Several ways to reuse a lawn mower engine to meet your survival goals

In case SHTF, preppers should be able to scavenge for materials that they can use to suit their survival needs. Possessions that people often discard or take for granted can easily be given new life if you have enough know-how and are willing to put in a little elbow grease. Here are a few ways you can re-purpose a lawn mower engine to help you survive when SHTF. (h/t to

If a large-scale disaster were to occur, you’ll probably have more important priorities than cutting the grass or keeping your garden nicely trimmed. In such a scenario, your lawn mower engine might do you more good as an alternative means of energy or transportation. If you don’t have your own lawn mower engine, you can try to scavenge for one that has been long abandoned. Even if it is old, the engine itself will likely outlast the body of the lawn mower and can still probably be put to good use. If you know where to look, you can easily find a number of useful items that you can re-purpose when you need them the most. (Related: Survival scavenging: 10 Items you can re-purpose when SHTF.)

Build a generator

A small generator built out of an old lawn mower engine can provide a surprising amount of electricity. In a pinch, you can use it to power household lights, small power tools or electrical appliances. The electricity it can provide will still greatly depend on the horsepower of the engine, but on the bright side, it will likely need less gasoline than a conventional generator would. To conserve energy and improve the efficiency of your generator, you can either pair your generator with energy conserving appliances or mount a vehicle alternator to the engine. This is because the alternator has an inbuilt mechanism that can be used to regulate the power coming out of your makeshift generator.

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Motorize a bicycle

If an EMP blast were to occur, you will not be able to use any cars or vehicles that require computerized or electronic parts to function. A bicycle has no such electronic parts and neither does a lawn mower engine that runs on gasoline. If you combine these two objects, you can have a fully motorized bicycle that can transport you at a fairly good speed through streets and roads full of stalled vehicles. The thin and lightweight frames of most bicycles make for easy maneuverability, but they can make it difficult to balance the engine affixed to it. You can get around this setback by attaching training wheels on each side of your bike’s rear wheel.

Power a wheelchair

Whether or not you are in a SHTF situation, re-purposing a lawn mower engine to power a wheelchair can greatly benefit those who do need them but are unable to afford motorized wheelchairs. If you plan to use a lawn mower engine to power a wheelchair, you would have to begin by building a suitable frame. You can then choose to either build a recumbent design or a design that is more akin to a conventional motor-driven wheelchair. Choose the design that would best suit the needs of the person using the wheelchair. However, since the motorized wheelchair will still run on gasoline, it should only be used outdoors and in places with fresh open air as the fumes might affect the breathing of the person in the wheelchair.

Make your own air compressor

Air compression systems can be used to power tools that use compressed air to function. These tools are useful for working on materials that require more force than simple devices that let you apply pressure by hand. To make your own air compressor, all you need are your lawn mower engine and a few extra components, such as a sleeve valve.

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