Mep002a during Florence

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I live near Lumberton, NC. When Matthew hit we had a mep002a that ran but would not produce power. This time I was a little better prepared. I acquired another mep002a that ran from day one and produced power.
When I went through the fluids I didn't realize it was missing the oil spring. I went with a high zinc valvoline oil, but in hindsight I believe it was gasoline rated oil. Started the hurricane and 7 days without power at 1936hrs, ended with 1992hrs. Oil is black. Went ahead today and changed the oil and filter, realized no oil spring. Took the one off of the bad mep002a that was on the wrong side of the oil filter off. Installed properly this time with the fram oil filter and valvoline blue with a zinc additive. Question do you think not having the oil spring hurt the oil?
The Mep002a started and ran like a champ rain or no rain. I am sure water got in the fuel when refueling but couldn't tell. Drained the separator. Need to change fuel filter.
But go figure two days after the power came back on and my uncle comes over to help fix the roof. Gene won't crack. Starter went out. Got it rebuilt and put back on with the oil change today. Running!

I do want to thank the gentle man that tried helping with the old gene during Matthew.
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Well-known member
Glad it worked for you. You might want to ask a moderator to move this out of the motorcycle forum though.


Oil turning black in a diesel engine after a few hours is not abnormal.

Be glad it was only the spring that was missing on oil filter. On my first generator that I bought I was told that it had been completely serviced. Oil looked new and unit had new batteries & air filter, however 200 hours later I discovered that my so called "fully serviced unit" was missing an oil filter. Oil was normal black for 200 hours runtime and still had adequate lubricity. That genset runs perfected to this day 6 years later. So I doubt missing the oil filter spring caused any harm. Also, I once had an Onan CCK gasoline engine that powered a 2 kW generator that was designed to run without any oil filter. I certainly wouldn't recommend running without a filter but it's not going to kill an engine if good oil is used and changed at the recommended hours interval.


Active member
If the oil had NOT turned black, I would worry. I am sure someone here in the forum can provide you with the spring.

Light in the Dark

Active member
I think you want the Onan 122-0399 (SPRING, HELICAL, COMPRESSION: OIL FILTER). Find an Onan dealer in your area and get a price.

If you intend on keeping this machine, might be worth the money to find one of those oil filter kits and adapt your machine to accept modern screw on filters with better filtration. Just a thought.