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Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch


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  #1  
Old 11-07-2019, 06:53:38 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Over the last several years I accumulated several J series Onans that I need to have on carts to have the ability to move them around. Likewise with the many RV gensets, but I want to focus on the J series sets for this thread.

Currently I only have 1 of 3 J series sets on a good heavy duty cart, but it is WAY overkill and weighs about 150 lbs. My 2 other J series sets are not on anything that I would call a cart. All my carts that I currently have are reconstructed from commercially made carts that I found on Craigslist. My objective is to fabricate strong, but lightweight carts from scratch for my J series sets.

Today, I just started the project by cutting 2"x2" 1/8" thick square steel tubing to the dimensions needed to each set. Basically to build a square or rectangle. I'll let the pictures below show what I am starting with and explanations as follows:

First picture shows the tubes for one cart and the 45 degree cuts. This will make the basic rectangular platform of the cart once welded.

Second picture shows the layout for each cart's platform. In the picture there is a 3.0 DJA in the foreground, a 7.5 JB in the middle, and a 12.0 DBJ-MS in the background which is a DJB bolted to a 12 kw generator head. The tubes are not welded together yet. This is just a rough layout.

Third picture is a closeup of the tubes next to the 12.0 DJB-MS. The set is currently bolted onto it's wooded factory shipping base. I added the wheels to allow me to move the set around. The set will be unbolted from the wooded base and placed on the new cart when the new cart is completed.

Last picture shows the size differences of the footprint between the 7.5 JB and the 3.0 DJA. I need a wide cart for the 7.5 JB since it has a custom exhaust (not viewable in the picture) and the gas regulator which adds width to the overall dimensions.

This weekend, time permitting, I will weld the square tubes together for each cart. Maybe next week I'll but wheels and weld them onto the square tubes, then I'll construct push bars for each cart to be similar to the push bar seen on the 7.5 JB's cart followed by whatever else I decide to weld to the cart. After all is done, I'll paint the carts then mount each set onto it's cart to finish the project.

While constructing these carts I am open to suggestions.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:10:11 PM
blousteau blousteau is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Do not weld the wheels on. They will eventually need replacing. Don't ask me how I know! Later this evening, I will post a pic of how I did my Marquis 5500, much smaller but I made an axle with some round stock and used pneumatic tires that I can swap out if needed.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:28:34 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is online now
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

My suggestion for those wheels is to cut some triangles out of 3/16” steel sheet, then weld the triangles onto the underside of the corners of your frame. Drill and tap holes in the triangles to match the hole pattern of the wheels you’re using. Now you have both some nice bracing in the corners and a good mounting surface for the casters!

Use lockwashers on the wheel mounting bolts too. Don’t ask me how I know...

I complement your efforts here too, I usually just use cheapie furniture dollies for this kind of thing. Your way is much more permanent.

Bill
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:01:26 PM
armandh armandh is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

https://www.google.com/search?client...platform+carts
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:21:58 PM
Max Thompson Max Thompson is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Quote:
Originally Posted by blousteau View Post
and used pneumatic tires that I can swap out if needed.
I will no longer use pneumatic tires on equipment dollies, they are always flat when I need them. I have gone to the "flat free" tires. I use the larger "wheel barrow" size if they need to move over unpaved ground.

For my generators and things that stay in the shop on the concrete floor, I use good quality casters at least 6" dia. and prefer swivel casters on all for corners, so they maneuver in a tighter area.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:12:22 PM
blousteau blousteau is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Here is the one I made for my Marquis 5500. I plan on putting a trailer tongue jack with a wheel somewhere near the front to make it a little more mobile but still able to rest on the bottom bar when not moving it around. Still not done with the top, and also thinking about enclosing the sides.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:59:38 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Thanks for the responses and great ideas. I am itching to move forward as I do with all my garage project, but tonight I am stuck cleaning house and it is near freezing tonight. Amazingly, the garage was warm inside late today after work. Tomorrow I am stuck cleaning the yard of fallen leaves in the morning, then in the afternoon helping the Boss move furniture from a friend that is moving and giving her tons of unwanted crap. Sunday I got a plumbing job that may take 1/2 my day. Hopefully I'll have an hour of two sometime this weekend to "play" in my garage.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:03:20 PM
turtmaster turtmaster is online now
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

JohnnyC, I know you have a mig welder, but do you have a stick welder? If so, I would like to to see you weld the carts together, with a stick welder, we all want to see those stick beads, and I'm sure that you have not stick welded in a long while, and I'm sure you could use some more practice to keep your skills up
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:01:25 AM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

I have a Marquis 7NHM. If you enclose it I'ld add screening on bottom and tight seams to keep mice out. They can get inside and break the plastic ignition arm that triggers the ignition modual. I plan on doing similar. I think ~ 1/4 inch mesh will keep them out. They supposedly can squeeze in thru opening size of ~ nickle.
.

Last edited by len k; 11-09-2019 at 01:00:56 AM.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:43:30 AM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtmaster View Post
JohnnyC, I know you have a mig welder, but do you have a stick welder? If so, I would like to to see you weld the carts together, with a stick welder, we all want to see those stick beads, and I'm sure that you have not stick welded in a long while, and I'm sure you could use some more practice to keep your skills up
Turtmaster, don't let this a surprise, but I was planning to use Elmer's Glue when time comes to join the metal.

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:31:40 AM
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

That's not a onan cart, This, is a Onan cart!

I made this probably 5 years ago to go up in the mountains to get a djc that was only accessible by atv trail.. and then the seller disappeared..

The rear was a jet ski trailer axle I shortened and reinforced, front casters were from a movie surplus store and are rated for 1500 pounds each..

At one time I had a old Wisconsin thd powered Miller welder and a djb sitting on it and was very easy to move around. But like mentioned the rear tires, ome would go flat in about a month.. but they are old and dry rotted..

The handle is removable too..

I used it many time to move onans over the lawn at my old house in California before I built my shop, then moved here and it's been in my shed ever since..

The other two are old railroad carts I bought from a closes down rail station in simi valley ca.

The last two, I have 5 of, that a good friend Gave ne.. yep gave me them, they came from the Howard Hughes factory in van Nuys ca that he got in the 70s at auction.. he said there were hundreds of them, but he only bought the 5 and the *key* the important part that hooks to them to move around..

I have more carts and they will be seen in my moving heavy old iron thread I'll start later today.. but now back to packing the pack rat container
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:36:21 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

One more thing, keep the CG as low as possible to minimize any tip over situations.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:01:28 PM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Consider making a drip pan for your unit. I get free steel sheet metal plates from a furnace company recycle pile.

I select panels that were parts of the furnace enclosures. The edges of the ones I want have bent edges essentially making them preformed drip pans when they are laid flat except that you have to weld the corner gaps shut (and any other holes).

While they are only less than 1/2" deep, they will contain any small leaks that otherwise seem to get spread around and make a mess.

I just cut some thin gaskets to place under the mounting feet, and use the same bolt holes that you would mount the generator with anyway, drilling right through the pan. This is pretty much how my marine sets were done from the factory.

I weld the corners and give them a coat of paint and that's about it.

The idea cam to me after I bought an N.O.S. Onan drip pan for one of my MDJE sets and saw that the only thing special about the Onan pan was the price.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:34:17 PM
darkd0r darkd0r is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Problem with flat tires? Mount a spare on each cart!
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:37:59 PM
YellowLister YellowLister is online now
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

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Problem with flat tires? Mount a spare on each cart!
Or rig up a central tire inflation system and just plug your air hose into it..
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:40:20 PM
Dale Russell Dale Russell is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Green Slime WORKS!
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:20:44 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

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Problem with flat tires? Mount a spare on each cart!
Excellent! This made me laugh

JohnnyC
New Jersey
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:25:28 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Problem with small inflatable tires is they have to be new. Not well made, they FREQUENTLY leak as they get older.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkd0r View Post
Problem with flat tires? Mount a spare on each cart!
I converted a 2 wheel dolly into a oxy/acetylene tank cart, has 2 inflatable tires ....... now it has 2 spare flat tires .... make them solid tires.



Problem with flat inflatable tires is they fall off rims, have to reseat them to seal surface of rim before adding air, not easy while ON a heavy cart.

IF tires leak it's usually either old/cracked/bad tire or rusty rim seal surface

IF tires are porous or SLIGHTLY cracked , can put few ounces masonry adhesion promoter product called Acrylic 60 in the tire, same stuff they sell in couple ounce bottles as tires sealer, but cheaper, only around $ 20/gal. Worked well on car tires with bad rusty rim seal surface and on porous wheel barrel tire.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:10:30 AM
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Did JohnnyC go to the"Pink" steel yard?
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:21:02 AM
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Default Re: Fabricating carts for my Onan J series genset from scratch

Harbor freight has replacement wheelbarrow tires that are "solid", never go flat. They aren't hard rubber, but a softer foam. I've got one on a wheelbarrow and it performs well under heavy loads.

They'd be good on a generator cart.
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