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Onan Electronic Ignition and TriFuel... How To


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  #1  
Old 05-13-2010, 01:11:59 PM
bobbyz72 bobbyz72 is offline
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Default Onan Electronic Ignition and TriFuel... How To

Bt told me a while back if i would do a step by step how to, he would post it as a stickly. Well, I have a 5.0 CCK 1975 onan generator, the points have been acting up. So i will be taking pictures of step by step, and giving the best info i can of how to up grade it to electronic ignition, and how and were to drill and tap the carburator for natrual gas or propane/ tri fuel. Im going to do all of this with only BASIC HAND TOOLS, and using the easly ways possable to do this upgrade. No fancing machining, no fancy tools, nonthing expesive, as i normaly like to do. Pictures and step by step later today....
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:35:41 PM
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Talking Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How Too

Way cool, Looking forward to seeing your Product when you get it done. It will make a fine addition to the Stickys at the top of the Forum.
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Bruce in alaska
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:02:57 PM
DaGr51 DaGr51 is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How Too

Yes, indeed! Can't wait to see this, Bobby.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:13:42 PM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How Too

Bobbyz72

Looks like you are going to beat me to this. I am cover-up with lawn mower and I have not done this to my 4.0 CCK. I do have it set-up gaseous fuel.

Kent
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:49:03 PM
bobbyz72 bobbyz72 is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

Ok, i guess to get started, we are doing this the easyest way possable, you will need 166-0767 Electronic Ignition Rotor, about $5 on ebay, 166-0785 Ignition Module, Around $20 on ebay, 515-0284 Flywheel Key, $1 used on ebay. onan timing gear front cover with the 2 screw holes for the module, about $10 on ebay. 103-0810 Timing Cover Gasket about $10, and 509-0040 Oil Seal Timing Cover End, again, about $10. Thats all the onan parts you need for this entire project.

Geting started remove all sheet metal off the front of the generator, including the fly wheel.

Step 2, grind off the square heads off the new and old governor shafts. If your new timing cover has the same governor shaft you can skip this part, see picture of me detail. After grinding off the square head work the governor shaft off, should come right off with a little force. You should have a nice square end on your governor shaft after you remove the governor arm.

Step 3, If your doing this with a NH 6.5, BFA, Skip this step. If your doing this with a cck, you will have to grind about 1/4 inch off the inside shaft part of the flywheel, it grinds down REALLY easy! If you dont do this, when you install the rotor, and flywheel and tighten down on the flywheel, if till push in oil seal inward.

More to come tomorrow, had to work 4 hours long then i had planed today.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:15:11 PM
bobbyz72 bobbyz72 is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

Ok, where were we? Go ahead and tack weld your old governor arm on to the the new governor shaft, takes about 1 second..

Step 5, install the new timing gear cover on to the generator.

Step 6, Skip, this step if doing this on a 6.5 NH or BFA.... take the new key, and cut 1/4 inch off of it, i used vice grips to be sure i didnt cut too much off. I also used a band saw, you can use what ever you want to cut it. Make sure when installed, it does not ride on the oil seal.

Step 7, install new key, slide rotor trigger on shaft, and install ignition pick up.

Step 8, tie low oil pressure into black wire.

Step 9, Use antiseize on shaft and resinstall flywheel.

Step 10, run wires, and tire red wire to Ignition coil (+), and black wire to Ignition coil (-).

Removing points box optional.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:17:11 PM
bobbyz72 bobbyz72 is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

Had to open new window to add more pictures....
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:21:53 PM
bobbyz72 bobbyz72 is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

Now lets see what we can do with the carb. On the rear of the carb, there is a plug, looks like a perfect drilling location. After drilling, i ran a 1/8 NPT pipe tap into drilled hole, the carb is soft aluminum so it taps really easy.


Will reinstall carb tomorrow, and show how to set up fuel supply tomorrow.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:15:23 PM
Ted_Cool Ted_Cool is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

Lookin good!

The two different governor arms look compatible. Was there something interfering that made you need to change them?
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:26:50 PM
bobbyz72 bobbyz72 is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

Its off set a little bit, and would require tighting the governor spring a lot, and still may not be tight enough, but your right, it MAY work fine.

Tomorrow ill also measure the diffrences between the new and old gear cover, so if one would want to, you could just drill holes in your exsisting cover, and not have to buy a new one. You would just have to seal the holes up so oil wont leak out.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:03:19 AM
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

The boss you drilled and tapped is actually the bolt hole boss that's drilled and tapped to hold the original Onan gaseos fuel adapter in place. The larger boss above it is the correct place to tap the carb for venturi vacuum as it is directly in line with the venturi throat on the Marvel-Schebler carb you're working with....
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:33:39 AM
bobbyz72 bobbyz72 is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

Yes, but i would have to tap a really big hole to get outside of the thin plug, then i would be risking damaging to bowl. I have found that the 1/8 quickly increased to 5/8 hose, is more then enough.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:54:30 AM
Jim Rankin Jim Rankin is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

you might want to simply drill the larger boss above that one and insert a tube with a gasket maker/sealer on it instead of tapping for threads. With a tab welded on it and one screw in the lower boss, it should do fine.
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:43:57 PM
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

Man, this is good stuff. Thanks for taking the time to take the pics and show us. I would also like to see some close ups of the stock set up. Having options based on your tool availability and mechanical skills is always a good thing. I have an extra VD 60 carb sitting around waiting for a project like this.
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:50:34 PM
bobbyz72 bobbyz72 is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

So I ended up finishing it last night. I mixed some epoxy and applied it around my pipe on my taped hole, just to help hold it, but it really is not needed! From the 1/8" i increased quickly to 5/8, to connect my flex hose. You need ATLEAST 1/2 FLEX HOSE!! 3/8 will not do it!
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:56:55 PM
bobbyz72 bobbyz72 is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

You can see on my demand regulator, i have a T where the natural gas goes into it. Well, thats also a 3/8 flare, where i can turn the gas off at the wall, and connect to a propane bottle, should i ever want to. Just so you all know, dont expect full power when running on natural gas or propane. With Gasoline i can get for then 5 kw out of the generator. On natural gas, expect only about half or a little more then half, and a little more with propane. This has been my experiance with all my generator, and diffrent types of converstions. By the way, Upgrading to electronic Ignition is GREAT!! Test your spark plugs with your points, do the convertion and test them again... much more spark!! You do NOT need to change your ignition coil to a electrionic ignition coil, your points coil will run fine.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:24:22 PM
VaughnSimon VaughnSimon is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

Quote:
dont expect full power when running on natural gas or propane. With Gasoline i can get for then 5 kw out of the generator. On natural gas, expect only about half or a little more then half, and a little more with propane.
Whoa! The above confuses me.

The older Onans that I am familar with are usually rated the same with any of the three fuels. I assume that they do this by providing a slightly oversize engine to make up for the loss of horsepower when burning the less energetic fuels.

This may not apply to all models, but I can tell you for a fact that if your dry gas CCK conversion is only giving you half power, you are not done yet. Go after the other half!

Thanks for making the effort to document your work for the rest of us. I have been learning a bunch!

Vaughn
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:04:11 PM
bobbyz72 bobbyz72 is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

Well, then i need other ideas, i have 4. 3 are set up this way, one is a 6.5. And 1 cck with a adaptor. I can not get full power with natural gas. If i open the needle valves up any more, it will start running rich and flooding. Maybe its because i have VERY long exhaust pipes on mine.
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:05:39 PM
lijobi lijobi is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

The dry fuel adapter I fabricated for my 5.0 CCK only yeilded me around 4kw with NG and 4.5kw with propane (as I recall). A 4.0 CCK is the same engine as the 5.0, so the full rating will still be realized. My set up was not optimum as it clamped on top of the carb, so one could achieve better results dedicating their machine to one particular fuel and dialing it in for that fuel. My 6.5 NH, which I installed a propane only carb on, will just barely crack out 50 amps at a still reasonable voltage (112), which turns into 5.6kw with NG. it does much better on propane, around 6.2kw or so. If you're only getting about half output on NG, it could be due to the design of the adapter that you threaded into the body. Maybe it needs to somehow stick into the venturi which could help with the vacuum signal reguired by the demand regulator. I lost patience and stopped fiddling with my CCK after the proof of concept was realized. I also played with different size and lengths of tubing between the regulator and the carb, all with different results. If someone is getting full rated output on all three fuels on a machine where the engine is a close match for the genend (i.e. a 10hp motor on a 5KW machine or a 13hp motor on a 6.5kw machine) maybe they could share their set up with us. The reduced output discussion has been brought up on a number of threads and I am always interested to read them.
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:17:12 PM
hoppyhunts hoppyhunts is offline
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Default Re: Electronic Ignition and TriFuel.. How To

Hi Bobby. Thanks for sharing this project with all of us. It's very much appreciated.

I'm just getting my feet wet with generators, and hope to make some type of hobby with them in the future. I have been a forklift mechanic for the past 22 years, and have quite a bit of LP experience, though not much opportunity for LP experiments! Some of the lines of equipment I have worked on have dual-fuel systems and I can back you up in your claim of H.P. loss, but it shouldn't be half. I suspect the fitting you installed into the carb is too small, restricting the fuel. Your 5/8 I.D. hose is then choked down to 1/4 inch I.D., at the 1/8th pipe. Most any system I have worked on (Impco, Aisan, etc.) as well as the dual-fuel air inlet adapter type, maintain the hose size from the regulator to the carb or air inlet hose, but have a fitting with an adjustable restricter to adjust the power. Suppose that may be where the power loss is in your set-up?

Fuel for thought.
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