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Sargehut234

Cajun Country

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Posted: 02/25/22 03:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With normal maintenance, how many hours should you except from a onan
5500 generator?

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 02/25/22 07:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thousands. I've seen Onan generators used in commercial TV production trucks with nearly 10,000 hours on them.

bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 02/26/22 07:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since you are from Cajun country I am sure you have seen wire line oil well logging units on the highway. When working those units run Onan generators. They commonly rack up tens of thousands of hours. More damage is done by lack of use.

Dutch_12078

Winters south, summers north

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Posted: 02/26/22 11:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it's an 1800 RPM unit like BGE's, etc, 20-30,000 hours isn't unheard of. The newer 3600 RPM units are lucky to make it to 8-10,000 hours without serious issues.

* This post was edited 04/04/22 11:02am by Dutch_12078 *


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2manytoyz

Central FL

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Posted: 02/26/22 01:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Per the Onan representative, generators die from lack of use, rather than overuse. Keep up with the PM, it will likely outlast the rest of your RV.


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ajriding

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Posted: 02/26/22 03:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

lol. They will die of use not lack of use. The carb will suffer if not ever used as it can clog, but that can be undone or replaced cheaply, but wear on the cylinder walls is harder to un-do.

Bearings will wear out and maybe can be replaced or not.

Seals will wear out and can dry out which can be from non-use due to oil not getting the seal wet often enough.

Do run the generator several times per year.

Keeping fresh oil in is critical. If it has an oil filter that is a big bonus.
A clean air filter will also keep debris out of the cylinder.

Air blast the generator head to blow off dirt and dust and minimize wear from grit there. Just blow compressed air in where you can the best you can.

The old generators that ran 1800 rpm and had big pistons will last longer than the smaller 3600 rpm of similar output mostly due to the speed, but also due to smaller parts having to undergo the same workload that wear faster than the big-ole parts. Nothing you can do about this difference, just know it so you do not compare them.

Learjet

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Posted: 02/26/22 07:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:



The old generators that ran 1800 rpm and had big pistons will last longer than the smaller 3600 rpm of similar output mostly due to the speed, but also due to smaller parts having to undergo the same workload that wear faster than the big-ole parts. Nothing you can do about this difference, just know it so you do not compare them.


The Onan 5500 motor runs at 2400 rpm...the generator head is belt drive and turns 3600 rpm


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udidwht

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Posted: 04/04/22 02:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Indeed. It's an old WWII holdover myth that generators die from lack of use. The electronics in them today don't have the issue of those used decades ago. Yes fuel can be an issue but it takes years for that to become apparent.

I always dump an appropriate amount of STA-BIL into my fuel tank when filling up gas tank prior to storage. Then I run the generator under 50+ percent load for ~30 min. Then shut off.

Come spring time it (Micro 4K) fires right up. Been doing this for 8 years without issue.


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wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Posted: 04/04/22 04:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

KD4UPL wrote:

Thousands. I've seen Onan generators used in commercial TV production trucks with nearly 10,000 hours on them.


with proper maintenence: "you wont live that long" in fact your grandchildren may well not live that long.


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dougrainer

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Posted: 04/04/22 10:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Learjet wrote:

ajriding wrote:



The old generators that ran 1800 rpm and had big pistons will last longer than the smaller 3600 rpm of similar output mostly due to the speed, but also due to smaller parts having to undergo the same workload that wear faster than the big-ole parts. Nothing you can do about this difference, just know it so you do not compare them.


The Onan 5500 motor runs at 2400 rpm...the generator head is belt drive and turns 3600 rpm


You need to specify which year and model. The OP has a 2008 Model 5500. Runs at 1800 and has NO belt. AND a RV 5500 current does run at 2400 but has no belt also. Doug

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