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Old 02-14-2015, 08:55 PM   #15
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Place a couple 100 light bulms under it and maybe that will provide some heat.

Or a portable heater.

Remember s diesel engine is a heat pump that likes to be hot to work well.

Toss a match in diesel and it goes out...worse when cold.

The bobcat does not like starting in cokd morning at 50 degrees and one shot of "juice" fires it right up and it grunts until it warms up then fine.

Most small units are not allowed to use starting fluid and if used only a very tiny squirt is all tgat is needed.

If you have oil towards the heavy side and number 2 fuel from summer or southern states it may be difficult to start.

Check owners manual for fuel type and oil viscosity for your temperature.

Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:18 PM   #16
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Not sure what model, but most Onan's have an oil sensor. Symptom of low OR high oil level is the generator will start, but run for a very short time, like 30 seconds. I had one slightly over-filled, and as soon as the oil began to heat it expanded and tripped the high-level switch. Low oil will and sometimes it wouldn't even start. Very finicky on oil level.

Dennis - WU6X
2005 Winnebago Sightseer 34A
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:24 PM   #17
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If I recall correctly our old Cat 3208at calls for #1 diesel in your temp.

Have no clue how those things go there where weater exists...here in Central Ca the barometer never moves and winter fuel just has less anti smog stuff in it and diesel is same all year.

Thought they used #1 in the winter and #2 in the summer there.
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:15 AM   #18
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Always some interesting problems when you own a MH in the north. Sometimes I think they were not made for our weather. Wish i could get to mine since it is surrounded by 5 ft of snow. Oh well when it gets up to the windows I can check the roof with snowshoes. lol
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:33 AM   #19
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Does your generator have a preheat switch? I don't have an Onan, but my 7KW powertech diesel has a preheat position on the start button for the glow plugs when it's cold. But then I'm down in Texas where those(-) numbers on the thermometer are chased back up north as soon as possible.
2000 DSDP, 3894,Freightliner,330 Cat, 07 Jeep Commander 4x4toad.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:42 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by scpenn View Post
Thanks for all the great input....... I finally got around to looking at it.....crawled up underneath (in the snow! LOL) the whole underside of the generator was a sheet of ice....so i chipped it all off, and changed the air filter which was completely black with rock salt/ash debris from the road...... no more code 36, but now Im getting code 32 (low cranking) and black smoke...... which I guess means too rich...but maybe thats because its low cranking now that the airways are clear.......

So....i fired up the coach to ensure full juice to batteries......and it seemed to crank a little faster, but still the same result...code 32. Is it possible that it is just so damn cold it won't crank? Obviously its getting fuel if Im getting black smoke. I mean its been below zero all week here....I have it in our barn, but still....its COLD!! LOL

FYI Ive got 3/4 tank of fuel, and I always put diesel treatment in with every fill up over the last month..... main engine is running fine.

Ive thought of going to lowes and buying on of those kerosene bullet heaters and aiming it in that direction to try and thaw it out.
Well, your making progress!.

The 100W light is a good idea or a safe space heater. The jet heater may be a bit much. What weight oil do you have in the genney? Look in your manual and see what weight you need for the temps you are in. Give it a little less spin resistance with Royal Purple. Most of the auto parts stores, even Walmart, carry it. You only need 3 qts.

Once you get it running do the soot port routine that is in the manual. Your exhaust may be restricted some by now.

Looking forward to the purr report.

Rick Y
Rick & Melissa Young & Dawson, 2011 Itasca Meridian 40U, Freightliner XCL, Cummins ISL 380HP/DEF, Allison 3000 MH, 2014 Honda CR-V, SMI AF1, Blue Ox tow equip., TST 507 TPMS, TruCenter steering control, Hughes auto transformer.
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:27 PM   #21
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We've used these magnetic heaters for years, they're great for something like this where you don't want to (or can't) install a permanent heater.

They're also really good as secondary heating, say in really frigid weather where you want not just block heating, but also oil pan warming as well.

They're also fantastic for heating the transmission and / or differentials of tractors to warm the oil on a hydrostatic drive unit.

I've used tem before on the underside of my Onan, it makes the genny very happy in cold weather.

Ted 'n' Laurie, plus Jackson (aka Deputy Dog, the Parson Russell Terrier 'fur kid') and, Rylie (who crossed the Rainbow Bridge June 14, 2012).
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:48 PM   #22
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Just a couple of quick comments here on what has been said.

White smoke is unburned diesel fuel. Sniff it to be certain.

Black smoke is burned diesel, but maybe not enough burn to turn the engine over. If possible continued cranking may see the engine take over on its own.

In my retirement I have a 1-burner Optimus 111 that can be used for heating up the oil pan on a cold engine. If I have AC I use a 1500 watt cube heater and the necessary covering to keep the warm air inside.

Welcome to winter. 2F above this morning and the 454 cranked for a while before rumbling into life. Our Onan Emerald Plus took a few tries before coming to life, even with the help of the chassis alternator, but all is well with the world. I'll replace the Onan's battery next fall. Honest!
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:12 PM   #23
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Generator Wont Start..Help!

Not sure if your gen. is running now or if you're still looking for input. Had an issue with my generator about a month ago. I live in the northeast and like you are sick and tired of this extremely cold weather we are having. I was unable to get the gen. to fire up and my mechanic suggested that I try the following. First push the gen. start button DOWN and HOLD for about a minute, then let go. After a minute or so reapply the switch down a second time for about a minute. Do the same again a third time and release, let the gen. sit for about 4 or 5 min. Then fire the gen. up. Mine fired up right away. Holding the switch down activates the glow plug and gets the cycle area nice and warm for the diesel fuel.. Bye the way, I probably only held the switch down for about 30 sec.. Good Luck

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