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Old 08-06-2007, 12:13 PM   #1
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My generator will run fine as long as I'm traveling down the road. If I'm stationary, i.e.at a campsite, it will run for about 5 minutes and stop. It starts up right away and stops after another 5 minutes.
Full gas tank, full oil, new filters and fuel pump, slight smell of gas, like it's running rich.

Any ideas where to look?
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:13 PM   #2
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My generator will run fine as long as I'm traveling down the road. If I'm stationary, i.e.at a campsite, it will run for about 5 minutes and stop. It starts up right away and stops after another 5 minutes.
Full gas tank, full oil, new filters and fuel pump, slight smell of gas, like it's running rich.

Any ideas where to look?
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:35 PM   #3
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If it smells like its running rich, it probably is. Deal with that first.

Sounds like it might be over heating.

Are you trying to help it cool by opening the compartment door? That is not a good idea as that door is part of the cooling system, it keeps hot discharge air from being drawn into the cooling air intake.

What are you using for oil? Is it the right weight and not diluted with gasoline, something that happens when they run too rich. Synthetic oil is an excellent choice in air cooled engines.

You aren't overloading it while stopped are you? Added electrical load of water heater, microwave.

Is the engine extremely dirty? Are you storing stuff in the generator compartment that might affect air flow? Not stacking stuff under it on the outside that might block air flow are you? Missing a baffle that diverts discharge air away from intake air.

This is all assuming that this is an overheating issue, a WAG on my part.
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:37 PM   #4
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Could it be an overheating situation? Maybe the extra cooling airflow while traveling is making the difference. Check for any obstructions to the cooling airflow. Also check your manual - most Onans will give an error code if preemptively shut down.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:26 PM   #5
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If you changed your coolant with the maintance, make sure that you refilled the coolant sufficently. I changed mine and filled the coolant through the overflow location next to the oil dipstick. Gen would start and run and then shut off. Was getting an overheat signal on the error code. Was really puzzled as I would take off the cap and it was full. Read some more and found out that the radiator fill was under the panel next to the start button -- you remove the panel and then under it is the fill for the radiator. After I filled it that way, no more problems. Just a thought.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:31 PM   #6
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Try looking at your fuel line. If its rubber it could be cracked somewhere between the generator and the fuel tank in which case it could be sucking air and starving for fuel.
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Old 08-07-2007, 04:24 AM   #7
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Gunny,

Doesn't matter if door is open or closed, same result. Oil is Castrol 15-40. Stops even with no load. Engine is not dirty and not storing anything in the compartment.

I think it might be overheating also, but don't know why.

Tomsm, Where would I look for error code.. this is a 1994 vintage.

Sammie, I would think if the hose were the problem, it wouldn't run for 4 hours while moving, would it?

DavidK Not sure what coolant you're talking about???
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:19 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Romer1:

Sammie, I would think if the hose were the problem, it wouldn't run for 4 hours while moving, would it?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My Onan 5.5 shut down intermittently. It would usually run while stopped (but not always) but would often shut down while driving anywhere from 10 minutes to four hours.
The problem turned out to be a loose hose clamp where the rubber fuel line connected to the metal line from the gas tank. It was sucking air at that point.

Two dealers and one Cummins/Onan shop failed to find the problem. A tech at the Winnebago factory found it.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:01 AM   #9
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Romer1 - I'm guessing you don't have a manual. If it does give an error code the manual would tell you how to read it. Here's a link to Onan's support site that might have a manual for download. Link
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:13 AM   #10
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Tom:
A machine that old doesn't have self diagnostics so no codes.

I'm still thinking overheating. Any way to beg or borrow a thermal infrared gun and see just how hot it is getting before the shut down? I'd shoot the oil filter, see how hot that oil is. Do ti with it stationary and then do it moving downthe road. Well you'd have to stop to do it but you know what I mean.

Also try running the engine when the genset is running, while stopped and see if that makes a difference. If it does, then look for something fuel related.

Let us know.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:57 AM   #11
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Downloaded the manual for this unit. Noticed it said not to overfill oil or could cause shutdown. I think I may be slightly over full, so we'll go drain some oil out. Also will get some new fuel line and see if that helps.

Will also try the engine running suggestion, since it runs well while going down the highway, will be interesting to see what happens when stationary and engine running.
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:10 AM   #12
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Ok, here's an update. Drained the oil and refilled with 10W40 making sure I didn't overfill. Fuel hoses were/are in good shape. Started right up , but running rich after about 5 minutes. Discovered adjustment on bottom of carb was wet with fuel so, not knowing anybetter, started fooling around with it. Actually got the fuel to stop leaking and genny ran smoother than ever before. Put a full load (both a/c's) on it and it ran for 10 minutes and died. After that it would only run a couple minutes and die. Did notice the carb was cold to the touch. Internal icing, maybe? Outside temp was 95, humidity was above 89%.

Guess it's off to Onan.
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:43 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Synthetic oil is an excellent choice in air cooled engines. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


when i check and fill (i beleive it says 2 quarts on the front label..)I always level the rv first.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:52 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Romer1:
Ok, here's an update. Drained the oil and refilled with 10W40 making sure I didn't overfill. Fuel hoses were/are in good shape. Started right up , but running rich after about 5 minutes. Discovered adjustment on bottom of carb was wet with fuel so, not knowing anybetter, started fooling around with it. Actually got the fuel to stop leaking and genny ran smoother than ever before. Put a full load (both a/c's) on it and it ran for 10 minutes and died. After that it would only run a couple minutes and die. Did notice the carb was cold to the touch. Internal icing, maybe? Outside temp was 95, humidity was above 89%.

Guess it's off to Onan. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It may be time to take the plug off the muffler and decarbon the unit. With the low decible ratings these are dsigned for the muffler system does load up and when it does could cause overheating and fuel mixture issues.
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