And now for a quick generator question ...

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chaajoad

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May 29, 2006
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Poulsbo WA
My rig's generator was a bit iffy today. Run for awhile, then die. Run for awhile, etc. Started right up each time. I'm thinking I've read about a tune-up or rebuild kit here, right?
I'm thinking oil change/filter/plug - I'll wait for this cold spell to pass by but before I start monkeying with it, I thought I'd ask for a good website or guidance. I've changed the oil on a lot of things but not a generator. I'm assuming oil/filter/plug is easy, but ... I've learned about the power of the word "assume",

Danny
Poulsbo WA
 

Tom

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Danny,

I've changed oil and filters on several makes/models of generator and usually found them easy to get at, although it depends to some extent on what's mounted around/below the generator when the motorhome was built. I had an issue the first time I drained the oil from our current (diesel) generator; The small drain plug had been overtightened and there was almost no room to properly get a wrench on the plug. The fuel filter on that same generator has a rigid fuel line attached such that it's a little tricky re-attaching it.

When I had a gas generator, the motorhome manufacturer had made it impossible to slide the genset out, making it tough (but not impossible) to get at the spark plug on the back side.

I'll let one of the gearheads respond to the 'iffy running' issue.
 

King

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Jan 30, 2006
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354
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MA
Maybe It sounds like your generator has a low oil cutoff.  It will start after the oil drains back into the pan, but shuts down when the oil is circulating?
Art
 

Bob Zambenini

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Mar 4, 2005
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Orange County California
King said:
Maybe It sounds like your generator has a low oil cutoff.  It will start after the oil drains back into the pan, but shuts down when the oil is circulating?
Art

Also, check you coolant level. Mine shuts down if the coolant is just a little bit low.

Bob
 

Lou Schneider

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Mar 14, 2005
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Take a close look at the path the draining oil will take when you remove the drain plug.  Will baffles or the generator belly pan make a mess out of the stream before it hits your drain pan?  I wound up replacing the drain plug with a 90 degree elbow and put an 18" length of hose on it to make the next oil change easier.  The hose is long enough to reach outside the generator's belly pan to drain directly into the bucket.  The far end of the hose has a tubing to male pipe thread adapter and is then capped.
 

chaajoad

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May 29, 2006
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322
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Poulsbo WA
The RV gas tank is 3/34 full so that's good. I'll definitely check the other points as soon as this Arctic blast we're gonna get subsides ... too cold to work outside!!! And I pray the power stays on!
 

chaajoad

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Poulsbo WA
Karl - I get so ragged from hours of work & commuting it's a wonder I can actually get through most days. I'm a perfect example of the sleep deprived American!

I'll get you the info soon and post it back here for your opinion ...

You didn't know that they have fuel gauges that measure 34ths of a gallon? The very newest thing ...

 

RLSharp

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Mar 3, 2005
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Rochester, NY summer; Tucson, AZ winter; otherwise
chaajoad said:
My rig's generator was a bit iffy today. Run for awhile, then die. Run for awhile, etc. Started right up each time.

A bad voltage regulator will also cause a genset to start and immediately stop when the start button is released. If your genset does not put out 120VAC (a function of the voltage regulator), a relay drops out and the genset stops. It will continue to run as long as you hold the start botton down but have no AC output. Another thing to check.

Richard
 

chaajoad

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May 29, 2006
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322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Hi Guys -

Way too cold to mess with the generator this week BUT ... it starts fine and runs for quie awhile. 10-15 minutes and then just like it's been turned off - no sputter. Does this help?

When the weather's a it better, I can change oli/filter/plug and try to ck fuel filter - if I can find it.
 

King

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354
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Is something blocking the airflow?  It could be overheating and shutting down in that timeframe.
Art
 

IslandHopper

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Feb 9, 2007
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I just bought mine ... during the test it ran for about 5 minutes then shut down ... I looked it over good ... and it did the same thing again ... well that was probably good for knocking nearly $1000 off the asking price :)
I went and bought a new $8 air-filter ... and it proceeded to run for 10 hours non-stop.

The old air-filter was moist... with fuel... apparently it had been WAY over-primed. It'd start ok, but eventually the moist filter restricted the airflow enough to make it die.

I certainly can't say that's your problem, but it was sure an easy fix on MINE.
 

chaajoad

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May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
IslandHopper (and everyone) - I'll ck the air filter ASAP. The weather is better now  :) I'm still dealing with a $2000 scooter I can't keep running.

Ahhhh, the wonderful world of combustion engines!

Danny
Poulsbo WA
 

Karl

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Mar 3, 2005
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Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Danny,
With it running that long before shutting off, it's unlikely to be a fuel problem. Does it start up again immediately after shutting down and run for another 10-15 minutes, or do you have to wait a while? What make/model is it? Does the exhaust show any kind of smoke? If so, is it blueish, black,or white?
 

todd

Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Posts
7
I had this problem with my Onan.  it would run for an hour or so and then die.  start right up, run for an hour or so and die again.

I started looking at it and saw the it had an elevation setting ( set to 10,000 ft.).  I am at sea level, so I set it to 0 (zero) ft. Started it up and it ran for the rest of the trip without issue.

something worth checking on yours

 

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