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Old Onan Welder


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  #1  
Old 03-05-2006, 02:22 PM
djenkins_f150 djenkins_f150 is offline
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Question Old Onan Welder

Hopefully somebody here can help me out with what I need to know. I recently acquired an older Onan welder. It appears to be an Onan welder that was rebadged by the Nation Gas Cylinder Company. It is painted an UGLY shade of yellow. I have looked high and low and not been able to find anything that identifies the engine, but I believe it is a CCK engine.
I am trying to figure out a better way to start this thing. There are two notches in the crankshaft pulley that I have been putting a rope through and then pulling. I have also been using a cordless drill. The first method is hard on me and the second method is hard on my drill. I have heard that some of these old Onans had a self-exciter instead of a starter. Is there any way to tell if I have this feature? There is no battery on this welder, but I am definitely not opposed to adding one.
Thanks in advance to anybody who can help with this. I would like to use this welder more, but my poor arm is going to fall off if I keep pull-starting it.

Daniel
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2006, 02:41 PM
Beavisz Beavisz is offline
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

can you send or post a picture ?
if it was indeed an internal winding start the notches on the pulley were for a suicide crank. if your starting it with a drill or rope pull its most likely not a CW or CCk as the compression would be too much to turn fast enough to start.
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Old 03-05-2006, 03:24 PM
Big Six Big Six is offline
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

djenkins:

The experts can help you with the generator section, no doubt. But perhaps I can save you some trouble getting the engine going.

If you're pulling enough to wear yourself out, and getting zero response, odds are it would have started already, if it could have. I.e., if it's not even firing, it's probably not going to start no matter what you spin it with, as something's amiss.

You didn't say if you've tried/verified any of the following, but in case you haven't, I'll cover the obvious.

1. Is there spark, when you remove the plug, ground it to a (unpainted/freshly sanded) part of the cylinder head, and flip the engine over? If no spark, you can stop pulling until you address that.

2. If you have spark, have you tried a direct prime into the spark plug hole, of (fresh) gas, say a thimble's worth? Prime it, insert plug and crank over--if you've got spark, you should get a few explosions. If it won't take off and run, but does fire, you've got a ...

3. Fuel Flow Problem. Very common in an old engine that has sat for extended period.

4. And how is the compression? If it's spinning fast on a drill, you may have low compression, i.e., stuck valve, worn rings, etc....

Let us know about the above, and then we can get into the "then what's?"

And I'm sure the gentleman who requested the pic could tell you reams from it, so that would obviously be helpful, as would a positve I.D. of engine make/model, based on stamping numbers. Various sites on the web (like the engine mfrs.) will decode these for you.

Good luck.

Peter
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Old 03-05-2006, 03:48 PM
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Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is offline
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

Need model and serial number to help.It probably is a cck.I have one that is hand cranked.Starts ok by hand,but it can wear you out.
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:39 PM
djenkins_f150 djenkins_f150 is offline
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

OK, as requested, attached SHOULD be some pictures... Unless I screwed something up... I attache a front view, a rear view, and a top view of the engine. I didn't explicitly say this, but I can get the engine to run. It actually runs pretty well, once I get it started. When I use the pull rope I can usually only pull it unti lthe compression stroke. Maybe I'm a wussy, but I have started other pull start engines with less trouble. The engine definitely doesn't spin fast with a drill. I probably should also mention that I am using a cordless 18V Dewalt drill on the high torque setting. It is a pretty gutsy drill. If you don't use both hands you'll wind up with a wrenched wrist. Hope this info is useful to you guys. Thanks again for all of the help!

Daniel
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FrontViewWeb.jpg   RearViewWeb.jpg   TopViewWeb.jpg  
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

I've got a National Gas Cylinder welder, myself. I haven't really checked into the model of Onan, as it runs pretty well. Mine has the starter/generator belted to the shiev that would normally hold the wrap rope for starting. My problem has been keeping it generating. Mine's a 60V unit, with a hood over the top of the genset, which holds the guts of the welder. Control knobs stick out the top, etc. You wouldn't wanna own two of these, would you?
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:32 PM
djenkins_f150 djenkins_f150 is offline
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

MoRo,
Well, you can never have too many welders... If you were a little closer than North Dakota I would seriously consider it... My wife would LOVE that... I would actually like to see some pictures of yours if you could arrange it. I haven't been able to find any information about these things, so I would love to see what some others look like... Thanks!!

Daniel
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Old 03-05-2006, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

I'll try to swipe the wife's digital camera and get a few pix. It's in my friend's warehouse right now, so it'll take me a little while to get over there. Do you know any truckers that come across here headed your way?? We could work on that angle if they've got a spot on their load somewhere.
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Old 03-08-2006, 12:25 PM
djenkins_f150 djenkins_f150 is offline
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

OK, I just wanted to give everybody an update of where I am at. Right now I can get the welder running and lay down a pretty decent bead with it. That is the good news. The bad news is that it is still a bear to start. I just can't seem to muster the strength to pull start this engine! Usually what happens is the engine kicks back and pulls my hand towards to crank pulley. That is NOTHING like any of the other engines I have ever started.
So, since it is so difficult to start, I am wondering if there is an alternative. I have heard that some welders you can start by hooking a battery up to the welding leads. Or, failing that, I wonder how difficult it would be to retrofit a starter. Any ideas from the gurus out here? Thanks!

Daniel
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:49 AM
ken stewart ken stewart is offline
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

Daniel,
I have a very similar Sureweld machine; the Onan engines appear to be identical. The person I bought mine from retrofitted a Delco starter motor/generator to the frame with a belt going to the crank pulley- works well. Does this sound like something you’d want to do? By the way, my engine starts with a single pull every time, I wonder why yours is so cranky? Ken
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:48 AM
djenkins_f150 djenkins_f150 is offline
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

Ken,
I would DEFINITELY be interested in doing a retrofit like that to my welder. Now that I have tinkered with it some more, I actually can usually get it to start on the first pull as well. I think that the main reason I was having problems getting it to start was the fuel pump. After rebuilding the pump it seems to start alright now. But, like I said, I would definitely still be interested in doing a retrofit like yours. Any way you could send me some pics of it? Thanks!!

Daniel
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Old 06-27-2006, 01:02 AM
Beavisz Beavisz is offline
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

Sounds like the carb may need richened a little, and check to see if there is a way to cut current flow to the welder pack during startup. With the kick back you're describing, it sounds like there is allot of load on the genset which is being inturn transfered to the engine then to your arm. Also does the engine oil smoke allot at cold startup ? could be oil passing by the valve guides and lying on the pistons hydraulicing the engine. Though this would be very unlikely in a horizontally opposed engine. If memory serves I recall an old gas welder stating on the control panel "START ONLY IN AC MODE" I would imagine because when producing DC weld voltage the generator is working harder, thus harder to crank. This being if your unit has DC welding capability. My 2 Cents..
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Old 06-27-2006, 06:21 PM
Raymond Raymond is offline
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

Sounds like the timing is to high. Does it have a flywheel magneto or battery ignition. I had a 14 HP Briggs that someone had converted to electronic(breakerless) Flywheel mag. ignition and after 3 years of hard starting and many shoulder relocations from the jerking. It was hard to start and quit easily. I finally decided to try something else so I installed an original point type coil, and now It starts if you even get near it and you damn near can't stop it.
My CCK book lists the timing as 5 deg for a manual start engine, and 24 deg for an electric (remote) start. The electric start unit has battery ignition, the hand start unit has a flywheel magneto. The timing can be adjusted a little by sliding the breaker box. Also check point gap a this also affects timing. The manuals I have aren't to in depth about the ignition.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:40 PM
Paul B Paul B is offline
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Default Re: Old Onan Welder

I used to manage a dairy fleet and we had a bunch of CK and CCK Onans in the referigeration units. The starters on those were built into the flywheel.
(On the inside) it was also the generator. Look close and see if there is a battery cable coming out behind the flywheel. The flywheels weren't to hard to pull off to be sure, if it has a starter there will be four brushes running on the commutater??
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