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Old 06-21-2018, 04:30 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North Pole, AK
Posts: 101
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtrak RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e
Is it Worth Looking at a Used Onan Diesel Generator?

I've been going around in circles for a while on generators. There are just too many options. I started looking at the cheap generators, but they are noisy. I'd want to convert to propane and get a remote start.

Then I started looking at the quiet Hondas. Quiet, durable, efficient, they are very expensive, and propane conversion/remote start kits add further to the price. Also, it still needs a second fuel source on the bus.

So, I noticed a posting for an Onan Quiet Diesel 8000. I havent contacted the guy selling it, so I don't know anything about its year, hours, or maintenance history. In the picture, it is clean but not attached to anything.

1. How would you price something like this? New, that generator is $9-10k.

2. If it's not hooked up to anything, how hard would it be to load test it?

3. How much time/money am I likely looking at after buying this thing to do maintenance prior to install (oil change, etc.) assuming it's in working order.

Here's a similar generator listed new:
ONAN QUIET DIESEL GENERATOR – 8000 WATT
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:19 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Pendleton Indiana
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Year: 2010
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Engine: MF DT466
Rated Cap: 81
Well..... Considering that it will run more than what most give for there bus you prob won't have many hits. I would start calling rv salvage places to get idea going used prices and buying from individuals should usually be a little cheaper. If planning cold stays you may rethink a diesel generator.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:24 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North Pole, AK
Posts: 101
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtrak RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e
This particular generator is out in the boonies. If you drew a circle with a 100-mile radius, you'd have less than 10,000 people in it, most of them poor. For some odd reason, the seller is having some difficulty finding a buyer...
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Old 06-22-2018, 05:29 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North Pole, AK
Posts: 101
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtrak RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e
I talked to the local Cummins shop. They said they can do a service - if nothing needs replacement, a routine service should be around $400. They can also do installs, though I might need to build a platform of some kind first. Their generator tech is going to call when he comes in with a little more clarity.

I also called the national office. They looked up the year on the generator (2004). I can hook it up to a 12v battery and 5-gallon fuel can to test, and then check volts and hertz with a multimeter. Load test is a little more involved since I have to wire the output up to something. The guy I talked to suggested I check the brush block and slip ring to see if those parts are worn out. Cloudy white oil means its been sitting too long, and if it blows smoke, that's a good sign something is mechanically wrong.
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:38 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 874
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
How are you going to start that thing up there at -40f. Does it have a block heater ? I assume it is air-cooled too, might work ok up there but have my doubts as to how long it would last in a different climate, like Fla.
Take a few electric plugin heaters to check how it works under load and with no load. Take the load off slowly and it should return nicely to idle.


John
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:52 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North Pole, AK
Posts: 101
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtrak RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e
This generator has liquid coolant. Interestingly, Onan claims this generator is tested as working down to -20 fahrenheit - I may call and ask the local Alaska dealer for clarification. That seems a little incredible for diesel.

If i can start at -20, then I'm fine 90% of the time. I'm going to avoid using the bus below that temperature anyway, since -20 is about the coldest it can get outside and still be fun. If the temp starts dropping unexpectedly, that's probably a good reason to leave everything running to reduce the chances of getting stranded.
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:58 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 874
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
This generator has liquid coolant. Interestingly, Onan claims this generator is tested as working down to -20 fahrenheit - I may call and ask the local Alaska dealer for clarification. That seems a little incredible for diesel.

I would think it does have a block heater then, good news. Once it starts, the temp doesn't matter much how low it goes as long as it gets fuel. You would be wise to add an extra tank from the bus fuel for it.
This is the one that is $8,700? Any warranty? Might as well spend another 400 and get a new one in my mind.


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Old 06-22-2018, 08:10 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North Pole, AK
Posts: 101
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtrak RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e
The asking price of this is a lot less than that, but it's 14 years old and in one of the remotest possible parts of the country.

I have a 100 gallon fuel tank - if I run that dry, I'm probably in enough trouble that a bigger tank's not going to get me out of it.
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