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 > Generator not starting

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murphys law

Ohio

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Posted: 04/06/19 10:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello,
We purchased a 2007 Winnebago Class A recently. I started the generator every 3 weeks in the Winter, and it ran fine. Tried to start it yesterday, and there was just a loud clicking coming from the generator. All batteries are charged, so could it be the starter or solenoid issue ? It's a Onan 5,500 Marquis Gold. Since we are newbies, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you !!

rk911

DuPage County

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Posted: 04/06/19 10:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

simple things first. check the cable connections at the battery and at the genny. be sure all are ckean and tight.


Rich
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Son of Norway

Denver, Colorado

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Posted: 04/06/19 11:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Google "Flight Systems Onan generator troubleshooting guide" and download a copy. It's the best troubleshooting guide that I've seen. Also contact your Cummins/Onan dealer and get a copy of the Onan Marquis Service manual. The Onan manuals are excellent. Hard to know what your problem is just based on your description. Did you try both the inside switch and the switch on the generator?After you follow rk911's advice, grab a multimeter and start going through the Flight Systems guide.


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gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 04/07/19 03:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rk911 wrote:

simple things first. check the cable connections at the battery and at the genny. be sure all are ckean and tight.

X2. A little corrosion on the terminals can cause problems. Disconnect the terminals, clean and reinstall. It's good PM.

10forty2

North Carolina

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Posted: 04/07/19 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had the same issue last year. Our generator (Onan 5.5) cranked and ran perfectly every time prior to when it didn't. We were packing up to leave after a nice few days at the lake. Hit the starter and....CLICK! Hit it again, and....CLICK! So, I figured the house batteries were too far down to turn over the starter on the generator and proceeded to make the ride home with just the dash air. Got home, replaced the batteries, hit the start button.....CLICK!! CLICK!! Nothing... After diagnosing all the voltages at the new batteries and at the generator connection, and checking/cleaning/retightening all cable connections from batteries to generator, and manually jumping the terminals on the solenoid to see if THAT was the problem....I ultimately had a bad starter and had to replace it.

With all that said, check everything you can before you decide that it's the starter and then replace the starter motor. Not an easy task, but do-able in your driveway with an extra pair of hands and some patience. Actually removing the starter and replacing it is easy. Getting the generator out of the basement bin to get access to the starter ON THE BACK OF THE GENERATOR....well that's another job. If/when you decide to do the job, also know that the fuel line may be a tad too short to pull the generator all the way out to where you can get to the starter. I had to buy extra fuel line and add a coupler to lengthen it. You CAN just remove the fuel line from the fuel pump to give the extra room you need, but then you can't test the new starter until you reinstall the generator and THEN you'll have to pull the generator back out if something is wrong.

So, here's a great source to get parts for your Onan generator:

Onan Generator Parts

And depending on which exact model of Onan generators you have, here's a parts manual:

Onan BGM Parts Manual


1999 Holiday Rambler Endeavor, 36' Gasser
Triton V10, Ford F53 Chassis
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Sam Spade

North Central Florida

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Posted: 04/07/19 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rk911 wrote:

simple things first. check the cable connections at the battery and at the genny. be sure all are ckean and tight.


AND.....your batteries might not be as healthy as you think.
A voltmeter is a valuable tool.

Then....how long did you let the gen run at each start ?
It needs to be a "real" run with load to get up to normal operating temperature.

P.S. In my experience, Cummins/Onan service centers are competent and their prices are reasonable.


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352

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Posted: 04/07/19 06:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Son of Norway wrote:

Google "Flight Systems Onan generator troubleshooting guide" and download a copy. It's the best troubleshooting guide that I've seen. Also contact your Cummins/Onan dealer and get a copy of the Onan Marquis Service manual. The Onan manuals are excellent. Hard to know what your problem is just based on your description. Did you try both the inside switch and the switch on the generator?After you follow rk911's advice, grab a multimeter and start going through the Flight Systems guide.



WOW. I had a 1988 just like yours. Brings back a lot of memories. They were so much better built. I had a factory OEM ice maker in mine. Enjoy


The manatees of Halls river Homosassa Springs Fl

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MrWizard

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Posted: 04/07/19 07:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

you don't need fuel to see if the 'starter' will engage and turn over the generator

you only need the fuel line to 'Run' the generator and test 'everything'


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10forty2

North Carolina

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Posted: 04/08/19 06:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MrWizard wrote:

you don't need fuel to see if the 'starter' will engage and turn over the generator

you only need the fuel line to 'Run' the generator and test 'everything'


True, but having Murphy as a very close family member, I like to be sure EVERYTHING is working BEFORE I get it all buttoned up and have to unbutton it again.

murphys law

Ohio

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Posted: 04/08/19 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks so much for everyone's replies,links,and recommendations. I'll double check everything. If everything checks out on the batteries,connections, etc. Looks like a trip to a RV service center if I need a new starter. Unfortunately,replacing a starter would be to big of a task for me. I hope this isn't the beginning of my RV being a money pit..... Thanks again !!

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