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2000 Suncruser generator has started not starting! House batteries up and I push the button for generator to start and nothing. If I hold the check battery condition when I push the generator start button I see the voltage fall off five or six volts but no sound, no start. I then start the chassis Engine and then push the generator to start, it will come on then??? Any suggestions would be appreciated...

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One of your batteries has a bad cell, it will appear to be fully charged but as soon as a load is put on them the voltage will drop.

Denny

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10 hours ago, homelesshartshorns said:

If I hold the check battery condition when I push the generator start button I see the voltage fall off five or six volts but no sound, no start. I then start the chassis Engine and then push the generator to start, it will come on then?

Those two facts pretty clearly point to the power from the chassis batteries as the problem, even though it may not be the fault of the batteries. Did the generator start as it should since you replaced the house batteries? If not there may be some issue with the way those batteries were connected, or some connection not properly made. Most battery level indicators are not very accurate voltmeters and some drop in voltage read as you engage the starter is quite normal. You quite likely would see some of that even with the engine running. When the engine is running there is a relay that ties the output from the alternator to the house batteries so you are basically jump-starting the generator. I would start by cleaning and checking the connections at the house batteries as that is the most easily done of the possible causes. 

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Help me understand. I ausmed the chassis battery and the house batteries where two different items. And the house batteries are what starts the Generator? I have two very new house batteries. And one very old chassis battery. I have had no issue before the no start, no sound problem started. Now I have to start the engine to get the generator to start. Might I need a chassis battery? 

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It wouldn't be the first time a new battery was defective. Do you have two 6-volt batteries in series for the house or two 12-volt batteries in parallel. If it's two 12-volt batteries, try disconnecting one and trying the generator, and then switch to the other battery if it still fails. If the generator starts on one battery then the other is suspect of course. If you have two 6-volt batteries, that won't work of course, and each battery would need to be tested with a battery tester.

Edited by Dutch_12078

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A handheld volt meter is your friend.  "If you have one"  Put the test leads on the battery posts (not on the terminals) and have someone push the start button.  If the voltage drops as before then its a bad battery or needs charged and checked.  If voltage stays up at the posts then check the voltage on the battery terminals while someone pushes the start button. If all is good check the voltage at the terminal on the starter.  Its a process of elimination starting at the battery post. 

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11 hours ago, homelesshartshorns said:

If I hold the check battery condition when I push the generator start button I see the voltage fall off five or six volts but no sound, no start. I then start the chassis Engine and then push the generator to start, it will come on then???

 Homeless, lets address this one step at a time:

 1) Voltage falling off five or six volts:

     Ifffffffff the batteries PLUS connections are ALL ?? good it would take one huge current draw (like a near shorted generator starter) to drop BATTERY voltage that much. HOWEVER since it starts once the engines alternator and battery essentially jump starts it, I don't see the generator starter as the problem.

  Since its hard to drop BATTERY voltage (provided they are good???) that drastic, I question just exactly where the voltage is being measured.    If measured right at the batteries is one thing but if somewhere downstream there may be an I x R voltage drop.

 -------------ONE prime suspect is a bad battery (even if new) which a load test at a shop can find.

--------------The other prime suspect is a faulty resistive loose/burned cable or connection which may well be one of the GROUND connections. I would check and if necessary remove clean and wire brush each and every ground connection at BOTH the batteries and genset. SO OFTEN A BAD GROUND CABLE OR CONNECTION IS THE PROBLEM  

 2) Engine starting allows genset to start: On some RV's if the engine is started the engine battery and alternator are then jumped in parallel with the house batteries which charges them plus can jump start/boost enough to start the genset.  

SUMMARY Have new batteries tested at a shop (many will do that for free),,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Check each and every battery post and terminal connection and cable ESPECIALLY all frame grounds and cable to ground and genset to ground (cable or frame) connections,,,,,,,,,,,,,If you have two sixes in series check that series connection...……..Two twelves in parallel can still have a bad connection but if that's what you have even one battery can start a genset easily    

Not being there my "pure guesses" remain a bad house battery or a bad cable or connection including the GROUND..Its easy to check all those cables and connections and grounds and if NONE of those are bad have the batteries tested

John T

Edited by oldjohnt

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19 minutes ago, homelesshartshorns said:

Help me understand. I ausmed the chassis battery and the house batteries where two different items. And the house batteries are what starts the Generator? I have two very new house batteries. And one very old chassis battery. I have had no issue before the no start, no sound problem started. Now I have to start the engine to get the generator to start. Might I need a chassis battery? 

NO I don't think you need a new "engine" battery. YES house and engine batteries are different items HOWEVER on some RV's when the engine is running a solenoid engages so the engine batteries and alternator essentially jump in parallel to the house batteries to charge them when driving. Typically (maybe not yours???) the house batteries start the genset but if they are bad and your engine starts and its wired to jump house to engine that can allow the genset to start even if the house batteries are low.

 Have batteries tested then check all cable and ground connections......

John T

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Ok I tried one battery at a time and that didn't help. Still nothing when I push to start generator. When separated each battery shows me a very changed state on my house meter.  Is there a generator starter solenoid? If so is it with the batteries or is it on the generator? Is that an idea? 

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1 minute ago, homelesshartshorns said:

When separated each battery shows me a very changed state on my house meter.  Is there a generator starter solenoid? If so is it with the batteries or is it on the generator? Is that an idea? 

If one of the house batteries is bad it will drag down the good battery. If voltage is greatly different if one or both are in parallel I SUSPECT THE LOW VOLTAGE BATTERY, HAVE IT CHECKED. Regardless if all else was good (cables and connections and grounds) even only ONE 12 Volt battery (used separate) should crank the genset no problem. That leads back to a cable or ground or connection issue if one battery alone still cant start it. 

YES there's a starter solenoid on the genset but it seems to be fine when the engine battery and alternator are used to jump start. The fact it starts when jumped makes me think the genset and its starter and solenoid are all okay. Back to a bad battery or cable or ground or connection grrrrrrrrrrrr lol

NOTE I dont know how your RV is wired butttttttt the house batteries may use frame ground as a current carrier to the gensets ground cable (also to frame) ground and likewise the engine battery is frame grounded which is the engine batteries current path to the genset ground when jumped. IF THATS THE CASE A BAD HOUSE BATTERY GROUND MAY NOT ALLOW THEM TO START THE GENSET WHILE A GOOD ENGINE BATTERY GROUND (with engine running and relay engaged) ALLOWS IT TO START IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Moral of the story, after batteries are checked CHECK ANY HOUSE BATTERY TO FRAME GROUND CONNECTION AND THE FRAME GROUND CABLE at the house batteries.  

John T

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If you have a set of jumper cables you could hook one end to the negative post or stud (not terminal) on the battery and other end to the frame.  This will tell you if its a bad ground.

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3 hours ago, oldjohnt said:

The fact it starts when jumped makes me think the genset and its starter and solenoid are all okay

Starter motors do fail and it is very common for the first indication of failure is for the starter to draw excessive current which can show up as needing to jump start. I don't recall having seen that happen with generator, but it used to be pretty common on the old P-30 motorhome chassis. 

My on-board generator experience has all been with Onan and I can only remember 1 starter failure in that time so if yous is an Onan, it isn't a high probability. 

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6 hours ago, Kirk W said:
6 hours ago, Kirk W said:

Starter motors do fail and it is very common for the first indication of failure is for the starter to draw excessive current which can show up as needing to jump start. I don't recall having seen that happen with generator, but it used to be pretty common on the old P-30 motorhome chassis. 

My on-board generator experience has all been with Onan and I can only remember 1 starter failure in that time so if yous is an Onan, it isn't a high probability. 

 

DITTO to that. I've owned several Onan's and few experienced failed starters.  HOWEVER I've NEVER seen a GENERATOR starter fail so badly that it caused the "HOUSE BATTERY" bank (assuming its okay??) voltage "TO FALL OFF FIVE OR SIX VOLTS" as the OP indicated. But likewise indeed saw engine starter motor failures (Dodge 360 or 413 or 440 or Chevy 350 or 454) draw extreme high current grrrrrrrrrrrrrr lol  It  would take one heck of a HUGE current draw and/or bad batteries to cause a 5 or 6 volt drop.  It seems to me if the generator starts fine as soon as the Engine battery comes on line as the OP indicates, the generator starter and solenoid are okay BUT HEY IM NOT THERE AND HAVE NO DATA SO I FOR ONE JUST CANT SAY THE CAUSE.

Again this all takes me back to EITHER a bad house battery,,,,,,,,,,,or the house battery bank has a bad frame ground connection (Check house battery ground terminal/post and its cable to frame connection),,,,,,,,,,or some other cable or connection (Maybe bad on POS side ??)

DARN IF I KNOW LOL

PS Many of the genset starter failures I saw were its starter drive (like spring and plastic screw etc) mechanism failed or stuck even thought the starter motor itself was fine otherwise. I also experienced several generator starter solenoids fail but that didn't cause any 5 or 6 volt house battery drop.

Oh well were trying, that's all we can do remotely

God Bless yall and best wishes

John T  Live in the RV from the Florida Flywheelers in Fort Meade Florida. Its HOT here

Edited by oldjohnt

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Problem solved! The post on the started was loose, tightened it up and worked but felt it might still be an issue inside. Put a new starter on an all is well again. Thanks for all the input, gives a guy lots of insite. Thank and Safe Travels

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52 minutes ago, homelesshartshorns said:

Problem solved! The post on the started was loose,

CONGRATULATIONS thanks for the feedback. Indeed any loose resistive connection and resultant voltage drop can cause problems.

On starters or other electrical devices with an insulated pass through connector/stud if the inner terminal is allowed to turn the connection may break or become shorted.

 Good job

John T   

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