eBay Onan 12-ODJC-18RZ20-744AD -- What is it?

WillST

New member
I'm brand new to your list and absolutely delighted to join :wave:!! Really glad to find this list. I live in Washington state in a place where trees knock out the power regularly during winter storms. So been looking for a 15-25KW (15KW is the bare minimum, 12KW is too small) good quality reliable 1800rpm diesel generator for a long time and thought I'd found one on eBay, now not so sure. It's eBay item# 120330583031. The Seller lists it as a 15.1-20KW generator, but is it? I looked at the Onan model# interpret page (http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel/Onan/Interpret.htm), and it appears that this is a 12KW generator, right? Can someone please tell me what the model number code says? I have a request in already to the Seller for the serial number. Thanks Much, Wil
 

Jim Davis

New member
You really need the data plate and I prefer the auctions that show a good pic of the plate that has the 1 phase KW and 3 phase KW shown. This is max 12KW single phase and may be 12KW 3 phase and only 8KW 1 phase.
 

BTPost

Moderator
Staff member
There is an Onan FAQ that will allow you to DECODE the Model and Serial Numbers for ANY J Series Onan Genset. The quick answer IS, that the one your now looking at is an Air Cooled, 1800 Rpm, Remote Start Capable, Diesel Genset with a YD Brushless Genend. It has a -18 Voltage Code which means it is Totally Reconnectable for just about ANY Voltage and Phase combination that are common in Residential and Industrial useage. It also MAY be an Extended Stack Genend, which if so, will provide Full Output, even when connected for 120/240 Vac Single Phase. Are you sure you can't do with less than 15 Kw. These Onans are very "Old School" and rugged. I had two of them, that were operated as Prime Power Gensets for 20 years, with just standard Maintainance. There were replaced 20 years ago with Water Cooled 20 Kw Northern Lights Units, that were just replaced last year, after 60K operational Hours each. I now run a pair of 20Kw Nothern Lights Gensets and I suspect that someone else will be here by the time these two need to be replace. Both those old Onan DJ Series Gensets are still running, as Portable Rigs, used for Power in Remote locations.
 

WillST

New member
Jim, now I'm wondering if this might be a Marine generator, I don't see a radiator in the few pictures provided. It looks like that small fan guard on one end of the generator can't be the radiator? I asked the Seller yesterday for pictures of the generator and motor data plate(s), he has so far ignored that request. If this is definitely a max of 12KW, I will have to retract my bid. It's looking more like I wasn't cautious enough--I shouldn't have taken what the Seller said at face value. Crud.
 

WillST

New member
There is an Onan FAQ that will allow you to DECODE the Model and Serial Numbers for ANY J Series Onan Genset. The quick answer IS, that the one your now looking at is an Air Cooled, 1800 Rpm,
Yes, I looked at the FAQ page and your post also when I was trying to decipher the eBay model#, but was unsuccessful as I am still very new to these gensets. Thank you for giving me the run-down on this generator. I guess air-cooled is the letter 'O' in the 12-ODJC-- that helps with my other question about how the generator is cooled. My house is unfortunately all-electric (heat pump/blower, well pump, electric stove, and electric water heater, etc.) so 12KW is pretty marginal.....
 

w peterson 54

New member
Nothin' against fleabay but I just checked out craigslist for seattle and a number of onans came up from 5-15 KW. Don't know where you are in WA but you might find things closer than San Fran.

wep54
 

WillST

New member
Nothin' against fleabay but I just checked out craigslist for seattle and a number of onans came up from 5-15 KW. Don't know where you are in WA but you might find things closer than San Fran.
I keep an eye on CraigsList as well. With all due respect, I could not find any diesel, 1800rpm, air or water cooled, greater than/equal to 15KW generators on Seattle CraigsList. There are tons of them in the lower power ranges, gasoline-powered, and tons of them on boats or motorhomes, but none as residential diesel units. If you found one, I would be most grateful to know about it.
 

Isaac-1

New member
I just wanted to wish you good luck on your search, I am looking for a similar sized 120/240 single phase unit here in Louisiana for my mother's house(all electric, well, 3 central A/C units, 14.5KVA running for just the air conditioning and the well). So far I keep running into 20KW 3 phase 15R (there is a nice looking low hour 20DL4 on government liquidation about 150 miles from here in TX at the moment, I just don't think its big enough) units or the same less than 12 KW units.

Ike
 

Mikey4026

Subscriber
Where are you located Wil, must be in the 253\206 area? I will keep an ear to the ground if you would like. I just picked up a 20KW Kato with a D2300 Hercules and Asco automatic transfer switch for 2500$, It's already spoken for, sorry. I may have a 40KW Generac available sometime soon, my guess that it has a Hino diesel engine. Don't know if it will have a transfer switch? Generac is the brand I dislike most, but it won't be getting all that many hours (except for the November storms). The 12KW DJC is probably a little small for what you need, you should probably be thinking of 15 as a minimum, 20 would be better (20KW 120\240 is usually 100 amps per leg.
Keep in mind, that these old Onans are great, but not compatable with most automatic transfer switches. They used a three wire start\stop system, transfer switches now are two wire. There was a 2 to 3 wire converter but they are obsolete now.
Give me a PM if you want me to keep an eye out.
Mikey from Puyallup
 

WillST

New member
There's a 15KW diesel in Coos Bay, OR (Medford Craigslist). PM me or email me for more details (wep54@msn.com)
Wep, thanks for the tip, found it on the Medford Craigslist. I have an RSS feed for 'Onan' on Seattle Craigslist, might just do one for the entire PNW. Rgds, Wil
 

WillST

New member
Where are you located Wil.......
Keep in mind, that these old Onans are great, but not compatable with most automatic transfer switches. Give me a PM if you want me to keep an eye out.
Mikey from Puyallup
Hi Mikey, I'm about an hour north of Seattle, land of falling Alder trees every winter. I do agree that 20-25KW is the best comfort zone for my house needs, but it's hard to find a diesel 1800rpm one in that output range for my budget of around $2500. I also have an Asco ATS (Series 165, 2-wire start, 200A, 2-pole) all mounted and ready to go, but am starting to realize that maybe I should have stuck with a Manual Transfer Switch. Expensive lesson.

I haven't learned much past the idea that Onans are good, reliable generators, and to stay away from the tons of cheap China/India generators on eBay/CraigslList and the like. Also, did you know that supposedly stationary residential generator installations in Washington state are supposed to be UL2200 listed? I just finished building my shop and the electrical inspector told me that. What a load of crap....! I'll PM you. Thanks, Wil
 

WillST

New member
Nothin' against fleabay....
Well, you hit it right with fleabay this time. The seller wouldn't give me the data plate information. He handed me some bull story about how he had a friend rebuild it to 15KW output. I retracted my bid. I usually have good luck on eBay (buying old cars, most guys are honest), but this one sure went sideways....
 

BTPost

Moderator
Staff member
If you look for a Northern Lights Diesel Genset, and find a 16 Kw or 20Kw version in your price range, GRAB it.... They make very good units, and are built right down there in Ballard, next to the Ballard Bridge. Alaska Diesel is the name of the company. I just replaced a pair of 20 Kw units that had over 60K Operational Hours each, on them. Replaced them with NEW twin 20Kw Northern Lights Gensets. Being water cooled, you could set thm up for co-generation and pump the cooling system BTU's into the house while running on backup power. You paid for those BTU's when you bought the fuel, you should get something out of them, instead of Heating the Pacific Northwest Outdoors.....
 

Billy J Shafer

Moderator
I would stay far away from this seller. His story changes everytime I look at it. At 400 hours there would be no need to rebuild it. It cannot be a 15.1 to 20 KW unit. Onan never made such a thing. It will be a 12 or 15 KW unit. To rebuild it to a 15 from a 12. He would have to replace the back end. This would cost more than he is asking for. Sounds like he is looking for a sucker to buy it.
 

WillST

New member
Billy, I retracted my bid yesterday. The seller refused to even show me or tell me what the generator data plate said. As you said, he didn't ring true for other reasons as well. He told me he had already spent the money I bid on it, so I couldn't retract my bid!! He changed his description from 15.1-20KW to 10.1-15KW AFTER I retracted my bid, but there are other issues with the unit that he was hiding as well. Ayyyiyi.......
 

WillST

New member
If you look for a Northern Lights Diesel Genset, and find a 16 Kw or 20Kw version in your price range, GRAB it....
Yes, I've heard nothing but good things about Northern Lights gensets, but am afraid they are way past the budget. Thanks for the tip about Alaska Diesel, I'll check them out.

My genset is for back-up only, which really doesn't happen that often, so I don't think co-generation is that practical for our house. The generator will be out back behind my shop, so I'd have to run insulated water piping from the generator to my house, and then rig a heat exchanger/blower unit into my house central air system. Lotta work.....if I was building my own house off the grid, that'd definitely be the way to go. Rgds, Wil
 
Top