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Old 02-28-2015, 02:55 PM   #1
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Genset oil level

I was reading a letter in Motorhome Magazine from a guy who's Onan Generator seized up after only a few hours. When he checked the dipstick, there was no oil in the crankcase. Having bought my rig new, and the generator only having a few hours on it, I never even thought to check the oil. So after reading the article I checked my oil and it was barely touching the dipstick ! It is had to believe that Onan could let generators get out of the factory with insufficient oil in them, but anyone buying a new RV would be well advised to check it before running the generator.
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:25 PM   #2
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I believe its supposed to shut down on low oil pressure
by the way doing an oil change is real easy and cost about 10 bux dlr wanted a 100
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:36 PM   #3
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You should always check oil before running ANY new engine. ALWAYS. In the genset, I'd check it before every use, at least before any trip. My portable genset gets checked before I start it every time. Lawn mower too.
Even in their cars/trucks/RVs too many people just stick the key in start it and go.
Check the oil and other fluids and air, it will be your machinery you save!
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Old 02-28-2015, 04:35 PM   #4
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I'm not sure ours is "normal" but it has used oil from day 1.
I check it often and have to add a little between changes, I don't let it get down to "add" line.

The MH needs to be level when you check/add oil.
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Old 02-28-2015, 04:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim G View Post
I was reading a letter in Motorhome Magazine from a guy who's Onan Generator seized up after only a few hours. When he checked the dipstick, there was no oil in the crankcase. Having bought my rig new, and the generator only having a few hours on it, I never even thought to check the oil. So after reading the article I checked my oil and it was barely touching the dipstick ! It is had to believe that Onan could let generators get out of the factory with insufficient oil in them, but anyone buying a new RV would be well advised to check it before running the generator.
You just inspired me to carefully read my Onan manual (3600 model on my Solera 25S= 3.6KY)) and hopefully you checked the oil when unit was fairly level and oil was cool? I read that this unit takes 1.5L which equals 1.6 qrts, or roughly
50.7 ozs if my math is correct. Using an accurate measure (or calibrated beaker) I would let it rip until about at the 48 oz. mark, wait a few minutes so that the oil has settled down into the sump, unscrew the dipstick, wipe, then slowly insert ALL the way(screw it in too until the o-ring makes contact!), wait a few secs, retrieve, and then make note of the crosshatched
area, of course. If not touched yet then add no more than another 1 oz., let settle, wipe stick and re-measure. If you can get the oil level in between the hi-and-lo area on this crosshatched area then you should be very close. If you can get it a little higher such as 2/3 of the way up on this crosshatch then I would say you are ideal. NEVER run when overfilled as you will throw
this oil out the crank and lose oil, plus make a heckuva mess...too low and you will cause severe Onan damage. You know the drill! Check it often.

Also, make sure you don't have a leak near the drain plug area. I run Mobil 1 in mine, usually 5W-30 for the temp ranges I operate in. Read the book as it's all there.

Hopefully you are able to stabilize the problem and have no more! Cheers...PB
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:37 AM   #6
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My Onan gen set takes 2 quarts with filter change. Manual calls for 30w oil under average temp conditions. If then gen set isn't started after oil/filter change the dip stick will read full with less than 2 quarts. A very brief start up fills the filter and more oil from a second quart brings the dip stick to the full mark. My guess is a new employee put 1 quart in and checked the dip stick and thought it was full. I don't know if Onan ships the gen sets empty and then FR adds the oil when installed or not. I do know that my 8k home gen set was empty at purchase. So was my pressure washer. Any newly purchased device should be checked before start up. As a young guy working the 2nd shift I witnessed a car that was driven out of the garage with no oil in the engine. At the shift change the first shift mechanic forgot to tell (me) that he had not refilled the oil!!! The customer was not happy to see his red light come on immediately but lucky no damage was done.
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim G View Post
I was reading a letter in Motorhome Magazine from a guy who's Onan Generator seized up after only a few hours. When he checked the dipstick, there was no oil in the crankcase. Having bought my rig new, and the generator only having a few hours on it, I never even thought to check the oil. So after reading the article I checked my oil and it was barely touching the dipstick ! It is had to believe that Onan could let generators get out of the factory with insufficient oil in them, but anyone buying a new RV would be well advised to check it before running the generator.
I usually level the rig with the jacks when checking the generator oil level. It is very sensitive to any tilting. I have round that, when it's level, it's virtually impossible to overfill because the oil is almost to the top of the outer edge of the fill tube when the dipstick reads full.
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillMFl View Post
My Onan gen set takes 2 quarts with filter change. Manual calls for 30w oil under average temp conditions. If then gen set isn't started after oil/filter change the dip stick will read full with less than 2 quarts. A very brief start up fills the filter and more oil from a second quart brings the dip stick to the full mark. My guess is a new employee put 1 quart in and checked the dip stick and thought it was full. I don't know if Onan ships the gen sets empty and then FR adds the oil when installed or not. I do know that my 8k home gen set was empty at purchase. So was my pressure washer. Any newly purchased device should be checked before start up. As a young guy working the 2nd shift I witnessed a car that was driven out of the garage with no oil in the engine. At the shift change the first shift mechanic forgot to tell (me) that he had not refilled the oil!!! The customer was not happy to see his red light come on immediately but lucky no damage was done.
Phew! I've never seen any equipment I've purchased using a motor that wasn't delivered or bought w/o oil in it (and at the proper level). Compressors, auto's, you name it. That is a hard one to believe but not surprising, I guess, as companies are trying to save every which way they can? Dunno... and yup, your gen is bigger than mine thus more oil. My manual sez 30W also (ideally!) but this not being an ideal world climate I still prefer the multi-weight convenience of Mobil synth. Can't take the chance here in Ohio. Florida(?) then is a different and safer bet for 30W.
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Old 03-01-2015, 02:04 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Pixelbum1;795374]Phew! I've never seen any equipment I've purchased using a motor that wasn't delivered or bought w/o oil in it (and at the proper level). Compressors, auto's, you name it.

I on the other hand, have never bought a SMALL ENGINE piece of equipment that has HAD oil in it. They always have a red tag attached stating that oil must be added before starting and sometimes have a bottle of oil that can be used. The gen set on my 3051s had a tag stating to check oil before starting, my dealer did this on PDI ( I double checked before I first used and always check before leaving on trip). I was told that manufacturers don't want the responsibility of oil spillage during delivery thats why they ship oil empty.
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:05 PM   #10
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Also for anyone new to these Onans, be patient adding oil. They take the oil very slowly. It is easy to having it overflowing if you are not careful. (Guess how I know)
You may think you have it full when you really don't
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