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Old 05-15-2014, 03:25 PM   #1
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Genset has me stumped

I have the onan 6500 in my 310 and today it decided that it would crank over very very slow and not start. Ive got brand new batteries for the chassis and the coach. So i first checked the voltage at the batteries and all were good. Triple checked all connections to the batteries, removed and cleaned ground to frame and the ground on the block of the genset. Tightened connections to my disconnect switches and the solenoid (?) on the outside of my battery box. Pulled the cover off the genset to expose the solenoid and have 12.9 volts on the incoming side. It does engage when i press the start button but it cranks very slow like a dead battery would.
Would it do any good to jumper across the solenoid and see if it will start? Could it be a bad connection inside the solenoid? Im obviously no mechanic here. It had been starting just fine till today. I assume nothing on the load side would have anything to do with it starting........there i go again making assumptions! Any ideas on what next to do to troubleshoot?
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:30 PM   #2
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Make sure the air cond and everything else is off and then try again. Jim
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:40 PM   #3
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It could certainly be bad contacts inside the solenoid. I like the idea of jumpering across the solenoid, but keep in mind that there will be come serious current going through that jumper, so definitely use your industrial eye protection.

Here's the service manual, see page 102 for solenoid checking....

If that's the issue, and you can figure out how to get the solenoid apart, you might be able to clean the contact bar, or even turn it over to use the fresh side (I have no idea what it looks like inside, so don't take that too seriously)
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:00 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for the quick reply folks, and the link to the manual is fantastic.
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:29 PM   #5
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Well you know one thing, good voltage low current means a bad connection adding resistance somewhere between the battery terminals and generator starter or shorted windings internal to the genset starter.

Sounds like you checked most everything my next step would be to try to jump start the generator with jumper cables and a good battery.
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:33 PM   #6
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I forgot to mention that garry, thats another thing i tried doing. Sure seems like a bad connection that im missing.
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:36 PM   #7
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Can you measure the voltage on the starter side of the solenoid?
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:44 PM   #8
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I havent had a helper yet to hold the start button while i check that side but thats next on the list, that might tell me a lot.
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:49 PM   #9
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I had an outboard that was a slow starter once. The starter had two sets of brushes so that two windings 90 degrees apart were energized at one time. One brush went bad and stuck so that only one winding was energized. Replacing the brushes fixed the problem. If you have full voltage on the starter side you may have something similar going on.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:11 PM   #10
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Ive definitely got good voltage on the battery side so i immediately thought its time to go through and clean up all the grounds. Since ive only had my 310 for 8 months or so it was on my list. Boy i hope i dont have to pull this thing, i saw the weight on it, and i dont have a fork lift handy!!! Good suggestions all. Ill keep plugging away here, its been starting and running well so im hoping..............
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:46 AM   #11
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Went through and used a rotary tool and wire wheel on all the grounds this morning and tightened them all up again, checked all my positive leads and cleaned, and bammmm, started right up. I dont know which one was the problem but at least i know all my grounds are good and clean. At least the ones from the battery to the generator. Boy i was hoping it was something easy. Thanks for all the input folks. Now im going to rewire the rear air conditioner feed and add ann extra chord to run off shore power or generator. Will post pics if i can figure out how to copy and paste off my ipad.
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:07 PM   #12
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From broke to fixed in less than 24hrs... nicely done!
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:17 PM   #13
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Mayco. Definitely post pics of the additional shore power feed. That is on my list of things to do.


Good luck with the iPad, it is not very posting friendly!
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:03 AM   #14
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I just finished it up yesterday and it seems to be working as it should. Ill get some pictures today and write up a description of what i did, there was a bit of head scratching but i got it done. I google searched similar threads and found a few that helped a little bit but realized that airstream wired these things different on every coach down the line, it seems anyway. Frustrating to say the least. Ill do my best to get something posted today.
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