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Old 08-02-2015, 12:39 PM   #1
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Onan 4000 problems

I have an Onan 4000 generator that came with a used class A Winnebago. I'm assuming it is the same year as the rv 1997. I changed the spark plug, oil and air filter. It will start from either the cab or the unit itself. The problem is, once it is started it will shut off immediately after I release the start button. If I hold it in, it will stay running for as long as I hold it in. This happens from both the cab and the unit. Any ideas?
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:48 PM   #2
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Here is the Onan manual. Check your altitude setting. (page 11)

https://www.cumminsonan.com/www/pdf/...s/981-0153.pdf

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Old 08-02-2015, 12:54 PM   #3
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Went through the same thing with my 95. Is the oil level correct? If low, will not stay running. The brushes on the commutator could be worn out. If I remember right they need to be at least 3/4" long. May be the voltage regulator is bad. That is what mine turned out to be. Also could be dirty commutator rings.
Google or search the site for more info on these areas. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:15 PM   #4
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We had the same or similar problem. Our Onan 5500 generator wouldn't keep running either. As soon as DH removed his finger from the start button, it would stop.

We took our RV to the shop and it was found to have a bad power supply and batteries. Also a bad "clip" that would come off some little arm thing on the Onan. They will replace the PS, the clip and replace the two 6v batteries with one 12v. We expect this to cost in the range of $400.

Odd how it ran and worked perfectly until we filled the gas tank that day.
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:38 PM   #5
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Thanks all. I think I'm going to have it serviced. When I hold the start button and plug I. The rv to it, it is not getting any power at all. I think it might be the voltage regulator. From what found out that buried inside the unit and I can't find any good info as to how to replace it.
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:49 PM   #6
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:52 AM   #7
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As you look at the onan, remove the nameplate that has onan on it, 4 screws. The v/regulator is behind it. two connectors, one screw. But without testing it just changing parts. If you have a volt/ohmmeter follow the procedure in the pdf sent to you above. You really need to know the oil switch is good too. The dealer is gonna charge you $800, so be ready. If you have the time, tools, and want to, you can fix it. I did not remove my unit from my Brave, I mad some minor mod's and left it in the coach.
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winnbrave1 View Post
As you look at the onan, remove the nameplate that has onan on it, 4 screws. The v/regulator is behind it. two connectors, one screw. But without testing it just changing parts. If you have a volt/ohmmeter follow the procedure in the pdf sent to you above. You really need to know the oil switch is good too. The dealer is gonna charge you $800, so be ready. If you have the time, tools, and want to, you can fix it. I did not remove my unit from my Brave, I mad some minor mod's and left it in the coach.
Thanks, I'm going to try again today to see if I can get to it. The pdf doesn't really give info on that and I have the original manual which also doesn't give anything. I appreciate your help and will keep you posted of my progress. Btw, I have a brave also.
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:33 AM   #9
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Some of the older units used a ten watt resister to drop the voltage somewhat after it starts. If the resister goes out, it does just as you described as the circuit gives open when you release the start button. A new resister is about $5 on eBay or like said you can give the shop several hundred.
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:45 AM   #10
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Some of the older units used a ten watt resister to drop the voltage somewhat after it starts. If the resister goes out, it does just as you described as the circuit gives open when you release the start button. A new resister is about $5 on eBay or like said you can give the shop several hundred.
Where can I find a schematic for this unit? I looked online and all I can find is the manual, which I have.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisisme View Post
I have an Onan 4000 generator that came with a used class A Winnebago. I'm assuming it is the same year as the rv 1997. I changed the spark plug, oil and air filter. It will start from either the cab or the unit itself. The problem is, once it is started it will shut off immediately after I release the start button. If I hold it in, it will stay running for as long as I hold it in. This happens from both the cab and the unit. Any ideas?
Chrisisme
When I had a similar "start but shut off when the switch was released" Onan problem it was caused by a faulty voltage regulator in the generator. Flight Systems, Inc was very helpful with the diagnosing/finding that problem.
I suggest you download this pdf:http://www.flightsystems.com/pdf/ona...oing-guide.pdf
Or contact their technical department: Technical Support Staff | Flight Systems, Inc
Good luck.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chrisisme View Post
Where can I find a schematic for this unit? I looked online and all I can find is the manual, which I have.
we would need a model number to help you find a manual. I just did a search on ebay and I see the resister I spoke of listed as part # 304-0344 for $10.99 The only other thing that I can tell you is when we fixed by buddies unit we found the resister near the electric fuel pump on the front of the unit but buried inside behind a bunch of other stuff. If you want to see what one looks like you can do an ebay search for "Onan resister". That's all I have right now unless you come up with a model #
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:44 PM   #13
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So here is where I stand. I found a full maintenance manual with schematics, trouble shooting (real stuff not just simple things in owners manual), and I tested with a volt meter. After doing a few tests and speaking to tech service at cummins I believe it to be the brushes and/or rings. Seven bucks! I ordered parts and will try that. As soon as they come in I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for all your help.
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