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Old 08-08-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
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One step forward two steps back

Coming home from Oregon the outside temp was 104 and the dash AC seemed to be of little help so I started the genset and ran the front in house AC. All was fine for a little over an hour then it shut down. One blink on the genset (high temp)first level fault.We were plenty warm when we got home.I got a 33 code on the second level fault code so I checked coolant levels at both caps and all was well and no obstruction at the intake.So I tried to do a reenactment of the shut down and after running the genset with AC going for over two hours and an outside temp of 85 degrees. I'm thinking that the 104 temp was the reason it shut down? It states under the 33 code.High ambient temp and high altitude can decrease engine cooling capacity. I was wondering if anyone else has had this happen to them? I was adding some freon to the dash AC system and at the end of the second can of freon and showing 45 psi on the gauge the top hose on the compressor lost it's seal, that will get your attention what a foggy mess. After the motor cools down I will look to see if the crimp or the hose ruptured? Do they splice these hoses or replace them? I have no idea if there is a mid range coupler on this coolant hose.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:18 PM   #2
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Gen set problem could be a bad temp sensor reading. perhaps intermittent, perhaps will never happen again.
Here is a thread discussing temp sensor for other reasons.

Coolant temp sensor is on top of engine, coolant belt drive end, opposite side & top of engine from the oil filter. Looks like a coolant sensor. Around mid height, same side & end of engine is the low oil pressure cutoff switch; don't confuse the two. Although if you have enough hrs on motor, wouldn't hurt to replace both while in the vicinity.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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E.M It has a new coolant temp sensor installed in May of this year due to 27 code. Only 141 hours on the unit. This coach reminds me of the carnival game where a gopher rears it's head and you whack it and then another pops up.On and on.I do plan to enjoy this rig in between the repairs. It just seems like every outing I'm saying to myself now what. Oh well a man needs a good challenge in his life now and then.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:54 PM   #4
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Any possibility you sucked up a plastic bag that inhibited cooling? Or had a heated argument w/the wife? 104 shouldn't be a big deal.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:06 PM   #5
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I've been doing some reading and may have found a reason for the high temp code. When I installed the new coolant temp sensor I used some teflon tape on the threads and I read that that is a no no. Could that be the problem? No heated argument with the better half, she's as cool as a cucumber.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:00 PM   #6
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If its a one wire sensor then the threads are the ground.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
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Sounds like I had better remove the tape and clean up the threads. Thanks for the advice. I stated that I changed the sensor after getting a 27 code. I should have said 24 code.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:59 PM   #8
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Not sure on the temp sensor, I'd think the teflon would insulate.
There are a few other threads about air-cooled generators shutting down this summer. Onan rates many of them to 120 degree air temp and the basements of our coaches are certainly seeing more than 120 degrees above the pavement.

Like you, ours started shutting down over 105 degrees outside. It got so bad on the way home that I bought a back-up genset and mounted it to the rear of the RV (on the hitch) and drove home...

You've got a liquid cooled genset. I'd expect to see coolant boil before you saw true overheat. Might be worth picking up an IR gun to measure surface temperatures, but I'd expect the water cooled variety to much more heat tolerant.

High altitude and high temperature = High "density" altitude. This makes combustion motors less efficient and generally means that they have to be operated at higher throttle positions to make the same power. However, the power output of the motor is related to how much oxygen is available, so despite the throttle setting, the engine isn't "working" any harder - or producing more heat... It's just producing less power at throttle setting. The altitude change shouldn't impact how much air fans pull enough to cause overheat.
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:23 PM   #9
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Need to look at the threads around wax valves vs electronic fan controllers for the interface between your front cab AC and the engine fan. Bottom-line, most 2003s and earlier have a mechanical wax valve to control engine fan cooling--therefore, no interface with the auto A/C's need for air flow/cooling over/thru the condenser at the rear of the coach. Without one of the mods discussed on this forum, your AC system is prone to very high freon pressures--especially during hot weather or when you are stopped/idling at stop lights, etc. Frequent high freon pressures are not good for compressors or hose connections. To my knowledge, there are no mid-point hose connections on the freon lines--assume the hi-press side gave between the compressor and the condensor--this is a single hose with no mid-point connections.....

Ps--there is a known interface issue [see forum] between Xantrex RS2000 inverters and Onan genset but your issue sounds temp related.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:44 AM   #10
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Finally solved my genset over heating issue. Turns out that the radiator was plugged. I decided on replacing it with a new one. Cummins charged me $285.00. Later I found these folks had a better deal.R & K Products : Onan 130-6936 Radiator for Diesel [130-6936] - $188.23.
Maybe this will help others if they are in need of a radiator. The local radiator shop wanted $175.00 to repair my old one.
Now it's time to reset the kitchen sink and then, well only time will tell?
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:36 PM   #11
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Glad you solved your genset overheating problem Tiredvet. You may want to take note of what Old Scout mentioned relating to the dash a/c unit. I had repeated seal failures in my dash a/c system until finally my guy at my diesel shop mentioned to me that there is a design flaw with the dash a/c systems in the earlier Alpines. As Old Scout said, the system relies solely on the engine fan to pull air through the condenser unit and that, without modifications, results in periods of time when there is no air being pulled across it which results in overheating of the system (and eventually seal, hose or compressor failure). I added an electric fan to my system so that whenever the a/c compressor is on, the electric fan is on. Since adding the auxiliary fan, I have had way improved cooling of the a/c system and no failures or loss of freon like I was having previously. If you are interested, here is the link to the procedure for installing an electric fan to the radiator stack on my '03: http://www.alpinecoachassociation.co...3%20Alpine.pdf
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:00 PM   #12
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In my first post #1. I thought that I had blew a hose or a seal causing freon to release from the system. What i had discovered is that I had over pressured the system and caused the A/C compressor control valve to do it's job. I ran the dash AC all the way home Saturday from Weiser Idaho about a 4 hour trip and it was blowing cold air the entire time.I spoke with an auto shop ac tech. about having the system checked for correct pressure and he seems to think that it will be fine as long as it blows cold. So far so good.
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:51 PM   #13
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Learned about this issue when I attended RV Repair School, had seen it on home window units, but we had never had it happen to us until we were heading home this last time. Our dash unit, got iced over, which is funny because we were in the desert SW and the humidity was very low. Let it melt for about 45 minutes and it worked fine every since. So if you are in that situation, and the cooling just drops off, the fan speed also dropped to almost nothing so that was a second clue. Then when safe to pull over, open up the gen slide and see if the AC unit is icing over.
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