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Old 07-23-2019, 02:19 PM   #1
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Generator shuts down while driving but not while stopped

This has been an issue that seems to be getting progressively worse.


We have a 2018 Thor Hurricane 29M with a Kohler 5kw generator.


The generator starts and runs normally, but while on the road today we found that the generator would shut down after running from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. Once it shut down, it would restart with no problem but then it would shut down again after 5 minutes to 20 minutes. We stopped at a service plaza on the Florida Turnpike and went inside for about 35 - 40 minutes. The generator ran the entire time we were away. Once we got on the turnpike, the generator shut down after about 10 minutes.
There is a switch on the dashboard for the generator. When you push the switch down, a light comes on the switch. The fuel pump is supposed to be priming while holding the switch down.
When you push the switch up the generator starter engages and the light flickers. Once the generator starts, the light on the switch is solid.
When the generator shuts down I noticed that the light on the dashboard switch would flash twice, have about a 3 second lag, then flash twice again. Not sure if this is a code showing what caused the generator to shut down?


Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 07-23-2019, 02:39 PM   #2
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Mine use to do that. Took me a while to figure out it was the float in the carb. I think the motion while driving would cause it to get stuck. Since cleaning didn't seem to help much, put a new one on and it never gave us any problems again.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:08 PM   #3
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It's throwing a code at you. Check the manual. Also check the oil level. Sometimes if the oil is a little low the generator will shut down when it sloshes around in motion.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:42 PM   #4
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If you have it solved, disregard this, but one speculation would be that maybe there is fuel filter that is shared by both engines. If flow through the filter is restricted, there may be enough for the big engine, but not enough for the generator. That could cause intermittent operation.

Just speculation.

Tom
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Old 07-23-2019, 05:26 PM   #5
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my guess, fuel pump.
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLGPE View Post
If you have it solved, disregard this, but one speculation would be that maybe there is fuel filter that is shared by both engines. If flow through the filter is restricted, there may be enough for the big engine, but not enough for the generator. That could cause intermittent operation.

Just speculation.

Tom
Generators typically have there own fuel pickup. They don't share a filter.

They are set higher in the tank then the main engine so the generator will not run you out of gas while using it parked.

Most generators will run out of gas at 1/4 tank.
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:09 PM   #7
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Good point, Twinboat. I know about the 1/4 tank cutoff, but did not consider it would need a separate filter.

Thanks for the correction.

Tom
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. Most of the day our fuel level was above 1/2 tank.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:26 PM   #9
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I would look for debris blocking the pickup tube. Gas sloshing around while in motion and debris blocks pickup tube.
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Old 07-24-2019, 02:27 AM   #10
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That same debris would block the main engine pickup tube.

As mentioned, read the code and check the oil level.
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I would look for debris blocking the pickup tube. Gas sloshing around while in motion and debris blocks pickup tube.
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Old 07-24-2019, 02:29 AM   #11
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Have you replaced the gas cap. May be restricting the tank venting and the generator file pump can't pull enough fuel.
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Old 07-24-2019, 04:27 AM   #12
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I have read recently where some generators, mostly onan, will shutdown from too much oil also.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:16 AM   #13
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Where is the generator located? My guess is it’s overheating from the road/drivetrain heat. There have been similar problems reported with Onan’s (Particularly the 4000’s) mounted near the front behind the wheels where all the engine heat is collected. If you do a search you may find some info.
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Old 07-25-2019, 05:34 AM   #14
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Turns out that the problem was caused by a low oil level. While driving with the oil sloshing around, the oil pump must have momentarily lost suction causing the generator to shut down from low oil pressure.

Thanks for all the replies.
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