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Old 07-08-2012, 08:44 AM   #1
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generator starts n runs but dies after 3-4 min

94 Itasca Suncruiser 34 RA with Onan 5000 generator.
The gen has been running fine and out of nowhere this problem popped up.
I disconnected the fuel line at the gen and there was no fuel. I blew air back the line towards the main fuel tank and fuel came flowing very much. I connected the line and it fired up and ran good for about 3 min and died like it ran out of fuel? I did this a couple of times and the same thing happened. I traced the line back to the main fuel tank the best that I could and couldn't quite follow it completely. I couldn't find any filters.
1. Should there be a gravity flow of fuel to the gen or is there some type of fuel pump? I disconnected the line one the tank side of of the elect fuel pump at the gen.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
James
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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Try the fuel filter. Mine clogged out of NOWHERE and I was scratching my head to figure out what was wrong.
Sometimes it's the simplest thing.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:09 AM   #3
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Thanks I think I'll be changing my filter!
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
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There is a fuel pump. There should be two filters - at least there was on 2000 model years and up until they switched to one. I say 2000 model years because that is the oldest I have helped someone with. I suspect the older ones also have two filters. Some time after 2004 they changed to one filter. When they had two filters there was one that screwed into the fuel pump. There was another one just under the carb. If replacing the filters doesn't help you might want to try disconnecting the fuel line and running a new short one to a can of fuel and see if that helps. You could disconnect the line from the output of the pump and see if it is pumping.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:25 AM   #5
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I had a similar problem. I found a simple and inexpensive fix: New sparkplug! I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, but in my case it was the proximate cause of the erratic performance.

Be sure to take the specifications to the Onan dealer, or make a call. Each gen set calls for a different plug.

My dealer told me that spark plugs have a short life in gen sets and seem to cure a host of problems.

Good luck . Let us know if that works.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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gen problem

I did check the plug. I cleaned it and re gapped it. It looked good. I will get a new plug though.
Thanks
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:29 PM   #7
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Had sdame issue with a winnebago, it was the fuel pump.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:36 PM   #8
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gen problem

Clay
There is a small filter between the elec fuel pump at the gen and carb. I will change it. I could not find one between the fuel pump (at gen) and the main fuel tank. I tried tracing it from gen back to the main fuel tank but could not follow it all the way thru because of eye sight obstacles. I will do a more thorough tracing. I just did a quick trace because of time factor.
When I disconnect the fuel line at the gen should there be a full gravity flow of fuel at that point from the main fuel tank?
I will do a change of all fuel filters and spark plug.
Thanks
James
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:40 PM   #9
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Gen prob

Bad
Was the filter that you changed a small elect pump at the gen? 3" long X 1.5" dia
Thanks
James
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:49 PM   #10
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Clay
There was a small filter between elec pump. There was not a filter between elec pump and main fuel tank. That seems a little odd to me??
Thanks
James
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:37 PM   #11
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It was the fuel pump it self, onan siad it was the oil was to thin, but it would run just like yours then cut off, when it cooled off again it would start, fuel pump would get hot and cut off and not pump.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:28 AM   #12
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generator prob

Yep - mine did the same thing - changed out the fuel and air filters, serviced it - fuel pump was bad --- fixed before the HOT weather tho'
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94bago View Post
Clay
There is a small filter between the elec fuel pump at the gen and carb. I will change it. I could not find one between the fuel pump (at gen) and the main fuel tank. I tried tracing it from gen back to the main fuel tank but could not follow it all the way thru because of eye sight obstacles. I will do a more thorough tracing. I just did a quick trace because of time factor.
When I disconnect the fuel line at the gen should there be a full gravity flow of fuel at that point from the main fuel tank?
I will do a change of all fuel filters and spark plug.
Thanks
James
There is some gravity flow on mine. I stuck a pencil in the hose to stop it while I changed the filter. Different years and models may have more or less filters. My 1995 4Kw had one screwed to the back of the fuel pump. My 2004 5.5 Kw had two filters but Onan stopped using two and quit selling that filter. Instead they sell an adapter that replaces the one at the carb and specify one larger than the discontinued one that screwed to the fuel pump
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