View Full Version : Generator starter

01-29-2012, 06:10 PM
Looking for some advice on my gen starter. Details: We were dry camping in Quartzite, AZ. In the mornings we had +/- 12 - 12.25 v on panel house batteries. When flipping the pre-heat switch there was a voltage drop indicating at least some glow plugs were working. Then gen cranked but would not start. When we fired the 8V92, gen start was almost instant. During the day, gen start was normal for the most part. I cleaned the cable connection at the starter, but still no difference. 100 amp draw load test on both house batteries showed good. I am leaning towards a weak starter motor in need on rebuild or replacement. But wanted to get some of your guys input. Generator is a 12.5 KW with Yanimar engine. Anyone else have/had similar issues?

01-29-2012, 06:29 PM
You might check the starter motor solenoid first. By-pass it with a short piece of #12 wire . If the engine cranks properly the solenoid may be weak.

Richard and Rhonda
01-30-2012, 01:32 AM
The problem is the fuel shut off solenoid. At low voltages, it doesn't have enough oomph to open. When you crank the main engine, you get a full 13 to the solenoid.

You can slide the tray out in a pinch and hold the solenoid open. It's on the passenger side of the engine tucked behind the injector plumbing.

01-30-2012, 02:37 AM
Thanx for the info! Do you think a new solenoid would make any difference?

Brad Townsend
01-30-2012, 11:59 AM
I agree with Richard. You need proper voltage. This is a big deal with generators. You need to find out why you had low voltage and rectify that then you should be good to go.
My guess is if you are boondocking then you are letting your batteries get to low. You could also use the merge switch to help start the gen. We are in the Yuma area located at Senator Wash/Imperial Dam BLM area. If you are in the area stop by.

01-30-2012, 12:22 PM
Hi Brad, Cindy and I hope to be in the area sometime late Feb. or early March and hope to come meet yall.
We plan to spend a week or two at the Thousand Trails campground in Cottonwood then head into Utah to visit and photograph the canyons.
Where exactly in Senator Wash are yall located?
I have a bunch of questions on how you manage boondocking for long term.
Hope to see yall soon.

Richard and Rhonda
01-30-2012, 12:47 PM
Possibly a new solenoid will help, but the real culprit as Brad said is the low voltage.

If you start tinkering with the solenoid, read the manual carefully. Why, cause my first instinct was wrong. Homey was thinking that if the solenoid is not opening the fuel shut off valve to shorten the rod between the solenoid and the shut off lever. WRONG !! If you do that the solenoid does not have enough stroke to latch. The manual says you should have about 1/8 excess stroke to allow the solenoid to latch.

I would check my wiring connections to the solenoid, and possibly the relay that controls the solenoid as additional problem areas where you could have a voltage drop.

Brad Townsend
01-30-2012, 01:07 PM
Forest, if you send me your email then I can send you a google earth position and picture.
Can't seem to get it to post here.