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Old 11-11-2016, 12:13 PM   #1
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Newmar Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
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Onan generator won't crank.

It is showing a fault code 46 - low battery or controller/inverter faulty. I connected the starter solenoid control terminal to +12 volts and the starter cranked the engine with no problem. This tells me that the voltage is sufficient and I have a good ground connection. That leaves the controller/inverter. This is a VERY expensive part. I am wondering if I have overlooked something. I would hate to spend that much money and not fix it. Any thoughts?

Thanks.
Bill
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:18 PM   #2
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Did you get the 12 VDC from the same place the generator gets it from?

I would put a meter to ground and the starter with the normal wiring and what was there when I tried to start it. Assume there is a common connection for the 12 VDC. That is what you want to check if different from the actual starting motor.

If you do not have the manual it should be on line under the number on the generator.
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:08 PM   #3
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I got the 12 volts right from the battery cable lug on the generator's starter.
Bill
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:36 PM   #4
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FWIW my generator switch/inverter failed at 2 hours of run time. Cummins said it was a known issue. Even as old as yours is, you may want to check with them.

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Old 11-12-2016, 06:45 AM   #5
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Without the model of the generator everything is speculation. You should really pull it down for yourself and see what the trouble shooting section says.

Assuming you used a jumper between the starter power terminal and the starter solenoid to run the starter then the next step for me would be to check the leads to the control board. If you have a loose or corroded lead especially in a connector that could supply less than 12 V to the sensing and control circuits. If all of them are good and the on board start switch does not work then a board is the next step unlless you are up to component level troubleshoot and repair.
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Old 11-13-2016, 07:10 AM   #6
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The generator is an HDKAJ 7500 watt.
Bill
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Old 11-13-2016, 02:28 PM   #7
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I have the same generator as you in a 2003 Dutch Star. My problem was similar, except it started up in the middle of the night while on shore power (I don't have AGS). After that it wouldn't start, problem was the controller/inverter.
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Old 11-13-2016, 06:15 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the replies. I think I will remove all of the covers and check the connections to the control board. If that doesn't bring the problem to light, I will have to buy a control board/inverter. (Ouch) l need to get this resolved.
Thanks again for your help.
Bill
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:41 PM   #9
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Well, I have determined that the signal from the control board to the starter solenoid is not high enough. The starter B+ is 12.35 volts. The starter solenoid signal is only 5.5 volts when the start switch is pressed. I removed the inverter assembly and opened it up to access the control board. There are 2 relays on the board. One is for the glow plugs and the other is for the starter signal. Since I have 12 volts going to one side of the contact and only 5.5 volts on the other side, I believe the relay is bad. I have ordered two relays from DigiKey. I will change them both while I'm in there and put it back together. Hopefully, this will get me going again. If not, then l will just have to spend the money for a new controller/inverter. The relays were less than $20 including shipping. I figure it's worth a try to fix the control board.

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Old 11-17-2016, 07:51 AM   #10
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Good find, let us know how it works out!
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:57 PM   #11
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I replaced the relays and reinstalled the controller/inverter. The generator still will not crank. I guess I will have to bite the bullet and buy another controller/inverter unit. 😖 I'm very disappointed.

Bill
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:17 AM   #12
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If you intend to keep the coach for some time you may want to replace the generator. On my previous coach with a 7500 I had to replace the inverter twice. In those days you could get refurbished, but now you have to buy new and they aren't cheap. You can get the 8k and a decent warranty period.
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:51 AM   #13
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Well, I finally got around to putting my generator back together. It now starts and runs as it should. $142 for a starter that didn't help, $20 for relays that didn't help and $1842 for a controller/inverter that did help. So $2004 later, and several afternoons of labor and I'm back in business. Sometimes you just have to spend the money to enjoy this pass time.

Thanks for all the suggestions and moral support throughout this challenge.

Bill
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:45 AM   #14
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Thanks for telling us what happened.

I'm curious. Did you but the board from Onan or someone else? Was there an option to have it repaired or return for some credit? I would think a board that expensive would be worth repairing but would take a fairly elaborate test setup to properly check the work afterward. Not something I would go into business doing on a whim but something I wonder about somebody else doing.
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