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Old 09-18-2006, 12:12 PM   #1
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Switch out Onan 4.0BF genset?

The Onan 4.0 BF in my 1975 Argosy 26' is not outputting anything, runs sweet (if a little rich... cough, cough!) but no juice available at the 35A breaker or anywhere else. Checked the brushes - they appear fine - fuses are all OK to. I have one weekend to find a workable solution before we're off on our inaugural weekend by the beach and I cannot imagine the Missus and two ankle biters doing well with no AC or, Lord forbid, any TV. There's an Onan service center at a local RV dealer in Temecula, but I am a little wary that they will be able to fix something over 30 years old.

Ideally I would like to switch out my ageing Onan for something newer (and hopefully smaller, more efficient and quieter – who says you can’t have it all?) if only I could find something that would slot into the existing enclosure (approximately 21” wide, by 21” tall by 22” deep).

Has anyone performed a similar swap and if so:

1.Which make and model should I seek?
2.Is there anything to be especially wary of?
3.Will I need to modify the existing enclosure - this might not be such a problem as I would like to somehow change the rear twin bed configuration to a large pull out sofa bed type but would need a lower lid on the genset box to achieve this (see photo of rear bedroom below)






Any help you guys can provide will be very much appreciated.

Cheers,

Andrew
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:33 PM   #2
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An Onan 4.0 is, or can be, a very nice genset. But a bit out of date and quite heavy.

Onan still makes some of the best permanently mounted RV gensets as far as reliability and noise. There are others. They are all rather expensive.

The alternative is to use the compartment to stash a pair of Honda 2000si and deal with the lack of convenience in how they are used.

I'd think getting that genset you have fixed still might be the best way to go. It sounds as if the problem is on the electrical side so you need a competent genset tech to diagnose probably. Look for a cummings/onan dealer in your area.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:27 PM   #3
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Andrew, if after a tech checks it out and pronounces it d.o.a. then you might want to consider a Generac 40G Quietpac. I've got about 6000+ hours on mine and it's been relatively trouble free.
It comes in it's own enclosure, you'll have to check size though. It is resonably quiet. But most of all it has an electronically stabilized output so it's friendly toward electronics like A/C, TV, Computers. Best yet there is an eBay seller in Delaware that will deliver for less than $1400!
But do have a quaified tech check it out first... could be something easy and somewhat less money.
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Old 09-21-2006, 11:24 AM   #4
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Thanks Glen:

Am i correct in my understanding that you have relocated your genset? f so; how, where to, and why? Oh yes, and what was the best thing before sliced bread?!

Cheers,

Andrew
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Old 09-21-2006, 12:19 PM   #5
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Andrew, mine is in the belly, driver side, in front of the rear axel.
It came with an inop engine driven bus type a/c unit. That left a big radiator/condensor where now my genset is slung. Great location. I'll post a photo soon.
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:56 AM   #6
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Recommended Onan service locations in So. Cal.?

Thanks Glen,

I look forward to the photo as I am not best at picturing these things mentally.

Does anyone have any recommendations of suitable Onan service locations in the Southern California area, or, for that matter, any I should steer clear of?

Cheers,

Andrew
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:20 PM   #7
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Andrew, I was over reading your post on the Argosy forum and you're starting to get the hang of all this I take it.
I got round to taking a few quick shots with my camera phone of the belly mounted genset.
Hope you've found some daylight, er electricity, at the end of your Onan investigations.
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:24 PM   #8
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hmm.... seemed to only get one photo uploaded.... let me try this again.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:28 AM   #9
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[quote=abridges01]
Does anyone have any recommendations of suitable Onan service locations in the Southern California area, or, for that matter, any I should steer clear of?

I have no recommendation for California but I found my Onan service center through their web page. Had my Onan tuned, adjusted and serviced, now it runs like a top. When you do get yours going remember to exercise it regularly. Run it at full load for at least an hour on a regular schedule, I try and do it every two weeks. An unused generator will cause more problems than on which is used all of the time.

http://www.onan.com/onan/service/serviceHome.jsp
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