Advice needed - new guy with MEP004A

Back-in-Black

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New guy here who is pretty much clueless about the MEP004A I just got. Plan is to restore it and hopefully use it as a whole-home generator. Spent most of the night digging around the web for info on this beast and I have some simple questions for now. if someone can help.

The last time this thing ran was probably 10 years ago so I have lots of work to do with oil changes, fuel tank clean-out and radiator drain and refill before I can even attempt to start this thing up. Pretty sure that when it was "retired" ~10 years ago that it was not making power but reading thru here I got the impression that that part can most likely be fixed. But I need to get it running first.

My questions at this point are fairly generic info about exactly what I have here, part numbers for filters and such. Once I get it running, the dumb questions will really start.

I'm a bit confused about this thing to start off with. It has a tag riveted to it by Groban Manufacturing that says it's a MEP004A-62E. The tag says it's 20KW, 240 volts, 1 phase and 68 Amps. I'm a bit confused about this as everything I've read so far says the MEP004a is 15KW and using the power equation of P=IE I get roughly 16KW. That's a lot closer to 15KW than 20.

I'm also thinking, that from what I've read, that this unit was converted to single phase by Groban and then resold on the civilian market. See photo of tag below.

Can anyone steer me to things like part numbers / sources for fuel, air and oil filters? That is my main focus at this point. Other than that, the case on this thing is in pretty bad shape. I've already started to disassemble the case so I can get it all sand blasted and repaint it all but not going to spend a bunch of money on that before I get it running and making power. At this point, pulling the case off just makes it a lot easier to work on the internals. Not at all sure I believe this but the hour meter say 120 hours.

Any tips or suggestions on other things to do to get the motor running? Any other advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Scoobyshep

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Filters: wix oil 51004
Fuel wix 33512 10 micron 33540 6 micron. I usually use a 10 for the first filter and 6 for the 2nd.

I use my 004 as a whole house stand by and did the single phase conversion. Highest ive run is 72 amps.



Now for your set. Has it ever worked for you? What is it doing/ not doing?

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Back-in-Black

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Filters: wix oil 51004
Fuel wix 33512 10 micron 33540 6 micron. I usually use a 10 for the first filter and 6 for the 2nd.

I use my 004 as a whole house stand by and did the single phase conversion. Highest ive run is 72 amps.



Now for your set. Has it ever worked for you? What is it doing/ not doing?

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

Wow, that was Fast! Thanks for the reply and info!!

The history of this thing that I know has lots of holes in it. I can probably find out more but here's what I know now. The unit was purchased by a friend to run backup power for a call service he owned. It was basically running lights, A/C and some computer equipment. This was late '90s, early 2000s. It apparently stopped making power at some point but was never fixed before he closed this business and put this generator in storage (outside in the weather).

Anyway, Ida got me started on the whole-house standby thing and I've been looking, reading and asking questions. Was talking to him this week and he gave this thing to me. Said he didn't have time to fool with it but he was told back when it stopped making power that "some board" needed to be replaced or repaired. So I'm pretty clueless about the "not making power" thing right now. That's why I want to get it running so I can get some trouble-shooting done on the 'no power' part.

Thanks again!!
 

Scoobyshep

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51004


There are a few things that can prevent it from making power. Get the engine going first and then we can troubleshoot the electricals.

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Back-in-Black

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Awesome!

I want to clean the fuel tank before I pour more fuel in the there. Is it possible to get the tank out without completely disassembling this thing?

One other question that this brings up - how long will this unit run on 15 gallons of diesel? Can't imagine that it'd make it 10 hours under a load.
 

Scoobyshep

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I have never removed the tank, i believe it can be removed without too much disassembly though. The TMs should specify.

Fuel consumption depends on load. A quick and rough estimate is 1gallon an hour. Since i installed my 004, we haven't had a significant outage so i dont have the data to calculate it

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Back-in-Black

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Well, I'm already pulling the entire casing off for blasting - it's got some pretty bad rust and flaking paint - so I'm gonna see if I can't get the tank out for cleaning. Also, was just back there loading up my truck to go finish a fence install on a rent house and I did some more looking. It appears to have 3 fuel filters? Maybe the first one (small one) is just a water separator?

As for load, we are in south Louisiana and hurricane season is probably the hottest part of the year so got to figure the 3 ton A/C will be running full time. HVAC heater is gas. Got natural gas water heaters, clothes dryer and cook top. Oven is electric. Most lights in the house are either LED or florescent. We are about to add on to the house (MIL moving in) so will probably have a second 1-2 ton A/C unit soon. Really, A/C and lights are my biggest concern. It is absolutely miserable here in August with high temps and HIGH humidity when the power goes out.

Also, in the pic below, between the filters there is a round device with a mil spec connector on top that goes into the side of the engine block. It is disconnected and I see no loose plugs hanging near it. Any clue what that is.

I am off to finish that fence.

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Scoobyshep

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Small filter is a water separator. That can be cleaned. 2 big cans are the lead and lag fuel filter. The can in the block is the speed switch. It needs to be connected to run, it disables the starter above starting rpm, enables the field flash, and acts as an overspeed shutdown.

Having gas is a help for load. A good 004 should handle 2 good sized ac units and lights no problem at all.

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Scoobyshep

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Central Florida here, so 100% understand the hot and miserable hurricane seasons

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Guyfang

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As Scoopy wrote, RTFM. The short version is to go to the back side of the set, (where the controls are) and at the bottom, you should see a petcock. put a hose on it and open it up. The fuel, or what ever is in the tank, will run out. Helps to elevate the front end. Put a 4X4 under it and thats good enough.

Then remove the 8, (I think is 8) bolts from the bottom panel. Now you can look into the gen set. You can see where the various fuel lines come down and mate up with the tank Remove them. They are not hard to remember where they go, but if this is not your kind of "day job", then mark them with different color tape, or what ever you think is best. Then remove the wire to the fuel tank level sending unit. Remove the two straps that hold the tank in, and simply pull it out the back side.

What kind of tank do you have metal, or plastic?

Now there is the job of cleaning the tank. I would use a pressure washer, and lots of soap or simple green, or some similar crap. There are many threads that cover how it can be done.

When you get this far, say something and we can go over the fuel system and pumps.

There is another data plate on the set that tells you what TM to use. Take a picture and post it.
 

Guyfang

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Well, I'm already pulling the entire casing off for blasting - it's got some pretty bad rust and flaking paint - so I'm gonna see if I can't get the tank out for cleaning. ( have posted how to pull tank. BUT do read the TM procedure. Never hurts, will always help.) Also, was just back there loading up my truck to go finish a fence install on a rent house and I did some more looking. It appears to have 3 fuel filters? Maybe the first one (small one) is just a water separator? (Correct)

As for load, we are in south Louisiana and hurricane season is probably the hottest part of the year so got to figure the 3 ton A/C will be running full time. HVAC heater is gas. Got natural gas water heaters, clothes dryer and cook top. Oven is electric. Most lights in the house are either LED or florescent. We are about to add on to the house (MIL moving in) so will probably have a second 1-2 ton A/C unit soon. Really, A/C and lights are my biggest concern. It is absolutely miserable here in August with high temps and HIGH humidity when the power goes out.

Also, in the pic below, between the filters there is a round device with a mil spec connector on top that goes into the side of the engine block. It is disconnected and I see no loose plugs hanging near it. Any clue what that is. ( That is as Scooby said, the S-9 over speed switch. The wire harness to it runs back up into the gen set. Look at the relay table for it. It is a mechanical type, and the push button on top of it is the reset switch.)

I am off to finish that fence.

View attachment 846386
Open to read comments,
 

Guyfang

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Please take a bunch of pictures of the set. Inside and out. Often we can tell when something is missing, that you have no idea about.

If and when the gen set engine runs, do NOT run it for long time periods with out the enclosure. The set is designed to run with all doors closed to help cool/warm up of gen set. 10-20 min. will not hurt. But no longer then that.

Have you down loaded the 15 KW books?
 

Mullaney

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New guy here who is pretty much clueless about the MEP004A I just got. Plan is to restore it and hopefully use it as a whole-home generator. Spent most of the night digging around the web for info on this beast and I have some simple questions for now. if someone can help.

The last time this thing ran was probably 10 years ago so I have lots of work to do with oil changes, fuel tank clean-out and radiator drain and refill before I can even attempt to start this thing up. Pretty sure that when it was "retired" ~10 years ago that it was not making power but reading thru here I got the impression that that part can most likely be fixed. But I need to get it running first.

My questions at this point are fairly generic info about exactly what I have here, part numbers for filters and such. Once I get it running, the dumb questions will really start.

I'm a bit confused about this thing to start off with. It has a tag riveted to it by Groban Manufacturing that says it's a MEP004A-62E. The tag says it's 20KW, 240 volts, 1 phase and 68 Amps. I'm a bit confused about this as everything I've read so far says the MEP004a is 15KW and using the power equation of P=IE I get roughly 16KW. That's a lot closer to 15KW than 20.

I'm also thinking, that from what I've read, that this unit was converted to single phase by Groban and then resold on the civilian market. See photo of tag below.

Can anyone steer me to things like part numbers / sources for fuel, air and oil filters? That is my main focus at this point. Other than that, the case on this thing is in pretty bad shape. I've already started to disassemble the case so I can get it all sand blasted and repaint it all but not going to spend a bunch of money on that before I get it running and making power. At this point, pulling the case off just makes it a lot easier to work on the internals. Not at all sure I believe this but the hour meter say 120 hours.

Any tips or suggestions on other things to do to get the motor running? Any other advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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View attachment 846383
.
Welcome to the Site Back-in-Black !

Lots of suggestions have already been made and it sounds like you are headed off in the direction of getting fuel or goo out of the tank before you do anything else. BE SURE that you go to the Technical Manuals Section (TM's) and get what you need for your particular GenSet. The power plant is in one book (TM) and the power generation part of the set is in a different book!


Remember too that rubber hoses outside in the weather might look fine on the outside and be completely deteriorated on the inside. Rotten rubber lines will cause you even more problems than you have now...
 

robertsears1

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I discovered recently while working on my generator fuel system that carburetor and throttle body cleaner melts the old fuel residue right off. It did much better that the pressure washer in most cases without damage. On some of the smaller generators like the MEP 003 & 002, you can damage the injector pump if a plunger does not move freely after sitting for several years. Not sure if that is true in your case.

Robert
 
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Back-in-Black

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Louisiana
Central Florida here, so 100% understand the hot and miserable hurricane seasons

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
Yep, you KNOW what it's like! We got REALLY lucky for Ida. Our power was only out for about 10-12 hours but friends, family, co-workers were 3 weeks plus. I have an 8.5 KW portable genset that has a gas, Honda motor and we used that to run lights, microwave, fridge and a window unit A/C for the short while that our power was out. Thankfully our power came back on before I had to go spend hours in line at one of the few gas stations that had backup power AND gas to refill gas cans. After our power came back on, I lent my genset and window unit A/C to a co-worker who was out for another week and a half. Trying to avoid that particular nightmare again. Second time this year this type thing happened. We had an ice storm in Feb that knocked out power for days. That crap is getting old!
 

Scoobyshep

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Florida
Since I installed the 004 we havent had a power outage longer than an hour. Utility has replaced alot of repairs in my area (apparently calling them every hour does get results). We call it my hurricane repellent.

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Back-in-Black

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Location
Louisiana
As Scoopy wrote, RTFM. The short version is to go to the back side of the set, (where the controls are) and at the bottom, you should see a petcock. put a hose on it and open it up. The fuel, or what ever is in the tank, will run out. Helps to elevate the front end. Put a 4X4 under it and thats good enough.

Then remove the 8, (I think is 8) bolts from the bottom panel. Now you can look into the gen set. You can see where the various fuel lines come down and mate up with the tank Remove them. They are not hard to remember where they go, but if this is not your kind of "day job", then mark them with different color tape, or what ever you think is best. Then remove the wire to the fuel tank level sending unit. Remove the two straps that hold the tank in, and simply pull it out the back side.

What kind of tank do you have metal, or plastic?

Now there is the job of cleaning the tank. I would use a pressure washer, and lots of soap or simple green, or some similar crap. There are many threads that cover how it can be done.

When you get this far, say something and we can go over the fuel system and pumps.

There is another data plate on the set that tells you what TM to use. Take a picture and post it.

I downloaded all the TMs last night while I was digging around. This is an awesome site- apparently with some awesome folks! I got a ways thru the 365 page TM last night but still about 200 pages to read.

That's great news on the fuel tank! It looks metal to me. Thank you!!!
 

Back-in-Black

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152
92
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Location
Louisiana
.
Welcome to the Site Back-in-Black !

Lots of suggestions have already been made and it sounds like you are headed off in the direction of getting fuel or goo out of the tank before you do anything else. BE SURE that you go to the Technical Manuals Section (TM's) and get what you need for your particular GenSet. The power plant is in one book (TM) and the power generation part of the set is in a different book!


Remember too that rubber hoses outside in the weather might look fine on the outside and be completely deteriorated on the inside. Rotten rubber lines will cause you even more problems than you have now...

I finished the fence project and then jumped back onto this project for the rest of the afternoon. I got most of the case off and am working on the radiator / support removal now. And yep, my radiator hoses are pretty much gone. Will need those and maybe a new radiator too. We'll see. Haven't got to the fuel system yet. Thank you!
 
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Back-in-Black

Active member
152
92
28
Location
Louisiana
I discovered recently while working on my generator fuel system that carburetor and throttle body cleaner melts the old fuel residue right off. It did much better that the pressure washer in most cases without damage. On some of the smaller generators like the MEP 003 & 002, you can damage the injector pump if a plunger does not move freely after sitting for several years. Not sure if that is true in your case.

Robert

Great info - Thanks!!
 

Back-in-Black

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Location
Louisiana
Progress report:

I removed some more case parts this afternoon. Worked till the freakin' mosquitos drove me inside. That damn storm apparently blew a lot of them up here from the marshes and swamps down south. they are terrible right now!

Anyway, couple of items:

1. That sensor in the side of the block with no wire to it - I checked better after Scooby's post about it. There is / are no wire(s) / connector for that part present. It and the wires are just gone. Looks like whenever the unit was converted to single phase, they did away with that part of the system. There are lots of post manufacturing spliced wires, cut wires etc. that look like they were probably done during the military to civilian conversion. I know that this unit ran like this and I know that it produced power this way also, so I'm wondering if they did something else to bypass that part. Hopefully I / we can figure that out. I may try calling Groban on Monday and see if they can offer any info on this.

2. An stated in an earlier post, I started working on getting the radiator out and I will most definitely need new radiator hoses. Anyone got a part number for those? How do you look up part number for this type stuff? I hate to keep asking dumb questions.

3. Looks like they also did away with the air filter sensors too. The sensors are still there but no wires / harness for them.

4. Was not encouraged when I got the lower radiator hose off. The cooling system was completely dry - not surprising after it sat for 10+ years. See pictures below. Might need a new radiator. Will probably drop it at a radiator shop and see what they think. Do people still work on radiators??


5. There's a mil-spec connector under the radiator. Looks like it's wired up to connect an aux 24VDC supply for starting. Any reason to leave that there or can I remove it and greatly simplify the wires running from the batteries to the starter?

6. As noted in an earlier post, I made some progress on getting the case off. Holy cow! Thankfully I have air tools. I must have removed 100 bolts so far!!!

7. Oil and fuel filters ordered.

8. Thinking I might want to also order a water pump for it. After seeing what came out of the bottom of the radiator, I'd be stupid not to.... Anyone got a part # for that?

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