It Still Runs is the go-to destination for all things cars. From motors to radiators and everything in between, we've got you covered.


Homemade Diesel Generator

by Lara Winston

Generators are used to power appliances, they are often used at carnivals, large outdoor events and they can also be used as an emergency source of power. There are various types of generators, one of which is a diesel. You can build your own diesel generator with a few implements that you can purchase from specialist stores.

Step 1

Cut two 6-foot 2-by-4s into equal halves using a saw.

Step 2

Put the four sections of wood on a work surface. Create a square with the wood by arranging them so they form a frame.

Step 3

Screw twot 2.5-inch screws into every corner of the square.

Step 4

Put a 3-by-3-foot piece of plywood on top of the square. Attach the plywood to the square with 1.5-inch wood screws. Use two screws for each edge.

Step 5

Place the diesel engine on top of the square frame. Drill four holes into each corner of the wood, this will be to fasten the engine. Use 1.5-inch bolts and secure with nuts and washers.

Step 6

Fix a pulley to the diesel engine by using an Allen wrench. Fix another pulley to a permanent magnet motor. Put the motor on the wood frame in line with the pulleys.

Step 7

Fix a [fan belt]( to the pulleys so the electric motor spins when the diesel engine is turned on.

Step 8

Pull the motor back so the fan belt stretches and is pulled tightly between the motor and the diesel engine. Use a pencil or marker to indicate where the motor stops. Drill holes in the marked spots.

Step 9

Fix the motor to the wood using four bolts and nuts and washers. Use a wrench to secure the nuts and washers.

Step 10

Disconnect the cables that came with the electric motor. Do this so they won't come into contact with each other when the generator is on.

Turn the engine on. The diesel engine should cause the electric motor shaft to rotate as driven by the fan belt.


  • Exercise caution when working with electrical items.

Items you will need

  • Permanent magnet electric motor
  • Small diesel engine
  • Fan belt
  • 2 pulleys, 6-inch diameter
  • 2 boards, 2-by-4 inches by 6 feet
  • Drill
  • Allen wrench
  • 3/4-inch sheet of plywood, 3-by-3 feet
  • Jig saw
  • 2.5-inch wood screws
  • 1.5-inch wood screws
  • 1.5-inch bolts, nuts and lock washers

About the Author

Lara Winston has been writing since 2001. She has written about a plethora of subjects including nutrition, anatomy, physiotherapy and current affairs. Winston is passionate about health and is currently running her own nutrition consultancy. She holds a Master of Business Administration in physiotherapy and two undergraduate degrees in nutrition and sports rehabilitation.

More Articles

Photo Credits