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Old 12-18-2010, 04:51 AM   #1
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Generator Starting Problems

I tried to start the generator yesterday to exercise it and all that happened was the "clicking" sound that is characteristic of a low battery. It started and ran normally about 3 weeks ago. I checked the batteries and all were at full charge, and I checked the batteries under load and all readings were normal. A reading at the generator also indicated that full voltage was available for cranking. However, when the start button was pressed, voltage dropped to less than 5 volts at the generator. The generator will crank normally if a jump box is connected directly to the generator, but if the jump box is connected to the chassis or house battery the symptoms remain the same. Several people, including an RV tech and a mechanic say that this usually is caused by a grounding problem. I will be checking all the battery and power connections and the grounding points in the battery compartment, but other than the grounding strap at the generator, I don't have a clue where I should check. Is there a schematic that shows where all the grounding points are? Any suggestions will be appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:06 AM   #2
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The generator starter solenoid may be suspect. You can jump around this piece if it conveniently located. Solenoids are okay one day and gone the next. Good luck with your troubleshooting.

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Old 12-18-2010, 05:50 AM   #3
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You do have more fuel than a quarter of a tank right, I had clicking once not enough fuel in fuel tank.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:00 AM   #4
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My vote is the starter solenoid also. Had the same thing going on with my gen but I didnt do any testing myself.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:11 AM   #5
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Thanks for your replies. Would a bad solenoid be the cause if the gen starts normally if a jump box is attached to the generator where the positive lead from the battery terminates at the generator?

The gas tank is over 3/4 full.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:05 AM   #6
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Make sure your battery connections are tight and free of corrosion. The connections may look clean but removing them may reveal they are corroded underneath. 5 volts at the generator while starting is low and indicates a voltage drop somewhere along the way to the generator.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:02 AM   #7
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This happend to me 2 times. My first thought is that I would have to replace the selenoid. Found out that I had my coach kill switch activated.
I know this sounds odd but after switching it on both times it cranked well.

I was told that under the step behind the back electrical cover there could be a loose connection. Never had to go there.



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Originally Posted by DavidC1225 View Post
Thanks for your replies. Would a bad solenoid be the cause if the gen starts normally if a jump box is attached to the generator where the positive lead from the battery terminates at the generator?

The gas tank is over 3/4 full.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:29 AM   #8
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I would also check the positive cable where it attaches to the battery. Slice a bit of the sheathing back and see if the cable is green (Corroded underneath).
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:58 AM   #9
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Check your connections, then check them again;; If in is as onan with the solenoid on the starter it's a bugger to change;; Check all connections;;
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:08 PM   #10
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Thanks for all your replies.

I found the problem this afternoon. it was the ground for the engine battery. I disconnected the ground wire and sanded both the ground wire connector and where it was attached to the frame. The generator started the first time.
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:26 PM   #11
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