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Old 07-17-2021, 08:52 AM   #1
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Onan qd 8000 hdkak won't run when wet

As the title says.

A few weeks ago I was washing my coach and decided to wash the generator and compartment due to heavy dust build up.

After doing so I started the generator to dry it out and it kept shutting off.

So I let it sit for an hour then all was well.

OK I won't do that again.

This past weekend we had to travel from a campground to the race track which is Dry camping, (a not so common situation for most) but it was raining moderately.

When we got set up and started the generator and it shut off, I tried it several times, then checked for codes and found a Code 38 Overload.

Anyone who knows anything about electrical systems knows that there is no load on the generator for at least 1-2 minutes as the transfer switch delay prevents starting with a load on it.

After doing some reading, I flipped the breaker on the Onan, started it, let it run for 5 minutes then flipped the breaker and all was well.

I have come to the conclusion that the breaker or circuit board or something else is getting wet causing a short.

Once it dries out all is well.

Interestingly enough I have run this by the Onan specialist at a freightliner dealer, The Onan specialist at a Cummins dealer, and called Cummins Direct.

None of these experts have ever heard of this nor have any suggestions.

I am an Automotive expert for over 45 years and the lack of critical thinking is gone from the industry, even when I provide detailed clues that I can duplicate they are dumbfounded.

So I thought I would post this up for discussion.

Unfortunately I have a coach that the Generator has to be removed for anything other than oil changes and it has to go out the bottom which requires a Pit or a set of 4 big truck lifts by the wheels.

Since this is a pretty big forum I suspect someone else has experienced this and maybe found a solution.

Ted.
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Old 07-17-2021, 07:35 PM   #2
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I had a similar situation on a prior coach with the 7.5 Onan after driving through a heavy rain storm. I was able to get it to keep running by shutting off the breaker on the generator and let it run for at least an hour to hope the heat and air movement would dry out what ever got wet which it did. Turned the breaker back on after letting it run and was fine and continued to us it for the next 4 days without a problem.
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:41 AM   #3
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Thanks for chiming in Ken, seems you had the exact same symptoms and solution albeit temporary.

I guess the bigger question is WHAT is getting wet causing this.

My gut tells me it's the Breaker, which no longer has a weather boot over it Like my last generator had.

Seems odd that a breaker would be open to the elements.

Ted.
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:42 PM   #4
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With the coach aired up, if you can, slide up under the generator and there is usually enough space to sit up behind the generator and in front of the axle. You should see a multi wire connector and wiring harness attached to the rear of the generator. Disconnect that plug, dry it out and use some dielectric grease to seal it. See if that solves the issue.

Typically, the above fix is for generators that won't start when wet, but may resolve your issue.
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
With the coach aired up, if you can, slide up under the generator and there is usually enough space to sit up behind the generator and in front of the axle. You should see a multi wire connector and wiring harness attached to the rear of the generator. Disconnect that plug, dry it out and use some dielectric grease to seal it. See if that solves the issue.

Typically, the above fix is for generators that won't start when wet, but may resolve your issue.
I will take a crack at it thanks for the tip.
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Old 09-11-2021, 09:09 AM   #6
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Solution

I have a solution for the problem, a weather boot for the circuit breaker

https://www.digikey.com/en/products/...113-40/1995319
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Old 09-11-2021, 10:48 AM   #7
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Ted, I remember another member having a similar issue with either a VT or a DS sometime 12-24months ago. I did a few searches but couldn't find it.

My memory is that they put a weather boot around the breaker much like the one you are planning to install. So I think you are on the right track. I think in that same thread someone else was looking at putting in a weather strip to prevent water spray from coming in the hood and getting in there.

- Richard
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Old 09-12-2021, 07:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandDescape View Post
Ted, I remember another member having a similar issue with either a VT or a DS sometime 12-24months ago. I did a few searches but couldn't find it.

My memory is that they put a weather boot around the breaker much like the one you are planning to install. So I think you are on the right track. I think in that same thread someone else was looking at putting in a weather strip to prevent water spray from coming in the hood and getting in there.

- Richard
So this seal is 8.23 Retail probably cost .50 cents each to make in bulk.

Why Oanan decided it was a good Idea to have a circuit brake open to water intrusion is beyond me or any common sense thought.

I am convinced this is the solution and will report my results.

It will be easy to prove out because I can duplicate the issue by simply spraying the generator with water, I have done it several times.

I will install the weather boot on the circuit breaker then spray the generator with water to test it and report.
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Old 09-17-2021, 07:46 PM   #9
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Just got tracking info I will have my circuit break weather boot next week.

Looking forward to testing this.

Ted.
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Old 10-12-2021, 04:58 PM   #10
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Mission complete

Finally had some time to tinker last weekend.

This is not an easy job with baseball mitts for hands.

I first tried to remove the entire front panel but something inside said Nope not happening!

Rather than take a chance and break something I removed the service panel to the left of the switch and removed it from the radiator fill cap and fuses and set it aside.

After getting the switch unbolted I used a step drill to open the switch Ports in both the panel and support bracket.

I worked the booth through both the support bracket and panel and struggled for 20 minutes trying to get the switch in position but no dice.

I then decided it would be better to put the boot through just the external panel and sandwich the boot between it and the support bracket.

With a pick and some persistence, I managed to get the switch in to position and get 1 screw started then proceeded to get the others all started, them made sure the boot was neutral then tightened all the screws.

Here are a few pics of the finished product.
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