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Old 08-27-2016, 09:39 AM   #1
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RV Onan 5500 QG generator will not stay running

I get an error code 36. I have change plugs, oil, air cleaner, getting plenty of fuel, but it will not stay running after releasing start button unless I hold the choke closed. As it warms up I can hold the choke about 3/4 closed, but if I let it open more, it sputters and dies. I have run seafoam through it, CRC carb and choke cleaner but to not avail! Need some help please.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:50 AM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2.

Sorry you're here with problems .

Hate to say it but if this genset hasn't run for a while , it sounds like the main jet in the carb is plugged, and removal for cleaning is about the only option.
Sea-foam , may work it's way through EVENTUALLY, but if the unit has sat unused , carb removal would be best.
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:47 AM   #3
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Welcome to iRV2.

Sorry you're here with problems .

Hate to say it but if this genset hasn't run for a while , it sounds like the main jet in the carb is plugged, and removal for cleaning is about the only option.
Sea-foam , may work it's way through EVENTUALLY, but if the unit has sat unused , carb removal would be best.
Not a mechanic, so not sure how to go about doing that.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:55 PM   #4
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Im almost positive the jets in your carburetor are clogged from sitting with gas in the fuel bowl. Onan carbs can be cleaned but it is very difficult to get them completely clean. Your best bet is to replace the carb. Probably 200-300 bucks for the part. If you are fairly mechanically inclined, you could replace it yourself otherwise you will need to bring it in. It will run like a champ! In the long run, if you have a shop do it, it is probably cheaper to replace the carb compared to the labor to remove rebuild and replace.
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:44 PM   #5
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Not a mechanic, so not sure how to go about doing that.
Getting the carb off the engine is the worst part , take pictures of the linkage to make sure you can get it all back in the same place . Once the carb is in hand there are only about three things to note during tear down .
Idle mixture screw , it has a slotted head and a tension spring to keep it stationary , before removal , turn the screw slowly in ( clock wise ) and note the amount of turns before it bottoms out , could be 3/4 to 1 1/4 turns , but write it down because you want to re-install it exactly the same amount .
If there is a drain plug on the float bowl , note the orientation to the body of the carb , installing it anywhere else could bind some thing in the float bowl and cause flooding . There are a few small parts inside the float bowl so make sure you take it off above a clean working surface . If you can find a name on the carb there should be a u tube video showing the tear down.
If you're willing to try the cleaning , I can type you through it , been doing carbs since I was 13 ; and that's a number of years ago . PM me and we'll get started.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:06 AM   #6
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Not a mechanic, so not sure how to go about doing that.
I'm not so sure I'd suggest that somebody saying they aren't a mechanic should get involved.

A wrong move here could result in a spilled gasoline/fire hazard.

If your lawn tractor or mower had the same issue, would you take it to have it serviced, or attempt to remove and clean the carb yourself? If there's enough DIY in you to attempt that repair, I say go for it here, as they aren't that different.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:11 PM   #7
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I'm baffled, with the same problem fault code 36 on my Onan 5500. Over the last several weeks I have removed carb and cleaned jets (they were not gummed up), I've replaced fuel filter (2 times), replaced fuel pump, and replaced fuel line! And still issues, as it will only run for about minute and then cut off (With or without a load). Motorhome has full tank of gas too and yet I'm at a loss. I'm open for suggestions, I enjoy working on my RV, but unfortunately I think my next stop will be at the local Cummings shop.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:18 AM   #8
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Probably one of two things based on a friend's experience last week. Fuel pump or control module. To test the fuel pump disconnect the fuel line and use an external fuel source direct to the pump. If it runs steady then it isn't the pump. He then replaced the control box/module and that fixed his 36 error. Symptoms exactly same as you described.
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