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Reviews Categories | Emergency/Portable Power: generators, solar, wind, thermal, etc | Onan 5.0 CCK Help

Reviews Summary for Onan 5.0 CCK
Reviews: 5 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1,500
Description: 2 Cylinder, 5.0 KVA Generator
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Onan 5.0 CCK.

KE7IOD Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2011 20:04 Send this review to a friend
Heavey!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Onan CCK is the first generator I have ever owned.
Its common to have spark plug, points, and fuel pump troubles with these.
Otherwise, it works great, never had a problem with mine after installing a new fuel pump and a new set of spark plugs.
Simple to work on and its reliable.
My only complaint is its weight, I think it weighs in about 300 pounds or so. You need two or three guys to load this into a pickup
KI4BDS Rating: 5/5 Feb 13, 2007 16:27 Send this review to a friend
GGGGGGRRRRREEEEEEEEEWWWWWTTTTT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had mine since 91, carried it around in an Onan box (built by Cummins)on a Peterbuilt, ran it nights during the winter and to make coffee or run tools. Still have it and it never failed to start. Kept my 800 Amp batteries up and the water in the Cat heated. K
JIMD2 Rating: 5/5 Jan 21, 2006 16:38 Send this review to a friend
Onan CCK 5.0KW  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Onan CCK is very well built and can run for hours and hours. I have the 5CCK from 1962. Its 1800rpm 4 pole design is nice on the ears and it runs with a pleasant tone. Most generators run at 3600 rpm and the new inverter models can vary the rpm of the engine and still create the 60 cycles electronicly but at there rated wattage there engines are still screaming. The 1800rpm Onans really do run very well and if you find a lp or natural gas unit it has the stelite valve seats.
W9LBB Rating: 5/5 Nov 20, 2003 22:38 Send this review to a friend
An Oldie but a Goodie  Time owned: more than 12 months
When Onan produced thier cast iron engine, two cylinder CCK series generators, they REALLY built a workhorse!

I was surprised to see that someone had written a review of a lowly gasoline generator here, especially a discontinued old timer like the Onan CCK. I might as well add MY two cents too.

My CCK is an olive drab painted military surplus job, probably released by the MARS program sometime in it's distant past. I'd imagine MARS got a LOT of them; it's my understanding that after Vietnam the US military phased out ALL gasoline generators in favor of small Diesel powerplants. Supposedly, at that time they simplified the whole generator scene by adopting a very small number of standard units (there were apparently a couple of HUNDRED different "standard" military generators during the Vietnam era). The move to ditch gasoline powered plants simplified fuel problems; the "new" generation will burn Diesel oil, jet kerosene, or most any flamable fluid a soldier can lay his / her hands on!

This particular CCK is sort of unusual; instead of the usual 120 / 240 VAC alternator, mine turns a 110 / 208 VAC three phase! The rating plate says 3.5 KW continuous load, and 4.0 KW intermittently.

Don't you believe that for one second!!! A rating plate that low is an INSULT to the CCK family!

I've pulled better than 5 KW on a continuous basis more than once without any trace of overheating or other problems.

According to the manuals, a lot of CCK alternators were fitted with a 12 VDC electric starting winding. The 208 / 3 phase version ISN'T; to get this beast cookin' you grab the rope and give it a yank until she fires and runs.

One thing I've noted about the CCK; the carburator's float bowl doesn't hold fuel very dependably when the generator isn't in use. For easier cold starting after it's been sitting for days or weeks, I'd recommend priming the beast to get those first few kicks that operate the fuel pump & fill the bowl. I normally kill 2 birds with one stone on that; I prime it with a hefty shot of carbureter cleaner! She usually fires on the first or second yank.

Maintenance is easy on these critters; keep the crankcase oil clean (I change it every 100 hours), keep good plugs in it, keep the armature's commutator, slip rings, and brushes in good shape, and keep the air cleaner clean, and she'll never let you down.

BTW... here's one that I learned the HARD way. NEVER try to check the oil dipstick while a CCK is running. That crankcase is pressurized, and pulling the filler cap is a good way to get a quick oil bath!

Don't expect PERFECT speed / frequency regulation from this generator, especially if you're switching heavy loads on and off (i.e., a big transmitter or three banging on and off line on Field Day). With the speed governor set well, I find that a heavy load causes the 60 Hz to hunker down to 56 or 57 Hz before coming back to 60, and when the load is released there's a short period of overshoot up to maybe 65 Hz before the governor can assert itself again. In MOST amateur radio applications, this is more than adequate speed / voltage regulation.

Like the previous reviewer said... this thing is HEAVY!!! He's not exagerating when he says 400 pounds... that old cast iron engine wears forever, but it's a MAJOR hernia producer! I wound up adding bolt on casters to the frame of mine to make the weight manageable. To transport the beast I also have a small (4' x 4') 2 wheel flat bed trailer, fitted with a nice, hefty come-along to get the Onan aboard!

If you should encounter an old CCK at a reasonable price, I'd recommend giving it a chance. Unless the beastie has been badly neglected or abused, it'll probably continue making electricity LONG after YOU'RE part of the ground system... these hoary old putt-putts have been doing it dependably since the late 1930s.


Tom, W9LBB

K4JJL Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2002 02:38 Send this review to a friend
What a workhorse!!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought mine used from a radio club. Looks like it has several years use. I cleaned it up, replaced some parts (available only from Cummins, pretty expensive) and tuned it up. Runs at 1800 RPM (makes it very quiet, unlike most generators). Engine is way overpowered for the generator it drives. Generator is rated at 5KVA, but I put a 7KVA load on it and it kept right on ticking. Frequency of AC varies (as expected from any generator), but not much. Under no load, runs at 64 Hz and runs at 56 Hz under a 7KVA load. Onan knows how to build them right! Has a great fuel efficiency also, ran for 10 hours on 6 gallons of gas under light load (<1.5KVA). Not a very portable generator (weighs 400+ lbs.), but can be mounted in confined spaces because of Onan's Vacu-Flo air cooling system.

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