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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: rip on August 19, 2006, 03:36:05 AM

Title: Onan generator
Post by: rip on August 19, 2006, 03:36:05 AM
Has anyone had problems with Onan? Last Nov. my generator quit running and I had it repaired at an Onan dealer in Az. At that time he found the control panel was bad. This part was $810.00 plus labor. The unit was out of warrenty but only had 500 hrs. on it. Six months later and only 20 hrs. it went out again. When I called the shop that did the work he informed me the part has a 30 day warrenty on it. He did call Onan for me and they said Onan would replace the part at no charge.I then found out Onan did not have the control panel and it would be 30 days until they got it back in stock. About a week later they did find a dealer that had one.I had to pay for all the shipping involved which which was about $120.00. I installed the part and it ran great for 15 hrs. before going out again. After calling the shop he told me I had to bring the generator to an Onan dealer.I am currently in Canada and the nearest dealer is about 500 miles away.Does anyone have any one that I can contact at Onan that might be able to help. It seems to me that Onan is having some problems with their contol panel and I would hatge to pay for another one.            Don Ripley

Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: ChuckMC8 on August 19, 2006, 05:26:03 AM
Hey Don, If you have to repalce the board, I suggest you go with a Dinosauer controll board replacement. They make boards for Onans. fridges and ect.....much better quality than factory and has a 3 year warranty-
heres the link to their site- HTH, Chuck


Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: belfert on August 19, 2006, 05:55:16 AM
If you are blowing controls left and right, has the rest of the generator been checked out to be sure nothing else is wrong like high voltage or popwer surges killing the controls?  Is the generator compartment getting too hot for the components on the controls?

Brian Elfert

Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: Geoff on August 19, 2006, 06:17:10 AM

Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: rip on August 19, 2006, 12:22:18 PM
Geoff: Who did you talk with at Onan? I will be in Mpls. at the end of Sept. and maybe I should just wait and deal with the factory.My gen-set is a 10kw quiet diesel. Thanks.Don

Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: Hartley on August 19, 2006, 02:40:42 PM
Geoff: Who did you talk with at Onan? I will be in Mpls. at the end of Sept. and maybe I should just wait and deal with the factory.My gen-set is a 10kw quiet diesel. Thanks.Don

Depending on the model, The controller board gets damaged by the electronic voltage regulator (AVR) board acting up and going overvoltage
the controller board "hold""run" relay has a sense line off the 120 volt output line from the generator section.

When the AVR screws up the voltage surges to 185 volts and burns up the relay, If the relay goes out your generator won't run.

I have a DKG10 which is the older Genset and that is what keeps happening to mine ( used to! ) I have my AVR bypassed through some
creative trickery. I found the relays at Allied and ordered a couple for $9.00 each which fixed the controller board.

Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: Stan on August 19, 2006, 02:54:44 PM
About 25 years ago I bought a lot of RV type Onans from the Western Canada Distributor, to power instrumentation I was building. Everything about this company was first class: big inventory, good repair service and lots of dealers. My next contact with Onan was at Cummins aboiut 10 years ago and the inventory and service sucked big time. I couldn't find anyone at the local Cummins shop who had any interest in Onan. Since the former distributor lost most of his Onan business in the sale, he was retained as a dealer.

Since then, I go to the dealer and let him fight with Cummins. In my last contact, they were unable to supply two pistons that were the same siize and had the same ring groove. I ended up rebuilding an engine with a mismatched pair after multiple trips and returns to Cummins. As to parts cost, my little pistons for a 20 HP Onan cost 70% more than the pistons for a 400 HP Cummins.  Personanlly, I think Cummins really spoiled a good company.

Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: edvanland on August 20, 2006, 03:44:42 PM
I bought a propane Onan 6500 after I got my bus to replace the one which was in it.  One week before the warranty expired the head went bad.  Onan said the head was not covered under warranty as it was not part of the engine.  We argued and lost.  Then we found the shaft on the armature was shot, the bearing was fine, again they said no.  I rebuit the gen and now use it at my place in Colorado.  I put in a HANCO 10 KW diesel, wish I had done that to start.
My dealer in Cottonwood, AZ says ONANS ar junk.  He does everthing he can to talk people out of buying one. 
Just my 2 Cents

Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: jatnip on August 30, 2006, 10:49:52 PM
A friend of mine had an Onan generator that went out twice and they found out that the generator was never put together right from the factory.  Jim

Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: TomC on August 30, 2006, 11:34:56 PM
This is why I bought a Powertech 10kw with the 4 cylinder Kubota and Marathon brushless generator.  All electro/mechanical relays-no control board to go bad, and just a simple voltage regulator in the generator portion.  I have less than a 1,000 hrs, but no problems either.  Good Luck, TomC

Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: Kristinsgrandpa on August 31, 2006, 07:11:34 AM
  I have an Onan that is long out of warranty and needed some tech. support/info  but couldn't even get an answer to my email from their website.

What Dr. Dave said about the power surge to 185 V is true, it happened to my brother with an Onan. It burned up some appliances in his motorhome/coach.  He now has a Leroy Sommer head on an Isuzu C-201.

I bought mine with an Onan head on an Isuzu C-201 just for the Isuzu engine, and now wish I hadn't, because of the Onan head.


Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: TomCat on September 01, 2006, 06:38:16 AM
I guess I'm the exception on this thread. I've not had so much as a burp out of my LP 5.5kw Onan Marquis in 500+ hours and over 2 years. It always starts easy (less than 6 seconds), even in cold weather/high altitude, and the only time it stopped running was when running it while driving in freezing rain, and the air filter iced up...I'll admit, it took a while to figure that one out.
I do follow the service schedule carefully, with the exception of the oil change interval, which I shortened by 50%.

87 SaftLiner

Title: Re: Onan generator
Post by: TomC on September 01, 2006, 07:22:11 AM
TomCat- if your generator is running on propane you are almost wasting your money by changing the oil so frequently.  Propane barely gets the oil dirty.  It does make it smell like the perfume they put in propane, but propane doesn't contaminate the oil like gasoline does.  I worked at a warehouse where we kept a fork lift outside at all times since there wasn't a ramp up to the warehouse for the forklift (strange warehouse).  We would change the oil once a year (even at that if we remembered) and the engine had thousands of hours on it. 

Everyone-even though changing oil may seem like the thing to do often, the best is always to have your oil analyzed to give you the real answer.  Example-the last time I changed my oil, was three a year period.  I keep my bus indoors and had the oil analyzed at 2 1/2 years and at that time still wasn't close to needing a change.  Good Luck, TomC