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Old 08-08-2010, 07:16 AM   #1
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Question Generator not starting unless V-10 engine is running

I did a search and found nothing. Here is the trouble. When just on battery power, Using any of the 3 switches to start the generator, front, one-place, or the switch on the gen. all of my 12 volt power drops out and the gen. doesn/t start. After several minutes the power comes back on. I have to have my engine running for the generator to start. I have replaced the battery disconnect solinoid thinking when I lost all 12 volt power it was bad. Same problem with trying to start the gen. I have new house batteries just installed march of this year. All 12 volt breakers in my cabinet check out ok. I can't seem to track down the malfunction. Any Ideas?
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:28 AM   #2
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mine has an aux batt switch , if it is off , the genset will not start , but I think you prolly state that , never ahve ahd a voltage drop tho'
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:29 AM   #3
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It sounds like you may have a bad starter or a short somewhere in the starting circuit. One way you can test which one is to disconnect the battery cable from the starter solenoid and measure the voltage from the cable to chassis ground for about 12 volt. Next, have somebody hold the starter switch in the start position. Take another voltage reading from the disconnected battery cable to chassis ground and if the voltage doesn't change much from the reading before it's the starter, if the voltage change is significant the short is somewhere on the starter circuit.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:37 AM   #4
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If it starts normally with the chassis engine running it is a problem with your AUX Battery system. Check all the cable ends for clean connections and make sure none of them are loose. I would especially check the ground. With the engine running and the AUX Battery bridged to the Starting Battery by the Battery issolation Solenoid, the generator starter is actually using the Chassis Battery for starting if the there is a poor connection on the AUX Battery.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:03 PM   #5
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Hi Ho: You haven't said if "doesn't start" means that it doesn't crank at all or just won't start. My guess is a bad chassis battery, but I'm surprised that you haven't had a problem starting the V10. When the engine is running the voltage is higher and the alternator supplies enough current to run the generator starter motor.

Just a guess, Dirk
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:41 PM   #6
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Another possibility could be starter drag and can exhibit the same symptoms as a short. Starter drag is the wearing of the end bearings in the starter housing and causes a misalignment of the armature and the windings causing the armature not to turn freely and a higher than normal current draw from the batteries. Since you state your batteries are fairly new I don't think they are the problem. But the additonal current draw can deplete the batteries fairly quickly and is evidence by having no 12VDC for a few minutes after. But once the batteries have a chance to recover the 12VDC is once again available.

The reason that your able to start the generator when the engine is running is the alternator is supplying energy to the chassis batteries(charging current) which is probably just enough in combination with the batteries to overcome the starter drag or short.

I would perform the test I suggested in my previous post to eliminate the wiring from the batteries to the generator's starter solenoid and if the voltage checks out I would remove the starter and have it checked both electrically and mechanically.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:34 PM   #7
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Have you checked your house batteries with a voltmeter to confirm that they are being charged...
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:07 PM   #8
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Thanks RJ I'll have to check it out. Dirko, the generator does not even crank, it just clicks once and nothing, then I have no 12 volt lights, fans, nothing. It is just like a dead short somewhere. Yes movin-on I have performed a load test on the batteries also, they are being charged and the test checked out OK. I'll have to see if I can locate the starter on the gen. Hope fully I won't have to pull the genterator out of the MH. First comes work, then I'll play. Let U gys know. Thanks.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:12 PM   #9
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Clean the ground wire to the frame... both at the battery and the one on the generator.
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:57 PM   #10
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And the winner is "Rick Long". Thanks a million for all the replies. I love it when the fix is the simplest thing to do. Although getting under her and removing those nuts and bolts was a little tight. Theres almost no room for your hands to operate. I just unbolted the nut and bolt and cleaned up all the rust on the steel, and barnished the copper connectors and put it back together. Pushed the generator start button in and the generator kicked over just like old times ONE HAPPY CAMPER.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:16 PM   #11
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Bob,
Glad you found the problem and got it repaired, and thanks for letting us know what the problem was!
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:59 PM   #12
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your welcome.
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