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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

MEP 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?


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  #1  
Old 02-17-2017, 10:41:29 AM
Deveak Deveak is offline
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Default MEP 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

I am looking into buying a surplus military generator, they seem heavy duty, feature packed and the price is right. A majority of the units i see are lightly used or lightly used since rebuild (hard to tell). I was wandering if they ever made a 1800 rpm gasoline MEP generator? I prefer gasoline for a few reasons but mainly want to use it on a wood gasifier and all i can see is 3600 rpm screamers which do poorly on wood gas or diesels.
Thoughts? Advice?
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:42:28 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is online now
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Default Re: 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

I do not know about the MEP series, but Onan did build many gasoline powered 1800 rpm gensets. Unless you enjoy repairing overly complicated controls with unobtanium parts, I'd avoid the military units, just my opinion. If you get lucky you might get a military gen that just needs a battery and fuel, otherwise buy 2 or more units for spare parts.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:52:07 PM
David C David C is offline
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Default Re: 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

I have a couple of MEP's and they are over complicated for what they do. I too recommend looking at a two cylinder opposed, 1800 rpm Onan generator. I feel there a lot more parts floating around for the civilian models at a more reasonable price, plus you see parts machines pop up every now and then.

David
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:25:55 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is online now
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Default Re: 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

It seems to me the military sets are extremely overpriced, both the machine and all the parts.

I think it is due both to the mystique around them as well as certain companies buying all they can and using that mystique to keep their prices up.

Plus there is nothing about them that is any good, in my opinion. The military tends to buy off-brand stuff in the first place, and keep it an extremely long time, until all the one-off manufacturers are out of business, and give it bad maintenance, until it is all borderline junk before selling it.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:51:36 PM
turbo turbo is offline
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Default Re: 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

The small town where I am from got blessed with 3 old military generators through a gov. grant several years ago. They installed one at the water treatment plant, city hall and fire hall. In 10 years I only saw one actually be useful. They were all plagued with electric issues that were a nightmare to repair due to lack of parts and information. All had over complicated controls and if I remember right they had some type of self destruct setting that if activated would short out and create something even more worthless!! I would stay away from anything "military""
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:04:33 PM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

I guess not really applicable because mine are diesels. But I would concur with comments about MEPs being overcomplicated.... And sometimes just stupid! Like using "molex" connectors between gen head and output panel. Has a Baldor head and a Lombardini engine and they use junk connectors? Had to totally rewire using 40 amp eurostyle barrier strips. Not as fast as a molex plug but infinitely more reliable.
Mine also run at 3600, which is hard on a diesel, but when it works it delivers a full 6.5KW from a 9hp. My old kohler runs at 1800 but only pushes 4.5KW from a 16hp.
Had to rewire the fuel cicuit on the diesels, but that was simple. Otherwise just cleaned sand from fuel system (guessed just back from middle east, flushed a LOT of sand out of injector lines.)
Don't know if this would be of any help.
Doc
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Old 02-18-2017, 12:44:27 AM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is online now
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Default Re: 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo View Post
and if I remember right they had some type of self destruct setting that if activated would short out and create something even more worthless!!
I forget what piece of military equipment we had, its been a few decades, but it had a self destruct feature, and manual had further instructions that if self destruct did not work to shoot it with heavy artillery, if no heavy artillery set it on fire, if no means of setting it on fire, start cutting wires! guess they did not want it falling into enemy hands, but who reads a manual while under fire
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Old 02-18-2017, 12:49:57 AM
K-Tron K-Tron is offline
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Default Re: 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

The military used a number of Wisconsin MAENLD engines to drive 1800rpm portable generators. I have a few antique Briggs letter series generators that are all 1800rpm. Im afraid all of those generator manufacturers are long gone. A friend of mine has a NOS Homelite generator with a Wisconsin VH4D for power. It is 1800rpm and gorgeous. I wish it were in my collection.

Chris
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:13:14 AM
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Default Re: 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

Dalmatiangirl, I remember reading something like that on a plate or sticker too! After working on it for a couple hours I thought finding the biggest bazooka I could and blowing it to heck would be kinda fun!! Lol.
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:13:07 AM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

Part I didn't really understand was the DEMIL hoops I had to jump through. This is an old 6.5kw generator. You can walk into a heavy equipment supplier in virtually any country in the work and buy a new model that would do just as well (or better!) but I had to solemnly swear that I wouldn't sell it outside the country or to anybody who might try to smuggle it outside the country..... I could see if it was a cannon. (but they had evdn tighter requirements on those, like thermal lancing them to spagetti) but a generator?
Doc
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:35:44 AM
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Jim McIntyre Jim McIntyre is offline
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Default Re: 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

Like David said, look for an Onan JB or JC set. These sets were well thought of enough to be the basis for the MEP-002 and MEP-003 Diesel sets.

I also agree w/ comments above that, for most purposes, the MEP sets are actually less reliable than a commercial/industrial quality set for at least two reasons: They have too many parts, and they have not been subject to the normal test and design evolution that has to occur for a projuct to be a success in the commercial marketplace.

The Onan JB/JC sets win on both fronts here.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:58:08 PM
nblack nblack is offline
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Default Re: MEP 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

Agree with most of the previous posts. Another option. Find an old PU unit. (thinking PU-32c, or PU-286,<- although the latter starts getting overly complex) a PE 197 is a good serviceable unit, without being overly complex. All of these run little Herc' ZXA-ZXB variants, and are VERY quiet and reliable. Parts can still be had, when necessary. Waste heat can be gathered from them as well, adding to potential efficiency.
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:49:00 PM
Deveak Deveak is offline
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Default Re: MEP 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

I'll look into some onan units instead than.
The only thing rarer than 1800 rpm gas units is water cooled. I haven't seen a single water cooled small engine for sale online anywhere. I'm sure someone is selling older models somewhere but the newer engines all seem to be aluminum air cooled garbage.
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:58:18 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is online now
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Default Re: MEP 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

If you want water cooled, why not just grab some kind of car engine from a junk yard? Geo metro or something 3 or very small 4 cylinders.
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:07:32 AM
Deveak Deveak is offline
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Default Re: MEP 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birken Vogt View Post
If you want water cooled, why not just grab some kind of car engine from a junk yard? Geo metro or something 3 or very small 4 cylinders.
Thought about it but thats a heck of a lot of work. I would do that if I could find a decently cheap way of governing the rpm. A nice large flywheel would go a long way in helping but I am not sure about how the engine would handle the weight. Could put it on a belted generator head and have the flywheel on the generator head shaft. Its hard to find anything these days built to last. If it does, it costs an arm and a leg or they dont sell to the public.
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Old 02-19-2017, 11:21:04 PM
nblack nblack is offline
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Default Re: MEP 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

My advice is to keep your eyes peeled, and not to get in a hurry. I have found two PU-32C's for lesse.. first one was $250 and the second was about $300 (with shipping?) Or, If you don't need a lot of power, the old M5's have a 6 pole head and turn at 1200prm, and are water-cooled as well. (simple, and same 'Herc engine). Tell you what- I also have a trailer mounted RJC (with fuel tank) 12kw that I picked up for $300. Deals can be had. C/L is your friend, and like I said. Patience.
Good luck
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Old 02-20-2017, 12:17:00 AM
Deveak Deveak is offline
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Default Re: MEP 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nblack View Post
My advice is to keep your eyes peeled, and not to get in a hurry. I have found two PU-32C's for lesse.. first one was $250 and the second was about $300 (with shipping?) Or, If you don't need a lot of power, the old M5's have a 6 pole head and turn at 1200prm, and are water-cooled as well. (simple, and same 'Herc engine). Tell you what- I also have a trailer mounted RJC (with fuel tank) 12kw that I picked up for $300. Deals can be had. C/L is your friend, and like I said. Patience.
Good luck
1200 you say? Sounds even better but how hard is it to find parts?
Also how is the power quality?
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:32:03 PM
nblack nblack is offline
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Default Re: MEP 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

Hello!
Sorry for the late reply. Have been travelling, and then trying to get caught up on things around the homestead when I get home, amidst sciatica problems. With regards to parts availability: IF (and it is a BIG IF) I needed parts for the old M5's I would either scavenge parts from another unit ( these things breed out of control), OR I would contact Jerry Biro at Hercano propulsion for(engine) parts. OR would buy their simple parts from some seller on the internet. Note: There is also currently some idiot on epay that is trying to sell parts from one for RIDICULOUS $$$, and as far as I can tell, nothing has sold in months.- he keeps relisting them, and the price is coming more in line with reality. (i.e. cheap). OK. power quality. from an M-5, remember, you are only going to get around 16-20amps per leg, but it should be smooth, reliable power. Also, point of note: the carburetor parts can be had from McDonald carb and magneto, OR!! you can replace the carb with an old B&S carb, and usually get better fuel burn rates than the original Schebler carb (that some real idiots think is worth $$$ (only worth $50 with shipping)). I have tested one of these units under load for several hours, and achieved an unloaded burn rate of .5 gal/ hr. The original carb yielded 1 gallon/hr. regards,
Noel
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:46:52 AM
Esteban32696 Esteban32696 is offline
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Default Re: MEP 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

I also suggest going with an older Onan . I have a 1968 Onan 2.5 KW for simple back-up in " Hurricanado Florida. " It is a 1968 , 1800 rpm, & still does the job !!
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:54:16 PM
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John Newman, Jr. John Newman, Jr. is offline
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Default Re: MEP 1800 rpm GASOLINE unit?

How much power do you want? If you can get by with 3000 watts, Onan made a beautiful set called the W2C. Water cooled, twin cylinder inline all cast iron engine that runs at 1800 RPM. Streamlined / Deco styling too!
You need one (or more)


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