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Old 06-06-2012, 04:10 PM   #1
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Onan 7.5 Diesel GenSet Starter Relay Location

I have a 2001 Freightliner XC Chassis (diesel pusher) with an Onan 7.5KW genset in the nose.
Here's my question: Where is the starter, starter relay or starter solenoid located? Do I have to drop the unit to access the relay or solenoid? Please tell me no. I have the owners manual but not the maintenance manual.

I hit the starter button in the coach and there is just clicking at the generator. A rapid relay low voltage like clicking. I popped open the forward coach access and pushed the starter button right on the generator housing and the same sound emitted from inside it. The batteries are fully charged and the connections good on the batteries and on the chassis ground. The 2 posts behind and below on the generator that I assume are the coach battery leads for starting the generator were removed and cleaned and reattached by me.

Made no difference. So I have 13.5 volts to the gen and makes the rapid fire clicks associated with a relay that just isn't getting enough power to fully engage. My next move is to find the starter relay and look at the connections for corrosion thus my question.

Thanks,

60Vette
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:25 PM   #2
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I don't know the location, but I'll bet Freightliner help desk does.....800-385-4357
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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60 Vette,
In spite of verifying that your genset starting battery is good and that all connections are clean and tight, just try jump-starting it anyway. The extra surge of power from a known good source of 12-volt power may just "burn through" undetected patina corrosion, or it may reveal a hidden weak point in your battery cables.

If you still get the clicking sound at the starter solenoid, it may mean that the solenoid itself is weak or has carbon deposits on the high amperage contacts... replace it in that case.

Best of luck and let us know what you find out.
Jim
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:42 PM   #4
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Don't worry about repair yet - that is NORMAL.
When you press and hold the start button, it makes that noise while it heats up the glow plugs. When it decided they are hot enough, it then cranks the starter.
You have to hold the start button in for quite some time - I've had it take over a minute when it was near freezing, so don't give up until it actually tries to start.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:45 PM   #5
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60vette

I have a parts manual that may help. PM me with your email address and I'll send it to you. Leaving tomorrow on a mini trip but I will send it tonight if you request.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:31 AM   #6
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Hey Vette, I have the same genset and as tquarles said, that is normal. Just hold that button down. Mine is a rocker switch, if you hold the stop side down, you will hear the fuel pump run and prime the engine, then push the start side and hold it until it fires up, could take a while. In the winter when I started to work on mine, it would take up to a minute, now it takes about 10 to 20 seconds.
As stated, the clicking is the fuel pump and the glow plugs being activated.

If you have other problems, like no power to the coach, do a search and look at what I found as a problem. The little inspection plate on the left front of the Generator contained a problem for mine. There is a terminal block under that inspection plate that was so corroded that you couldn't hardly see it. Replaced it and everything works as advertized.

Happy trails
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tquarles View Post
Don't worry about repair yet - that is NORMAL.
When you press and hold the start button, it makes that noise while it heats up the glow plugs. When it decided they are hot enough, it then cranks the starter.
You have to hold the start button in for quite some time - I've had it take over a minute when it was near freezing, so don't give up until it actually tries to start.
tquarles and Gunny:

I held the button on STOP to make sure it was primed then held it down in the start mode. Fired right up. Huge relief and smile. Many thanks to you and the rest of you folks who pitched in.

This of course begs the question, how can I be so uninformed and yet own such a thing? I bought from a private owner last month and he had it less than a year and couldn't really walk me through the systems.

I have been reading the 3 ring binder and slowly getting familiar with the coach and it's systems. I now have all of the fluids and filters changed with the exception of the hydraulic leveler system. I'll probably pass on that.

I'm really enjoying learning about this and look forward to our first outing.

By the way, I have drum brakes and a monster straight axle up front. Actually I prefer this over an IFS due to fewer moving parts (wear points). However, I am going to make sure those king pins are well lubed as they look like a "mother" to replace.

Best Regards,

60Vette
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:57 AM   #8
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60vett, the clicking sound is the fuel pump, it is electric. The glow plugs do not make any sound other than the solenoid that energizes them. This can happen if the generator sits a long time without being started, it can partially lose its prime. You may have to replace your glow plugs if it takes an unusually long time on a warm day to start. I have wondered like you how to remove part of the shroud to look at the belt for the water pump; do you have to remove the genny from the coach? glad to hear you got it started. DACOTAH
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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I have wondered like you how to remove part of the shroud to look at the belt for the water pump; do you have to remove the genny from the coach?
The belt scheduled replacement is at 1000 hours. I recently replaced the one on our 7.5. The right side panel needs to be removed. "Right side" can be a little confusing based on the orientation it is mounted in. The side with the fuel and battery connections is the "right side" and the side that has to be removed. Luckily ours s mounted on a slide out and the right side is actually the rear based on how it is mounted and can be removed while the genset is still installed. I have seen lots of 7.5's installed that will have to be removed to access the belt.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:03 AM   #10
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The belt scheduled replacement is at 1000 hours. I recently replaced the one on our 7.5. The right side panel needs to be removed. "Right side" can be a little confusing based on the orientation it is mounted in. The side with the fuel and battery connections is the "right side" and the side that has to be removed. Luckily ours s mounted on a slide out and the right side is actually the rear based on how it is mounted and can be removed while the genset is still installed. I have seen lots of 7.5's installed that will have to be removed to access the belt.
Hi Kix:

Oh man, I'm going back under to find the "right side". I might even replace the water pump while I'm down there. It's not so much the hours (1100+) but the age of the unit, (10 years) why I might replace the pump. Seals dry out, shrink up, internal corrosion becomes a factor and before I'm cruising down the interstate running my roof air and the Onan motor freezes up from lack of coolant a new water pump might be short money in the long run.

Appreciate the heads up.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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Hi Kix:

Oh man, I'm going back under to find the "right side". I might even replace the water pump while I'm down there. It's not so much the hours (1100+) but the age of the unit, (10 years) why I might replace the pump. Seals dry out, shrink up, internal corrosion becomes a factor and before I'm cruising down the interstate running my roof air and the Onan motor freezes up from lack of coolant a new water pump might be short money in the long run.

Appreciate the heads up.
Maybe a better explanation (since you don't have a manual) of the "right" end is that it's the shorter side opposite the end with the controls, water and oil caps. By the way don't be alarmed at the looseness of the belt........there is no adjustment.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:30 PM   #12
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This has helped me as well, THANKS SO MUCH.

I had the same thing happening to me so I was on the forum looking for the location of the solenoid when I stumbled on 60vette's question and the replies.

I purchased my first diesel pusher in June of this year and the best thing that has happened to me besides the camping is finding this forum - it is great.
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