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Old 05-17-2007, 10:22 AM   #43
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I have a generator problem; I've just read all the posts trying to match my problem; none do.

The gen is an Onan Genset 1 Emerald I in a 1986 Holiday Rambler class A.

The RV gen had not been started for about 3 months. When I tried to start the gen it would not fire up. After removing the spark plug I added a bit of gasoline to the cyl and it would run for a few seconds and then stop. I removed the carburetor and the bowl cap...lots of gunk.

Yesterday I bought a new Onan carb and installed it. Now the gen will start and run but as soon as I lift my finger off the gen start switch the gen shuts down. It does the same thing when I use the start switch in the coach.

The electric fuel pump pumps gas to the carb as evidenced by the gas squirts when I disconnect the fuel line into the carb.

I am not sure where to go next.

Here are some thoughts:

1. The start switch at the gen could be bad although I have the same problem when I use the start switch on dash (in the coach).

2. Possibly some electronics has gone bad. When I remove the faceplate where the start switch is mounted I see some electronics/circuit boards....if it is electronics then I don't want to tackle myself.

3. Possibly the start switch, when I let up on it, shuts off power to the fuel pump and thus the gen does not continue to run; I will check this item later today by running a hot lead directly to the electric fuel pump.

4. The fuel tank (for coach) is about ; in one of the post someone mentioned that there could be starting problems if the fuel tank is low. However, the pump is pumping as to the carb (see 3 above).

I would appreciate any ideas or directions. I hate to take the Rv to the Onan shop.... generally $90/ hour.... on the other hand the technician may see this problem a lot and thus it would not take long to fix the problem, many thanks,

HEMI
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:54 AM   #44
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Hemi,
I have this same generator for backup power at my house (have not started mine in over a year . I bought a service manual for it a while back. I will check it tonight but for now, how is the oil level. Maybe that circuit is shutting it down. I have heard of this probklem befoire but I can't remember what the solution(s) was.

Ramon
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:05 AM   #45
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Hemi, I experienced the same symptoms with this kohler. The problem
was with the stator, once the unit starts, the stator sends a signal
(12V) to the unit if it is generating power. They found one stator wire
grounded (many times due to moisture from setting). Another problem
could be the circuit board behind your controller panel, if you have a
manual for your unit, it should give the fault problem as indicated by LED
lights on the board. Are your fuses all good? Good luck Crazyjim
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:58 AM   #46
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Thanks MrFixit454 and crazy jim,
I don't have a service manual for this generator...thus I will wait to hear from MrFixit454 after he consults his manual.

Stator could be the problme...I suppose the gen would have to be removed to fix it...

I tend to think the problem is more related to the circuit board.

Again, thanks for your rapid response...I will wait for other replies, HEMI
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:26 PM   #47
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If it's cranking and running for a second, don't think it would be the starter. The circuit board sounds more like it if not he oil low shut off. I'm in CA so I have another 4 hours before I get home. I think the book has a trouble shooting section. Let's hope it does.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:55 PM   #48
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Thanks again Mr FIXIT454

Thanks, I will wait to here from you.....I also found this:
http://www.rverscorner.com/onan.html
seems it is an electronics problem.

From your name mrfixit454 I am assuming you have 454 (big block) experience. We have an 86 holiday rambler class A...76000 miles....exhaust manifold leak is getting pretty bad. Tomorrow we take it to a shop that has done many of these manifold jobs. He will remove the manifolds, have surface machined, and reinstall with gaskets...any comments; I did not think the manifolds had gaskets??

Also, will the manifold bolts come off without breaking?? Today i have been saturating them with Kano penetrating oil...hopefully they won't break. I studied this problem carefully thinking I could remove them. Then finally I concluded the job was too big for me...for exmaple if one of the bolts broke...I would have a rough time drilling out. The cost will be somewhere in the range $400-$700, both sides. Is that about right $$$.
thanks, HEMI
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Old 05-17-2007, 01:12 PM   #49
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You guessed it. I bought a 90 C3500 truck in 1994 with the 454 and TB injection. When I had my 1st computer account, they suggested numbers and letters so at the time I had some experience with the 454. I guess it should now say Mrfixit5.9

I had the truck about 7 yeas and had a series of small problems. I did have one bolt come out of the manifold. I was able to just put a new bolt back in. I had heard that the 454's did not have gaskets either. I have an engine guy I can ask about the gaskets.

If it break, it all depends on how much is left to grab on to. It's a tough call if you should try it or not. My buddy was able to do his on a 89 southwind and I think he added the gasket abs still had problems. I need to ask him too.
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Old 05-17-2007, 01:33 PM   #50
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Thanks I look forward to hearing from you. The bolts look good. I am going to have the job done. In my old hotrod days of the 50s I would have jumped at the job. .... now I think I will have the work done...it goes in tomorrow morning. HEMI
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Old 05-17-2007, 01:56 PM   #51
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What are the chances, my son just replaced a manifold gasket on my coach, a bolt was broken, he was able to drill it out and tap the threads. There was not a gasket, but there is now. I think if there had been a gasket, the bolt would not have broke. The engine was just overhauled three years ago.
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:01 PM   #52
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Hemi,
I did a quick look when I got home. Your specific problem is not mentioned in the troubleshooting section or I have not found it yet. Sounds like the board is supposed to keep power to the fuel pump and coil (ignition). I was looking for oil switch but did not come across it in the literature yet. Did you by chance change the oil or has nothing changed but the carb since 3 months ago?? Did you knock off any wiring when the carb was replaced?? Have you checked the the fuel pump puts out a lot of fuel for several minutes??

I got a call from my dealer today, I bought a new truck from them and it is ready to be picked up. Sorry I can't be more help now. I need some time to read over the manual. I wish I had the pdf version so I could email some portions to you. I would have to scan the board stuff and I just don't have the time right now. I'll get back to you. Maybe RV Wizard knows what the problem is. He is a certified Tech I believe and he is very good. Maybe you can PM him?

Fixit
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:35 PM   #53
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Hi, Mines a 79 model, But I had the same problem you are having. Mine was the wiring harness from the inside to the outside. I unplugged it and I started it and stayed started. The Mice had made a nest on top of the fuel tank and had chewed the harness. I would check it out as those little fur balls love to chew wire and fuel lines too! Good luck! Capt.Dan
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:43 PM   #54
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Hemi
I had a similar problem with my Onan generator last summer. It acted like it was going to start and then quit as soon as I removed my finger from the switch. In my case I have a start/stop switch at the monitor panel inside the coach. The wire harness in the wall was too heavy and with all the vibration and bouncing the top wire on the generator switch was pulled down and shorted to the middle terminal on the switch which sent a stop signal to the generator. I had to make a strain relief and hold the harness up.

There was a pull-apart connector (control cable) at the generator which connects the generator to the house switches. I my case I could disconnect the connector and make the generator a stand alone device. I then could start and stop the generator just fine with the switch on the generator. When it worked OK this way - that told me the problem was in the house wiring.

I hope that this helps. It's just another scenario.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:12 AM   #55
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Thanks 454, capt dan and car6109, all good suggestions. car6109 suggestion will be easy to
check next week. I took the motorhome in for exhaust manifold servicing....removal, resurface, new gasket...hopefully the engine will not be so loud.

I could live with the generator as stand alone if that is the problem...

I've posted a picture of the coach...behind it is our f350/Bigfoot truck camper. We bought the coach in Oregon two years ago...then drove both back to FL. The coach, 86 Holiday Rambler, is absolutely spotless and super clean, always stored in a garage.

Thanks again, HEMI

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Old 05-18-2007, 10:39 AM   #56
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Wow, that's a clean MH. That's the kind I like to find. Hopefully they get the leak fixed.. nothing like a tick tick or louder going down the road. We should post in a new thread (New Generator Woes) when we come back since we have kind of taken over here. Thanks Crazy Jim for letting us post here and I hope you eventually get the parts needed for the gen.
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