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WINCO 3500 Portable Generator

Mark Schneider

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Last Subscription Date
11/14/2018
An elderly neighbor was cleaning out his shed and inquired if I was interested in a old generator set as he hated to send it for scrap. When I showed interest he said "I'll be right over with it!" Turns out he had bought it new years ago for emergency house power and was mostly used during ice storm outages. It kept the furnace, freezer, fridge, and lights on in the house but "When Ma turned on the electric hot plate the motor would really grunt!"

When he came over with it and I saw it was a 8hp Briggs with a large diameter cast iron frame generator head I thought "All this for 3500 Watts?" And heavy...a two person job for loading for sure. It seemed much more heavy duty than the 3500 watt generators of today....

It hasn't run in years but I would like to get this thing operational someday. The motor is not stuck but suffers from the old Briggs recoil malady of rope out but very little back in. The rubber insulators are toast and I would like to know of a good source of replacements. As heavy as this thing is they will have to be of good quality.
 

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Steve Dawkins

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Last Subscription Date
07/04/2016
For the vibration isolators, try McMaster-Carr or MSC Industrial Direct. When ordering, you may want to also get some good hearing protectors. :O Those generators were the screamers of their day.

Since this unit has sat idle for so long, you may want to clean up the slip rings before using it. Also the grease in the end bell bearing may have hardened.
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Well, if I was going to have a screamer, a good, old, high - quality one like this is what I would have! Can't imagine just scrapping something willy nilly. Glad you got it!
 

Wayne 440

Registered
...8hp Briggs with a large diameter cast iron frame generator head I thought "All this for 3500 Watts?"And heavy...a two person job for loading for sure. It seemed much more heavy duty than the 3500 watt generators of today....
See the rating plate for an explanation. That set is rated at 3500 watts, and the duty (cycle) is "CONT". That means continuous - in other words 3500 watts for several hours if need be, none of this "surge", "starting watts" or other BS that many new sets use to inflate the ratings.
 

Newoldstock

Registered
About 2 hp per 1000 watts surge
Running amps will be less 80% or so of surge is a safe number.
Diesels tend to be a bit better at surge because they make more torque 2 hp=1000 watts is just a rough guess.
Small the machine more power per watt.....

Onan Kohler, Lister/Petter, Kubbota ect, people in the business of making high quality commercial units would rate them more conservatively assuming you would try and run a 4000 w unit at 4000 w.
That seems reasonable does it not?
I think most will carry that and more, but you should not run them full bore too long as they could overheat.
You need to know your machine, technical specs and overload ratings if applicable.

A clone generator with an engine rated at 6.5 should not be considered a 300 watt machine its more like a 5 hp 2000 watt machine.

How heavy something is to me is a pretty good indicator of how hot it will run and how long it will last and how much of a surge it might be able to carry.
The more oil it holds also leads me to think its better.
 

Mark Schneider

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Last Subscription Date
11/14/2018
For the vibration isolators, try McMaster-Carr or MSC Industrial Direct.
Thanks Steve. It completely skipped my mind to check McMaster-Carr. I removed the best of the insulators to get the rubber puck dimensions and stud diameters. McMaster had an exact duplicate available but I chose the next size larger load rating and ordered 4. Should be here next week.

I've only seen the WINCO brand on some tractor PTO powered generators which are a common commodity on most farmsteads out here.

Noise levels a problem? The closest neighbor (2 miles away) will never know it's running. When push comes to shove and I need a genset to lift water out of the well or keep the freezers from thawing how much noise the genny's motor makes doing it's job will be of little importance to me.
 

landreo

Registered
A belt driven version of your Winco generator. This one had a rental company sticker on it so I assume it was a contractors rental generator. This one has the auto idle solenoid as does yours. It also has a spare oil tank for longer runs.
 

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Mark Schneider

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Last Subscription Date
11/14/2018
I got a chance to change out the vibration insulators. The originals had a load rating of 80 lbs. each. I chose the next heavier grade at 125 lbs. each and was glad I did. The ones under the generator head show a fair amount of scrunch already.

On the generator shrouding there is a "BAT +" terminal and a socket type connector labeled "START". Any ideas as to the purpose of these?

I soaked the recoil down with WD-40 and enticed the rope back into the recoil. After a few pulls with some ATF in the cylinder it seemed to have enough compression to fire...so no stuck valves. Also no fire at the spark plug which really doesn't surprise me......
 

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Steve Dawkins

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/04/2016
Looks like your gen has electric start capability. The generator acts as a DC motor to spin the engine until it starts. In addition to the B+ terminal, there should also be a stud on the generator frame for connection to the battery ground cable.

Most of those use a heavy duty pushbutton switch, that looks similar to the floor mounted high beam switch on old vehicles. The socket connector you refer to may be for some sort of remote start switch, but I suspect it was a pushbutton and the plunger has has broken off. Remove the cover on the receptacle box and post some photos of the inside for us to see the starting components.
 

Charley K

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
10/09/2019
That 8 hp Briggs must have been the go to back in the day. I have two with the same engine, a 1700w and a 4000w. I put the 4000w on propane and used it on last year's hurricane. It was cool weather so I didn't need ac. Left the 18kw diesel on standby. CK
 

Mark Schneider

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Last Subscription Date
11/14/2018
Well Steve it was almost exactly as you said it would be. The "socket" was actually the remains of a light duty push switch that activated a relay for the high amp starter connection. Also found the grounding lug but am unsure at this time how it was utilized.

It's a good thing you had me pop the lid on the wiring cover. I saw some things in there that I didn't want to see....
 

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Mark Schneider

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Last Subscription Date
11/14/2018
It appears that there was some "magic smoke" in the wiring compartment at one time. The resistor(?) that's fried is connected to the + battery lug on one end with the other lead going into the generator. The wire that is laying on the top of it with the insulation burned off looks like it got cooked when the resistor turned red. I checked the resistor with an ohmmeter and it is open...no surprise!

Any ideas what happened here and is the generator still salvageable?
 

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David C

Registered
Mainly play with Onans, but it looks like someone did not think about the resistor getting hot and melting the insulation off of the red wire. Not a good idea to let any wiring touch any kind of a resistor in the control box. I would pull the cover off of the generator end and see if it looks like anything got hot in there and if not, I would find a replacement resistor, repair the wire and give it a shot.

David C.
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
With one side of the resistor going to the battery, I would guess that it is for battery charging. The other end needs to connect to a diode or reverse current relay. The former could short and the latter could get stuck closed, resulting in the cooking of that resistor when the set is shut down. Likely did not harm the generator, and it would work fine without it, just wouldn't charge the battery. Look under the brush cover (you'll want to do that anyway) and see what you can find.
 

Steve Dawkins

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/04/2016
Part of your ground lug is missing. Those copper mechanical lugs have a base (which is still mounted to your genset) and a square-ish shaped barrel with a set screw (that is missing). I have seen these style lugs in Home Depot. Remove your base and take it with you, to match up the lug. Yours is probably a #2 or #1/0 lug.

That ground lug can be used to connect the B- cable, or to attach a wire to a ground rod or other known ground.
 

Mark Schneider

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Last Subscription Date
11/14/2018
It's a good thing that you guys suggested taking the cover off the generator head. Had to clean a mouse nest out of the bottom. Here are some pictures:

1. The red wire you see is the one that is hooked to the burnt out resistor on the other end.

2. Slip rings...AC side. Can't visually see the brush length.

3. Commutator bars...DC side. Some discoloration on several bars...could be the mice.

4. General view of the armature and field coil. Armature does have some rust on it in spots...probably from the rodents.
 

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Mark Schneider

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Last Subscription Date
11/14/2018
I did find what I think may be the cause for the battery charging resistor toasting.

1. It appears that when the starting switch was damaged the side panel was removed and the two wires that were on the switch were then hooked to the same terminal. This would seem to be a mistake. The blue wire is ground and the orange one is the signal wire to the start relay.

2. The previous owner had a lot to say about this genset but he never mentioned utilizing the battery start. So if it was manually started with the two wires joined the relay would engage as soon as the battery charging current started. The current would then flow to the starter lead which would be a ground (?). If so the resistor would be the weak link in the chain and would overheat until failure.

3. Found this wiring diagram online in the Winco archives. This should help take some of the head scratching out of the diagnostics after viewing pictures of questionable worth! ;)
 

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Mark Schneider

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Last Subscription Date
11/14/2018
Along with the wiring diagram I was also able to print off the parts breakdown w/ part numbers off the WINCO archive site. I located a dealer in Bismarck ND and called in the 2 part numbers I wanted. The parts man said he would see what was available. The old numbers superseded into new numbers and here is what they sent.

The starting switch turned out to be a simple on-off toggle switch. I think a normally open push button switch would be a better choice for this application so I'll be looking for something different.

The battery charging resistor# ended up to be a diode. I really don't see this being useful as well. Would there be another source for the resistor??? Unfortunately any useful writing is cooked off this one. Maybe a potentiometer ?? :confused:
 

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AlanR

Registered
The diode is probably the 'rectifier' part of the 'rectifier and heatsink assembly' shown in the gen end on your ipl schematic - maybe in cross-referencing, the parts man got one line off? As far as the battery charge resistor, a common potentiometer isn't rated for NEARLY enough current - the gen end is probably putting out 30-40 volts dc once the gen is running, which the resistor is dropping to 13-14 volts at 1 or 2 amps to charge the battery. So if we're dropping 25 volts at 2 amps in the resistor, that's 50 watts, which is a substantial resistor. While adjustable power resistors are available, it would be best if you get the gen running and measure the voltage on the gen side of the resistor, then someone can suggest an appropriate size and value for the resistor.
 
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