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Isuzu generator build #1810 12/06/2020 01:47 PM
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bunkclimber Offline OP
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Here I go again with another custom generator build, doing frame layout and fuel tank mods right now..frame will be a slide-in arrangement for easy truck tailgate loading and will have cross-frame forklift pockets as well made from rectangular tubing..smaller sections of tubing for end-frame forklift loading,reliefs will be cut for the forks to enter the cross-frame tubing..60 gallon aluminum fuel tank will sit inside the frame rails and bolt down to the forklift tubing underframe. My brother brought me some flat plate to use, sent it out to be bent into the channels in the pic below; turned out it was AR400 steel plate not mild plate.The guys at the press brake shop had trouble bending it-I guess so. Frame channels are 3/8"thick x 5ft 5" long..The press brake guys said it took everything the brake had to bend it..175ton.wow

[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

So right now the frame is upside down on the floor, I'm laying out the cross tubing pocket locations, will cut them in with the Milwaukee metal cutting circular saw..what a gamechanger when it comes to working with steel. Keep ya posted as this build moves along,most everything I have here in stock..or it might stall out too-you never know..but I'm usually pretty good about keeping things moving along

Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1812 12/06/2020 06:39 PM
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sonny Offline
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WOW! 175 ton should mash about anything, ---however-----hard stuff could be a problem! Looks like they did a good job anyway.
I take it from 60 gallon fuel tank that this is no 5,000 watt jobber!! LOL!!!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1832 12/09/2020 07:06 AM
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Ok so I finished the base forklift pockets yesterday, if I didnt have interruptions I would get a lot of work done..but sometimes I guess it's good to take a break and deal with people..so I had 6"channel pulled up into the shop but the fork slots were 8"wide so I had to send the channel back to the rack and pull a section of 8"channel..man working with iron again I see now why I'm exhausted at the end of the day..and I do pace myself too..I went thru some metal saw blades on the Milwaukee metal circular saw,it sure makes iron work easy..plunge cutting 3/8"plate it works hard..so far two blades down,and onto the third..gotta reorder some more.
[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

So then I have to rebuild and expand the size of the fuel tank fittings, I'm a stickler for 2" and up filler fittings..This tank was used scrap and sized out great for the base..so here I have to cut off the old fitting and prepare the tank for new bungs..The aluminum tank will get a pair of bungs here, one as a filler neck and one for a tank gauge..the bungs are easy to fab, just get a 2"aluminum coupler and cut it in half..presto two threaded bungs with perfect threads..onto those will go 316 stainless hex nipples, a 45deg ell and a threaded cap. Note to you out there, once you go above 2" on fittings they get expensive..2" as a filler will flow all you need. Use stainless as black pipe fittings rust internally and will contaminate your tank with scale. The stainless won't make for galvanic interaction like steel will on the aluminum..A little money now,helps keep the fuel system clean but also saves a lot of filters.
[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

More to come as I work on this.
Sonny the generator is a naturally aspirated Isuzu 4LE2 diesel with a 25kw 3phase generator end.

Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1833 12/09/2020 09:44 AM
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You going to fill the tank with water before welding on it, or purge it? Was it used before, be careful with it. Looks good. I have a small 4" metal circular saw, it makes short clean work of plate. I have used it on a few steel pieces but mostly aluminum. I would like a bigger one, may have to look into that Milwaukee. I haven't ever had a muliawkee tool that wasn't great, expensive but great.


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Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1835 12/09/2020 05:21 PM
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bunkclimber Offline OP
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Nope,didnt fill the tank with water or anything. It had been empty for a year or two,actually probably way more, the fuel fill cap was off and the tank was stored in my barn..it had some diesel residue in it and aluminum shavings where I cut the old fuel fill neck off that was mangled..I simply wiped it out with shop towels,fit the threaded filler neck couplers to it and went at it with AC Tig and some 4043 this morning over a cup of coffee. Now if it was a gasoline tank it would be a different story of washing,purging and inerting it..I try to avoid welding on any used tanks but the diesel tanks don't scare me..altho I do have respect for arc-initiated tank exposions..Ive had enough close calls already..
Anyway the Milwaukee saw is rated for 1/4"steel like concrete deck pans and such,I did structural with it yesterday and today,the blades Im using are the Evolution 50tooth blades.They run pretty good but reach a point that they start to screetch and just wont cut anymore,not even slowly..they just stop. Im going to do some 1/8" and some 1/4"plate with it within the next couple days,I'm on my last blade and hope it makes it thru.

Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1838 12/09/2020 06:55 PM
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sonny Offline
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Lookin great! --- ya that a big generator---specially runnin 3-ph. Know about the interruptions LOL!!!! Keep the pics coming!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1839 12/10/2020 07:22 AM
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Sonny everyone has a different idea of big..we'll just leave it at that. Ive had 'em all here big and small, its what sells and fits the customer's need at the end of the day that matters..the small diesels seem to really move quickly and thats whats keepin the lights on in this shop. I've been buying and selling the small to midsize military surplus generators for years..the market is crazy right now and no signs of prices going back down.

Anyway I got the engine core mounts modeled last night,should have them done by noon..they span the base frame and support the engine/generator above the tank in the frame.This Isuzu is pretty lightweight for it's size,3"channel should be just fine for this situation.Anti vibration mounts bolt to the top of the channel to mount the engine/gen to the crossmembers.

[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

The fork pockets recessed INSIDE the frame of this one raised the profile of the fuel tank inside the base,usually the engine/gen sits lower in the frame (yes it's not the first one we've built) The others have the fork pocket cross tubes welded underneath the base frame,it raises the overall height of the enclosure about 4"..months back I fabbed a 30kw Deutz with that setup, worked out OK and gives an area to get cables and charger cords,etc out underneath of the enclosure..for this one I might put a cable port on the rear.

Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1844 12/10/2020 09:44 AM
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I have seen some good sized generators but to me anything over 5,500 start-up watts is big. Neighbors have the 25,000 perm. mount sets by their houses, all enclosed and run on lp gas.
Around here mostly 5,000 on down is the size most people have not knowing a thing about the size they need then try to run the whole house with them and wonder why it wont do the job.
I have two 5,000 generac units, one with b&s motor, one with tech motor and a Coleman 4,500 watt b&s all 8 hp then comes the Linclon 150 weld-and-power so if it ever comes down to it we could run as many of them as needed and use drop cords to freezers and 2 fridges.
Well pump is 220 and if needed we can run it long enough to get water then shut gen. down. disconnect box at meter pole for the well has a plug for gen.
I am thinking you might be busy if chit hits the fan this winter! Outages these days are taking longer to fix for some reason!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1850 12/13/2020 03:40 AM
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Made some real progress, lower frame is complete,in basic paint,and the fuel tank installed on top of rubber vibration mat inside frame. Mounted genset on top of base frame with mount brackets..This generator will not use a subframe to mount it, only the factory Isuzu engine mount brackets and the Marathon generator mount feet..Im using rubber vibration isolators,some NOS ones I had in the shop here. They are just a bit too wide for 3"channel brackets I fabbed but they hang over the edge just a shade,not too bad that I can't use the combination..I did run into some fuel filler neck interference with the generator end,I have some stainless 45deg ells ordered to fit into the vertical fuel filler nipple,they probably won't get here till after the Christmas holiday.The fuel fill will have to 45 around the generator to clear it..If I still run into clearance problems I'll miter cut and TIG weld the 45ell with some 308L to make it tighter to clear the generator end. The generator end has to be raised up another 3/4" to level out the engine/gen combination so it sits right on the base,that will also make for additional clearance for the fuel fill.
[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1867 12/17/2020 05:20 PM
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So I'm back to waiting on parts delivery here with this project..The rear generator mount bar is finished and installed,it gave me a bit more clearance to fit the fuel fill..I did get to making a mount for the Racor water separator,the fuel pump draws thru it and sends pressured fuel thru the secondary filter then up to the injection rack, with a return back to the tank..easy to plumb,just have to purge hoses for dirt and contaminants before making them up. Waiting on a new electric fuel pump to be delivered too.

[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

So Im at a standstill until parts get delivered,maybe take a break for Christmas then back at this. Keep ya posted. Have a safe Holiday folks.

Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1868 12/17/2020 06:59 PM
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sonny Offline
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Happy Holidays to you! --- keep us posted when you get the parts!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1943 12/28/2020 09:13 AM
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Making some progress here after the holidays..some parts are trickling in at a snails pace but at least they are arriving..so I noticed a collision between the fuel tank filler neck and the generator end..so I lifted the engine/gen up and off the fuel tank frame and turned the tank around inside the lower frame for more filler neck clearance..an easy fix for an emerging problem. I have to run a bond wire from the frame to the fuel tank as well,maybe run a couple redundant wires there for surety..no drawings or blueprints here,just build it up as it fits..so while waiting on other parts (USPS at it again) I refit the air cleaner for a lower profile..the stock air cleaner mount was located too high and ran into the exhaust muffler area..I cut some 1/4"thick 6061 aluminum plate, then drilled and tapped some holes for the mount..the air intake tubing was fabbed from a 90deg mandrel bend I had here, I wanted to use a 45deg bend but didnt have any here in 2"dia...I had to inspect and clean the interior of the tubing and swab it out, paint and re-install, so it lowered the air cleaner about 4" from where it was...the air cleaner has a swivel repositionable outlet..kinda neat..glad this genset came with that,a lot of times they are missing..those Donaldson air cleaner assemblies are expensive!
[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

So now I'm building up the wiring harness as I can..trying to use up some high-temp Teflon insulated wire I had on the shelf..Wire is an expensive thing these days,I like to use Teflon as I can and when I can find it..I use friction tape(tar tape as many call it)-you can reposition it and open it up and reuse it many times if you keep it clean..the engine/gen core didnt come with much of the original harness as it was salvaged from scrap..it was a working engine combo with 150hrs..so the electricals are all 24v, so I can use smaller wire to put this one in service as the currents are lower vs.12v..glowplug circuit is a #14 Teflon insulated wire, I salvaged that from the original harness scraps. The magnetic pickup and throttle actuator wiring was salvaged as well as it is Teflon.. HD relays are still in place for the starter and glowplug circuits, so some of that work is already done, just have to refit those control wires,and add some reverse spike diodes to the relay coils. Keep ya posted as this build continues.

Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1944 12/28/2020 11:29 AM
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sonny Offline
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slow progress is better than no progress! lol! lookin good!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1945 12/29/2020 06:23 AM
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yes I got the wiring harness done,still waiting on a 24v fuel lift pump. Once a flex transition pipe and some 2-1/2" stainless 90's get here I can start on exhaust and muffler placement. Post holiday shipping is slow I guess with returns and whats left of holiday surge shipping being backed up..maybe like a clog busting loose it will all show up at once. Somewhere there is a USPS guy named Newman that is holding all my shipments off to the side laughing.

Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1946 12/29/2020 10:34 AM
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We just had postal shipment of parts mis-sent to the town 6 miles down the road, so they sent it back 60 miles to the hub! ---- The thing is ,---is that the post office there knows me personally!-- so WTF?-- if she would have called we would have drove over there and picked it up!! no big deal! lol!
Our parts are coming decent here even with the f-ups in the mail system.
The neighbor friend of ours wanted some parts off epay but epay wouldnt accept his email for some reason so we ran his order thru Virginias account ----- went right thru! I think the whole world is screwed up! lol!
Hopefully all of us will get our stuff soon!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #1947 12/29/2020 04:10 PM
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yes three items due here were 'missent' by USPS in Wash DC hub..seems this is happening quite often here.

Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #2023 01/15/2021 03:37 PM
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anyway the USPS mail delay ridiculousness continues here,so I started and finished the control box and engine throttle control while waiting on other parts to arrive..Gauges mounted to box lid along with engine protection controller..easy to use control, I've used a bunch of these not too hard on the wallet at $50 or so each..very versatile to use. I try to use a terminal block with box lug sections as it contains the wires and makes for good connections.
[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

So then I started building the enclosure to protect,house it and reduce sound levels..basically using 1x1 steel square tubing and some 1x3 rectangular tubing for the top and bottom enclosure frames..I don't have a complete sheet metal fab shop here but do have access to a hydraulic plate shear to make straight cuts on sheet..All 14ga sheet steel for panels..Im using Roxul laminated rock wool 2"thick 2x4ft panels for sound control inside the cabinet,it comes in Monday so that'l occupy the morning going into Baltimore to pick that up.The muffler will mount inside the enclosure,wrapped with silica cloth and compartmented inside the top with a plenum for the rad discharge air to blow thru,upwards and across the top plenum to help cool the muffler then out the top of the enclosure thru a screen..lot of work to build and set up but well worth it..more to come as I get to working on this again as parts trickle in.
[Linked Image from kuhnbros.com]

I do have a critical level exhaust muffler for this engine,I may series it up with another resonator to tone down the exhaust noise..Im going big on exhaust pipe sizes so as not to restrict flow and cost HP. The engine has a 2"exhaust port and I step up to 2.5" and 3"ports on the muffler and resonator..should be OK with that. Keep ya posted on this.


Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #2026 01/15/2021 10:52 PM
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GatorS Offline
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Looking real good, is this build for a customer or for you?


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Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #2028 01/16/2021 06:57 AM
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yes for me, I'm simply trying to downsize my fleet some,the Isuzu is much better on fuel than a 160hp Deere 6068T 60kw which is getting wetstacked running a small 5HP compressor..as designed this unit can be forklifted into the back of a 1T pickup truck

Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #2029 01/16/2021 11:36 AM
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Can that isuzu take the gear drive truck type accessories? If you have times when you only need about 5hp of air, that's about what a truck air brake compressor runs, direct mount and run the output into your existing system to use as the tank? You'd reduce the conversion losses at least. And the genny would still be running for all your other regular draws like lights and stuff.

Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #2030 01/16/2021 11:57 AM
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Lookin good --- movin right along on it!


"A machine you build yourself is a vote for a different way of life. There are things you have to earn with your hands."
Re: Isuzu generator build [Re: bunkclimber] #2032 01/16/2021 07:57 PM
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never thought of that Glyford..this Isuzu 4LE2 doesnt have any mounts for accessory drives like a Detroit has on the flywheel housing,nor on the front area of the engine..it's predecessor the C240 Isuzu had the pads where you could mount accys,cam gear drive..it's pretty tight on the front end of this engine with only a bump out for the cam to drive the injection pump cam and rack. Maybe I could direct drive the pump if I had to off the crank snout or make up a dual pulley type arrangement..I have two of these gensets I got at auction, this one's use is for my next shop to drive two 5hp IR two stage air comps, two 5ton 3phase package A/C units and a 3ph transformer to upconvert to 480V for a plasma cutter.Ive got more gensets here than I know what to do with,they come and go,plan to sell off the larger units and keep this one thats why Im putting the effort into it.I'm fabbing up the enclosure now,it has to come off and be sandblasted then painted before it gets lined with Roxul soundproofing and completed.


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