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Witte 9 HP

Bob Gil

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I am new to this group. :wave: New to this type of engine too.

I I have been playing with the idea of making a generator out of a 9hp Witte I bought last year.

I wonder if I am building some thing that will work or not? I have recently found and purchased an 8Kw 1800rpm generator head and I and hoping that I can make a usable power supply out of the combination.

Can any body give me a little insight on what I am doing?
I have been told that the Witte might not be big enough to pull the 8 kW under full load, :confused: but should supply good power until it stalls nobody is quite sure what load the would be.

My thinking is to have a toy I can play with that will serve a purpose to help the wife understand it more and the when the power is out it can serve a purpose.

I have yet to get the head home but hope to have it here in the coming week.

I have finished the cart I was building in the pictures. Can't seam to find the picutres I took of it finished.

Do you think I am building a project that will work?:bonk: :confused:



I'm on the same trail as you. working on a witte (little bit different from yours) i think it has the model number B12 118 cubic inches.

i have built a generator using a 16 hp lister clone engine. it works great. i drive the 1800 rpm generator from the engines flywheel using a serpitine belt. i turned a pulley/flywheel for the generator and cut the grooves for the belt using data from the machiners handbook.

i plan to drive the witte generator the same way. from the witte's flat flywheel using a serpitine (yeah i know spelling). kinda thinking about turning a crowned "tire" to heat shrink onto my wittes v belt grooved clutch to make it usefull to drive antique equipment off the other side of the engine from the generator.

I think 9hp will work out to be around 6.5 kW. without inefficiencies thrown in. but like you said, its not a bad problem to have as little over rated generator.

Bob Gil

If I understand it right this Witte with the radiator should be a 9 hp at 1800. I have not figured out all the final pulleys. :confused: I am trying to figure out if I should mount more than one set of pulleys so I can turn the generator head at a slower speed when pulling a smaller load. I am not sure if this would be worth while of not.

I have been looking at the Lister clones but they seam to be too expensive and or too far away. I am not too sure how much fuel this Witte will use but I am sure I can buy a lot of fuel for the difference in the price I paid for the Witte. I still wish it were diesel.

I am considering running a 12 volt dc alternator off of the flywheel my self so I can have 12 if needed. My dad is telling me I should figure a way to run a hydraulic pump off of it but I am not to that point yet.

I still have not run the engine too much (about 3 hours). I am still trying to learn about it. I was thinking about trying to put propane of natural gas to it but not too sure about how to go about that. If we have a power outage running it on natural gass might prevent some trips to get fuel. In bad weather that might mean a lot.

I am still learning. Any and all sujestions are welcome. My e-mail is bobgil@flash.net if some one had rather send it to me that way.

Bob Gil


if you drive from the flywheel, i don't think you will need an intermediate shaft to increase speed. i'm guessing your flywheel is about 20-22 inches? do you know the operating speed of your engine? i think your witte is probably newer than mine and may operate at 1000 rpm or maybe a little over. mine has a clutch and sheeve like yours...

i'll try to post a few pictures if it may be of any help.


i have a witte 9 hp bd (diesel) coupled with a 5.4 kw generator from the factory. i have been told on the witte diesels the kw of the generator should be aproximately one half the engine hp. i wouldnt think the ratio would change much with a gas engine, but i can put u in touch with some one who does know if you havent allready got your answers. good luck. micklord@aol.com



I have a Witte Diesel electric power plant. These are really nice engines, well made and should last a good long while if maintained properly. I just wanted to mention that for the fella with the gas WItte engine. You may be able to run it on propane as well. I think all you need is a "on demand" propane regulator. You could probably do a little more research on the net to find out more or here even. I'm not all that familiar with gas engines, but I have seen a few hit or miss engines running on propane and they like it.

As far as figuring pulley size to put on your generator, just take the diameter of the engine pulley or flywheel (Which ever one you want to put your belt on) multiply that by the engines rpm rating then divide that by the rpm rating of your gen head. That will give you the diameter of the pulley to put on the generator to obtain 60hz. If you find a 8 groove serpantine pulley that is the right diameter you can us a serpantine belt and run it right off the flywheel. It will stay on no problem and it will last a good long time. Hope this helps some.
Bob: You don't need or want a 2-speed drive on your generator. It needs to run at the correct speed regardless of load. That's not a problem, since the generator will only draw full engine power when it is operating at a full electrical load. The less the generator is loaded, the less it will load the engine driving it. With little or no load on the generator, the engine governor should "throttle back", and use a minimal amount of fuel while maintaining a speed very close to the gerator's rated speed. If your generator is "too big" for your engine, just don't load the generator beyond the point at which the engine can maintain the generator's rated RPM and voltage. With an engine like your Witte, your oversized generator can carry transient higher loads, such as those caused when starting a larger size motor or appliance, or bogging down a big electric drill or saw, than the engine's HP rating would indicate due to the large amount of stored energy in the heavy flywheels. The momentum of the heavy spinning flywheels will help to keep the generator's speed up for the critical seconds until the transient load diminishes.

D. Johnson

OK, just to let everyone know, Witte did manufacture a generator set using this engine. Here is some information on this unit.

Model: Witte 98RBA
RPM: 1200 RPM
KW: 5.4
Bore/Stroke: 5 X 5
CID: 98

98 = Model
R = Radiator Cooled
BA = Belted Alternator

Please send me your eMail address, and I will send you the Witte Sales information sheet on Witte 98 dieselectric power plants. Thats if my attachments did not work.


David Johnson
Witte Mania


Hi Dave

I have sent you a few emails and called you once, you said to email you again. I think my emails may be getting caught in your filter, or yours in mine. I haven't heard from you. I could really use a manual for my engine. What is the best way to contact you? Thanks


Ok Thanks David. I just wanted to let you know that My Witte is a 12hp MD diesel electric plant with the solid flywheels. Ill get some numbers for you in the morning off of the generator and the engine.


as far as propane yes you can and it will like it propane is around 140 acctane I have installed over 5000 units from bus truck car lawnmower you need a converter and donut for carb if duel fuel only LP just converter if you need any advise let me know kwil


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Its a worthwhile project, the Witte , to me is really fuel efficient, not bad starting, and is a lot of iron there.
please keep us in the loop as to how its working out.