Military surplus generator repair, and first start after years of sitting

all right for the last few years I’ve been buying and repairing military surplus diesel generators from the air and watch enough of Fort Lewis and this unit I have behind me right here is pretty typical of what I get from there this one’s an MEP 0 0 for a 15 kilowatt three-phase four-cylinder diesel generator this particular one has an acoustic enclosure on it which makes it very quiet when it’s running this is right here is missing a few pieces definitely hasn’t been run for a while it’s got quite a few cobwebs and a good layer of dust all over everything I haven’t done any repairs or anything to it yet all it does is unload it off my trailer and put it in here in the shop I’ve had it for several months sitting in here and it’s about time for me to pull it out and run through it and make all the necessary repairs we’ll get it started so what I’m going to do is get an overview of what needs to be done on it and we’ll take a look at it and see what kind of maintenance and repair is going to be done all right the first order of business is going to be to get this thing out from the corner of the shop where I got it out of the middle of the floor where I can have good access to all four doors all right the next thing we’re going to do is go ahead and open up all the doors and just take a quick run through what’s inside of the enclosure here and see what we’re missing anything that obviously needs repairs cut wiring harnesses or anything like that okay now that we got it opened up we’re going to take a quick look at everything see what we’re dealing with here this particular model has about 2060 hours on it it’s really not too bad well before its design overhaul the gauges look like they’re in pretty good shape a lot of these I get are full of moisture and rust these ones still have pretty nice white backgrounds and they don’t look like they’re in too bad of shape looking down in the generator there’s supposed to be a louvered panel that’s in place right here in front of this just to keep debris from getting sucked in there and I happen to have a spare one of those so we’ll go ahead and throw that on there on this generator we’ve also got all of our label plates or zip-tied for some reason here instead of riveted on the outside of the enclosure which would be normal looks like our convenience outlets in place don’t see anything wrong with that I do notice that we’re missing a fuse cover right here there’s no fuse for the warning light panel which means none of those warning lights are going to work so we’ll have to go ahead and get that replaced the inside of this door has a little bit of rust on it it’s not rotted through or anything but definitely been sitting with the moisture for a while I probably won’t do any actual metal repairs on that but I will go ahead and paint some rust converter on there and then repaint the inside there see all the generator components actually look like they’re in pretty good shape I don’t see any cut wires or obvious damage nothing melted in the wiring harnesses or anything like that all the Amphenol connectors appear to be pretty tight and don’t see any cuts if ties or anything like that that would indicate any ones that done any damage to this model okay looking at the engine here we’re obviously missing some filter canisters here this one right here is the final fill filter and we’ve got our moisture separator in our primary fuel filter all three of those canisters are missing then we look down at our oil filter we’re missing some of the hoses for that this is actually an external oil Walter and we’re also missing the lid the spring and all the internal components there I happen to have spares for all of these so I’ll definitely be able to replace those and then here we’ve got a oil pressure switch this is this is actually the oil pressure safety switch it doesn’t operate the gauge but it does cause the generator to shut down if the oil pressure drops too low this one’s actually broken the whole bottom piece is missing out of that and I happen to have a spare one of those as well so we’ll go ahead and replace that then we’ve got our lower radiator hose here typically I see these disconnected for draining this particular one I can see has a hole in it right here looks like rather than disconnecting it someone just decided to stab it with a knife to drain it now these I’ve never

actually been able to find except used surplus so I will have to replace this one with a flex hose they aren’t cheap so really don’t like to see them cut like this but nothing we can do about it now also the there’s actually a fan shroud that’s supposed to be right here that’s missing on this particular model we’ll have to dig through my spare parts and see if I can find one but not 100% necessary on there it does definitely help airflow in the hotter climates but I’ve never seen one of these with an overheating problem so if I can’t locate one we’ll probably just leave it off you look down here at our battery compartment and actually there’s the bottom of the oil pressure switch right there and I’ll take a look at it if it’s possible I may actually just repair this one if it’s just the wires that have popped off that may be able to solder things back together and reuse this one battery trays looking pretty rusty that’s pretty typical every one of these I found is a pretty nasty-looking from battery acid spillage we have our battery cables here we don’t have the jumper cable that’s necessary for crossing over there and back off here in this corner I do see there’s our there’s our fuse cover for the alarm panel on the front so where I won’t have to replace the whole socket I’ll be able to reuse that one now the door down here actually looks in really good shape but normally I see the bottom of these doors rusted out pretty bad from the battery acid now this one doesn’t appear to have any cancer it’s mostly just surface rust and over here on this side looks like we’re missing a fuse right here for the alternator and that’s actually probably this fuse that I saw down here in the bottom right here yep so we’ll have to replace that fuse get the alternator to work injection pump looks like it’s in decent shape these are actually supposed to have some kind of lock wire on them to keep them from operating and shutting the fuel pump down this one right here though appears to be locked into place pretty good off to take a look and find out why that won’t move on these sets it actually doesn’t serve any function so normally this is lock wired back to back to the back of the pump there and it looks like our fuel cables or throttle cables intact and oil pressure sending unit looks like it’s in place and don’t see any obvious problems here I do see normally the oil drain on these is plumbed to the outside this one right here is just sitting here loose and it has a rag stuffed in the end of it it looks like we’re also missing our radiator shroud on this side that’s actually the one that is down in the bottom of the tray right here so we’ll be able to put that one back on hand back over to this side of the generator really not a whole lot to see here get a chance to look at the rest of the rest of the wiring harness and again over here really don’t see any problem so all right just an overall look at the generator everything appears to be here on the outside except for the the doghouse on the intake side of the generator just like the one that’s on the exhaust side there supposed to be one right here on the intake side I just didn’t come with it on this particular lot so I happen to have a spare one of those in my pile of spare parts so we’ll be throwing that on there to make this a complete acoustic enclosure all right I managed to track down an extra fuse holder and fuse for our alarm panel so I’m going to go ahead and just install peppers in here all right now on this one I’ve already pulled the intake manifold off and replaced it I just do that to check and make sure that there’s no foreign objects down inside the intake manifold or the head I didn’t do this until just a little while ago I got a thirty kilowatt generator and I fired it up and I ended up throwing a rod it turns out there was a loose bolt inside the intake manifold that sucked it into the intake valve and destroyed the engine so now I always pull the intake manifold off just to make sure there’s nothing floating around in there all right we’re going to go ahead and pull this radiator hose out of here since it’s destroyed anyway we’ll just pull it off and throw it out save these hose clamps for use on the next pose okay the next thing I like to

do is to turn the engine over by hand make sure it’s not seized up or anything if it is there’s a number of things they can do to free it up but it is nice to know before I go pouring oil and new filters and everything in it it’s nice to know whether I’m going to be dealing with an engine that’s locked up in our socket put another crank here and just see if we can get it to turn over this one turns over pretty easily so you pretty well sure we haven’t got any water into the cylinders or anything like that all right next we’re going to be replacing the fuel and oil filters and their cam stirs I dug through my spare parts bin and I had all the canisters and stuff I needed this is the cap for the oil filter housing right here and the spring and in the filter retainer and then I have my fuel filter canisters right here in the actual water separator and then I had a couple of spare hoses for the oil filter these use standard – AM fittings so these would be easy to make up from parts from from Summit Racing and for Jegs or from any of the places that deal in the dash a and fittings but since I have the correct hoses here we’ll just be using those and then the actual filter elements themselves a couple of 35 40 s for the fuel filters and then the 1000 for from the oil filter Katy’s oil those Simenson for quite some time in my toolbox so just to make sure there’s no degree in cause damage to the engine I’m going to go ahead and flush mount that’s all and then we’ll go ahead and install these hoses on on the filter assembly here okay have we got those who steal a little filter hoses installed what I should go ahead and install the filter itself I went ahead and wiped out on the side of the filter housing right there on the true there’s no debris that’s inside there get army the oil filter here okay we’ll wipe this this canister lid off get rid all the grime that’s accumulated what’s inside in the tool box you got our new gasket for our oil filter here you know what I like to do is to put just a couple of dabs of silicone on it to hold it into place don’t absolutely have to do this but just a fall out of place when installing the filters pane so let’s put a couple small dabs in a few places around the gasket helps prevent oil weeks when you fire the generator up yes particular canister is missing a one-eighth inch npt drain plug so I got a new plug right here we’ll go ahead and throw that in all right I like to put a little bit of oil in the in the canister before I put the filter in it may not make a huge difference but pretty sure it shaves a second or two off the time that you’re cranking with no oil pressure and certainly makes me feel better about about starting one of these engines up after it’s been sitting for such a long time you can only fill the housing up about a third of the way with oil any more than that when you put the filter in it will overflow sighs all right once we get our s we got our oil in the and the housing we’re ready to put our filter okay next we’re going to go ahead and put our fill filters in the old gasket still up in there so we need to get those down out of the way

the fund it helps with these to spray just a little bit of penetrating well up inside the gasket filter housing that just helps you gas let’s go up better and they seem to seal better the first time okay the strainer and water trap assembly just consists of this washable strainer right here and the housing itself it just has a crown nut on the end with the copper washer so what we’ll do is we’ll go ahead and thread this piece all thread in okay I’m going to take our fuel filters put them in their houses go ahead in the head and then install those I like to keep the housing moving just a little bit as I’m taking this up let’s keep it from binding up in the base this make sure seats evenly against the gasket minimizes the chance for fuel leaks when we turn on the bill pumps ok I’ve noticed that the parts for the oil pressure switch that I found in there don’t actually go to each other I don’t know why the two pieces that were missing were there in the generator but these wires right here on this one are the same as these wires here so we got two halves of two different oil pressure switches but I’m not going to complain because these are a little hard to come by so what we’re going to do is we’ll test this the actual pressure switch and make sure it’s working and if it is and we’ll go ahead and click these wires and solder them onto there and then we should have one working pressure switch okay I got my test setup right here and we’re going to do is apply about 30 pounds of pressure to the pressure switch and what we hope to see is the ohm meter go from the infinite resistance to something close to zero okay while I was testing the switch it failed the test they didn’t get – didn’t get the resistance I was expecting if you can see here what I’ve got on the back of this little micro switch I didn’t notice it before but this corner is actually broken out of it and I would assume that’s why this was sitting loose down inside the generator now this was obviously a bad switch so guess what we’ll do is toss this one in the trash bin and see if I can locate another one okay I mean as you track down another oil pressure switch now this one’s not an exact replacement because it’s got quarter inch NPT fittings instead of 1/8 that have neither the necessary fittings to adapt that so go ahead and throw this one on okay with that oil pressure switch replaced now we can go ahead and put some oil in here and but miss panel up obviously I still need to replace that radiator hose but I don’t have one right now so we’ll go ahead and just see if we can get the thing to start we just won’t run it for too long so we don’t burn up the water pump seals alright next we’re going to replace our batteries I’ve got this pair of deep cycle batteries I just picked these up from Costco they’re fairly inexpensive and they work pretty well in these generators right here I had never had a problem with them so this generator was missing the crossover battery cable once used wire the batteries in series bushes made up this short section right here with some that was some 4 gauge welding cable that I had who made up quite a few of these it works pretty good okay we’ve got our batteries installed so we’ll go ahead and close this panel up move on to the next one okay over here there’s really not much to do since I’ve since I have this radiator shroud I’m going to just go ahead and install it the bolts are sitting right here so you notice our fan belts and pretty rough-looking shape here I’ll go ahead and replace that

after I get this generator started and load tested okay we got our shroud on on this side there’s really nothing left to do and here as far as maintenance goes but what we’re going to do now is put some fuel inside the generator and I’ll turn on the fuel pumps and then I’m going to open up the fuel line right at the injection pump and we’re going to let a little bit of fuel flow out of there just to make sure we’re getting clean fuel and I don’t see any kind of water rust particles or anything else that might cause damage to the injection pump okay I put a few gallons of off-highway diesel and the generator and what we’re going to do now is crack the fuel line right here at the injection pump and now we’ll go ahead and turn on the fuel pumps of the generator and let wait until we get some clean fuel coming out of this long you won’t fuel pumps are running I’m also going over the other side and checking a fuel filter housing to make sure we don’t have to be showing up over there we’ve got fuel in the water trap and both fill filters so it should expect to see some coming out here pretty much anytime and there you go you can see we get some clean fuel running out there right now here we’ve got a little bit of diesel spills in the bottom there so I’m gonna wipe that up for each right crank and generated over all right I went ahead and grounded the generator set to my shop ground just in case it starts up I definitely don’t to get electrocuted if there’s some kind of a fault what I’ll go ahead and do is just turn the generator over just for a second or two and then go ahead and check all the filter housings make sure we don’t have any leaks and the oil of fill filters and then also the injection pump and injector lines we don’t want any leaks there cause and potentially causing a fire inside the generator so if it does start only let it run for a second or two again for the same reason so let’s go ahead and bring it over and see what we get and nothing looks like we’ve got two got to do a little bit of work on the starter and solidly well looks like we’re going to be spending some more time inside this panel after all I’ve actually run into this on a few of these MEP generator sets the contactor plate inside the solenoid gets corroded and it doesn’t make good contact anymore we can test and find out if the solenoids bad a good thing is these solenoids are easy to take apart and repair so I’m not going to need to run down arkstorm you try jumping across to the sand wire first okay you can hear the P solenoid was actually moving there but the starter motor was attorney so now we’re going to jump her across the the contacts that someone’s who can get the starter motor to move and you can hear it move in there so definitely what we got going on as a bad solenoid it shouldn’t be too much of a problem we’ll we’ll pull this back cap off right here and clean up the contacts and give it enough shot okay I’ve got the solenoid pulled apart and you can see the pieces right here the plunger this piece in my hand right here and then we got the cap right here you see the contacts in here are corroded pretty badly the plunger right there is definitely the worst so we’ll just get out some Emery cloth and clean these things up and put it back together and it should work just fine all right we have our solenoids all put back together and go ahead and try the starter it looks like it’s working that international fire there so I’m going to go in just check okay take a look make sure when you leave and everything looks good so we’ll go ahead and cranny and over again I’ll quickly see what we get okay sounds like it’s henna start do one more

Jack here everything is looking good see any leaks on the injection pump side so we’ll go ahead and put it off and see how it runs all right generator obviously started up pretty good I didn’t see any leaks to either oil or fuel leaks on either side of the engine so don’t run it for too long so I don’t have any water in the radiator right now I don’t want to burn up the water pump so we’ll go ahead and get the exhaust pan on on the shop and clear out some of these fumes all right we’ve got a running generator now that’s producing power the next step will be to replace that radiator hose and fill it up with water and once that’s done I’ll let it run for a little bit under no-load and we’ll put it under a full load and do a full load test for it a lot of times those load tests turn up problems that you wouldn’t otherwise see when you’re running a generator just under a light partial load so hope you enjoyed watching me bring this piece of military equipment back to life