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Onan 2LK (experimental model) Has Come to Life!


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  #1  
Old 12-04-2017, 08:05:01 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Onan 2LK (experimental model) Has Come to Life!

This evening I fired up my newly acquired Onan 2LK on gasoline for the first time after bypassing a potentially faulty fuel pump and a much needed oil change. To my surprise it ran flawlessly under varying loads up to 1.5kw (75% max load). Absolutely NO hunting or stalling. It did not smoke either.

I attached 4 pictures below with an explanation of each picture:

First picture shows the voltage to be at 133.8 vac no load. A bit high, but can easily be adjusted as needed.

Second picture shows the condition of the oil I drained from the 2LK. Blacker than black. The 2LK's crankcase now has fresh 10W-30.

Third picture shows the 2LK with a 1500 watt heater in the background. The 2LK handled the load without a problem.

Forth picture shows the build sheet for this 2LK. It is an experimental model with a few special goodies. I am not sure why Onan released this experimental model and not too sure how rare it is, but it is cool seeing dual points and condensers. I wonder if Onanparts.com has replacement points in stock?

Lastly, I recorded a short video showing how this little 2LK performed under load. Click on the following link to see for yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upXiHq41jzY

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:34:35 AM
AngrySailor AngrySailor is online now
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Johnny's secret is out... pic #1, ninja turtle confirmed
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:51:25 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Johnny, Where is the dual points setup? Is it behind the standard points cover?
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:46:55 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Motorhead-i have been wondering that also. another thing, being it is (EXPERIMENTAL) does he have a 1 off gen?????

if so JohnnieC is going to need to do a NICE restoration, not one of those throw it together jobs he has been doing.
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:17:18 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

They have flicker points so you don't get any pulsing from the ignition if I remember right?

Sounds like a good ol lk.. good score!
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:06:36 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorhead View Post
Johnny, Where is the dual points setup? Is it behind the standard points cover?
I think the points cover is an enlarged cover when compared to a standard points cover.

Quote:
Originally Posted by squidtrap View Post
Motorhead-i have been wondering that also. another thing, being it is (EXPERIMENTAL) does he have a 1 off gen?????

if so JohnnieC is going to need to do a NICE restoration, not one of those throw it together jobs he has been doing.
I really don't know what "experimental" really means, but I doubt it is a 1 off gen. I still wonder what the "special cam" means.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowlister View Post
They have flicker points so you don't get any pulsing from the ignition if I remember right?

Sounds like a good ol lk.. good score!
Yes, that is what I read in the LK manuals. They are flicker points. I assume they became available in standard production?

I cannot find any 2LK manuals in the electronic library, only LK manuals for the 2.5KW models which seem very similar. Does the 2LK models predate the LK models??

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:13:55 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

STUPID QUESTION

What is the lever on the mechanical fuel pump do as seen in the picture below? The lever twists 90 degrees. Since my fuel pump is broken I am not sure if it enables and disables the fuel pump. I cannot find any 2LK manuals on our online manual site.

Thanks,
JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:19:19 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

johnnyc, i wonder if your 2LK has a more "de-tuner" cam, see if it will handle 3000w for about 5 to 15 minutes at least and if so, at what hz and v.

my 900+ hour 2.5 lk can handle 3 kw (did not measure the actual wattage drawn, i just used 2, 1500w space heaters on high) but don't quite remember the v and hz

JohnnyC, that lever is a manual fuel primer, as far as I know it moves the linkage like the inside cam lobe, 1 "pulse" at a time
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:27:06 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Yes the lever is a primer should you use a tank that's mounted below the carb.
Just wiggle the lever seemingly a hundred times to get the carb filled and then it'll run fine.

*But if the cam that drives the pump is at high lift you can prime all day and it may not work. Roll the engine over and you can feel when it's right.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:32:30 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtmaster View Post
johnnyc, i wonder if your 2LK has a more "de-tuner" cam, see if it will handle 3000w for about 5 to 15 minutes at least and if so, at what hz and v.

my 900+ hour 2.5 lk can handle 3 kw (did not measure the actual wattage drawn, i just used 2, 1500w space heaters on high) but don't quite remember the v and hz

JohnnyC, that lever is a manual fuel primer, as far as I know it moves the linkage like the inside cam lobe, 1 "pulse" at a time
I will try to load it up beyond 2kw. I believe it will easily do more than 2kw since these Onans are under rated. As for the lever, my thought was it is for priming, but since the pump is shot, the prime don't work either.

I hope to do more testing by the end of the weekend, as well as giving the 2LK a complete bath, but it looks like I have a busy week and weekend ahead of me and I'm also working on another generator project which will require me to yank the motor for a complete disassembly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by I like oldstuff View Post
Yes the lever is a primer should you use a tank that's mounted below the carb.
Just wiggle the lever seemingly a hundred times to get the carb filled and then it'll run fine.

*But if the cam that drives the pump is at high lift you can prime all day and it may not work. Roll the engine over and you can feel when it's right.
I yanked that lever at least 100 billion-trillion times and no gas came out of the line between the pump and carburetor (I have the line disconnected). The pump is shot .

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New Jersey
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:44:03 PM
yellowlister yellowlister is offline
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

You can buy a new pump diaphragm on ebay...same as the kohlers.. about 20 shipped the last time I bought some.. try cleaning the little valves sometimes they get gummy and some wd40 will get them to seal
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:19:23 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowlister View Post
You can buy a new pump diaphragm on ebay...same as the kohlers.. about 20 shipped the last time I bought some.. try cleaning the little valves sometimes they get gummy and some wd40 will get them to seal
I have bought a few from the guy on ebay and they work well.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/KOHLER-ONAN...19.m1438.l2649

Important is to have the mating surfaces flat for the diaphragm to seal well AND don't over tighten the screws.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:54:49 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Thanks for the information on the replacement fuel pump diaphragms. I will be buying a replacement when I start tearing the 2LK apart.

For now, I need to give it a good bath. It is not nearly as oily as some of the other gensets I brought home in the past, but I like to start clean.

One thing I noticed is that this genset was completely repainted in the past using a non-matching paint color and it most likely was cheap rattle can spray paint. The paint immediately blistered when I sprayed carb cleaner near the carburetor.
In order to find the OEM paint color on this genset, I needed to find an area that was not painted over. Usually that would be a backside of a tin since it would not be exposed to a fast cheap rattle can spray paint job. This time I decided to sample the paint behind the metal data tag and it showed the OEM color very well as seen in the first 2 pictures. The OEM color is noted by the red arrow in each picture. The color may look different between the 2 pictures, but that is because of the lousy lighting in my garage at the time I snapped the pictures. I will take the tin to the automotive paint shop and they will reproduce the color to match perfectly by scanning the original paint. It is obviously a different shade than all my newer Onans and I want this 2LK to be as original as possible. This means I need to strip ALL the paint down to bare metal, prime using epoxy automotive primer and top coat using automotive paint. Rattle can spray paint is strictly forbidden.

In the third picture I am preparing to make a cart for the 2LK. The base is 1/4 steel plate and I bought caster wheels today. I will weld the wheels onto the plate and bend pipe to make a push bar.

The 2LK project will be starting slowly as I am extremely busy at work and at home because of the upcoming holiday, as well as a diesel Kohler that I am working on. I will post updates, questions and plenty of picture as thing get done. That's it for now.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:43:15 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Johnny, Are you going to try to have the green metallic matched for the repaint? If so, I would be interested in getting some of the color and your paint guy might give a price break on a larger batch. My factory enclosed 2.5LK is that metallic green.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:01:19 AM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

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Johnny, Are you going to try to have the green metallic matched for the repaint? If so, I would be interested in getting some of the color and your paint guy might give a price break on a larger batch. My factory enclosed 2.5LK is that metallic green.
Yes, the paint wholesaler should be able to match the metallic green. It will be sometime in January before I get the paint, but once I get it I'll have the paint code for you and the brand of paint which will be a DuPont line of paint which many auto paint wholesalers will have available. Automotive commercial paint is always expensive and they will not give discounts on paint. Well, I lied a little - I will get a small discount since the dealership that I work for does business with the paint wholesaler that I used for years, but it will be like 10% to 15% off of retail.

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New Jersey
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Old 12-09-2017, 02:27:59 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

On that shiny emerald green, I call it Studebaker Green , the weird yellow-green primer might contribute heavily (I can't remember what it is, somewhat hazardous if I recall).. I have three, the last one I bought cheap for parts but I managed to get running. I was always confused on the 2kW rating for gasoline sets because it looks like the gen-end is the same for a 2.5kW, although there are some models with a low-compression head (lower than the standard 5.5:1). A tri-fuel or NatGas unit might be derated for the fuel.
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Old 12-09-2017, 03:17:28 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnucklehead View Post
On that shiny emerald green, I call it Studebaker Green , the weird yellow-green primer might contribute heavily (I can't remember what it is, somewhat hazardous if I recall).. I have three, the last one I bought cheap for parts but I managed to get running. I was always confused on the 2kW rating for gasoline sets because it looks like the gen-end is the same for a 2.5kW, although there are some models with a low-compression head (lower than the standard 5.5:1). A tri-fuel or NatGas unit might be derated for the fuel.
Interesting..... This experimental 2LK has a "special cam" as stated in the build sheet. I can't find any manuals on the twinslan website, but the 2LK looks just like a 2.5LK as you stated. I wonder if the motors between the 2.5 and the 2LK gensets are the same? My 2LK runs on gasoline and I doubt it has high compression pistons.

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New Jersey
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Old 12-09-2017, 03:30:17 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Well, it is snowing outside and I have limited spare time today, but I wanted to maximize my garage time to the fullest. I wanted to give the 2LK a bath, but that ain't happening with the snow, so I decided to start building a cart. The cart is a bit of an overkill and will support the weight of 2 JCs.

I attached 3 pictures below with explanations of each as follows:

The first picture shows 2 carts. The cart on the left is for the 2LK and the cart on the right is a full size pallet with some cheap-azz wheels bolted on for a full enclosure Kohler genset which is a different story for the Kohler forum. The carts are complete but I will fabricate a pushbar for the 2LK cart sometime in the future. For now, the wheels are welded onto the steel plate.

The second picture shows the components prior to welding the wheel are 5".

The third picture show one of the wheels welding in place. The steel plate is 3/8 inch as well as the small square plate welded under the caster wheel. The base of the cart is strong. I can jump up and down on it and it does not seem to flex.

Pushbar will be fabricated in the near future.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:13:00 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyC View Post
Interesting..... This experimental 2LK has a "special cam" as stated in the build sheet. I can't find any manuals on the twinslan website, but the 2LK looks just like a 2.5LK as you stated. I wonder if the motors between the 2.5 and the 2LK gensets are the same? My 2LK runs on gasoline and I doubt it has high compression pistons.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
There were no high compression pistons for the LK, but the gas vapor models used a high compression head, the same one used on the left side of the CCK. The part numbers are 110-0883, 110-1895, 170-3071. I can tell you it makes a big difference. My LK's would barely make 2,500 watts with our crap ethanol gasoline, but put a high compression head on them and they had power to spare.

I don't see any part number difference between the 2LK and the 2.5LK. But on the other hand, one of my LK's is a "utility truck" model designed to provide 30 amp battery charging current directly from the exciter. It has a 15 volt exciter vs the standard 17 volt LK exciter. The parts book does not show any other numbers for this model, but there are definitely differences, the armature at least and maybe the field coils. The "utility truck" option is Z212.

Measure the compression on your LK. The standard head gives you 100 to 110 PSI. The high compression head gives you about 135PSI.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:58:40 PM
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Default Re: Onan 2LK (experimental model) has come to life!

Today I had a few minutes to spare and run a load test on the 2LK. I was NOT able to run loads above 1850 watts. The motor was bogging down. I was able to comfortably run loads up to 1700 watts for long periods of time without any problems on gasoline. It may be possible to achieve 2000 watts after totally cleaning the carburetor, new spark plug and gapped properly, adjusting the valves and points gaps (dual points) and what ever else that I missed to post here. The only thing I've done to the 2LK was an oil change and that's it, so there is possible room to improve. I will run a compression check either latter today or tomorrow. For now I posted some pictures below with explanations as follows:

First picture shows the condition of the spark plug. There are no oil deposits, only black soot which means the carburetor is running a little rich which is the lesser of the 2 evils.

Second picture shows the 2LK (right side of the picture) along with 1 heater and 2 work lights. The green box on the yellow thingie is my JohnnyC kilowatt box.


Third picture shows all that the 2LK can put out comfortably continuously without straining the motor. Anything more (above 1800 watts) the motor is stressing out. So, going forward I will use 1700 watts as my benchmark and hopefully we will do better as this 2LK is fixed up.


JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Last edited by JohnnyC; 12-10-2017 at 03:01:17 PM.
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