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Military MEP and Aircraft Gen-Sets MEP Mobile Electric Power, APU Auxiliary Power Unit and other military surplus generators.

Military MEP and Aircraft Gen-Sets

Before I start this generator...


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  #1  
Old 03-13-2013, 09:42 AM
reybo reybo is offline
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Default Before I start this generator...

We finally have our generator sitting alongside the driveway. This 10Kw MEP-003A is in splendid shape. Evidently spent life under cover and was cared for. Trailer also in very good condition.

There is much to learn. For one thing, is there an interlock on the AC circuit breaker, the ganged triple switch to the right of the Reconnection Switch? When the gen's not running, this switch cannot be moved. It's locked in the OFF position. The manual says nothing about this.

Anyone familiar with it?
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:05 AM
dependable dependable is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator ....

I don't think the interlock is stock. Can you post a picture?
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:20 PM
25Eagle34 25Eagle34 is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by reybo View Post
We finally have our generator sitting alongside the driveway. This 10Kw MEP-003A is in splendid shape. Evidently spent life under cover and was cared for. Trailer also in very good condition.

There is much to learn. For one thing, is there an interlock on the AC circuit breaker, the ganged triple switch to the right of the Reconnection Switch? When the gen's not running, this switch cannot be moved. It's locked in the OFF position. The manual says nothing about this.

Anyone familiar with it?
I had the same problem. Try some contact cleaner/WD-40 on the swithch. If that does not work, loosen the screws that hold the rotary swith together a bit and then try it. Both worked for me, so good luck.
Don
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:34 PM
dependable dependable is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator ....

Maybe I misunderstood original post. There is no stock interlock on MEP-003a. There are instructions not to turn reconnection switch while unit is running because this will damage switch.

If your breaker switch is stuck, perhaps try what above poster said.

If your reconnection switch is stuck in one position(mostly they are stuck in 120/208 3 phase), You can often get them to switch by partly removing switch(you do not need to undo the wires) and loosen the nuts on the front plate. This is easier if you remove the fuel tank.

Speaking of fuel, if unit has not been run in years, you should flush tank and change filters. Old gummy fuel can ruin IP.

If you go to Steel Soldiers(I see you already attempted post there) Read the WIKI about the MEP-002a and 003a s. It will tell you most of what you need to know to start out.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:38 PM
Isaac-1 Isaac-1 is online now
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Default Re: Before I start this generator ....

I can't help you on the breaker issue, I do have a MEP-002a which is the little brother of the MEP-003a, while they do have a lot in common I think the output breaker is different, I know I have read the output breaker on the MEP-003a can be adjusted for various trip points depending on if it is used in single or 3 phase operation, I think it uses a shunt trip ran through the CT coils for this function, but again I am not sure.

Since you bought your generator as a running used generator from an individual and not an as is surplus set, we can probably skip a few of those steps you might want to take with an unknown unit, like hand cranking the engine over with a breaker bar to make sure it spins, etc.

In theory you should be able to fill the onboard tank up with fuel, check and top off the oil (most people use common 15W40 diesel rated motor oil, Shell Rotella is popular here), give the wiring / hoses a good once over to make sure nothing came loose in transit and if the batteries are still connected and charged, crank it up. Starting procedure is fairly simple, turn the start knob to pre-heat, hold it there for a few seconds (longer if weather is cold, up to 30 seconds, not needed at all on a hot day), turn knob to run, let it sit for a couple seconds until the fuel pump ticking slows down to show it is primed, then turn to start like starting a car, hold in start position as it cranks and even after it is running until oil pressure comes up, otherwise it may die again like in the video you had. Release knob and set to Run (Run Auxillary is for when you have an external fuel tank connected which will automaticaly refill the main tank when it gets low).

Ike

p.s. installing fresh filters is always a good idea if you don't know when they were last changed, the Fram brand filters mentioned in the wiki can be bought off amazon.com and they have free super saver slow shipping as an option, chances are you don't need to change the air filter, they are massively over sized, designed to work in a sand storm, if yours looks reasonably clean it will probably last for as long as you own the generator.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:45 PM
reybo reybo is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator ....

Thanks guys. Didn't want to force a frozen switch. Contact cleaner did the trick. Good as new. Something to add to the maintenance list.

Been surfing for a camo trailer cover so this blends in with the shrubbery.

Found a 24v equivalent of the solar trickle charger I use to keep up the battery on a seldom run car. Been trouble-free and reliable for 6 years and counting, so I'll try it with the gen.

From batterystuff.com: Power Up 24v 10 Watt Lightweight Unbreakable Solar Charger BSP1024LSS - $114.00 (on the garage roof)

And to control it, Morning Star 24v 10 Amp Waterproof Solar Charge Controller SS10L-24v - $74.00 (mounted near the batteries)

These gens recharge their batteries when they're running but not when they're not.

Registered and tried to post at SteelSoldiers but the site didn't take the post. What I typed didn't show up. So I wrote a message in a text editor and tried to paste it in. The space remained white. Saved it, and the white space was posted!

I've used two dozen or more forums and never saw such a thing before. I don't have patience with that, nor with having rules SHOUTED at me when entering a forum.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:07 PM
Isaac-1 Isaac-1 is online now
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Default Re: Before I start this generator ....

I use a Solargizer IS-24L to maintain the battery on my MEP-701a and my MEP-002a , it provides just enough charge to keep them topped off if located in a mostly sunny area. They commonly sell on ebay for around $50-$75 (this is not to be confused with the older smaller 24V solargizer units)

Here is one seller with buy it now deal

http://ebay.com/itm/IS-24-L-24-Volt-Industrial-Solargizer-BATTERY-CHARGER-/250847284268

There are a couple of others that have used ones listed for less, just make sure they are 24V not the similar looking 12V model.

Ike

ps

better yet these used ones are dirt cheap

http://ebay.com/itm/SOLARGIZER-by-PulseTech-Model-735x150-with-Solar-Panel-/400431621466

also a write up http://www.chargingchargers.com/pulsetech/is-24-l.html
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:30 PM
reybo reybo is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
I use a Solargizer IS-24L to maintain the battery on my MEP-701a and my MEP-002a , it provides just enough charge to keep them topped off if located in a mostly sunny area.
Good for preventing sulfation. These don't have any info about the power output, so I suspect they are .3 watt or less. Checked a bunch of web sites selling this, and none gives the power. The solar panel itself is around 5" x 5" which is tiny.

I like the price, though.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:35 PM
Isaac-1 Isaac-1 is online now
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Default Re: Before I start this generator...

The original solargizers only provided a ripple current with little or no charge, these later ones provide a small charge (I think I have seen 2 watts mentioned somewhere along with the dusulfication ripple). I ran across a link a year or two ago with a report about the testing of these IS-24L solargizers for use on smaller MEP generators by the army. The army tested a handful of MEP-002a and MEP-003a generators (maybe some other newer models too, mostly at Ft. Benning, GA if memory serves as a representative mid US climate location), and maintained detailed records about the charge state over the course of a year or more. As I recall these generators were placed in locations with varying amounts of sunlight / shade and the results were they maintained the charge on all the MEP-002a's and all but 1 of the MEP-003a (The MEP-002a's have smaller batteries), the one MEP-003a that failed to maintain full charge over the test was noted as being in a shaded area. The end conclusions were that the IS-24L can provide enough power to maintain charge on these smaller generators, but may not provide enough power to fully maintain batteries on larger military trucks.

Ike

p.s. on the size note, be aware these use monocrystalline solar cells not the cheaper amorphous solar cells more commonly found on lower end consumer solar charger products, and therefore generate about 1.5 times the power per sq inch

Last edited by Isaac-1; 03-13-2013 at 10:48 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2013, 11:16 PM
coyote62ny coyote62ny is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator...

there are a couple things that have not been noted here . never let a military genset idle period as soon as it starts you pull out the throttle and run up to 1800 rpm or 60 hertz. if you idle or run below 60hertz you are going to blow the voltage regulator. never use napa/wix crap filters in these sets they are not of the correct length and dont seal inside the fuel filter cans. napa filters they said crossed to the fram filters were 1/8 inch to short no good the napa oil filter dont fit the can and you have to modify the inside filter fingers then the fram filters dont fit. correct fram oil filter is a ch6pl fuel filters are c1125pl these can be had on line race mart has them. buy a good supply because if your fuel filters plug up or jell in the cold you will need new ones. and during a power outage is a bad time to decide that you should have bought spares. the fuel tanks on the 003 have a baffle in the tank and it is almost impossable to get every bit of crap out of the tanks unless you cut the baffle out. once you get it set at 60hertz leave the throttle at this setting and dont move it start and stop the generator at 1800 rpm this will save you having trouble with the voltage regulator running under 60 hertz would affect the ac regulator this can happen the first time you mess up and idle the engine.these are great gen sets i ran mine last month for 6 hours and it used 3 1/2 gallons of fuel at about 25% load .
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:56 PM
Isaac-1 Isaac-1 is online now
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Default Re: Before I start this generator...

While we are on the subject of filters, also note the bottom of the 3 fuel pumps will unscrew and there is a strainer filter in each, older style strainers were mesh in a plastic basket, newer ones the military have been using are made from pourous ceramic, looks like a 1-2 inch section of pipe made from styrofoam. The mesh style ones can generally be back flushed to clean and should not need replacement unless torn. Make sure to check these as a lot of people forget they are there.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:12 AM
reybo reybo is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator...

Thanks Coyote & Isaac,

Was hoping for heads-up advice like that. Tempting to just start it and watch it run but those hasty days are over. Don't recall what I last destroyed in ignorance but whatever it was, it taught me patience.

There are additives that absorb water and dissolve fuel tank crud. I have half a case of ComStar Super Heat that we use to treat the heating oil tank. 1/2 cup or so in the gen 10 gal tank once a year or so seems in order.

The company making the Solargizer discontinued them, but this guy seems to have bought up all the new ones left. He's starting at $47.50/$14.50 shipping but make an offer. He has more than 10. I offered $30 just now. Should get a response tomorrow.

http://ebay.com/itm/24-volt-Solar-Battery-Maintenance-System-IS-24-L-Solorgizer-735-x-150-/140931003833
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:17 AM
Isaac-1 Isaac-1 is online now
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Default Re: Before I start this generator...

They must have just discontinued these, looking at the Pulsetech fall 2012 catalog they show all the new 24V solar chargers as larger 6 watt models (12V models still available in 2 and 5 watt though), I know the IS-24L was still shown in the 2012 spring catalog along side the newer 6 watt model, my local battery distributor is a Pulsetech dealer, and I got stranded at their office one day last summer when the starter went out on my truck so had nothing better to do than read the Pulsetech catalog while waiting on a tow truck (ended up giving up on the tow truck after they closed and walked the 1.5 miles home, but at least it was a nice day for a walk).

Ike
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:39 AM
reybo reybo is offline
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You gotta like a company like Pulsetech that uses an Indian motorcycle on its catalog cover.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:51 AM
bitsnpieces1 bitsnpieces1 is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator...

Here's a company I use. Not cheap but good.
24vdc, 1,2&4amp with desulfator. They also have a 5 watt and 15 watt solar setup.

http://batteryminders.com/details.php?prod=24041
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:20 PM
coyote62ny coyote62ny is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator...

reybo i bought my filters from racemart ch6pl 4.90 each fuel filters c1125pl 6.09 each. you should start and run your gen set under a load for an hour or so once a month this keeps the batteries up and the fuel from setting in the lines and pumps and the injection pump. also keep your fuel tank as full as possable. if you dont use all the fuel in the tank in 1 year drain it and put it in your heating oil tank then refill your tank it must get cold in your area so i would put about 4 gallons of kerosene in the tank and fill with diesel fuel . this will keep your fuel from jelling in the winter months. in the winter is when i use my gen set the most.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:41 AM
reybo reybo is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator...

Quote:
Originally Posted by reybo View Post
The company making the Solargizer discontinued them, but this guy seems to have bought up all the new ones left. He's starting at $47.50/$14.50 shipping but make an offer. He has more than 10. I offered $30 just now. Should get a response tomorrow.

http://ebay.com/itm/24-volt-Solar-Battery-Maintenance-System-IS-24-L-Solorgizer-735-x-150-/140931003833
He accepted the $30.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:01 PM
reybo reybo is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator...

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Originally Posted by coyote62ny View Post
it must get cold in your area so i would put about 4 gallons of kerosene in the tank and fill with diesel fuel. this will keep your fuel from jelling in the winter months. in the winter is when i use my gen set the most.
Coyote, are you saying put 4 gallons kerosene in the built-in 10-gallon fuel tank? Make a mix of 4 gals kerosene to 6 gals diesel? Is that normal? In central Virginia at 600-ft elevation it's seldom below 20 degrees F.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:18 PM
coyote62ny coyote62ny is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator...

it is normal here in up state ny they do mix kerosene in with diesel fuel at a ratio of 70%diesel fuel and 30% kerosene. but you should be ok if it only gets down in the 20s its when it gets down to +10 or colder that diesel fuel jells this plugs the fuel filters instantly. we always mix the fuel on the farm i have next door . i have rebuilt almost all of his john deere 404 engines in the tractors. but they had 35000 hrs on 3 of them and they had bearing problems on 2 and one had leaking sleeve o rings letting water in the oil so we just went through the engines and rebuilt them. now he has 3 like new tractors they start at 0 degrees with no starting fluid and they dont have glow plugs i think the newest tractor is a 1974 . on that gen set that is one thing you NEVER USE IS STARTING FLUID on these gen sets if they dont start find out why. these sets wont start without the glow plugs. i have to use the glow plugs for 30 seconds even in the summer. you should use a product called power service in your fuel all the time i also add 4 ounces of automatic trans fluid to my 003s fuel when i fill the tank. new diesel fuel has the sulfer removed and very little lubrication in this new fuel . this will cause excessive wear in the injection pump and also valve guides. these sets can be ran on jp-4 and jp-8 jet fuel BUTthe manual says only in an extream emergency the jet fuel makes them run hotter and i dont think it has the lubrication that these engines require. they will run on kero BUT DONT DO IT only in an extream emergency no lubrication in kero . you should get all 3 tech manuals on the mep-003 you can down load them from the steel soldiers web site and i think they are freebut you have to sighn up to the site it dont cost you anything and there are a lot of anolageable people there.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:02 PM
reybo reybo is offline
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Default Re: Before I start this generator...

Quote:
Originally Posted by coyote62ny View Post
you should get all 3 tech manuals on the mep-003 you can down load them from the steel soldiers web site and i think they are freebut you have to sighn up to the site it dont cost you anything and there are a lot of anolageable people there.
Downloaded the manuals, and bought a printed copy of the Technical Maintenance Manual TM5-6115-585-12. Also bought a 400-page manual for the trailer because it was cheap.
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