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Good Quality Small Military Generator?

Esteban32696

Registered
I am trying to help a friend & neighbor get a back-up generator . He can get by just fine [ like I do ] , with a smaller genset, 2.5KW - 5KW. He is an older vet & wants a military type , thinking that those are far superior to homeowners sets that he can buy locally.
What do you recomend ? Would a genset of this size be better quality than what is offered to the public ? THANKS !
 

BTPost

Moderator
Staff member
Age
70
Last Subscription Date
12/29/2008
Anything will be superior to a Big Box Store Genset... Honda makes Inverter Gensets, with a Great Reputation..The Onan J Series Gensets are very strong as well... The MEP Series Military units are OK, but parts are getting hard to find, for the older ones..
 

Esteban32696

Registered
I am sure he would not want something that was hard to get parts for, or too expensive. I was in the Army in the late 60's, so I remember a little about smaller generators. Seemed like most everything had 4 cyl. Hercules motors back then. They SCREAMED !!
 

Birken Vogt

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I am trying to help a friend & neighbor get a back-up generator . He can get by just fine [ like I do ] , with a smaller genset, 2.5KW - 5KW. He is an older vet & wants a military type , thinking that those are far superior to homeowners sets that he can buy locally.
What do you recomend ? Would a genset of this size be better quality than what is offered to the public ? THANKS !
I have worked on military generators of the last generation (early 2000s Cummins/Onan/Lister) and the one before that (1980s J series diesels) and some of them from the 70s and before.

They all stink. They are all loaded up with electronics that make them unreliable and prone to expensive failure and no commercial equivalents available. The old ones were LOUD also. Extremely.

If he buys one of the 2 cylinder recent Lister ones chances are it will work pretty good but if anything goes wrong, he will wish he had never heard of it.

Also they are 24 volts.

If you want a small generator, buy a Honda.
 

David C

Registered
I would recommend an Onan LK, BF, BFA, CCK or a BGA if he wants something reliable and easy to work on. Parts can be found second hand or new. My first diesel generator is a MEP-003A and it is overly complicated for something just needs to run and generate electricity, when you compare it to a civilian DJC. As Birken mentioned, the military are 24 volt, so you have to keep and maintain 2 batteries.

David C
 

Rich Mc

Registered
If you haven't convinced him, I've used a 3KW MEP-016A for 12 years as my standby. Designed for 2500 hours life with 250 hours mean time between failures. Very reliable and easy to start if you don't let ethanol gas sit in the carb and fuel pump for any length of time(only when your running).
 
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