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Old 07-11-2013, 11:27 AM   #1
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Onan LP generator not starting

Onan KY 3.6kW Microlite generator running on propane - 2005 model L. It will crank but not start.

It ran well over the July 4th holiday, but wouldn't start last night. I was troubleshooting an A/C issue (fixed now) and I tried to start the generator while still on shore power. It cranked but didn't start. I unhooked shore power and tried again - no fire. I took off the air filter and sprayed some starter fluid in - hey, it ran for a short time, must be a fuel delivery issue.

I've checked the fuel solenoid shutoff valve - it clicks when I go to 'prime.'
The stove top works, I've got plenty of propane in the tank, traced the hose to the generator (no extra valves or damaged tubing). There is a vent hose coming out of the side of the genset next to the fuel inlet. I read about clogged vent hose issues, and didn't see any other vent hose candidates coming out under the generator, so I ran a short screwdriver up the hose (no resistance). The oil level is OK, although my driveway is tilted. It has run before in the driveway with no issues.

I printed out the service manual this morning. If it was a 5 amp fuse, it shouldn't crank?!? If it was the low oil cutoff, it should crank but not stay running after releasing the start button?!?

Am I missing something here? If it was the spark plug, why would it kick on while I hit it with starter fluid?
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:40 AM   #2
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Check your oil level.
Even slightly low can cause no ignition.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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The oil level was at 1/2 when I checked it, but as mentioned my driveway tilts a bit. Not knowing which side the sensor is at (the manual says the right side, which would actually help), I'll add some oil anyway.

I shouldn't have gotten an ignition on the starter fluid though, right?
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:43 AM   #4
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I added a bit of oil last night, bringing the level to full. Cranks, but doesn't start. It'll still fire with some ether, but won't run. Gotta be a fuel delivery issue.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:43 AM   #5
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What is the fuel level of the truck?
While I don't own a MH, I believe the generator requires a minimum fuel level in the truck to avoid running you out of gas.

When was the fuel filter last changed?

There is a "bleed" hole in the carburetor that meters fuel to the generator engine that can be blocked with dried fuel additives. Removing the bowl and cleaning the jets with Carb Cleaner might avoid a carb rebuild.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
What is the fuel level of the truck?
While I don't own a MH, I believe the generator requires a minimum fuel level in the truck to avoid running you out of gas.

When was the fuel filter last changed?

There is a "bleed" hole in the carburetor that meters fuel to the generator engine that can be blocked with dried fuel additives. Removing the bowl and cleaning the jets with Carb Cleaner might avoid a carb rebuild.
Propane fuel filter ?
Propane fed gennie
Mulligan no. 2 ?
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:49 AM   #7
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I'd venture to guess with my limited propane experience that there's an issue with the Propane regulater.


Turbs
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
Propane fuel filter ?
Propane fed gennie
Mulligan no. 2 ?
Tough Crowd....

Off to see the Lone Ranger.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:56 AM   #9
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Yeah, Herk, I'da been more gentle. Maybe....

Turbo, do you mean the regulator on the propane tank or a regulator on the generator itself? I see there is a generator demand regulator in the manuals, but have not laid eyes on it. It must be on the back of the generator, and it's pretty tight quarters in there. Although I'm learning more as I go, I don't know much about this unit. No fuel filter in there, just safety shutoff solenoid, then demand regulator, then the carb. That's the fuel delivery system in a nutshell.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Spikedog View Post
Yeah, Herk, I'da been more gentle. Maybe....

Turbo, do you mean the regulator on the propane tank or a regulator on the generator itself? I see there is a generator demand regulator in the manuals, but have not laid eyes on it. It must be on the back of the generator, and it's pretty tight quarters in there. Although I'm learning more as I go, I don't know much about this unit. No fuel filter in there, just safety shutoff solenoid, then demand regulator, then the carb. That's the fuel delivery system in a nutshell.
Regulater on the engine.
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