and run insulated hoses to it, and let the waste heat from the generator contribute to your home heating. That's what "co-generation" is all about.

              But, if I was expecting to run a generator a lot of hours on a regular basis, I'd want a Diesel engine, for longer service life, and lower fuel consumption.

              And be sure to have an electrician install a transfer switch, so that when you are running on generator juice, your home is isolated from the power line. Otherwise, you might wind up backfeeding the line, and kill some poor lineman, or simply overload your generator. On the few occasions when I have had to run my little generator, I have pulled the line switch at the pole, and padlocked it, before hooking up the generator.
              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


              • #8
                Diesels are far more economical for generators & diesel fuel stores SO much better than gasoline. When you need a generator when the power goes out, you may not want to take the time to rebuild the carb, clean the tank out, replace the fuel pump or make a run for fresh gas.
                I have read that IHC/Ford 6.9 engines are very popular for larger generators because of their ability to run at constant rpm's, while some other diesels designed for vehicles do not last long at constant rpms.
                My preference, though, is propane for generators.
                Barry'd in Studes