Convert Your Mower Into A Survival Generator

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Last Updated on January 29, 2021

Spring is in the air and with it comes yard work. For some of us, we have already started planting our gardens, others are tending to their chickens and most of us preppers have to start cutting the grass again. I know you may hear the Home Depot song playing in your mind as you think of mulching and planting and sprucing up after winter’s snooze but I have already been cutting my grass and it is due again for another visit with the lawnmower.

As I started to think about getting out there and cutting the grass, I wondered if there would be a use for items like my trusty lawnmower when the grid goes down. Why? Because if you are like me, the last thing you am going to worry about is a nicely trimmed yard. Heck, we all might need to tear up the pretty green carpet to make way for additional garden capacity and if that happens, what could we do with that mower? Even if we didn’t have a grid-down emergency what other purposes could our mower serve?

A quick search on the internet quickly brought up a couple of great ideas. The first was the reason for this article and the site has fairly detailed plans for converting your lawn mower’s engine, a spare alternator, wires, and know-how into a fully functioning survival generator.

Survival generator tools list

  • Lawn Engine motor
  • Alternator – you can usually find one of these very easily in a junkyard or broken down car.
  • Electrical Wires – Think wire harness for your car battery
  • A belt – for an engine, not your pants.
  • Cast Iron Pulley
  • Mounting Bracket

The assembly appears pretty straight forward and detailed instructions are on this site. I have also converted this page to a PDF and added that to our resources page if you want to print this out and keep a copy for yourself.

There was another video showing this concept but they took it a step further and converted the lawnmower engine to run off of propane. This could be very useful in an emergency situation where there was no gas, but propane could be used off of your tanks on the grill.

Well, that covers the lawnmower, right? What about that weed-eater that’s sitting in the corner of the garage or shed? Well, there is a guy who has figured out how to convert weed eaters to a boat motor. You can see his video below.

I am still trying to track down other ideas for hedge trimmers but if you have any ideas of your own to share, please let us know, and happy mowing!

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Freedom-loving American doing what I can to help prepare and inform others. Editor and creator of The Prepper Journal 2013-2017, 2020 -

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Larry Black

D’oh! [facepalm] Why didn’t I think of that? Like all great ideas, it’s obvious in retrospect. If I may piggyback? For those with riding lawnmowers, they could block it up, attach the pulleys to the rear wheels and potentially run two things at the same time with about the same amount of fuel. Think one wheel to run a dedicated power source for the ‘fridge and the other for auxiliaries.


Great idea Larry!

Then your “generator” would have cup holders too. 🙂


Jeremiah Thompson

REAL MEN don’t have cupholders on their riding mower!


You are right, we have beer holders!


Could be valuable information soon

John d.

This is awesome! How difficult would it be to attach an inverter to this type of apparatus?

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