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Old 12-30-2004, 06:59 AM   #1
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Gen Set Maintence

I finnaly have an Airstream in which eveything, well almost eveything works and I want to keep it that way. I need to know how to maintain my generator. I do have all the manuals and understand that it needs to be operated at load each month but beyond that the manual was somewhat vague.
What do the rest of you do to keep your generators running at tip top shape?
Thanks in advance for all the great advice.
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Old 12-30-2004, 07:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
What do the rest of you do to keep your generators running at tip top shape?
I found both of the jets in my original carburetor terribly eroded. After attempting to replace the jets I just purchased a new carb (not much more expensive than a carb rebuild kit)...in hindsight, I should have changed the carb to start with instead of trying to rebuild.

I firmly believe that the eroded jets were caused by air being sucked into the line somewhere - caused by a combination of almost 20 year old rubber lines and a LONG suck from the rear mounted gasoline tank to the genny mounted fuel pump.

If you have to pull the generator, it is held in place by 4 bolts through the genny pan to the compartment floor...the back two bolts are difficult to get to, and you have to work by "feel" only - you will need two people to remove these four bolts - one in the genny compartment and one under the chassis.

I ended up using a forklift to get the generator out - there is only a minimum amount of clearance to lift the generator out of the compartment door - I also had to remove the carb, intake manifold, and air cleaner to get the genny out of the door.
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Old 12-30-2004, 08:20 AM   #3
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clena your carburetor, change or clean out the fuel filter. Check all the incoming lines for condition. Change out the spark plug(s) and change the oil and filter. The filter can be bought off the shelf at NAPA with your gen set number, instead of ponying up 14 or more dollars for the Onan one.
Be sure that the oil level stays right or the gen will not run correctly. The splash oiling it does makes it critical to keep the level correct. I have had stalling when the oil was too high or too low.
Run the gen at least 2-3 hours straight, per month when you are not using it. It needs that to keep the seals in good shape. Run it with a load on it, like the ac, or roof strip heater, or something that will pull some amps.
Mine has 500 hrs on it, runs like a champ with the above done to it...only had on one problem in three+ years, and that was when the oil level was off as stated.
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:15 AM   #4
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Alan made some great points on generator maintenance. A few things to add would be to replace the points yearly and clean all of the electrical connections in the "box". I had to replace a few relays and a resistor to get mine running correctly and also had the low oil level switch go out. (Alan - this switch could be presenting itself as the "stalling" you mentioned with low oil levels - it is actually by design and acts as an ignition cut off if the oil gets low).

On the filter - I've run both NAPA and Onan filters and found the NAPA caused problems with low oil pressure when operating in winter temps. The Onan filter has a single large "bypass" hole in the base for cold weather starts. I could not get mine running for more than a few minutes last winter until I replaced the NAPA filter with the Onan. For warmer climate or summer running the NAPA filter is fine.

I agree completely that running the Genset is the best preventative maintenance task you can perform. When I got my MH getting the genny running was a big job and all of the isues I had seemed to be related to lack of use (my unit sat unused for a while before I purchased it). I run mine at least an hour a week under partial load (one AC or heat strip).
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:04 AM   #5
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A always I appreciate the great advice. I have had the gen set serviced and now have a zero hour starting point. Thanks alot.
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Old 01-10-2005, 11:38 AM   #6
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good issue on the Onan filter, i will keep that one in mind when replacing next time, poenny wise as they say. What does zero hour starting point mean? Do they reset the gen hours at the service center?
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Old 07-14-2005, 09:58 PM   #7
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That a new one to Me to ??????
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