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Joined: Dec 29, 2007
Points: 262

Diesel generator maintenance
Original Message   Dec 6, 2012 6:43 am
Borat do you exercise your gen weekly or monthly?ANd should if been done under load.Also does your gen emit a strong diesel fuel smell?Do you have to switch the fuel for summer and winter use?IS water in the fuel and algae growth a problem?
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Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Diesel generator maintenance
Reply #1   Dec 6, 2012 9:39 am
The diesel sits all winter from Nov. to around mid March without use with a full tank of fuel.  I use a plastic 15 gallon fuel tank from a Dodge Dakota that I modified to use with the Kubota.  No issues with fuel up here.  Too cold for algae formation and I have a good filter to take care of possible water contamination.  I use fuel conditioner with every fill.  If I add five gallons of diesel, I'll add two ounces or so of fuel conditioner.  Helps keep the fuel injectors clean.    I use whatever fuel is being sold.  Not sure when they change from summer to winter.  Doesn't seem to matter.   Being an off-road engine, I buy coloured diesel which is considerably less expensive. 

Oil gets changed every 150 to 200 hours.  I use Shell Rotella T 15W40 and 10W30 blended 50-50.  I use the blend because straight 15W40 is hard to crank in cold weather.   Both viscosities offer excellent add packages and are actually designed for diesels.  Price is right too for a top notch oil. 

I don't use synthetic oils.  Too expensive for what you get and I don't believe in long duration oil changes.  It's better to change the oil more frequently than to try to sqeeze high hours out of synthetic.  If you cycle synthetic oil too quickly, you're wasting good oil and money. 

The diesel does give off a certain amount of odour.  That cannot be denied.   It will also emit white smoke right at start up but that goes away within a minute or less.  Afterward, it's clear exhaust however, there is still some soot being discharged that isn't readily visible.  However, with my machine, the exhaust pipe lies underground and the exit point area gets black with soot.  That's pretty much normal too.  Remember, my machine is 30 years old.  Newer diesels are likely cleaner.

If you're going to exercise the diesel, warm it up for a minute or two then apply load.  Vary the load for break in.  Warm it up, put low to moderate load for a few minutes, then load it heavily for 30 seconds or so,  back off the load to low/moderate for a few minutes, then heavily load it again for another 30 sec.  repeat for about ten minutes.  If the engine sounds and looks happy, extend periods of heavy load to a minute or so. Then back off to moderate load.  Do that for an hour or so then run a medium load for about ten minutes then high load for five minutes.  If the engine seems happy, put it to work but make sure it has at least a 50% load and gets the odd duration of heavy loading.  Diesels like to be loaded.  Once you get five hours on it, dump the oil and consider it pretty much broken in.  The highest proportion of break in occurs in the first 20 minutes of use on a gasoline engine.  Can't say for sure, but I'd guess that a diesel engine isn't all that much different for break in purposes.      

Let us know what you buy.
This message was modified Dec 6, 2012 by borat
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