Advise needed for MEP-018A

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winglift

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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 wasn’t 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 didn’t 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 didn’t 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?
 
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Guyfang

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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.
 

winglift

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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.
Already read it and know about the pull start. Thanks.
 

NDT

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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.
 

NDT

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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.
 

winglift

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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.
 

Coug

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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/military-standard-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.
 

winglift

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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/military-standard-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?
 

Chainbreaker

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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.
 

winglift

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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.
That is what I was concerned about, so what would you recommend? I put SAE 10-30 instead of 30, but could change it easily enough.
 

Chainbreaker

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That is what I was concerned about, so what would you recommend? I put SAE 10-30 instead of 30, but could change it easily enough.
If I remember correctly you can use straight 30 or HDEO 15-40 weights. But...I don't have one so can't speak from experience with your particular unit. Many members have recommended John Deere Break-in Oil for new generator engines or rebuilt ones. Also, if you use the "Google Custom Search" search feature at top right of your SS screen you will find several threads on this unit. Here is just one of many to get you started.
 

winglift

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If I remember correctly you can use straight 30 or HDEO 15-40 weights. But...I don't have one so can't speak from experience with your particular unit. Many members have recommended John Deere Break-in Oil for new generator engines or rebuilt ones. Also, if you use the "Google Custom Search" search feature at top right of your SS screen you will find several threads on this unit. Here is just one of many to get you started.
I have been reviewing several threads, have not found anything on the type of break in oil to use. I hand pulled the engine a few times just to get oil to components and that is about it. I discovered that it has a Zenith carb. I may just drain that oil out, it was extra quarts of oil from a previous car that I had owned. I will refill containers with it. This is an air cooled engine so I might find something related to that on the internet if I am not able to find out what kind of break in oil to use on this forum.
 

Chainbreaker

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Have you looked in the "Technical Manuals" section above in the Header Bar above? If there is a TM for the -018a, you want to find the "LO" Lubrication Order document.

Edit: Here are the TM's for the -018a and the first one is the "LO". Note: The images are black but when you select them they will download the PDF for you.
 
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winglift

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Have you looked in the "Technical Manuals" section above in the Header Bar above? If there is a TM for the -018a, you want to find the "LO" Lubrication Order document.
Edit: Here are the TM's for the -018a and the first one is the "LO". Note: The images are black but when you select them they will download the PDF for you.
Sorry for the late response. I have read and printed relevant parts of the manuals and really glad that these are still around and available. There are no instructions concerning breaking in the engine. The engine is very similar to an aircraft engine, 4 cylinder opposed air cooled. I am a pilot and somewhat familiar with this type of engine. I opted to use an multi viscosity mineral oil, Philips 20W50, designed for air cooled opposed aircraft engines even though this engine is not actually an aircraft engine it still is used much like one such as constant rpms at high temperatures.

Does anyone know of a replacement for the fuel and air filters from normal auto parts stores? I could get the original ones for a premium price, but these look like regular filters that may be available in the civilian markets.
 

Guyfang

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07-871975
16662
08100-5301
93568
151281
73370
2940005806302
SCY13
60363
64829
720000
73370
871975
89749
871975
12603
9981
73370
CH0-1PL
73370
CH1PL
73370
CH1PLMIL
73370
CW201MP
79396
WIX
EP143
64829
FF351
81348
JC1125APBT4
12957
MS35802-1
96906
PF140
70040
PF140MS
24617
PF140MS
70040
PM-356
56367
PM-366
56367
PT-48
12658
Baldwin
V2-08100-5301
16662

I suspect you could call Baldwin and WIX for an oil filter replacement.
I seem to remember a thread where someone made a replacement oil filter adapter, for a spin on. But can not remember who, what or where. Look.
 
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winglift

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07-871975 16662
08100-5301 93568
151281 73370
2940005806302 SCY13
60363 64829
720000 73370
871975 89749
871975 12603
9981 73370
CH0-1PL 73370
CH1PL 73370
CH1PLMIL 73370
CW201MP 79396 WIX
EP143 64829
FF351 81348
JC1125APBT4 12957
MS35802-1 96906
PF140 70040
PF140MS 24617
PF140MS 70040
PM-356 56367
PM-366 56367
PT-48 12658 Baldwin
V2-08100-5301 16662

I suspect you could call Baldwin and WIX for an oil filter replacement.
I seem to remember a thread where someone made a replacement oil filter adapter, for a spin on. But can not remember who, what or where. Look.
Could you elaborate on this list? How does this list relate to the MEP-018A?
 

Guyfang

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The first number, take for instance, PT-48. That is a part number from the TM, for an oil filter. The second number represents the ID for Baldwin. All the numbers on the right side represent part numbers for the oil filter.
 

Zed254

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Wix changed their filter number - check their website - to: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=579651&jsn=3
Fleetfilter has them, too: https://www.fleetfilter.com/filter/51514.html
Clark number comes up: https://lifttrucksupplyinc.com/product/clark-forklift-transmission-filters-871975/
Baldwin: https://www.baldwinfiltersrus.com/baldwin-pt48-hyd-or-trans-ele-with-bail-handle.html

Note the Wix images show the gasket.....others do not.

You should go to the TM to confirm my information trail: I do not own a MEP-018A.
 
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