Small Diesel Generator

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by BenP, Jun 18, 2018.


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  1. BenP

    BenP Monkey

    I am looking for a small diesel generator to supplement my off-grid solar setup when needed. I have been using an Onan 5CCK but it often will not start without some TLC and the ignition module went out recently which has me in the mood to try something different. I am looking for something low-rpm that I can automatically start from inside the house. My RV generator has one wire and when you connect it to 12vdc it start and runs until you disconnect the 12vdc. Something like that would be ideal.

    Diesel would be nice but is not critical and I don't need it to generate tons of power, 2000w 240v would be plenty or I have seen some 28vdc models that would work. There used to be a guy who sold military surplus generators around here (KY) on craigslist but I cannot find him now. If you know of anyone around Kentucky with something that might fit the bill please let me know or if you have any suggestions for a big box store model I would love to hear it.
     
    Motomom34 and sec_monkey like this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Poke around on ebay, there's a slew of them there, but it'll take some searching to find one to suit anywhere near you. Odds are that a diesel on a 2000 watt unit will be scarce.
     
    sec_monkey and BenP like this.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Start watching the SmokStak Forum Page, on the Smokestack.com Site, for an Onan DJA 3Kw... or an MDJA 3Kw which is a Water Cooled version... I bought all of mine for less than $500US plus shipping.... If you get the MDJA you can mount a Radiator with an Electric Fan in the Cabin and use the waste heat from the Cooling System to supplement the Cabin Heat in winter.... These little guys PUT Along, all day long, at 1800 Rpm, on one USG of #2 Diesel....
     
    sec_monkey, Gator 45/70 and BenP like this.
  4. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    An 1800 rpm 3kw for $500?
    How?
     
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Not a Chinese Piece of C**P... These are American Made, right up until Onan sold out to Cummins in the late 90's... They built the J Series for over 5 decades, and there are literally "TONS" of them around.., USED... The whole Series Use a Common Base Set of Parts, similar to the Way the 53 & 71 Series Detroit's were designed... They came in Air Cooled, & Water Cooled versions, Gasoline, Gaseous, or Diesel Fueled, and 1 Cy, 3Kw, 2 Cyl 6-7.5Kw, and 4cyl 12-17.5Kw versions... Like I stated above I own 3 of the DJA Gensets. 1 Air-cooled (DJA) and two Water cooled (MDAJ) and a 15Kw Gasoline Fueled 4 Cyl Radiator Cooled, on a Trailer... They are ALL 1800 Rpm Units, and with good Maintenance they will outlast your Grandchildren.... Nothing wrong with a nice Onan CCK... They suck a bit of Gas but are Strong runners... and came in 2.5Kw 3, 4, and 5Kw versions... A couple of my neighbors have CCK's that run their whole Outfits...
     
    Alf60, Dont, sec_monkey and 3 others like this.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Used, (not recent pricing) and high supply, low demand. Snowflakes don't like to do maintenance, they would rather buy new, light weight, disposable, and kill it in short order by not taking care.
     
    Alf60, Dont, sec_monkey and 3 others like this.
  7. BenP

    BenP Monkey

    I like my 5CCK, it is quiet and I used it to build my house. It does suck the fuel though and the starting portion of the generator head does not work well, it will spin up until it hits the compression stroke and stop, then I have to manually spin it past TDC and it will usually take off and start cranking on it's own. Doesn't seem to matter what size batteries I use. I don't mind it too much but it is a pain when it's dark and raining and I'm out there struggling with it. I use a rope on it now and pull start it while I'm holding down the start switch to get it spinning. It was a propane model that I converted to gas, my wife's uncle found it under a pile of wood at a house he bought and sold it to me.
     
    Dont, sec_monkey and Gator 45/70 like this.
  8. Tempstar

    Tempstar Praeclarum Site Supporter+

    Been looking to do 3kw of diesel power myself. Was going to build one with an ST head but finding an affordable 10-12 hp diesel engine has been my problem.
     
  9. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    @BenP You should do some snooping over on Smokstak.com, in the Onan Forum... One of the First Things you learn over there is when you have an "Exciter Cranked" Genset, It take a "Big Fook'en Battery" that is good and HOT, to crank them for very long... That is NOT the most efficient way to crank an engine, by ANY MEANS.... and Be advised the DJA and MDJA Onans use the same 3Kw Exciter Cranking Genend as the CCKs... Down at my Beach Cabin, I have an Old .Mil Hollingsworth 3Kw Gasoline Genset, that is used to Charge the 8D Battery on the Onan DJA Diesel 3Kw Genset... I start the Gas Rig and charge the 8D for 30 Minutes before I try and start the DJA... the DJA has a Compression Release Solenoid that helps a lot on cranking, but it still takes a HOT Battery to be able to heat the GlowPlug and Intake Manifold Heater, for 5 minutes before you crank it, at 20F... AT -10F, I plug in the Hair Dryer to the Gas Genset, and blow Hot Air down the Intake Manifold, as well... Once the Onan is going it will start up with Nothing but a crank... but when COLD, especially if the 15W40 LubeOil is also COLD, it takes a bit of doing to get it lit Off.... All these tricks have been learned over the last 30+ years of owning the DJA Series Gensets in Alaska...
     
    Gator 45/70, BenP and techsar like this.
  10. I think you might be happy with an MEP-802A (or an MEP-002A if you dont mind a bit more noise). I might know a guy in the KY/TN area, if you want some info on machine availability.
     
    Gator 45/70 and BenP like this.
  11. BenP

    BenP Monkey

    I started looking at military generators and I think the 501A might work, 2000w diesel, electric start, voltage is adjustable from 26.6-32vdc. It is the perfect voltage to charge my batteries. We usually use about 300w, that jumps up to 600-700w if the refrigerator and water heater are running at the same time but we rarely every break 1000w. Have you seen any of these floating around? I don't like that it is 3600rpm but everything else looks good.
     
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    MEP002A is an Onan DJE Engine 1800 Rpm, driving someone else Genend... .MIL RATED @ 5KW, where the Onan DJE Gensets are rated @ 7.5Kw....
     
    3M-TA3 and BenP like this.
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    @BenP
    You will never be unhappy having more a more snorty gennie than you need. If you can find an 002A, get it. Later, get another one just like it for the commonality of parts. Two is One, One is NONE.
     
    Gator 45/70, BTPost and BenP like this.
  14. BenP

    BenP Monkey

    I will keep my eyes open for one nearby.
     
  15. BenP

    BenP Monkey

    How much $$$?
     
  16. BenP

    BenP Monkey

    I tore into my Onan CCK tonight and found the points were dirty, back in business now.
     
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  17. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Lack of lube & maintenance !!
    Get off the tit if your going to be SS or off the grid .
    Set a log book up for all servicing & when !,,,, Genset in summer ,cuz it's not used . ETC.
    use a system (mine is small magnet with a bright orange streamer saying drained & serviced) Meaning , fuel out & oil / lubed / checked all over , Just add fuel !!! .

    For service reminders , I use a small magnet & yellow streamer tape & state next to be done .
    Only way I can do this because we get so much to do here on the ranch.

    Sloth

    Diesel Points ? dwell is ?
     
    oldawg likes this.
  18. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Nope, or at least I don't think so. CCK is gas.
    \
    \I keep logs on stuff that needs upkeep. Saves me ID10T errors.
     
  19. BenP

    BenP Monkey

    The CCK is gas and I have not been maintaining it well since I started building our house. I did pour a pad for it and I need to move it out of the drive way to its new home. It has been cloudy and raining for a few days and my panels are not keeping up. I will try to get more up tomorrow night.
     
  20. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    I'm up at 4 am , light breakfast , and start moving , I need an hour to become a spider man on my roof installing panels .
    By 730 -8am I have to be off if the sun is out .
    I cook up there & since I glow in the dark , I don't do well .
    6 more strings of 3 to install
    Sloth
     
    BenP likes this.
  1. Asia-Off-Grid
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  5. Asia-Off-Grid
    Resource

    Generator FAQ 2001

    Generator FAQ, By Steve Dunlop. [img]
    Posted By: Asia-Off-Grid, Jul 19, 2018 in category: Energy
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