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Old 03-13-2021, 01:53 PM   #1
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2005 Safari Panther Generator not starting

I have 2005 Safari Panther with a 10K Onan Diesel Generator that won't start. I hadn't start the generator for several months because the fuel level was below the pick-up for the generator. I did pull the MH out of the garage so that the angle of the coach put the fuel level above the pick-up and the generator started up. Then a month or so later I put in new chassis batteries and took the MH out to fill the fuel tank. Before pulling out of the truck stop, I tried to start the generator so that I could exercise on the way home. Nothing but a clicking sound. Tired it again when I got home with the same result. So I thought that I'd run the generator out and take a look. It came out about 2 inches and stopped. I've charged the chassis batteries several times only to get the same results. After searching threads on this site today, I ran across one of my threads from last fall concerning our slideouts being stuck in the out position. The resolution to that problem had to due with wiring connections underneath the entry steps. I realize that is a different problem but I thought I would give it a try. After checking those connections again, I was able to get the generator slide to close about an inch. Unfortunately, I hadn't tried to bring the generator slide in prior to checking the connections today. Prior to today, I've tried multiple times without any movement.
When I put the new batteries in, I cleaned all the connectors and hooked them all back up the same way as before.
Any ideas on this would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-13-2021, 02:42 PM   #2
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Maybe chewed wires, any rodents where you park.
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Old 03-13-2021, 03:34 PM   #3
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I've never seen any or any sign of them. The pole barn is insulated and has a cement floor. The only possible entry would be under a door.
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Old 03-14-2021, 05:30 PM   #4
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Clean the 12v wire and ground going to the back of the generator. They should start at the front run box or the inverter lugs at the frame.
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Old 03-14-2021, 06:33 PM   #5
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Keep looking where you last worked. Most likely something there.

Try to start the generator and then feel the battery terminals. A warm one is not conducting properly.
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Old 03-15-2021, 01:57 PM   #6
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I apologize to everyone who's giving their input. I've had limited time to work on this.
Shootist - I've cleaned the connections on the back of the generator without any change in the problem. I need to check the voltage at that point.
Twinboat - I just tried to start the generator and then checked the battery terminals. Nothing warm. I will check the battery terminal connections also.
Outbound - I'm thinking you maybe right about a rodent or maybe something else has caused a shortout. I will try my best to follow the maze of wires.

If anybody has any other ideas, please let me know. Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-16-2021, 05:06 AM   #7
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Check the other end of those cables and clean them there as well. If you can safely jump it off another battery right at the back of the gen It will weed out that as a problem.
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Old 03-16-2021, 05:46 AM   #8
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Safely raise and block to check the terminals behind and under genny. There's brass studs with likely chance for poor connection because cables on both side and exposed right over road. Clean those cables studs and nuts mine has secondary ground to genny frame. Try a jump pack there and or a battery load tester.
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Old 03-17-2021, 12:26 PM   #9
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Started again to figure this problem out using your recommendations. First thing I did was to try get the generator slide in with no success. Looked at the easiest wiring bundles for any bare wires or whatever. Decided to charge the chassis batteries while I was checking those connections, then started the coach. While the coach was running, I thought I would try to get the generator to slide in and it did. So then I tried to start the generator and it started up. In the past, I haven't tried to start the gen with the coach running because I can't hear if it starts or not because being in the building, But this time, I had primed the gen and smoke started coming out the exhaust.

I hope your conclusions are same as mind. The new chassis batteries are probably the problem. I will test my theory over the next few days and update the post. Thanks
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Old 03-17-2021, 01:01 PM   #10
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Glad you got it started.
On some coaches if you haven't run the generator in some time, you need to first start the main engine and then start the generator. This is because of the long cable runs to the generator upfront reducing voltage at the generator.

You also might want to check the glow plugs on your generator. With one or two out it will start, but is more difficult than with all glow plugs working.
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Old 03-18-2021, 10:47 AM   #11
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i'm not sure how long glow plugs should last. The MH is a 2005 and the generator has 1600+ hours.
I just went out to see if it would start again today and it did. A lot of smoke comes out at start-up. I'm not sure what that is an indication of but don't believe it is normal and has been happening for quite a while.
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Old 03-18-2021, 11:11 AM   #12
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Like Vito said above, smoke on startup can be caused by failed glow plugs.
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:35 AM   #13
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Glow plugs look like mini spark plugs in the top of the engine. You have to remove the generator top cover and the wire going to each glow plug. Then you remove the glow plug and check it with an ohm meter.
On our 2004 Onan, two of the glow plugs were bad. After changing them, it starts immediately.
I ordered three NGK 5392 Y720U glow plugs from Rock Auto.
See post #3:
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/onan...ml#post4225313
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:51 AM   #14
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Do you leave your coach plugged in while storage? If not your batteries will get run down rather quickly and shorten their life dramatically. Sounds like the root of your problem is weak batteries.
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