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Old 07-15-2015, 07:01 PM   #1
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Buying a new 5.5 onan generator

I've just been advised My poor running generator is running poor due to low compression. Im not doubting the diagnosis as it was done at an Onan facility. The set has only 540+ hrs.on it. Have been advised that repairing the engine [ valve adjustment is ok] may cost close to the price of a new unit.Service advisor agreed with me that the hours on the unit were low for this to be the case but is what it is. I guess tearing down the engine and reboring the cylinders would be time consuming and the warranty would only be 90 days.
Looking for comments from Knowledgeable or similar experienced members. Thanks
Both cylinders are low and since it is a twin engine doesn't that rule out head gaskets?
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:15 PM   #2
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I would ask for a repair vs replace quote. If the repair was more than 60 percent of the replacement cost and I was keeping the rv for a long time I would most likely replace it.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:24 PM   #3
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I'd be wondering if I had a warranty and if it covered generators.
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Old 07-15-2015, 09:31 PM   #4
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If both cyclinders are low it is not the head gasket. Also if you have no water in the oil it isn't the head gasket.

If you don't have an extended warranty or regular warranty then it is a cost factor which way to go IMHO.

How old is the generator? With only 540+ hours I would assume not vary old or not used much. If not much used it could be dirty valves and rings causing the low compression. You might have them disconnect the MH fuel line to the generator and hookup a remote fuel source and run valve/ring cleaner though the genny. Also have check the exhaust pipe to ensure it isn't bent closed or plugged? Just ideas hope some help.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okie143 View Post
If both cyclinders are low it is not the head gasket. Also if you have no water in the oil it isn't the head gasket.

If you don't have an extended warranty or regular warranty then it is a cost factor which way to go IMHO.

How old is the generator? With only 540+ hours I would assume not vary old or not used much. If not much used it could be dirty valves and rings causing the low compression. You might have them disconnect the MH fuel line to the generator and hookup a remote fuel source and run valve/ring cleaner though the genny. Also have check the exhaust pipe to ensure it isn't bent closed or plugged? Just ideas hope some help.
I was thinking along the same line. Could be carboned up valves or rings. Before I paid for a repair or replacement either way, I'd have them run some SeaFoam thru it to see if that might help. You might just get lucky.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okie143 View Post
If both cyclinders are low it is not the head gasket. Also if you have no water in the oil it isn't the head gasket.

If you don't have an extended warranty or regular warranty then it is a cost factor which way to go IMHO.

How old is the generator? With only 540+ hours I would assume not vary old or not used much. If not much used it could be dirty valves and rings causing the low compression. You might have them disconnect the MH fuel line to the generator and hookup a remote fuel source and run valve/ring cleaner though the genny. Also have check the exhaust pipe to ensure it isn't bent closed or plugged? Just ideas hope some help.
I ran 3 cans of seafoam thru it myself,its air cooled so no water issues. May have to bite the bullet on this one. Its 5 years old so its used about 100 hours a year which I bet is more than average.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:29 PM   #7
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100 hours a year is nothing. If you search some of the other posts you will find gennys with over 4,000 hours.
People turn them on when they leave and turn them off when hooked up at rv park. If no park they leave them on all the time.
If it is an onan I would call the onan tech and ask him. It is free and it might save you from buying a new genny.
If the motor runs fine until a load is put on it, it maybe the governer or the circuit board.
Another post on this forum says he had a 7.5 Onan and it was giving him problems after an oil change. He called Onan and they were able to diagnois his problem.
Speaking of oil, what weight of oil do you use in your genny?
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:07 AM   #8
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100 hours a year is nothing. If you search some of the other posts you will find gennys with over 4,000 hours.
People turn them on when they leave and turn them off when hooked up at rv park. If no park they leave them on all the time.
If it is an onan I would call the onan tech and ask him. It is free and it might save you from buying a new genny.
If the motor runs fine until a load is put on it, it maybe the governer or the circuit board.
Another post on this forum says he had a 7.5 Onan and it was giving him problems after an oil change. He called Onan and they were able to diagnois his problem.
Speaking of oil, what weight of oil do you use in your genny?
Didn't say 100hrs was a lot. said just the opposite. Onan specs. call for 153- 184psi compression. I have 73 in one cylinder and 78 in the other.How do you figure a faulty pcb or gov. could cause that? I did call Onan,they agreed with me that my hours were low for compression issues but stated the unit was out of warranty.I use the oil that Onan specifies for the climate I will be traveling in.And exceed the oil and filter change reccomendations.The customer service rep did suggest I request an adjustment from the factory.
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