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Old 10-15-2015, 09:24 AM   #1
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Onan 400k genset removal from RV and replace starter drive.

Hi
I have a Onan Micro Quiet 4000 genset and the starter does not engage with the flywheel. I assume that it is the gear on the starter or the drive section which is cheap and easy to replace. I tried to use the old reach around to get the starter out but no luck. No room for my hand to get to the bottom bolt. Here I will chronicle the removal of the genset from the coach as done by a poor person, in my driveway. I hope. The job is not technically difficult. The main problems are 1- Handling the weight, getting it out from under the RV after lowering it and the catch 22 situation where all the wires and the fuel lines need to be disconnected/ you can't get to some wires and the fuel line until it is removed.
This will be a show as I go project and I welcome any tips and tricks. I have seen this u-tube video but that is all I could find.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:49 AM   #2
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So here goes. This will require the removal of four bolts from the pan under the genset. The bolts are at the 4 corners. Soak them with penetrating oil and leave them to loosen. Soak the bolt on the electrical connection also.





The exhaust needs to come off. Soak the bolts and then loosen and remove.



While those bolts are soaking lets have a look at our quarry. You can't see it from the front of the dirty beast



You need to look up over the top and in the rear.



Disconnect the battery either house or chassis depending on how yours is set up. Now remove the bolt and disconnect the wires. You can now pull firdt the wires then the harness out through the hole in the side.



There is one cable that is fastened to the case side and comes in under the electrical section where it cannot be seen. There is also a fuel line that can not be reached or seen. I may have to wait until I lower the case a bit to get access. They did not leave enough slack to drop it with the cables intact.

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Old 10-16-2015, 05:50 PM   #3
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I have re-thought the removal of the generator itself. Please forgive me but I am changing the approach a bit and blocking the genny from beneath and raising the RV. This will give me access to everything I need to do and let me keep the fuel line one cable removed.

This process described here is safer than dropping the generator but I describe it only to tell you how I did it. I will not be responsible for anyone who trys it after reading this. The generator weighs hundreds of pounds and the RV weighs tons.

So now on with the process. This was not hard at all and took a couple of hours to get the starter out. Most of the time was spent cutting the lumber.

Chock all of the wheels on the far side and set the brake. Build a cradle of stacked 4x4's cut to just cover the underside of the genny pan. I used landscape timbers because I had them. but 4x4's are more stable. I put ply pieces under it because it is on gravel.





When there is not enough room for another tier I needed to raise the RV slightly to fit the last tier. With my RV the jacks do not work without the genny connected. The 2 heavy wires that I disconnected from the genny needed to be connected to each other with a nut and bolt and taped to prevent shorting against a ground.



I taped up any other loose wires. I then re-connected the battery. I then used the RV jacks to raise the side with the genny about an inch so that I could slide in the top tier of wood. The RV was not level so I added plywood squares to make the platform fit the bottom. I slowly lowered the RV a quarter of an inch at a time until the wood took up the weight. I removed the 4 bolts one at a time. I had broken them loose earlier. I was able to tell when the weight was off of them because they turned easily.
I checked all arounf the unit for anything that was in the way. I raised the RV on that side only. I went only an inch at a time, checked for stress on wires or interference, then another inch. After about sic inches I stopped. Allen screws that hold the lid of the genset were now accessible.



There are four. One near each corner and I took them out. After that it was easy to lift the green cover and tilt it back slightly. I put wood blocks under it to keep it lifted. I now had plenty of room to get to the starter.





I removed the starter bolts and whacked it with a rubber hammer. Once off it was easy to remove the single wire. The starter clearly had a very bad bearing in the front along with way too much play in the engagement mechanism. I ran it using a jumper cable and the gear did not move into the engagement position at all. A new one is ordered.



Replacement will be the opposite. I also want to change the reed valve on the valve cover and the fuel filter. while in there as well as a general inspection and clean up. I recently changed the plug and air filter so that is fine. I'll add those pics.


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Old 10-18-2015, 01:09 PM   #4
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Looks like a lot of work. You don't say what year your coach is, but the Onan 4K Microlite was designed to remove two bolts and the entire unit swings down for service! It pivots at the rear as the nose of the generator swings down to the ground.
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:53 PM   #5
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Wow 400 K. That's a whopper of a generator. 400,000 watts. Wow.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Wow 400 K. That's a whopper of a generator. 400,000 watts. Wow.
Whoops! I mean 4k. CAn't correct though at this point.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:21 AM   #7
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Looks like a lot of work. You don't say what year your coach is, but the Onan 4K Microlite was designed to remove two bolts and the entire unit swings down for service! It pivots at the rear as the nose of the generator swings down to the ground.
Wouldn't that be sweet! Not the MicroQiuet though. Coach is 2002 Coachmen Mirada.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:42 AM   #8
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The new starter will get there sometime today. While waiting I have cleaned the entire unit and replaced the fuel filter. If anyone here does this I would strongly suggest making the conversion to an exterior filter. I plan to put in an inline so that I don't have to redo this one but I did replace it in the original position this time.

I will try to get a photo of the filter location an post it. The process id simple in theory but insane in reality. If you do not have the entire generator out and the case off it is very hard. The filter is on the floor of the pan on the left side. It screws into the rear of the fuel pump and sticks out of a access hole on the left side bottom. Here is how I got it out. The process might be easier for you but for me access was blocked in so many ways. First locate the duel hose inlet in the left side of the unit. It is held with a screw clamp. A shorty screwdriver loosens it. Pull it off and plug it to prevent the slight gas leakage. The filter is made so that it can be spun off with an open end wrench. I dug out the shortest one I had. The wrench might possibly be applied from above once some plastic parts are moved out of the way. The clearance is such that the wrench has to be tried normally and flipped over and only a by repeatedly flipping it can any progress be made. It can also be applied by removing the rubber flange from the access hole and going in from the side. Again the wrench will need to be flipped in order to get any turning space at all. Once the filter is unscrewed somewhat I was able to get a ratchet wrench on it and it became easier. The new filter screws in much more easily since it is clean. Be certain it is snug since you don't want to drop the genny again to stop a leak. Reinstall the filter. Again I say that you really need to replace it with the external conversion. I did not have time since I decided to head for Key West in a couple of days and had to get it finished.

While in there I used a foamy type of engine cleaner and sprayed everything except the electronics. After a good rinse it is much cleaner.
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:33 AM   #9
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I had mine out several times on my super c. I was able to jack it up with a regular floor jack. I then happened to have a childs little red wagon laying around the garage that just happened to be just the right height to drop it down onto and slide it out. I could perform any work needed while on the wagon and then slide it back under and jack up one side and attach bolts and then repeat on other side. Made life simple. Replace three starters and various other things. It finally died at 8000 hours.
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:48 AM   #10
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I had mine out several times on my super c. I was able to jack it up with a regular floor jack. I then happened to have a childs little red wagon laying around the garage that just happened to be just the right height to drop it down onto and slide it out. I could perform any work needed while on the wagon and then slide it back under and jack up one side and attach bolts and then repeat on other side. Made life simple. Replace three starters and various other things. It finally died at 8000 hours.
Yes. That was my first thought. I actually had the floor jack out and the bolts loosened a bit. I didn't do it that way because I was afraid that the weight might be uneven and the genny might fall off to one side so I went with the wooden cradle.
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:00 AM   #11
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Here is a photo of the old filter and one which shows a bit of the new in place





In the second one you can also see where I cleaned some contacts and added electrical contact grease. I did that to every place where wires made contact if I could reach it. I suspect I was having some problems with connections. Here is another spot that had corrosion.



The new generator that I got from Amazon for $32 went easily. I connected everything and tested it and it worked fine. The genset went back in just like it came out. First get the wires and hoses back where they belong. Replace the 4 allen screws that hold the lid. Slowly lower the RV untill the first bolt goes in. Tighten finger tight. Repeat for the rest raising or lowering the RV as needed. Tighten them all.
I had planned to replace the valve cover gasket and the reed valve for the vent but they did not get here yet. I'll do that later.

Hope someone gets something out of this.
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:24 AM   #12
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I removed and replaced my generator in our 94 Dolphin using threaded rod (all-thread). Take out two bolts on opposite corners, replace with all-thread with a washer and nut on top. Take out the other bolts, and it can be lowered easily. Reverse to replace.


I do agree that if it can be reached without complete removal, that could be better.


Congratulations on getting a DIY job done well.


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