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Old 01-14-2011, 06:21 PM   #1
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Generator Woes

My generator won't run unless you hold the start switch down. So I took it to my local cummin's (Onan) dealer. Cummins Northwest

They charged me $113/hr with a two hour minimum just to look at it. That's $226. Dropped it off day 1, called them twice on day 2 with no call back. Called again on day 3 then they finally started working on it.

They called back a few hours later and said that they needed to remove the generator because it sounded bad and they thought maybe the stator or roter was bad. That would be another four hours ($452 more). So $678 just to find out what's wrong.

I told them no to removing it, asked them for a quote based on what they though was wrong. $2604.41

A new generator is $3500 with free shipping from rvparts.com. I could install it myself in less than a day.

Pretty rotten experience so far. So I'm just venting here.

Generator is an Onan Gold Marquis 5500. 547 hours on it. Coach is a 2008, I don't know the year on the genset.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:32 PM   #2
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Personal for how much you like your RV and how much you use the generator I would recommend buy a new one. They may add more expenses by the time they are done. Plus you have spare parts/spare generator you can fix or have someone else fix for cheaper then sell to cover some of the cost.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by scubieman View Post
Personal for how much you like your RV and how much you use the generator I would recommend buy a new one. They may add more expenses by the time they are done. Plus you have spare parts/spare generator you can fix or have someone else fix for cheaper then sell to cover some of the cost.
Good advice.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:22 PM   #4
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Now you know why I will never own a built in generator. A total waste of money IMHO.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:43 PM   #5
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I think the plan at this stage is to find the service manual for it and see if I can fix it myself. Even if this involves removing the genset. If I can't get it fixed I'll order a new one.

Great story though; while my brother, my father-in-law and I are sitting around the table discussing how to lower the 330lb generator from it's perch up in the motorhome. Buying a transmission jack maybe. Or building cribbing and using floor jacks to lower it a bit at a time. Suddenly from next to us my 9 year old daughter says, "Why don't you use a fork lift." We where all dumbfounded. The table was silent. Perfect! With a bit of cribbing on the forks it'll be almost no effort. And I've got access to one and giant parking lot where I can leave the motorhome at work right under the security cameras with a security guard walking the grounds twice an hour.

That's my girl!
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:24 AM   #6
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Hope this info will help you with the generator problem. Good luck and let us know what you find.

Onan Generator Service Diagram.pdf

Onan - Marquis 5.5 KW Manual.pdf

ONAN - Marquis 5.5 KW.pdf

Onan Generator Spec Sheet.pdf
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:27 AM   #7
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Removed the generator from the motorhome today. Wasn't too hard. Did it by myself with a floor jack and some cribbing. Also a furniture dolly to move it around on.

Took the cover off and wow, everything inside is coated in dust so that it all looks like it's brown. Spent a long time just removing the caked on dust.

I bought the service manual so I started going through the tests based on the error code that it's showing.

So far I've found that it's leaking oil from one of the valve covers and the brushes are shot. However the rotor isn't bad, it checks out. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to check the stator.

Soon it will be time to order some parts!
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:56 PM   #8
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First parts order from PPL Motorhomes.

$217.09
Spark Plugs x2
Oil filter x2 (extra for later)
Air filter x2 (extra for later)
brush block
valve cover gaskets x2
fuel filter on pump
fuel filter on carb
belt
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:09 PM   #9
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While you have it out I would try and pull the bowl off the carb and make sure you don't find any pieces of garbage from sitting in the winter time. Ours did the exact same thing your describing and I had to put a new carb on and it ran perfect. If you are ok with cleaning carbs I would take the whole thing apart and soak it in a bucket of NAPA carb cleaner (comes with a basket) for about a half an hour and then blow it out with air. Just make sure you don't soak parts with rubber O rings still on them. I would try that before dumping any more money into electronics.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:00 AM   #10
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While you have it out I would try and pull the bowl off the carb...
Good idea. When I take the air filter housing off to get at the second fuel filter I'm going to clean out the bowl and hose everything off with crab cleaner at least.

Then again pretty much everything is going to get attacked with some kind of stiff bristle brush and lots of compressed air soon to clean the thing up. Lots of degrease to do too where the valve cover is leaking.

All that cleaning will probably be my next task, since the engine is still all closed up so nothing can get into it.
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