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Old 10-22-2021, 03:07 PM   #1
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Onan 5500 Diesel Gen shutting down and cannot pull codes

Hi,

Gen is not on a slide out so it is making this a lot harder to trouble shoot.
For the couple years I have had my RV the generator has ran without any issues. Recently since I had no history of maint on it I had an oil/filter change done at a local truck shop. Previous to that I have not had to run the generator this year. Everything was good when it was last used about a year ago.

So now it starts ok but after about 4 to 6 minutes it shuts down. I can immediately start it but now it shuts down only after about 10 to 15 seconds. If I wait 10 or so minutes it again starts right up and repeats the cycle of shutting down after the 4 to 6 minutes. Same thing as previously mentioned over and over multiple times multiple days.

After it shuts down the switch blinks once and then goes off for two seconds then repeats continuously the same pattern. It continues this way until I either start it up again or if I push the starter switch down it stops. From what I have researched on the net in order to pull error codes from an Onan you push the switch down three times and that should give you flashing lights. If you push it again one time it will give you a second set of lights to help determine the issue. The problem is when I push it down no matter how many times it just stops the initial blinking and never gives me any other flashes.

Any thoughts on either of these issues is appreciated.

Peace
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:09 PM   #2
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Sounds like a fuel problem. When is the last time you changed the fuel filter?
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:34 PM   #3
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Take a very good flashlights.. and look at armature slip rings.. they need to be nice and shiny.. don't believe me ? You tube FLIGHT SYSTEMS GEN REPAIR.. or onan gen repair.. flight system gen repair are ... our go to guys.. if you don't clean them.. the circuit board will shut gen down if not enough voltage.. so nothing to take apart.. just look where the brushes are and look inside at slip rings..
Now you are not giving us codes.. so it is the 1st thing I would try, after fuel filter change.. unless you look and see they are dirty.. then if dirty.. get a slick stick from flight system.. and clean.. following you tube instructions.. takes 5mins.. usually nothing to take apart.. and I got mine under 50. But you can make your own.. but at your own risk..
You tube slick stick.. maybe that will work..
As always good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:49 PM   #4
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The fuel filter was also just replaced with recent oil/filter change.

Thanks
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:53 PM   #5
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Thanks donr103 for the info. Will search and look at videos suggested.
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Old 10-31-2021, 07:28 PM   #6
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Update: Spoke with both Flightsystems Techs Troy and Brian and from what they think is that because I have an older diesel generator that as soon as it shuts down the single flash which starts immediately without pushing the start switch downward is the flash for the error code. No need on this one to push it down three times to get first code. That as I expected because of what is happening is an over heat code.

Because the gen is not on a slide out and basically the only access is after I was able to remove the front cover I could not check multiple things they suggested unless they told me I may need to have it removed by someone.

Spoke with a friend about this as he has a similar RV with the same ONAN 5500. He suggested something that I had not seen through any of my research. So here it is. I was able to disconnect the hose that goes into the overflow tank for the radiator. After that I took a 2oz syringe and filled it with antifreeze. I shot that up into the hose going towards the radiator. After doing that about 8 or so times (16oz) the antifreeze started to come back out the tube. I then filled the overflow tank and reattached the hose.
Because of where the petcock is located for the radiator I am unable to get to it to see how much antifreeze was in the radiator.

Well after all was put back together I started the gen and instead of the 20 minute run then the shut down it now ran over 45 minutes before I shut it off. I then waited 10 seconds and started it up again and it ran for over 10 minutes without stopping until I shut it down.

This is the first time in the 20 or so times I worked on it trying different things that it ran like it did before hand without any issues. So not sure how much antifreeze was in the radiator (anyone know how much antifreeze the radiator should take?) or maybe there was an air bubble in the line and I forced it out but now it seems for at least now to be working. Only time and use will tell but if you have a similar issue this may be something you may want to look at.

Peace
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Old 10-31-2021, 08:57 PM   #7
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Look on radiator over fill can.. catch can.. there should be marks on that.. unless radiator has radiator cap on top.. remember coolant needs changed every 5yrs or it eats eng up.. basically..
Good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
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