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A 1983 1 KW Onan genset on Propane

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Old 10-08-2010, 11:35:07 AM
analog man analog man is offline
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Default A 1983 1 KW Onan genset on Propane

I have been trying to find out some info about a couple Onan gensets I have aquired.
Model 1.0AJ-1R/26305M The serial number is J830 then in smaller case 681567The engine is 12 volt electric start.
The generator is a 4 pole 1800 rpm 1000 watt unit. They are very heavy units, but small and compact, Set up to run on propane. The air filter appears to be of the oil bath type.
They have been well mantained, were used by the government and have stickers showing oil changes and the last tag on them shows they were tested in 1998 and ready to be put into service. I believe that they have sat since then.
They came in a shipping/storage plywood box that they appear to slide out sideways from.
I have not started them, as I would like to find out as much as I can first.
I believe the engine is called a AJ series, But is that all they are called just AJ?
Does this setup have a good reputation for reliability?
I understand that newer onan(cummings) do not.
Is it Cummings that will have parts for these units?
What is the HP of the engine? Its not stamped on the nameplate only the output wattage of the generator.
Where can I get a schematic of the generator? Parts list for the engine?
Does the generator use a regulator?
I assume slip rings and brushes?
Does anyone here have experience useing one of these? and can tell me about the performance, things like noise level fuel economy, starting issues, any typical problems that come about? Any info apreciated.

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Old 10-08-2010, 11:59:25 AM
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Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is offline
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Default Re: A 1983 1 KW Onan genset on Propane

The one you have is not a common AJ. Most are 3600 RPM units. Yours is a 120 volt only unit.
Very good unit at 1800. The 3600 units were also good but noisy. Long lasting unit if you take care of it. HP is 5

I should have a print for it. I don't think Cummins/Onan will have any parts for it.
No regulator. Speed sets the voltage. Has brushes under the round plugs on the gen end. Large ones are for starting. Small ones are the AC brushes.

Keep the brushes free and clean in the guides. Run it at least twice a month to keep it in shape.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:44:06 PM
Dave Edmonds Dave Edmonds is offline
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Smile Re: A 1983 1 KW Onan genset on Propane

The only bad thing about an AJ is its weight as compared to the amount of power it generates. Everything else is good, except for parts availability.

Just couldn't resist it - found several Harbor Freight 800-watt 2-cycle units at a "Dirt Cheap" (brand name) store in another town - turns out that's who Harbor Freight sells the "returned-because-defective" stuff to. One looked brand new, nothing physically broken, virtually no soot in exhaust - $20.00 + tax! Appears that someone, in "mixing oil with the fuel", put the oil in the tank and dumped the fuel in on top of it. Found oil in the carb, and an oil-fouled plug (oil on plug was brown, not black). Little carb cleaner, new plug, and it runs about as well as a "toy" generator can run! Handy for little jobs, because it can be carried with one hand. Ain't got much for motor-starting capabilities, though. Normally sells for a little over $100 - certainly not worth any more than that, although the workmanship on the thing is quite good.
Dave Edmonds
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:45:19 AM
analog man analog man is offline
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Default Re: A 1983 1 KW Onan genset on Propane

Thanks for the info. I have now knocked apart one unit(not completly). It is in great shape.I did clean up the armature and slip rings as they were very much oxidized.
Anything brass and copper was.I wont need a schematic for the alternator as its very straight forward.
I built a muffler for it out of some steel that was sitting around.
I fired it up and after a couple minutes of hunting it settled down to a nice and steady rpm.
A very smooth runner, low noise, It just purrs.
I tried different loads, A 1000sand watt load no problem the 1300, and 1500 were. The voltage just drops off to something like 106 with these heavy loads. It seems that the engine can carry more but not the alt.
Thats ok with me as 1000 watts is fine.
After repeated testing it works great, but does hunt on start up each time.
Not a real problem as it settles in after a few minutes.
I can highly recommend these units at 1800 rpm. I will do some more testing I will be interested in the fuel consumption.I have been unable to find info on what these burn per kw.



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