big a$$ Kohler genset - questions

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Re: big a$$ Kohler genset - questions

Postby midget-farmer » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:53 pm

I cant decide what to use for a Medium load....

not gonna experiment with my freezer. All my power tools requre me to pull the trigger for them to draw load.

ah... I'll use the big air compressor. It will run for several minutes before it trips off so I will have time to measure the voltage at the plug.

back in a few.

BTW - John - thanks for the manual.
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Re: big a$$ Kohler genset - questions

Postby Eugene » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:14 pm

midget-farmer wrote:I cant decide what to use for a Medium load....ah... I'll use the big air compressor. It will run for several minutes before it trips off so I will have time to measure the voltage at the plug.
Hopefully he didn't burn up the air compressor's motor.

I wouldn't suggest using any 120 volt rated appliance on 200 volts. My thought. Purchase 2 plastic fixtures that hold standard light bulbs. 2 each 100 watt filament light bulbs. Wire the 2 plastic fixtures in series. This will divide the generator set's output voltage equally between the 2 light bulbs - 100 volts each.

Before you purchase any parts for this gen set - look over the operator's manual and the service manual. I did a short web search using the model number and receive quite a few hits.

Something else to check. Check the engine rpms - supposed to be 1800 rpm. The Kohler engine will easily operate at 3600 rpms. Check the governor and throttle linkage - looking for binds - faulty settings - etc. See if reducing the engine rpms drops the output voltage.
I have an excuse. CRS.
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Re: big a$$ Kohler genset - questions

Postby midget-farmer » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:10 pm

THanks Eugene - I decided to take a nap instead of run the compressor yet.

The govener is right - but I turned up the idle so it is running pretty fast. I dont have a tach I can use to decide what RPM's its running at.

I'll play around with it tomorrow - turn it way down - plug in a couple of shop lights instead of my compressor etc.

I haven't had this much fun in a while!
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Re: big a$$ Kohler genset - questions

Postby Eugene » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:01 pm

midget-farmer wrote:The govener is right - but I turned up the idle so it is running pretty fast. I dont have a tach I can use to decide what RPM's its running at.
Install a load in one outlet and the multimeter in the 2nd outlet. Turn the idle (and/or throttle or govenor linkage) down while watching the volts on the multimeter.

Hook your shop lights up in series - not parallel. This means you will need to do a bit of electrical wiring.
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Re: big a$$ Kohler genset - questions

Postby gitractorman » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:33 pm

Yea, incandescent lights (regular old style light bulbs) are the easiest to use for load because they are not that critical of how dirty the electricity is, and light bulbs are cheap!

Do NOT use anything electronic or digital (TV, computer, stereo, etc.) on a generator, ever, even a good working one! The electricity from a generator is VERY dirty, fluctuates a lot, and can cause real damage to these types of devices in a hurry.

Also, watch out using microwaves, pumps, compressors, heaters, table saws, etc., which have really heavy startup load. It's easy to place too much demand on a generator and cause damage to these devices because the generator does not have enough power output to get the devices through their heavy startup demand.
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Re: big a$$ Kohler genset - questions

Postby Landreo » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:48 am

If the no load is 200 volts, no need to add a load, all you can do is burn the load you just added. The generator is not going to be off that much, load or not unless something else is wrong. I have many 1940's to 1960s generators and most do not have any internal regulation, none would be off that much just from not having a load. This generator is only 4kw because the Kohler is a 3600 rpm engine that has been slowed to 1800 rpm. It is no longer a 12 hp engine. If the engine sounds like it is runing at 3600 rpm then someone fooled with the govenor but I expect it sounds like it is running at 1800 rpms. This generator has a group of resistors and relays that you can check but they do not appear to be the source of your problems. The source likely is the regulator box. I have no idea what is in that box but that is what determines the output. If the engine is running at 3600 rpm then that may be the source of the high voltage but I expect the rpms are correct at 1800 and you need a new regulator. $140 is cheap for that regulator if the price is valid. You can also take apart the regulator box and see what is inside. It may just be a normally closed relay that has stuck.

My non-regulated gen sets may be off by a few volts unloaded, not 80 volts.

Nice gensets, wish I had one, but the electronic regulators can be expensive. If the regulator is potted then you are out of luck, If not then take it apart and try to reverse engineer an fix.
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Re: big a$$ Kohler genset - questions

Postby Eugene » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:11 pm

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=83977

Check the easy stuff first. You may need a voltage regulator or other parts - may be not.

Next topic. Price the cost of repair parts - if needed. Consider what you are going to use the generator set for - powering the house when commercial electricity is not available.

Just me. I would rather purchase a new generator set capable of handling my emergency power needs than spend a lot of money on the current 4KW, 120 volt set. And you would get more features such as 120/240 volts.

Edit: Generator sets come up for sale at auctions. Some are listed in the free for sale flyers. Couple months after a severe ice storm where folks were out of electricity for up to a month - genertors sets were for sale at greatly reduced prices.
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Re: big a$$ Kohler genset - questions

Postby midget-farmer » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm

Good idea Euegene.

I'm going to dial down the idle as I turned it up.

Then I plan to attach the genset to a small trailer I have.

Then plan to shoot some new paint on it & put it up for sale.

As it sits I could probably get my $ out of it just in scrap copper.

being what it is though - it will last another hundred years with out much beyond a regulator or two. So its tempting to keep around. But now I'm afraid of burning up my well pump in a power outage.
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Re: big a$$ Kohler genset - questions

Postby Dusty B » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:24 pm

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:I googled that model, and there were several comments about over voltage problems. here is a link to the manual for it.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6747196/Kohle ... ice-Manual
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John - what can you tell me about this unit? Fairbanks-Morse - I can't find any info on it! 2 cyl, water cooled, 3 KW generator. ??? Thanks, Dusty B
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