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Onan 4.0 CCK not starting


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  #1  
Old 11-28-2011, 04:40:19 PM
Ray Griffiths Ray Griffiths is offline
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Default Onan 4.0 CCK not starting

4.0 CCK 3 cr/12017 Ser. # 0273572456 with propane carb.
So, my 4.0 CCK, which has started reliably (mostly) has decided not to start any more. I charge the battery, and the Battery Condition Meter (I still haven't quite figured out what this gauge does) is at the top of the green (fully charged, I guess). When I crank it, it sounds like the battery is low. When I stop, the Battery Condition Meter is at the low end of the green section, and will not return to the top until it is charged again. I'm not sure where to begin at this point. The battery is about a year plus old, the connections appear fine. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks,
Ray
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:51:24 PM
Magnetite Magnetite is offline
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Default Re: 4.0 CCK not starting

My 4.0 CCK is gasoline, but for me, hard starting is first a choke problem. For your propane that won't be it. Second, it's plugs - again, yours probably runs cleaner than my gasoline. Third, it's points and condenser (although that's more often rough running) - but setting the points gap works wonders. Fourth, particularly if it's been a while since replacement, it's fuel line/filter.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:54:13 PM
Kimbra Dean Kimbra Dean is offline
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Default Re: 4.0 CCK not starting

Try another battery?
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:18:33 PM
Magnetite Magnetite is offline
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Default Re: 4.0 CCK not starting

I saw the comments on the battery, but my 4.0 CCK will start with a really low battery. A year old battery, as the post describes, should be in really good shape, unless it froze or was damaged somehow. It's easy to check by jumping another battery to it. I'd check charging and voltage.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:27:46 PM
Dave Edmonds Dave Edmonds is offline
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Smile Re: 4.0 CCK not starting

Battery condition meters tell you virtually nothing about the cranking capacity of a battery, since it's nothing much than an attractive voltmeter. What it does DURING cranking may give you some indication of battery condition. I'd try another battery (installed properly; not with jumper cables). A battery's age SHOULD be a good indication of it's condition, but it isn't!!
Dave Edmonds
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:59:01 PM
Magnetite Magnetite is offline
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Default Re: 4.0 CCK not starting

I don't disagree with the comments here - I just wasn't sure if his comments about the battery voltage implied a battery problem or if he was just complaining about the battery being depleted after a long cranking session where it wouldn't start due to some other more fundamental starting problem.

I can tell easily if my battery is low when I start just from the speed it cranks. Mine is in a motorhome and I have a separate battery for the generator. I've also got a starter relay that optionally jumps my generator battery to my motorhome battery (and another one that jumps my motorhome battery to my engine battery), so I hear many different cranking speeds as a function of cranking capacity.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:30:26 PM
Patrick Patrick is offline
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Default Re: 4.0 CCK not starting

My dad used to leave a battery (automotive) all year round at the cabin - come spring, he'd charge it. Worked fine for the lights, but they used mostly oil lamps. Then someone stole all the Alladin lamps and the battery - my dad was raging furious.
At the time (this being Northern Ireland, and deep into Bandit Country) he pulled out the old boat and stopped an Army landing craft with 200hp behind it just by blocking it, and right enough, they came in to the cabin, reported it to their bosses, and one week later we had our lamps back.
Seems someone knew who might have taken them, and they got raided.
About a month later, lamps gone again. No idea who did it this time but we never got them back.
He bought a 200aH battery for a tractor, hid it really well - vanished 3 weeks later. Then we started putting up the classic "Trespassers will be shot - survivors will be shot again" metal signs.
Had a few short run-ins with the locals "No, you are more than welcome - just keep an eye out for strangers!" and now most things seem to be fine. got the battery back but it was dead beyond repair, case cracked and all.
It's hard to know who to trust...
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:31:32 PM
Ray Griffiths Ray Griffiths is offline
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Default Re: 4.0 CCK not starting

Thanks for all the prompt replies. I see I should give some more info - I installed the generator in a shed Summer of 2010 - I've started and run it probably 8-10 times since then (just for exercise purposes). I've found that it will not start unless the battery is freshly charged - i.e. if the battery is low on the charge meter, it will not start, at least easily. When charged up, it generally starts right away. It has <10 hours on new points and plugs, fresh oil, etc., and has only been run about 15-30 minutes at a time. The battery appears fine, worked well and was new when installed. I can change it, but it is somewhat of a hassle, just because it resides below the engine - the engine is mounted on top of plywood over 4x4 horizontal supports and the battery extends a bit above the bottom of the supports, all new cables, etc..

In the past, (assuming I don't have problems with grounding of the automatic propane shut off solenoid, which I have had issues with), the generator starts right up, unless the battery is down. In this case, the battery starts out topped up by charging overnight, but seems to drop in voltage immediately when I press the start button. After not starting, (after spinning for ~10-15 seconds) and sounding slow like the battery was low, the battery indicator stays down at the bottom of the green, like I was trying to start with a low battery. Still don't know what to do, but likely could try another battery. I suppose I should try checking the voltage too - what should it be if the battery is fully charged? Thanks again for all your input.
Ray
Ray
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:53:27 PM
Kevin K Kevin K is offline
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Default Re: 4.0 CCK not starting

What size battery do you have on your CCK? I don't have a CCK, but I think they are exciter cranked, which draws much more than a starter and requires a heavy duty quality battery.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:28:17 PM
Ed Sparks Ed Sparks is offline
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Default Re: Onan 4.0 CCK not starting

I would take the battery and have it load tested. It might be fully charged with you charger, but a bad cell will still make it weak. I had a 3 month old diehard go bad in my work truck that way. Get home after a 30 minute drive and the gauge said 14 volts. Come out in the morning and it would barely turn the motor over. Checked for a parrasitic drain from the system and only found the clock memory which is miniscule.
Took it in and they charged it fully and load tested it, only had about 1/4 of the cranking amps it was supposed to have.

Another thought if the battery checks out would be to check the brushes and slip rings for cleanliness.
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