How to Convert a Lawn Mower Into a Generator

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Converting a lawn mower into a generator is a process that can be done with the lawn mower sitting in your back yard. All it takes is separating the engine from the rest of the mower and adding the proper power supply.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Alternator
  • Electrical wires
  • "A" style industrial V belt
  • Cast iron pulley
  • Remove the engine from the lawn mower base by taking out the mower blade, the coupler shaft that holds the blade in place and the mower casing, which is usually attached by a few bolts.

  • Cut a slot about 6 inches wide and 1 inch high in the back of the mower engine as a place to mount the alternator.

  • Mount the alternator in the slot in the back of the engine with a couple of metal brackets. Make sure it clears the fan blade of the mower engine.

  • Flip the mechanism over and attach a motor pulley a few inches from the fan blade.

  • Place a belt between the the fan blade and the pulley you just attached.

  • Wire the motor to the alternator and then to the battery to get the generator working.

  • Test the generator. Make the necessary adjustments to stop any rattling that might be present.

Tips & Warnings

  • Finding the right belt can be difficult. While in the store, grab two pulleys the same size as the ones you're using on the generator and place them the same distance apart as you've installed them on the generator. Try different belts to see which works best.
  • Try out different pulleys when putting your generator together. Any size from 3 to 8 inches will work, but know that the larger the pulley the higher the RPM but the lower the torque. Adjust the size according to what you're using the generator for.
  • Make sure the cables are attached properly to avoid electrical shock.

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