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Old 09-26-2020, 06:38 AM   #1
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Generator repair help--need advice

Gentlemen. I've been wrestling with a repair issue for a year now. My generator in my Class A Winnebago is throwing a code. It is older and not on a tray or accessible. It has to be dropped from the front of the coach and removed. Estimated cost for the repair is huge, up to $3500, due to the time and effort at dropping a 500# generator. If I could remove it and replace it myself, I'd save a ton, but I'm frankly concerned about the size of that job. I'm thinking of selling the coach anyway. Its too big for my wife and I and with COVID, the reason for the purchase has gone away. But I'm thinking a non-working generator would be a big turnoff for a prospective buyer. So, questions:
1. Should I get it repaired or try to sell it as-is with non-working generator. The coach is a 2003 and everything else is in great shape. Book value about $40K. Hate to put 10% of the value into a repair just to sell it.
2. Should I try to have a large RV outfit repair it? They have the jacks and manpower to remove it, but at $140 labor rate the dollars mount up fast. Anyone else done this recently and have any advice?
3. Removing it myself looks daunting. I am pretty fearless and some on this forum have done it, but I'm also 70 years old and getting past the time of this kind of effort.
4. The code is "over-revving". When a load is placed on the generator, the speed governor doesn't appear to be keeping the motor at 3600 rpm. The engine runs fine with no load. Seems like a simple repair once the generator is removed. Either the governor is sticking or needs replaced or the control board is mis-interpreting the results. No possibility of replacing the governor while in the RV, right?
Any insight is gratefully solicited.
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Old 09-26-2020, 08:57 PM   #2
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Call these guys

https://www.dinosaurelectronics.com/

And these guys

https://www.flightsystems.com/standb...-controls.html

Describe the problem and code - they might know the issue and have an easy fix without pulling the unit. Between the two they’ve about seen it all. You didn’t mention the make and model, but I’m guessing Onan diesel, right?

Who gave you the estimate and what did they say was wrong, and why do they say it has to be pulled to fix it?
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Old 09-26-2020, 09:14 PM   #3
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I can't be of much help with the generator but in my life I've never recouped the repair cost when I fix something to sell it. Just let the people buying it know that the generator isn't working and you have done your job. No need to go into details. Good luck.
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Old 09-26-2020, 09:32 PM   #4
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We need more info to help.
What make/model of generator AND coach?
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Old 09-26-2020, 09:43 PM   #5
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I have an Onan 5500 in the front of my RV mounted the same way. The shop I took it to dropped it using a forklift and reinstalled it the same way. 2 hours labor in and out. The stater had to be replaced and the total cost was about $1300. I was lucky to find a one man shop that only does generators.
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.Wold View Post
Call these guys
.....
Good advice!

When we got our first MH I knocked off $1000 because the generator did not run.

The aftermarket voltage regulator was much less costly.
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Old 09-27-2020, 05:06 AM   #7
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This poster had a governor issue maybe he can shed some light on how he made the adjustment . Is was actually over revving to 80hz not 40 per title.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:07 AM   #8
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Oops forgot to paste
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f84/40hz-to-60hz-generator-frequency-507148.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by 153stars View Post
This poster had a governor issue maybe he can shed some light on how he made the adjustment . Is was actually over revving to 80hz not 40 per title.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:54 AM   #9
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Dropping the generator is doable. How difficult it is depends on the coach builder.

In my previous 1997 Fleetwood Discovery I simply removed the front fascia, what we used to call the front bumper on the old days, then lowered the generator using threaded rods onto a mechanics dolly and rolled it out. I simply replaced the bolts that held the generator up with threaded rods and then slowly lowered the generator by unscrewing the nuts.

In our current Discovery, the process is the same, except the fascia is larger (includes the headlights) and I will have to remove a few more bolts & rivets.

BTW, I can second the Dinosaur post R.Wold made.

BTW, I'm the same age as you.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:57 AM   #10
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Lots of good "back and fourth" for the OP. Some excellent ideas!
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Old 09-27-2020, 12:02 PM   #11
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A transmission jack would work if you have a decent paved surface to roll it on, otherwise, keep room behind you to back the motorhome away from it, at least 1 person watching for hangups. The gov. Code will throw with several different problems. The first thing is disconnect the 12 volt lines from the gen for 20 minutes and reconnect. That is the board reset procedure on many onans.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:14 PM   #12
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Thanks guys. Great information and great ideas. Coach year and model is in my original post at the bottom. Generator is Onan 7500 HDKAJ Diesel. Its about 500 pounds. The way its mounted in the coach, with brackets on both sides and bottom, you cannot do anything more than change filters without dropping it. The front of the coach is one large piece of fiberglass, so would be a major effort to remove, and because of a fixed frame member, you would still have to raise the front of the coach several inches and drop the genset.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:22 PM   #13
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In that case Iíd consider selling it the way it is throwing the code. Knock $2500 off the price for it and youíre $1000 ahead!
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:31 PM   #14
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If you can find a generator only shop you may have better success. I raised the front of my RV using blocks and my jacks and like I said, the shop used a forklift to drop it down. It sure seemed easy to do, at least to me.
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