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Onan 5.5KW GenSet "Aw Nuts" experience


adept99

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Just to keep you folks entertained, I'll tell this story on myself although there is a lesson here.

 

In the process of dewinterizing and prepping for the ECR, seemed like it was time to change the oil in the generator. The only stocking Onan dealer is 35 miles away, so I figured to use a NAPA filter. When I got it home I found out that it's a little tiny thing. None of the thousands of dollars of tools I had would fit it. Back to NAPA, got a different end wrench/socket & tried again. Wouldn't grip. Got a rubber glove & lined the socket. Still no go. Did I mention that Onan only left about 1/2" of the filter sticking out where you can get ahold of it. Went to Lowes & got a pair of giant channel lock pliers. That got 'er off. Better yet, no left over stuck on gasket on the filter seat. Put the new NAPA filter on. It's about 3/8" shorter than the Onan version. There's a rubber air dam around the filter and by using the old rubber glove and tiny little socket I was able to seat the new filter.

 

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that this is now day 2 of this adventure. I removed the fill cap and opened the crankcase drain valve and waited...and waited,,,and waited...AND WAITED. Finally gave up & went in for the night. By the next morning, I had what I figured was about the right amout of used oil in the pan, then came the oil filter event, and now we're ready to fill with new oil. Going in is about as slow as coming out. Kept over filling the funnel and drenching the surrounding area. Finally got about a quart in it & figured to start & run for a few seconds to fill the oil filter. Waste of time. Eventually I got about a quart & 1/2 in it & now I want to start & run for a few minutes for a leak check.

 

Remember, I've been under this thing quite some time now and there do not seem to be any openings, fans, exposed moving parts, etc.

 

So I fire it up, running fine, it's vibrating oil off the platform from the spills which I'm wiping up. Right hand on the door frame, left hand wiping the base and bottom of the oil filter with an old 1/2 tee shirt rag. ZOOOOP Rag is gone...Vanished - Generator sounds like somebody stuck a stick in the spokes and the blue smoke is flying and there is all this black fuzz and lint stuff everywhere. Yup, turns out that there is a horizontal intake about 3/8" wide below the enclosed fan shroud.

 

Tried coat hanger hooks, my snake eye camera, other things I won't admit to, none of which were successful. Went & talked to my guy at the RV place. They're way behind and I can tell he wouldn't want to take it out even if they weren't busy. I looked at it some more & there is just no room to move in that enclosure. I finally decided to take it to the Onan shop.

 

2 hours to extract, 3 hours to remove shrouds & clean it up, and 2 hours to reinstall. I'll let you do the math, but let me tell you, that was a very expensive tee shirt.

 

Wheeee

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Luck would have it that less than half of a mans projects end up like this.

There is an entire vocabulary been built that ranges in complexity from long

words for simple mess ups.to the very short words when all hope is used up.

Am sorry that simple thing got so complex. Stuff happens :)

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I salute you for your courage! if it had been me, I am not sure I that would have published this event for all of the world to read about. Do you have any videos or photos? I always read, on the forum, that videos and pictures should be posted.

 

From what I recall, Onan has a special oil filter wrench. I probably have one somewhere in my trailer. Do you want to buy it from me? I no longer use it. I just take my trailer to my RV dealer and let them change the oil :)

 

BTW - I loved the story and I will NOT share mine on the internet, not that I have any. :rolleyes:

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there isn't a 10 minute job that I can't turn into whole day project with the required extra trips to town for parts and tools that are needed.

it took me over an hour to fuel a tractor today. Actual pumping time was <5 minutes. Don't ask........ :(

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Mounted two TVs on the walls recently, there was already wall mount for one (replaced smaller 40 inch with 55), Installed 32 inch in bedroom few mounts back, bought mount for that one which came with "options of hardware".

In the bag of various metric screws, bolts, spacers and washers (this crap is all metric in the TV world, none made in America) none was the right length (had the right thread but too short, or too long).3 miles down and 3 miles back to the hardware store, but we succeeded and now we have Fox News in the bedroom (Fox is not tolerated 24-7 in the main TV viewing room).

55 inch Samsung came with nothing, except vague mounting picture in the manual. Screws in the 40 inch that came off, too short and wrong thread. Samsung manual says M8 30-32mm long. Went to Home Depot (after 6PM on Sunday hardware store was closed, 12 miles down and back). Bought 30mm and 35mm (just in case), Bull packers! 30mm is too short, 35mm barely works in the upper two spots, too short in the bottom holes (it's a curved screen, 4K model).

Back to Home Depot, now it's 7:40 PM (closing time 8 PM), broke many travel restrictions, made it to Home Depot with 5 minutes to spare, last customer, employee with a key was standing by the door. Bought couple 40mm bolts and bunch of 8mm washers (just in case). 40mm was just a skosh too long, but one 8mm washer under the head made it just right.

Bill O'Reily and Megyn Kelly looked mighty good on that 55 inch 4K curved screen. Oh just settle down guys, I was just using these folks to go through all the setups of these new fandagled Smart functions, Could have put Rachel Maddow on, naw, I couldn't, Kelly is much better looking.

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Boy I guess I was born under a lucky star........all of my oil filters simply come off and spin on with the "twist-of-the-wrist" no oil spilled, and never a drop of oil on the shop floor....so......I pour in the last gallon of oil and the wife says come in and get ready to go to the show.....

 

Show is over and I go back out to the shop and say to myself you better enter the oil change into the truck logbook....I enter the driver door I sit down at the copilot seat, I enter the oil change in the log book, tidy up the cab, open the passenger door, step down into 11 gallon drain pan of slightly warm black oil.......I said....... oh my goodness....

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My specialites are exploring the abrasion resistance of sewer drain hoses at various speeds and road surfaces, and diesel lube oil's ability to drain for 10 seconds (until your attention wanders) then seemingly disobey all laws of hydrodynamics and loop up and over the side of the drain catch device onto the floor forming a pool around a minimum of 2 creeper wheels and getting under the drain pan...

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Hmmm, a "special" wrench for the Onan oil filter.....who would have thought that. Guess I better look at it some....I DID order the Onan filter, though. And it IS tiny.

 

Great story. I have some of my own. I used to entertain myself by rebuilding British sports cars. And I do mean "rebuilding". Usually on the roadside. Even Danielle got so she could - all by herself - pull an SU or Stromberg carb and do a quick roadside rebuild.... Ahhh, the "good old" days.

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Oh please.....is there a shrink in the forum.....I am flashing back....the British "sports car" can only be beat down by the mini-lorry (small truck) that I inherited that had a 'Flexitor" rubber-hose-like-spacer between the front spindle bearings......On a hot day (anything over 62f ) the "Flexitor" would become in "Repose" (Brit tech-term) and then the bearing inner race would turn and shear the "Hobbs-Pin" (cotter) and then the spindle nut would spin-off into the ditch with the front wheel also wobbling down the road ahead (only once did both front wheels "repose" at the same time)......

 

British machinery is great training and makes the most derelict class 7/8 truck look great........(why do I still have a Jag in the garage??)

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Hmmm, a "special" wrench for the Onan oil filter.....who would have thought that. Guess I better look at it some....I DID order the Onan filter, though. And it IS tiny.

 

 

Jack - it has been many years and, at my age I sometimes forget what I did last week.

 

But, there was a time when Onan actually cared about we RV'ers. In my area, Onan seems to only care about the big commercial gensets.

 

Anyway, there was an Onan parts supply house on my way home from work. And I got to know the parts guy pretty well because I was installing an Onan in my Winnie Mini motorhome. When I bought the filter, he said, do you have the filter wrench for the filer? I said no and he sold me one.

 

As I recall, one end slipped on to the back of the filter and the other side had a 3/8" square hole to fit a 3/8" drive extension.

 

Jim

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Don't forget the Prince of Darkness electrics on the British "stuff". My BSA 650 gave me the option of either running the engine or having lights at night, not both. Other traffic was a real challenge. Which reminds me, the reason the English drink warm beer, they have Lucas fridges.

 

Jim

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Jack - it has been many years and, at my age I sometimes forget what I did last week.

 

But, there was a time when Onan actually cared about we RV'ers. In my area, Onan seems to only care about the big commercial gensets.

 

Anyway, there was an Onan parts supply house on my way home from work. And I got to know the parts guy pretty well because I was installing an Onan in my Winnie Mini motorhome. When I bought the filter, he said, do you have the filter wrench for the filer? I said no and he sold me one.

 

As I recall, one end slipped on to the back of the filter and the other side had a 3/8" square hole to fit a 3/8" drive extension.

 

Jim

That's almost correct. I believe you have a typo where it says "slipped onto the back" should have been "slipped off of the back" And yes, I'm the proud owner of several sizes of those damnable things, and the only one that seems to work reasonalbly well is the one from Harley Davidson.

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Ah, yes..... the Lucas electric gremlins. I battled them on AJS, Triumph and BSA bikes...also on a few British sportcars. One great article about the Mazda Miata said that it was as much fun as a British sportscar, but with a decided advantage of not having to walk back home. I suspect that Lucas engineers may have been consultants in the electronics design of HDT trucks and emission controls ?!?!? Charlie

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My specialites are exploring the abrasion resistance of sewer drain hoses at various speeds and road surfaces, and diesel lube oil's ability to drain for 10 seconds (until your attention wanders) then seemingly disobey all laws of hydrodynamics and loop up and over the side of the drain catch device onto the floor, preferably forming a pool around a minimum of 2 creeper wheels and getting under the drain pan... bonus points are earned if the ensuing backward reaching of the arm to move the pan the 1/8 inch that stops the looping over the side causes a sleeve of your shirt/coveralls to get in the spilled oil.

 

It's a lot of fun too, when you drain the oil into a five gallon bucket, only to discover the engine held 21 quarts. :o

 

I changed the oil in a tractor today that holds 22.7 quarts. First time I changed it on this one, so I checked the manual first, and grabbed two buckets. ;)

 

But, I wasn't so clever with the filter. I poked a hole in the bottom so it would drain into a cut down plastic jug. I didn't notice that said jug had a pin-hole in the side. Came back from lunch to a puddle.

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If Lucas made guns wars wouldn't start

I've had a Lucas pacemaker for years and never had any prob..........

Lucas invented the intermittant wiper

Lucas invented the three position headlamp switch- off/smolder/ignite

Bell invented the telephone, Edison invented the phonograph, Lucas invented the short circuit.

* The Lucas motto: "Get home before dark."

* Lucas denies having invented darkness. But they still claim "sudden, unexpected darkness"

* Lucas--inventor of the first intermittent wiper.

* Lucas--inventor of the self-dimming headlamp.

* The three-position Lucas switch--DIM, FLICKER and OFF.

* The other three switch settings--SMOKE, SMOLDER and IGNITE.

* Lucas dip-switch positions: LOW and BLOW

* The original anti-theft devices--Lucas Electric products.

* "I've had a Lucas pacemaker for years and have never experienced any prob...

* If Lucas made guns, wars would not start either.

* Did you hear about the Lucas powered torpedo? It sank.

* It's not true that Lucas, in 1947, tried to get Parliament to repeal Ohm's Law. They withdrew their efforts when they met too much resistance.

* Did you hear the one about the guy that peeked into a Land Rover and asked the owner "How can you tell one switch from another at night, since they all look the same?" "He replied, it doesn't matter which one you use, nothing happens!"

* Back in the '70s Lucas decided to diversify its product line and began manufacturing vacuum cleaners. It was the only product they offered which didn't suck.

* Quality Assurance phoned and advised the Lucas engineering guy that they had trouble with his design shorting out. So he made the wires longer.

* Why do the English drink warm beer? Lucas made the refrigerators, too.

* Alexander Graham Bell invented the Telephone.
Thomas Edison invented the Light Bulb.
Joseph Lucas invented the Short Circuit.

* Recommended procedure before taking on a repair of Lucas equipment: check the position of the stars, kill a chicken and walk three times sunwise around your car chanting: "Oh mighty Prince of Darkness protect your unworthy servant."

* Lucas systems actually uses AC current; it just has a random frequency.

* How to make AIDS disappear? Give it a Lucas parts number.

* Recently, Lucas won out over Bosch to supply the electrical for the new Volkswagens. So, now the cars from the Black Forest will come with electrics supplied by the Lord of Darkness -- how appropriate!

* Lucas is an acronym for Loose Unsoldered Connections and Splices.

* The Prince's last words to his son: "don't go riding after dark"

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