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Old 10-03-2016, 10:24 AM   #1
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Unhappy Original Gen Set 1980 Californian 34 LRC

New to this forum.
Does anyone know what the original genset was? I am looking at a 34 LRC that had the genset removed.
From sale ads I'm seeing Onan 7.5
Is that correct?
What would be the best replacement diesel Genset?
Thanks.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:32 AM   #2
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1980 was probably an Onan MDJ series 7.5. Be glad someone removed that nasty infernal rock crusher. Not an unreliable machine, but very poor social skills.

Add up your loads, probably a 5kW would be plenty. You want a three cyl 1800rpm machine. Northern Lights makes a nice machine.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:53 AM   #3
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Since you are in Miami you may need more air conditioning load but do not oversize the generator. Load needs to be matched to size.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:58 AM   #4
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Even if you have 2- 16,000 btu A/C units which may be necessary for Miami, the 5KW gensets, particularly the Northern Lights should be able to start and run them both effectively. Together they might pull 3KW. Enough for one other big load like a water heater or hair dryer. Turn off one A/C temporarily if you need more.


Balancing the load by turning off and on appliances keeps the generator loaded which is good. Don't just add up all of the possible loads and size your generator to that load. You will be too lightly loaded 90% of the time.


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Old 10-03-2016, 01:14 PM   #5
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LOL, Ski you are correct that the old Onan MDJE's were obnoxiously loud and vibratey! Mine is when you are on the boat but it's pretty quiet for my neighbors due to a good muffler, just a gentle splash sound and it has been reliable too. As far as sizing goes, I would make sure it'll run all your loads at once. You might put extra load on at some point in the future (like running a huge Christmas parade lighting load lol) and running them at 50% load most of the time doesn't seem to kill 'em. Mine has 3000 hrs and is very healthy original 1978 equipment.

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Old 10-03-2016, 02:17 PM   #6
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Onan, Westerberke, Northern light, other brand? Any brand better than the other one?
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:47 PM   #7
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If you're buying new, most brands should be ok. Westerbeke and Volvo seem to have a reputation for expensive parts. Most of the Asian built diesels are also used in industrial and farm service hence easier to obtain parts and generally cheaper. Ask your locals that have rice burner diesels.
Many commercial fishermen use Northern Light. Look for lower rpm and sound enclosure. As others say - get a unit that will run under 60-80% load most of the time. Engines run at light loads will glaze the cylinder walls causing loss of compression, hard starting, smoke and oil burning.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad_viking3 View Post
New to this forum.
Does anyone know what the original genset was? I am looking at a 34 LRC that had the genset removed.
From sale ads I'm seeing Onan 7.5
Is that correct?
What would be the best replacement diesel Genset?
Thanks.
Really depends on you're setup and planned usage.

So many Californians are all electric. I have seen 34's with smaller gensets, but usually they had a propane galley. The 7.5 kw was often the standard; stove, oven, microwave, water heater, air conditioning, fridge/freezer, ice maker, TV, charger, etc. it all adds up. Too small and you're going to be shutting things down to run something else, if it's undersized.

A major purchase, so you want to think this through carefully before you purchase. Maybe have someone generator knowledgeable visit your boat and survey your situation.
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:38 AM   #9
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Onan MDJE 7.5kw

My Vessel originally had the MDJE. I agree that it had poor social skills! (well put).

I no longer have the manual, but I believe it's output in single phase 110v mode was only 3kw. My memory is that it only delivered 7.5kw in 3 phase 220v mode.....

Consequently, I found I was always turning loads on and off to not exceed the 3kw available.

I replaced it with a Westerbeke 7.6kw. It is quiet, low vibration (3 cylinders) and meets our energy needs. (all electric appliances)
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:33 PM   #10
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Yes that's true. Unless you had A/C or a washer and dryer in place of the forward shower, Marshall would only wire the boat for a single 30 amp 120v service, which doesn't take advantage of the generators 120/240; 120/120 capability.

In the 1970's there were very few marinas who offered 50 amp dock service in our slip size.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:47 PM   #11
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Easy to guage your need by looking at the power cord(s) you need when at the dock, with all usual loads operating.
One 30 amp cord is roughly equivalent to a 4kw genset. 2 to the 7.5 others have mentioned.
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