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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion Antique Generators and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

Identify This Gen Set?


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  #1  
Old 07-16-2018, 06:52:03 PM
sbbloom69 sbbloom69 is offline
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Default Identify This Gen Set?

Hi,
I have a chance to go visit the home of this gen set. There are other nice items (maybe a hit & miss or three and a Detroit Diesel 2-71). I'm trying to find out what this engine / generator are. The man's widow can't get to the item right now to get me any more pictures or look at the name plate (it will be a few days).

Can anyone tell me what this is? I've been looking for pictures to see If I can ID it, but no luck so far.

So far, I've been successful with resurrecting / restoring several 1952 Civil Defense 350 watt "light plants", and a 1963 Onan CCK 3.5 kW generator. I'm now hopelessly hooked on getting some of this old iron running again. I'd like to know what this is before I schedule a drive this weekend to look. It's probably not worth much, but if it turns over, I may try and make it a runner.

Stu
Los Alamos, NM
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2018, 06:02:05 AM
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GeneratorGus GeneratorGus is offline
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

Stu, looks just like my Onan Mod 2A 1000 Watt
Uncommon find, I only ever saw one and I bought it. Mine is red and it looks original.
The head and cylinder are very similar to the 1A engine, but one cylinder has the ports reversed.

Mine hasn't run yet, it has no start thru the generator windings and the rope start pulley is between the engine and gen. (PITA), takes a while to rewind the rope.
Maybe you will have better luck.
GUS
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2018, 12:19:07 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

I think it's COOL! Engine has a bit of a Wisconsin look to it. An early one?

These self excited AC generators will motor when a battery is connected across the exciter commutator. Sometimes with enough torque to turn over the engine. Just wouldn't want to do it for too long.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:35:23 PM
sbbloom69 sbbloom69 is offline
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

Can you give me a little more information? I looked for Onan 1A and didn't find anything. When was that made? I've on Smokstak for quite a while now with my Kohler CD set and my 1963 Onan CCK 305. If I make my road trip, I'd like to know a little more about the genset before I put my hands on it.
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Old 07-19-2018, 03:41:44 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

I only thought Wisconsin being an air cooled twin.

I would tend to think that the set was put together by an independent company, due to the separately mounted generator. Like my Farm Master set with Briggs ZZ engine...
https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=156818

Since you'll already be there picking up the Detroit and those Hit or Miss engines, I would make sure to bring this one home as well!

I would *assume* that, sitting out in the weeds, the price is low?
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  #6  
Old 07-20-2018, 06:41:09 AM
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GeneratorGus GeneratorGus is offline
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

I dug deep in my Files Cave and found this from 1938 Montgomery Ward ad. Only ad I've seen on this unit. The unit shown at the top is a single cyl. Onan.
My unit is probably a slightly newer version, but the set up is basically the same. I have no ads from Onan showing it.
I added a Picture of a Wards gen. setup with a Briggs M which is a similar configuration.

Dug a bit deeper and came up with these 1937 Wards Powerlites, unmistakably Onan engines, also a page from a 1938 Onan Cat.
The 1938 Onan Cat. shows W2C and W3C two cyl. units.

Also I'm thinking mine is probably 2000 watt.

GUS
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:20:25 PM
Ed Stoller Ed Stoller is offline
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

The Onan W2 and W3 are water cooled.

I looked at the Wisconsin TFD and the spark plugs go straight up, not at an angle.

You better pick it up so we can figure out what it is.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:52:22 AM
Newoldstock Newoldstock is offline
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

Cast iron machine base so it was made to be installed in a building.

Paint on the exhaust manifold makes me think it was installed and almost never used.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:28:21 AM
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

Ed,
On the MW ad I posted if you look closely you'll see that the engine under the picture at the top is the engine in question. I mentioned the engine on top only to clarify the ad which at first had me a bit confused, as I thought it was the rear view of the the one on top, it is clearly the two cylinder in question. The W2 and W3 in the 1938 ad were shown to show that Onan only those as two cylinder offerings that year.

I went back into the cave and finally found the pictures of mine and a couple others (see next post) one of witch was posted on engine ads.

On the second picture you can see the starter solenoid and wires. I totally forgot mine did have a starter that was burned out.
The other problem was a broken out chunk of the spark plug ole on the right side cylinder head. If it was the left I could have robbed the head from my 1A engine.

Also I can't recall where I got the 2A designation I have attached to it.

more pics to follow.

GUS
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:07:59 AM
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

The first two pics are the same engine, the other picture I have of the other 2A I have is very similar and I didn't post it. Instead I dropped in these other files. One is an early MW Onan with a Briggs engine. Last is Seebrite (Sears) Onan.
I have one with the Q Briggs engine, but the generator was missing so I dropped a Genco generator on it. Still made a respectable looking outfit.
GUS
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  #11  
Old 07-23-2018, 07:18:36 AM
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

My last word on the subject is this Early mid twenties Onan ad.
Quite interesting in itself.
I added this to show Onan's used the same configuration on a lot of their earlier gensets.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:31:06 PM
gnucklehead gnucklehead is offline
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

I thought that might be an Onan, wasn't sure.. Design changes came fast in the early days, Firewoodguy came across a slightly newer 1KVS not so long ago.. Same thing, only different sbbloom69 should buy it for the right price, but, but it's going to be difficult to find parts for. I now have six OTC sets, and each engine is unique.

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showt...=173533&page=2
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:18:30 PM
sbbloom69 sbbloom69 is offline
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Default Re: Identify This Gen Set?

Gus, the one on the left looks close, mainly because of the "distributor" on the left side of the engine.

Unfortunately, I had to pass on the deals. Something came up (funds, time, and my wife's car that needed brakes and a right CV axle). So, if any of the items are still there in 3 weeks, I may still have a chance. Otherwise, someones going to get some good stuff. The Hit / miss engines included a complete Economy 2.5hp, a 5hp Fairbanks Morse (missing ignition), and a 2 or 2.5hp Fairbanks Morse missing the ignition and the mixer/carb. The Economy was being disassembled and on the bench when the man died. Oh well.
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