Hit and Miss Engine generator

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by SurvivalNut, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. SurvivalNut

    SurvivalNut Retired Army

    I have a small generator (still in the box) to back up my back up solar and wind power.

    I saw a small Maytag Model 72 washing machine engine in action. Arguably, these and the Maytag model 92 are among what are called the smallest hit and miss engines ever made commercially.

    They were used as washing machine motors from the turn of the last century through the 1950's

    They run on a gas/oil mix but can be adapted to kerosene, diesel or propane. I heard one ran over 350 hours on 50 gallons of fuel.

    Since these have putted around for nearly a century, my question is how viable are they to run an alternator to create power? I have not found any articles on that. From the video below it looks like they could have a multitude of homestead uses.

    They are not expensive restored, and parts are available, and they are nearly indestructable.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF0u1phJBLg]YouTube - Model 92 Maytag Hit Miss & Corn Grinder[/ame]

    Any ideas or am I reinventing the wheel?
  2. Old Sarge

    Old Sarge Member

    Hit & Miss Engines

    I'd love to have one. I remember them pumping old gas/oil wells, back in Indiana, in the late 40's. We have a bunch of them on our farm, every year at the Cumberland Bridge Festival, week-end after Labor Day, in Matthews, Indiana.
    From my limited personal experience, I'd think they are pretty limited to less than 1000 watts. This being a major factor, at least you could charge batteries, and run a small radio, etc. The generators I have seen powered with hit & miss, run at a relatively slow speed, compared to the normal emergency generator, which is directly coupled to a small gas engine, running at 3600 rpm.

  3. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    I'm not sure, but aren't those things only like 1/4 to a 1/3 HP? I'm not sure how much output you'd get out of it... also setting up the voltage regulator, plus all the other rigamarole probably wouldn't be worth it (IMO of course)

    IMO I would go with something like a Lister Diesel, it will easily power a 10kW generator, sipping fuel at about a 1/2 gallon/hr rate
  4. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    With enough pulleys you can power anything off an old hit and miss. At the farm festival just north of they city they always get out all the tractors and monster trucks. They also haul all the old hit and miss and steam powered farm equipment out of the barns.

    A lot of the farmers restore the old machines for fun. I saw one that runs with sixteen belts and operates one of the first ever automatic hay bailers. It even runs the bailing wire around the hay once it's done.

    Those things sip fuel and if you tune them right they are incredibly quiet. With a modern spark plug and fuel and new belts they run super smooth. I don't think they take the place of a normal generator but I think they would be incredibly useful for everyday tasks. They can run drills, sharpening stone, and all other kinds of things on them.

    Super cool and efficient.
  5. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    oh yeah, definitely a cool gadget to have for all sorts of either low power or low speed uses

    Canadian, remember, if you increase the mechanical advantage through gearing/pulleys you will be reducing the speed by the same factor

    also, that flywheel is actually releasing the energy it gained in the power stroke during the other three strokes of the piston

    the hit & miss engines we have don't have spark plugs, they have magnetos (coils) & an ignitor

    How are the old-time farmers tuning them up? as far as I have been able to tell the only adjustment in the fuel system is the needle valve & if you mess with that then the venturi created under the dashpot will be off... ???

    oh, look up the magazine Antique Power for hit & miss enthusiasts & other old farm equipment
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2009
  6. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    I don't know but the farmers do tweak them a bit. I never got into the details because I don't have one. Still the look cook all blasted and re painted with pin stripes and new spark plug etc.
  7. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

    When we first moved onto our property we didn't have any grid electricity. Somewhere I had gotten a gasoline washing machine engine that was about 2 hp., it had a kick start start which promptly wore out so I had to wind a rope on the flywheel to start it. I rigged it up to a 70 amp Ford alternator and tried to use the regulator for the alternator but it was just too much for the engine to pull so I used a bunch of resistors and was able to charge the trailer battery on one tank of fuel. Hit and miss engine generally had a very heavy flywheel which helped keep the rpm from falling too much, they were commonly used on water pumps. In order for me to have run the alternator at full output I probably would have needed about 5 hp.