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Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants Antique Generators, Light Plants, Typically 24, 32 or 48 volt although some are 110 volt. DC Lamps, Motors and appliances.

Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants

Kohler and Delco Light Plant Help Needed


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  #1  
Old 10-16-2017, 07:48:20 PM
Grape Grape is offline
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Default Kohler and Delco Light Plant Help Needed

Hello everyone, this is my first time venturing into the world of power generation. I just bought 2 light plants, both look like the engines have ran in the not so distant past but are missing parts now (I think). I'd like to make sure they are complete before I attempt to fire them up. Any suggestions, PDF's of manuals or other advice will be greatly appreciated. Photos will be added tomorrow when its light enough to get some good ones.
#1: 1922 Kohler power and light plant. Model B2389 110Volt 1500 watt DC with 4 cyl gas engine, water cooled.
Is this crank start or will it start on demand with battery. Also don't know if its 12 or 24 volt. It has battery cables coming from the power box but nothing else. It has a fairbanks Morse magneto and I don't see any kill switch or switch wiring. Where should I start.
#2: Delco light 600w 32 Volt
It has the square cast iron base with the built in fuel tank. Its a very nice looking unit. It does not have a coil and all the wires have been disconnected from the power panel so I don't know where to start. I'm almost positive this is a manual start only but is it crank only or is there a way to start it with the battery?

AS a related question, what can I find or build to use 110V DC if I would take it to shows?

Thats enough for now, Thanks in advance for all your input.
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:06:44 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco light plant help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grape View Post
AS a related question, what can I find or build to use 110V DC if I would take it to shows?

Thats enough for now, Thanks in advance for all your input.
Light bulb, waffle iron, anything with a heating element, some motors such as electric drills.
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:20:59 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco light plant help needed

Is the Kohler a Model B? Or a Model D?

That is an early one, I believe that they came out in 1921.

They typically use a 24 volt battery, and are automatic, meaning they start and stop by sensing the presence or absence of a load on the line.

There should be a wire connected to the magneto which allows the controller to stop the engine.

I'm a Kohler guy, not a Delco guy, so I don't know much about them.
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:34:20 PM
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco light plant help needed

Thanks for the reply. It is a model B. The data plate lists the date as 1922. It looks very nice and I can't wait to run it. I can mount 2 12v batteries to make 24V. I'm thinking I should get a small space heater to create a load. I see no place for a kill wire to the mag but I'll look closer tomorrow.
Any idea where to get manuals and diagrams?
Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:19:04 AM
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco light plant help needed

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Old 10-17-2017, 08:20:49 AM
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:22:32 AM
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:23:48 AM
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:49:58 AM
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco light plant help needed

Kieth , if that Kohler was a 1921 or 22 would it have a mechanical fuel pump ? My,n had a vacuum tank. Bill H
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:57:19 PM
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Default Re: Kohler and Delco light plant help needed

Bill, I certainly would have thought that it would have had the vacuum fuel pump. My '34 has one as well. Perhaps they offered both for a while? I have an early manual, I'll have to see if it shows both. Of course there is the possibility (probability?) that someone switched over the parts from a donor machine at some point.

Those are both nice looking machines. The Kohler definitely looks to be automatic, with slightly different looking components in the controller, presumably earlier versions. Love how KOHLER is boldly cast into the side. Neat! Lots of little differences with this earlier one. The generator itself sure is different looking.

The little hole in the rocker cover is to enable the verification of oil flow. There's a pump in the bottom that supplies the main bearings and the rocker shaft. The oil draining out of that goes past the little hole and down into the connecting rod dip tray. I would pull the rocker cover first, make sure that there are no stuck valves, then pour some fresh oil over all of the valve gear, letting it drain back down where the push rods come through. That'll get oil to the dip tray. The pump should have a strainer on its inlet, and this may be clogged. Best to pull it (draining old oil in the process) and make sure it's clean. I believe that they hold seven quarts. If the oil looks ok, I suppose that you could reuse it for testing purposes. When you first get it running, make sure oil comes out of the little drain from the rocker shaft. You also may well find that the base is full of sludge, which means that the dip tray probably is as well. All things to look into once it proves that it is going to be a runner. May very well need to lap the valves too. Hopefully it's as good on the inside as it looks on the outside!

Many old appliances are rated to operate on DC. Start cruising your local thrift stores and flea markets and you should find some. A lot of modern appliances (resistive or series motor equipped) will run on DC, but their switch contacts are not generally up to the task of switching DC. Of course incandescent light bulbs and even some of the crap they're making now will actually run on DC as well.

I believe that the Delcos have no governor and no throttle. They depend on battery voltage to control their speed and they operate at constant power. I don't know that all were this way, as I said my knowledge on them is a lot less.

I would suggest starting a new thread for each. There are a number of Delco experts on here.

Last edited by Vanman; 10-17-2017 at 02:09:44 PM.
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