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Sean French
Sean French's picture
2003 F-150 v6 Wood Powered Truck

I broke some new ground today with my everyday wood powered truck. My f150 is my daily driver now that the GMC is missing in action. I now have over 5,500 miles on the truck straight woodgas and still running strong.I have the tachometer pinned at 5,500 for a length of time on the video below. And It has been over 1000miles since I had to dump my char. Has anyone else been able to reproduce these results?? Normally 300miles is the max on my unit BBB SEAN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZk3fzIb6-M

Wayne Keith
Wayne Keith's picture
Good Morning Sean,

Good Morning Sean,

You got it going on!!

That is where the rubber meets the road.

I hope to be driving my new one this weekend.

I hope to get some work done this afternoon; I have some folks coming in from Arkansas to look at wood gas this morning.

BBB

Mike LaRosa
Mike LaRosa's picture
Sean, What killed the GMC ??

Sean, What killed the GMC ?? I already know I will have to replace the air cleaner housing on my truck. Once that paint comes off in there it's all over. Be careful on those RPM's. I know the tachometers set the red line around 5000 RPM but years ago it was around 3000 RPM and I really don't believe the engines have actually changed that much. After breaking a connecting rod on my 95 olds I will keep the revs down on all my engines. That was a fine ride on 5 of 6 cylinders as oil was getting sucked through the hole in the piston into the other cylinders .. We made the last 60 miles home ... Oh, supposed to be in the 60's today .. Enjoy your warmth ... Can't look at your video, wish I could .. Off to Milwaukee for the grandson's first birthday party .. 280 miles of gasoline ... ouch ...Mike LaRosa

Steve Unruh
Steve Unruh's picture
Hey Great video SeanF.

Hey Great video SeanF.
Thanks for keeping them short. The Rural living guys actually going to be the majority having the on site fuel to do wood driving are in most cases "out in the sticks" on copper dial up. Given a choice between a hundreds dollar a month satellite set-up and more chicken/goat/cattle food, fencing, etc; the one is income capable and you can eat the results, versus the other as just an after taxed expense removing money from your pocket into someone elses pocket with the governments always in between taking their cuts.

MikeL you will like this one. Low res so was only a 45 minute download for me at 42kps.
Try it. You'll like it.

Regards
Steve Unruh

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Good Afternoon Wayne,

Good Afternoon Wayne,
Thanks for the reply!! I had my buddy do the filming on this trip it was his first time in a wood powered truck. Good job on the new dakota I am sure it will be running down the road shortly. Let us know how it turns out. SWEM BBB SEAN

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Mike,

Hi Mike,
The gmc suffered all it"s life when I bought it as a woodgas test bed the odometer was frozen at 775,215. Just slap wore out engine,transmission,electrical,brakes, if you can think it that truck needed a new everything. I did the best I could to keep it on the road as long as I could when I changed the engine to a fresh built 350 v8
that was pricey. Then 2 weeks later the transmission blew up now it was just turning into a rusty money pit. And I couldn't waste any more time or money on it. It's a shame because that gmc will out work that ford I have any day. I normally don't drive that hard just for testing purposes that's a ford v6 in there they have had alot of problems with them most of them die after 60,000 miles I am at 127,000 borrowed time already. Anyway I am still in my prime and if the engine dies on me I will just change it out for a new one probably get it done in a weekend or less.I really liked the gmc so I kept most of the good parts and recycled them to make an 80kw generator. I will post more on this build once it painted and running on woodgas Sean BBB

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Steve,

Hi Steve,
I am glad you could see that video I try to keep them short for dial up users. As a bonus for me I have been filming these clips with my cell phone I too have limited internet and it is easier to use the phone and upload the video directly to youtube

Wayne Keith
Wayne Keith's picture
Hello Sean,

Hello Sean,

I think the little Dakota is going to do well. I drove it some today and will put more miles on it tomorrow.

BBB

Sean French
Sean French's picture
As promised an update on the

As promised an update on the big wood burning generator. Finally got the painting done I really missed my red truck when it broke so I kept all the parts I could use and recycled the truck into a 3 phase generator. When complete I will have 480 volts down to 120 volts. Able to run 10 houses at the same time.Still waiting on some last minute parts to arrive before I fire it up on wood. Had her running on gasoline the other day got 50kw out of it. BBB Sean

Wayne Keith
Wayne Keith's picture
As always , looking good Sean

As always , looking good Sean!!

Sean French
Sean French's picture
So the f-150 is going under

So the f-150 is going under the knife today for some improvements. Managed to find a new intake for the truck that is made of aluminum off of a 97 ford. I was looking the intake over yesterday and looks like it will bolt up to my truck. I will keep you all posted on how this project goes and put some pics. up later. Thanks Lou Wright our conversations is what made this change happen. BBB Sean

Sean French
Sean French's picture
So the f-150 is going under

Intake 97 ford

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Okay the f150 survived

Okay the f150 survived surgery the intake from the 97 bolted up to the 2003 with little modifications. Here are some pics. Taken at different stages of the build over 5,000 miles driven on Woodgas BBB Sean

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Also a few have asked for

Also a few have asked for pics. On my lids and seals that I make well I did one better for you all I had enough time to make a video today explaining the process. If anyone has trouble watching the video let me know so I can fix it. BBB Sean

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQrShf3snC4

John Nelson
John Nelson's picture
Great video Sean, that is a

Great video Sean, that is a great help for future work. I too am in Florida, thanks for the heads up on keeping everything inside the bed. They have places I would like to see and do so on wood gas.

John

Wayne Keith
Wayne Keith's picture
Hey Sean,

Hey Sean,

Thanks for posting the video.

Sure wish you and Woody could have made it up to Argos!

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Wayne,

Hi Wayne,
Sorry we couldn't make it just too busy right now trying to get finished up before the dog days of summer are here. Making great progress though.
We will have to get together soon. BBB Sean

Chris Franklin
Chris Franklin's picture
Thanks Sean for getting the

Thanks Sean for getting the video up. It is a big help.

Blessings,

Chris

Terry Lavictoire
Terry Lavictoire's picture
Hi Sean,

Hi Sean,
Appreciate ya taking the time to video!
Good stuff.
I too am having to look at most of the gasser being mounted in the bed and out of the cold.
Different world up here.
Any tips you would like to share regarding that?
I'm thinking of a modular enclosure supported by the cooling rack, removable in warmer months.
Thanks again for the video.
TerryL

Sean French
Sean French's picture
It's my pleasure glad I could

It's my pleasure glad I could help you all out.
Keep up the good work with all of your builds the end result will be worth it.
Good to hear from you TerryL could you be more specific on what you are trying to do ? I am not sure I am the right guy to be talking to about enclosing a gasifier unit. We don't get much cold down here so I really don't know what problems would happen to a unit in those low temps. As far as keeping the unit in the bed I will put up another picture on that. we try to keep the unit flush like Wayne does on his trucks. Almost always the gasser will be 4-5 inches over the cab. The only work that is under the trucks is the plumbing from the filter to the engine. Even changed the condensate tank so it can be in the bed doesn't leave much room but we make do. Regards Sean

Terry Lavictoire
Terry Lavictoire's picture
Howdy Sean,

Howdy Sean,
Thanks again for the pics.
On the next one, I'll be using square vessels after the gasser.
What I'm considering right now are issues with draining the condensates and problems you have had to deal with as a result of keeping it all in the bed.
I'm thinking the enclosure shouldn't be to difficult.
Just gotta spend some time on it, after I've got a working unit.
Cash flo is a major issue right now...Not to mention a limited time to complete :-)
Gotta get this thing usable soon.
All the best
TerryL

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Terry,

Hi Terry,
I just drilled a hole in the bed where I wanted the drains to be and welded a drop down pipe on the container. Same for the filter just as easy as having them under the truck. I do run two seperate condansate tanks rather then one. Each one holds 5 gal. Of water Regards Sean

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Okay Its pouring rain in

Okay Its pouring rain in Florida today!!! I wanted to spend my Memorial Day weekend driving on wood so I drove in the rain all day. Testing the new intake manifold on the f-150. The truck ran great and the manifold is working well. Big difference between this metal one and the old plastic one. Cruising at 65mph and above 75mph. Averaged 1 pound of wood to the mile. I did have to fiddle and reset the computer to get the truck to accept the new intake. The truck ran very poorly on both gasoline and woodgas before this was done. Put over 200miles down yesterday and today will report back after 1000 miles when it needs to be cleaned out. Happy Memorial Day Sean

Eric Stegmann
Eric Stegmann's picture
hey Sean sounds good, that

hey Sean sounds good, that aluminum intake looks like it has longer runners, wondering if you noticed better response from the gassifier the larger intake plenum volume should help with low end torque. ya that adaptive software on those odb2 systems can be a real pain sometimes. wish i wasn't feeling so crummy id be working on mine.

Wayne Keith
Wayne Keith's picture
Hey Sean,

Hey Sean,

Thanks for the report. Keep us posted on your progress.

Hope the storm misses you and Woody.

BBB

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Eric,

Hi Eric,
Yes the runners are quite longer on this intake and the gasifier does respond better with it. Normally I drive with overdrive disabled to keep enough pull on the unit yesterday I was able to maintain speed with a strong head wind and use overdrive. The problem with obd2 and low end torque is at 500 to 1000 rpms the computer wants timing set at 0 degrees This is not good for woodgas the higher the rpms go the more the computer advances timing. From 0-30mph the truck is very slow from 30-70mph she screams. Also Ford put an intake runner control system on the truck where the computer opens and closes a second set of ports if you look in the pics. above you'll see 12 holes in the lower manifold 6 of them are open all the time the other 6 are controlled by the computer I didn't like this so I removed the linkage and hooked them up to manual cables so I could open them as needed. Hope you feel better soon BBB Sean

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Good Morning Wayne,

Good Morning Wayne,
Yep the storm was here alright lots of wind and rain never got out of control though. Its good to see rain for a change we have been so long with out it.
BBB Sean

Eric Stegmann
Eric Stegmann's picture
that's what i suspected Sean.

that's what i suspected Sean. now if you could just get a chip burned for that truck that will trick the ecm into keeping the timing advanced all the time you'd be in business. i would think the extra intake volume would act as a sort of storage for the wood gas. my instructor from my diesel classes was a ford master tech and he had that exact intake and was explaining how ford used it to increase bottom end torque.

ya this tooth ace sucks major. felt good enough to mess with my new welder for a few, going to have to pulse weld the sheet metal with the flux core wire but i think i can make it work. might have to go to .023 with gas but idk if i want to lug that tank and the welder out of the basement every time i want to weld something. need to get a plasma cutter as well. found the ones Wayne uses but i gotta wait a few before i fork over the dough.

BBB Eric

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Eric,

Hi Eric,
I am working on a new computer system now that will accept woodgas and gasoline. This will allow the driver to flip one switch and go from gasoline to wood
the computer will do all the rest of the work such as timing advance,air to fuel ratios and grate shaking. Also no check engine lights will trigger so areas with emissions tests will not be an issue.

Be careful using flux core wire I have had a hard time getting it to seal up airtight. I switched to gas a long time ago seals up much easier and looks better too.
Take Care of that tooth BBB Sean

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Terry L

Hi Terry L
I was washing out the f-150 filter system yesterday and remembered you had some questions on drop downs so I took a few pics. for ya.
Hope this helps let me know if you need more. BBB Sean

Terry Lavictoire
Terry Lavictoire's picture
Hi Sean,

Hi Sean,
Thanks for the pics!
By all mans send more... I'll be happy to see whatever you are willing to share! :-)
I'm sketching up a cooler/tank concept.
gonna send a pic or 2 when I figure out how to do it.
All he best
TerryL

Eric Stegmann
Eric Stegmann's picture
yay i get a root canal in a

yay i get a root canal in a couple weeks at least im felling better, priced out a tank seems the local bucheights is cheaper that the 2 other places in town. think a 40cf tank was 200 with a fill then 26 or 28 for a fill after that. .023 wire is 12 for a 2lb spool. now if i can get a better price for 12' pipe than $100 for 18inches! guess im gonna be checking scrap yards

John Cleveland
John Cleveland's picture
Hi Eric. You may want to

Hi Eric. You may want to search Google for Mechanical Contractors in your area. They will likely have a boneyard of pipe drops in their yard. That is what I did and walked away with my firetube for $0. Just a suggestion. Good luck.

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Eric,

Hi Eric,
I don't know how many hours you are planning on working on your system per. day or week. So I will tell ya what works for me when I start a new system I put in 8-12 hours a day of work in. When I start I don't stop so welding gas can get used up rather quickly. To do this much welding I use a 125cf to get started after that is empty I size down to an 80cf to finish. Bottles are expensive craigslist is a good source for them just be careful what your buying make sure there are no markings on the bottle neck these markings are proof of ownership. Also check the date for current certification. This is a good topic I will put up some pics. later. You will probably need a stock of .023 and .030 welding wire the 23 is great for lighter metal and 30 is perfect for the thick steel. Just my thoughts and what works good for me.

I too have had problems with finding firetube very limited I have had some luck at the steel yard sometimes there are cutoffs of the right length for a good price. Other sources are well drillers and bridge builders will use pipe as concrete forms temporary and remove them once the concrete is set. BBB Sean

Lou Wright
Hi Sean,

Hi Sean,
I noticed that you made 90 degree bends on the front of your cooling rack pipes. I was thinking of doing that myself. How does that work for cleanout? Is it easier?
Do you have any pics of your cooling rack system? I would be interested in seeing them.
Lou

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Lou,

Hi Lou,
I started doing the 90 sweeps a while back and it does help keep the carbon from building up. I prefer the long sweeps over hard 90's it helps lower the velocity and drop out more water and carbon as the fuel makes it's way to the engine. If you go to a local muffler shop they should be able to help you with this. I have used both 1 1/2" and 2" emt electrical metallic tubing 2" works much better can be found at home depot or lowe's or maybe a scrap yard. Not all piping will bend correctly I would stick with the emt. The vertical manifolds are made with 3" emt. If you need more info. on this just ask happy to help Sean

Chris Saenz
Chris Saenz's picture
Sean, you just made Featured

Sean, you just made Featured Project of the Month, congratulations. If anyone deserves it you do. Can you give us an update on your truck and some juicy details of the day-to-day operations?

Chris Franklin
Chris Franklin's picture
I agree Chris. Sean is not

I agree Chris. Sean is not only an accomplished builder he is very helpful to us neophites.

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Chris, I am honored and

Hi Chris, I am honored and flattered so Thank You All very much. Not used to being in the spotlight lol. It's been a long road on this woodgas adventure I feel very blessed and privileged to drive on wood. Also very safe with two woodburners parked at the house and having the choice to buy gasoline or not. Even with how many miles I have driven still can't help myself to smile and laugh at gas stations as I fly by them.

Still making progress with the obd2 system this is a tough nut to crack but I am working it out and I won't stop til its right. Almost done with the first circuit for advancing the timing on demand. I don't know what else to say other than BURN BABY BURN. If you or anyone has any questions they would like to ask please do I am here to help. Regards Sean

Lou Wright
Sean, being an industrial

Sean, being an industrial electrician, I have been bending EMT for over 20 years and was admiring your bends. I was curious how it aided in cleanout and function.
I noticed you mentioned working with your OBD2 on several occasions; just what are you doing with them to improve performance? Have you had problems or are you just looking to improve things?

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Lou,

Hi Lou,
I believe the long swept 90's breath better than the sharp turn 90. A hard turn 90 can trap carbon this can be a pain to clean out.The long sweeps allow the carbon to pass through. Also when building my cooler I don't have to weld on any of the pipes big time saver here. I was in the electrical field for 8 years had to get out of it when the economy crashed. There is nothing with obd2 that is going to stop you from running on wood. My two main issues are the timing is not advanced at idle without this accelerations can be slow and dangerous to pull into an intersection safely. Also without timing advanced you may not be able to run in overdrive as doing so will cause you to lose speed. This is not a problem with the little ranger only the f-150 suffers this issue. The check engine light is on this may or may not limit the use of newer vehicles in areas with emissions tests. Aside from that just trying to improve things

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi all

Hi all
Another wonderful day driving on wood at 70mph still breaking in the intake manifold so far shows no signs of
needed maintenance. Over 1000mile mark BBB Sean

John Nelson
John Nelson's picture
Hey Sean,

Hey Sean,
Your an inspiration to many of us and your willingness to share so freely your hard learned lessons puts you right up there with Mr. Wayne. I look forward to your future posts and hope to be amoung the wood burners soon.

Harvest in circles
John

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi John,

Hi John,
Thank you for the kind words deeply appreciated :)
And I too look forward with your future posts
Regards Sean

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Update on the f-150

Update on the f-150 approaching 2,000 miles with the new metal intake still no signs of power loss. Did some low speed driving as well as high speed. In the low speed video the gasifier was lit cold and only driven at 5mph or idle speeds to simulate driving in the city in stop and go traffic.BBBSean

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb5FV7xciMA
Low speed driving
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbBW1iVInjE
High speed driving

Thomas McDaniel
hi Sean

hi Sean
pretty impressive does the gasifier make tar at those low speeds
do you have a wk style or another design
thanks
tom

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Hi Thomas,

Hi Thomas,
This unit is a prototype of a highly modified WK design as well as the rest of the system. I have never made tar with it and I am also convinced it never will. In the near future I am planning to convert another truck with this design and document the build in detail so I can properly release the data to the site. BBB Sean

Thomas McDaniel
thanks Sean

thanks Sean
I want to start my downsized unit soon my modified china unit works but i'm wanting to get a mobil unit pretty bad
just so i can say i can
thanks
Tom

Wayne Keith
Wayne Keith's picture
Hey Sean,

Hey Sean,

Nice videos , thanks for posting.

Send some of the rain this way , we need it now that I got my hay in .

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Thanks Wayne,

Thanks Wayne,
A month ago I was begging for rain!!! Now it just doesn't stop. I will do the best I can to send it north. I have some last minute painting to get done on the big generator before it's finished. And this rain is holding me up. Sean

Sean French
Sean French's picture
Okay I changed the hay in the

Okay I changed the hay in the filter, cleaned out the intake,(even though I really don't think it needed it.), Emptied the ash bin, washed everything down inside and out, Quick Vac/seal check and proceeded to cut lots of wood. Didn't have time to weigh it so I just kept filling the truck until it couldn't hold anymore. Probably overkill we shall see. I am planning to depart to Alabama in the A.M. all on wood. Also got hit with a minor cold a few days ago that didn't slow me down to much. Mr. Keith I will be seeing you soon. BBB Sean

P.S. On another note I really miss my old rusty gmc today. I am probably overworking this vehicle the 8 ft bed is really nice for long trips and the 3/4 ton over half ton is money well spent.

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