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Old 12-20-2019, 09:05 AM   #15
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I also had extended cranking and smoke on start up. Two of the glow plugs were bad. I was able to cross reference the Onan-Cummins part number to an NGK part number and the glow plugs were only $10 from Rock Auto (vs $40 each from Cummins). Only takes few minutes to change them.
I recommend also changing the oil, oil filter, fuel filter, and air filter. I used Rotella T6 synthetic oil and with the new glow plugs it starts immediately and runs clean.
Another tidbit. The fuel filters are the same one used in the mid 80's GM 6.2L diesel pickup.
Link to thread: http://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/onan-...ml#post4225313

These early Onan generators use Isuzu diesel engines and the 2007 and newer generators use Kubota engines. They are both great little power plants.
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Old 12-20-2019, 09:13 AM   #16
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Were I to purchase a "new to me" 10 year old coach, I would do ALL the maintenance, whether it was called for by time or hours or mileage or not. The only downside is the money, and I think the money is a good insurance investment. You only need to fix one little problem in it's early stages for the effort to pay for itself.

Any oil that has not been changed for that long in any application will have moisture buildup and will have lost the protective properties engineered into the oil.

Pay particular attention to your engine air filter, they degrade with time in just a year or two. If that hasn't been changed, it may end up in pieces in your turbo or intercooler.

Great coach with low miles, you should be very happy with it!
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Old 12-20-2019, 10:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Our 12.5KW Onan/Isuzu exhibits the same behavior. When I took it in for regular maintenance (oil change) the tech started the generator from the generator control panel and it did not smoke. I asked him why. He said that if they are cold and have sat for some time they will smoke upon starting. Most, if not all, of the smoking can be eliminated by cycling the glow plug pre-start warm up. i.e. press and hold the start switch for 3-4 seconds, release before it cranks and repeat several times. That gets the glow plugs really warmed up and when the engine starts the fuel is more completely burned.

FWIW
I do this (from the dashboard switch), when the gen hasn't run for a while. It starts immediately doing this with practically no cranking, but I still get that initial puff of smoke.
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Old 12-20-2019, 10:50 AM   #18
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What's a good way to put a gen under load during the winter? Don't think it's a good idea to run the a/c when it's in the 30s/40s.
On my portable Champion, I usually hook it up as a battery charger for an hour or so. But don't have that ability with the onboard Onan.
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Old 12-20-2019, 11:52 AM   #19
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If you don't have heat pumps, you will likely need to use plug in space heaters, microwave/ convection, fridge on electric, hot water (if you don't have it drained for winter).
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Old 12-20-2019, 12:19 PM   #20
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It is a new to me 10 year old coach. I did the oil/filter as well as the 2 fuel filters right after I took possession. On my previous coach, I did all the wrenching and maintenance and plan on doing the same again. I know she needs to run and have a trip planned to Texas next month, Florida in February and out west in June. I just need to get the genset working better.
Thanks for all the suggestions, comments and advice.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:44 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubiconTrail View Post

Any oil that has not been changed for that long in any application will have moisture buildup and will have lost the protective properties engineered into the oil.
Pay particular attention to your engine air filter, they degrade with time in just a year or two. If that hasn't been changed, it may end up in pieces in your turbo or intercooler.

Great coach with low miles, you should be very happy with it!
Agree with the last sentence, otherwise having recently bought a 10 year old rig, I looked at the generator oil (wasn’t even black) so I did not change. Pulled air filter and tapped it against the front tire...no dust came out so put it back in. I have machines (worth a lot more than a 10K Oman) with 10 year old air filters that filter more dust in a day than a RV generator will in a year.

My 10K smokes when started and on a cold day can take 30 seconds to clear up. Even on a cold day it cranks over (and starts) almost immediately...not long enough for the glow plugs to heat.
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Old 12-21-2019, 11:10 AM   #22
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Agree with the last sentence, otherwise having recently bought a 10 year old rig, I looked at the generator oil (wasn’t even black) so I did not change. Pulled air filter and tapped it against the front tire...no dust came out so put it back in. I have machines (worth a lot more than a 10K Oman) with 10 year old air filters that filter more dust in a day than a RV generator will in a year.

My 10K smokes when started and on a cold day can take 30 seconds to clear up. Even on a cold day it cranks over (and starts) almost immediately...not long enough for the glow plugs to heat.
For my own piece of mind and to keep my new maintenance spreadsheet current, I ordered new oil, fuel and air filters yesterday and will change them out and see if anything changes.
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Old 12-21-2019, 11:16 AM   #23
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Have you tried holding the dash start / stop switch on the stop side for 10 or 15 seconds before pressing start?
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Old 12-21-2019, 08:08 PM   #24
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Have you tried holding the dash start / stop switch on the stop side for 10 or 15 seconds before pressing start?
Wideglide,
Not yet, but I will try that tomorrow and see if that helps. Hopefully changing the filters soon will help as well. I guess looking at the glow plugs will be in order if things don't improve.
Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2019, 08:13 PM   #25
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Yeah, I would guess glow plugs, or a leaking injector, but as you can see, most of our generators start with a little puff of smoke.
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Old 12-22-2019, 08:44 AM   #26
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I would also add with that few of miles and hours on the coach that the fuel in the tank may be a bit stale as well causing some of this problem. When you take your trip you will get the fuel tank flushed out some with the new fuel you will be burning. I would recommend using some sort of diesel injector cleaning additive as well as a Cetane additive to get your fuel system cleaned up. Happy travels! Randy
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:24 AM   #27
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Well to each their own. Diesel lasts quite a while in the tank and although has its own storage issues, it doesn't really lose its potency. If it was clean when it went in, it will last months without concern for algae. As for regular running, thousands of agricultural tractors sit all winter without engine failures and last decades.
Service it, check your glow plugs for your starting issue, start her up in the spring.
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Old 12-22-2019, 10:13 AM   #28
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I would also add with that few of miles and hours on the coach that the fuel in the tank may be a bit stale as well causing some of this problem. When you take your trip you will get the fuel tank flushed out some with the new fuel you will be burning. I would recommend using some sort of diesel injector cleaning additive as well as a Cetane additive to get your fuel system cleaned up. Happy travels! Randy
Randy,
We have been to NJ right after getting the MH. I refueled two times on that trip and did dose it with Diesel Kleen on one of the fill ups. Fuel should be OK.
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