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Onan Generators

Just picked up the DJB!


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  #1  
Old 05-13-2006, 08:21:10 AM
Joe Stewart Joe Stewart is offline
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Placed a want ad in the local paper and got a response! Caller wasn't sure what model Onan he had, but said it was a 2cyl diesel mounted on a trailer with a 25gal fuel tank and wire basket. Said motor runs but generator has no output and wanted $300 for the whole thing! Drove 90 minutes to go pick it up, and it is a beauty! And the fuel tank was nearly full of diesel! See photos. Now the troubleshooting begins.

The first problem is that the data plates are gone, and I do not have a model number or serial number. I think this is a DJB. Are there any distinguishing features that I can look for to confirm this? Are there any further distinguishing features to narrow down specific variants? The previous owner had it hooked up to two 120volt outlets, but he said he would direct wire a 220volt welder to it.

The motor runs fine but does vibrate a little. I took off the air shroud and noticed that two of the cast iron air cooling fins are broken off of the flywheel (two fins right next to each other). Is it ok to run it like this or is this sufficiently unbalanced that I should start looking for a replacement flywheel?

I measured the voltage at each of the main wires coming out of the generator section, before they feed into the breaker box, and I only measure 7 volts each at 1800rpm with no load. I have not inspected the inside of the generator, but the previous owner said he had taken off the end cover and polished the slip rings but that did not help.

The previous owner said the generator worked fine for a period of time. Then he tried to use it one day and it would not work. He moved it from the field into his workshop and then it started working again. He let it sit for a few weeks and when he tried to use it, it would not work. That was six months before I bought it. Not sure of the implications of all of this, but I would love to get this thing generating again!

I don't have manual or wiring diagram (anyone who has the YD manual if they could fax me the pertinent pages?). Would appreciate all input on how to go about troubleshooting this beautiful machine. I have limited experience with generators (never did get my Craftsman machine working - see prior posts) so try to keep the diaglogue on the semi-layman's level.

Thanks in advance. Joe Stewart
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Old 05-13-2006, 08:37:10 AM
Gunny Gunny is offline
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Default Re: Just picked up the DJB!

Joe:
Slip rings? Don't believe you'll find any on this machine.

2 busted off fins on the fly wheel will for sure make it vibrate. A machine shop might be able to help you out with balancing the flywheel. Wouldn't want to run it thatfar out of balance, wouldn't want to run it with more than 2 fins missing either as it will affect cooling air flow.

Don't have any manuals here at the house. I were you, I would do some checks before investing any more funds on it. If its diodes or a regulator, would definitely be worth fixing, of rotor or stator, think on it some. If it worked, then didn't then did and now don't, I'd look real hard for a loose or broken wire to/from the voltage regulation.

Worst case, you can easy make your money back by selling parts off of that machine. Injection pump is worth about twice what you paid for the whole thing.
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:29:25 AM
Jim Rankin Jim Rankin is offline
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Default Re: Just picked up the DJB!

For trouble shooting, remove enough fins oposite the missing ones to balance it up. I would be very careful removing them so you don't break off the wrong one or take too much. Better to have slightly too little cooling airflow than to have it out of balance.

Then open up the generator and clean it (I like a soft brush and compressed air) and inspect the wiring etc. Your problem may be obvious. But remember, some resisters run hot enough to discolor and will still be ok, so that type of component will have to be checked against a spec to determine if it is functional unless it is completely open.

Good luck!
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Old 05-13-2006, 07:16:09 PM
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Talking Re: Just picked up the DJB!

Could be either a DJB or DJE ....both are 2 cyl and very similar, almost
identical. B's could have a Magnicitor Genend or a YD, where I haven't
ever seen an E with anything but a YD. Check the B1-B2 windings for the
Battery Charging System for voltage while running. This will tell you if the
Exciter System is functioning, and maybe you need to look at the Rotating
Diodes on the armature. Also check F2/F3 Field Fuses on the VR21 Regulator
Board, and CB21 for Open Circuit. Good places to start, anyway.

Bruce in alaska
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:27:15 AM
Joe Stewart Joe Stewart is offline
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Default Re: Just picked up the DJB!

Hey Bruce and others,

Thanks for the replies!

I took the cup-shaped cover off the generator end and did a visual check of all the connections. There are two sets of brushes mounted 180 degrees apart. One of the wires on one of the brushes was disconnected! I re-connected it and started generator up => still does not make electricity. The rest of the visual inspection was unremarkable.

There's a steel box on top of the generator unit. I took the cover off and there are quite a few wires in there and a few electrical devices, including two solenoids (I guess one for starter and one for glow plugs). All connections appear intact.

I guess I have a few questions for Bruce:

1. Where exactly is the B1-B2 windings and where would I put my probes to measure output voltage while running?

2. Where exactly is the VR21 regulator board?

3. What is CB21? Are there any available online diagrams that could give me some guidance as to the general locations of all of these parts?

4. Can you give a brief physical description of the rotating diodes on the armature?

5. Concerning the broken cooling fin issue, Could I have someone weld some fins to replace the broken ones? After welding in the replacement fins, I could get the flywheel balanced. I have a spare djc engine and I could cut a couple of fins off of that flywheel and have them welded onto this generator's flywheel. Not sure if this would work because I understand there are problems with welding cast iron.

Thanks for all input.

Joe Stewart
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:04:07 AM
Jim Rankin Jim Rankin is offline
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Default Re: Just picked up the DJB!

I believe we need some pictures of the inside of the generator control cabinet and the armature/brush rig. We must be barking up the wrong tree if you haven't found the VR21 circuit board and there are slip rings in there.

If there are slip rings, there won't be rotating diodes etc. You can check the field with an ohmeter from slip ring to slip ring to check for an open circuit (lift the brushes and put paper between them and the slip rings first) and also from slip rings to the shaft to make sure there isn't a short. Brushes should be free in the holders with good spring tension and the slip rings should be clean. A piece of chalk is close to the sticks that are made to clean slip rings (or a scrap of very fine sandpaper) held on the ring as it turns will clean it right up.

If none of this works, you could try flashing the field with some small DC voltage like a 6 V lantern battery or even a couple of D cells. Apply the voltage to the 2 leads going to the brush pairs. This will magnetize the field and should make voltage at least while you are flashing. BE CAREFUL and don't get shocked. This can also be done with the generator stopped for safety.

Many times an old generator will have lost the residual magnetism that normally remains in the steel core between runs. Without some magnetic field, the generator is unable to build up voltage.

If this doesn't help, maybe with the pictures someone can make an ID of the set.
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Old 05-15-2006, 05:20:51 AM
Joe Stewart Joe Stewart is offline
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Default Re: Just picked up the DJB!

OK, I will try all of the suggested test procedures, but may not be able to get to it until next weekend. In the meantime, identifying the model of this unit sounds like a great idea, since the data plates are missing. Here are photos of the gen end and the control box. Can any of the Onan experts tell what model generator I have?
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:31:51 AM
Jim Rankin Jim Rankin is offline
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Default Re: Just picked up the DJB!

IT'S A MAGNECITER............sorry got carried away

I can't tell you what model you have though. The flashing and slipring advice still applies, positive goes to F1, negative goes to F2. But first try the residual reset button shown in the picture with the engine running. If that doesn't help, then flash it. If that gets it going, great, if not or if the voltage dies out, then there is something faulty and we'll have to send the check out procedure.
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:04:28 AM
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Talking Re: Just picked up the DJB!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Rankin
IT'S A MAGNECITER............sorry got carried away
It looks like you DO NOT have a YD Genend, therefore anything that has to do
with the VR21 board is void as the Magniciter Genends don't use that system.
You have a DJB most likely as you have a Magniciter, and it will be earlier than
Spec AA, which is when they switched to YD's. Well, good luck to you on
getting it operational. I have messed with Magniciters before, and never had
much luck getting them running again. Your mileage may vary. Jim or Gunny
can help you alot better than I on that Genend.

Bruce in alaska
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:22:58 PM
Raymond Raymond is offline
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Default Re: Just picked up the DJB!

As I recall a fellow from Texas had one like this only I believe his was 30 Kw but he installed a Powertronics UVR501 with an SE350 exciter module and it worked perfectly. The SE 350 is overkill but I believe it's their smallest module with no minimum field resistance.The 350 does 25 amps cont, 35 amps forced with 105 volts max.field voltage, and has no minimum field resistance requirement. An automatic flasher will probably be needed also. www.powertronics.com. I believe the price is around $375.
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