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Old 11-26-2011, 05:19 PM   #1
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Start of a generator problem?

Went and visited by rig today..haven't started generator in about 4-5 weeks....Took forever to start..almost gave up. details..

1.8.0k ONAN with diesel...low hours..less than 300
2. Heard the usual clicking sound prior to starter motor engaging....but starter motor never engaged. I don't know if the clicking is the preheater or the fuel pump?...
3. After 2-3 20 second attempts..it burped once..and I let go of the switch and it never really got running..
4. After an additional 2-3 attempts..it started...ran fine.
5. After 30 minutes or so..shut it down..and restarted it..started instantly.
6. Once the starter motor starts to turn..the unit starts instantly

It has been chilly here..but not really cold..40 at night..65 in the day. I suspect I have a problem...intend to go back in a few days and try again.

Any thoughts, suggestions...?? Thanks.
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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Litespeed, were the coach batteries at or near full charge? The pre heaters take a lot of power, and low batteries will lengthen the pre heat time prior to gen set cranking. The temps you discribe will trigger the pre heat cycle( clicking noise ) the cooler the temps the longer the cycle. Test the coach battery voltage before you try to start , next time and check that all connections are clean, cell electrolite levels up.
Good luck
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:51 PM   #3
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Your gen should be started at least monthly and run for and hour with at least 50% load applied. Starting and running without a load is worse than not starting at all. Running for a short period (30 minutes) is detrimental too. If you don't have an hour to stay with it you're better off to not start it at all
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:22 PM   #4
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I agree with both previous posts, batteries if not able to be charged while stored will take a while to get Gen started and try to start at least once a month.
Weather may not be cold yet but moisture in Gen electronics and windings needs to be dried by running it, as been said.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:20 PM   #5
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oh well...

went back today..started right up. go figure!!!! So I ran it for a full hour with both a/c's on and went home. By the way...my gennie starts off of the chassis batteries...guess some are wired that way.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:39 PM   #6
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Newmar likes to keep us on our toes. Some coaches use the chassis batteries and some us the coach batteries to start the generator. It would be interesting to understand the logic behind not doing it the same way on all coaches.
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