I bought a "Not operationally checked" MEP-803A what can I expect?

rtrask

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I bought one of the GP MEP-803A gensets. It was sold "Not operationally checked", so it is a bit of a crap shoot. I was wondering if anyone else is willing to share their experiences with buying one of these. I have been going through the MEP-803A threads, and I ordered filters oil belt etc. and I have the read through the thread on the initial start up procedure etc. I know to make sure there is a fuse on the A1 regulator, I will keep reading ... But between now and when I can get my hands dirty working on it, I was hoping to get some member feed back on what to expect, both the good, and the bad. I know that GP has been selling a bunch of these, so I gotta believe some of you all can tell me what you ran into.

The good thing is that I can take my time in getting it operational, because it fits into my plans for next year or the year after. Also I have a friend that works for Cummins generators so if I get too badly stuck I can get some quality advice.

Please don't say I should have just bought one that someone else had already gone through. That's not helpful at this point. It is already bought, and I am confident in my ability to get it going given enough time and parts.

EDIT: It says the reason it was not operationally checked is because "all the fluids were drained"
 
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rtrask

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I should have added that it says all the fluids have been drained and the batteries were missing. It is odd to me that it shows one of the optima red top batteries in one of the pictures, but who knows, likely they would need to be changed out anyway.

To any one else wondering about initial start up I found this thread had useful information What the heck do I do now
 

Coug

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A lot of these end up leaking fuel inside the engine area. Most common cause is leaking fuel lines.
Not end of the world, diesel isn't explosive so mot much of a hazard during testing, but will make a mess if not taken care of.
 

juanprado

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all fluids drained and batteries missing is part of the drill when it is surplused by DRMO. Not unusual to find this on even running equipment. Freon is also typically evacuated.
Could mean nothing or a fried puppy. Just no way to know till you fill her up and fire her up "hot".....
 

rtrask

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Thanks everyone, from the pictures the inside of the engine compartment seems pretty clean (i.e. oil and coolant free). To my untrained eye, I don't see anything major missing except for the box on the front where the accessories are kept, and the landing gear. I don't really think it has been used as a parts source, but will not know until I get my hands on it.

I am just in that expectant father mode that will not get any better until I take possession.

Thanks for all your understanding / input. I should be able to post some pictures next week.
 

Ray70

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Depending on where you got it from it could be perfectly fine or it could be a parts pile. I've found that some locations won't do anything to try to start the machines. If the fluids are drained they don't touch it. Other sites take the time to put oil and filters back on and spend a little time trying to start them. As long as you got it for a good price it doesn't matter. All you can do is look closely at the pictures then bid accordingly and expect it to have a problem. If it turns out to be good you are that much ahead of the game! Let us know how you make out, might be perfectly fine!
 

Daybreak

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Howdy,
It sounds like you are on your way.
Checklist items
Reach in and turn the fan, hopefully the engine turns.
OK, all the filters, oil filled, check coolant, empty fuel tank, clean it out. Fresh diesel, 2 good strong batteries, look over wiring, have a multi-meter ready, check air filter, have something like a simple light for convenience receptacle (limit at plug is 10 amps) set the power selection behind front panel, check for fuse mod being down, (If it's not done, do not try to start until done) After everything is checked and ready, turn S1 to prime and run for a long time. It takes a while to fill the fuel filters, when they are full, excess simply runs back to the tank via the fuel return lines. (Dry rot, age makes these needing replacement) OK,
before starting, use the dead crank switch to turn it over a few times, ok sounds like your ready. dead crank switch to normal, emergency stop button pulled out, turn S1 to prime and run, listen to the sounds, the pump sound get more fuller filled sounding, turn the S1 to start.. hold it... hold it, til the oil pressure comes up, release.
You want 120/240 selected, the ammeter selected to either single phase to view either 120 volts or 240 volts, and engine speed to keep a good 60Hz, check the power at the receptacles first, looks good? ok, press up the circuit interrupter, and you will then have power at the lugs.
*make sure you have a good ground to the ground lug.
check the voltages etc on the lugs.
Think about what you will use to work your new diesel generator. I would suggest not using your house with a unknown power quality until you have made sure all things are working good.

Your ahead of the ball game because you are here. :)
 

Guyfang

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Everyone has given sound advice. Now you need to continue getting smart with TM's and threads. And stop assuming. It will be, what it will be. Before you try and crank it over, take some good pictures. Post them here. Often people can spot things wrong or missing, that you have no idea about. Take your time. Check everything and assume nothing. Do take the top off the set and LOOK at your set. See if the mice have established a beach head in it. Look for loose wires. Look for strange wires, by that I mean non milatary wires. Look for small parts in the bottom of the set. Take the doors off. Give yourself room to move around and in the set. Often the "missing" parts are there. I would do all this, before even trying to crank it over. Think about how you want to position it. I always tried to get the set up off the ground a bit, to make it easyer to work on. It gets old fast, (for an old fart like me) crawling around on your hands and knees working on gen sets. A little stool with wheels helps. And working on a gen set on a trailer is also a PITA, when you are at it hours on end. And ask questions. The only dumb question is the question not asked.
 

Light in the Dark

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I should have added that it says all the fluids have been drained and the batteries were missing. It is odd to me that it shows one of the optima red top batteries in one of the pictures, but who knows, likely they would need to be changed out anyway.

To any one else wondering about initial start up I found this thread had useful information What the heck do I do now
If it were me, I would complain to the auction house you got this from, that it was not delivered as advertised. If they showed you one battery, even if its dead, there better damn well be one battery in the machine when I received it.
 

Light in the Dark

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Also, when you are ready to attempt a start I would make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby and the unit's grounds are good and trailer's gnd lug is grounded for safety purposes.
Very good advice. Also firing off a set for the first time you have no idea what to expect. Remember, while extremely rare, diesel engines can 'run away'. You simply need to cut off all air supply to the engine, should this ever occur. The air inlet is on the starter side.
 

rtrask

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Depending on where you got it from it could be perfectly fine or it could be a parts pile. I've found that some locations won't do anything to try to start the machines. If the fluids are drained they don't touch it. Other sites take the time to put oil and filters back on and spend a little time trying to start them. As long as you got it for a good price it doesn't matter. All you can do is look closely at the pictures then bid accordingly and expect it to have a problem. If it turns out to be good you are that much ahead of the game! Let us know how you make out, might be perfectly fine!
I bought it from GP, it is located at Ft Carson. I intend to go pick it up either on Friday or Saturday depending on scheduling with GP. I bought it on the 12th, for 1600. I would post a link to it, but SS frowns on that. If you look it should be easy to find.
 
Last edited:

rtrask

Active member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
324
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San Luis Valley, Colorado
Howdy,
It sounds like you are on your way.
Checklist items
Reach in and turn the fan, hopefully the engine turns.
OK, all the filters, oil filled, check coolant, empty fuel tank, clean it out. Fresh diesel, 2 good strong batteries, look over wiring, have a multi-meter ready, check air filter, have something like a simple light for convenience receptacle (limit at plug is 10 amps) set the power selection behind front panel, check for fuse mod being down, (If it's not done, do not try to start until done) After everything is checked and ready, turn S1 to prime and run for a long time. It takes a while to fill the fuel filters, when they are full, excess simply runs back to the tank via the fuel return lines. (Dry rot, age makes these needing replacement) OK,
before starting, use the dead crank switch to turn it over a few times, ok sounds like your ready. dead crank switch to normal, emergency stop button pulled out, turn S1 to prime and run, listen to the sounds, the pump sound get more fuller filled sounding, turn the S1 to start.. hold it... hold it, til the oil pressure comes up, release.
You want 120/240 selected, the ammeter selected to either single phase to view either 120 volts or 240 volts, and engine speed to keep a good 60Hz, check the power at the receptacles first, looks good? ok, press up the circuit interrupter, and you will then have power at the lugs.
*make sure you have a good ground to the ground lug.
check the voltages etc on the lugs.
Think about what you will use to work your new diesel generator. I would suggest not using your house with a unknown power quality until you have made sure all things are working good.

Your ahead of the ball game because you are here. :)
Thanks Mike,
I am intending to change out all the filters so I will let the pumps run for 10 minutes or so before I try to start it, if I even get that far this weekend. I will not try to start it with out the fuse mod, but probably will not buy the parts just on the chance that it has not been done. For the purpose of marital harmony I will be taking it straight out to some land I own where it's a bit of a hike to get additional parts. When I get my FLU 419 SEE out there, my wife will be more amenable to bring it into the city if I have a major over haul to do.

I have some property with a water well and not much else in the San Luis Valley in Colorado. I have BLM land on 3 sides and beautiful views, but it would cost > 30K to run electricity to it. For 30K, I can buy a lot of solar / wind equipment so that't my intent when I build there. The generator will be used as back up / shop power / recharge when demand exceeds supply. All of this is future stuff, so I have a lot of time to get any issues sorted out. I also already have a 4KW gas generator that I will use until the MEP-803A is fully functional.

Like my SEE I bought the generator in advance of actually needing it because the price seemed right, and I could take my time to fix any issues. I was lucky with the SEE and have it mostly ready to go except for some minor issues (like anything that old there are always minor issues). GP has not had any FLU 419s for sale for a long time. I by chance I timed it just right after the market had dropped due to the number they had already sold. I used the same strategy to buy the 803A. If I got lucky again there will be nothing major wrong. If not I could be tinkering with it for a long time.

I have a 8' grounding rod driven into the ground that I will ground it with before I try to start it. What gauge of wire should I use to connect the 803 to the grounding lug?
 

rtrask

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San Luis Valley, Colorado
Everyone has given sound advice. Now you need to continue getting smart with TM's and threads. And stop assuming. It will be, what it will be. Before you try and crank it over, take some good pictures. Post them here. Often people can spot things wrong or missing, that you have no idea about. Take your time. Check everything and assume nothing. Do take the top off the set and LOOK at your set. See if the mice have established a beach head in it. Look for loose wires. Look for strange wires, by that I mean non milatary wires. Look for small parts in the bottom of the set. Take the doors off. Give yourself room to move around and in the set. Often the "missing" parts are there. I would do all this, before even trying to crank it over. Think about how you want to position it. I always tried to get the set up off the ground a bit, to make it easyer to work on. It gets old fast, (for an old fart like me) crawling around on your hands and knees working on gen sets. A little stool with wheels helps. And working on a gen set on a trailer is also a PITA, when you are at it hours on end. And ask questions. The only dumb question is the question not asked.
Well like they say, when you assume, you make and ASS out of U and ME. ;) I will be patient, and look it over carefully. If I don't get to try to crank it this weekend that will be fine. Since I am taking it out to my property, that is the most likely outcome. A stool will not be very handy out there, but I hear you about needing one if / when I bring it to town.
 

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Light in the Dark

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You need to be particularly careful with this set, the landing gear is missing from the front. Also I don't see a rear stabilizing leg... which in this case, is VERY important as the genset is turned around 180* from normal. The consideration of safety here is key, because the weight on these gensets is biased TOWARDS the operator controls, so you are rear leaning heavy right now.

Best thing you can do is let the yard operator help hook this to your vehicle before you sign any paperwork (in case it tips and gets damaged in loading).

You will need to determine how you will stabilize this trailer before unhooking it (unless you are taking the genset off... then do so before unhooking the trailer).
 
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