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20RZ Questions


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  #1  
Old 11-26-2018, 12:16:14 AM
Mlfix Mlfix is offline
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Default 20RZ Questions

I just got what I think will be a great deal. It is a 1998 Kohler 20RZ with the
Ford engine. It only has 300 hours on the meter. The outside is weather worn but the inside looks new. I only paid $1500 and had to drive 100 miles to pick it up.

It has a spec number of PA-185113 and serial number 604220. It will probably be a couple weeks before I get it hooked up and try it.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to track down any information or manuals for this thing. I was surprised how little is online since it is only 20 years old. This site seems to have the most information.

So far, I have figured out it has an "enhanced decision maker 1" controller. I also think I've figured out I will need to remove the spring from the regulator since it was hooked up to natural gas and I will be using it on propane.

I'm mainly interested in pros and cons of the controller I have. Is there anything I need to look out for? Are there reliability issues with it or does it just not have all the bells and whistles of the newer controllers?
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2018, 12:36:19 AM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: 20RZ Questions

The 20RZ is a great genset. I have two of them, one with a bit shy of 500 hours and the other with close to 5,000 hours. The higher hours unit i had to replace the brushes in the alternator (the little 12v one) this year, otherwise nothing has needed work.

You can order a set of manuals through a Kohler dealer. It’ll cost though.

You probably have a decision maker 3 controller. Send a pic, I can tell you from that. There is nothing bad about the controller, it’s just a basic model with lights and no fancy screen. Nice, simple, and reliable. I have had zero issues with either of mine.

Check if you have isochronous speed control or the mechanical governor. You probably have electronic ignition based on the year. I don’t think they used the distributor arrangement in the later sets.

Be careful fiddling with the pressure regulator. I’d recommend you do a coolant flush and fill to make sure you have good coolant, and do an oil change. I run full synthetic 15w-40 (might be 10w-40, I’m always mixing the two up) in mine. Many of these units have the percolating type block heater, use it. You’ll want a battery tender too — Kohler sells a nice one for about $50.

There are some people on here who can get you more specifics using the numbers you provided. There is a wealth of knowledge on these forums.

Welcome to the ‘Stak!

Bill
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Old 11-26-2018, 01:14:18 AM
Mlfix Mlfix is offline
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Default Re: 20RZ Questions

Thanks Bill. Yeah, just about everything I know about this unit came from this site. I read some of your posts about your two units. Great information.

It is the electronic ignition and isochronous speed control. I'm thinking it is some flavor of the DEC-1 based on what little I've been able to track down online. I found an operations manual #TP-5750 that shows a picture of my panel as the DEC-1. It only has a single fault light in the center of the panel, not the series of individual LEDs like the DEC-3 should have.

I will be changing the coolant and oil and will definitely go with synthetic oil. It also already has the block heater and battery tender. The guy I got it from said when he got it, the block heater was on and the block was nice and warm. After bringing it home, he decided he didn't know enough about generators to be able to hook it up himself. He even had it listed as being 3-phase in the ad. When I asked him to send me a picture of the model name tag all he could find was the tag for the motor. I didn't check it until I got home but it was listed as single phase right on the tag.

Mike
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:23:32 AM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: 20RZ Questions

As far as I know, all of the 20RZ sets have a 12 lead reconnectable generator end, so it can be setup for single or three phase. Itís easy to make the changes and the tag inside the generator housing has the diagrams.

I had thought the DEC-1 was no longer in use by the time your unit was made. Most of the more recent sets have the multi-light controller. You should still be ok though.

Make sure to do a real flush and fill, with the cleaner, when you change the coolant. Iíd plug the block heater in now even if you wonít have the unit in service for a bit. It will be easier to do the fluid changes with the unit warm, and itíll prevent any condensation inside the engine.

These are very nice gensets. Youíll be happy with yours and you got a pretty good deal. My more recent unit I got for around $2,000-2,500 and I had to freight it here from one of the Carolinas.

Bill
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