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Old 06-05-2013, 07:46 AM   #1
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Holy Crap - Onan Quiet Diesel Generator Service

Ain't it funny how time slips away? When I bought our Sportscoach last year, the first thing I did was service the chassis and engine right around 4000 miles since it had NEVER been serviced. I took it to Speedco and was going to have them service the generator at the same time but they didn't have the filters in stock, so I just thought I'll do that myself. The generator had 50 hours on the clock.

So, here I am one year later and it still wasn't done. We're preparing to leave on a cross-country trip and a few weeks and this was definitely on the list of things to do. So, I gathered the air filter, oil filter and oil and set to work.

Air filter probably didn't need to be changed. The manual calls for a change at 500 hours and mine looked good, but I replaced it anyway.

Then there's the oil filter. I could see it easily, but didn't have an oil filter wrench small enough to fit it. It tried a rubber strap adjustable wrench and there wasn't enough room to wrench it. I tried a pair of channel locks which only succeeded in mangling up the end of the filter. Crappit

Then, I became concerned that my replacement filter wasn't correct. It's MUCH bigger than what was on the unit. Still, part numbers seemed to match but still I worried.

Gave up and went to Autozone yesterday to see what I could find. I found a little three-finger wrench that looked like it would work. Brought that home and struggled for about 30 minutes trying to get that filter off. Finally, it started turning but I got almost 3/4 a turn on it before I could move it by hand.

Finally got the new on in place, filled the unit with oil and tested. Everything good. I logged the change in my maintenance records and was SHOCKED to see the generator has 386 hours on the clock now. Onan recommends first change at 50 hours, then another at 150. Definitely a maintenance fail on my part.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:13 AM   #2
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Ha. We bought our coach in November. It had 16,xxx miles with 130 hours on the generator. Just did the 3rd oil change on the engine and the 2nd on the generator. The coach now has 26,xxx and the generator is at 635 hours. lol AND we're headed out tomorrow for a 2000+ mile trip.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:00 PM   #3
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Sorry but how did it go from 50 hours to 386hrs?
tim
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:05 PM   #4
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Craftsman Universal Wrench, Auto-Adjustable: Save Time With Sears

This filter wrench is amazing.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:37 PM   #5
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That's one one year of ownership does

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Sorry but how did it go from 50 hours to 386hrs?
tim
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:37 PM   #6
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That's pretty much exactly what I purchased from Autozone.

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Old 06-05-2013, 08:26 PM   #7
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it's a heck of a lot easier to just take out about a dozen short bolts and remove the green cowl. then you can actually clean all the oil off the parts and it won't leave the little hatch a mess.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topdownman View Post
Ain't it funny how time slips away? When I bought our Sportscoach last year, the first thing I did was service the chassis and engine right around 4000 miles since it had NEVER been serviced. I took it to Speedco and was going to have them service the generator at the same time but they didn't have the filters in stock, so I just thought I'll do that myself. The generator had 50 hours on the clock.

So, here I am one year later and it still wasn't done. We're preparing to leave on a cross-country trip and a few weeks and this was definitely on the list of things to do. So, I gathered the air filter, oil filter and oil and set to work.

Air filter probably didn't need to be changed. The manual calls for a change at 500 hours and mine looked good, but I replaced it anyway.

Then there's the oil filter. I could see it easily, but didn't have an oil filter wrench small enough to fit it. It tried a rubber strap adjustable wrench and there wasn't enough room to wrench it. I tried a pair of channel locks which only succeeded in mangling up the end of the filter. Crappit

Then, I became concerned that my replacement filter wasn't correct. It's MUCH bigger than what was on the unit. Still, part numbers seemed to match but still I worried.

Gave up and went to Autozone yesterday to see what I could find. I found a little three-finger wrench that looked like it would work. Brought that home and struggled for about 30 minutes trying to get that filter off. Finally, it started turning but I got almost 3/4 a turn on it before I could move it by hand.

Finally got the new on in place, filled the unit with oil and tested. Everything good. I logged the change in my maintenance records and was SHOCKED to see the generator has 386 hours on the clock now. Onan recommends first change at 50 hours, then another at 150. Definitely a maintenance fail on my part.
Congratulations! You've passed the Onan "new user service test". Your post brought back fond memories from my first gen service on a 2000 model!

Test Part One: Yikes! This replacement filter looks way different than what's on there. Spend (waste) some time confirming that the part# is right. (It probably is...for some reason, they put a small non-standard filter on at the factory).

Test Part Two: Nothing in my shop will grip on this teenie little filter. Spend (waste) some time finding/purchasing an appropriate device to loosen the filter.

Test Part Three: Apparently, Igor the filter tightening person/bot was still working on the line in 2007, and you discover he/she/it has tightened the teenie filter to about 110 ft/lbs and that your new teenie filter wrench might not be up to the task, but with perseverance, you get it done...you've won!

After that, it's a walk in the park!

Cheers,
tfw
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:49 AM   #9
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It is a shame that your Speedco did not have the filters in stock.

My Speedco always has the fuel, air and oil filters and charges me less than what I can buy the parts and oil from the Onan distributor here in Fort Lauderdale.

Went through what you went through when I did it myself.

You forgot the part about the wind blowing the old oil in your face after removing the drain plug (LOL).

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Old 06-06-2013, 07:06 AM   #10
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Boy, you guys pretty much nailed the experience, the Test Part One, Two and Three was dead on. I DID spend some time checking part numbers on the filter because the new one was so much bigger. Finally, I found in the Onan manual where it states that the replacement filter is different. Thanks for the bit of info Mr. Onan

No wind, but the oil dripping down my arm into my armpit was interesting.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topdownman View Post
Boy, you guys pretty much nailed the experience, the Test Part One, Two and Three was dead on. I DID spend some time checking part numbers on the filter because the new one was so much bigger. Finally, I found in the Onan manual where it states that the replacement filter is different. Thanks for the bit of info Mr. Onan

No wind, but the oil dripping down my arm into my armpit was interesting.
TEST #4 - you discover it's time to change the fuel filter ... you are no longer complaining about the oil filter ...
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:53 AM   #12
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Really, is that bad? I can see that pretty easily, it looked easy. It's the belt change at 1000 hours that concerns me.

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TEST #4 - you discover it's time to change the fuel filter ... you are no longer complaining about the oil filter ...
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:09 AM   #13
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Really, is that bad? I can see that pretty easily, it looked easy. It's the belt change at 1000 hours that concerns me.

You will need to pinch the rubber fuel lines .... vice grips wrapped with electrical tape work. Still, be prepared for a diesel bath. If you don't pinch the lines it will have continuous flow.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:58 AM   #14
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Well that's just freakin awesome. Thanks for the tip.

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You will need to pinch the rubber fuel lines .... vice grips wrapped with electrical tape work. Still, be prepared for a diesel bath. If you don't pinch the lines it will have continuous flow.
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