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Onan Generators

Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click


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  #1  
Old 09-08-2016, 10:37:21 AM
Bbernardwarrior1991 Bbernardwarrior1991 is offline
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Default Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

I have an oldER Onan Generator model -4BGEFA26101G Serial # H900342364. It is on a Winnebago Warrior below the cab, not easy to work on. Muffler was coming loose so I tightened it up 9/7 at around 10 AM, started her up to make sure she worked and ran like a charm. Drove down the road maybe 20 miles and needed to microwave my coffer and cranked REAL hard for a moment, then went click click click. I tightened the main positive cable going to the GenSet and it tried to start for a second and click click click. Every thing I have read said check the ground and I can't find it anywhere. So much dust from the dirt roads. Any help please. I am not mechanic but also not afraid to try things.
Brett
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:10:10 AM
HBSaunders HBSaunders is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

starter solenoid bad?
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:24:20 AM
Tony Clever Tony Clever is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

I have an old Fleetwood that acted just like that. Would start fine when plugged in to 120 VAC for long periods of time If the electric went out and after several hours later you tried to start it might crank hard for a little than click. Turned out to be the Deep cycle batteries were going bad, As long as it was plugged in it would keep them up enough to start the Generator but would discharge very fast. Just a thought from personal experience. The guys Who are smarter than me might have other solutions, this was just something I experienced.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:27:10 AM
Dale Russell Dale Russell is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

Go to an Automotive Store and get a Battery Post Cleaner tool and Clean both Posts on the Battery and the Inside of the Cable connections on the cables, replace the cables and tighten both and see if that fixes the problem. This is a good place to start. Hope this helps. Also as Tony says, the Batteries may be BAD.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:34:15 PM
Bbernardwarrior1991 Bbernardwarrior1991 is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

Terminals on the deep cycle batteries are all green, but batteries themseleves are only less than 2 years old. I'll try cleaning the terminals and change wiring on them first. Any way to tell if batteries are any good? Will post back with details.

---------- Post added at 10:34:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:19:38 AM ----------

Just went to the RV to try and start when both engine battry and deep cell batteris are used to start the generator and it bogged down my motor, still a click click noise. Thought maybe that indo may help in the diagnosis.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:42:21 PM
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

Have you checked to see if the generator is locked up or seized? Try pulling the spark plugs and see if it turns over. Make sure the plug wires are grounded and away from the spark plug hole in case the engine is fuel locked.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:43:41 PM
Tony Clever Tony Clever is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

Definitely clean the terminals good, be sure to remove them so you get a good mating surface between battery and Connector. Also not sure if they are flooded lead acid, if so check the level of water in them. If that doesn't fix it, You might test the Specific Gravity of them, unless they are AGM or sealed lead acid but make sure you charge them first before testing. Another thing is make sure the cables connected back at the Generator are making a good clean connection. Good luck... Always best to approach the simple stuff first before jumping to the complicated parts.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:57:51 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

Get an ice pick test light and clip lead on gen's +12 bat terminal and jab other end into frame of gen. Have someone crank the gen if light is real dim ( < ~ 9 V ) then you got a bad connection from bat to gen or bad bats.

With a little probing around you can track problem down to a specific bad connection. Did this all the time on cars.

Other variation of this test is put light across a suspect connection and crank engine if it lights a bit you found the problem.

Don't have a test light? Put spit ACROSS suspect connection and have someone crank engine, if bad connection then steam will rise, but ONLY while cranking.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:08:33 PM
Bbernardwarrior1991 Bbernardwarrior1991 is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

If it just goes click click hoe would I know of generater is locked up?
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:54:59 PM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

You said you can;t find the ground. That may be your issue. RV makers tend to go cheap as they can, there is (Was?) a ground wire from the 'floating' engine to the mounting base, but then they cheat and hope the mounting bolts ground it. Add a good heavy ground from the generator engine to the vehicle frame.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:57:25 PM
gnucklehead gnucklehead is online now
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

I'd say step #1 is make sure all the AC circuit breakers are turned off so there is NO electrical load on the genset while starting it. That includes battery chargers. Make sure there is no obstruction in the exhaust.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:29:16 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

Start with the basics find out if problem is in gen OR RV wiring.

Put test light between bat terminal AT GEN and stab icepick end into genhead, crank engine, normal for light to dim, if it just about goes out you know problem is in RV bat wiring or bats.

Click click click is usually a bad hi amp connection somewhere. (called bad ground, but it can be any hi amp connection, even on positive side of bat)
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:34:14 PM
gnucklehead gnucklehead is online now
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

Thinking more about the AC loading, do you have an inverter or inverter/charger? Automatic transfer switch? Maybe try manually switching to shore power and try to start the genny. If the engine bogs, it's drawing significant battery current.

Along DC lines - do you have a volt-meter? Many things can cause this, and all of the above comments are relevant. Might just be stuck at the compression point with a weak starter. My uncle has oe of these, and the way it's installed is a real PITA to work on.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:50:36 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

AC load.....ok shut off the one or two 120 VAC breakers on right side of gen control box
For good measure unplug any ac loads from gen.

Then do my light test, can substitute a voltmeter for light bulb.
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:17:01 PM
Dale Russell Dale Russell is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

These Guy's will get your Generator going again. just hang in there!
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:38:44 PM
Bbernardwarrior1991 Bbernardwarrior1991 is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

I'll be working on it all day tomorrow so crossing my fingers going on a trip wednesday.

I do have a voltmeter, sorry I am a rookie here, but I am gonna get this thing going again.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:46:08 PM
yellowlister yellowlister is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

We were all once rookies.. just have to dive in and be smarter then the generator or whatever it is your fixing, as my mentor use to tell me..
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:15:01 PM
Bbernardwarrior1991 Bbernardwarrior1991 is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

Trying to get all the info I need to start tomorrow. I have a voltmeter. How would I add a ground to the generator. Also the 12 battery to start the genny, those are the deep cell batteries under the cab correct. Again this is a first, I was able to get it to run when it didn't so I think I can do this. Where do I use the voltmeter. Dumb question but almost need a slight walk through after I clean the teminals.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:37:50 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

Gen's +12 bat terminal should be on lower right of gen's control panel, stick one meter probe there. (it's always live so don't short it to ground with a wire brush while cleaning it.

Clean a section of genhead aluminum casting and put other meter probe there, have helper crank engine , take voltage measurement while gen is cranking or trying to crank.

Last edited by len k; 09-08-2016 at 08:02:06 PM.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:50:19 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generator Goes Click Click Click

You say it has a click click click sound. Is it kind of like a chatter from the starter solenoid when hitting the start button, or a single hard click each time hitting the start button. Let's assume a chatter while holding the start button...


1) determine if the genset is locked up. Try to manually turn the crankshaft. Better if plugs are out. If the genset's cranks turns and feels "good" (no mechanical binding or odd noises) then go to #2.

2) While an assistant holds the start, jump the starter solenoid from the 2 big lugs using heavy wire. If the genset kicks over, then replace the solenoid. I had this exact same thing happen to one of my RV gensets. After replacing the solenoid, the genset started without a problem.


JohnnyC
New jersey
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