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Old 04-05-2010, 06:27 PM   #1
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Generator is broke

Sooo I'm out camping doing my thing. Generator works great. We get on the road for a while and stop for groceries, leaving the dogs in the RV so I run the generator for the airconditioning. Works great. We're driving down the road, I realize I forgot to shut the generator off, no big deal, turn it off... on we go. I get to our full-hook up site and we stay for a few days. We pack up and leave. We're on the road again and decide to stop for some deisel fuel. While we're sitting there my wife wants to charge her laptop, 100 gal of fuel takes some time to fill so I go to fire up the generator...it cranks and cranks and cranks and cranks, nothing.

I don't think much of it other then it's frustrating but we're low on propane also so I figure maybe it's just that I'm below a 3rd of a tank of LP. I go and get the LP tank filled... crank crank crank crank nothing.

I get to our next full-hook up spot and open the little compartment. Check for blown fuses, I check for spark at the plug wires, I can smell LP when I crank it (It's not real strong but it's there if you stick your nose right on the exhaust pipe), check for correct voltages (per the manual's instructions). I shut off the propane and crank it a few times (hoping to bleed the LP out of the fuel line) then open the LP valve and try it again.... Nothing.

Anyone have any ideas? It's a 7KW 50AMP Onan running on LP in my 2000 Forest River Reflections DP.

Brian
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:18 PM   #2
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Any chance a safety feature kicked in that prevents you from cranking (making a spark) when fueling?

It's a long shot, but hey...
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:44 PM   #3
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This one might be a long shot, too.
Is there an on/off switch on your LP detector by your entrance door or kitchen area? Sometimes (more so in the past), they put a switch on there that turns on a little solenoid on your LP tank. There might have been a feature on there that automatically shut it off when you opened your fuel cap. Does your stove or furnace work? That would rule that possibility out quick.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:53 PM   #4
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Okay.. one other idea...

How about walking through all the routine maintenance in the manual to see if you find something?

Oil levels, filters, etc..
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:28 AM   #5
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Any chance a safety feature kicked in that prevents you from cranking (making a spark) when fueling?

It's a long shot, but hey...
Yeah, I though that too. I looked at the fuel doors and don't see any sort of sensor on them, but maybe it's somewhere else. Think maybe it tripped and got stuck? It is 10 years old.

Brian
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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This one might be a long shot, too.
Is there an on/off switch on your LP detector by your entrance door or kitchen area? Sometimes (more so in the past), they put a switch on there that turns on a little solenoid on your LP tank. There might have been a feature on there that automatically shut it off when you opened your fuel cap. Does your stove or furnace work? That would rule that possibility out quick.
Yeah, everything in the kitchen still works. I might play with that switch any way.

Brian
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:27 AM   #7
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Okay.. one other idea...

How about walking through all the routine maintenance in the manual to see if you find something?

Oil levels, filters, etc..
Oil level was good, I topped it off as a precaution though. Filters... I wasn't able to check on the road. The nut that holds the cover on is in a really bad spot and my wrench was WAY to big to get in there. I'll check that tonight. I put my hand over the intake just to see if I could build pressure and I just about gave myself a hand-hickie while I was cranking it, so there there air going in. Maybe it's not getting to the engine though. I can smell LP, but maybe it's not getting air. I think I'll check that when I get home from work today. Maybe just take the filter out and see if it starts.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:23 AM   #8
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Mine is a gas one and it did the same thing....running great, turn it off and it never restarted. It turned out to be the controller board which let it crank, but not let it start. Only had a few hours on it. My generator is an emerald 4000. It does get very frustrating!
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:41 AM   #9
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Mine is a gas one and it did the same thing....running great, turn it off and it never restarted. It turned out to be the controller board which let it crank, but not let it start. Only had a few hours on it. My generator is an emerald 4000. It does get very frustrating!
It is... I was leaning toward the controller board also. That's that sealed (mine is gray-ish) box with 4 wires running into it. Two go to the ignition coil, one to some goofy valve thingy on the fuel line and one... I can't remember. Pricey?

Brian
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:44 AM   #10
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Thumbs up

warranty
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:00 PM   #11
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warranty
Oh, nice. Mine is 10 years old. Only 44 hours on it though.

Brian
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:15 AM   #12
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Brian,

So, what was the cause of the generator breakdown and what did you do to fix it?
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:26 PM   #13
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I worked on a friend's generator at his camp in the swamp. Same symptoms as yours. I disconnected the negative battery lead (safety first!). I removed the controler board cover, found a mouse nest. Cleaned out the nest and looked at the board. The board was sealed, in a resin like substance, but I could see burned resistors. Of course being seald we couldn't do anything about it. Had to get a new board. I recall it was in the price area of $225. Installed new board and off and running. You may or may not be able to see damaged components. Resistors usually burn, capacitors burn or the electrlytic (look like little cans) bow up at the top or blow the can right of. Other chips may have small pieces blown off by the leads going to the board. if you see any of them, you should probably replace the board or find a GOOD electronics technician. Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:24 AM   #14
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I had a 2001 FR Reflection still need help?E-mail Mesay FRReflectiom in top or it will spam out...Bushman
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:04 PM   #15
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just purchased a 2000 reflection 327 motorhome. having difficulty getting generator started. have discovered if I inject wd 40 into opening behind filter, can get cumbustion and periodic back fire but hard to get generator to start. any suggestions?
thanks
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:21 PM   #16
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1st check the diafram on Gen.fuel line there is a black hose runs down the back of the diafram front end of gen.about 6" round 2-3" thick the hose goes just strait down it is a dead end hose that is the vent hose take it off it is just pushed on try blowing through it if You can't it is plugged spidders or mud wasps have a blockage in it should start if cleaned out.Screen the end so it can't happen again.the propane must have 12volt system on to let gas travel to the system behind the pass.seat and the extra chair is the propane sniffer the switch on that must be on with the propane tank turned on a beeper will sound and shut off in a few seconds a green light will be on or flash I can't remember but I think flash. Next bleed the stove top till it lights now start the gen.Hope this helps if not let Me know and I will try to help some more.there are switches at the front of gen. resets for power and a start switch under the hood there also.so red 12volt on Gas on sniffer on should start from dash or under hood...Bushman
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:19 PM   #17
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Thanks. Did find and activate the sniffer switch and bled lines by starting stove. Also found the under hood starter switch and primer. I'll check out the vent pipe.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:50 PM   #18
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OH! I never reponded to this. Anyone that still cares. The "fix" was my propane sensor was turned off. We had the dog's bed right up against it and when he jumped in there it flipped the switch to the off position which disables the generator. I turn it back on and VaROOOOM!! It fires right up.

brian
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