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Onan Generators Restoring, operating and maintaining vintage Onan generators.

Onan Generators

Thanks to Onan!


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  #1  
Old 11-17-2017, 06:25:24 PM
Utah Onan Utah Onan is offline
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Default Thanks to Onan!

I wanted to try something and am definitely interested in all of your personal experiences....

Being the season for Thanksgiving, I am certainly grateful that I own two Onans (A CCK and a DJC). Well built machines that don't even exist in today's world.

What I am wanting to know from you all is HOW you all got started in Onans?

For me, it all started some years ago prior to me joining this awesome site. I was researching HAM radios and one of the first results on google was someone on this site saying how they power their system with an Onan generator. Then I noticed here at work that we had a variety of Onans in storage (at the time 3 20 ES's, 2 CCK, a couple late model 7.5 JB's, and some EN's). The more reading I did, the more convinced I became that Onan (for the most part) made quality equipment.
That led me to rescuing my CCK & transfer switch from being tossed in the scrap bin.

So how 'bout it? How did it start for you?
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:31:33 PM
consolenut consolenut is offline
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Default Re: Thanks to Onan!

Onans have been the anchor of the RV industry for years. There in practically all the motorhomes etc. That being said I have a 5th wheel. I knew I wanted an Onan as a backup generator. But I didn't want it mounted in the nose of my 5th wheel even though its gen prepped. So along came the idea to mount in the bed of my medium duty truck. After fooling with it and tinkering a bit. The onan attraction began. LOL LOL. Just got another gen yesterday a larger 6.5 then the 5000 marquis in truck presently.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:43:40 PM
Dale Russell Dale Russell is offline
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Default Re: Thanks to Onan!

Got my "HAM" License in 96 and joined a local club that had a 5.0 CCK that had been donated to the club. Being a mechanic, it fell to me to get it running, find a Carb. for it, make a gas tank & etc & installed it on a trailer to make it portable. Found this site to solve some problems & I was hooked. KB0WIZ (A regular reader)

Last edited by Dale Russell; 11-17-2017 at 07:11:52 PM.
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:21:22 PM
Imaybail Imaybail is offline
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Default Re: Thanks to Onan!

I began looking for a generator in the spring of ‘16 to use at my remote property with my camper. I found a DJB 6.0 that was salvaged from a fire truck and came here looking for info. The Onan bug bit me and I bought a BF 4.0 last month that came out of a retired RV. It is an interesting hobby.
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:47:40 PM
gduquette gduquette is offline
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Default Re: Thanks to Onan!

Don't have one yet, so I am not sure if it counts but... I was researching the best whole house generator (having heard that the normal Generac whole house systems were not the most reliable) - and came across a few threads on Onans. Being a fan of American made and over engineered, my interest was piqued and I have been reading on this site ever since. I have looked at a few locally available from craigslist - but they have been sitting outside and were in really bad shape.

I am still contemplating if a JB, JC or a new 14KW Kohler will be in the cards for me as a new whole house system - I still plan to get an older Onan to fix up like JohnnyC has done.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:34:26 PM
len k len k is online now
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Default Re: Thanks to Onan!

We never lost power for more than ~ 1-2 hours except for the ~1963 Northeast blackout of maybe 3-4 days. So never had an interest in a gen. Our city has a large hydroelectric dam and couple cross county power lines.

About 5-8 years ago a major ice storm nailed all of the northeast. People in Maine were out for up to couple months. Neighborhood behind me was out for 1 week. We never lost power , but it was eye opener that we could be without oil heat for a long time in cold winter. I was looking for info on what was a good gen and stumbled upon this great site. Found out Onan gens were supreme.

Was ~ 6 months before any small gens reappeared on CL after the storm. In another 6 months I saw an Onan 7NHM on CL that needed work and with help of people here I got and read manuals to figure out how to test if $$$ parts were bad. And what other parts cost so I could decide what to pay for it. I bought it cheap. Only needed a voltage reg and carb cleaning.

Few years later a Staker in Conn offered a JB for free, I went down there and picked it up. Looked very rusty, needed voltage reg, carb cleaning, and other minor stuff, but other than that it runs and makes AC. One tough old bird!!! Nice emergency thing about a JB is if AC reg fails then a little less than 12VDC to field makes 120VAC.

Last edited by len k; 11-18-2017 at 03:54:14 PM.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:51:50 PM
circuitman circuitman is offline
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Default Re: Thanks to Onan!

got my first one at an estate auction! always heard they were the genny to have,me & another bidder put a fight for it. got it for $170 i belive, after the auction the other bidder said "you must have wanted it bad."i said sure, heard they were the best generators to have. since then i have acquired a few more an LK , BGA, they come out of old motor homes. the LK i had been looking at for a year or so when i went to the junk yard. i am still after one in an old motor home. the owner want sell though.saw one this past week went by an old motor home sitting next to an old run down house,checked it out bingo! talked with the owners mom, but haven't gotten a reply, would love to have another, but the wife said she kill me, lol.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:53:29 PM
circuitman circuitman is offline
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Default Re: Thanks to Onan!

another thought, all you guys have been a great help in my acquisition of these. lots of great info!
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2017, 08:54:19 PM
Chas183 Chas183 is offline
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Default Re: Thanks to Onan!

It all started with an RV giving to me.
The RV needed plenty of work, beyond my expertise at the time. (22yrs old)

Removed the Onan generator and began tinkering with it.
Right away I knew it was a solid built unit and slow turning.
Been working on engines and the like as a young boy.
My first Job was at a small engine shop with the CO-OP program through High School.

Still have the old 4.0 CCK in the garage.
The 4.0 carried me through the power outage of 2003.
First ran my onan powered generator welder 8,000 watts@3600 RPM.
After hearing that the power would be out for a while,
Switched to the not so thirsty 4.0 CCK.
She ran everything needed, except A/C.
Had lights, well water, and refrigeration for food storage.

I've aquired 12 sets in total.
CCk 4.0, NH 4.0, 6.0 power drawer, NH 6.5, JB 7.5 extended stack, DJB 6.0 and a MJC 10.0.
Most recent purchase is a 40 KW Dayton/Generac.

Caught the bug early on.

Since then Onan has been my first choice.

chas183
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2017, 12:15:02 AM
wxyoung2008 wxyoung2008 is offline
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Default Re: Thanks to Onan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gduquette View Post
Don't have one yet, so I am not sure if it counts but... I was researching the best whole house generator (having heard that the normal Generac whole house systems were not the most reliable) - and came across a few threads on Onans. Being a fan of American made and over engineered, my interest was piqued and I have been reading on this site ever since. I have looked at a few locally available from craigslist - but they have been sitting outside and were in really bad shape.

I am still contemplating if a JB, JC or a new 14KW Kohler will be in the cards for me as a new whole house system - I still plan to get an older Onan to fix up like JohnnyC has done.
Gduquette
The JB and the JC are fine units . You will be pleased with either. Stay away from their diesel brothers until you have a gasoline or propane counterpart. JB's are loud and I would not want you to be scared away before you are fully infected.
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