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Old 11-06-2013, 12:30 PM   #15
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Chances are more likely it's the solenoid. The starter solenoids are designed to give max voltage to the ignition while cranking and drop back down through a resistor while running to preserve the points. If the disk or contacts inside the solenoid are burned or dirty you won't get any voltage when you let go of the starter button.

Another culprit would be a frayed wire connector. If only one strand is left holding the connector together it won't pass enough current.

I would check the wiring connections to the solenoid, check the ceramic resistor and then open the solenoid and clean and polish all the contact areas.


Bill Lynch
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #16
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Thanks Bill! That's a logical possibility alright. I think that would be the first place to check. I knew cars were set up that way back in the points and condenser days, but didn't know the genset would be that way. I'll check it out when I get a chance to work on it again.

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Old 11-07-2013, 01:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Wild Irish View Post
It is starting up just fine, as long as I hold down the start button, but as soon as I let go, it dies.
Almost all Onans are designed to bypass all the safety cutouts during starting. When you release the start button, they are reconnected and if everything isn't right, the engine is shut down. Your problem is very common. It's a sign that a sensor is telling the Onan something is wrong, but exactly what will vary. It could be the oil pressure switch. It could be the absence of 12 volts. It could be the absence of 120 volts, it could be a broken overtemp safety sensor. There are other possibilities. Don't spend too much time running it with the switch held down, in case you have low oil pressure (I'd check your oil level first).

If you post the model number and spec code from the data plate, someone can help you find a manual that will have a troubleshooting chart.

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