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Old 11-01-2019, 02:31 PM   #1
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Generator no start

I'm sure there's a existing thread on this subject, I didn't want to go through 62 of them to find it. Here is my problem with history to this point. The subject in question is a 98 Adventurer 35 WP with a Onan Emerald 5000 gennie. This generator is giving me fits, all was working as it should then she just shut down and will not restart. Last year a lot of work was done starting with a carb rebuild, voltage regulator, fuel pump ( was leaking ) and a governor adjustment. The year prior was a control board new brushes and slip ring cleaning. Now you would think this thing would be buzzing right along happily but it's not. If anyone out there has any input it sure would be great. Prior to the current situation all worked as expected, no surging ect.. guess I should be grateful this the only issue we have with this rig, just want her to be whole and happy.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:17 PM   #2
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A couple of thoughts:
- Does the genny show any light blinking codes that could narrow down the cause?
- Is your ground tight and voltage at least 12V?
- Perhaps a call to Onan or Kubota and ask their opinion - they were very helpful to us figuring out a starting issue. Which turned out to be one of the 3 relays in the electrical system (of a '13 QD 10K).
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:51 PM   #3
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Use the search engine to see if there is useful info.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:03 AM   #4
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Have you been doing all this work on the Gen yourself? Has it been looked at by Cummins? At this point that might be an option.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:43 AM   #5
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No, all work to this point has been through a onan dealer. Having a fair amount of mechanical aptitude ,my goal is to learn more about the item so I can do my own work.
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:22 PM   #6
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What does Onan tell you about this issue? Seems if they did all this work that they would expect that it would be fixed by now.

Does it have a lot of hours on it? Have they done compression testing? If it's not starting it's either Air, Fuel or Spark as the cause. It's basically a lawn mower with a generator attached where the blade would be - so to speak. It's not rocket science.

Have you tried feeding it fuel directly from a can to the fuel pump, bypassing the fuel feed from the gas tank?

It's 21 years old - is it possible it's at the end of it's life?
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:43 AM   #7
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Judging by the replies my post may be misleading, the generator runs until I release the start button
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:47 AM   #8
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I believe it's a component failure that needs to be isolated, the generator runs but wont stay running, my intial post was misleading, and prior to this event, it was working perfectly.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:22 AM   #9
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Check the oil level and oil pressure switch.
Check the shut down codes. They are in the manual.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:05 PM   #10
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Switch is new levels are good ,where would these codes be displayed, this is a 98 model year Adventurer
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:32 PM   #11
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When an Onan shuts down unexpectedly the start switch blinks a red light in a code. Such as blink, blink blink space blink blink. Your manual tells you what that code means.

However, if it never really runs on it's own when you let go of the start switch then it may not show the error codes.

Have you confirmed it's not a problem with the start switch? Do you have a start switch on the generator and another on the dash inside the coach? And, they both exhibit the same behavior?
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wegobago View Post
Switch is new levels are good ,where would these codes be displayed, this is a 98 model year Adventurer

The light on the start button will flash a code when it fails to start so you have to count each sequence of flashes and pauses to get the entire failure code. These will be listed in the owners manual which should be available on-line from Onan if the seller did not leave it in the coaches binder/black back as he was supposed to.

It could be something as simple as the oil level sensor has become unplugged or the connection came loose and simply needs to be reattached/tightened.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:29 PM   #13
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Onan Generator.

I have an Onan 4600 series generator on my Winnebago Spirit 26A. Very low hours. Worked great 1st season. Had an oil change & new filter for the 2019 season.

Then, it would start and not STAY running. It was fine before the oil/filter change. After much searching, I found it was a defective DIP STICK !! Yes, you read that right. A defective DIP STICK !!

Turns out the oil FILL mark is in the wrong place. I drained 1 pint until the stick read 1/2 filled mark. The Onan ran perfect all night for my CPAP and AC.

I DONT KNOW if that would apply to your Onan, but it may be worth a try. Check YouTube videos for confirmation. My Onan 4600 works perfectly now.

Pretty dumb and simple huh ? You wonít find any recalls or info in the Onan Manual for that.

BTW: I bought this Spirit 26A brand spanking new thinking it was top of the line. Iíve had nothing but problems with it since Day 1. Defective this & defective that. All Manufacturers defects with an incompetent service center.

We missed out on the entire 2019 RV season because it was in the shop from April to Sept.

Camping World is Terrible.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:02 PM   #14
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I had generator issues from day1 with my Itasca Spirit. Took it to Onan service at a regional office. They spent days working on it. I wanted a whole new unit installed as this was cutting into my vacation time. The unit started hard and ran poorly, surging constantly. You can't have that with a generator.

Finally after 3 days, they replaced the carburetor and it still ran poorly because the head mechanic thought that the unit shipped "pre adjusted". Well, it wasn't pre adjusted. He spent another several hours adjusting the unit and closing it back up.

My theory on this issue is that RVs sit for long periods of time without use and if you don't drain the float bowl on the carburetor between uses, the ethanol will gum up the unit. I swear by and use "Startron" fuel additive (Lowes and some Walmarts have it) periodically to keep the carburetor clean and also the V10 injectors. The product contains an enzyme that is proven to eat the gunk that can build up from using ethanol, especially when the gasoline is not flowing for long periods of time.

I've witnessed this stuff cleaning out a barely running, sputtering outboard motor in about an hour. Gradually the motor ran better and better over time and was progressively easier to start during that period. Been using it ever since, about 10 years.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:04 PM   #15
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For me, this problem was caused by a wasp building a nest inside an intake tube, blocking air to the generator. It cost $0.00 to fix, and took 5 minutes, Hope this helps.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:07 PM   #16
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Have an Onan 5500 LPG. Have had 2 problems both solved in its life time to date. first was a wasp building a nest in the air intake tube. cleaned out and covered end of tube with fiberglass screen wire. 2nd problem was unit would only run if start switch was held down. found that the brushes had built up carbon residue and shorted out. Removed brushes and cleaned residue from area around them and taped a piece of steel wool to a screwdriver and polished armature while turning over engine with starter. No further problem. Both fixes were by Onan techs
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