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Old 03-05-2012, 12:00 AM
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Post DIY Extended-Run Fuel Kit for Generators

Hate having to crawl out of a warm trailer when it's dark and cold out to refuel a generator? So do I. Here's how to fix that problem.

Parts you'll need: (going counter-clockwise in pic)
(~5ft) Fuel line hose (82/ft, McMaster) *
(3) 1/8"NPT to 1/8" Barb fittings ($3/ea, Ace Hardware)
(1) 1/8"NPT ball valve ($12, Ace)
(1) 1/8"NPT-M to 1/8"NPT-M elbow ($5, Ace)
(1) 1/2"NPT to 1/8"NPT Reducing bushing ($5, Ace) **
(1) 3/4"NPT to 1/2"NPT Face Bushing ($5, Ace) ***
(1) 1/8"NPT Pipe lock nut (Not pictured, $4, Ace)
(1) Gas Cap with threads for your generator (Not pictured, $5, Lowe's/HomeDepot)

* I used McMaster 5552K235, carb tubing from a local motorcycle shop would work too.
** Make sure you get one that you can tap through.
*** Your fuel jug may be different, if it's a 1/2"NPT thread you can omit this part. Get the right adapt-o-matics for the fuel jug you want to use.



Since the generator will need to draw fuel from the bottom of the fuel tank, you'll need to install another pipe-to-barb fitting inside the fuel jug. The reducing bushing I got still has material on the inside and is only tapped about halfway through from the top.


Use a 1/8" pipe tap and cut threads in the other half (the inside half) of that fitting.


Assemble all the components together and tighten into the cap for the fuel jug.


Tighten the 1/8"NPT-to-barb fitting into the threads you cut on the inside of the cap. Cut a length of tubing to go from this fitting to the bottom of the fuel jug.
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Last edited by Mule; 11-06-2012 at 12:08 PM. Reason: Photo hosts
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:00 AM
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The fuel cap for my generator (and most generators) is the same as the fuel cap for Honda lawnmowers. Bring your generator's fuel cap along to make sure you get the right kind of replacement fuel cap.


The fuel cap is "vented", meaning it's designed to leak enough to not cause a vacuum inside the gas tank when the engine's running.

You don't want this.... you want a vacuum. I couldn't find any non-vented caps, so this one will have to do. Pull the pieces out and take a look...


Cut out the little nipple on the inside of the gasket. You'll need some room for the fitting/nut. The four slots on the side are where the air comes in from the outside of the cap.


Use some RTV to seal up the "vents" so the cap can get a good seal on the generator.


Drill/tap a 1/8"NPT hole through the top of the cap, thread the fitting into this, and smash on a foot or two of tubing.


Use the nut to lock the fitting in place. I put some RTV around the inside of the fitting so it seals up well.


Who doesn't have to get out of a warm sleeping bag at 0400 to refuel a generator? That's right, I don't.
Genset's rated for 5hrs at half-load on the one gallon of fuel in its tank.
Add another 6 gallons from the fuel jug, and this should be enough to last me through a weekend and then some.

You'll still need to "prime" the generator with the original cap if yours has that. Once the system's primed, swap the cap and make sure the extended-run fuel cap is on tight. If it leaks, the generator's going to pull air through that leak into its fuel tank instead of pulling gasoline up from the fuel jug. And remember to open the vent on the fuel jug.

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Last edited by Mule; 11-06-2012 at 12:09 PM. Reason: Photo hosts
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:13 AM
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you've been a busy bunny

nice work
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:41 AM
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You're making McGyver look like a first grader. Nice job...
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:02 AM
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we made our own too. we have 2 honda 2000 watters and will run about 4 days on 6 gallons. the honda cap is already threaded
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:21 PM
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THANKS MULE was about to buy something simular but uses a boat tank and cost $120 bucks.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:23 PM
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Couldn't you avoid the need for a vacuum by putting the tube through the gas cap, with the jug above the gen, and the tube sticking about 1/2 way down the gas tank?

This way the fuel would drain down any time it got to below 1/2 tank, but would also stop if the fuel was as high as the tube.

My only reason for wanting something different would be if the vacuum failed, you'd be DOA.

Or would that not stop like I'm thinking?
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:40 PM
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Problem there is you'd have to rig something up to keep the level between the two fuel tanks the same, while transfering volume from one to the other.

Simply putting the jug above the genset siphoning fuel through a vented cap, would result in the jug emptying its contents through the cap's vent.... all over the generator, ground, etc.

Most portable gensets have a small fuel pump. The cap seals, and has an on/off vent on the top to allow air in when you're using it, but can seal up completely for transportation.

Use the fuel pump's vacuum to your advantage... makes things a lot easier.
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Last edited by Mule; 03-07-2012 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:00 PM
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the engine would have to shut off for the vacum to fail. it will suck the aux tank dry first then use up the gas from the onboard tank. we just drilled a 3/8" hole in the top of the tank and shoved the gas line to the bottom . we have a 6 gallon can we use just for the aux tank
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:46 PM
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Thanks for the extra $$$$$ , hope they work good.
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