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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Three R’s - Removing, Rebuilding and Replacing our Onan 6.3KW LP Generator

Well, we were having trouble with our generator last year and kinda ignored it …   but now this Spring, dear Steveio wanted it fixed and working.   We have a little time before camping season begins.

The great guys at Flight Systems were VERY helpful with troubleshooting.   Randy was “The Guy” to talk to about the system.
Their diagnostic troubleshooting information is the best and we sure appreciated their help.   They have downloads of information and what things to test first, second, third etc. and using a voltmeter, you can diagnose what is wrong with your own generator before paying for costly repairs.

So after checking it all out, we found a shorted brown burnt spot in the control board, and a bubbled area on the voltage regulator.  We think that our old batteries with the bad cells and the exploding expanded case on two of them ruined our generator somehow with a back surge of something or other.  (we have all new batteries now)
We threw a new control board at it, then a new voltage regulator, then cleaning the slip rings, and replacing the brushes (plus the ceramic holder cracked so had to replace that too)  … finally we came to the conclusion that it was only putting out 55 volts and not 120vac.   That meant the half of windings on the rotor were bad.  Sigh. 
So that meant a removal of the generator, and take off the rotor and send it in to be completely rebuilt.  We found a great guy down in Ohio,  name of :
SAM BORCK - 11392 CTY RD 5 - DELTA, OH  43515 -   419- 466-0485
He seemed to know the generators inside and out, exactly the specific stuff about our model and year and did very prompt turnaround, we got it back within a week of him getting it!  Cost was $365 including his shipping it back to us.  What a deal compared to what Onan wanted for a new one, or what even other places on the net wanted for a rebuilt one.

I was the Gopher Girl and Steve patiently stopped from time to time to let me take pics of each step.
Here are the pics of removing it last month while we still had snow.  working on the onan generator1

working on the onan generator0working on the onan generator2
(p.s.  in case you are wondering, that funny yellow adaptor and orange cord hanging off the side of the rig is our AC  line from the garage 20amp outlet for shore power.  This adaptor is a screw on type bayonet mount for 50amp plugs.  Instead of keeping our heavy black 50amp cord out there all the time, temping for copper thieves, we use this adaptor and a regular extension cord, sufficient for light enough loads while parked in our driveway)

Okay.. back to the generator---    Now it’s a couple weeks later and we got the rotor rebuilt and back.. and the snow is gone!  
working on the onan generator3

working on the onan generator4

working on the onan generator5

 working on the onan generator6

 working on the onan generator7

 working on the onan generator8

working on the onan generator9
 working on the onan generator10

 working on the onan generator11

 working on the onan generator12
working on the onan generator13
All those pics were taken yesterday evening …  now it’s Saturday morning and Steve finished up the connections. We attached the propane line, bled it, checked for leaks… double checked all our connections…. and hit the button!
annnndd it WORKS!!!!! 
wheeeeeeeee  120 vac at the outlets… yahhhhoooooooooo


  1. The Master at work, you can be glad Stevio has the expertise to do these jobs as genorators are big money holes. Now Sam is getting the bug to dewinterize and get the 5th wheel ready for its great adventure. just the thought of getting it detup for full time is intimedating. Good work Stevio.Sam&Donna.

  2. Always boggles my mind how people are so gol darned smart at doing all this kind of stuff. It seems most guys I know are all do-it-yourselfers. And they are all good at everything too. You are soooooooo fortunate to have such a super handy guy. I am fortunate to have a super duper handy gal...... AL:))

  3. Ha.. we fix it and learn how by necessity. Can't afford to pay someone else to do it! LOL

  4. Good job! I wish you had have been closer. We have a great hydrolic list table that would have lifted that generator right up for you. We used it when we moved for our big old fashioned tube type tv.

    Your motorhome looks so shiny! What do you use on it?

  5. Forgot to tell you. The link for the fight systems didn't work.

  6. Oh thanks for letting me know about the link... I fixed it now.

  7. What an incredibly talanted guy!

    You married well! ;c)


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