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Interchangeable Engine

One engine for snowblower, mower, generator and compressor.
  (+6)
(+6)
  [vote for,
against]

Call me crazy... but I only use my snowblower in the winter and only use my lawn mower in the summer. Very rarely I could use a backup generator or an air compressor. The four tools are never used at the same time and all have a similar component, the engine.

The chassis for each tool unique but able to accept some standard 4-cycle engine 8hp or whatever. Save cost and maintenance with only one engine. Only buy chassis for tools that you need (no snowblower for Texans).

Engines are already basically standard, they're just not sold that way and they're not simple drop-in. With some thoughtful engineering, the engines could be made easy to lift, mount and remove. The engines need to be light enough for one person to remove (50 lbs?).

Of course there are more chassis that could be made for the standard engine... roto-tiller, edger, lawn aerater, power rake, pressure washer, scooter, go-kart, etc.

rgandhi, Mar 30 2004

interchangeable tool heads to same engine http://www.ryobioutdoor.com/BrandHome.jsp
there are several brands and sizes of garden equipment with this function [FarmerJohn, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

DeerAibo http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/DeerAibo
[theircompetitor, Oct 17 2004]

Similar though not identical from UB http://www.halfbake...ea/SnowMowChipNBlow
Saves his shameless plug anyway! [gnomethang, Oct 17 2004]

Mighty combo garden tool Mighty_20combo_20garden_20tool
similar idea [hippo, Apr 21 2008]

[link]






       Dockable!   

       This is a nice idea that takes a similar advantage as that of the PTO systems on agricultural machinery (where a tractor can power all kinds of ancillary or even stand-alone equipment like a small sawmill, etc).   

       I would probably limit the swapping between equipment that has a similar class of use, like long constant throttle setting use, for example. I'm not sure I'd want my engine for a compressor or welder placed into service as a go-kart engine.
bristolz, Mar 30 2004
  

       Good idea - a lot of tools use interchangeable engines already, but I haven't seen it done for that size of equipment.
DrCurry, Mar 30 2004
  

       Brilliant. Patent the sucker, if it hasn't been done already.
RayfordSteele, Mar 30 2004
  

       <shameless plug> rgandhi, when you have it, let me know I'd like to use it for DeerAibo </shameless plug>
theircompetitor, Mar 31 2004
  

       Nice first idea, welcome to the bakery. (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, Apr 01 2004
  

       Definitely gets my, why didn't I think of that vote.   

       hello fellers! I believe a single rotary engine similar to what Moller is selling would be a grand design for an interchangeable platform and with it i'd have no qualms about using it for a lawn mower or a go kart, these engines feature a lightwieght design high power to wieght ratio and reliabilty to rival most Honda engines
Elnyne, Apr 03 2004
  

       And feature lousy efficiency as well as the inability to develop much torque at low rpm.
bristolz, Apr 03 2004
  

       The interchangeable engine is an old idea: eg, the horse.
ldischler, Apr 03 2004
  

       These are commonplace. What is new about this that everyone is apparently so excited about?   

       Pick virtually any John Deere utility tractor and you can get the following attachments for it: Backhoes, Blades, Cultivators, Disks, Flail Mowers, Loaders, Material Collection Systems, Posthole Diggers, Rotary Brooms, Rotary Cutters, Rotary Mowers, Sicklebar Mowers, Snow Blowers, Tillers...
waugsqueke, Apr 03 2004
  

       Can you find a link to the model you have, Brau? I'm sure those reading this idea would appreciate it.
krelnik, Apr 04 2004
  

       Yes, the general idea is to have interchangable engines (or interchangable attachments for one engine). And yes, those do exist in various forms (per comments): horse, lift-able(weed-whacker), tractor-size and (arguably) riding-lawnmower size.   

       Specifically, I'm targeting the power-lawnmower and snowblower sized engines and attachements.   

       What I'd love to see is an a la carte product line of various sizes engines to match budget and power needs. Then, a line of a la carte bases to mow, snowblow, till, air-compress, etc.   

       I don't want a patent, just more space in my garage and more power tools.
rgandhi, Apr 15 2004
  

       snow blower, lawn mower, air compressor, wood-chipper, pump, generator... most of those could be electrically operated too so instead of a (comparatively) large/heavy ICE engine, a smaller electric.
FlyingToaster, Apr 19 2008
  

       You will never know, [FlyingToaster]. I have the mighty tiny rotary engine configuration.
rotary, Apr 21 2008
  

       [FlyingToaster] Wait "electric" generator? Oh you said most. :-) Electrics are neat but the cords are annoying and high torque is tough to get. Ever seen an 8HP electric motor? I have an 8HP snow blower and it still has problems after some storms and I can't accidentally catch the cord.
MisterQED, Apr 21 2008
  

       I think the supply line for an 8HP (6kW) electric motor is no longer merely a "cord", it is more of a "cable"!
coprocephalous, Apr 21 2008
  

       [+] Being that most of the lower-end outdoor equipment items use the Briggs & Stratton 3.0-4.0 HP engine (or something similar) it only makes sense that there would be some interchangeability. Out of the 5 items that I have, I have never had the need to use more than one at a time.
Jscotty, Apr 21 2008
  

       Not to belabour the obvious more than necessary, but *obviously* the electric motor option would be for a lighter range of devices, and a good choice since they generally weigh half what an IC motor does, not counting fuel, etc.   

       [rotary] I'm pre-conditioned to put rotary engines in the same class as common 2-strokes - loud, fast and wasteful of fuel
FlyingToaster, Apr 21 2008
  
      
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