Alternative Energy

Turn That Broken Mower Into A Powerhouse



Broken Mower

Spring is in the air and with it comes yard work. Some of us have already started planting our gardens, others are tending to their chickens and most have to start cutting the grass.

I know you may hear the Home Depot song playing in your mind as you think of mulching and planting and sprucing up after winter’s snooze but I have already been cutting my grass and it is due again for another visit with the lawnmower.

As I started to think about getting out there and cutting the grass, I wondered if there would be a use for items like my trusty lawnmower when the grid goes down.

Why? Because if you are like me, the last thing you are going to worry about is a nicely trimmed yard. Heck, we all might need to tear up the pretty green carpet to make way for additional garden capacity and if that happens, what could we do with that mower? Even if we didn’t have a grid-down emergency what other purposes could our mower serve?

A quick search on the internet quickly brought up a couple a great ideas. The first was the reason for this article and the site has fairly detailed plans for converting your lawn mower’s engine, a spare alternator, wires and know-how into a fully functioning generator.

You will need the following tools/parts:

  1. Lawn Engine motor
  2. Alternator – you can usually find one of these very easily in a junkyard or broken down car.
  3. Electrical Wires – Think wire harness for your car battery
  4. A belt – for an engine, not your pants.
  5. Cast Iron Pulley
  6. Mounting Bracket

The assembly appears pretty straight forward and detailed instructions are on this site. I have also converted this page to a PDF and added that to our resources page if you want to print this out and keep a copy for yourself.

There was another video showing this concept but they took it a step further and converted the lawn mower engine to run off of propane. This could be very useful in an emergency situation where there was no gas, but propane could be used off of your tanks on the grill.

Well, that covers the lawnmower, right? What about that weed-eater that’s sitting in the corner of the garage or shed? Well, there is a guy who has figured out how to convert weed eaters to a boat motor. You can see his video below.

I am still trying to track down other ideas for hedge trimmers but if you have any ideas of your own to share, please let us know and happy mowing!

View the original article on The Prepper Journal.

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Want to know more? Check out these related articles from our site:

Choosing a Power Generator

Preparing for a Power Outage

DIY Portable Solar Generator

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  1. JJM

    April 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Propane Powered Engine – Cheaper than the Tri -Fuel conversion kits. How difficult to determine and set proper Air Fuel mixture?

  2. John Blanton

    April 18, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Another implement that could be even better than the lawnmower is a gasoline powered edger.

  3. Terry Pepper

    April 20, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    i always knew that we should all convert 2 propain . 25 years ago i worked with a another mechanic & his dad did this 2 his pickup truck .i never persued it . it is the cleaner way 2 go thank u very much 4 the video great idea .

  4. vi dooley

    April 30, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Yes, but if the grid goes down the fuel pumps won’t work to get the fuel.Probably need to stockpile fuel beforehand and treat it with a stabilizer..

  5. Eric Langner

    May 1, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    I was impressed with the lawnmower generator powered by propane. I have a gas generator which is probably just a larger lawnmower engine. How can you convert from gas to propane? Propane burns much hotter than gas. Does it need to be regulated down? I’m a quadriplegic, I always try to have the generator ready with a fuel additive to conserve the gas from going bad. Also, if you can hook up said like a stove that is natural gas, can it be hooked up with propane only turning the propane flow way down? Very interesting and very interested. Thank you

    • Shawn

      August 19, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      It is entirely possible to do this with natural gas. Careful research on the internet and you can find pages that describe how to do this. I actually have a co-worker who did this with the natural gas fumes from an oil well on his property at his hunting camp. There are NG (natural gas) powered generators readily available for purchase. And if you are thinking how great is that… It gets better, you should look into the NG generators and the technology to hook it into your home NG and electrical systems, so that if the power goes out for more than say 30 seconds, it can be set to automatically start and stay running until the grid power comes back on.

  6. Pingback: 3 Must-Haves for Disaster Mitigation at Home » Survival Gear & Food Storage

  7. Dr. Joe Pollani

    June 4, 2018 at 7:35 PM

    For the past 2 years I have been unable to run the lawnmower or any other 4 cycle engines, because I broke my neck. I am 79 y/o and need help getting my equipment running again. Any suggestions, such as books, websites etc.? I’m partially handicapped (shrapnel in right arm) but I’m willing to try. Thanks.

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