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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-016A 4A032 Keeps Shutting Down


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  #1  
Old 07-13-2018, 02:17:23 PM
nezwick nezwick is offline
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Default MEP-016A 4A032 Keeps Shutting Down

I picked up a 1973 MEP-016A-II at an auction the other day in non-running condition, mostly just to "play" with and see if I could bring it back to life. It only has 40 hours on the clock, and the hour meter does work. It has a Teledyne 4A032 with a Marvel/Schebler HMC-10 carburetor (with adjustable jets!).

The seller seemed to think it was locked up; turns out the cylinders had been filled with clean oil years ago for long-term storage (way, way too much oil) and it just had built up too much compression to turn over.

Anyway, it needed completely gone through. Points and spark plug cleaning, purging ancient varnished gasoline from all the fuel lines, carb, and tank, oil change, etc. The usual stuff.

I have done a bunch of reading on this setup and the biggest complaint seems to be the float in the carb swelling up and sticking due to ethanol. My float appears to be in perfect factory condition, just discolored. I tested it by floating it in water and it does not sink. When in the carb, it moves the needle in and out very smoothly, does not drag on the sides, and does its job shutting off fuel flow when needed. The Viton tip needle appears fine.

I did eventually get the gen set to start and run, governor adjusted to 3600-ish, and was able to verify electrical output using a multimeter and a couple of lights and power tools. Was pretty proud of this accomplishment except for one major problem:


No matter what, it will only stay running for between 1 and 3 minutes. When it runs, it runs beautifully. Starts right up and sounds great. No oil burning, no misses or stumbles, exhaust clear.

After going through everything I could possibly think to go through, twice and three times, and disassembling the carburetor at least 10-15 times, I'm now at a complete loss. The gas is fresh ethanol-free 91 from our farm tank, oil at the correct level, plug gap correct, points clean, carburetor needles adjusted exactly to spec.

So I thought, maybe it's "smart" and will shut itself down after a specified period of time if no load is detected. Connected a shop light and a grinder and let them run. No difference.

What could I be missing here?
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2018, 03:29:35 PM
Rich Mc Rich Mc is offline
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Default Re: MEP-016A 4A032 keeps shutting down

Does the engine have ignition points or is it upgraded to the electronic ignition?

(Just reread your post you have points.)


You might considering upgrading to the electronic ignition. It is available at Saturn Surplus and other military parts suppliers.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:13:04 PM
nezwick nezwick is offline
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Default Re: MEP-016A 4A032 keeps shutting down

Hmm, sounds like an ignition related issue to you? I was too focused on fuel problems to actually consider that. Is it possible the ignition coils are getting heat-soaked and cutting out? It's been very hot outside the past few days and the engine itself does get quite hot to the touch.

I was looking at the electronic ignition conversion set on eBay earlier, but not too seriously. I don't mind points ignition, but would gladly to the conversion if it would solve the problem.

Any troubleshooting steps I can follow to isolate the ignition issue vs. fuel?


My fuel pump does not have the primer lever, but if I disconnect the line from the carb and give the rope a few pulls, it seems to be pumping plenty of gas. Also, it has enough strength to draw the gas up through the lower tank and all the plumbing so I called it good.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:54:08 PM
Rich Mc Rich Mc is offline
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Default Re: MEP-016A 4A032 Keeps Shutting Down

when its running and the engine starts to die spray some starting fluid into the carb, if it continues to die its probably ignition related.
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:25:18 PM
nezwick nezwick is offline
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Default Re: MEP-016A 4A032 Keeps Shutting Down

Well I think I've made a bit of progress.

To answer your question, yes it will keep running if starting fluid is sprayed into the intake after it starts to die.


I continued chasing fuel delivery problems today. I found a brass strainer screen that I had missed before, and it was almost completely plugged. Said screen was located right inside where the fuel elbow threads into the side of the carb bowl. I had not removed this elbow before because I could blow compressed air through and figured it was unobstructed. Turns out air could get through but sufficient gasoline could not. The screen is not shown in the TM so I wasn't expecting it there.

Anyway, I'm now getting plenty of gas into the carb - too much actually. It will run continuously without dying but it wants to run rich and I can't get it leaned out to where I want it.

I had previously adjusted the float level to 1/16 inch ABOVE level with the top of the fuel bowl, per some instructions that I ran across on the internet. This setting now caused the carb to flood and start spilling gas out. So I adjusted to about 1/16 BELOW level and it does not spill out, but still runs rich.

The float still has perfect freedom of movement within the bowl and is not damaged.

Should I adjust the float level even lower now? The weirdest thing to me is that even if I turn the main jet needle completely closed, the engine will continue to run (rich). This tells me that somewhere the gas is able to bypass the needle completely.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:56:01 PM
Rich Mc Rich Mc is offline
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Default Re: MEP-016A 4A032 Keeps Shutting Down

Paste this thread into the search box, it may give you some answers/ideas,


2A016 Genset Carburetor Guidence Needed
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:40:02 PM
nezwick nezwick is offline
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Default Re: MEP-016A 4A032 Keeps Shutting Down

Thanks, I do remember reading that thread a couple days ago and that’s where I learned to set the float level just a bit under the top of the bowl.

I guess I forgot to mention in my original post that I did already make new homemade gaskets for the bowl and for the “center post” because they were both rotten. I used water pump gasket paper that I had in the shop. I have some cork too but it’s too thick for this application.

I may still try to lower the float level just a small amount more.

I may actually have the Tecumseh needle/seat parts here in my parts bin. That’s worth a try too, I suppose.
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:13:45 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: MEP-016A 4A032 Keeps Shutting Down

I just bought a new carburetor body gasket from Saturn Surplus. I think it was $2. Maybe you are a lot better with an X-Acto knife than I am (doesn't take much) and your gasket is perfect but I know mine would not be and it is important to have the gasket right to make the carburetor happy. Two bucks for a crummy little gasket seems kinda extortionate but when I think about all the work involved with trying to make one it's downright reasonable.
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Old 07-19-2018, 05:06:42 AM
Rich Mc Rich Mc is offline
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Default Re: MEP-016A 4A032 Keeps Shutting Down

Hello s100

Did Saturn have the small 3/8 dia center gasket? Thanks
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:39:16 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: MEP-016A 4A032 Keeps Shutting Down

Rich Mc, Saturn only has the main body gasket. And I was wrong, it is $3.50 not $2. Still, I'd prefer that to fooling around for hours making one.
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