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Old 05-06-2015, 11:18 PM   #1
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Generator Stalling

I know this was discussed a bit ago and the consensus was probably a fuel pump issue, but I'd like some opinions before I God forbid, go in for warranty work. New unit with a Onan 5500. Has 3 hours on it. Runs for a bit then dies out. Need to wait 5-10 minutes and starts right up. Seems to run a bit longer each time I start. Last time about 30 minutes or so. Should I keep running it in hopes of divine intervention and it gets better, or do I take it in. Have an appointment at CW in Wauconda Illinois to have my solar panels installed Friday. That they said I could wait for that and take it home. If they do warranty work on the generator, maybe a three week wait between diagnosis, warranty submittal, approval, parts order, then finally installation. Not a handy guy so anything beyond adjusting or cleaning could beyond my skill set. Thoughts? Thanks,
Rusty
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:37 PM   #2
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Dump a can of sea foam in fuel tank. If tank is full add 2 cans. Let sea foam settle in fuel tank for a few hours, then start generator and let it run until it dies. May have to put a load on it. Next day start generator and after 15 minutes start putting load on genset and leave running for hours. I run mine every 2 weeks with load and I also use ethanol free gasoline.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:37 PM   #3
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Take the fuel cap off & see if that makes a difference. Could be its creating a vacuum.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:34 AM   #4
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Could be some old gas, left over from when they build it, Do what lakebuster stated, then make sure you run it a couple times a month, just to keep the old gas from messing up the Carburetor and fuel filter
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:44 AM   #5
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X3 on the SeaFoam...

If you think it's the fuel pump try starting the generator from the control on the front of the unit. When you press the start button down to prime and you should be able hear the fuel pump cycle. Changing the fuel filter is easy, and the first thing to try if you think you had bad gas, you'll be able to find one that will fit off the shelf at an auto parts store.

My front pump tank was slow to fill due to a kink in one of the vent lines. I believe this would cause a vacuum issue as mentioned above if it was on the rear generator tank.

You may also want to review an extensive post from another forum about troubleshooting Onan generator issues, that were ultimately attributed to the EMS, but covers all the bases and includes several hands on videos...

Onan 5500 not starting...partially solved
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:16 AM   #6
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Thanks for the insight. Drove out to the yard and added the Sea Foam. I'll test it out tomorrow and listen for the fuel pump and maybe the filter. Appreciate all the tips.
Rusty
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:20 AM   #7
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Rusty,


When you get your generator up and running Onan recommends the following break in procedure...


Breaking In Your New Generator






Your generator will perform better if you follow the break-in procedure


recommended in the Operatorís Manual. The break-in process typically involves


running the generator at about 50 percent load for two hours, then at about 75


percent load for two hours, then letting it cool down. You should change the engine


crankcase oil after the fi rst 20 hours of operation, and every 100 to 150 hours


thereafter.


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Old 05-07-2015, 04:46 AM   #8
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I am fighting this issue as well. Post what ever solution seems to work.
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:24 AM   #9
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DW and I were talking about going down to the gulf coast this Memorial Day and it made me remember the altitude adjustment screw on the Onan Generator.

This probably is not the issue as it does not have to be spot on. Mine is set @ 3,000 ft were I live. The stomping grounds I roam without adjusting for the altitude vary from 500 to 3,500 ft and I've never noticed a difference.

Now if it's turned up to 10,000 ft and your @ 1,000 that may be a problem?
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:34 PM   #10
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Thanks once again for all the tips. Followed everyones' suggestion, (Sea Foam, venting, listening for fuel pump, etc.) Ran it today for two hours while I re-routed my DISH box and re-installing the shelf in the closet, even putting it on 25% load for an hour. Ran perfectly until I was just about to shut it down, when it stalled. Since it is getting better every time, I will continue to fire it up whenever I get the chance until it goes away or gets worse. Decided not to have some technician tear it apart for diagnosis. I trust you experienced campers on the forum a lot more. Thanks for all the help.
Rusty
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:51 PM   #11
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No problems on my cummins/onan 5500 wondering rather than going to rv dealer for warranty work if you could go direct to cummins. Here in northern Nevada we have Rocky Mountain Cummins. They service all cummins diesel plus do service on cummins/ onan generators. If so sure their work would be superior and much faster
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:36 PM   #12
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A few more tips I always follow with my Onan...

I always start/stop the generator with no load. If you fire it up with any of the 120V AC items turned on it could cause the transfer switch to arc as it flips under load from the default shore power over to generator power. This would cause the contacts on the transfer switch to pit over time perhaps leading to a failure. Also, I always power down all of the 120V AC draw, especially the air conditioners, and let the generator idle for a minute or two before shut down. I never go to the trouble of flipping the breaker on the converter as it's a light load.

I mentioned earlier about finding a fuel filter at the auto parts store. You can also find an oil filters that fit, but I never use these as they are too short and difficult to remove. You can only get an air filter online or from Cummins. As was mentioned above I have a Cummins dealer nearby and I'll stop in and buy 4 quarts of oil, 2 of the Onan oil filters that are longer and stick out the bottom making them easier to remove and 1 air filter. I keep these on the trailer and religiously change the oil & filter every 100 to 150 hours and change the air filter every other time.

My last toy hauler was pre wired for a generator and I bought a 5500 Onan off eBay and installed it myself, with a little help from my friends. I put 500 hours on that generator with no problems. I got my Voltage last year and it has 400 hours on the Onan, also without a problem.

The Onans are very reliable units but the maintenance & service is important.
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:14 PM   #13
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Thank you. I'll follow your advice. Makes sense. Hopefully I'll be as fortunate with my unit.
Rusty
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:26 AM   #14
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check oil level just a little light will stall engine.
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:28 PM   #15
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I just bought a Rubicon 2500 e/w a Onan 4000.
Has less than 5 hours on it. Initially it ran for 4 hours, then died. Now it runs for about 10 minutes, tries to stall a couple times and finally stalls. I have to reprime it for about a minute and the same cycle starts again. Brought it back to the dealer (RV World of Ga). They say it needs a new carb. ?

What I don't understand is 1) why they use a draped neoprene flexible fuel line that runs for 20+ feet in hangers every 2-3 feet. AND 2) at every hanger I have a pinched line due to the weight AND 3) the fuel pump is producing a vacuum to pull the fuel thru this restricted line. Why didn't they use a SS fuel line IF there wasn't a prime pump at the fuel tank? This is really a bad design. I can squeeze the line in my finger tips easily. WTF?
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:32 PM   #16
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And BTW, a SS fuel line is about 25.00/25 feet AND it will NEVER choke off the fuel due to a vacuum.
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwschull View Post
I just bought a Rubicon 2500 e/w a Onan 4000.
Has less than 5 hours on it. Initially it ran for 4 hours, then died. Now it runs for about 10 minutes, tries to stall a couple times and finally stalls. I have to reprime it for about a minute and the same cycle starts again. Brought it back to the dealer (RV World of Ga). They say it needs a new carb. ?

What I don't understand is 1) why they use a draped neoprene flexible fuel line that runs for 20+ feet in hangers every 2-3 feet. AND 2) at every hanger I have a pinched line due to the weight AND 3) the fuel pump is producing a vacuum to pull the fuel thru this restricted line. Why didn't they use a SS fuel line IF there wasn't a prime pump at the fuel tank? This is really a bad design. I can squeeze the line in my finger tips easily. WTF?
Cause they cheap! the junk they used probably cost $3 vs the $22.50 for the good stuff times a few thousand units... equals profit in their pockets let the consumer deal with it.

Aaron
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