Sony224422
Hi all
Model #: (04079-0) Serial #: (3143194 )
Propane
Length of gas pipe feeding the generator: 4 feet
Size of gas pipe feeding the generator: 3/4"
How long since the last full maintenance: 18 hours
How long have you experienced this problem:

Description of problem:

I got a new to me generator, got it installed and used it for more than 15 minutes the last 2 days. It ran about 15-18 hours and in the period I had to add oil a couple times. I'm not sure how much exactly, but it shut off once or twice for low oil before I went out every 3 hours to fill it back up. I ended up using a couple quarts.

The history of this generator is unknown, other than it was working when the previous owner moved and took it with them. It then sat for about 3-5 years. It currently only has 33 hours on it, and the hour meter does work. I did a full tune up on it, and made sure to the get oil perfectly in the middle of the dipstick. It started right up and ran and made the correct voltage, and powered the house. I shut it down and hadn't used it until the storm.

I will add that I know it needs the breather hose off the air intake, and it does not seem to be smoking excessively. I don't see blue/black smoke at all, but i did put something metal near the exhaust and it might be blowing oil out of the exhaust. The actual exhaust does have some wettish soot in it, but i figured it being propane some moisture in the exhaust tip would be normal. It would start back up easily every time i shut it down too. I have not checked the spark plugs to see if they are normal looking or not. I just wasn't sure if there might be seals that could have dried up from it sitting for so long or if is possible the rings are bad. I would think I'd see and smell oil burning if the rings were really bad. I also don't know if the valves have ever been adjusted either.

It seems I cannot find parts for the GN-724 if I do need to rebuild/replace things or gaskets.

I tried calling some of the dealers around here and no one can seem to tell me anything about it or could tell me the repair manual I'd need for it.
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grsthegreat
The serial number comes up on Generac's tech website so parts are available for this unit. Breather hose is 0C1702A.
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Sony224422
grsthegreat;51643 wrote:
The serial number comes up on Generac's tech website so parts are available for this unit. Breather hose is 0C1702A.

Ahh thank you, I did not try just the serial number.

Would the missing breather hose cause oil consumption?
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grsthegreat
Sony224422;51645 wrote:
ahh thank you, i did not try just the serial number.

Would the missing breather hose cause oil consumption?

I would think so. I've seen it cause oil to puddle inside air filter box before. It might also cause some to escape into air, but not for sure positive.
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Ziller Tech
Are you actually checking the oil, or just assuming that because it has shut down for low oil, that it needs oil? Could be a bad oil pressure switch. That unit is pretty old and parts are limited for it since it was a mashup of a Briggs motor and Generac guts. It's also a belt driven unit and if that belt starts to slip or is rotten, you could have trouble down the road...
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Sony224422
Chris Flagg;51649 wrote:
Are you actually checking the oil, or just assuming that because it has shut down for low oil, that it needs oil? Could be a bad oil pressure switch. That unit is pretty old and parts are limited for it since it was a mashup of a Briggs motor and Generac guts. It's also a belt driven unit and if that belt starts to slip or is rotten, you could have trouble down the road...


I am checking the oil. Each time it has been very low on the dipstick, but not dry. I looked and saw some spray inside the case today, couldn't see it too well last night. I am wondering if it has a lot to do with the breather hose not being connected/rotten.

Does the belt keep it in time? I don't mind working on engines, I was kind of thinking of taking off the valve covers and doing a valve adjustment, and then compression check to make sure everything else is good. I am hoping it is just the breather, it'd be a shame if it required a tear down since it doesn't seem like I can get parts for it easily.
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BobCanuck
The techs on this forum will have advice that is more specific to your machine, but....

Here is an idea, based on resurrecting engines that have been sitting for extended periods, in substandard environments: the rings may just be rusted in their grooves. In the case of something like a lawnmower engine, putting a teaspoon of automatic transmission fluid down the spark plug hole, and letting it sit overnight may help free stuck rings.
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MEC
Sony224422;51654 wrote:
I am checking the oil. Each time it has been very low on the dipstick, but not dry. I looked and saw some spray inside the case today, couldn't see it too well last night. I am wondering if it has a lot to do with the breather hose not being connected/rotten.



Does the belt keep it in time? I don't mind working on engines, I was kind of thinking of taking off the valve covers and doing a valve adjustment, and then compression check to make sure everything else is good. I am hoping it is just the breather, it'd be a shame if it required a tear down since it doesn't seem like I can get parts for it easily.




Do yourself a favor and replace it.
Between the age, belt drive and lack of overvoltage protection it's not something you want to rely on.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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Birken Vogt
Ugh, the old belt drive, get rid of it I agree.
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Sony224422
Birken Vogt;51661 wrote:
Ugh, the old belt drive, get rid of it I agree.



Ugh that’s too bad. I did plan on replacing it at some point with a 22kw unit, though my electric needs have changed. Went to gas appliances, got a hybrid electric water heater, and all bulbs and fixtures are led. Well pump is in the basement at 1/2 hp as well. But now having small kids who will become power hungry teens at some point I may still stick to my plan of 22kw.

Is there anyway to make an over voltage system? I’m more so afraid of the stuff in the house rather the generator. I wasn’t planning on upgrading for a few years. I’m lucky enough we get long power outages only one or twice every couple years, but I’d like to be prepared.

Thanks for all the help so far
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Ziller Tech
There are several ways of going about it, but that would take some engineering on your part with a voltage monitor and choosing a method of shutting the generator down (low oil sensor, removing power to the rotor, etc...)
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Sony224422
Hello, I am back with this same generator. I am going to replace it with the 22kw unit when I get the funds to do so, but now I’m more curious as to why the oil burn has been so much at low hours. I ended up buying 2 new head baskets and the oil breather and line and new sponge thing for in there. I plan to tear it apart and replace the head gaskets. The valves and rockers/springs and push rods all looked good. If that doesn’t fix it I’m only out my time and $20 in gaskets. If I can find the intake gaskets I’ll feel better but may just reuse the old ones. There are even less parts available now, and reading about this engine it was never great, but it’s gotten us through a couple outages with out being ran in months. Hopefully I’ll have better luck with a new unit. I was tempted to buy a 5417 model with 800 hours for $1500 but thought that’s half of a new one with rebates 
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78buckshot
I don't think the head gaskets are going to change the oil problem. If you are not seeing oil accumulating inside the cabinet due to leaks and the exhaust is wet and sooty then I think you have a ring and/or valve seal issue. It won't hurt to pull the heads and check things out. With a little bit of investigation on your part I bet you can find piston rings to fit. Based on the dimensional specs of the original rings and armed with a few phone numbers you could find a Briggs and Stratton outlet and match some parts. Don't focus on the generator model and serial, focus on the B & S engine type. I have purchased some gaskets for them at a local lawn/garden/snow equipment dealer, they deal with small gas engines every day, Briggs, Kohler, Kawasaki, Tecumseh, Stihl, etc. But like the other guys have said a couple of years ago, might be time to throw in the towel on the old girl. 800 hours on the 5417 is above the average for our area, I think I would pass on something like that.
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Peddler
Most likey the reason this generator was available to you to buy used was that it had excessive oil consumption.  I don't beieve it is economically reasonable to correct this problem on this model generator. 
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Sony224422

I agree, I think its given a useful life, but a short one indeed. I am a curious person by nature, and figured I can learn something. I am wondering if it ate a ring when it was installed. I don't plan on putting anything more into it, and I hope to replace it very soon. I am very lucky in the 5 years or so I've had it, its only ran more than exercise time once, and even that was short. I was watching a lot of videos on the OHV Briggs, and they seem to eat head gaskets, and move valve seals. I plan on doing a compression test too, it sounds like its leaking. I did consider looking for used heads but, I don't think its worth it, especially given the new code for me would be either a new panel for this gen and run limited stuff, or when I get a new one I can power the house according to code. 

What does one do with a generator in this state? See if I can sell it for parts? 

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