Home built machine

Who here has pieces together their own pressure washer? I’m curious to know the pros and cons of doing so versus just purchasing an already built machine. I’ve looked on here, but only saw one post in regards to it, but nothing about that post was overly insightful.

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It’s easy, contrary to belief direct drive is fine. I gravity feed both our machines from 350 gallon tanks with zero issues. We gravity feed over 1400 gallons a day. 4ft of 1inch hot tub hose

Get an 11-13 hp horizontal shaft engine. Find out the diameter of the shaft and go online to find a pump that will fit the shaft size.

Takes about 1 minute to mount the pump and engine together. At first I made a simple wood platform to mount the engine and then switched to a stainless platform I had fabricated.

Pros…$400 VS Spending $1400

          Same engines and pumps as the $1400 machine.just no fancy skid or cart.
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Links please

How high up from the trailer floor is the inlet to your pump ??? Are you dual feeding them or just gravity feeding to one side of the pump ???.. I’m working on building a skid for my trailer I have two 4 gpm machines !! They are on wheels now but I’m either going to cut the carts down to mount or weld something from scratch .

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Yes, get rid of the tires. Build the platform as low as possible. Even when there is a slight incline from tank to pump you will be fine, it will still feed. Just gravity feeding to one side of the pump… Usually its 4 bolts to unmount from the cart, super easy. I am not 100 % sure on how high they are, I am in Michigan and have everything disassembled for the winter to re do some things. Few other things you can do, put your water tanks on really nice thick rubber stall mats from tractor supply. Most driveways when you pull straight in are on a slight incline, so that will help you to.

So I get the fact that the parts are pretty much the same as the $1400 “buy ready” version. For someone not overly mechanically inclined, how difficult would it be to assemble? You pretty much stated exactly what I like, being that it’s cheaper than the $1400 (which I cannot afford).

PLus, as of right now, I am running a 2.5 gpm machine. I am looking at possibly building a 4 gpm machine, that way I can still connect to the customers water spigot, as I am only focusing on residential at the moment.

A $1400 dollar machine would be a belt drive.
If your going to compare “apples” the cost would be more like $700 - $1000 for a already built direct drive machine depending on brand of pump. Even if someone wanted to build their own i would still recommend a gear driven unit, it would add a little bit to the cost but would be easier to pull water from a tank.


You gravity feed a direct drive unit? I tried that and didn’t have much luck.

yah, never had an issue. Im also feeding from 350 gallon tanks though. No a 35 gallon buffer. 1 inch feed hose, straight - no bends, and about 4 feet long. I also have my washers off the carts though, and mounted only an inch off the ground.



if your going straight from the spigot to your machines then there is 0 worries of a direct drive. Super easy to put them together. Its 4 bolts…WD 40, and a rubber mallet ( if you have to take the old pump off) If your working with just the engine, then it will take you 30 seconds to install. Youtube it


Sweet! Yes, I am actually seeing multiple gx390, used, but in really good condition. Just debating on the pump due to the several threads I’ve read about crappy pumps to stay away from.

Everyone will say something different but I currently have 2 ZWD 4040 pumps in gx390 Honda’s … have had zero issues from them…I’ve run both machines pretty hard and I originally bought them used so in my opinion I think they hold up very well…


I have a CAT and a Annovi Revarbi ( whatever they are called) the AR pump i bought for $250 off Amazon with prime shipping… I’ve had zero issues on it and ran it last season 6 days a week all day.

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There is more than one place to buy


Good prices! After tax and freight shipping cost your looking at a few hundred tacked on though. Still a lot more then $400! Maybe I will look into making my own belt driven machine this winter. Cant be to hard, add a pulley to the shaft…fab a skid and mount the pump. hmmm

Most states dont pay tax’s on online purchases unless the retailer owns a physical location in the same state. Some states have passed laws to counter that though. Pressure pros machines are mainly drop ship and come from florida. Shipping on the “smaller” machines (3-5gpm) is going to be about $200 for freight. I bought my 5.5@2500 for $1600 shipped.
If your building your self a gear drive will be the easiest to build, its the same directions as a belt drive, just 4 bolts. Building a belt will be harder, and you need to know pulley ratios for the pump chosen to either get the most gpm or psi out of a specified pump.

If you want to stick with direct drive and want to pull from a tank certain pumps will work better. Dont quote me, but for a direct drive to pull water the stroke of the plugers should be longer, making the rpms slightly slower thus allowing it to prime. This is why some people direct drives can pull and some cant. Its best to call Russ or pual and ask them, they will know what pumps work best.

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