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Thread: Advise needed for MEP-018A

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    Default Advise needed for MEP-018A

    I recently purchased a MEP-018A generator from an auction. The information indicated that it had 504 hours on it and the only photograph of the whole generator was just a top view along with a couple photos of data plates. I thought that 504 hours wasnít too bad and it was the only one that was regular gas powered instead of diesel. I have since discovered that it is noisy and has a high fuel burn rate and the diesel versions were not as noisy and didnít burn as much fuel as this does, and that is okay with me.

    The surprise was after getting it home, I was familiarizing myself with it and saw that the Hobbs meter indicated 504 hours as described, but also noticed that there was another placard titled Overhaul with a stamped date of 06-68 and the Hours overhauled is 504 hours. So this had been setting there in a crate for all of these years right after it had been overhauled.

    I have never operated these before. There is still about a 1/4 of gas in the Jerrycan and there was little or no oil in the crankcase. I filled the crankcase with SAE 10-30 oil. It had a 24 volt Titan battery with it, but it was of course too old and there were some cracks on the outside of the case and completely dry so I didnít bother with using it. I am working on possibly getting a couple Group 51R batteries which seem to fit the battery tray, but would like to find a replacement for the Titan 24vdc battery.

    Any advice before I attempt to start this?
    Last edited by winglift; 10-14-2019 at 16:54.

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    Have you read the operators TM? That's a good start. You don't need battery's to start it. Pull it over with the set turned off. That way some oil will get to the right places, before you bring it up to normal operating speed. Do not idle the set. It's designed to run at rated speed. Keep an eye on the oil level. If the oil thins out and smells of fuel, replace the fuel pump.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyfang View Post
    Have you read the operators TM? That's a good start. You don't need battery's to start it. Pull it over with the set turned off. That way some oil will get to the right places, before you bring it up to normal operating speed. Do not idle the set. It's designed to run at rated speed. Keep an eye on the oil level. If the oil thins out and smells of fuel, replace the fuel pump.
    Already read it and know about the pull start. Thanks.

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    What’s great about those is it’s easy to convert them to natural gas fuel. A real good option during most power outages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NDT View Post
    What’s great about those is it’s easy to convert them to natural gas fuel. A real good option during most power outages.
    I saw that kit somewhere while researching info on the MEP-018A. Do you know of anyone who might have done that and if there were any problems?

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    4 Star General NDT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by winglift View Post
    I saw that kit somewhere while researching info on the MEP-018A. Do you know of anyone who might have done that and if there were any problems?
    I did and no problems. Nothing worse than dealing with all the headaches that come with the newer diesel sets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NDT View Post
    I did and no problems. Nothing worse than dealing with all the headaches that come with the newer diesel sets.
    That is good news. The kit is a bit pricey, but may be worth it, however I would really like to talk to someone who has done this before I jump into that. Do you have any contact information for someone who did this conversion? I could just hook this up to my NG for emergency power here at home. Thanks.

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    While I haven't done the conversion myself, I've worked on other units that have been converted. The process is pretty straight forward if you are doing a tri-fuel conversion, which just adds a propane/NG injection port/venturi thing and doesn't really modify the existing fuel system. The ones that are a conversion from gasoline to NG/LP sometimes involves modifying the carburetor, drilling out the main jet, and are not reversible. I always recommend a tri-fuel conversion if for no other reason there might be an issue with the gas line or your propane tank might run out, and then you can run it on gasoline in a pinch.

    https://centuryfuelproducts.com/mili...rd-mep-018a-tf

    This is the type I normally see. It might take a little bit of tuning once installed, but it's relatively straight forward.

    As for pricing, if all you ever do is run it on LP/NG, you won't have to worry about carburetor issues, and in the long run not having gasoline in the unit to go bad and gum stuff up (which is the biggest issue I see with gasoline generators) is a big money saver. Not so big of a deal if you keep on top of rotating fuel supplies, running your generator monthly, and keeping up on maintenance, but worth the cost if you aren't quite as on top of things as you should be.
    Plus, not having to go out and buy fuel during a storm or massive outage when you have natural gas available is a big benefit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coug View Post
    While I haven't done the conversion myself, I've worked on other units that have been converted. The process is pretty straight forward if you are doing a tri-fuel conversion, which just adds a propane/NG injection port/venturi thing and doesn't really modify the existing fuel system. The ones that are a conversion from gasoline to NG/LP sometimes involves modifying the carburetor, drilling out the main jet, and are not reversible. I always recommend a tri-fuel conversion if for no other reason there might be an issue with the gas line or your propane tank might run out, and then you can run it on gasoline in a pinch.

    https://centuryfuelproducts.com/mili...rd-mep-018a-tf

    This is the type I normally see. It might take a little bit of tuning once installed, but it's relatively straight forward.

    As for pricing, if all you ever do is run it on LP/NG, you won't have to worry about carburetor issues, and in the long run not having gasoline in the unit to go bad and gum stuff up (which is the biggest issue I see with gasoline generators) is a big money saver. Not so big of a deal if you keep on top of rotating fuel supplies, running your generator monthly, and keeping up on maintenance, but worth the cost if you aren't quite as on top of things as you should be.
    Plus, not having to go out and buy fuel during a storm or massive outage when you have natural gas available is a big benefit.
    That is good information and points to consider. I will probably get the tri-fuel kit in the near future based upon your recommendation. I have yet to start this and would like to get used to it on gasoline for now. I am pretty sure that there will be little or no problems with the fuel system as I was amazed that the jerrycan still had fuel in it and the seal on the jerrycan is very tight and I haven’t broken it loose yet. I will probably do so today. I have not been able to locate the same old style jerrycans which does not have a neck on the opening. That type is needed because of the fuel can adapter and seal.

    I have a feeling that the 24vdc battery might have a chance to still be good. The reason is that after they overhauled the generator they probably did not put any battery acid in the battery and that is why I do not see any now. The other clue is that there are no signs of battery corrosion or residue around the tray except for a few specks on the terminals. The problem now is finding battery vent caps as they have all nearly broken apart just from age. The battery cables were covered and never connected. It just makes sense that they would not want a battery filled with acid inside the shipping crate while in transit. I may have to piece the caps together with hot clue or something if I am not able to find replacements. The vent caps are the small, .620” dia, screw in type. It might be fun to find out if it is still good.

    It looks like they used 91 octane gas based upon part of the fuel designation, but not sure. I had some SAE 10-30 oil and filled the reservoir with that for now. I think synthetic oil might be a good choice for this engine which is air cooled and probably gets pretty hot, but not sure about the proper one to use. I wonder if anyone has used synthetic on this before?

    I will inspect the air, fuel and oil filters later today when I get the time, which reminds me that I need to find out if those filters are still available?

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    Quote Originally Posted by winglift View Post
    I had some SAE 10-30 oil and filled the reservoir with that for now. I think synthetic oil might be a good choice for this engine which is air cooled and probably gets pretty hot, but not sure about the proper one to use. I wonder if anyone has used synthetic on this before?
    Since you indicate that the engine was rebuilt with 504 hrs on it be sure to run it initially with a good quality mineral oil and not synthetic oil. I would assume any military rebuild would have rebuilt the cylinders...minimum of a hone, new rings etc. and therefore you want to break it in like it is a new engine and a mineral oil or break in oil is best to seat rings.
    GEN #1 House Gen PU-751/M: 1986 MEP-002a/M116A2 w/Aux Tank & OEM cover
    GEN #2 Spare Gen PU-751/M: 1991 MEP-002a/M116A2 w/Aux Tank & OEM cover
    GEN #3 Shop/Barn Gen NF-2 Enclosure: 19XX MEP-002a w/Aux Tank
    GEN #4 Spare Gen PU-751/M: 1991 MEP-002a/M116A2 (a work in process)

    * Disclaimer - My comments on this forum are based on my opinion and my experiences only. It is your responsibility to verify any information before using or to hire a professional.

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