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ONAN vs Kohler

Discussion in 'Generators' started by comship, Apr 7, 2007.

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  1. comship

    comship Senior Member

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    Whats your opinion and experience from both manufacturers? Recently I heard that Onan is much more reliable than Kohler which have many electronic problems
  2. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    It may depend on the size since they are based on different engines. I have had a 16 kW Kohler that was very reliable and above all, silent.
  3. comship

    comship Senior Member

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    We are intending to install 2 x 40kW plus 1 x 22.5 kW
  4. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Have a look at Northen Lights as well. We had a couple of 33 kW that was working very well and when spares was needed (failing starters) they were delivered swift to where we were. Service is always good to consider.
  5. comship

    comship Senior Member

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    The Engine Room is very small to house 2 Northern Lights 40 kW and 1 22.5 kW. If I had the space no question I would install Northern Lights
  6. comship

    comship Senior Member

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    On the other hand onan use Cummins Engine and Kohler John Deer
  7. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, some Kohler gensets use Yanmar engines... at least thats what my captain told me iirc...
  8. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Yes, the Kohler I had was a Yanmar and the Northern Lights were John Deere.
  9. comship

    comship Senior Member

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    Maybe I am wrong but anyway I heard that the new models of Kohler are having many electronic problems
  10. RVN-BR

    RVN-BR Senior Member

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    I have owned a few and havent heard and/or experienced what you report... I might have been lucky (knock on wood)...
  11. nilo

    nilo Senior Member

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    Kohler uses Yanmar up to 27 Kva gensets and above that they use John Deere engines.

    I have used 3 different gensets in the last 9 years and did not face any electronic problems at all, although using them at low rpm's (low loads) causes accumulation of residue, which ends up with unburned fuel at the exhaust discharge. However, I reckon this is a common problem for all diesel genset and engines.
  12. BMcF

    BMcF Senior Member

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    The last Onan 18 I rebuilt was a Kubota diesel..I believe that most of the Onans up to 'some' larger size have Kubota engiens. I have found little to no difference between Kubota and Yanmar as far as the engines go, frankly. Both are good engines overall and very similar in every respect. As for the electrical/electronic side of any genset..I can't speak to that since I don't know enough about them.

    And I was under the impression that all of John-Deere-label diesel engines up to about 25 or 30 kw were Yanmar's regardless of whether it was a lawn tractor or a marine application. But I could be wrong, of course...:)
  13. comship

    comship Senior Member

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    Thanks a lot guys for your kind assistance
  14. nilo

    nilo Senior Member

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    I have noted, I've missed stating that "I have used 3 different KOHLER genset"