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Old 04-23-2016, 05:09 PM   #1
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Unhappy Onan generator cranks but won't turn over

the onan 7000 gas generator on my tiffin allegro will not turn over. I did try to start it while under a 1/3 tank of gas with no success for the obvious reasons. But I now have a full tank of gas. I checked the oil level, found it was low, and filled it with oil. It cranks like crazy but just won't turn over. I went through all my documentation but of course there was no book for the onan. After each attempt to start it, the red light on the start button flashes 4 times then repeats the 4 flashes until I clear it. Is this some time of trouble code? Before I pay someone to troubleshoot, does anyone have some obvious advice for me?
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:17 PM   #2
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Bummer about the generator. Do you get any flashes if you hold the switch to off for a couple seconds?
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:35 PM   #3
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According to the manual, 4 flashes means it cranked for 30 Sec without starting.
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:44 PM   #4
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If you can get the air cleaner off spray some carburetor cleaner in the intake while you crank it. If it starts you have a fuel problem. If it is a fuel problem it could be a clogged fuel filter, bad fuel pump, bad fuel line or fouled carburetor.
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:56 PM   #5
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haven't checked the flashes yet when I hold the switch in the down position. Will go over and do that tomorrow. Also guess I need to identify where the carburetor is too Think I need to find a schematic for the generator. I'm a handy woman but haven't yet worked on a generator! Thanks for all the good information.
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Old 04-23-2016, 10:33 PM   #6
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It sounds like your fuel line is dry. Look for the fuel line coming into the generator. It should be a rubber hose. Take the clamp off the top and remove the hose. Point it into a clean container and push the prime (bottom part of the switch) to run the fuel pump until you start getting fuel. If you get no fuel, then it's a blocked filter or a bad fuel pump. If you do get fuel, hook the hose back up and hold the prime down for another ten seconds to fill the carburetor. That might solve your problem.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:11 PM   #7
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The fuel pumps on these units are very weak at times since they are designed as low pressure pumps.

You have a dry fuel line now and you will need to disconnect the fuel line from the carb and have someone turn on the pump while you maintain control of the fuel line, and let it run into some type of container with at least a pint of capacity.

Its possible you will need to prime the pump by using a hand suction pump to get the fuel back up to it. I won't mention you can do this orally, but only in an emergency.

Notice the rate of flow, it should be flowing one pint in 30 seconds, or a little less. That figure is not exact, just a guideline.

If the fuel is not flowing freely, you may have a pad pump, blocked filter at the tank pickup if one is installed there, or deteriorating fuel line.

I would rule out the bad fuel line as this is not common, but mentioned because it does happen.

I've had to replace pumps on every TT, and 5'ver I've owned due to the weak pump issue.

I've even had to add a pump in line to compliment the main pump on one trailer to address a vapor lock issue, that solved the problem by the way.

Do replace your filter when you do this test, it's cheap insurance that you will benefit from right away.

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Old 04-24-2016, 07:51 AM   #8
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My 16 year old Onan Emerald 5000 surged when under heavy load. Thursday decided it didn't wanna start at all. I disconnected the high side of the fuel pump, attached a battery charger to the positive lead. The pump "hummed" but no flow. I purchased a new pump from Amazon. New pump made a completely different sound (like a pumping sound!) and gushed fuel. Only issue was that the advertising for the pump said it was a perfect replacement for the Onan Emerald 5000. It wasn't...even a little bit. I had to jimmy both fuel connections extensively.
Oh...no more surging. Maybe surging is a pre-failure warning.

The two bolts holding the pump are not easy to get to, but I was able with patience. I'm not even going to remount it. It's not going anywhere. If it was the correct pump the fittings would have lined-up properly. This was messy and convoluted.
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