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Old 10-19-2016, 11:32 PM   #1
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Generator out of a VW car diesel?

I have a 2002 jetta tdi that was rearended.... Is there a way maybe to turn the engine itself into a generator?
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Old 10-20-2016, 12:47 AM   #2
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I have a 2002 jetta tdi that was rearended.... Is there a way maybe to turn the engine itself into a generator?
Probably. But the best way to do that would be to sell the engine and buy a genny.
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:58 AM   #3
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You should make one of these.

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Old 10-20-2016, 07:46 AM   #4
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You could use what is called a "PTO Generator".

Biggest problem is making the engine run at a set RPM, as this determines the output frequency. Doing that under varying loads is the challenge. And PTO generators cost as much as most generators anyway, so there aren't any savings.

Or you could do as some have done and just run a LARGE alternator with it to charge a battery bank. From there, a large inverter gets you AC power.
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:58 AM   #5
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my own personal thiought is a V-dub diesel in good shape is probably worth some Coin... so yeah id sell it and buy a genny..

making the engine run at a set RPM is easy... it uses a Bosch mechanical pump.. you set the max RPM at 1850 (i think thats the proper genny RPM) and then run it flat wide open all the time... the internal governer will keep it at that speed unless you overload.. of course you would have to size your genny and your engine properly to make sure that pulling a certain load on the genny doesnt cause the engine to drop RPM.. or if it did a shutdown would occur..

-Christopher
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Old 10-20-2016, 05:12 PM   #6
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It's waaaay more horse power than you need. It and cooling system would take up a lot of precious space. Even at idle it would probably use more fuel than a genny.

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Old 10-20-2016, 05:47 PM   #7
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I could see using a motorcycle engine to drive a generator head but like others have said a full blown car diesel engine is just overkill... you'd have to find somewhere to install it, account for cooling, then figure out a way to get fuel to it....

Just would make more sense to do what others have said and just sell/trade for a generator.
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:05 PM   #8
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Besides the cost of the genny to hook to it? You could build a trailer big enough to mount the engine,cooling and genny plus air compressor if needed and room for another VW.
You could run full power going down the road,whenever boondocking.
I like the idea anyway?
I keep wanting to build a hitch strong enough to pull my work truck that already has a genny,air,and tools on it as a toad except for the issue of disconnecting the drive lines everytime? And I would need a helluva trailer to load it on while it's loaded? I have seen it on the back of a rollback trying to unload and it wasn't pretty the wrecker driver got scared and quit till his boss showed up with another wrecker to tie his down to unload my truck and the garage was moving everything they had out of the way cause it was at its tipping point.
Sorry I got lost reminiscing and remembered why I haven't built my trailer or hitch for that truck.
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:10 PM   #9
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I build gen sets for cabins that run multi fuel. so propane or NG with gas or diesel.

Sizing a system is so important. to big of engine are wastful two small of engines run to hard and no one seems to be happy in between.

The last few units i built went to fishing cabins in Alaska and mexico. They are based on Geo 3 and 4 cylinder suzuki but the engine type or size is not as important to using a good rpm regulator or governor.

A good GOV can be had for $400 plus. Its amazing how a Briggs or honda engine governor works sop well and costs nothing in that design. I have also built the with cruise control units but its complicated and you have to build ina shut down or ignition kill for over speed etc. I used a shift light signal and a AL6 Ignition box with rev limiter to build my controls from.

This is neat cool way to build a custom gen set with clean current. Use automotive (alternators) like a honda gen sets uses. Usually one is enough but some off grid cabins seem to have more electronics then there on grid houses. Tie this into a appropriate amount of battery storage and the run a big invertor like a 5k. or two of them for 220 if you want that. Use a twin briggs Honda etc. The stock govnor and pulley the alternators to the right ratio for there speed which i cant remember off hand. Alternators can be run in both directions so mounting gets super simple. The only extra power you need is so the engine can increase its HP on the load required to keep the gov at the engines correct speed. Or look at it like this if you are wondering still. this is your bus alternator running your batteries driving your inventor on super clean power. but now your not wasting those hours on your bus engine. If you run it on propane it will also be cheaper and its a super simple kit to install I have one on my push mower for my lawn. Use a wire GM alternator and it has built in regulator. and its really just one wire to it. The best part is buy a life time warranty alternator and the HF warranty on the predator engine. Both can be taken in and exchanged over the counter for ever for new. It should last for years but if some thing happens your covered and most likely any where in the country you'll find these stores. Thats a lot of writing I have to go recharge.

one last edit. in your bus you already have a battery bank for the house just use it you dont need a separate one. This is also a your dead battery jumper box for the bus. All you have to do is pull start it and its going to bring you back on line completely. NO messing witha gen set to battery charger. clean A/C and huge 12 volt recharge power
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:41 PM   #10
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of course yopu could use the genset engine with driven Air-Con compressors and heat exchangers for its cooling system for heat!
-Christopher
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:58 PM   #11
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Once you have secondary belt driven power system you can do a lot. Run water pumps through pumps and on demand propane heaters to wet suits for gold dredging. so many options.
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:04 PM   #12
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When i first got the GMC, i used to park a Volvo s70 next to it with a inverter hooked up and an extension cord running to the bus. Cars idle well. It produced 180amp alternator, of which i used about 2 amps. LoL a whisker big for me needs but doable. I spoke with a guy at Harbor freight who used his car to power their house for 3 days.
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Old 10-20-2016, 10:08 PM   #13
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thats what i wanted to do but the car has too much rear end damage around the spare tire wheel well and the frame is a little messed up.. so id do that to another jetta id buy


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Old 10-21-2016, 11:19 AM   #14
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I'd sell what you have and buy a generator.

First off. an 02 jetta with a diesel is going to be computer controlled. Good luck transferring that from a limiting speed governor(what it is currently) to an isochronous governor(what's needed on a generator). It'd be remotely possible on say a cummins or other engine used in gen sets, but on something that isn't, you'd have to do all the programming yourself.

Another thing to look at is the power band is going to be way out of whack. Most generators will run either at 1800 or 3600 rpm due to the hertz requirements needed for AC power and the way the generators are wound. 1800 seems to be used on the higher end units because of efficiency and less noise. Anyways, I can't find any performance curve graphs for this engine, but I'd guess the power band wouldn't be in an ideal location for this situation, so you'd likely be lugging it, which isn't good.

One thing I found is that it is a 90hp engine at 1.9 liters. With perfect efficiency that would translate to 67 kw, which brings me to question what you're all trying to power.

Another thing I found is that perkins manufacturers a generator at 60 kw/90 hp but it's displacement is 4.4 liters which is over double what you have.

Look, I'm not saying it can't be done. But you'd be money, time, efficiency, and headaches ahead if you sold the car and bought something designed for the task.
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