30 Year old generator ...Only 24 hours. Help getting it going.

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Joined
Jun 13, 2021
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Location
New York
I'm putting a 1992 Itasca Class C, with 40K miles on it, back on the road.
The Onan BGE genset has only 24 hours on the clock. I had to order a new fuel pump for it, so at this point I can't tell if there are other issues.
My question relates to whether there are some things I need to address before firing it up.
I remember reading something about slip rings or something, for generators that have been sitting.
Any thoughts?
This looks like a great site, a great resource, and with great people!
 
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Roy M

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southern British Columbia
If it has been sitting for some time you also likely need to disassemble the carburetor and thoroughly clean before installing an overhaul kit. If the gas is really bad you will quickly know it! If it produces power the slip rings and brushes are fine.
 

Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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I don't know much about generators specifically,but know that it is ran by a small engine. I'm assuming it's gas or propane.
If it's been sitting a long time, the piston rings may have some rust on the and could be stuck to the cylinder wall
Pull the spark plug(s), inspect them and replace if they are fouled or worn.
Put some oil in the cylinder(s) and let it sit for a while, then try to turn it over. If it turns over freely reinstall the plugs and fire it up.
 

decaturbob

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Oct 31, 2015
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central Illinois
I'm putting a 1992 Itasca Class C, with 40K miles on it, back on the road.
The Onan BGE genset has only 24 hours on the clock. I had to order a new fuel pump for it, so at this point I can't tell if there are other issues.
My question relates to whether there are some things I need to address before firing it up.
I remember reading something about slip rings or something, for generators that have been sitting.
Any thoughts?
This looks like a great site, a great resource, and with great people!
carb is going to need rebuilding and cleaning for sure, inline gas filter replaced as well as a new spark plug
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2021
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Location
New York
Thanks guys!
It cranks fine. I was worried about the electrical part. Fuel line was already replaced(mice).
Just trying to get correct pump and go from there. Carb work and plug for sure.
 

Kirk

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It will be pretty difficult to tell much about the generator until you get the engine running. If you were a generator mechanic you could pull it apart and clean the interior and check it out, but there isn't much to do if you are not. The generator does have slip rings that could have issues, but that isn't particularly probable. More likely to be a problem from sitting for a long time would be moisture having condensed in the generator windings. It would not hurt to make sure that the air has been warmed up and dried to blow though it for several hours in an effort to dry out any moisture in the windings but beyond that it would be pretty hard to do.
 

Matt_C

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SE - Mich
After WWII, the moisture in windings thing pretty much disappeared.
It is not likely the slip rings will need any attention.
It has points for the ignition, find them and dust them with something like 400 paper.

Are you sure the fuel pump was bad? Onan Emeralds usually had a Bendix clicker pump and those things are anvil reliable, but might have needed a disassembly and cleaning.

If it has not been run recently, the carburetor will most likely need cleaning, this can be done without buy a "rebuild" kit if you can manage to not tear the bowel gasket when opening it. Just spray carburetor cleaner through all the ports and close it up.

The operators and service manuals for BGE (Emerald) can be downloaded.

Matt
 

Jaycomlok

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NW Arkansas
The electrical side should be fine but get the gas engine running first then see what's happening with the electrical output. There a chance it may not produce any power because of sitting so long and loosing it's residual magnetism. That can be reinstated by what's flashing a generator. But gas engine running first and see what happens.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2021
Posts
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Location
New York
Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated.
Yes, the fuel pump was bad. Wouldn't run straight of a battery. Just a hum. I'm wondering if they burned it out cranking with a mouse chewed fuel line.
The uodate: I replaced fuel line to tank, fuel filter, fuel pump, oil and filter. I removed the carb bowl and carb cleaner sprayed the float, etc. Just wanted to see how dirty it may have been.
Hit the button, viola! Started up . RPMs a steady up and down with no load. NO stalling.
Let it run for five minutes, turned on AC, the RPM s steadied out, and ran fine. 15 minutes later, added the fridge. Ran for two hours with no noted issue. I have a new plug to put in and clean air filter, but I think it may be fine and let me move on to the next issue until I can circle back to it in the fall.
I'm psyched. Summers here!
 

Kirk

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Full-time , Escapee
It sounds like the generator is fine. I would let it run under load for several hours just to exercise it well and to warm up the generator. The air conditioner is a good size of load for it but run everything you want.
 
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