Help with generators available by me

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Harbin, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    This is directed at BT, but please chime in if you know about these or have opinions. We've been without power for about 30 hours and so far they are saying it won't be back on until Thursday (bad storms on Sunday). While we are doing fine with a Honda 10kw gas, I've made it a priority to get on the look out for a quality diesel generator and came up with 2 options so far. I'm not in any urgent need, these are just the first 2 that came up. Please let me know if I'm looking in the right direction and what a reasonable price would be.

    Option 1: 10KW Caterpillar 1800RPM- comes with an enclosure. 1200 hrs. $2500

    Option 2: 15kw military diesel on a trailer. I think for me this would come off the trailer. puts out single or 3 phase power, 220 or 440V. Unknown hours at this point (haven't called yet) Lots of options here, not that I need 3 phase... $4500 Cat generator 1. Cat generator. 15kw generator 1.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    If it were MY money I would go with the CAT for $2.5K... The two X-Mil Units are MEP-003A's most likely... These are ONAN DJF Engines married to some Mil-Spec Genend. Good Units but way overpriced for what they actually are. A few Decades back, I used a Pair of Onan DJC's to generate power here. These are the earlier version of the DJF. Goos solid Gensets and are 1800ROM as well. Parts for the ONANs are getting harder to find these days. If you are looking for Manuals for the MEP002A, goto Antique Engines Antique Tractors Steam Engines and Old Iron in the Military Genset forum.
    (or send me an PM with a valid eMail Address that can accept Large Attachments, as I have these manuals in my Archive)
    Lots of links and Posts on that series of MIL Gensets.
    ANY CAT Dealer can get parts for the CAT, and they have a Worldwide Parts Network. 10Kw will easily run ANY single Family Outfit, and could also supply your local neighbors as well, if you watch the Loading and Load Share the power some.
  3. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    Sweet, thanks BT! Any ideas on how fair of a price that is for the Cat or how long I can hope she runs before a rebuild? I'm beyond an*l when it comes to maintenance and using high end lubes (Amsoil for me).

    And in case this works out, what spare parts do you suggest keeping on hand for something like this?

    I also notice on the name plate it shows a power factor of .8- on gensets does that mean the 10kw rating is surge and it's really 8kw continuous?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Spares are usually 4 Sets of Filters. (Fuel- Primary and Secondary, LubeOil, and Air) Set of Injectors. Set of Glow Plugs, if the Unit has them. 2 Sets of Belts. One complete change of antiFreeze, along with Anti-Cavitation Solution. Set of Coolant Hoses. Junk the Amsoil, and go with any of the 15W40 MultiGrade LubeOils from any of the Major Oil Companies. (Chevron, (Delo) Shell, etc) Do the REQUIRED Operational Maintenance, (LubeOil Changes, & Filter Changes) as recommended by the OEM. That CAT, with 1200 Operational Hours, isn't even Broken in yet. I figure you can get 20K Operational Hours before you have to do the Heads, and 40K Operational Hours before you need to do and InFrame Rebuild. I would also put a Racor 2020 (10 Micron) Fuel Filter out on the Main Tank, just to be Safe. Water in the Fuel, is the Killer on Diesel Engines. If you get the CAT, and want to setup the Fuel System, properly, let me know and I can send you a diagram of my System, which has an Backup Polished Fuel Supply, should you get a load of contaminated fuel from your supplier. (Yea, it does happen) Do NOT sweat the PowerFactor.... That just means that it will put out 10Kw into a .8 Lead, or Lag, Load. (Inductive,(Motors) or Capitative (Florescent Lights) Not an issue for you, Unless you have a 10 KW Machine Shop, or the LIKE, at you Home Digs....
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    Silversnake likes this.
  5. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    Not a fan of Asmoil specifically or just don't think it's any better than the others?

    Thanks for the info, now i know I'm looking in the right direction. In your opinion is the Cat a really good deal i should jump at or just average?
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    LubeOil is the cheapest Insurance, money can buy. Change it regularly with a Good Grade of Oil, and your engine will outlast your Grandchildren. No need to spend extra on Fancy Oil. It buys you nothing over a good Grade of 15W40. Much better than an average deal.... You likely will not find a quality Genset in that Size for less money. Especially one that is not even Broken in yet, if it really only has 1200 Operational Hours.
  7. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    Called about the Cat last night and was told price was now $5,000. Either they figured out it was a great deal, or the area being without power for a few days made them raise the price substantially. So I'm looking elsewhere.

    I see those MEP 003As avaialble pretty readily, any thoughts on those? Are they worth getting if I find a good price or should look elsewhere?

    Thanks for the tip on the oil too, I wondered if it was really that much better than any of the other oils.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    The MEP003A's are Air Cooled engines. Onan built MANY versions from the basic Design. There are 1, 2, and 4 Cyl versions, (3Kw, 6Kw and 12Kw) in both Air and Liquid Cooled, all using the Basic Common Parts List. They are worth what the Guys is asking, but do you really need two of them? They have basic Operational Lifetimes of about 1/2 the CAT Gensets. Solid design, and would do what you need in a Backup Operation, with no issues.
  9. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    Thanks again BT, the info you've given is greatly appreciated- but as expected I've got a few more questions. I'm narrowing my searches, roughly 7-10kw, Diesel only, nothing chinese.

    Any brands you know to avoid? I know to watch for Lister, Cat, Onan, and the MEP units. Any thoughts on Isuzu, Perkins, or Kubota?

    You said the Cats last longer than the MEP models, any thoughts on life expectancy for the other manufactures? I did find the Perkins model had a 20-30K hour life expectancy. Is that normal or a gross exageration?

    Also, any sources you recommend for fuel tanks? I've only found 1 and found the tanks can cost more than the generator.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Isuzu, Perkins, and Kubota are all reputable OEMs, that will have comparable Operational Lifetimes. Listers are GREAT engines, HOWEVER Rebuild Parts are very expensive. I sold a 12Kw 3 Cyl Lister Water Cooled Genset with an Extended Run LubeOil Sump. It was from a Remote Telecom Site, and ran 24/7/365, unattended for 6 months at a time. The LubeOil Sump held 150USG of 15W40 LubeOil, so that it needed to be changed only every 6 months. This engine had 140K Operational Hours on it and had be InFrame Rebuilt every 40K Hours, thru it's whole life. It was pulled out, only because the Site Load was increased to 15Kw, when they added a second Cellular Radio System, to the Site. It now runs a Remote Lodge in Alaska, and is still going strong. Deals are out there, you just have to look around.

    PM me an eMail Address, and I will send you a write-up on my Fuel System, that runs my Outfit here.....
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