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Old 12-15-2013, 10:32 PM   #1
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88 Bounder--6.5 Onan Generator Question

As said in title it's an 88 Bounder with Chevy chassis and a 6.5 Onan generator---The gen is running like it is only using 1/2 it's power ability---Not choking or running rough, but exactly like a 2 cyl would run if you pulled 1 of the plug wires and let it run on one cyl---Oil is ok, plug is good. Any ideas---Thanks.

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Old 12-16-2013, 05:42 AM   #2
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I think that is a 2 cyl . And it probably is running on one cyl .I would look for another plug .
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:10 AM   #3
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Did you look at the spark plugs?
Did you check the valve lash recently? (Ever?)
That is just a start.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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i had a 87 bounder with the same gen. It had points and condenser which I changed out to electronic ignition with a kit from Onan. I'd change plugs and also check to see if maybe you have a bad sparkplug wire. if it has been sitting for a long time, the carb easily gums up requiring it to be cleaned or rebuilt. BTW, it is a 4 cycle on not a 2 cycle.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:49 AM   #5
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I believe OP was talking about cylinders, not cycles, although the abbreviation he used could be confusing. Pull BOTH plugs and check or replace, test plug wires for spark. If spark is weak, check points, gap, and timing.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:15 PM   #6
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I didn't realize it was a 2 cylinder---I'll check the plugs and start there.

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Old 12-17-2013, 11:58 AM   #7
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I have a 93 with the same gen set except mine is electronic ignition.

I don't know where yours is in the rig but you have to drop mine from underneath to work on it. Even to change the far plug you have to drop the unit.

So a lesson learned--if you have to move the unit around to change plugs be aware that you can drag the far sparkplug wire off by having the unit only slightly misaligned when going back in with it. Voice of experience.

Make sure that the electric choke heater is working and has not burned out. You can do this with a VOM meter or just by observing that the choke is pulling off over about 4-5 minutes or less.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by KAttkisson View Post
I have a 93 with the same gen set except mine is electronic ignition.

I don't know where yours is in the rig but you have to drop mine from underneath to work on it. Even to change the far plug you have to drop the unit.

So a lesson learned--if you have to move the unit around to change plugs be aware that you can drag the far sparkplug wire off by having the unit only slightly misaligned when going back in with it. Voice of experience.

Make sure that the electric choke heater is working and has not burned out. You can do this with a VOM meter or just by observing that the choke is pulling off over about 4-5 minutes or less.
I can reach both plugs on mine---It sits up front on drivers side with a side door to the compartment---I pulled both plugs today and the plug closest to the opening was full of black carbon, the inside one had a little but nothing like the other---It has been blowing black soot when I rev it by hand---The biggest load it ever gets is the microwave---It has about 200 hours on it---But I did change the plugs about 20 hours ago---So I have one cylinder that is carbonned up.

I wonder if what you mentioned about the choke could be it---I have to start it manually and half flip the choke myself as it won't pull it open on it's own---If the choke were staying on then that would cause the running way too rich and carbon loading, ( but why one cylinder??).

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Old 12-17-2013, 08:14 PM   #9
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I'd check compression to be sure it's not a sticking or bad valve. Did you check for spark in the cylinder with the bad plug?
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:06 AM   #10
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I'd check compression to be sure it's not a sticking or bad valve. Did you check for spark in the cylinder with the bad plug?
No haven't done anything but pull the plugs.

On this 6,5 Onan, are the plug wires solid or can you use ones from auto supply?

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Old 12-18-2013, 05:44 AM   #11
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Recommended troubleshooting-

Check that you are getting spark to the suspected cylinder(Spark tester from auto parts store 3.99)
Yes--replace plug
no-Check spark at coil
Yes spark-change spark plug wire
No- your coil is bad (Open on that side) When purchasing a coil be sure to get the one for contact points vs electronic ignition.

If after the above still no go check compression of that cylinder. You may have a stuck exhaust valve from long storage in the up position. Depending on the side you will have to remove the intake manifold. Leave carb attached. When removing tappet covers be careful as under the one with the hose attached is a small spring & reed that is the crankcase breather mechanism. If you have to go this far adjust all valves per book before reassembly. With only 200 or so hours I wouldn't think you will find them out very much.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:12 PM   #12
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I put in new plugs today and it seemed to run normal---Didn't check the spark as changing the plugs brought it back to sounding normal---But it still ran gray/black out the exhaust---Ran for about 5 minutes holding throttle open---Checked front plug and it was covered with dusty black soot which wiped right off with a rag---I opened that little plug in the muffler, covered the tailpipe and revved the engine but nothing came out of there.

I want to change the plug wires just cause they are old but don't know what to replace them with---Anyone know?

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Old 12-19-2013, 11:53 AM   #13
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Be sure to see my earlier post on the electric heater coil for the automatic choke. I can only assume that your unit has one. Also some of these units had a cold weather air shunt built into the air cleaner. If you have one be sure that it is in the correct position for the temp you are working in.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:44 PM   #14
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Happy, now that you have it "sounding right", it's highly unlikely there's anything going on with the plugs or wires.

If you see the exhaust, any color, it's probably a carb issue? Could be the choke isn't opening, a gob of crud under the needle/seat, or a gob of crud that doesn't belong there somewhere else. Most of the time, that can be resolved with a good cleaning, BUT, doing a good job of carb cleaning is an acquired skill? If you aren't comfortable doing that, many small engine shops are plenty qualified. It's a pretty simple carb?
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