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608KEB

Does Onan still make small engines?

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My wheel horse dealer told me they could no longer get onan parts. They said they are out of business. Is this true. I was thinking about getting a WH with a 20 h.p. onan engine and I was concerned about getting replacement parts.

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no onan is out of business they couldnt meet emissions cummins has owned them subaru robins all to no avail so thanks to the powers that be we lost another fine manufacterer

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BUT,you can still get parts for them. Your Wheel Horse Dealer is wrong on that.

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Parts are available but you have to look around. I have even found NOS Onans at various tractor shows.

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You can still buy parts from Cummins/Onan but they are very pricey. I have seen several ads for rebuilt 20 hp. Onans in the $1200 range. Personally I do have two 520H's here and there is nothing to compare to them. There is a thread here from Horsefixer and his rebuild.

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Emission constraints didn't kill Onan by themselves. Onan could not produce EPA approved engines as cheaply as foreign competitors. Eventually they could not compete and dropped the small engine lines.

The EPA is partly to blame, but those of US that went for cheaper alternatives shoulder some responsibilty as well.

Rant finished! :)

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Emission constraints didn't kill Onan by themselves. Onan could not produce EPA approved engines as cheaply as foreign competitors. Eventually they could not compete and dropped the small engine lines.

The EPA is partly to blame, but those of US that went for cheaper alternatives shoulder some responsibilty as well.

Rant finished! :)

+1

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I have bought parts for my Onan through my local Toro dealer in the last month. Wheel Horse has its own part numbers though, they are all in the parts list.

Then there are people like www.onanparts.com who seem to have a pretty good supply of parts. There are some aftermarket parts around, but not as much as for the Kohlers.

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The transistion to more environmentally friendly overhead valve engine designs is what made Onan decide to get out of the small engine business as it meant the expense of quickly designing a complete line of new engines for which their market was declining. Kohler faltered during this transition with the failure of the OHC Triad V twin design, but was able to recover with the more conventional pushrod OHV Command, and has stayed in the game with foreign built (read crappy) Courage engines. Tecumseh did design and produce many OHV engines, but ended up having to close thier WI parts machining operation to try to continue at it and source internal engine parts from China. They eventually stopped producing engines as did Onan as there was too little profit for their limited market where Chinese engines can be produced for a fraction of the cost.

-Mark-

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I decided to buy a 1975 C-120 auto. I was looking for a tractor that could handle a 48" deck.

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I received the following in the contact form regarding this post:

Sent by: Jim Wiskus
Email Address: (removed for privacy)
IP Address: (removed for privacy)
Sent on: 07 April 2014 - 10:37 AM

Content:

 

Regarding Onan being out of business, they are not. After Cummins acquired Onan they discontinued the small engine line. The Performer engine line was picked up by Linamar Engines from Canada. Linamar could not meet emissions requirements, hence they discointinued production. Most parts with the exception of blocks and short blocks are still available from Cummins/Onan. When looking for parts always have tour model, spec & serial number. If the tag is gone or damaged, look for the "stamped" 7 numbers on top of the block below the carb where the point box would normally sit. With 7 "stamped" numbers we can get the orignal model & spec. Most times we can get the rest of the serial number as well. If you come across an obsolete part, you can always try eBay or Craigslist. If that fails call Gary's Place in Hope Michigan, 989-689-5092. Gary currently produces some parts for Onan. He also has many rebuilt engines on hand. He's saved many a guys sanity as well.

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Well not necessarily cummins/onan makes a ohv220 v twin from what I'm aware of.

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At Least Your Shift Key Works :handgestures-thumbupright:

 

Welcome? I'm not sure the point in digging up a three year old thread to bash an engine, but to each their own... 

 

troll-thumb.jpg.4fd4c267421c41d68ba4740d15e535bd.jpg

 

:laughing-rolling:

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Wow talk about a thread form the basement...How many 520's you got now @608KEB?

 

:WRS: Mower Builder

 

I think you are going to see some argument against that Onan's were never any good, sure they got they quirks but the ones that got a bad rap were probably  not maintained real well. I have two horses and a snapper with Onans and have no problems with them once I learned them. True many of my brethren here like the Kohlers but Onans do have their place in history.  

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Well, I changed my tune!:banana-explosion: The Kohler's are easier to work on. I've learned a lot from this site in the last 5 years. I thought the Onan's were to complicated 5 years ago. Now I have 5......I'm embarrassed.....I need help!:banana-dreads:

Edited by 608KEB
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Here we go. I'm not here to bash but personally I think onan is the better running engine in smoothness and power. Wheel horse didn't just throw the engine in the largest series just because (excluded XI modles) it made good power and could keep up with what you threw at it. Those engines were in just about anything garden tractor to generator/welders and lasted a long time. Briggs sure they're cheap and older models dont last because aluminum bores (most singles) to the lack of valve guides sure they'll run forever but they're gonna smoke. Yea I know onan has its infamous valve seat issue and what caused it was there was not enough interference fit (only .003) and it would come lose now if it had .005 or so it would've been fine. 

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Also, I read about all the problems with the Onan motors on this site too. It really scared me away from them. I understand now that they need a little more care. I've been using the 520's for about 4 years now. I really like the power they have. They throw snow pretty good!

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On 2/28/2017 at 0:54 PM, 608KEB said:

Well, I changed my tune!:banana-explosion: The Kohler's are easier to work on. I've learned a lot from this site in the last 5 years. I thought the Onan's were to complicated 5 years ago. Now I have 5......I'm embarrassed.....I need help!:banana-dreads:

Only 5 Onan's? No need for any help until ya have at least 10! :)

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I always kept a spare onan 16 or 20 on the shelf just in case. I've sold all my horses with Onans now but still have the Onans on the shelf. 

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From my experience all the onans I've ever had have been garbage because they had to be rebuilt every 6 to 8 months

And also briggs engines 99% of the time will not smoke if you rebuild them correctly

i have been looking for a wheelhorse so i can put on an old datsun 4 cylinder on it for the 1000 pound class

On 2/28/2017 at 3:58 PM, Desko said:

Here we go. I'm not here to bash but personally I think onan is the better running engine in smoothness and power. Wheel horse didn't just throw the engine in the largest series just because (excluded XI modles) it made good power and could keep up with what you threw at it. Those engines were in just about anything garden tractor to generator/welders and lasted a long time. Briggs sure they're cheap and older models dont last because aluminum bores (most singles) to the lack of valve guides sure they'll run forever but they're gonna smoke. Yea I know onan has its infamous valve seat issue and what caused it was there was not enough interference fit (only .003) and it would come lose now if it had .005 or so it would've been fine. 

Remember if you rebuild a briggs no matter how old it will almost never smoke if you do it correctly such as laping the valves after you grind them and various other things

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6 minutes ago, Pulling Mower Builder said:

From my experience all the onans I've ever had have been garbage because they had to be rebuilt every 6 to 8 months

 

My Onans are 20, 21 and 26 years old.  I guess that I should have done about 120 rebuilds by now, but I haven't done even one.

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10 hours ago, lynnmor said:

My Onans are 20, 21 and 26 years old.  I guess that I should have done about 120 rebuilds by now, but I haven't done even one.

Agreed 2 1995 520s bought used and 1 1997 I bought new and know for a fact never been mechanically rebuilt and @Pulling Mower Builder he has a right to his opinions but Onan vs Briggs vs Kohler is like Chevy vs Ford vs Dodge WH vs CC vs JD and saga continues, so to that point I bought a 523Dxi with a Briggs Daihatsu diesel at 282 hrs and without an oil plug it lost a crank and who knows what else so I could bash a Briggs because obviously it needs rebuilt every oil change...I'll take my 3 Onans over that that one bitter Briggs pill any day of the week, just my 2¢ Jeff.

IMAG2916.jpg

IMAG2918.jpg

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Definitely true. My dads D160 motor was rebuilt once that was almost 30 years (previous owner and lack of oil) put close to 5k hours on 3 acres of lawn and never had an issue till it beat out a valve. In my book thats a pretty darn good engine that lived a long life. 

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On 2/28/2017 at 10:06 AM, bmsgaffer said:

At Least Your Shift Key Works :handgestures-thumbupright:

 

Welcome? I'm not sure the point in digging up a three year old thread to bash an engine, but to each their own... 

 

troll-thumb.jpg.4fd4c267421c41d68ba4740d15e535bd.jpg

 

:laughing-rolling:

I apologize for my rant but onan engines are just to expenive to maintain and rebuild

 

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