The main thing to remember about engines and motors is that they essentially have one purpose.
To convert thermal and electrical energy to produce force or motion. Thermal energy is converted into electricity. Work can be converted into electrical energy as well.
How many lawn mowers do you own? If the mower craps out, keep the engine. It will be useful for a variety of things from go-carts to generating electricity. Of course you will want to remove the governor for some purposes. That old Evenrude? There have got to be ways to utilize it for alternative purposes. A really big mixer comes to mind! I’m sure you can think of other things to do with them.
Treadmill motors can be converted to generate electricity on a windmill. You can re-purpose almost any electric motor for some more useful purpose. Your biggest limitation is your imagination.
The most important thing to remember is not to let any appliance motor nor any combustion engine out of your house until you have verified it is worthless. Then I would think long and hard about if I wanted to dismantle it and use it for pricey scrap metal for everything from cash to reloads.
Now that you know you can use your old motors and engines, let them figure into your plan for generating your own electricity and other projects which require force or motion. Once you know how you want to use the engine, research how to make it work for you. But remember, if you don’t find anyone who has done what you are planning, you can still do it. Find a way. Figure it out. The more you try, the better off you are in the long run. Then you will be the one with the plan.
Along with the engines and motors, figure out how much fuel you have on hand as well as how much fuel you currently have the capacity to store. If you choose to turn some of these motors into generators, be sure to factor the fuel supply they will need to meet your needs and keep your battery bank charged. We’ll post more about electricity storage in another post.