3-6kw gen advise needed

Hi All,

I drive a tractor trailer and need a 3-6kw DIESEL generator.

I will be using it as part of my homebrew APU system.

I'm familiar with "normal" generators and all the other parts I need for this system. What is lacking is a durable diesel generator that will last for a long time.

I have seen the MEP003 in the sound enclosier and from my limited knowledge of them I think this unit just might work.

My questions below are mostly directed at the 003 but I'm open to suggestions of other units to consider.

I understand it is military rated for 3kw but can easily put out 4kw for extended periods of time if needed. Is this correct?

How loud is the unit? I know this is a subjective question but your opinion and experience are appreciated.

Fuel consumption at idle, 50% and wide open? Or whatever info you have about it.

Oil change and air filter interval? Where can I find a reliable steady supy of filters? Filter cost?

Other routine service needed? Valve adjustment?

It would be REALLY NICE if I could hook up a remote start system so I could start/stop it from inside the truck. Is this feasible and possible?

For the electric start, 12 or 24 volt? If 24, can it be converted to 12?

What is the next higher output generator that co.es with a sound enclosure? Is it significantly physicaly larger? If so, it probably won't fit.

I know they come up frequently on that government auction site but I might prefer to get one that somebody has already gone over, serviced and will actually ship it to me. Recommendations of reliable soures for this?

Mostly it is the picking it up and shipping issue I'm worried about if I get one from the auction. Any easy ansers for that?

Thanks in advance for any and all advise!
 

DieselAddict

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A MEP003a is a 10kw generator and I suspect much larger than you are interested in.

How much space do you have for a generator?

Most of them can be setup to do a remote start. They are 24v starting and control systems. Changing one over to 12v is possible but a major deal. I wouldn't recommend trying that.

I would expect one of the Onan Quiet Diesel machines would be more suitable for a vehicle mounted application. They are quieter as well.
 
I hate it when I post something stupidly wrong. Seems I meant to refer to the MEP 831A. It is about 35" x 28" x 27"(L x W x H) and I can fit that.

The onans are out because of price and they are not built to run 10 hrs a day 5-6 days a week.

Is the 831 also 24 volt start? If so, is there room inside it batterys?

Thank you for your post and advise!
 
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DieselAddict

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The 831 will do about 3.5kw continuously. Maybe a little more for short times. They are a much different beast than the normal generators. They have a high frequency alternator supplying power to an inverter. They burn from about 0.2gph to about 0.5ghp from light to full load.

There is room inside for the batteries. I put in a pair of motorcycle batteries when I prep one for sale. No problem there.

You can rig one for auto-start.

One in good condition goes for about $2500.
 

DieselAddict

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Oh, the oil change interval I use is 100hrs. It holds about 1qt of oil. Check the valves every 500hrs. Replace the fuel injector about 1500hrs. The engine should be good for about 2500hrs.
 
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Isaac-1

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I think you may want to look at an older diesel civilian Onan DJB, or maybe a MEP-002a (basically the same engine although the MEP-002a is set up a bit different and is 24V DC electrical system, an oil cooler standard and is a bit more rugged (thicker sheet metal, etc.). They are also built for 24x7 operation and rated at 5-7 KW. The Onan DJB was commonly used in its day (production stopped in 1995) for APU use on Fire Trucks and Grey hound style buses, and thanks to its use on FIre Trucks as well as general standby generators there are lot of low hour units out there.

Ike


ps a DJB measures 33L x 26H x 19W, they also were available with optional vacuflow cooling, but that does add a few inches to the length
 
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Tracer

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You might try Saturn Surplus they have military genset parts, engines, and some complete units. Ph # 717-692-9500
 

rustystud

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I hate it when I post something stupidly wrong. Seems I meant to refer to the MEP 831A. It is about 35" x 28" x 27"(L x W x H) and I can fit that.

The onans are out because of price and they are not built to run 10 hrs a day 5-6 days a week.

Is the 831 also 24 volt start? If so, is there room inside it batterys?

Thank you for your post and advise?

The Onan diesel engines used in military generators are built extremely well and are designed for "continuous" duty. There are also the Yanmar diesel engines in the MEP-531 which really sip fuel and provide 2KW .
 
Oh, the oil change interval I use is 100hrs. It holds about 1qt of oil. Check the valves every 500hrs. Replace the fuel injector about 1500hrs. The engine should be good for about 2500hrs.
Engine life only 2500hrs? That's less than a year of 10hr a day, 5 days a week. That sounds more like it is designed for ocassional stand by type use than continuous duty. Are you sure that # is correct?

Are they air or water cooled?
 

DieselAddict

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Its a 3600rpm air cooled engine. You could certainly get more than 2500hrs out of it running it like that. When engine work is needed the parts are readily available and reasonably priced. The main problem I've found with them is the speed controller fails and that is a part that isn't available. You can find a few NOS but they are over $400.

Oh, I checked the manual and the injector replacement is 1000hrs. Its $50-$75 depending on where you buy it.

The engine is a Yanmar L70. You can look around and see how much they cost and what the expected lifespan is. About the most hours I've seen on one at auction is in the 1800 range. I don't know if they pull and sell them at that point but I've not seen any of the 831s with a huge numbers of hours for sale. Maybe one of the other members here can bring more info on that one.
 

cuad4u

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MEP 701A? It is a single cylinder diesel military rated at 3KW continuous duty but I have load tested them at 4.5KW for 10 minutes with no problems. It will run single or 3 phase. It uses a 3600 RPM engine. The 701 is fully enclosed in an ASK - acoustic supression kit - which reduces noise a bit. With the built in 5-6 gallon diesel tank it will run around 12 hours between fill ups depending on load. I do not know how long it will run before overhaul. I have two refurbished units with around 500 hours for sale at $895 each less batteries with a 30 day money back guarantee.
 

Isaac-1

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I would also tend to say MEP-701a, the only big problem is lack of available parts since it has a speciality built engine that was only used on this one model, and production stopped about 25 years ago. Still they are well built and cheap enough to be worth consideration, and fit in the space allowed.
 
MEP 701A? It is a single cylinder diesel military rated at 3KW continuous duty ...... I have two refurbished units with around 500 hours for sale at $895 each less batteries with a 30 day money back guarantee.
This sounds interesting but I am concerned about parts availability...

Where are you located?
Can you get me some pics?
Outside dimensions?

--------

That Onan unit for firetrucks and busses sounds interesting too. I did Google some (on my phone) and found some parts but no complete units. Are they air or water cooled? Dimensions?
 

cuad4u

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This sounds interesting but I am concerned about parts availability...

Where are you located?
Can you get me some pics?
Outside dimensions?

--------

That Onan unit for firetrucks and busses sounds interesting too. I did Google some (on my phone) and found some parts but no complete units. Are they air or water cooled? Dimensions?
Send me your email address and I will send pics and info. I do not know how to do that on this site.
 

paraclete comes

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The MEP831 is a great generator at least for me. All the filters and parts are cheap and easy to find, I order from ebay or amazon frequently. My power needs are pretty light so I don't need to much power and I also like that it produces clean power at less than 6% THD (total harmonic disruption/disturbance) and is as a result very easy on modern electronics.

Hope you find something that works well for your application and for a good price. I bought my unit out of california with less than 70 hours on it for 1k if memory serves me correctly.
 

amazin112

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I would go with an 831. They are small, light, quiet and fuel efficient. Many low hour units are available and parts/filters are cheap and readily available.
 
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