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Old 01-14-2022, 01:24 PM   #1
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Genset carburetor replacement..Don't waste your money

I'll admit I was lax on exercising my generator (Onan 5500 QG) but that shouldn't be $600-$1000 fix. That was the range of quotes I got to repair it from 3 different RV shops in the Phoenix area.

Cummins website has the carb for $412.80 part #541-0765. Look I'm all for buying American (although not sure the carb is made in the US) but when you can get the carb from Amazon for $58.69 it's pretty hard justify.

The carb received from Amazon was a perfect replacement, it took less than 15 minutes to replace and all you need is a 10mm nut driver, phillips screw driver and needle noze pliers to put the linkage spring back on. Primed it and if fired right up!

I wonder if those RV shops would have even installed a genuine Cummins part?
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Old 01-14-2022, 01:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Triple H View Post
I'll admit I was lax on exercising my generator (Onan 5500 QG) but that shouldn't be $600-$1000 fix. That was the range of quotes I got to repair it from 3 different RV shops in the Phoenix area.

Cummins website has the carb for $412.80 part #541-0765. Look I'm all for buying American (although not sure the carb is made in the US) but when you can get the carb from Amazon for $58.69 it's pretty hard justify.

The carb received from Amazon was a perfect replacement, it took less than 15 minutes to replace and all you need is a 10mm nut driver, phillips screw driver and needle noze pliers to put the linkage spring back on. Primed it and if fired right up!

I wonder if those RV shops would have even installed a genuine Cummins part?
I would suspect that they would indeed use a genuine Cummins (onan) carb for the reason that they likely could purchase it for a whole lot less than retail and then make more money overall by charging you the retail price for the carb (or any similar parts) . I don't know this for sure in this case and in fact they (some shops that are not all that honorable imo) may try to charge the customer the price of a genuine part while using a part that cost 10x less.

If\when mine needs a new carb, I plan to do like you did and I think for most of us here with the ability to change a carb would do the same. I have read where some here still prefer the genuine parts even if they cost more, but I am not of that mindset as long as the non-genuine parts are of decent quality and ~ten times less expensive. ~CA
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Old 01-14-2022, 04:58 PM   #3
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I needed a carb for me EZGO golf cart. I called EZGO and spoke to a parts person. The said the cab was out of stock and was $149.95. He gave me the part number and told me to check in a week and order it online. I put the part number in Amazon and got the carb for $39.95. It was the oem carb.
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Old 01-14-2022, 05:07 PM   #4
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I've been doing this for years with my small engines. I don't even fool with cleaning or rebuilding carbs any more. Less than $20 and I get a new carb, fuel filter, and spark plug.
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Old 01-14-2022, 05:30 PM   #5
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Yep my 4000 onan got a 31.83 unit.... I paid $400 for genny to replace a bad one.. I used it for 2 years then it surged, cleaned, fiddled,,, OE was 380ish retail.. my brother works for distributer,, his employee cost was 239... Still wow.

The one I got fit, fine.. Fired up. required a small speed adjustment and a choke adjust in below 30 weather,,

Many knock off use crappy metal and may get messy with prolonged non use..

I dump in bottle of startron in my tank prior to storage, run genny 4-6 weeks anyway..
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Old 01-14-2022, 05:32 PM   #6
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Those $60 carburetors are Chinese knock offs, quality is highly variable, jetting is often out of spec, and most don't use soft point needles like the genuine Nikki built Cummins Onan OEM carburetors which are built in Japan.
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Old 01-14-2022, 05:34 PM   #7
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$20 is a bit low for a new carb. For the cost of a quart of carburetor cleaner, remove your carb, disassemble at least into the major components and soak overnight in carb cleaner. Always works for me: lawn mowers, motorcycles, Honda generators, etc.

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Old 01-14-2022, 05:44 PM   #8
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If you have mild mechanical skills, a carb can be cleaned out pretty easily with Minimal tools and 5$ in carb cleaner.
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Old 01-15-2022, 11:04 PM   #9
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If you have mild mechanical skills, a carb can be cleaned out pretty easily with Minimal tools and 5$ in carb cleaner.
I've had very good luck cleaning carbs with carburetor cleaner. Taking them apart and spraying into every little orifice I can find usually does the trick. I will add though, unless you have a rebuild kit at the ready, you have to be careful not to tear a gasket when taking a carburetor apart. Those gaskets sometimes stick and won't come off without a fight.
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Old 01-16-2022, 08:44 PM   #10
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I used to make extra money in the spring cleaning gummed up carburetors on motorcycles that folks had put up over the winter. So cleaning carbs is second nature to me. I have a little Honda motorcycle that lost a carb part on the trail somewhere and I couldn't find a replacement part anywhere. But I could find a whole replacement Chinese carb for astoundingly cheap. I figured there is no way it can ven any good for that little money but I took a shot. It works great.
I had another little bike with carburetor issues from being put up with old gas and generally just being pretty old. Went shopping and sure enough, I could get a brand new carb for under twenty bucks. Like a no-brainer. Just a rebuild kit for the original carb cost more than that. It also works great.

So I would think nothing of putting such a carb on my Onan. If I needed to. There may be some minor differences you'd want to watch for but no big deal.
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Old 01-17-2022, 07:49 AM   #11
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I've been through 2 of the cheap carbs on my 4000. I have an OEM sitting in the box waiting for the the last cheap carb to die.

The first cheap carb puked it's own guts out after 50 hours. The second won't fail in so I could have full use of the genny. It will allow me to have low to middle load or middle to high load, but not low to high load on the genny.

I hope you get longer lasting versions than I did.

I will go back to OEM and clean if need. I put a shut off valve in the fuel line and now I just run the genny out of gas each time I'm done with it (for any extended length of time).

I also try to only buy non-ethanol fuel, but the closest station with 87 ne is 60 miles away.
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Old 01-18-2022, 04:21 AM   #12
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My experience was the same as the OP. My temperamental 7,000 Onan wouldn't run more than 30 seconds, even after cleaning the carburetor. Replaced it with a $60 Amazon carb and it has never run better.
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Old 01-18-2022, 06:43 AM   #13
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I have not tried this yet, but others have reported good success with using an ultrasonic cleaner on small engine carbs. I own a suitable cleaner, but I haven't had to do anything with a carb lately.
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Old 01-20-2022, 09:15 PM   #14
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A carb kit (partial, no float or choke parts) for my 23yo is $43-$175.00 today online, but carb complete $77-$97...Hmmmmm? Good I do not need, but better than the $350 x2yrs ago?
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