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Old 04-07-2011, 08:54 AM   #1
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Onan microlite problem

Hello all.. We just returned from a great stay in Bonita Springs, FL, in our "06 Itaska which has the Onan Microlite 4000 watt generator. It had run great for as long as I wanted. While on the way south, after running for about 25 min. it suddenly sounded like it was starving for fuel and finally quit. While in FL in the 85 degree weather, it would only run about 5 minutes and then quit.... Then on the way home, the cooler it got, the longer it would run... Plenty of fuel in the gas tank... I have removed the fuel line at the carburetor and the fuel pump seems to pump well.... the fuel filter is clear.. I did blow air through the fuel line to the gas tank.. no blockage there... Since it seems to be temperature related, I'm thinking "vapor lock"... Has anyone had a similar problem... Back in Ohio with the temperature in the forties, it will run for about 20 to 30 minutes before it starves for fuel and quits... The generator only has about 35 hours on it.... GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR Thanks
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:12 AM   #2
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After it quits then will it start right back up again? If not then how long do you have to wait?
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:04 AM   #3
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No it won't..

Thanks for getting back to me mike... No it will not start up again while it is hot. and the fuel pump will not pump again till it cools off... I'd say that it will start again after about a half an hour... depending on the ambient temperature...
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:57 AM   #4
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OK, you say the fuel pump will not pump again. Do you know for a fact that the fuel pump will not pump or is that a guess? The big question is if it is a fuel problem or a ignition problem. What you need to do is have an old sparkplug laying around and then run the Generator until it stops and then pull off the plug wire from the plug and put the old plug into the end of the plug wire and lay it down so the plug metal body is touching either a part of the MH metal frame or the generator metal frame. Then hit the starter button and see if any spark jumps the plug gap. It is easier to see in the shade or in the evening. My guess is that the ignition unit (sometimes refered to as the magneto) is over heating and shutting down. Let me know what you find out on that test and we can go from there.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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DO you have a seasonal adjustment on air filter for winter & summer use?
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:20 PM   #6
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OK guys.... Thanks again for your efforts here... There is no "winter" "summer" adjustment for the genset... Only an "altitude compensation" adjustment for the unit.... I'll try the sparkplug thing.... After the unit runs ..and then quits after what sounds like fuel starvation, I can pull the fuel line off of the carburetor and hit the "primer button"... lots of clicking, but very little fuel.... after it cools down, the unit pumps fuel like crazy.... Thanks again..
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:41 PM   #7
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That is a good indication of a fuel pump problem. I would just check the spark for grins and then buy a new fuel pump.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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Thanks guys,... especially Mike/"gunner"... it's nice to know that other folks agree with your thinking.... I will, by the way, check the spart before I buy the fuel pump.. I'll let ya know what happens and what it costs..... Thanks again
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:02 PM   #9
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Thanks guys,... especially Mike/"gunner"... it's nice to know that other folks agree with your thinking.... I will, by the way, check the spart before I buy the fuel pump.. I'll let ya know what happens and what it costs..... Thanks again
i have the 5.5 genny so it may be different from yours...
my fuel pump and the first filter is underneath the genny. the first filter is after the pump. then there is a 1/4'' foot long reinforced rubber gas line and then another filter mounted on the carb. on my unit, both filters are the same.
i just replaced both filters and the gas line.
on my unit, there was a very small seeping gas leak at the carb filter or the line going to the carb filter. there is a mickey mouse clamp on the line that is a pita to remove and cannot be tightened. after removing the carb filter and the fuel pump/filter assembly, i had to cut 3 clamps off with a hacksaw. i cut the fuel line going to the pump, making it 1/2'' inch shorter. this was ok on my installation but yours may differ. i used 3 new worm type hose clamps.
if you have more than 1/4 tank of fuel, be prepared to loose some fuel and have something available to plug the fuel line from the fuel tank. safety glasses and rubber gloves would be advised.
the priming pump would pump fuel to the carb ok and the genny would run for several hours before shutting down. the carb was sucking air instead of fuel, thereby loosing its prime.
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