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Old 08-09-2017, 02:34 AM   #1
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Default question about generator service

Does anybody have experience removing their generator for service?

(I refer to the under-the-body style mounted Onan 2.8 microlites)

I want to service/inspect mine properly and it is very cramped under the van!
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:01 AM   #2
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Default question about generator service

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Originally Posted by gklugie View Post
Does anybody have experience removing their generator for service?

(I refer to the under-the-body style mounted Onan 2.8 microlites)

I want to service/inspect mine properly and it is very cramped under the van!
I removed mine from under my Sprinter van to install air suspension components. Drove the rear up on 6" high ramps made from solid 2x6 lumber. That raised the back about 10 inches and with the slight down slope of my driveway gave enough room to work under van. Used an ATV/Motorcycle lift to drop the Onan generator. The lift made the job fairly easy as it can easily handle weight of generator. Just lifted the generator slightly, removed attachment bolts and the lowered generator. Lift had wheels that then served as dolly to maneuver generator under van.

- - Mike
2012 Sprinter 3500 Extended converted B-Van by Airstream
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:15 PM   #3
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Sounds simple, but the devil is often in the details...... how about the wiring? cables? fuel line? connection types?
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:38 PM   #4
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Sounds simple, but the devil is often in the details...... how about the wiring? cables? fuel line? connection types?
Can't say for the older models, but our 2007 Chevy was very straightforward with the exception of the AC wiring, which had to be either cut or taken loose at the transfer switch inside the van and pulled through the floor and removed conduit and all. 12v was at a binding post, fuel was accessible, brackets no problem. I used a transmission jack.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:49 PM   #5
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Sounds simple, but the devil is often in the details...... how about the wiring? cables? fuel line? connection types?
You might want to visually inspect it first to get a feel for how much hassle factor will be involved (i.e., engage in the process of expectation management prior to attempting the job). I have wanted to drop ours, and we will eventually, but once we got a look at the condition of the hardware, we figured we'd leave it for another day when we had lots and lots of time available. We recently replaced our aging propane lines (description here) and it took a good 30 minutes just to free the propane flex line from the generator itself. It had been married to the thing for 10 years, and it was not a willing participant in this process. It was tricky to get it off without damaging the generator connection.

Our system doesn't have an isolation valve available between the regulator and the generator. If yours is similar, youíll have to rely on your tank solenoid on what is otherwise a line standing open once the generator is removed. Perhaps Iím neurotic, but I prefer to have valves that I can control with my own two hands. And of course, donít try to actuate any other propane components (fridge, stove) while the generator is removed, unless you are sure that you can successfully plug that line. If itís a copper line, they make brass fittings that will do that job, and they are available at big box stores. But if itís a flex line as ours was, I canít suggest a solution for that. There may be a solution, but if so, I don't know about it.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:23 PM   #6
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If he has a 2.8 Onan, it will be a petrol gas line and hook up right at the generator from a hose in most cases. 2.5 if it was propane.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:34 PM   #7
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Can't say for the older models, but our 2007 Chevy was very straightforward with the exception of the AC wiring, which had to be either cut or taken loose at the transfer switch inside the van and pulled through the floor and removed conduit and all. 12v was at a binding post, fuel was accessible, brackets no problem. I used a transmission jack.
do the auto stores rent tranny jacks? just wondering as I might someday totally remove my genny
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:01 PM   #8
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do the auto stores rent tranny jacks? just wondering as I might someday totally remove my genny
I haven't seen them around here in Minnesota at auto parts stores, but all the equipment rental places have them. It can also be done on a floor jack with a board on it, but it is a lot less stable. If you happen to have two floor jacks, that is better, but still not as good as the tranny jack or ATV lift.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:47 PM   #9
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If I remember right my wire harness plugged in and battery cables ha to come with it. everything could vary with the different units. I used a floor jack and there were two of us working on it. It wasn't easy either.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:20 PM   #10
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Default question about generator service

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Originally Posted by booster View Post
Can't say for the older models, but our 2007 Chevy was very straightforward with the exception of the AC wiring, which had to be either cut or taken loose at the transfer switch inside the van and pulled through the floor and removed conduit and all. 12v was at a binding post, fuel was accessible, brackets no problem. I used a transmission jack.
My van has a junction box near the generator to disconnect the AC power. There is also a heavy 12VDC cable for the generator starter and a fuel line either gas or LP depending on your model. They are all reasonable to deal with.

As InterBlog suggests you need to look first. The mounting bolts on mine were all rusted badly and were ruined by time I got the out. Then had to install new bolts when reinstalling.

- - Mike
2012 Sprinter 3500 Extended converted B-Van by Airstream
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