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Old 07-31-2021, 06:42 PM   #1
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Onan Generator Running problem

I have an Onan generator 4000 watt Emerald in a 1996 Winnebago Warrior. Model BGE

It will start up immediately when the start button is pushed however as soon as I release the button it shuts off.

Holding in the button keeps it running , any one have any idea what is causing this?
Thanks for any help
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Old 07-31-2021, 06:59 PM   #2
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These guys have an excellent trouble shooting guide, and they sell parts: Flight Systems
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:52 PM   #3
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You tube flight system gen repair.. great.. and look at the ameture rings.. they probably never been cleaned.. Chech out that flight system gen repair video.. call them.. they are great in my book.. that should get you started.. good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:51 AM   #4
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You generator may have a ballast resistor in series with the ignition coil. If so when the start switch is pressed the ballast resistor is bypassed. Once the engine starts the ballast resistor is un-bypassed.

If the resistor or the wires to it are damaged the engine will run while the start switch is pressed but will die when the switch is released.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arti View Post
I have an Onan generator 4000 watt Emerald in a 1996 Winnebago Warrior. Model BGE

It will start up immediately when the start button is pushed however as soon as I release the button it shuts off.

Holding in the button keeps it running , any one have any idea what is causing this?
Thanks for any help
This is typical when the gen is not creating 120 VAC. In my case with two older Onans the rotor/stator was bad. I believe your Emerald was better than the 4ky models.

The manuals should still be here if you need them;
http://www.skilledcrafting.com/onanfiles/
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:53 PM   #6
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Response

Thanks for all the great ideas.

The generator isn't producing 120 volts. I cleaned the brushes and slip rings today. Tomorrow I will check the oil pressure switch and and the voltage regulator.
I pulled the cover off of the control board today and didn't find anything that looked out of the ordinary, no signs of a mouse chewing wires or bad connections.

The link to the manuals helped a lot,

I'm sure that takeing up Generator repair as a hobby isn't going to happen !!!
Working on this through the tiny hatch on this motorhome is frustrating .
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Old 08-02-2021, 06:53 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the great ideas.

The generator isn't producing 120 volts. I cleaned the brushes and slip rings today. Tomorrow I will check the oil pressure switch and and the voltage regulator.
I pulled the cover off of the control board today and didn't find anything that looked out of the ordinary, no signs of a mouse chewing wires or bad connections.

The link to the manuals helped a lot,

I'm sure that takeing up Generator repair as a hobby isn't going to happen !!!
Working on this through the tiny hatch on this motorhome is frustrating .
If the rotor and stator are good (probably are with that model IMO) than you very well could fix it with control board, etc. Just follow the t/s in the service manual or flight systems. The guys over at smokstak.com have helped me when I needed help.
Good luck.
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Old 08-04-2021, 03:51 PM   #8
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Onan

I used the flight videos and the voltage regulator checks Bad.
A new one is on order, about 10 days before I will get a new one. Sort of pricey but if it fixes the onboard generator it will be worth it. About the same cost cost for the part as a new open frame generator !!!
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Old 08-10-2021, 09:59 AM   #9
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Just following up, perhaps this will help someone with a similar problem.
Flight systems trouble shooting gave me the confidence to order parts.

I received the voltage regulator yesterday and installed it this morning. A push of the button and it's up and running and producing voltage to the coach.. Yay I'm doing a happy dance, it's 110 heat index for this afternoon!!
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Old 08-11-2021, 06:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Arti View Post
Just following up, perhaps this will help someone with a similar problem.
Flight systems trouble shooting gave me the confidence to order parts.

I received the voltage regulator yesterday and installed it this morning. A push of the button and it's up and running and producing voltage to the coach.. Yay I'm doing a happy dance, it's 110 heat index for this afternoon!!
Arti-
Great! I have the exact same problem in the Onan genny in my '03 Pleasure Way. Except mine seems intermittent, i.e. driving over a washboard dirt road causes it to work for a while, sometimes. That happened twice when I brought it to a Cummins shop for repair, i.e. dang thing worked fine so they couldn't troubleshoot it. Felt like a loose or dirty connection so I opened up the access (floor of closet) and cleaned the ground connection in there. Worked at first but then quit again in a week or 2. So I would appreciate if you message me with how to access/change the voltage regulator.
Thanks!
Chuck
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Old 08-11-2021, 06:59 AM   #11
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Arti-
Great! I have the exact same problem in the Onan genny in my '03 Pleasure Way. Except mine seems intermittent, i.e. driving over a washboard dirt road causes it to work for a while, sometimes. That happened twice when I brought it to a Cummins shop for repair, i.e. dang thing worked fine so they couldn't troubleshoot it. Felt like a loose or dirty connection so I opened up the access (floor of closet) and cleaned the ground connection in there. Worked at first but then quit again in a week or 2. So I would appreciate if you message me with how to access/change the voltage regulator.
Thanks!
Chuck
For an intermittant problem I would start by reseating/cleaning the connectors.
You should be able to find your service manual here;

http://www.skilledcrafting.com/onanfiles/
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Old 08-12-2021, 06:40 AM   #12
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Thanks, I had the service manual buried in my laptop and forgot it! Anyway, I have pretty much concluded that it's either a bad connection in the control box or a bad oil level switch. That's at the top of their troubleshooting list for this issue, by the way. Hope to dig into a bit more today. I only wish the Cummins shop had done this work just to be proactive about the issue, even if they couldn't verify it. If they asked me to authorize the work I would have said hell yes! Instead I got hit with a bill for $300+ and they basically did nothing to assure good connections and working switch.
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Old 08-12-2021, 06:50 AM   #13
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Thanks, I had the service manual buried in my laptop and forgot it! Anyway, I have pretty much concluded that it's either a bad connection in the control box or a bad oil level switch. That's at the top of their troubleshooting list for this issue, by the way. Hope to dig into a bit more today. I only wish the Cummins shop had done this work just to be proactive about the issue, even if they couldn't verify it. If they asked me to authorize the work I would have said hell yes! Instead I got hit with a bill for $300+ and they basically did nothing to assure good connections and working switch.
That is exactly why I force myself to learn my systems and perform any maintenance that I can. Not as hard as it use to be years ago when the internet search feature and videos were not available, now there is usually a how to there provided you can remember the correct term needed to research the issue.
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Old 08-13-2021, 08:22 PM   #14
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That is great.. I knew those flight system gen repair video would get you going.. keep those rings shiny.. or voltage regular will fail.. great..
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