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Old 07-31-2012, 05:12 PM   #1
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Onan gas genny shuts off without error code...

It's completely random. Sometimes it'll run for hours without a hick up. Other times, it'll run for 5 minutes then shut down. What is odd is that the shut down is sudden and abrupt. No sputtering, no bogging. It's as though someone hit the stop button.

I've had issues a few years ago with a fuel line that had gotten chewed by rodents. Also had a problem with a rocker arm snapping due to a defect in the cylinder head design. And in those cases, the genny threw an error code.

However, when it shuts down itself, it doesn't blink. When I recall the last error code (clicking the prime button 3 times within 3 seconds), the error reported is from any previous experimenting.

For example, if I ground out the oil transducer line, I'll get error 2 (low oil pressure). If I then let the genny run (with transducer connected) for however long it takes for an auto shut down, when I recall the code, it'll still be 2.

When I run it again, and pull the power to the fuel pump, after it stalls out, I get a 36. If I then restart (with fuel pump back in operation), and it shuts off on it's own, the recalled error code is still 36.

In other words, the auto shut down DEFINITIVELY does NOT register an error code. Unless there is some safety/auto shut down sequence that is triggered/completed which does not generate an error code, my assumption is that I have a bad control board that is randomly telling the system that I hit the STOP button - or I have a short in my cabling that makes it think I hit stop.

To eliminate the latter, I disconnected the remote cable that runs from the dash to the genny - and fired it up. No dice. After about 3 hours of run time, it abruptly shut down again - no error.

I'm getting ready to drop the genny out of it's spot (no easy task on a Damon Intruder) to get access to the wiring. Perhaps there is an internal control cable that is chaffing or melting and grounding out. Or, worst case, I'll have access to the control board(s) to replace it/them.

My primary concern with the genny shutting down randomly is the resulting lack of A/C. In FL, in the summer, with unattended dogs, it can lead to disaster.

Any other ideas?
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:26 PM   #2
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Sounds like the board is going bad
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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Sounds like the board is going bad
XX2!

My generator, (Onan 5500) was doing the same thing as OP's and it finally broke for good! It would not stay running and finally I got an error code of 35, "Control module failure" which means the processor is toast!

It broke for good when I was running both of the A/C units.

Gen has 728 hours on it and this to me is an unacceptable failure!

I will be taking it in next week for repair and I'm sure this won't be cheap!
(please send donations to Benny367 C/O IRV2...)
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:44 PM   #4
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Eh, was really hoping that was not it. At $300+ I'm not too excited spending more money on this beast. Going to replace it with a Tiffin Phaeton in the next couple of months - and was going to give this rig to my brother (he's hit hard times). Didn't want to give it to him with an unreliable genny. Though, chances are, he'll never use it anyway.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:50 PM   #5
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PN of my control board is 300-5374, FWIW.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:02 PM   #6
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PN of my control board is 300-5374, FWIW.
Not to depress you further but I researched online the process of replacing the processor and found this NOTE:
The controls used on Models KY (Spec. J), KYD
(Spec. A), HGJAB and HGJAC are microprocessor-based and combine the functions of the engine control and
regulator in one module (300-5046, 327-1413 and 300-5374). Because these modules are difficult or impossible to
access without special tools, they are not covered in these instructions.


you can read all about it here: http://www.flightsystems.com/pdf/onanrvtshootgd608.pdf

So this is why I am taking my RV in to have the Genny repaired. I do all of my own work on the RV but if it requires "special tools" and is " impossible to access without special tools". I'll pay someone else to replace the processor and save myself the aggravation.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:05 PM   #7
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That's funny you provided that link. I was actually reading the PDF as notification of your post arrived. Was your genny working great in every other aspect? Specifically, no hunting/bogging, loads didn't affect it?

Mine is running absolutely perfect - except for these completely random shut downs. Very frustrating.

Edited to add: my run time is 612 hours. But the unit is from 2002.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:20 PM   #8
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That's funny you provided that link. I was actually reading the PDF as notification of your post arrived. Was your genny working great in every other aspect? Specifically, no hunting/bogging, loads didn't affect it?

Mine is running absolutely perfect - except for these completely random shut downs. Very frustrating.

Edited to add: my run time is 612 hours. But the unit is from 2002.
It was running like a top and would just randomly shut down UNTIL it broke for good, this is to say when it gave me a code (35) and although it would start right up it would only run for 20-30 seconds and shut off. I suspect that the circuit boards in the processor are heating up and expanding and creating an open/short circuit and then the circuit board broke for good. (just a hypothesis)

Don't you just love RV'ing?
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:36 PM   #9
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It was running like a top and would just randomly shut down UNTIL it broke for good, this is to say when it gave me a code (35) and although it would start right up it would only run for 20-30 seconds and shut off. I suspect that the circuit boards in the processor are heating up and expanding and creating an open/short circuit and then the circuit board broke for good. (just a hypothesis)

Don't you just love RV'ing?

Yeah, makes me want to jump in with both feet on that Phaeton

So when yours shut down randomly, before it broke for good, you had no error codes or flashing lights, correct? If so, then I guess there's really no second guessing it.

While I have the genny out, it won't hurt to look for damaged cables leading to the ECU, I guess. But man, what a bummer.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:42 PM   #10
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Yeah, makes me want to jump in with both feet on that Phaeton

So when yours shut down randomly, before it broke for good, you had no error codes or flashing lights, correct? If so, then I guess there's really no second guessing it.

While I have the genny out, it won't hurt to look for damaged cables leading to the ECU, I guess. But man, what a bummer.
That is correct, I had no flashing lights when it would shut down randomly until it broke for good.

You know if you can indeed get the processor out, you can send it to the website I referenced in my previous post and they will check it out and verify that it indeed is bad or not.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:46 PM   #11
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That's a good idea. So you have not taken yours in yet. What are the odds that your random shut down was unrelated to the controller going bad (35). Nah, couldn't be - as it didn't happen on mine, and I'm the only person I know of that has bad luck like that

I'll work on getting the genny out this week, and will inspect all cables leading to/from it. If I can't find any obvious pinch points, cut insulation, or weak connections, I'll pull the ECU and send it in to them.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:42 PM   #12
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That's a good idea. So you have not taken yours in yet. What are the odds that your random shut down was unrelated to the controller going bad (35). Nah, couldn't be - as it didn't happen on mine, and I'm the only person I know of that has bad luck like that

I'll work on getting the genny out this week, and will inspect all cables leading to/from it. If I can't find any obvious pinch points, cut insulation, or weak connections, I'll pull the ECU and send it in to them.
I have an update to my generator problem. I took the RV/Generator to Cummins Bridgeway yesterday and turns out I was wrong when I said that I had a code 35,, I actually had a code 14 " Engine Overspeed" code. Anyway, the tech looked at the unit for an hour and came into the waiting room and told me that the generator was putting out 55 hertz when it should be putting out 60 hertz and so he adjusted the linkage for the governor and showed me that now the generator had an output of 60 Hertz. I paid the bill for 1 and 12 minutes of labor( @ $117.00 an hour), (no parts) and I left and went on my way to a collision shop that I wanted to get an estimates on fixing some small spider cracks and the assorted minor battle scars to the MH exterior. I was at the collision shop for 1 1/2 hours (me and the owner were chewing the fat awhile) and I had the generator running the whole time with both A/C's running. I got in the RV and proceed to leave and thought to myself "Great, the generator is fixed" and it wasn't 10 minutes later that it quit running and began blinking out codes and refused to start!

So off I go, back to Cummins Bridgeway I see the original tech and he looks at the Gen again and of course it runs fine for him. starts right back up, but there is a different code this time, code 36 "Uncommanded shutdown" and to make a long story short, ( I know, too late ) the Gen actually stalls while I'm still there and with the Tech. he then proceeded to take off the fuel line and attempt to restart the Gen and there was very little fuel flowing, instead of a nice solid stream the fuel flow was erratic and uneven!

So the Tech said that I needed a new electric fuel pump.

So I left the RV overnight and he installed a new fuel pump 1st thing in the morning today and then let it run it for 7 hours straight with both A/C's on. No stalling! It's fixed. 1.9 hours of labor @ $117.00 hr, fuel pump $117.28, filter $13.86. Total bill. $395.74. My wallet is a little thinner now but I am a "Happy camper" because the issue has been resolved and I saved myself the aggravation of fixing it myself.
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