Originally Posted by ldworak
When you mention the relay are you talking about the starter relay or one that switches the generator to the ignition circuit? I also have found that it will stay running with a fine mist of starter fluid going into the air intake. After I take that away, it will sputter and shut down. I did remove the gas line to the carb while trying to start it and it seems there is enough gas being pumped out. One other thing, the adjustment at the bottom of the carb. If I go counter clockwise just a little it will leak. I pulled the needle all the way out and there is no 'O' ring at the end, do you know if there should be? the needle itself looked ok except it has a little carbon like material on the end of it. Someone suggest to just replace the carb. i'm thinking of abandoning the whole thing and buying a portable generator and somehow wiring that up. What do you think?
I think you should rebuild the carburetor on the one you have, it sounds like blocked jets in the carburetor, nothing major. Just take the carburetor off and clean it. Get some carb cleaner and just take the carb off, take it apart and clean it. It's a very easy thing to do, you may even enjoy it.
At least we know now it is a fuel problem and not the fuel pump or the filter.
There are a number of reasons why I would not replace the generator. Cooling and air flow design are just two. The Onan sucks air in at the front and blows it along the generator towards the exhaust and out the bottom, keeps everything relatively cool. A run of the mill generator will not do that and I would never run one in an enclosed space like I would the purpose built Onan.
You could have problems with a new generator and not know how to repair it. Happens a lot. Would you rather have a Onan or a cheap generator made in china?
My Onan has over 2000 hours on it and doesn't even use as much oil as the lawn mower does.
You don't need to worry about the starter replay or solenoid, the problem is in the carburetor.
Think about it this way, you can try cleaning the carb and if that does not work you can think about buying a new generator.