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Author Topic: Diesel generator life expectancy  (Read 11991 times)
Charles in SC
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« on: December 07, 2008, 06:16:48 PM »

Does anyone have a guess as to how many hours a diesel genset will last if it is maintained right. Onan, Wrico, Powertech etc.
 
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quantum500
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2008, 06:25:17 PM »

I would guess a minimum of 10k hrs with the high extreme being 100k hrs.  That would be building your own out of a refer power unit with tungsten internals.  Why do you ask?
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luvrbus
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2008, 06:37:32 PM »

most of the RV type generators the bearing in the power head have to be replaced at around 3000 to 4000 hrs the engines will last 15,000 to 20,000 hrs.I had a Powertech one time and the bearings went out at 2000 hrs                             good luck
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 06:48:26 PM by luvrbus » Logged
quantum500
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2008, 06:45:18 PM »

the bearing in the head have to be replaced at around 3000 to 4000 hrs

A cam bearing?  Most if not all are push rod engines.  It would be very surprising to me that there is valve train failures at such low hours.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2008, 06:47:44 PM »

sorry Q500 I was talking about the power head   good luck
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quantum500
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2008, 06:56:06 PM »

Thats what happens when you read too fast!  Grin
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 07:12:31 PM »

I think 10,000 hrs would be good service that is 400,000 in miles, a 100,000 hrs that is 4 million miles I don't know about that one 
have a great evening
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quantum500
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2008, 08:21:09 PM »

a 100,000 hrs that is 4 million miles I don't know about that one 

A busnut somewhere has some experience with the refer power units.  Some of them have tungesten sleeves, pistons, and rings.  I think with that combination 100,000 hrs should be easy.  I'll see if I can find more info on it for any one that is interested.
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HB of CJ
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2008, 08:24:18 PM »

Very good question...ASSUMING proper maintainence, the above answers based upon hard earned personal experience hold up.  However, if the unit has NOT received proper maintainence, then all bets are off.

Bad air cleaner...NO air cleaner....rare oil and filture changes...NO changes, outside storage in weather, climate, sand, rats, rain, salt, corrosion, snow, temp. fluxes; use your imagination.  Oh well.  HB of CJ Smiley Smiley Smiley
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TomC
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2008, 09:14:50 PM »

A friend of mine had a big rig with the 7.5 Powertech with 3 cylinder Kubota.  Engine wise he had to do nothing to it, but had to rebuild the generator once.  It was a good thing since Powertech had since converted from a brush type alternator to a brushless alternator.  After the switch, he had no problems.  When he sold the truck, it had over 23,000hrs on it.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2008, 09:35:16 PM »

How about the gasoline powered ones?  Don't ask why I am curious about this. Roll Eyes

John
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VanTare
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2008, 09:54:30 PM »

Quantum500 I would like any information you can find on what make of engine he uses I have 80 reefer units (Carrier) that I have had Cats,Yanmar,Kubota,Isuzu and M/B engines and yet to have one last 25,000hrs.My new units have Kubota engines and they have cut the rpm by 23% to try and make it last longer.This is very interesting to me to find this out on conversion board you never know.   thanks David
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TomC
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2008, 08:46:30 AM »

I had a 6.5kw Onan commercial with a PTO shaft coming out of the alternator that I ran my A/C with on my big rig truck.  The sleeper was to high for a roof mount, so I made an air conditioning system with the same components (Red Dot) that were in the cab.  With truck driving, you're in a truck stop or parking lot every night without electricity, so having a belt driven A/C rather than electric didn't make any difference.  Besides, it was much more powerful (about 25,000btu's instead of 14,000).  When I ran the generator, I would always have the block heater on, so the generator always had at least a 1500 watt load on it. I had to decarbon it a fews times with spray through the carb, but never had to pull the heads.  It lasted just over 12,000 hours when the oil pump drive broke and it froze up.  Hated the hassles of gasoline- separate fuel, cleaning the spark plugs, adjusting the carb for high altitude, etc.  Good Luck, TomC
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quantum500
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2008, 09:03:20 AM »

Quantum500 I would like any information you can find on what make of engine he uses I have 80 reefer units (Carrier) that I have had Cats,Yanmar,Kubota,Isuzu and M/B engines and yet to have one last 25,000hrs.My new units have Kubota engines and they have cut the rpm by 23% to try and make it last longer.This is very interesting to me to find this out on conversion board you never know.   thanks David

I worked on finding it a little today and had little luck.  It was quite some time ago that I read about it.  If memory serves me right it was a popular engine that could be spec'd with the tungestun parts.  Over 100,000 hours was not unusual.  I'll try to find it tonight when I have more time.  I thought it was very interesting at the time.
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Charles in SC
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2008, 06:45:20 PM »

most of the RV type generators the bearing in the power head have to be replaced at around 3000 to 4000 hrs the engines will last 15,000 to 20,000 hrs.I had a Powertech one time and the bearings went out at 2000 hrs                             good luck

Luvrbus, how does one know that the bearing in the power head has gone bad. I am wondering because I just bought a powertech with 4500 hrs on it. It seems quiet to me.
Thanks
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pickpaul
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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2008, 09:18:48 PM »

The longevity of these gens is a little depressing to me as someone who hopes to fulltime with lots of boondocking running on veggie oil. Has anyone considered installing a Lister engine based generator in a bus? They are specifically designed to go forever with very little maintenance and apparently sip diesel. Just google Lister generator or check out this link for more info...

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001011.php

Cheers, Paul.
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RTS/Daytona
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2008, 04:19:39 AM »

these guys specialize in low maintenance diesel generator

they are VERY popular in europe for Co-generation and heating

see--> http://www.marathonengine.com/index.html
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2008, 05:36:05 AM »

The longevity of these gens is a little depressing to me as someone who hopes to fulltime with lots of boondocking running on veggie oil. Has anyone considered installing a Lister engine based generator in a bus? They are specifically designed to go forever with very little maintenance and apparently sip diesel. Just google Lister generator or check out this link for more info...

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001011.php

Cheers, Paul.


Neet idea and I like Lister engines.  But physical size could be a problem.  Research that aspect carefully before committing to that direction.  Or better yet try to get hands on with one first.  I would love to see it work out though, so if you make it work, please do tell us about it and post pictures.
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2008, 05:52:41 AM »

Onan tried the Lister engine without success in the 1980 era,the point that is being missed here is the duty cycles of the generator some are as low as 30% regardless of the sales hype I never saw one with a 100% cycle for RV use   have a great day
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JackConrad
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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2008, 05:59:22 AM »

Luvrbus, how does one know that the bearing in the power head has gone bad. I am wondering because I just bought a powertech with 4500 hrs on it. It seems quiet to me.
Thanks

  Listen to the bearing using a mechanic's stethoscope with the probe on the end of the generator shaft.  I would go ahead and change the bearing. It is a simple procedure. Just remove the generator end cap, replace bearing and re-install the end cap.  You may need a small bearing puller and a small block of wood  to install the new bearing. The bearing is availablr at NAPA. We keep a spare for our 8 KW Powertech and the Napa part # is 6206-2RSJ  Jack
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junkman42
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« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2008, 06:35:39 AM »

Jack, I have a 10KW powertec and am wondering if the power head has a bearing at both ends of the rotor shaft?  I am somewhat concerned as to bearing condition because of age!  Do You know if the crankshaft supports one end of the rotor?  Thanks John
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TomC
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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2008, 08:49:46 AM »

Usually a direct bolted generator has the engine side supported by the crankshaft and the alternator end has a bearing.

As to Listeroids-granted they can be very long lived, but do you need a generator that will last 40,000hrs (that's running the generator for 8hrs every day for over 13 years)?  Most of us won't need much over 10,000hrs, and over 20,000hrs is already proven for Kubota based generators.

Listeroids are great for running veg oil and for generating power for a remote location where electricity is not available.  But they are extremely heavy (1,500lbs compared to the 10kw I have that is 520lb), they do not have a very sensitive governor, so hertz fluctuation is relatively high [no good for electronics], they are much louder then the present compact Diesels, and can be hard to crank start-although electric is available now.  Then where do you get them worked on if something does go wrong?

Personally-I have a Powertech 10kw that has worked well.  But since Dick Wright with Wrico International is on the west coast in Eugene, Or, I am going to use his 13kw in my truck conversion.  Mainly since he will build the gen the old fashion way with mechanical relays and manual activation of the starting sequence-rather than electronic controls.  Just my preference.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2008, 10:12:42 AM »

Do You know if the crankshaft supports one end of the rotor?  Thanks John

Yes, the engine end is supported by the crankshaft.  I watched PowerTech replace my generator head. There is an adapter plate that bolts onto the flywheel and the engine end of the generator fits in this adapter plate. (actually they installed the generator armature assembly on the flywheel and then installed the main generator case and the rear end plate.  Jack
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