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Old 01-28-2005, 02:39 PM   #1
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Generator Problems

Was checking a few things on the AS yesterday and went to start the generator and it wouldn't do anything. All I could hear was a clicking noise, almost like the starter was trying to engage but wasn't. I ran it about 2 weeks ago without any problems. Don't have any manuals that I can refer to for troubleshooting and searched the forum but a ton of things came up for generator and onan. I'm hoping someone can narrow the search down for me or know what the problem is.

Thanks, Brian
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Old 01-28-2005, 02:51 PM   #2
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Check the two fuses on the front of the control box. One is for the starter and one is for the ignition. These should be replaced with "Slow Blow" fuses. If that doesn't get it right away hook up a test light and check to make sure you have 12V coming into these circuits.
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Old 01-28-2005, 03:36 PM   #3
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Battery or Wire Problems?

Brian:

If you have a "Click" you could probably diagnos a bunch of things with a relatively cheap voltage meter.

First, be sure your starting (engine) battery shows at least 12.6 volts at the terminals - (does the 454 start?) - then measure the voltage at the genny 12 volt wires (the big ones) - if all is good there (same voltage as at the engine starting battery), get a voltage at the genny while trying to start it.

Ther have been many documented instances of corroded terminals here in the Forums - you might have to start at the battery and clean each and every connection and terminal until you get all the way to the genny.

Then again, it could well be in the genset panel as Steven suggested.

Luck - Please let us know what you find.

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Old 02-08-2005, 05:23 PM   #4
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Finally had time to look at the generator yesterday and we did a couple of things. The type of generator I have is a Kohler 7000 with about 650 hours on it. The motorhome will crank fine. We checked the voltage at the starter and it read 11.92 volts. Checked the voltage at the solenoid when trying to crank and it read around 9 volts, don't know exactly what this means. Opened up the box where the starter switch is for the generator and too many wires so closed it back up. After that I am still getting a clicking noise but now I am also getting the fuel pump or what I think is a fuel pump, might be a fuel pressure regulator because it has numbers on it 1-5 (Took my digital camera to take pictures but it was broken by my daughter, so no pictures to illustrate what I am talking about). To see if the generator would crank we took a screwdriver and touched the positive and negative posts on the solenoid and it turned over. So with that happening my first guess would be to start with replacing the solenoid but thought I would pick your brains to see if it might be something else. I have no manuals for the generator or I would refer to them. If anyone has one they would like to share I would be very grateful.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 02-08-2005, 05:30 PM   #5
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I would try to boost that starting voltage. The 11.9 is too low. If the battery itself is reading under 12.5 it probably shot. Could try to charge it fully and then see what happens. You need more voltage than 9 at the starter. You probably have more than one battery..check bothamd see what they read. Try charging it before you give up on it, but the battery if that low is usually dead for good.Only an Optima Battery is supposed to be able to come back from the dead.
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Old 02-08-2005, 07:08 PM   #6
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COULD be

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Originally Posted by 85/345
....To see if the generator would crank we took a screwdriver and touched the positive and negative posts on the solenoid and it turned over. So with that happening my first guess would be to start with replacing the solenoid
Brian -

Good thinking on the solenoid - even if you still get the "no start" after replacing, a new solenoid takes one unknown out of the game.

It COULD also be one of the 1" black "relay cubes", on the Onan 6.5, anyway, there are several of them. Since there are multiple "start switches" around the 345, any of the low amp "start switches" activates a solenoid to complete the circuit to activate the "start solenoid" (like you did when you jumped the solenoid to confirm the generator would turn over).

Also, it COULD be a bad connection on any of the multiple terminals.

Honestly, if it were mine, I would replace ALL of the 1" cubes (about 5 bucks or less each at your local parts store), inspecting each connector for corrossion (replace the wires one at a time, so you make sure that you get them in the correct places).

As a safety (backup plan) beg, borrow, or steal a digital camera to take a few closeup pics for documenation.

It would be good to get a service manual for the genny, I recall there was also a diode and a resistor in the "smart box" of the Onan control panel that could cause starting problems - I would not suspect the Kohler and Onan circuits would be identical.

Luck
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Old 02-08-2005, 07:49 PM   #7
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Brian your Kohler had less than 1 hour on it when you got your Airstream, It was rebuilt and got a new muffler too.
I cant tell you why it didnt start, but wanted to let you know that the hour meter was total before a $1000.oo was spent.
Richard
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:48 AM   #8
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Post Update

Finally got around to working on the generator this weekend and indeed it was the solenoid. Replaced it and she cranked right up. Got the part from Nixon Power Services, they are an authorized dealer/distributor of Kohler generators and parts. I think the solenoid cost $20. I also got the service manual for the generator from them. Hopefully no more problems.
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Old 08-05-2005, 04:52 PM   #9
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Keeps toasting the ingition fuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
Check the two fuses on the front of the control box. One is for the starter and one is for the ignition. These should be replaced with "Slow Blow" fuses. If that doesn't get it right away hook up a test light and check to make sure you have 12V coming into these circuits.
Mine ran fine for an hour yesterday then the ignition fuse blew I replaced it and it burns out again before even getting started I dont have the slow blow fuses. Any idea what is happening that is all of a sudden blowing fuses. I have a new battery that seems to be fine. I havent measured voltage but the engine starts just fine.

Jai
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Old 08-06-2005, 06:47 AM   #10
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Jai,
The same thing happened to me. Check out this thread. Turned out to be a combination of things, new R1 resistor, oil pressure switch, also found a wire in the control box missing some of it's insulation.
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Old 08-06-2005, 11:28 AM   #11
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Thanks for the link

sounds just like my problem. I will check it out today.
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Old 08-07-2005, 06:55 PM   #12
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The technician who just repaired my gen set also replaced all the wires to the control panel. Two were arcing and he stated the insulation used tends to wear down long before the gen sets do. often we can not detect an arc but that is the problem. He suggests anyone with more than ten years on a gen set to replace these wires and re-wrap the pigtails. Cheap and easy fix before a problem arises. I spent almost $600.00 to learn this lesson.
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Old 08-08-2005, 09:19 AM   #13
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I got lucky

Sometimes its a simple fix. Mine was about a half a quart low in oil. Topped it up and it runs like a champ. What is the advantage of the slow burn out fuses? I'm using the instant ones. I am however having some problems with my rear AC. It goes 15 mins or so then the breaker on the Gennie trips. The front one keeps working. But this, Im sure is for another thread. Thanks for the advice.

Jai
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:45 PM   #14
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I have been using "regular" fuses on mine for a while with no problems. I don't know the specific reason for slow blows...I can only guess that the genny compartment gets pretty hot just running so they give everything a fighting chance.

On the oil issue, I can see why the low oil switch would prevent ignition but this does not really explain the fuse issue. I think Chaplain Kent is onto something. I have replaced a few wires in my control box due to arcing as well. I also think this might have been the original source of my R1 resistor issues.

I can tell you that there is nothing better than having a reliable genset onboard. Just flip that switch and turn on the AC.

On the AC...the rear Roof airs are hard wired into the GenSet, while the front are on a switch box. Does the rear air blow the circuit when on shore power?
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