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Old 02-23-2011, 09:37 PM   #15
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I hear 2 problems here. First, it died while running. Second, it now will not "Crank" with the starter.

Many things could be the cause of it dying, but the starter motor and solinoid would NOT be the cause.

The one thing that would cause both problems is a seized engine. It's unlikely, and for your sake I hope it's not the problem.

As suggested above, I would look at the cranking problem first. You should have full battery voltage at the large "input" terminal of the solinoid at all times. Then, when the starter tries to engage it should drop to about 10 volts if the starter is drawing the proper amount of current and the battery and wiring are good. If the voltage drops below 8 volts, I would look "upstream" towards the battery for voltage drop.

If you are able to measure it, a starter motor current draw test would be helpful in diagnosis.

If this is an HDKAJ unit, it will take a bit of effort to remove the outer cabinet, but once you do you should be able to confirm if the engine can be turned over by hand or if it's seized.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:44 AM   #16
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Not sure if a defective low oil or high temp sensor would prevent cranking.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:56 AM   #17
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I agree there are two problems going on here. The first is the starting problem which seems to point to the solenoid. The mechanics of the solenoid seems to be working with the sound of the clicking noise but it seems the electrical connection is not being made to pass the voltage to the starter.

The second problem seems to be with the electronic governor. The governor controls the speed/frequency of the generator. If the governor is not working, when load is applied engine RPM will drop causing the control board to shut down the generator due to low frequency.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:09 PM   #18
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Sorry about not responding lately... I have been under the weather for over a week.
Thanks to all that are trying to help.. Many thanks!

What I accomplished before I got sick:
  1. bluepill it is a HNDAJ unit on a Itasca Horizon coach. The frame is Freightliner. I wish I could take the unit cover off. However, the chassis fame does not allow space to remove cover screws. Even if I could remove the cover, there is no room on sides, top or back to access the unit. The only way would be to drop the unit out of the frame. I do not have the tools etc. to do this. The only access I have is through the maintenance access cover where one can change the oil filter and fuel filter.
  2. I should mention that I have two almost new main batteries ( 4 month old). I have traced the lines to where they connect to the rear of the unit. The voltage reading there is the same at the batteries [12.6].
  3. I have tracked the fuel lines to the unit. There is no additional fuel filters in line. I removed the fuel line from the fuel pump to the fuel filter [through the maintenance access door]. I had an assistant press the Start/Stop switch in the Stop position to check that the fuel pump is working. It pumped clean fuel. I then removed the fuel filter. Clean fuel ran out of the rubber fuel line to the engine. Clean fuel was also in the fuel filter. No clogs any where. I did all this because it is the only way I can get to the starter/solenoid above. I have removed the wires to the solenoid and one bolt to the Starter. The top bolt will be a challenge. I can not see it. I purchased an adjustable mirror to aide in this effort. This is as far as I got when work stopped due to sickness. Hope to get back to it soon.

I will take the starter and solenoid to have it checked thoroughly at a test station. I am hoping I find the start problem there. As far as holding a load, I will troubleshoot it once the engine starts and runs.

Thanks again everyone,
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:24 PM   #19
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Onan's flash a fault code when they shut down...Check your owners manual for the procedure and codes if it shuts down when you get it started...
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:22 PM   #20
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Hello All again!
I'm finally back with the update to my Onan Gen start problem. Been busy as a bee. With family and other honey dos. Get to work on the Gen as the last project on the list.
Thanks to all for hanging around to help.. Many thanks!

What has been done to date:
  1. I believe I left with trying to get the top bolt of the starter off. Well I want bore you with the details... needless to say it was an effort. I did get it off. I cleaned the brushes and armature thoroughly. Then took it to a starter maintenance shop for testing. It test fine. Go figure. I was so hoping the solenoid was the problem. On the way back home I decided I was just going to have to take it to the Onan/Cummings service center. Darn... $150 just to find the problem. $100 of that will go to the repair bill it I let them fix it.
  2. I get home and begin the tedious and laborious task of reassembly. Several day later I have the starter installed. For grins, I try to start the generator. Holy smoke! I want even make the clicking sound it made originally. Again making a long story short. It turned out I had connected a wire incorrectly. I took pictures before dis-assembly. Even so, It took 3 separate viewing before I saw that I had made a connection mistake.
  3. So, I tried to start the Gen again. Guess what, it did the same thing. Not a sound! So, I figured that I had popped a circuit breaker. Checked all 12V breakers in the Gen Set, all inside the coach, and all outside in the main breaker box in the front. All checked GOOD! What is going on? I'm creating more problems and not solving any.
  4. Frustrated as*&%$$. I was walking by the battery compartment (which was open) and guess what I saw? The battery was not connected. I had forgotten that I had disconnected the battery when re-correcting the wiring problem. Happy days again!
  5. I run to the Gen and try to start it. Low and behold it starts momentarily. I get a fault light immediately ( as you may recall I had not received any since the beginning of this starter problem). Three blinks. I press for the final code and it turns out to be 36. I check the manual and it gives 4 corrective actions. I know immediately that my problem is engine fuel priming. Remember I had the fuel filter off and a considerable amount of fuel drained out. I only pressed the prime switch for about 2 minutes the first go around, thinking it would be enough. I primed for another 1 minutes. Pressed the start switch and the gen started right up. You should have been there … I did a jig. What a load off! I ran it for about 45 minutes and shut it down. In about 10 minutes I stared it again. It cranked up just a nice as you please. Ran It about another 30 minutes and then put a load on it slowly. Finally I had the Refrig, water heater and A/C all operating on the Gen. at the same time. All worked fine.
  6. You ask what was the problem? I do not think it was the starter ( even though it was very dirty and I cleaned it well). I believe it was an electrical problem ( possibly a ground). I probably solved the problem by disassembling and reassembly. In that process I solved a grounding connection problem. That is my best explanation. Bottom line I am so glad it is working again and some how I (WE)accomplished the solution.
I guess the lesson here is never give up!

Thanks all for your help!
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:11 AM   #21
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i,m having problem with a 5500 diesel owan.last time using it hit start rev up like chainsaw out of home took prime pump off put in gallon jug of diesel pumped fine.than changed filter my ? is do u have to crack line to get air out? pimed for 2 min started up fine than dyes.owen dealer saids there a govener rod that sticks.they want me to take it out than take it to shop.
safe travels bob linda & missy
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