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Old 08-22-2016, 11:30 AM   #1581
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Congrats aj8888, that is superb save for the old gen set.
Thanks, and it's actually satisfying finding solutions to repairing old stuff. I found a neat site on old engine repair and restoration that led me to a copy of the service manual and parts manual for this particular unit. The local Cummins dealer was no help in that matter (they acquired Onan years ago).
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:20 PM   #1582
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Thanks. I love project follow-ups.
Yeah, Great story and love the photos.

Mine is a personal non-repair...watched youtube videos for changing the timing belt and decided to leave it to the pros this time. I'm glad I didn't check this thread or I might have been "charged up" enough to have tackled it
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:43 PM   #1583
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Disabled Onstar and made it into Offstar on my new to me 2006 GMC pickup. Also disconnected and removed the obnoxiously placed microphone for damn thing.

Verified that it has no Tire presure nag feature. Tweaked it a bit with an aftermarket tuner for a bit of extra ignition timing. And figured out how to reset the total fuel consumed display.

Replaced Fog lamp switch. A few more things and it will be personalized. Like a ditch light and extra bright manually operable backup LED lighting. And mount a GPS.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:06 PM   #1584
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I just totaled up the parts cost and it was $89.12 for the following:

New ball bearing,
New brush set,
New Air Filter element,
3 foot threaded rod (7/16" dia, coarse thread) - make a tool for rotor removal,
One 9/16" dia X 2" long bolt - Use with rod above,
4 quarts 10W 30 Motor oil/new oil filter,
One tube of Permatex form-a-gasket for the install of the intake manifold.

Labor to press old bearing off and new one on was $10 at a local machine shop.

So we have around $100 into the repair. Not bad, given a new generator is around $4250 installed.
All right! Another job well done.

Perhaps next time you pull the generator, may want to get into the engine and give it a valve job, new rings? How about boring out the cylinder to give it a bit more oomph?
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:48 PM   #1585
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All right! Another job well done.

Perhaps next time you pull the generator, may want to get into the engine and give it a valve job, new rings? How about boring out the cylinder to give it a bit more oomph?
Compression seems fine, but the carburetor needs to be rebuilt as it has a hard time at low RPM (jets gummed up). Right now I have it very smooth at 1800 RPM and it handles the load of the A/C without stalling. Now I know why the later model ones run at 3600 RPM.

The 17 or so amps it draws on firing up the large A/C unit is a tough load on the generator. If it was being pulled at 3600 RPM, I would suspect the unit would not bog down so noticeably.

But for this RV, it's fine.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:23 PM   #1586
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When I bought my RV, the generator could not keep on running, even without a load. It was OK, because it produced power, and I knew it was just a matter of the carburetor getting gummed up. I had to disconnect the fuel hose to the carburetor, sprayed some carburetor cleaning fluid to get it into the carburetor bowl, then reconnect the fuel line. That cleared it up.

After that, I always drained the carburetor after a trip, and never had any problem starting it up for the next trip. The trip before last, was lazy and thought I would just run the generator until it stalled for lack of fuel. Bad mistake! When I fired it up again, had a heck of a time repeating the cleaning fluid application to get it running right again.

For curiosity, I looked on eBay to see that a new carburetor run more than $200. And there was a lot of buying activity. I guess many RV'ers learn the same lesson the hard way.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:43 PM   #1587
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When I bought my RV, the generator could not keep on running, even without a load. It was OK, because it produced power, and I knew it was just a matter of the carburetor getting gummed up. I had to disconnect the fuel hose to the carburetor, sprayed some carburetor cleaning fluid to get it into the carburetor bowl, then reconnect the fuel line. That cleared it up.

After that, I always drained the carburetor after a trip, and never had any problem starting it up for the next trip. The trip before last, was lazy and thought I would just run the generator until it stalled for lack of fuel. Bad mistake! When I fired it up again, had a heck of a time repeating the cleaning fluid application to get it running right again.

For curiosity, I looked on eBay to see that a new carburetor run more than $200. And there was a lot of buying activity. I guess many RV'ers learn the same lesson the hard way.
One thing I just thought about is that the old generator was designed to run on gasoline that was not oxygenated to increase the octane rating. I suspect this was fuel that was in use before MTBE was added and right after TEL was discontinued. The reason I mention this is that the newer gasoline formulations use ethanol as an oxygenate to keep air emissions under control and to raise octane. (Straight run refinery gasoline is roughly 70 octane).

Because of the ethanol in the gasoline, fiber and rubber parts in the fuel line, fuel pump and carb can be compromised and can cause jets to clog if the gasoline has a chance to sit in storage. People with marine engines have a big issue with ethanol enhanced gasoline.

In summary, I suspect these old generators are having a problem with the modern gasoline that contains ethanol.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:31 PM   #1588
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Nice job on generator rebuild. I agree the carb issues are made worse by the ethanol gas we have now. How hard is it to pull the carb off and give it a good cleaning and rebuild? I am sure that would make it run smooth. replacing any old fuel lines is a good idea, old rubber with cracks can make for frustrating problems if fuel line is sucking air.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:05 PM   #1589
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Nice job on generator rebuild. I agree the carb issues are made worse by the ethanol gas we have now. How hard is it to pull the carb off and give it a good cleaning and rebuild? I am sure that would make it run smooth. replacing any old fuel lines is a good idea, old rubber with cracks can make for frustrating problems if fuel line is sucking air.
Thanks!

To get at the carb will require removing 4 bolts and sliding the generator out about a foot on the frame rails. The intake manifold is easily accessible then and the carb is very easy to get off. I have to find a gasket kit somewhere but that should not be a problem. A soon as summer is over, we will go after it and a few planned small projects on the RV before it goes into storage.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:42 PM   #1590
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Truck key started being difficult to turn in the ignition, at first I though it was just a worn out key (2001 Toyota Tundra) so I had a new one made. Couple of days later SIL couldn't get the key out. After some research found I would need a new ignition switch to the tune of several hundred dollars or more if I wanted one key to unlock the doors and start the truck. After some youtube research I was able to remove the ignition lock cylinder, "modify" some of the tumblers and all is well.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:45 PM   #1591
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Truck key started being difficult to turn in the ignition, at first I though it was just a worn out key (2001 Toyota Tundra) so I had a new one made. Couple of days later SIL couldn't get the key out. After some research found I would need a new ignition switch to the tune of several hundred dollars or more if I wanted one key to unlock the doors and start the truck. After some youtube research I was able to remove the ignition lock cylinder, "modify" some of the tumblers and all is well.
Good move.
I did a similar thing to our 17 yr old camry. Has worked this way for ~2 yrs.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:54 PM   #1592
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I would make it so that I could start it with a screwdriver. That is if the car still has the keyfob with the alarmed electric door locks.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:14 PM   #1593
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I would make it so that I could start it with a screwdriver. That is if the car still has the keyfob with the alarmed electric door locks.
To do that for the Camry, you just remove the ignition cylindar, and use a slotted screwdriver to turn the slot in the bottom.

But leaving 1 or 2 "pins" in it allows it to work fine and stops a moron from starting it without the key.
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:25 AM   #1594
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Hit something with the lawn mower. Turned it on its side for a look at the blade. Blade looked fine. Noticed oil dripping out top of mower! Huh? I don't remember that happening before. Oh wait, I think I'm supposed to only tip the mower a certain way. Oh well, I thought. I checked the oil and added a few ounces to top it up. Next time I tried to start it, it wouldn't start. Cut to the chase: oil had somehow managed to work its way around and get into air filter and muffler and combustion chamber, maybe even the carb. Got it started finally by squeezing oil out of foam air filter and cleaning the spark plug, pouring gas into carb. But now it smoked blue smoke while running. Worried about some sort of internal engine damage. Imagined tearing down the Briggs and Stratton engine! But...... turns out that it was the oil trapped in the muffler that was taking its time to burn off. I had to run the mower about 7 minutes to finally burn it all off. Mower working again, no new parts needed, just my time. Have to put a sign on the mower now "do not turn on side".
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:30 AM   #1595
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My mower has you turn the mower onto it's side to drain and refill the oil. Maybe it depends upon which side you turn it.
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Old 08-30-2016, 12:17 PM   #1596
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Hit something with the lawn mower. Turned it on its side for a look at the blade. Blade looked fine. Noticed oil dripping out top of mower! Huh? I don't remember that happening before. Oh wait, I think I'm supposed to only tip the mower a certain way. Oh well, I thought. I checked the oil and added a few ounces to top it up. Next time I tried to start it, it wouldn't start. Cut to the chase: oil had somehow managed to work its way around and get into air filter and muffler and combustion chamber, maybe even the carb. Got it started finally by squeezing oil out of foam air filter and cleaning the spark plug, pouring gas into carb. But now it smoked blue smoke while running. Worried about some sort of internal engine damage. Imagined tearing down the Briggs and Stratton engine! But...... turns out that it was the oil trapped in the muffler that was taking its time to burn off. I had to run the mower about 7 minutes to finally burn it all off. Mower working again, no new parts needed, just my time. Have to put a sign on the mower now "do not turn on side".
It's OK to tilt in on the side, but no more than 45 degrees. Always put the carburetor upwards. If you get oil in the carb though, it will usually just burn off (eventually). Good thing you checked the oil level afterwards!

/used to work in a lawnmower repair shop
//that was 45 years ago. Mower engine designs have changed very little since then
///worst problems were when someone used transmission fluid instead of oil- this will seize the engine. Or run it low on oil (there's no "oil pressure light"!). Or never change the oil- I've seen almost black tar in crankcases. Or if you hit something solid that stops the blade. I have replaced bent crankshafts from that.
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Old 08-30-2016, 02:30 PM   #1597
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I've done that a bunch of times - turned the mower on its side and filled the carburetor with oil. Now what I do is pull the rope until the piston is at the top of the compression stroke and both valves are closed. That seems to cure it.

And both push mowers (long story) don't have drain plugs for oil, just turn them on the side to pour it out the fill hole.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:14 PM   #1598
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Yeah, I tipped it way over, a little more than 90 degrees, so I could rest it on the handle, and then have both hands free to check the blade. There were 2 small holes way up at the top, that the oil leaked out from. I guess they were to let crankcase pressure out.
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:18 AM   #1599
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Not exactly a repair : I got out the grease gun and lubed the front end of the GTA. Awkward as heck, as usual. Some grease fittings didn't even take grease. Will attend to them later!
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Old 09-03-2016, 05:53 PM   #1600
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This one wasn't really a repair, but I figured I'd throw it out here, because it comes with a question.

If you watch the first 10 seconds of this video, you'll see what I "repaired".

But now my DSis wants to buy not only an Orion Cooker for my BIL, but also the parts to convert it to propane. The question is, how to engineer a better solution than what I threw together and where to get the parts.

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