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Old 12-08-2017, 07:11 AM   #1
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Kohler Gen Set - Reduced Volts

OK - Here's the circumstance... regarding our 34' 1977 Tolly tri - 7.5 Kohler generator

I have two Kohler service shops trying to locate parts for our [what I believe is the original] 1977 Kohler Gen Set.

I also contacted Kohler HQ. They put me in touch with their primary parts distributor... boatswainlocker.com. One of their parts persons is trying to make heads or tails of this situation and if parts can be located.

Long and the short of what is happening:

So far no one can make heads or tails about the numbers on the plate on our Kohler gen set. One of the service shops could only locate that it may be an RV gen set (Boatswain Locker's person kind of agreed it had RV background from running numbers off the plate. The Boatswain Locker person is now searching all avenues at Kohler HQ in attempt to locate parts for this gen set.

To let you know why I seek parts: The gasoline motor of the gen set is in fine running condition. However - the electricity generating portion has a progressive problem - it continues to loose voltage production capability. In that... it now only turns out +/- 105 volts. Circumstance that occurred when the voltage got this low was the gen set could still run all electric appliances on our boat [fully electric boat] but the 105V output can no longer activate the house bank battery charger. The batt charger turns out 13.5 to 14.5 amps on shore power but only .5 to 1 amp on gen set power [while on gen set it used to do same as shore power]. I've checked this carefully by utilizing an exact same type of charger [I have a spare] and got same difference in amperage capability per shore power compared to gen set power.

One smart person mentioned that the reason the plate #'s lead toward RV gen set avenues is due to PO having replaced the electric generating portion with similar unit from an RV Kohler gen set??? Pretty good guess if you ask me! But, so far still unable to locate rebuild parts for the electric generating portion.

Photos here are the gen set and its plate. If anyone has input regarding this dilemma of what I have for gen set units and a way to locate parts availability... It Would be Much Appreciated!

Happy Gen Set Daze! - Thanks! - Art
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:44 AM   #2
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I rather have a different view of the problem. I would ask, who has service information. Inside that, you will find a system that has various lockouts and field/rotor current controls that have various connections and dependancies. Do you know you have a defective part? Is the engine running at 1800 rpm +/- 50?

Can you tell I'm an engineer?
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:50 AM   #3
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Yep, check rpm or Hz. Some of these make low volts if governor speed setting is low.
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:06 AM   #4
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Seems / sounds to be turning same rpm as it has been doing so during last 10 years. Have not yet run rpm gauge on it.


Recently was told by a parts supplier that could be something as simple as the regulator - $200 +/-. Also told that stator and other interior parts would be next to impossible to locate as well as would cost in the $700 dollar range.


I'm not clear on what part is the problem that is making the voltage output drop. Still waiting for more input from Kohler service persons I have on the case.


I appreciate your input.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:08 PM   #5
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Try calling Broward Armature in Ft Lauderdale. If it has anything to do with marine gen sets, they WILL know.
954-583-9888
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:03 PM   #6
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Try calling Broward Armature in Ft Lauderdale. If it has anything to do with marine gen sets, they WILL know.
954-583-9888
Thanks Archie

I called and spoke in-depth with "Mike". Possibilities for sure. I may use them depending on items as they evolve on this end. Full restoration of the gen set's "back end" [the electricity production portion] could go into the $3.75K range - plus shipping... if lesser problems exist... could be under $1K. for them to repair it.

I'm still hoping that the back end is OK in general and there is a simpler solution for getting the voltage reading back up. Currently waiting for return call from Kohler generator service expert in area where we dock.

In addition to my general mechanic's eyes/smarts that already looked at the gen set... it will be good to have an expert service technician to provide his take on items at hand.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:10 PM   #7
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Your voltage is directly related to the rpm. It is either running slow because of a high load or dirty fuel filter, poor/old gasoline or the speed screw has vibrated out. Bring the engine rpm up to the point you have the correct voltage.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Seems / sounds to be turning same rpm as it has been doing so during last 10 years. Have not yet run rpm gauge on it.
It doesn't take much of an rpm difference to reduce voltage by 10 volts. I doubt you could "hear" that from memory. I know I could not. You should try to either turn up the speed a bit or check engine rpm.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:53 PM   #9
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listen to the above advice.

RPM and load capacity are directly related. before replacing parts measure the line frequency under load when the voltage is low. RPM and Hz are exactly related. 60HTZ equals precisely 3600 or 1800 rpm depending on design. You can measure either RPM or Hz what ever meter you have at hand. It is not possible for RPM to be correct and Hz to be wrong.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:55 PM   #10
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Does the voltage recover when the load is removed???
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Old 12-08-2017, 03:01 PM   #11
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I looked up the unit. It is a marine unit from the git-go. Looks to have an electronic voltage regulator. But many of the AVR's are speed sensitive. So if rpms are low, volts may be low too with the whole electrical end otherwise doing as it should.

Check the rpm/Hz before doing anything else.
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Old 12-08-2017, 03:12 PM   #12
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My brother spent a chunk of money to have his Westerbeke rewound by Broward Armature about 18 months ago. He said they were great to work with and I know that they are generally considered to be the best in the business, very honest and through.

His gen-set lasted less than a year after he got it back, the end failed again after 145 hours. He called BA up, and they told him there was nothing they could do other than another rewind. Offered him a small discount.

He ended up buying a whole new genset.

Point of this is not to throw shade on Broward Armature but to think long and hard before you spend money to try to repair a 40 year old generator.
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Old 12-08-2017, 04:12 PM   #13
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Greg and Jay -

I'm moving forward with many thoughts in process for alleviating this voltage drop condition. Thanks for input.

Appears it will be Monday before I get chance to chat with a Kohler gen set expert who has business close to where we dock. Planning to try and get him to visit boat for personal review. Will mention to him all I've recently learned in hopes that a solution soon becomes available.

Unfortunately due to needs at hand I've currently no time to do the 100 mile trip to the boat... otherwise I'd be ahole and elbows into trying some of the suggestions!


Cheers! and Merry Christmas!! - Art
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Old 12-08-2017, 04:15 PM   #14
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BV, Ski, Doug... Thanks for all your input. I'm listening closely and taking notes! - Art
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:31 PM   #15
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BV, Ski, Doug... Thanks for all your input. I'm listening closely and taking notes! - Art
Listen closely to that rpm. It sounds like about 1710 rpm.

or maybe check with a cheap portable tach.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:55 PM   #16
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Yes.... check HZ and/or Voltage FIRST.

Meanwhile, do not run anything you don't want to replace on that low a voltage.......
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:02 AM   #17
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Yes.... check HZ and/or Voltage FIRST.

Meanwhile, do not run anything you don't want to replace on that low a voltage.......
Understood. Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2017, 03:47 AM   #18
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https://www.smokstak.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=25

Lots of good people on this Kohler forum might be helpful

I know my Onan must spin fast enough or the volts and HZ drops.
Many voltrmeters have a hz reading, check what yours is.
I found I have to raise my rpm slightly to get it to produce well under load, so might be 62 hz unloaded, but 59 to 60 loaded. HZ and volts are tightly bound to gen rpm.
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:35 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
https://www.smokstak.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=25

Lots of good people on this Kohler forum might be helpful

I know my Onan must spin fast enough or the volts and HZ drops.
Many voltrmeters have a hz reading, check what yours is.
I found I have to raise my rpm slightly to get it to produce well under load, so might be 62 hz unloaded, but 59 to 60 loaded. HZ and volts are tightly bound to gen rpm.
Thanks sd! I'll review and likely post - Art


Edit: Yup... I joined smokestack. Waiting for admin approval. Seems like a cool forum with potentially a plethora of answers/insights for all sorts engines and thangs!


Thanks again sd... this is first time I paid attention to that forum.


Enjoy your 1970 Egg!
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:16 AM   #20
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Art,
looking at the parts book i found online.
http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.co...Gas_TP5045.pdf

your gen uses brushes and a avr. the unit is producing the 105vac. so more than likely the gen end and avr is ok. normally when ether component has failed it will ether make too much voltage or not make any. you will want to check your running hz as posted above before going any further.
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