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Old 08-12-2018, 09:30 AM   #1
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Generator issues

We have a 2861 Forest River 2016 In June We had to replace the Fuel pump Oh man of Nashville Did the service work At the cost of $550 At that time I bought the extended warranty To avoid future problems with the generator Now I run the generator yesterday With the air conditioner on it runs for approximately 10 minutes and then shuts down It did this 3 different times yesterday So I plugged into shore power which I have a 30 amp shore power Any air conditioner runs fine for hours at a time . I decided to do a different test I plugged into space heaters And the electric water heater And run it for over an hour Plus the coffee pot No issues I turned everything off Start the air conditioner Runs For approximately 5 minutes And the generator shuts down .My AC voltmeter I am plugged into the outlet Fluctuates between 110 and 1:15 When I have the generator and the AC running .Today I will do the same test Run the air conditioner On AC power Shore power
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:53 AM   #2
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i am assuming 'oh man' of nashville is really onan. so you have an onan generator. what model? when they shut down i believe they flash an error code that gives you some clue as to why it shut down. at least our onan 5500 does. what error code are you getting? that would be a place to start.
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:41 PM   #3
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4000 gas no Error code . This morning Ran The generator With 2 space heaters on high Both 1500 Watts For over an hour No issues with the generator Turn the heaters off Run air conditioner Runs for only 9 minutes Then shuts down The generator .yes cummings onan of nashville tn. When I run the air conditioner My voltmeter hovers around 115 to 118 volts And fluctuates between those numbers . when i run the ac on shore power the volt meter stays at 120v
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:53 PM   #4
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4000 gas no Error code . This morning Ran The generator With 2 space heaters on high Both 1500 Watts For over an hour No issues with the generator Turn the heaters off Run air conditioner Runs for only 9 minutes Then shuts down The generator .yes cummings onan of nashville tn. When I run the air conditioner My voltmeter hovers around 115 to 118 volts And fluctuates between those numbers . when i run the ac on shore power the volt meter stays at 120v
Your test loads are "resistive" which are continuous. The A/C unit is an inductive load and is quite a different type of load. You may have an issue with start/run capacitors on the A/C unit. The Shore Power has more "reserve" capability and the generator's protective circuits are more likely than not shutting it down when it encounters the extra load of the A/C unit. Without knowing the actual amperage draw when running the A/C on the Generator it's really hard to diagnose.

The symptoms certainly are pointing to the Generator but don't overlook how the A/C is performing on generator versus how it does on Shore power.

My first "attack" would be to check the capacitors on the A/C motor.

Another clue is the lower voltage readings when running the A/C on the Generator. Something is causing it to see a heavier load than when feeding merely a resistive (Heaters) load.
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:02 PM   #5
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Capacitors = China. Thank you for crappy caps US government. Decide which cap(s) you have. Call or go to HVAC wholesaler and ask for US made capacitor. Buy at least one each. Should be $20-25 for a dual capacitor or less than $10 for the 5-10 MF
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:09 PM   #6
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all that is already said seems relevant. the issue has to be the starting load of the a/c and the shore power having more 'reserve'. but i am still under the impression that the onan 4000 does flash an error code when it shuts down. i know our 5500 does. there are quite a few posts online about clearing error codes on an onan 4000. are you sure you are not getting a code? they flash on the generator on-off switch.
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:36 PM   #7
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Generator

I have the 5500 Onan, last year had the same issue, changed the fuel pump and filter, no luck, used carb cleaner and sprayed the heck out of carb, worked for 5-6 hours then same old thing.

This year started out the same way shutting down about 10 minutes after turning on A/C. So I replaced card bought on ebay (new), so far this summer no issue.

I just have to keep starting it every month
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:36 PM   #8
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From the 4000 manual Troubleshooting Guide (pg 29)

"Unit Runs Then
Stops,
Or
Stops
When Driving
Around A
Corner
1. Low fuel level. 1. Add fuel.
2. Low oil level. 2. Add oil.
3. Excess oil. 3. Reduce engine oil level.
"

Sorry for the lack of same formatting as manual, I just did a primitive cut/paste.

It appears that too little or too much oil can cause this unit to stop after running. Might be worthwhile to check the oil level and make sure it's in the middle of it's proper range on the dipstick. Not sure I fully understand how too much oil would trip a sensor. Can understand how running for a while if oil is right at the lower limit, and the oil gets distributed to other parts of the engine and doesn't return to the sump quickly, a low oil condition could exist.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:36 PM   #9
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I agree with US made caps. Replaced a bunch of them and then starting using US made units...none needed replacing since
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:59 PM   #10
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4000 gas no Error code . This morning Ran The generator With 2 space heaters on high Both 1500 Watts For over an hour No issues with the generator Turn the heaters off Run air conditioner Runs for only 9 minutes Then shuts down The generator .yes cummings onan of nashville tn. When I run the air conditioner My voltmeter hovers around 115 to 118 volts And fluctuates between those numbers . when i run the ac on shore power the volt meter stays at 120v
The red light on the Onan 4000 generator start switch, inside the generator housing, blinks a number of times indicating the fault. That is the error code. You have to count any blinks and pauses as numbers and spaces. It will repeat.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:02 PM   #11
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all that is already said seems relevant. the issue has to be the starting load of the a/c and the shore power having more 'reserve'. but i am still under the impression that the onan 4000 does flash an error code when it shuts down. i know our 5500 does. there are quite a few posts online about clearing error codes on an onan 4000. are you sure you are not getting a code? they flash on the generator on-off switch.
Shoots a code of 3 - 6 I know that can mean a fuel delivery problem or anything at any other thing
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:39 PM   #12
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Why was the fuel pump replaced? Did they tell you what the actual problem was?
Could be the original problem still exists. I once had a problem with a vehicle somewhat similar. It would run for a while then just stop. Didn't find the cause until I removed the inlet filter (from tank) and found some gasket material. It apparently was floating around, got sucked into the line inlet, and stopped fuel flow. After sitting a while it loosened, fuel would flow, and when load demanded more fuel the suction would lull it back in.

Have you checked fuel filter in generator feed line from tank. Will fuel flow freely from tank? Remember, the generator takes fuel from a different tap on the tank than engine.

When an engine quits due to lack of fuel it usually signals it's intention by slowing then quitting. Electrical issues that shut an engine down are most often just "switch off".

By determining which way the engine quit has usually told me which system to focus on, fuel or electric.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:32 PM   #13
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you had it repaired by onan nashville in june 2018? that's just weeks ago. new fuel pump. and now you are getting an error code that indicates a fuel problem.

GET ON THE PHONE AND CALL THEM!
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:51 PM   #14
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Generator issue update

Still having issues with the generator not running more than more than a few min to an hour
sep 5th issue will Not stay running Brought it down to the Cummings o'nan dealer today Generator ran fine Temperature was very mild About 80 degrees
The generator ran for approximately 2 hours with the only load being the water heater And refrigerator
The tech did a load test He said everything checked out fine
As a customer courtesy They changed or they put a new carburetor on
Drove home 60 miles Showed my wife the new carburetor they put on the gen
Started the generator It ran for 30 seconds And shut down No load On the Gen set Black smoke Did come from the exhaust pipe Which tells me the fuel mixture maybe little bit lean .But still did not run
The service manager Says it could be Just vapor lock I guess another trip to Nashville Will be made
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:33 PM   #15
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Still having issues with the generator not running more than more than a few min to an hour
sep 5th issue will Not stay running Brought it down to the Cummings o'nan dealer today Generator ran fine Temperature was very mild About 80 degrees
The generator ran for approximately 2 hours with the only load being the water heater And refrigerator
The tech did a load test He said everything checked out fine
As a customer courtesy They changed or they put a new carburetor on
Drove home 60 miles Showed my wife the new carburetor they put on the gen
Started the generator It ran for 30 seconds And shut down No load On the Gen set Black smoke Did come from the exhaust pipe Which tells me the fuel mixture maybe little bit lean .But still did not run
The service manager Says it could be Just vapor lock I guess another trip to Nashville Will be made
Black smoke from the exhaust of a gasoline engine means mixture is really rich. Like from a stuck choke. Could also be an obstructed engine air intake.

GasEngines need three things to run. Proper fuel air mixture, compression, and spark at the right time.

Sometimes the clues are right before an engine quits. Does it seem to be more labored. Failing power that causes it to finally quit? This is usually a fuel issue. If it just shuts off it's almost always electrical. Modern engines have a lot of sensors that shut an engine off if oil pressure is low or temps rise too high.

Another thought. VAPOR LOCK. Ethanol fuel can be very susceptible to this old malady. Make sure fuel supply line isnt getting hot ahead of the gen sets fuel pump. Cooling air and exhaust may be heating the line. Try testing with a box fan blowing where the fuel line enters the generator.

Here's my last suggestion. Have someone look in your fuel tank with a flexible borescope. You could have a foreign object that plugs the inlet until generator stops and when it stops the lack of suction let's it free. The regular fuel supply is taken through a screened inlet. Not so sure about the generator inlet. Perhaps mischief? Or sloppy work at factory.
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