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Old 06-12-2016, 09:30 AM   #1
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Power problems yet again

Headed to MIS Thursday for the races. Came home Friday evening - generator kept overheating and shutting off - was getting so hot the hot metal smell scared us a bit. Called a few places and no one on standby for mobile service to include Onan. Way too hot to try to tough it out. Wife is very soured on camping period now especially in the Voltage.

Brought it home and did lots of reading yesterday. Turns out it appeared to be my choice of running a synthetic oil in it when I changed oil and filter at 40 hours. I changed the oil and filter yesterday putting SAE 30 in it and it ran for over 6 hours yesterday under load without a hiccup.

Only thing I am still fighting now is the Load Management System still occasionally sheds all the loads and then resets itself. We had that last year at the fall race. More an annoyance than anything as you then have reset all the clocks and retune the DirecTV.

Looking for any help on the LMS - called the company last year after I received info from Cale and they were no help.

But people - run SAE 30 in your generators - friend that owns a small engine shop tells me SAE 30 for ANY air cooled engine. The synthetics and other lighter weight oils do not have the cooling properties. I am a believer.
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:04 AM   #2
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I completely agree on the SAE 30. I switched oils prior to my cross country trip last year and had zero problems from the genset. I am using Royal Purple...I may pull a sample and send in for testing on the next change, I am half way through the oil change interval on this one.

Cale
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:44 PM   #3
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I disagree that ALL air cooled engines use 30w oil. My air cooled Harley runs on 20w-50 full synthetic oil, which is THE recommended oil from the maker. In air cooled engines full synthetic oil is the way to go as it doesn't break down under the extreme heat like dino oil does and the engine runs cooler.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:11 PM   #4
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Manufacture of these Onan gens recommend SAE30 for hotter conditions and the guy making the recommendation is a small engine guy not a Harley guy. After my experience the other day and yesterday, I'll only use SAE30 in my small air cooled engines. Also the Onan rep told me that the synthetics just don't have the cooling properties required by these small, enclosed engines. With the syn oil, we thought the gen was going to burn up it was so hot and smelled of hot metal. Governer started surging the engine to the extreme that it was shutting down.

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Old 06-12-2016, 02:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azdryheat View Post
I disagree that ALL air cooled engines use 30w oil. My air cooled Harley runs on 20w-50 full synthetic oil, which is THE recommended oil from the maker. In air cooled engines full synthetic oil is the way to go as it doesn't break down under the extreme heat like dino oil does and the engine runs cooler.
Harley is moving and has air going across at a better rate than a static enclosed generator. I use what the manufacturer recommends. In this case, 30 w it is. Synthetics may or may not provide the necessary heat transfer in smaller engines.

I have a water cooled Honda CH125, I was riding with a buddy of mine one weekend out in the Las Vegas area, he was on an air cooled Lambretta, he was losing power and struggling, the Honda just kept chugging along. Each system has it's advantages and disadvantages.

Aaron
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:57 PM   #6
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Just my humble opinion, but I use what the manufacturer recommends. HD spends hundreds of millions of dollars on R and D. If they say use HD 20-50 synthetic, that's what I use. Same with my Onan generator; Onan oil. Not that much more expensive and you're not changing it all that often anyway.
Rusty
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lcv800 View Post
Just my humble opinion, but I use what the manufacturer recommends. HD spends hundreds of millions of dollars on R and D. If they say use HD 20-50 synthetic, that's what I use. Same with my Onan generator; Onan oil. Not that much more expensive and you're not changing it all that often anyway.
Rusty
I actually will be. 3-4 NASCAR races per year dry camping. One of which is 6 days in stupid-hot Darlington in August. Generator runs 24/7 there. Oil change interval is 150-hours if memory serves...but I am agreeing on the viscosity, just maybe not the brand in all cases

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Old 06-17-2016, 04:31 PM   #8
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May have isolated the issue to the bedroom AC unit. All was running great on the genny in the driveway - main AC, garage AC, electric water heater, TV, both refers, ice maker. Bed room AC compressor kicked and lost power. With only bedroom AC fan on, all is well. I am going to climb on the roof and check my capacitors. I installed a hard start awhile back, so will check all connections as well. Fingers crossed!
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:54 PM   #9
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Narrowed further yet. Out camping this weekend on 30A service. Main and bedroom AC ran fine. LMS did show a spike of 57A when bedroom AC compressor kicked in but she held and ran. So....Only happens when running generator power...

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Old 07-11-2016, 10:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by donzinger View Post
May have isolated the issue to the bedroom AC unit. All was running great on the genny in the driveway - main AC, garage AC, electric water heater, TV, both refers, ice maker. Bed room AC compressor kicked and lost power. With only bedroom AC fan on, all is well. I am going to climb on the roof and check my capacitors. I installed a hard start awhile back, so will check all connections as well. Fingers crossed!
Can you point me in the direction of what CAPs you purchased? How much of a job was it?
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