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Old 01-19-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
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Our 8.5 kw Onan generator starts rough but then immeidately dies. We were using it and it was running fine and then just quit. Any ides?
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:42 AM   #2
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Cactus Kids, welcome to iRV2.

The first thing I would check is the oil level in the generator. Onan generators have a protection system that shuts down the generator if the oil pressure is too low. The generator will try to start, but it will not run. The protection system is bypassed during starting since full oil pressure isn't developed until the generator gets up to speed. When the protection system kicks in, the generator shuts down.

Also, when was the last time the generator fuel filter was changed? Running rough and shutting down can also be a sign of fuel starvation which could be caused by a clogged fuel filter.
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:55 AM   #3
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All good information. Regarding the fuel filters, be aware that there are two of them. There's the Onan fuel filter inside the genset but Tiffin also adds a small inline fuel filter in the hose leading to the genset. If you extend the genset for service and lay underneath the coach you'll find that filter in the rubber fuel hose, about 3' back from the genset. It's generally cable tied up to the front crossmember immediately above and behind the genset. If the hose clamps are loose the fuel can drain out of the line and suck air in. Then when you fire up the genset you get a quick slug of air which can make it die. The inline filter is a standard filter, such as a Wix # 33031, which you can pick up at any auto parts store. It helps to have a vise grips handy to pinch off the fuel hose when you change that filter and also a new cable tie to hold the new filter in place.

If it's not in the fuel system, it would be an electronic shutdown. In that case you can retrieve the Onan shutdown codes by fiddling with the start-stop switch and counting the red light flashes. Refer to an Onan manual for that procedure.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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As stated by Cruzer the fuel filters are the most likely culprit. Sounds exactly like mine and it was the inline filter installed by Tiffin.

Additionally, when the generator quits the light on your switch will blink a certain pattern which indicates the problem. It will repeat this pattern several times sort of like morris code. For instance, if memory serves me correctly, 'two blinks a pause and a single blink' indicates starving for fuel.

You can call any Onan shop and they can decipher the blinks for you.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
You can call any Onan shop and they can decipher the blinks for you.
The codes are also in the owner's manual.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:29 PM   #6
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I had a problem just like that with our 7.5 and it was the brush holder, 1 brush was burnt off. wuld start and when tranfer switch kicked in it would shut down.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:12 AM   #7
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Whats the fuel level in your Coach?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cactus Kids View Post
Our 8.5 kw Onan generator starts rough but then immeidately dies. We were using it and it was running fine and then just quit. Any ides?
Check the fuel level in your coach. If its down to 1/4 of a tank the gen will not run. Thats a safety measure so if your boondocking somewhere you'll have enough gas left to get you to a station.

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