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Old 11-28-2022, 01:53 PM   #1
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Onan quiet diesel generator wonít turn over

Iíve been having troubles with this gen for a couple years . When I go to start it clicks for several seconds with lights blinking then nothing. That was before now noting at all. The last time I started it it did the same so I started the rv engine then tried the generator and it started now Iím out in the rv boondocking and it wonít start at all no lights blinking no clicking nothing. In the past I would flip the breaker a few times and it would start.
Itís mounted up front in a 2003 Tradewinds DP.
Iím thinking itís the breaker next to the start switch has failed.
I tested batteries and they will start my Cummings ISC NO PROBLEM
Any ideas where to start?
Thanks
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Old 11-28-2022, 02:00 PM   #2
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How strong are your house batteries? A lot of coaches start the generator from the house side. You can try holding down the battery boost switch to see if they can start from the chassis batteries.
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Old 11-28-2022, 03:13 PM   #3
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It may be the problem since I switched out the 4 6v batteries to 2 100ah lithium batteries. But still nothing with the battery boost. As I remember problem started when I switched to lithium but would still start
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Old 11-28-2022, 03:23 PM   #4
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If your generator starts from the house batteries, you need to switch them to the chassis batteries.

2 100 AH lithiums don't have the cranking amps for a diesel generator. 4, like you had may have done it .

Then you need a way to keep the chassis batteries charged while the generator is running. Most don't have charging systems and you probably disabled bi-directional charging with the Lithium switch.
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Old 11-29-2022, 05:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
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If your generator starts from the house batteries, you need to switch them to the chassis batteries.

2 100 AH lithiums don't have the cranking amps for a diesel generator. 4, like you had may have done it .

Then you need a way to keep the chassis batteries charged while the generator is running. Most don't have charging systems and you probably disabled bi-directional charging with the Lithium switch.
You may be rightÖ..if I add 2 more lithium batteries do you thing that would do it?
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Old 11-29-2022, 07:37 PM   #6
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You may be rightÖ..if I add 2 more lithium batteries do you thing that would do it?
I can't believe your inverter has much funcuntiality with only 200 AH, when you had more then 400 AH of capacity.

I would add 2 more just for the inverter. It should help with your starting issue too.

The hype that lithium can replace twice as much lead acid is mostly just marketing.
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Old 11-29-2022, 09:47 PM   #7
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When I originally bought the lithium batteries 5 or 6 years ago they were quite pricey at $1000 each and have served me well. Now they can be had for as low as $325 from Walmart. I’m using SOK’s I’ll add two more when I get back from this trip. I do need to figure a way to get my generator to start just to exercise it. I found a spot with electrical hookups so I don’t need it for now but would like to run it to keep it running right.
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Old 11-29-2022, 11:11 PM   #8
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Can't use the 'Battery Boost' switch, which will temporarily tie the chassis and house batteries together?
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:20 AM   #9
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No boost switch not helping that’s why I think the main circuit breaker is bad. When I flip the switch it does not make a strong click on or off just a very easy move from on to off.
And my batteries used to start the generator and if not it would start with the boost.also in the past if all failed I would check the circuit breaker and it had tripped… I woul flip it and then the generator would start.
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Old 11-30-2022, 01:41 PM   #10
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To reset the board, disconnect the battery cables from the back of the gen for 20 minutes. Shutting the gen down under a load , as in ACs on ,will scramble the board and display what you are experiencing.
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Old 12-29-2022, 03:12 PM   #11
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Still no start

So I disconnected the cables from the back of the gen.
Also installed 2 new batteries that start the DP motor.
I used jumper cables to connect coach batteries with motor batteries.
Pushed gen start button Ö. Glow plugs light flash on starter button for 10 seconds or so then tries to start but starter does not turn over then all goes dead and starterís button goes dead.
Could the starter be bad?
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Old 12-29-2022, 04:08 PM   #12
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Have you tried to turn the engine by hand yet.

If not easy, remove starter and try turning engine with screwdriver against flywheel teeth.

Here's another test, with volt meter across battery terminals, try to start. If voltage drops to 10 volts, something seized.

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Old 12-29-2022, 04:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rcalbuquerqu View Post
So I disconnected the cables from the back of the gen.
Also installed 2 new batteries that start the DP motor.
I used jumper cables to connect coach batteries with motor batteries.
Pushed gen start button Ö. Glow plugs light flash on starter button for 10 seconds or so then tries to start but starter does not turn over then all goes dead and starterís button goes dead.
Could the starter be bad?
Absolutely the starter could be bad. Or just the solenoid. Did you pull any codes off the generator. Google on how too read the codes. Pretty simple. Also the wires going into the gen set in the front upper rt corner can be a problem at the plug, and inside going to the board. You should put a volt meter on the starter solenoid, small terminal, and have someone try and crank it. No voltage eliminates the starter being a problem.
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Old 12-29-2022, 07:16 PM   #14
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Maybe bad connections at the starter?
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