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  #1  
Old 01-31-2010
stanley7140 stanley7140 is offline
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Default Onan cooling package - Why??

I'm redoing the cooling system for my Onan generator. I pulled the radiator and cooling fan out, and as it sits on the shop floor, I keep asking myself WHY? What a monster. Why do I need such a monster setup?

I've got a tractor with a 3 cly 27hp Yanmar in it. It has a little radiator and small fan. I run it at max power for hours and it never gets hot. I'm maybe going 1/2 mph, so the little radiator and fan is doing all the cooling. I can only guess that in its tractor application my generator's Kabota engine also has a small radiator and fan.

Why do they use such a big fan and radiator? Has anybody tried going to U-Pull-it and getting a small radiator (or two, two will fit) with a 12 volt fan. With all the room under there, I could easily put a different radiator and fan in at a 45 deg angle instead of laying it flat. I know the 12 volt fan won't move as much air as the squirrel cage fan, but is it really needed?
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Old 01-31-2010
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Dave,
I would think that since an RV could range from icy cold, thin air mountain tops to oven hot desert locations like Death Valley, that the cooling system needs to accomodate these extremes. But I don't know how many BTU's you need to disperse, so perhaps a more efficient core design could be substituted. It's prety much a math question, you just need the values and plug-em-in.
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Old 01-31-2010
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come down south in the summer and you will know that is why it was made that way.....up north you might not need the big rad but down here or fla or sc or you pick--------it needs the cage fan

less to worry about
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Old 01-31-2010
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sound proofing to reduce noise traps heat. other applications of the same engine may not require that much calorie counting.
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Old 01-31-2010
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Listen to Woody and Greg.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2010
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Dave in Oregon,

I do agree with you to some extent , BB made these rad, cage fans for the 12K & 15K, four cylinder diesels and continued to install them for use in the 8.0K Onan, I think it is more of a circulation issue with the wimpy Onan water pump and the long hose runs to the radiator and return.
But, I more agree with previous poster and stick with the BB design. We need to keep the Kubota cool and it runs hot in the sealed Bay, with all the insulation. The fan motor is a three speed motor wired to the highest speed. Easily one could experiment with a quieter lower motor speed tap.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2010
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I think most owners who don't have the flat radiator with 230V squirrel cage fan wish they did. This is definitely a case of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it".
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Old 01-31-2010
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Do not even think of changing the original BB design. Flat rads do not cool well . No electric fan will move the air of that huge furnace fan. The gennie engine compartment is very hot so make sure the little circulating fan is working. If your rad has never been removed and cleaned I can guarantee that it is totallly plugged and will have to be recored. My own feelings are that there is no half way when it comes this gennie. The best thing you could do is remove the gennie, install new insulation if you still have that foam junk, redo the rad, remove the cooling fan and if necessary replace and then replace all the hoses. This is not a cheap repair but well worth the $1000 plus. Both Bill and I have written up this repair and I am sure it is in the archives.
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Old 01-31-2010
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Bruce gave a very good subtle tip, check out the mini squirrel cage behind the battery , left side rear, it is probable seized, read the sticker to oil every three months . This helps ventilate the bay.
And yes you will find lots of black insulation in the rad,
we would suggest removing the Onan and replacing the hoses, thermostat, belt maybe water pump, and check the bearings on the alternator. adjust the valves and any other preventive maintenance that seems necessary, Lots written about this nasty, filthy, labor intensive job.
For the curious reader, this gennie is fixed inside the bay (no slide), probably impossible to work on the starter, alternator, waterpump or coolant hoses , very tight fit. Not an easy roadside or campground repair.
Stephen has the Insulation, Oh check out the exhaust, it is in the rear behind the Onan also
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2010
stanley7140 stanley7140 is offline
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Thanks for the input.
The little blower is toast, the hoses are shot, and the water pump is leaking out the **** hole. Oddly enough, the inside of the radiator looks pretty darn good. It looks like the big blower motor may have been replaced at some point as the wirring diagram on it indicates it is only a one speed, and the word "top" was not mounted up, and like wise, the drain holes were not at the bottom. It was working fine, and it's not too bad to get out, so it will go back in.

Grainger no longer carries the small blower. They offer a replacement that is close, but less powerful. Has anyone used this one (1TDR9)?

Bruces parts list has a gates number for the onan hose listed as CH22038. I can't find that number. Gates has a 22038 which is 15/16" by 4 1/2", is that the one?

Can yo get just the seal and bearing for the water pump? I think the one onan sells must be gold plated.

I hope to drop the gen some night this week. Probably have more questions then.

Thanks again
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