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Old 07-08-2015, 08:00 AM   #1
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Talking ONAN Generator 4000 won't stay running

Hi all. Getting my first taste of an RV and loving it. I have a 99 Jayco wide body 24'. It only has 32K miles on it and is beautiful condition. I am slowly getting everything to run as you know its been sitting around a while.
One of my big quests now is the generator won't stay running.
I have gas, the oil level looks good, the RV is level, I checked gas line, plenty incoming. I can keep it running a min or so if I keep pushing the start button when it is about to die. Same results using the inside or outside start switch. I flipped the breaker switch to off, same results. It's almost like something is telling it to shut down. ???
Any suggestions? Thanks Len
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:03 AM   #2
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Two possibilities:
1) It is an On Demand setup so that if it is not needed, it will shut down and re-start if needed.
2) It shares the fuel tank with the engine. But its pickup tube is higher so that the genset will not leave you unable to move.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:08 AM   #3
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So this On Demand setup. Does that mean I need to have something turned on when I try to start it? I shouldn't have to use the Start button?
Pulled gas line off at carb and plenty of it coming in. ??
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:23 AM   #4
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I'm not totally clear on exactly how the manufacturers configured the systems where a genset runs when the demand is high enough that the inverter and batteries won't cover the load, but you are not on shore power....


I've never owned anything with that complicated a 120V electrical system.


Luxury cars and their overkill 12V systems? Several. My house uses a manual transfer switch when I have to drag the backup genset out of the barn. I use a 2kw genset with the TT just to keep the battery charged.


So, if you can, find a manual for your RV that explains how 120VAC is supplied under what circumstances.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:43 AM   #5
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Since it's a 99 model, I don't think it's an on demand type system. My 2000 wasn't and neither is my 2011. There have been reports of the fuel pump going bad and needing replacement. The normal typical failure is that the generator will run for 5 minutes then quit. I am also assuming that the gas tank is above the 1/4 full mark. I have an issue with mine that it runs fine parked, shuts off a minute after traveling. Last night I checked the connections, filled them with dielectric grease, and overfilled the oil by just a bit. On a 10 minute drive, it stayed running. It is definitely frustrating trying to figure out the quirks with these things.
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:27 PM   #6
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Once again, I would recommend Sea Foam. Fuel sitting in line and gumming injectors or carb has nothing to do with how fresh the fuel is in the tank. To put away correctly or to be constantly maintained the generator should be run once a month.

I am not associated with Sea Foam in anyway, except to be a very satisfied customer.
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:04 PM   #7
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I'll jump in too and recommend running non-ethanol gas if you can get it where you are. The ethanol gas out there is well known to "gum up" smaller engines... At work, and personally, we run non-ethanol thru any small engine (chainsaws, lawnmowers, weedeaters, etc.) and it has really helped. Perhaps it will help with the generator? YMMV. 😀
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:44 PM   #8
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Have to agree with rgolding. Sounds like it could be a varnished carb. When the engine quits, do you get an error code? The red light on the start/stop switch will flash. The number of flashes corresponds to the error code. If it is a fuel related code, then you probably have a carb issue.
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:17 PM   #9
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When I first got my Greyhawk, a used 2012, it had a slight generator problem similar to yours. Sometimes I would start it and it would run all day. The next time I would start it, it would run for 10 minutes and then cut off and wouldn't restart for several hours. What I did was purchase some Stabil Marine and ran it in the fuel tank. It's good for the engine and generator. I, knock on wood, haven't had the issue since then. I'm not saying this will fix ur problem but it couldn't hurt. Good luck and I hope you get it figured out!!
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:03 PM   #10
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Well I'm back at it. When I spray a continual mist of seafoam treatment into the air cleaner it will stay running. Can't figure out any code when it shuts down. Would this mean carb issue or control board issue? Thanks Len
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